Resource Recycling Magazine

Updated: 31 min 47 sec ago

California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:21
California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Aug. 28, 2014

In a surprising twist, California's bag ban bill has passed through the state Assembly.

After an initial Assembly vote Aug. 26 appeared to be four votes shy of the 41 needed to pass, legislators continued to debate the measure this week and eventually the bill was granted reconsideration.  A rare revote today saw 44 votes registered in support of the bill, which now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

Senators have to pass the bill by Aug. 31, when the California legislature officially concludes.  If passed, Gov. Jerry Brown would have until Sept. 30 to sign off on the measure.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, bans plastic checkout bags throughout state while imposing a minimum 10-cent fee on paper, compostable or reusable bags.  The measure also secured $2 million in competitive state loans to help bag makers transition to manufacturing thicker reusable bags.

Mark Murray, executive director of pro-ban group Californians Against Waste, says the bill passed a "tough hurdle" in moving through the Assembly and has the support needed to pass through the Senate.

"We’re counting the votes and we need 21, but we have 22," Murray told Resource Recycling sister publication, Plastics Recycling Update.  "I feel pretty good."

The bill, which Murray earlier predicted would pass through both the Assembly and Senate this week, has faced heavy opposition from the plastic bag industry and allies alike in the paper industry.  Plastic bag makers have long contended a statewide ban would cause jobs to be lost, while the paper industry has lobbied against the 10-cent charge the bill levys on paper, compostable and reusable bags offered at checkout.

In a strange turn of events, the San Jose Mercury News blew the lid on a fictitious Latino advocacy group, Familias Latinas de California, created by ban-opponents as part of a late push to urge California legislators to oppose the measure.

 

 

California bag ban falls short

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:21
California bag ban falls short

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Aug. 27, 2014

A bill that would have banned plastic checkout bags from grocery stores and retailers in California has been defeated yet again.

Seven California Representatives chose not to vote on the measure Monday, leading to a 37-33 vote that fell four votes shy of garnering the 41 votes needed to move out of Assembly and into the Senate.

Mark Murray, executive director of ban-supporter Californians Against Waste, is calling on the public to press the seven non-voting members of the Assembly. Murray says a revote is possible before the end of the week. It is unclear how likely that possibility is, especially in light of the fact that the bill would also need to make it pass the Senate in that timespan.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, would have banned plastic checkout bags throughout state while imposing a minimum 10-cent fee on paper or reusable bags. The measure also secured $2 million in competitive state loans to help bag makers transition to manufacturing thicker reusable bags.

Murray suggested last week the votes were in place for the bill to pass through both the Assembly and the Senate by the time the state legislature closes shop at the end of August. Two representatives identified as potential swing votes, Steven Bradford and Shirley Weber, were among the seven non-voting members of the Assembly.

Bradford's office last week said the Representative was "studying the debate," but as the vote neared, Bradford decided the bill was not the kind of bill he could support.  "While I support efforts to clean and protect the environment, I felt AB 270 did not go about it the right way," Bradford said in a statement sent to Resource Recycling

It is the third California bill to fall to make it pass state legislators. Similar attempts in 2010 and 2013 also fell short, but this year — with 116 local ordinances covering about one third of California's population — was viewed as the best opportunity yet to get a statewide ban through the legislature.

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Resource Recycling 2014: MRFs of today and tomorrow

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:18
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: MRFs of today and tomorrow

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 27, 2014

Consultant Eileen Berenyi is the author of an industry-standard MRF directory, and at next month's Resource Recycling Conference, she will update attendees on the state of that pivotal step in the recycling stream, offering a holistic look at what kind of MRFs are being built today and what they'll look like in the future.

Berenyi's presentation is just one of dozens high-level talks being delivered at Resource Recycling Conference 2014, the premier gathering of recycling leaders and game changers. If you and your staff want to help shape the future of materials recovery, be sure to attend.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.

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ReCommunity says recycling quality must improve

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:15
ReCommunity says recycling quality must improve

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Aug. 27, 2014

One of the largest single-stream MRF operators in the country says "non-conforming" materials are inundating facilities nationwide.

In an "Inbound Quality Alert" memo sent out earlier this month, ReCommunity states "nearly all" of the company's 33 U.S. facilities have been getting too much material they simply can't recover and recycle. Those materials, such as garden hoses, plastic bags, diapers, needles and other medical waste, propane tanks, as well as yard debris and food scraps, are contaminating the materials ReCommunity can recoup and hurting their value.

"Poor quality jeopardizes the usability of recycled materials throughout the supply chain, which is critical to the success of our mission; diverting recyclable materials from landfills," the alert reads.

Jeff Fielkow, ReCommunity's chief sales and marketing officer, told Resource Recycling the company is not alone in its inbound challenges. "Addressing poor inbound material quality is an industry-wide and supply-chain-long challenge," Fielkow wrote in an email. "Whether through surcharges or other measures, processors will be forced to share the cost of ensuring worker safety and end-market quality requirements."

The problematic materials that are showing up at ReCommunity's MRFs aren't permitted in residential and commercial recycling programs in the first place and Fielkow points to education as key to correcting the issue. "We as an industry must recommit to ramping up education and outreach," Fielkow stated.

Beyond educational outreach to residents by the waste management industry — informing them of what to throw in recycling bins and what to keep out — ReCommunity also suggests penalties will await communities who can't get things straight. "ReCommunity will reject unacceptable loads and charge generators (or downgrade prices) for the costs associated with such unacceptable items (such as transportation, re-loading, clean-up, alternate disposal)," the memo reads.

As for the company's relationship to single-stream programs, which, despite their popularity have always posed contamination challenges, Fielkow said the company remains committed to the approach as "the most effective, efficient means of recycling."

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Facility in focus: Tech-heavy Dallas MRF rolls along

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:13
Facility in focus: Tech-heavy Dallas MRF rolls along

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Aug. 27, 2014

As they approach their facility's one-year anniversary, the leaders at the Republic Services North Texas Recycling Complex say all is going smoothly. Well, except for the cassette tape issue.

The roughly $20 million Republic Services MRF went on-line last September, and it did so with a number of technologies from CP Group that were designed to help mitigate and even capitalize on harder-to-recycle plastics and other tough materials. Case in point is a system called a screw compactor that sorts and compresses plastic film.

But materials streams have a way of always bringing a taste of the unexpected, and for the North Texas MRF the surprise was old VHS tapes, which somehow keep making their way into recycling carts at the roughly 350,000 Dallas-Fort Worth area households the facility services.

"It seems like every day we get a box of those," Duane McDonald, Republic Services' division manager, told a crowd of about 40 solid waste professionals who toured the facility this week as part of the WasteCon conference and trade show. "The tape gets all over the machines and can cause real problems. Garden hoses and Christmas lights can be problems too."

But other than the headaches caused by old copies of "Back to the Future II," the MRF seems to be living up to expectations.

Republic Services executives said the plant is currently seeing a residue rate of roughly 17 percent — not far off the company's initial hopes for a 15 percent rate — and they said commodities have been moving at a healthy clip. The MRF was also recently awarded the 2014 SWANA Gold Award for MRF Excellence.

Plastics streams at the facility are kept clean thanks to the use of three optical sorters placed near the end of the processing line. That optical system, McDonald said, also has the capability of detecting and isolating aseptic cartons, a use that could become increasingly vital as more consumer products brands move to that type of packaging.

The MRF's leaders acknowledged profit margins on glass, which makes up 15 percent of the recovery stream by volume, have been slight, but the company continues to profit off the material thanks to an unnamed buyer that is located elsewhere in Texas.

The company currently uses 26 employees at different sort stations throughout each shift as well as several others to operate equipment, and the MRF operates two shifts, allowing the operation to process roughly 500 tons of material per day.

McDonald also pointed out that the few hours between 2 a.m. (when the night shift ends) and 6 a.m. (when the day shift starts) are seen as just as key as the time the lines are running at full throttle. In it's in that downtime that the MRF's team of mechanics can have full reign of the machinery to perform preventative maintenance, which is important to keep optical sorters running correctly.

Those "unimpeded hours," as McDonald called them, also give the equipment experts time to take care of small mechanical problems, whether they're caused by VHS tapes or whatever unexpected material makes its way into the stream next.

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PAYT program puts small town mayor on hot seat

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:09
PAYT program puts small town mayor on hot seat

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Aug. 27, 2014

The town of Fall River, Massachusetts may be getting a new mayor due to an unpopular move to charge citizens for each bag of trash they send to a landfill.

The Committee to Recall Mayor William Flanagan has until Sept. 2 to collect 2,500 signatures from Fall River registered voters after the group successfully filed a petition for the recall of the town's mayor. The recall group is led by Robert Camara, who has tried to oust Flanagan before, and sports a Facebook page with more than 1,100 "likes" as of press time.

Essentially, Camara and others claim a nascent pay-as-you-throw program was installed earlier this month by Flanagan to make up for his otherwise irresponsible fiscal management of the town. Residents pay $2 per 30 gallon trash bag sent to a landfill under the new program and the petition, dated August 12, calls that approach "punitive and regressive."

You can read the full text of the petition here.

The mayor, meanwhile, has hired an attorney to address Camara's claims and told the Herald News he would be squarely focused on continuing to serve the people of Fall River, Massachusetts. "As mayor, I will not allow this recall attempt to distract me from my officials duties," Flanagan said.


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ReuseConex 2014 targets global reuse market, industry

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:06
ReuseConex 2014 targets global reuse market, industry

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 27, 2014

The third international ReuseConex conference will touch down in Austin, Texas from October 23-25.

With more than 60 scheduled speakers and a unifying theme of "Innovate. Transform. Sustain.," ReuseConex 2014 will bring a range of reuse experts to the fore, conference organizers say, all highlighting the "transformative powers of reuse."

"We’re excited that ReuseConex2014 is covering such a wide array of reuse-based topics; and with speakers and attendees from around the world — it will be an amazing opportunity to connect and share with the global reuse community," said MaryEllen Etienne, Executive Director of Reuse Alliance. "ReuseConex welcomes everyone wanting to harness the transformative powers of reuse, because when the world’s citizenry is fully engaged in the reuse movement it will result in a cleaner environment, greener world economies and more equitable societies."

The conference will also feature a two-day reuse expo. A growing list of more than 30 exhibitors will present their unique reuse-oriented businesses and strategies, touching on just how far a reach the industry has in today's world, from "zero waste" grocery stores to time-tested consignment shops.

During the expo, which will run during the first two days of the conference, there will be a handful of additional events, including the "Ultimate Upcycle Challenge" on October 23, which will pit reuse gurus against one another to see who can come up with the most resourceful creation. There will also be a reuse-focused fashion show the following day and a night-time screening of "REUSE! Because You Can't Recycle the Planet."

To learn more about ReuseConex 2014, visit: reuseconex.org.

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Resource Recycling 2014: The Recycling Partnership

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 13:03
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The Recycling Partnership

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 27, 2014

The fast-approaching Resource Recycling Conference will bring attendees the latest on groundbreaking initiatives that are working to advance municipal recovery rates.

One leader in that space is the Recycling Partnership, the outcome of a recently completed 120-day stakeholder effort led by the Southeast Recycling Development Council. Officially launching on July 1, the Partnership has broad-reaching goals and is led by Keefe Harrison, the well-known executive director of the Curbside Value Partnership.

At Resource Recycling Conference 2014, Harrison will offer a presentation explaining how the Partnership aims to leverage private dollars to unlock public investments around recycling improvement. The Partnership may be starting in the Southeast but already has its eye on national expansion.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.


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NewsBits

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:57
NewsBits

Aug. 27, 2014

Keep America Beautiful (KAB) has been awarded $1 million by Lowes to put toward a series waste and recycling-related community service projects across the country. The funding, in the form of a Lowes' Community Partners grant, brings Lowes' overall financial commitment to KAB to $3 million.

In yet another curious attempt to reward the population for recycling containers at reverse vending machines (RVMs), the Beijing city government has installed 34 RVMs that provide mobile phone credits and transportation passes for traded-in cans and bottles. The off-beat strategy is being employed in cities around the world attempting to prioritize container recycling by providing useful rewards beyond money.

With per capita recycling stagnant since 1999, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina has decided to take a look at pay-as-you-throw programming to encourage citizens to think twice before throwing out perfectly recyclable materials. A sustainability report from Sustain Charlotte recently called for the city and the greater Mecklenburg County to consider the move, arguing it would reverse more than a decade of otherwise unchanged recycling behavior.

FutureMark has idled its Alsip, Illinois recycled coated paper mill, citing high energy costs and weak sales as key reasons for the corporate action. The move is expected to impact some 170 workers.

With Houston's mayor leading a charge to bring a mixed waste processing facility to the city, environmentalists and industry members have continued to campaign against the approach. Detractors argue mixed waste facilities — which sort recyclables from trash — aren't yet advanced enough to do the job they are meant to do. In addition, the potential proximity of the proposed Houston facility to a city landfill has some worrying that the vast majority of waste, including recyclables, will end up being landfilled.

A new waste audit report has put into question whether the city of Berkeley, California will be able to meets its 2020 goal of going "zero waste." The report, which can be viewed in full here, suggests the city fund a written strategic plan to organize and direct efforts to increase diversion. While the city met a 2010 goal of diverting 75 percent of its waste, progress, the audit shows, has largely stalled.

The long-debated expansion of Massachusetts' bottle bill will be decided this time around by the public in a Nov. 4 ballot vote. And, according to a new poll from the Boston Globe a majority of likely voters support the expansion. A poll conducted earlier this month shows 62 percent of voters in support of the expansion, which would include incorporating plastic water bottles into the law, while just 27 percent oppose the move and 10 percent remain undecided.

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Grant watch

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:12
Grant watch

Aug. 20, 2014

Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and publicly traded Waste Management announced eight $10,000 grants that are going to KAB affiliates nationwide. The merit-based, Think Green grants support projects that KAB affiliates implement locally, such as recycling and waste diversion education programs. The recipients are: Keep Charleston (South Carolina) Beautiful, Keep Clinton (Mississippi) Beautiful, Keep Detroit Beautiful, Keep Durham (North Carolina) Beautiful, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (Reno, Nevada), Keep Virginia Beautiful, Metro Beautification & Environment Commission (Nashville, Tennessee) and OKC Beautiful (Oklahoma City).

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality has awarded $2.5 million to nine universities and municipalities for road-related projects that leverage scrap tires. Michigan Technological University nabbed the largest grant, one worth $1.192 million.

Two Alabama municipalities have announced six-figure grants from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Gadsden nabbed $122,911, which will be deployed to purchase recycling trailers and other equipment to bolster the city's program. The City of Eufaula, meanwhile, was awarded $187,500 for a collection truck and bins.

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has offered up seven grants worth a combined $131,130 to counties and cities aiming to improve recycling and hazardous waste collection programs.

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has offered up seven grants worth a combined $131,130 to counties and cities aiming to improve recycling and hazardous waste collection programs.

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology have received a National Science Foundation grant worth $300,854 to study the environmental impact of nanomaterials found in solar cells, cosmetics and some other products. Part of the research will investigate how these materials affect landfill and recycling systems.

The Arizona Recycling Coalition has opened the application process for its 2014 grant program. Interested parties must apply by Oct. 6 and can get more information here.

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Scrap ferrous and aluminum exports still down

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:06
Scrap ferrous and aluminum exports still down

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 20, 2014

In our monthly look at exports of scrap materials, the first half of 2014 has shown a rebound from Green Fence-era levels in the plastics realm, but ferrous and aluminum scrap exports are still steeply down year-over-year.

On the scrap plastics front, June saw a 4.7 percent decline from May 2014 export levels, with 405.26 million pounds of material exported in June 2014. When matched against Green Fence-influenced June 2013 levels, the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 23.2 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in June, at 19.36 cents per pound, was down by 2.1 percent from its May 2014 standing of 19.78 cents per pound. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 4.3 percent.

At 2.32 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported in June 2014 was up 14.3 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.66 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first half of 2014 was down 3.5 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper saw small improvement for the first six months of 2014, with 9.68 million metric tons exported, a 1.3 percent increase from levels through June 2013. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper through June was also relatively unchanged, up just 0.6 percent when compared with its standing through the first half of 2014.

Ferrous scrap exports saw strong declines YOY, with 7.59 million metric tons exported through June 2014, amounting to a sharp 23.5 percent decrease from levels from the first half of 2013. At $404 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also down – 3.2 percent from ferrous scrap export figures through June 2013.

Lastly, the 1.80 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through June 2014 equated to a 10.0 percent decrease from the first six months of 2013. At 77 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through June 2014 was down 3.8 percent YOY.

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Grant watch

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 06:59
Grant watch

Aug. 20, 2014

Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and publicly traded Waste Management announced eight $10,000 grants that are going to KAB affiliates nationwide. The merit-based, Think Green grants support projects that KAB affiliates implement locally, such as recycling and waste diversion education programs. The recipients are: Keep Charleston (South Carolina) Beautiful, Keep Clinton (Mississippi) Beautiful, Keep Detroit Beautiful, Keep Durham (North Carolina) Beautiful, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (Reno, Nevada), Keep Virginia Beautiful, Metro Beautification & Environment Commission (Nashville, Tennessee) and OKC Beautiful (Oklahoma City).

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality has awarded $2.5 million to nine universities and municipalities for road-related projects that leverage scrap tires. Michigan Technological University nabbed the largest grant, one worth $1.192 million.

Two Alabama municipalities have announced six-figure grants from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Gadsden nabbed $122,911, which will be deployed to purchase recycling trailers and other equipment to bolster the city's program. The City of Eufaula, meanwhile, was awarded $187,500 for a collection truck and bins.

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has offered up seven grants worth a combined $131,130 to counties and cities aiming to improve recycling and hazardous waste collection programs.

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has offered up seven grants worth a combined $131,130 to counties and cities aiming to improve recycling and hazardous waste collection programs.

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology have received a National Science Foundation grant worth $300,854 to study the environmental impact of nanomaterials found in solar cells, cosmetics and some other products. Part of the research will investigate how these materials affect landfill and recycling systems.

The Arizona Recycling Coalition has opened the application process for its 2014 grant program. Interested parties must apply by Oct. 6 and can get more information here.

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Scrap ferrous and aluminum exports still down

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:19
Scrap ferrous and aluminum exports still down

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 20, 2014

In our monthly look at exports of scrap materials, the first half of 2014 has shown a rebound from Green Fence-era levels in the plastics realm, but ferrous and aluminum scrap exports are still steeply down year-over-year.

On the scrap plastics front, June saw a 4.7 percent decline from May 2014 export levels, with 405.26 million pounds of material exported in June 2014. When matched against Green Fence-influenced June 2013 levels, the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 23.2 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in June, at 19.36 cents per pound, was down by 2.1 percent from its May 2014 standing of 19.78 cents per pound. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 4.3 percent.

At 2.32 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported in June 2014 was up 14.3 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.66 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first half of 2014 was down 3.5 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper saw small improvement for the first six months of 2014, with 9.68 million metric tons exported, a 1.3 percent increase from levels through June 2013. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper through June was also relatively unchanged, up just 0.6 percent when compared with its standing through the first half of 2014.

Ferrous scrap exports saw strong declines YOY, with 7.59 million metric tons exported through June 2014, amounting to a sharp 23.5 percent decrease from levels from the first half of 2013. At $404 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also down – 3.2 percent from ferrous scrap export figures through June 2013.

Lastly, the 1.80 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through June 2014 equated to a 10.0 percent decrease from the first six months of 2013. At 77 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through June 2014 was down 3.8 percent YOY.

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Commercial and multifamily bog down San Diego recycling

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:05
Commercial and multifamily bog down San Diego recycling

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Aug. 20, 2014

A recent audit of San Diego's waste diversion efforts finds nearly 60 percent of commercial and multifamily properties are not reaching mandated recycling requirements.

The report from the city's auditor's office goes on to recommend higher diversion demands on private haulers serving those sectors.

"Significantly increasing the diversion rate for commercial and multifamily properties — which combined, make up the largest source of waste generation in the City — is necessary to achieve the City’s recycling goals," the auditor's report notes. "We found that the City’s current enforcement strategy, which focuses on holding the property owner responsible for complying with recycling requirements, is unlikely to succeed without concurrently requiring each franchised hauler to achieve minimum recycling rates."

Increasing diversion in California's second largest city (San Diego has a population of 1.3 million) has become a growing concern for city officials in recent years as the Miramar Landfill, the only city-operated waste disposal site, nears capacity. The city recently unveiled a goal to reach 75 percent waste diversion by 2020 and "zero waste" by 2045.

The city posted a 68 percent waste diversion figure in 2012, bolstered in large part by programs that have led to 85 percent diversion in the construction and demolition category.

Since 2007, the city has operated with a citywide recycling ordinance, which requires residents and businesses to separate recyclable material. Businesses and multifamily buildings are required to hit a recycling rate level of 30 percent or 40 percent, depending on their size.

However, the auditor's report indicates 5,621 of the 9,555 of the commercial and multifamily entities held to those recycling standards failed to comply. That equates to a 58.8 percent failure rate.

The report says to solve that problem, the city should develop mandates for private haulers. Though the municipality handles refuse and recycling collection for single-family homes, 21 private haulers serve the commercial and multifamily sector through a non-exclusive franchise system. In that setup, haulers enter into agreements with commercial and multifamily clients, and the haulers can vie for business in any section of the city.

San Diego's Environmental Services Department collects disposal statistics from the haulers serving the commercial and multifamily sector, and officials determined only 26 percent of waste from those generators was diverted in 2013. The auditor's report includes the following chart showing the haulers that handle the most commercial and multifamily material as well as the recycling rates associated with each firm.

The report suggests the possibility of San Diego following the lead of cities such as San Jose and Pasadena, both of which have required private haulers to hit diversion rates above 60 percent in the commercial sphere and have seen strong results since implementation.

The auditor recommends setting an initial 35 percent diversion requirement for commercial and multifamily haulers and to periodically increase that number.

"Even as technology improves to recover these materials," the report reads, "haulers will likely have little incentive to invest in infrastructure to recover compostable and other potentially recoverable materials and encourage customers to recycle them unless franchise agreements are revised to require diversion rates exceeding 35 percent in the future."

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2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: Finalists announced

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:02
2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: Finalists announced

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 20, 2014

The organizers of the 2014 Recycling Innovators Forum have identified the eight proposals that are moving on to the final presentation stage as they compete for a combined $40,000 in cash prizes and valuable industry exposure.

Complete information on each of the concepts and the individuals behind them can be found here. The competition is divided into two categories — Enterprise/Institution for entries that came from a larger company and group and Garage Innovator for proposals from small startups and teams — and four finalists were selected on each side. The second annual competition received more than 60 proposals.

The final presentation round will take place Monday, Sept. 15 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside during the first day of the Resource Recycling Conference. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception where all Innovators Forum presenters will be on hand to answer questions and develop industry contacts.

To learn more and register for the Forum, click here.

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College football recycling contest back again

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:00
College football recycling contest back again

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 20, 2014

Some of the largest colleges and universities in the country will be battling at the bin this fall.

The GameDay Recycling Challenge, an annual materials diversion competition, has opened up its registration process for the 2014 season. The concept asks each participating school to pick one, or more, of its football team's home games and to track how much material goes into recycling or compost receptacles at stadiums and tailgate areas.

Schools compete against their conference rivals in categories such as total amount diverted and recycling rate, and national winners are recognized at the end of the season.

Nearly 90 colleges and universities participated in the GameDay competition last year, an effort that led to 1.46 million pounds of material being diverted from landfill.

The competition is managed by CURC, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Wastewise Program, Keep America Beautiful, and RecycleMania, Inc.

Interested schools can register for the 2014 edition here.

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Resource Recycling 2014: Book your hotel room now

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 13:43
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Book your hotel room now

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 20, 2014

The Resource Recycling Conference is proud to have chosen the Hilton New Orleans Riverside as this year's venue. Conference attendees will receive a special room rate of $139 plus taxes for single/double occupancy, and government attendees will receive the current government per diem rate.

However, to get the discount price, reservations must be made by Aug. 25, so act now to ensure the best value for your stay.

Hotel reservations can be made directly with the Hilton New Orleans Riverside online or by calling 504-561-0500.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.


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NewsBits

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 13:39
NewsBits

Aug. 20, 2014

Aluminum giant Novelis announced the completion of a $106 million expansion to a complex it runs in Brazil that the company says will add 190,000 metric tons of annual recycling capacity. Novelis has a goal of reaching 80 percent recycled content in all its products by 2020.

New York CIty is significantly expanding a pilot program that converts collected food waste to natural gas used to heat residents' homes. Officials had been processing around 2 tons per day of collected organics at a plant in Brooklyn's Greenpoint area — that number will now increase to 50 tons per day.

The Green Biz blog recently took an in-depth look at the Closed Loop Fund, the Walmart-headed public-private effort that has committed to investing $100 million in municipal recycling. One new piece of information about the Fund the article uncovers: An independent "investment committee" with representatives from the recycling, environment, finance and municipal spheres will give the final approval on whether a proposed project will get Closed Loop dollars.

Officials in the Massachusetts town of Ashland say they've saved nearly $1 million in disposal fees since instituting a pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) recycling structure eight years ago. The recycling rate in the town during that timeframe has increased from 17 percent to 33 percent. The town partnered with the firm Waste Zero to implement PAYT.

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Indianapolis gives final approval to Covanta MRF

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:14
Indianapolis gives final approval to Covanta MRF

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Aug. 13, 2014

Despite fierce opposition, all-in-one-bin recycling and trash collection has overcome its final hurdle in one of the Midwest's largest cities.

The Board of Public Works in Indianapolis last week approved a contract that hands municipal recycling collection to Covanta for 14 years. That firm, which already collects trash in the city, has committed to build a $45 million facility that will sort recyclables from garbage.

Such plants, sometimes called dirty MRFs, have become an industry talking point as more municipalities consider the sorting technology. The process is touted as a method to increase recycling tonnages in areas that have historically seen low participation rates or have limited funding to put behind traditional curbside recycling efforts.

Critics of all-in-one bin collection, however, say dirty MRFs struggle to spawn materials that are of high enough quality for many companies looking to integrate recycled materials into their products. In recent months, the Indiana Recycling Coalition, alongside Alcoa, Pratt Industries and other consumers of recyclable materials, pushed Indianapolis decision-makers to consider other recycling options.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries has also recently come out in opposition to all-in-one-bin collection.

The Covanta contract was negotiated by the administration of Indianapolis' mayor, Greg Ballard, and the Board of Public Works approved it by a 4-1 vote. All three members of the board who were appointed by the mayor voted for the measure.

The contract requires the Covanta system to achieve an 18 percent recycling rate, though Covanta has said its facility could lead to the recovery of more than 80 percent of recyclables. There is no penalty to Covanta should the company not reach the 18 percent recycling rate.

"Today’s vote marks a giant leap forward for Indy’s efforts to boost recycling rates," Melody Park, director of the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, said in a statement obtained by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Carey Hamilton, executive director of IRC, said the group is "disappointed" with the deal, and she noted the new contract precludes the private sector from working with the city to boost recycling activity. "As we have stated, this plan is a major step backwards for recycling in Indianapolis," Hamilton said in a statement. "Having in recent days received access to the agreement, we now know it is a bad deal for taxpayers as well."

Currently, curbside recycling collection in Indianapolis is available through a subscription plan, which is offered by Republic Services. That program, which has seen participation rates only around 10 percent, will continue alongside implementation of the Covanta system, though if the participation rate of the subscription program increases more than 5 percent per year, the city will be financially penalized under the new contract.

The editorial staff of the Indianapolis Business Journal also criticized the deal for not going before the full city-county council, in particular singling-out some of the more onerous penalties attached to the Covanta contract. "If a better program, or better technology, comes along in the next 14 years," the staff wrote, "the city won’t be able to adopt it without paying Covanta more than $333,000 a month in damages."

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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Book your hotel room

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:08
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Book your hotel room

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 13, 2014

The Resource Recycling Conference is proud to have chosen the Hilton New Orleans Riverside as this year's venue. Conference attendees will receive a special room rate of $139 plus taxes for single/double occupancy, and government attendees will receive the current government per diem rate.

However, to get the discount price, reservations must be made by Aug. 25, so act now to ensure the best value for your stay.

Hotel reservations can be made directly with the Hilton New Orleans Riverside online or by calling (504) 561-0500.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.


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