Resource Recycling Magazine

Updated: 3 hours 20 min ago

NewsBits

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 21:28
NewsBits

Jan. 27, 2015

The Recycling Partnership has officially launched. Curbside Value Partnership's new public-private venture has provided the city of Columbia, South Carolina with a $300,000 grant to help roll out its switch from bins to carts. The Partnership, which plans to branch out into a national program [Ed: look for the Feb. issue of Resource Recycling for an article detailing this plan], will also start work in Richmond, Virginia and Florence, Alabama this year.

An article posted on Ars Technica takes readers on a virtual tour of Sims Municipal Recycling's Sunset Park MRF in Brooklyn. The feature examines some of the plant's most advanced sorting equipment and even includes a photograph showing current pricing for a variety of recyclables, including PET (15.5 cents per pound), HDPE (26 cents per pound), cartons ($65 per ton) and aluminum (55 cents per pound). The facility sorts all of the recyclables collected through New York City's curbside recycling program.

Republic Services has started a special service program for disabled residents of Toledo, Ohio. By calling Republic's local facility, residents in need can schedule a visit from a company representative to develop a modified pick-up schedule for trash and recyclables.

While all MRF operators deal with contamination, Rumpke has decided to share its contaminants with the world. The company has compiled a list of some of the stranger items people have tried to recycle, including a prosthetic leg, a lizard, photo albums, lingerie and bowling balls.

City leaders in Tulsa, Oklahoma have proposed letting residents use half-sized recycling carts for curbside collections, with some residents saying the bigger carts are too cumbersome. Hauler NeWSolutions already has 600 of the 48-gallon carts in storage, so a change wouldn’t cost the city.

Football fans at Humboldt State University achieved a higher diversion rate than any other college participating in this football season’s GameDay Recycling Challenge. Through the challenge, participating universities and colleges measure and report the weight of recyclables and trash generated at a home football game last fall. Northern California’s Humboldt State University achieved an 86 percent diversion rate.

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Curbside foam collection a reality in some cities

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 22:52
Curbside foam collection a reality in some cities

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 20, 2015

New York City's recent decision to ban foam food service products due to curbside recycling obstacles has raised another question: What are other municipalities doing with the material?

According to an online database compiled by foam manufacturer Dart Container, more than 60 communities in California, including Los Angeles and Sacramento, include post-consumer expanded polystyrene (EPS) in their curbside programs. San Antonio also allows the material in curbside bins.

A 2013 study funded by the American Chemistry Council and conducted by Moore Recycling Associates suggested 31 percent of the American population in 2012 had access to foam recycling either curbside or via drop-off locations.

In cementing their decision on EPS, New York City officials said their research showed integrating the material into the curbside infrastructure would be costly and time consuming, and they noted question marks remain when it comes to downstream markets for post-consumer foam.

But Moore Recycling's CEO, Patty Moore, says not all communities are reaching that same conclusion.

"The research we’ve done shows that EPS can, and is, being recycled in curbside programs," Moore said. "California is a leader in collecting this material curbside."

Recycling foam via drop-off locations, meanwhile, is far more widespread in the U.S., Dart's list shows. Municipalities in 17 states have at least one drop-off location for the material.

In addition to New York City, several other large cities have moved to ban post-consumer EPS, including Portland, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and Seattle.

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Scrap plastic exports rebound while ferrous declines again

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 22:45
Scrap plastic exports rebound while ferrous declines again

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 20, 2015

What's the story with scrap materials exports in a nutshell? Plastics up, paper flat, aluminum down and ferrous way down. Read on for more.

Scrap plastics exports bounced back in October, the most recent month for which data is available, after a month-to-month dip at the outset of the third quarter.

October saw a steep 14.3 percent month-to-month increase from September 2014 export levels, with 461.1 million pounds of scrap plastics exported in October. When matched against October 2013 levels (403.4 million pounds), the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 16.6 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in October, at 19.77 cents per pound, was down from September 2014 levels by 5.2 percent. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 9.5 percent.

Scrap plastics also showed strong gains in year-to-date (YTD) figures. With 4.03 billion pounds exported through October 2014, the volume of recovered plastics sent across U.S. borders was up 16.7 percent from its YTD 2013 figure, which was heavily influenced by China's Operation Green Fence. At 19.88 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first 10 months of 2014 was down by 3.2 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports continued to see a small improvement through October 2014, with 15.89 million metric tons exported, a 1.4 percent increase from levels through October 2013. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper through October was relatively flat, down just 0.6 percent when compared with its standing through the first 10 months of 2014.

Ferrous scrap exports continued to show strong declines YOY, with 12.92 million metric tons exported through October 2014, amounting to a sharp 17.6 percent decrease from levels through the first 10 months of 2013. At $408 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap fell 0.6 percent from ferrous scrap exports figures through October 2013.

Lastly, the 3.19 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through October 2014 equated to a 6.7 percent decrease from the first 10 months of 2013. At 77 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through October 2014 was also down by 4.1 percent YOY.

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Access to food scrap collection grows 8 percent

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 22:42
Access to food scrap collection grows 8 percent

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 20, 2015

Original research from a national composting magazine suggests nearly 200 municipalities throughout the country are offering residential food scrap collection.

Up more than 8 percent from BioCycle's 2012 count of 183, the 2014 tally of 198 municipalities points to a growing interest in diverting food scraps at a time when America manages to divert less than 5 percent of its food waste.

According to the U.S. EPA's 2012 MSW study, food scraps represent almost 15 percent of America's MSW stream, but just 4.7 percent of it is composted. A total of 1.74 million pounds of food scraps were composted in 2012, while more than 34 million pounds were landfilled.

Finding a way to divert more food scraps, composting advocates say, is key to driving America's stagnating diversion rate.

According to BioCycle, the number of municipalities including food scraps either with yard debris or in separate carts and bins has grown eight fold in the past decade. In 2005, just 24 municipalities offered food scrap diversion programs.

By region, food scrap collection continues to be dominated by cities and communities in the Western U.S. Of the approximately 2.74 million U.S. households with some form of residential service, almost half (1.33 million households) are situated in California. Food scrap collection is also offered to many residents in Washington and Oregon.

Of non-Western states, Texas, New York and Ohio have managed to move the needle in terms of households, combining to serve more than 200,000, the BioCycle numbers show.

BioCycle is billed as the official magazine of the U.S. Composting Council, which is hosting its Compost2015 conference and trade show this week in Austin, Texas

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated residential programs grew 9 percent between 2012 and 2014.  Programs grew 8 percent.

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Recycling interests play small role in campaign funding

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 22:35
Recycling interests play small role in campaign funding

by Jerry Powell, Resource Recycling

Jan. 20, 2015

Recently elected Congressional members raised hundreds of millions of dollars from individuals and political action committees in the lead-up to voting last November. An analysis of campaign spending records indicates, however, that the recycling industry remains a relatively small player in campaign financing.

To take two examples touching the recycling industry, the political action committee managed by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries contributed $52,500 during this period to more than two dozen federal candidates from both parties and six other campaign committees. The Waste Management employee PAC contributed almost $55,000 to 32 federal candidates and over $37,000 to seven other campaign committees. Compared to the previous election cycle, when ISRI donated over $64,000 to candidates and the WM PAC contributed over $112,000.

As another example, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) was re-elected and will remain the chairman of a key environment subcommittee where waste management and recycling issues may be debated. He raised $1.97 million for his re-election campaign.  Just 2 percent of these monies came from groups and companies with an interest in recycling, such as the ISRI PAC, Waste Management and the Automotive Recyclers Association.  Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) is the ranking Democrat on this subcommittee and he raised no funds from recycling interests.

A total of $1.54 billion was spent in 2014 Congressional races. Over $1.7 billion was spent in the previous election cycle.

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Wide world of recycling

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 22:30
Wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 20, 2015

Small trash receptacles have equated to big jumps in recycling in Scotland's capital. Grab the details in our global look at the industry.

By reducing the size of garbage cans, officials in Edinburgh, Scotland have increased the recycling rate to 85 percent, according to the Edinburgh Evening News. A pilot project deployed half-size garbage cans at 140,000 households, and plans are in place to expand the effort throughout Scotland's capital city. Households within the test area recycled 7.7 pounds per week, compared to the citywide average of 4.4 pounds.

A researcher working out of a small, collegiate lab in Hong Kong says he's making progress in "cracking" the recycling of mixed plastics. Stephen Chow, a professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, has been working on breaking down a variety of mixed plastics in just 10 minutes, two to six times quicker than traditional approaches.

While the European Commission (EC) has announced it will table and replace its Circular Economy program in the near future, a majority of members of the European Parliament have said they oppose the plan. They were, however, unable to reach an accord to formally oppose the step in a Jan. 15 vote, meaning the EC will likely be able to continue as planned.


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NewsBits

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 22:21
NewsBits

Jan. 20, 2015

Tech startup Rubicon has managed to raise $30 million in funding to put toward its recycling software and business model. Using the software platform known as Caesar, the company allows haulers to bid on a wide range of recycling and waste contracts throughout the world, then assists and supports them in diverting as much material as possible at the best possible rate.

The top college or university when it comes to being "green," according to OnlineSchoolsCenter.com: American University in Washington, D.C. The school is followed in the ranking by Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) and University of California, Santa Barbara. OnlineSchoolsCenter.com's list is partly based on institutions’ recycling programs.

Newport, Rhode Island is considering a local law that would require special events have marked recycling bins available. The proposed ordinance would require applicants for a special event license have a plan for the collection of waste and recyclables. All recyclables would be delivered and weighed at a recycling facility. Newport has a recycling rate of 23 percent.

Employment in the waste and recycling industry reached a new high of 383,000 jobs in 2014, according to the National Waste & Recycling Association. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures showed that employment increased by 8,700 over the course of the year. The statistic was for workers in a broad category that includes waste collection and disposal personnel, water treatment workers and recycling industry staff, among others.

A new technology employed at a U.K. recycling plant uses microwaves to separate materials in plastic-aluminum laminates so they can be recycled. A commercial-scale plant in Luton, U.K. is now in operation and can recycle up to 2,204 tons of packaging annually. Plastic-aluminum laminates, commonly a food and drink packaging that’s growing in popularity, are otherwise not recyclable. The plant is partly funded by Nestle and Kraft Foods/Mondelez International.

The government of Alachua County, Florida has taken over operations at its local MRF after SP Recycling of Dublin, Georgia reorganized and decided to get out of the paper recycling business. An outside firm estimated the county could earn an extra $500,000 per year by assuming control of the MRF.

A first-of-its-kind recycling rewards program in Dayton, Ohio has come to an end, four years after it started entering residents who recycled into cash drawings. The city didn’t meet its goal of doubling recycling through the program, but it did increase tonnages by 18 percent.

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NYC: Curbside foam can't be recycled

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:53
NYC: Curbside foam can't be recycled

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

In a controversial move, New York City has banned foam foodservice products on the grounds that they cannot be efficiently recycled through a curbside collection system.

"After consultations with corporations, including Dart Container Corporation, nonprofits, vendors and other stakeholders, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has determined that expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam cannot be recycled, which led to the ban," the city announced in a Dec. 8 press release. "DSNY has also determined that there currently is no market for post-consumer EPS collected in a curbside metal, glass and plastic recycling program."

While ban opponent Dart Container had secured an Indianapolis-based buyer for the material, DSNY internal documents show the agency was not convinced of the long-term viability of an alternative plan to collect all polystyrene items curbside.

The ban was framed as an environmental victory by the city's mayor Bill de Blasio, who had first proposed to outlaw select foam products in 2007 when he was a member of City Council.

"By removing nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from our landfills, streets, and waterways, today's announcement is a major step towards our goal of a greener, greater New York City," de Blasio said in a statement.

Starting July 1, establishments throughout New York City will no longer be able to offer or sell foam food service products, such as cups and clamshell takeout trays. Foam packing peanuts will also be banned and compostable plates will be the new norm at the city's public school cafeterias. All other rigid polystyrene products will continue to be landfilled.

The decision was challenged by foam manufacturer Dart, which lobbied hard against the ban and pushed for the addition of all PS to the city's curbside recycling program.

"In the year since the ban was first proposed, foam manufacturers like Dart were given an opportunity to prove that foam foodservice items could be economically and logistically recycled within the city’s five boroughs," a press release reads. "Dart conducted real world tests that unequivocally proved this feasibility."

As the Dart release notes, the foam ban was approved by City Council members in late 2013, but included a compromise that gave Dart and others a year to prove recycling foam curbside could be effective within the city. The DSNY had until Jan. 1 to make a decision on whether to push through the ban or go with Dart's alternative proposal.

The decision to ban, as outlined in a letter to de Blasio from DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, came down to several reservations administrators had Dart's proposed recycling plan and timeline for recycling curbside PS and EPS.

The city estimates roughly 60,000 tons of polystyrene products enter the waste stream each year, with about half that total constituting EPS.

Under Dart's plan, all PS and EPS would have been collected curbside by DSNY, optically sorted and baled by Sims Municipal Recycling and sold to Plastics Recycling Inc. (PRI) in Indianapolis. Dart agreed to fund the addition of sorters at Sims' Brooklyn MRF and the expansion of PRI's facility. In addition, Dart secured a five-year pact with PRI to guarantee a buyer for New York City's post-consumer PS, including foam foodservice packaging.

But Garcia's letter shows city leaders felt putting such an infrastructure in place would take too much time. DSNY contends the addition of sorters at Sims' facility would take up to two years to complete. "As such, EPS would not be recycled until late 2016 or early 2017," Garcia's letter states.

In addition, PRI's necessary expansion to take on the material is not expected to be completed until "late spring 2015," DSNY says. According to the letter, question marks continue to surround the company's ability to process post-consumer PS and EPS.

Calling the PRI addition "a first of its kind in scale and operation," DSNY concluded the company might not be able to actually find buyers for the material once it is sorted and ready for reuse in new products. Without buyers, the material would have to be landfilled.

And, Garcia warns, if PRI were to decide after five years to ditch the endeavor, DSNY and Sims "would still have to manage the costs and complications of having designated EPS as recyclable."



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NYC: Curbside foam can't be recycled

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:53
NYC: Curbside foam can't be recycled

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

In a controversial move, New York City has banned foam foodservice products on the grounds that they cannot be efficiently recycled through a curbside collection system.

"After consultations with corporations, including Dart Container Corporation, nonprofits, vendors and other stakeholders, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has determined that expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam cannot be recycled, which led to the ban," the city announced in a Dec. 8 press release. "DSNY has also determined that there currently is no market for post-consumer EPS collected in a curbside metal, glass and plastic recycling program."

It is widely known that post-consumer EPS can be recycled for use in picture frames and a variety of other products, and most communities that offer EPS collection do so through a drop-off format. While ban opponent Dart Container had secured an Indianapolis-based buyer for the New York City material, DSNY internal documents show the agency was not convinced of the long-term viability of an alternative plan to collect all polystyrene items curbside.

The ban was framed as an environmental victory by the city's mayor, Bill de Blasio, who had first proposed to outlaw select foam products in 2007 when he was a member of City Council.

"By removing nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from our landfills, streets, and waterways, today's announcement is a major step towards our goal of a greener, greater New York City," de Blasio said in a statement.

Starting July 1, establishments throughout New York City will no longer be able to offer or sell foam food service products, such as cups and clamshell takeout trays. Foam packing peanuts will also be banned and compostable plates will be the new norm at the city's public school cafeterias. All other rigid polystyrene products will continue to be landfilled.

The decision was challenged by foam manufacturer Dart, which lobbied hard against the ban and pushed for the addition of all PS to the city's curbside recycling program.

"In the year since the ban was first proposed, foam manufacturers like Dart were given an opportunity to prove that foam foodservice items could be economically and logistically recycled within the city’s five boroughs," a press release reads. "Dart conducted real world tests that unequivocally proved this feasibility."

As the Dart release notes, the foam ban was approved by City Council members in late 2013, but included a compromise that gave Dart and others a year to prove recycling foam curbside could be effective within the city. The DSNY had until Jan. 1 to make a decision on whether to push through the ban or go with Dart's alternative proposal.

The decision to ban foam, as outlined in a letter to de Blasio from DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, came down to several reservations administrators had Dart's proposed recycling plan and timeline for recycling curbside PS and EPS.

The city estimates roughly 60,000 tons of polystyrene products enter the waste stream each year, with about half that total constituting EPS.

Under Dart's plan, all PS and EPS would have been collected curbside by DSNY, optically sorted and baled by Sims Municipal Recycling and sold to Plastics Recycling Inc. (PRI) in Indianapolis. Dart agreed to fund the addition of sorters at Sims' Brooklyn MRF and the expansion of PRI's facility. In addition, Dart secured a five-year pact with PRI to guarantee a buyer for New York City's post-consumer PS, including foam foodservice packaging.

But Garcia's letter shows city leaders felt putting such an infrastructure in place would take too much time. DSNY contends the addition of sorters at Sims' facility would take up to two years to complete. "As such, EPS would not be recycled until late 2016 or early 2017," Garcia's letter states.

In addition, PRI's necessary expansion to take on the material is not expected to be completed until "late spring 2015," DSNY says. According to the letter, question marks continue to surround the company's ability to process post-consumer PS and EPS.

Calling the PRI addition "a first of its kind in scale and operation," DSNY concluded the company might not be able to actually find buyers for the material once it is sorted and ready for reuse in new products. Without buyers, the material would have to be landfilled.

And, Garcia warns, if PRI were to decide after five years to ditch the endeavor, DSNY and Sims "would still have to manage the costs and complications of having designated EPS as recyclable."


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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Meeting and learning

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:43
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Meeting and learning

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

Several pre-conference workshops and events will be available in conjunction with the sixth annual Resource Recycling Conference, allowing attendees to get even more value out of North America's leading municipal recycling gathering.

The extra education opportunities include: GRRN Zero Waste Training, the National Recycling Coalition Annual Membership Meeting and Board Meeting, the third annual Recycling Innovators Forum, Re-Trac Connect Training and more.

Resource Recycling Conference 2015 is taking place Sept. 28-30 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, Indiana. Check rrconference.com for information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Meeting and learning

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:43
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Meeting and learning

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

Several pre-conference workshops and events will be available in conjunction with the sixth annual Resource Recycling Conference, allowing attendees to get even more value out of North America's leading municipal recycling gathering.

The extra education opportunities include: GRRN Zero Waste Training, the National Recycling Coalition Annual Membership Meeting and Board Meeting, the third annual Recycling Innovators Forum, Re-Trac Connect Training and more.

Resource Recycling Conference 2015 is taking place Sept. 28-30, 2015 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, Indiana. Check rrconference.com for information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.


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Oregon notches its highest ever recovery rate

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:36
Oregon notches its highest ever recovery rate

By Jared Paben, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

Nearly 54 percent of materials discarded by Oregon households and businesses were recovered in 2013, a record high percentage for the state.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reported that 2,425,220 tons were recovered in 2013, for a 53.9 percent recovery rate. That represents the highest recovery rate since the state began tracking waste generation and materials recovery in 1992.

According to the report, most of the recovery rate increase came through a boost in organic materials recovery, including animal waste/grease, wood, and yard debris and food scraps.

Changes in select categories in 2013, compared with 2012:

  • Non-food organics (including animal waste/grease, wood and yard debris): 909,612 tons recovered in 2013, up 7.3 percent
  • Cardboard: 361,748 tons, up 1.4 percent
  • Papers (including mixed-waste paper, high-grade and newspaper): 299,004 tons, flat
  • Glass (including container and “other”): 106,906 tons, flat
  • Food waste: 50,143 tons, up 5.2 percent
  • Plastics (including composite plastics, “other” and rigid plastic containers): 40,301 tons, down 5.2 percent
  • Non-scrap metal (including aluminum, tin cans, aerosol cans): 32,127 tons, flat
  • Electronics: 21,942 tons, down 15.4 percent
  • Plastic films: 14,583 tons, down 2 percent

Oregon’s recovery rate includes materials recycled, burned for energy recovery and composted. In 2013, 66 percent of the recovered materials were recycled, 20 percent were composted and 14 percent were burned for energy recovery, according to the report.

The 53.9 percent recovery rate also includes 3.8 percentage points of credits that counties and cities can claim for operating state-certified waste prevention, reuse and residential composting programs. Not counting those credits, the statewide recovery rate was 50.1 percent in 2013.

Oregonians also sent less material to the landfill, on a per-capita basis. In 2013, they disposed of 3.4 pounds per person per day, 0.5 percent less than the year before and 29.8 percent less than the pre-recession high in 2006, “likely indicating that Oregonians are still buying and consuming less,” according to the report.

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Oregon notches its highest-ever recovery rate

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:36
Oregon notches its highest-ever recovery rate

By Jared Paben, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

Nearly 54 percent of materials discarded by Oregon households and businesses were recovered in 2013, a record high percentage for the state.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reported that 2,425,220 tons were recovered in 2013, for a 53.9 percent recovery rate. That represents the highest recovery rate since the state began tracking waste generation and materials recovery in 1992.

According to the report, most of the recovery rate increase came through a boost in organic materials recovery, including animal waste/grease, wood, and yard debris and food scraps.

Changes in select categories in 2013, compared with 2012:

  • Non-food organics (including animal waste/grease, wood and yard debris): 909,612 tons recovered in 2013, up 7.3 percent
  • Cardboard: 361,748 tons, up 1.4 percent
  • Papers (including mixed-waste paper, high-grade and newspaper): 299,004 tons, flat
  • Glass (including container and “other”): 106,906 tons, flat
  • Food waste: 50,143 tons, up 5.2 percent
  • Plastics (including composite plastics, “other” and rigid plastic containers): 40,301 tons, down 5.2 percent
  • Non-scrap metal (including aluminum, tin cans, aerosol cans): 32,127 tons, flat
  • Electronics: 21,942 tons, down 15.4 percent
  • Plastic films: 14,583 tons, down 2 percent

 

Oregon’s recovery rate includes materials recycled, burned for energy recovery and composted. In 2013, 66 percent of the recovered materials were recycled, 20 percent were composted and 14 percent were burned for energy recovery, according to the report.

The 53.9 percent recovery rate also includes 3.8 percentage points of credits that counties and cities can claim for operating state-certified waste prevention, reuse and residential composting programs. Not counting those credits, the statewide recovery rate was 50.1 percent in 2013.

Oregonians also sent less material to the landfill, on a per-capita basis. In 2013, they disposed of 3.4 pounds per person per day, 0.5 percent less than the year before and 29.8 percent less than the pre-recession high in 2006, “likely indicating that Oregonians are still buying and consuming less,” according to the report.

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NRC to "accelerate" talk around sustainable materials management

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:30
NRC to "accelerate" talk around sustainable materials management

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

The National Recycling Coalition has announced the inaugural Sustainable Materials Management Summit.

Slated to take place May 12-13 at University of Maryland, College Park, the Summit will aim to foster a broader national dialogue on the topic, said NRC's board president, Mark Lichtenstein.

"Ultimately we want to accelerate sustainable materials management (SMM) as a method of choice for avoiding the generation of discarded material," Lichtenstein said in an announcement. "At this Summit, a focus will be on the sustainable management of materials that have been discarded."

Approximately 200 industry members will convene in Maryland for the event. By the end of the meeting, NRC hopes to have the beginnings of a "SMM National Plan" to further coordinate materials management throughout the waste industry, incorporating local, state and federal governments alongside trade and nonprofit groups and businesses.

The U.S. EPA defines SMM as "a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles." That approach includes the design of materials and products as well as enhancing the durability, lifespan and recyclability of goods.

"It's all about redesigning to eliminate products and packaging that currently are a problem to use productively," said NRC board member Gary Liss. "A key for the future is highlighting how important it is to focus on some of the upstream activities beyond recycling that will support recyclers getting their job done better, eliminating the difficult-to-recycle products by redesigning those out of the stream and helping to develop new markets and innovative uses for materials, products and packaging that hasn't been done heretofore."


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NRC to "accelerate" talk around sustainable materials management

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:30
NRC to "accelerate" talk around sustainable materials management

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

The National Recycling Coalition has announced the inaugural Sustainable Materials Management Summit.

Slated to take place May 12-13 at University of Maryland, College Park, the Summit will aim to foster a broader national dialogue on the topic, NRC's board president and CEO Mark Lichtenstein says.

"Ultimately we want to accelerate sustainable materials management (SMM) as a method of choice for avoiding the generation of discarded material," Lichtenstein said in the announcement. "At this Summit, a focus will be on the sustainable management of materials that have been discarded."

Approximately 200 industry members will convene in Maryland for the event. At its close, NRC hopes to have the beginnings of a "SMM National Plan" to further coordinate materials management throughout the waste industry, incorporating local, state and federal governments alongside trade and nonprofit groups and businesses.

The U.S. EPA defines SMM as "a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles." That approach includes the design of materials and products as well as enhancing the durability, lifespan and recyclability of goods.

"It's all about redesigning to eliminate products and packaging that currently are a problem to use productively," said NRC board member Gary Liss. "A key for the future is highlighting how important it is to focus on some of the upstream activities beyond recycling that will support recyclers getting their job done better, eliminating the difficult-to-recycle products by redesigning those out of the stream and helping to develop new markets and innovative uses for materials, products and packaging that hasn't been done heretofore."

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Grant watch

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:22
Grant watch

Jan. 13, 2015

Programs throughout Nebraska will receive more than $2 million in grants aimed at recycling efforts, clean-ups and public education efforts, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality. The state awarded 57 grants to various organizations for 2015. Among the largest grants was a $121,000 grant to Lincoln-based WasteCap Nebraska to facilitate business recycling, zero-waste activities, webinars, waste audits and other administrative costs. The Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program has been providing funding in the Cornhusker State since 1979.

The state of Delaware is now accepting applications for recycling grants and low-interest loans. The Universal Recycling Grants and Low Interest Loan Program is designed to help pay for recyclables collection programs, with an emphasis on startup costs for residential single-stream collection efforts. It’s also designed to help fund initiatives to recycle materials that would otherwise be landfilled, with an emphasis on school recycling programs. The application deadline is March 3.

Keep America Beautiful has announced a national grants program aimed at recycling discarded cigarette butts. The 2015 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program will offer 50 grants that total $275,000.

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Grant watch

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:22
Grant watch

Jan. 13, 2015

Programs throughout Nebraska will receive more than $2 million in grants aimed at recycling efforts, clean-ups and public education efforts, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality. The state awarded 57 grants to various organizations for 2015. Among the largest grants was a $121,000 grant to Lincoln-based WasteCap Nebraska to facilitate business recycling, zero-waste activities, webinars, waste audits and other administrative costs. The Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program has been providing funding in the Cornhusker State since 1979.

The state of Delaware is now accepting applications for recycling grants and low-interest loans. The Universal Recycling Grants and Low Interest Loan Program is designed to help pay for recyclables collection programs, with an emphasis on startup costs for residential single-stream collection efforts. It’s also designed to help fund initiatives to recycle materials that would otherwise be landfilled, with an emphasis on school recycling programs. The application deadline is March.

Keep America Beautiful has announced a national grants program aimed at recycling discarded cigarette butts. The 2015 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program will offer 50 grants that total $275,000. Nearly all cigarette filters contain plastic, which creates large amounts of waste as butts accumulate, according to Government Executive.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database online.

Copies of patents can be ordered by number for $3 each from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA, 22313-1450.

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Plastics Recycling 2015: The view from the top

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:16
Plastics Recycling 2015: The view from the top

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

Attendees of the upcoming Plastics Recycling 2015 conference will have a great chance to stay ahead of the competition by getting first-hand perspectives from the top brass of four leading plastics recycling trade associations.

Plastics Recycling 2015 will showcase a facilitated dialogue between Steve Alexander (Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers), Bill Carteaux (SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association), Steve Russell (American Chemistry Council) and Robin Wiener (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries). Don’t miss these experts tackle questions on topics such as North America's evolving waste stream, dynamic resin markets, the current business environment for plastics recycling and the ways sustainability goals are affecting plastics recycling.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. More than 1775 attendees from 30 countries were on hand at the 2014 edition, and a similar turnout is expected in Dallas. Head to plasticsrecycling.com for all the information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.


To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

Plastics Recycling 2015: The view from the top

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:16
Plastics Recycling 2015: The view from the top

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Jan. 13, 2015

Attendees of the upcoming Plastics Recycling 2015 conference will have a great chance to stay ahead of the competition by getting first-hand perspectives from the top brass of four leading plastics recycling trade associations.

Plastics Recycling 2015 will showcase a facilitated dialogue between Steve Alexander (Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers), Bill Carteaux (SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association), Steve Russell (American Chemistry Council) and Robin Wiener (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries). Don’t miss these experts tackle questions on topics such as North America's evolving waste stream, dynamic resin markets, the current business environment for plastics recycling and the ways sustainability goals are affecting plastics recycling.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. More than 1,775 attendees from 30 countries were on hand at the 2014 edition, and a similar turnout is expected in Dallas. Head to plasticsrecycling.com for all the information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

NewsBits

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:09
NewsBits

Jan. 13, 2015

Connecticut consumers will pay a $9 recycling fee for each new and renovated mattress and box spring they purchase, and that money will subsidize the costs of collecting and recycling the items. That’s under a new Mattress Stewardship Plan that’s been approved by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The plan was developed by the nonprofit group Mattress Recycling Council, which was created by the mattress industry.

Increased recycling of rare earth minerals is one of various threats to China’s monopoly on the elements, which are used in everything from smartphones to fishing reels. Other factors quickly reshaping the rare earth sector include the opening of new mines as well as the use of alternative materials and smuggling operations, according to a story by Adam Minter of Bloombergview.com.

As the national recycling rate has plateaued, a renewed interest in waste-to-energy facilities has taken hold, according to this article in The New York Times. For example, a new facility in West Palm Beach, Florida will be the first new commercial waste-to-energy plant in the U.S. in 20 years. Facilities are also under consideration in Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia, Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Iowa City will begin accepting cartons and aseptic packaging at its curbside recycling bins, according to Iowa City's Press-Citizen. The city's program is also set to begin accepting aluminum items.

The city of Indianapolis is drawing the ire of recycling advocates this year by burning old Christmas trees to create energy, instead of grinding them up for mulch in city parks, as it has done previously. In 2012, the most recent year for which numbers are available, residents dropped off 16,000 tree at city parks for recycling, according to an article in The Indianapolis Star.

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