Developments over the past 12 months certainly kept recycling professionals on their toes. Falling commodity prices, criticism of recycling’s viability, debate over processing techniques and the ever-evolving ton all confronted recycling leaders – and gave our editorial staff plenty to cover. Below, see the top 10 stories of the year, in terms of page views.
1 | Recycling is not dead
An industry expert explains how commodity prices and material shifts have created a major pinch for MRFs – and details the straightforward path back to profitability.
2 | Federal bill would create zero waste grant program
Recycling interests are applauding a bill in Congress that would authorize a grant program to fund waste reduction, recycling and reuse efforts.
3 | Hauler CEOs discuss “broken” curbside recycling model
Leaders at four of the country’s largest waste management companies told attendees of the Waste Expo conference America’s curbside recycling system is in need of a dramatic overhaul.
4 | Waste Management details recycling difficulties
With paper generation and commodity prices down, the nation’s largest waste and recycling company is finding it hard to make its recycling business make financial sense.
5 | Closed Loop Fund announces $7.8 million in recycling loans
The Closed Loop Fund, a recycling-focused investment group founded by nine major corporations, has made its first significant funding announcement.
6 | Montgomery mixed-waste MRF “temporarily” closes doors
The much-discussed mixed-waste materials recovery facility in Montgomery, Ala. has closed its doors.
7 | West Coast port dispute slows movement of bales
Contract negotiations between West Coast dock workers and their employers have appeared to hit a boiling point, leaving recycled material in need of export stuck in ports – and potentially bound for landfills.
8 | U.S. recycling rate remains just above 34 percent
A report from the U.S. EPA indicates the 2013 national recycling rate was 34.3 percent, barely budging from 2012’s rate of 34.5 percent.
9 | Biggest haulers fear recycled commodity prices in 2015
While publicly traded waste and recycling companies had generally positive years in 2014, annual financial reports show falling commodity prices are expected to cause trouble in 2015.
10 | Ohio county hits mixed-waste processing crossroads
A suburban Ohio county is being pushed to depart from its long-established mixed-waste processing recycling system, after a report indicated the method was producing a recycling rate below 4 percent.