Who’s who: A day-long workshop covering the possibility of a mandatory policy covering packaging recovery in California was attended by a substantial cross section of industry stakeholders. According to a list of attendees in person and via webinar, more than 150 people listened in, including company executives, lobbyists, city and state employees, advocacy groups, a media outlet, consultants and regulators.
Landfill windfall: As part of an agreement tied to successful permit issuance for a landfill expansion, waste management company Casella will pay Ontario County, N.Y. more than $18 million during the coming 14 years. The Finger Lakes Times reports the county plans to distribute the funds to municipalities for projects that increase recycling, waste reduction, reuse and other diversion activities.
Deposit scheme: A Michigan man has admitted he redeemed deposits for at least 10,000 non-refundable bottles purchased in Indiana, effectively stealing money from Michigan’s deposit program. In a news release, Michigan’s attorney general writes that 70-year-old John Woodfill pleaded guilty to redeeming the ineligible bottles, will forfeit his van and trailer used in the scam and owes $400,000 in restitution to the state.
Windy City campaign: Chicago’s Far South Side has a diversion rate of just 6 percent, down from 9 percent three years ago, and city officials want to reverse that trend. According to DNAinfo, a neighborhood news outlet, an educational campaign will communicate the correct items residents should place in their recycling carts.
Doing time: The owner of U.K. recycling facilities that erupted in two massive fires in 2013 and 2014 has pleaded guilty to 10 environmental violations that contributed to the fires. The Manchester Evening News reports Barry Kilroe will be jailed for 15 months for storing material improperly, accepting more than his facilities could process, ignoring enforcement notices from regulators and more.
Tensions ease: A recycling contract that had a rocky start in St. Paul, Minn. is approaching its 90-day mark, and things appear to be improving. The Twin Cities Pioneer Press takes a look at the ins and outs of the contract, which was marked by missed collection days and communication problems to begin with but has improved and is on track to increase participation and collection tonnages.
Great Lakes State recycling: Two reports in Michigan make host of policy and funding recommendations to boost recycling in the state. The complementary reports were from the Governor’s Recycling Council (GRC) and the Solid Waste and Sustainability Advisory Panel (SWSAP). The Michigan Recycling Coalition applauded the release of the long-awaited documents, saying they “show how Michigan can support and benefit from doubling the state’s recycling rate.”
Diversion distress: Sonoma County, Calif. has experienced its fair share of recycling woes prompted in part by contamination, commodity values and technical failures, according to a profile in the Sonoma Index-Tribune. A local hauler and MRF operator – which an audit said was failing to achieve municipal recycling goals – says it never recovered from China’s Green Fence imports enforcement crackdown a few years back.
NYC organics: The Big Apple’s organics collection program is gearing up to triple in size, four years after it first launched. Gothamist reports that New York City’s organics program, which serves about 1 million residents, aims to reach 3.3 million by the end of the year and is adding more neighborhoods to hit that goal.
Magazine challenge: An environmental advocacy group has called on publishers of alumni magazines to print on recycled paper in order to reduce landfilling and save trees. The push by Green America asks publishers to use a minimum of 30 percent recycled content in their alumni publications.