A co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund weighs in on the recycling impact of the proposed U.S. EPA budget cuts, and U.K. exporters say China’s National Sword policy is complicating plastic film shipments.
Budgetary impact: In an opinion piece for The Hill, Ron Gonen, co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund, describes several ways in which the proposed U.S. EPA cuts would impact the recycling industry. Noting the data and analysis EPA provides, Gonen writes the funding cuts “would deal a major setback to effective recycling and waste management across the country” and the jobs supported by those industries.
Superior sortation skills: Robotic receptacles will be employed to sort recyclables from the rest of the waste stream in Pittsburgh City Hall. The Tribune-Review reports the equipment is a test project by CleanRobotics, which has found automated source separation accuracy to be 81 percent compared with humans’ 30 percent.
Transition for tonnage: Residents of Moorhead, Minn. and Fargo, N.D. will soon receive 96-gallon recycling carts to replace the smaller bins they’ve been using for years. The West Fargo Pioneer writes the program comes after impressive results in the neighboring community of West Fargo, which saw a 434 percent increase in collection volume after one year of single-stream service.
Ban fails: A statewide ban on expanded polystyrene food-service products was rejected in the California Senate, falling only a handful of votes short of passing. The bill failed 15-19 with several senators abstaining from the vote, and ban proponents say they will now advocate for bans at the local level, as reported by Plastics Recycling Update, sister publication to Resource Recycling. This strategy mirrors the path taken by plastic bag opponents, which led up to the statewide bag ban.
Ripple effect: The Massachusetts bottle bill generates nearly 1,500 jobs and contributes between $85 million and $151 million to the state’s economy, according to a report from the Container Recycling Institute. The organization compiled the data as the state’s container deposit is up for legislative debate, one of several states with changes to bottle bills proposed this year.
Contention continues: Although Maine Gov. Paul LePage vetoed legislation to add a deposit on mini liquor bottles, the state House of Representatives has overridden his veto. The Portland Press Herald reports the state Senate will now decide whether it will also override the veto. LePage has threatened a statewide ban on the small bottles if lawmakers reject his veto and move forward with the deposit.
Film focus: China’s National Sword campaign is targeting film exports coming from the United Kingdom, according to an article at LetsRecycle.com. The story describes large numbers of stalled film shipments stuck in the U.K., and it also examines how China’s focus on mixed paper will impact export paper grades in the U.K.
Service disruption: Negotiations over a glass collection contract have stalled in a Georgia community, leaving residents no choice but to take glass to a drop-off center or throw it in the trash. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports city officials are attempting to lower the $3 per month increase the hauler has requested to keep curbside glass collection.
Another new hauler: Ann Arbor, Mich. has hired a local nonprofit hauler rather than Waste Management, which has handled the service for the past year. According to MLive.com, the decision was based on the local organization’s status as a community partner for many years, as well as its pledge to keep the residual rate at 10 percent or less. Waste Management was hired to haul material to an out-of-area MRF after the city cancelled a contract with ReCommunity to operate the city’s MRF.