Recycling in an Arkansas community is reinstated after two years of controversial landfilling, and paper recovery varies widely in different parts of Canada.
Regional range: Recovered paper made up nearly 40 percent of all diversion in Canada in 2014, but collection varied widely throughout the country. The Paper & Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) reports that differences in population density and infrastructure did not fully account for the variation, as per capita collection in Ontario totaled 92 kilograms per person while Quebec, which is similar in density, boasted the highest figure at 142 kilograms per person.
Boulder bot: Robotic equipment is becoming a more common sight in the materials recovery facility setting, and a wider audience is starting to take note. Alternative newspaper Boulder Weekly profiles the “Clarke” carton sorting unit in place at a Denver-area facility, touching on how robotic machinery is poised to have a large impact on the recycling industry for its automation and accuracy.
Hong Kong in focus: In a detailed story based in part on presentations at the Bureau of International Recycling’s Hong Kong summit in May, the South China Morning Post takes the opportunity to explore Hong Kong’s domestic recycling efforts, which have been recently marked by declining recycling rates. The story touches on low oil prices, National Sword, contamination and facilities setting higher quality thresholds.
Service returns: Fort Smith, Ark. has signed a contract to reinstate its recycling program, after two years in which the city quietly sent recyclables to a landfill. The Times Record writes that the city will contract with a local recycling company, Third Rock Recycling, which will accept the recyclables for a fee and send them to a MRF. City officials previously attributed the landfilling to an absence of available outlets for recyclables.
The Fort Smith troubles are not yet over, however, as the city was also hit with a lawsuit last week, stemming from the landfilling of recyclables. According to another Times Record article, the lawsuit alleges the city misused public funds in utilizing recycling trucks to transport material to the landfill. The lawsuit proposes class action in the form of restitution for residents who paid fees to operate the recycling program, without the program actually operating as stated.
Contract correction: A curbside recycling program that’s slated to go on-line next month may need to have its contract renegotiated before it starts up. The Jamestown Sun newspaper reports that the City of Jamestown, N.D. plans to send materials including glass to a local recycling center, but that facility recently stopped accepting glass when its downstream buyer stopped purchasing the recycled glass.
Envisioning: Recycling programs never reach 100 percent perfection in terms of participation or correct action. But USA Today takes a look at what would happen numbers-wise if every U.S. resident recycled flawlessly, using data from Keep America Beautiful as a basis.
Foil diversion: Dirty aluminum foil is difficult to recycle due to the contaminating residue, but a research team is looking into an alternative method of foil recovery. Forbes writes about the research, explaining it explores dissolving the used aluminum foil in hydrochloric acid to produce aluminum chloride crystals, which can be converted into alumina catalysts as an alternative to commercially available catalysts.