A county of more than 700,000 residents cuts glass from its curbside recycling program, and Maryland’s governor reverses the state’s zero waste rules.
California funding: Recycling businesses in El Dorado County, Calif. will be eligible for funding assistance, as the county was recently designated as the state’s 39th recycling market development zone. In a press release, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) said the designation will facilitate relaxed zoning laws, streamlined local permitting processes and reduced taxes and licensing fees.
Change of plans: Maryland’s zero waste landfill rules adopted in 2015 have been reversed by the state’s governor, who wants to instead set “achievable” goals for recycling. The Baltimore Sun reports Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has rolled back the landfill diversion regulations implemented by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley a week before he left office. The rules had called for achieving 85 percent diversion statewide by 2040.
Cutting out cups: Even though coffee cups are accepted in Vancouver, British Columbia’s residential curbside recycling program, the city is considering banning the single-use drink cups to cut down on the 2.6 million cups that are disposed of each week. According to Vancouver newspaper 24 Hours, a cup ban is among the many options the city is exploring to achieve its waste diversion goals. Public-space recycling options for coffee cups are also being piloted, according to the newspaper.
New partner: An outreach campaign in Chicago will aim to increase education about which materials are accepted by the city’s municipal recycling program, as well as the importance of recycling on a wider level. The Recycling Partnership, which is working with the city on the campaign, said the program will be titled “It’s All You” and will include social media, public service announcements and mailed fliers.
Glass axed: Atlanta-area DeKalb County has stopped accepting glass in its curbside recycling program. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the county of more than 700,000 people has landfilled collected material since 2015, when its contracted recycling company stopped processing glass. Glass woes in the area have been documented in several reports since the beginning of 2016.
Making strides: Moving toward a circular economy could open up $4.5 trillion in economic potential by 2030, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and some companies are taking the necessary steps to get there. In a report, the business advocacy organization features several examples provided by company representatives of circular economy initiatives spanning a handful of industries.
NYC called out: New York City’s commercial diversion rate came in at just two-thirds the national rate, according to an advocacy coalition aiming to increase waste diversion in the country’s largest municipality. Transform Don’t Trash NYC claims illegal commingling by private haulers, lagging progress on organics diversion and landfilling of glass are all preventing growth of the 22 percent commercial recycling rate.