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Resource Recycling keeps you on top of critical industry trends and brings unparalleled analysis of the evolving materials stream, market turbulence, policy trends and more.

Online event dives into plastic markets, policy and more

Published: April 20, 2021
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Screenshot from the 2021 Plastics Recycling Conference

Craig Cookson of the American Chemistry Council and Kate Bailey of Eco-Cycle spoke during a session moderated by Dan Leif of Plastics Recycling Update at the 2021 Plastics Recycling Conference. | Screenshot from the 2021 Plastics Recycling Conference.

The recent Plastics Recycling Conference, held online, featured eight sessions over two days. Here are some of the talking points that caught our team’s attention.

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Exports continue despite dramatic overseas changes

Published: April 20, 2021
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Cargo ship at port.

The U.S. exported 1.32 million short tons of recovered fiber in February, with India as the top destination. | MAGNIFIER/Shutterstock

U.S. exports of recovered plastic and paper remained consistent in February, despite global trade policy changes for both materials that went into effect at the beginning of the year.

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MRF operator: Lithium-ion batteries are ‘ticking time bombs’

Published: April 13, 2021
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Fire truck in motion with lights on.

A fire at Tulsa’s MRF is the latest example of the industry trend of fires caused by improperly disposed batteries and electronics. | BlurAZ/Shutterstock

The city of Tulsa, Okla. was forced to redirect its residential recycling stream to a waste-to-energy plant after an improperly discarded battery sparked a blaze at a local MRF.

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Our top stories from March 2021

Published: April 13, 2021
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U.S. Capitol with reflecting pond in foreground.

Federal plastics recycling legislation was of interest to readers in March. | S-F/Shutterstock

Readers last month were drawn to articles covering export data, federal and state legislative developments, market pricing and more.

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Details on NERC’s diversity-building scholarship program

Published: April 13, 2021
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Diversity concept with various color head icons.

NERC’s Next Generation Scholarship Fund is just one of multiple conversations the group is having on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion. | Lightspring/Shutterstock

Leaders at the Northeast Recycling Council recently explained how they’ll use a new scholarship fund to help boost racial diversity in the next generation of recycling industry professionals.

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State awards grants to boost recycling

Published: April 13, 2021
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Grants binder on desk with pen and papers.

North Carolina DEQ grants will help stimulate $1.3 million in investments in recycling equipment. | Zerbor/Shutterstock

North Carolina will help pay for projects to improve the recycling of fiber, plastics, metals, construction and demolition debris, organics and more.

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Exporter: Malaysian case provides some Basel clarity

Published: April 13, 2021
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Aerial view of cargo ship at terminal.

Malaysian authorities recently approved a container of clean PE scrap for import from U.S.-based Sigma Recycling. | UNIKYLUCKK/Shutterstock

A high-profile scrap plastic shipment from the U.S. to Malaysia was accepted after the importing country’s government said it contained clean, sorted material. The situation demonstrates the complexities in interpreting new plastic shipping regulations.

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Heavy lifting

Published: November 28, 2017
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The moderator’s question was simple: If local programs want to move beyond weight-based recycling rates, what single metric should be used instead?

“I have prepared my answer for this,” said city of Seattle economist Jenny Bagby before emphatically holding up a sheet of paper and taking a pause. “I don’t know.”

The exchange drew laughs from the room full of Pacific Northwest recycling leaders who were gathered earlier this month in Seattle for a recycling metrics event called the SPU Measurement Symposium. Continue Reading

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Can this deposit-like system fly in Texas?

Published: March 30, 2021
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Crews remove plastic litter from Hunting Bayou in the Houston area.

Crews remove plastic litter from Hunting Bayou in the Houston area. | Courtesy of Texans for Clean Water

Legislation being considered in Texas would create a program injecting tens of millions of dollars into the recycling system each year while also paying consumers to return plastic bottles, cups and film.

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