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Category: Top stories

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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Vermont bottle bill update moves through legislature

Published: April 20, 2021
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The State Capitol Building in Montpelier, Vt.

Vermont’s current deposit system may soon expand to cover almost all beverages, including bottled water, wine and liquor. | Victoria Lipov/Shutterstock

Legislation that expands a Northeast state’s container deposit law passed one chamber and has moved to the state Senate for consideration. The bill adds additional beverage types into the deposit program and increases the deposit value.

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Asking what should count as recycling, EPA gets an earful

Published: April 20, 2021
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Sorted materials at the recycling facility.

The U.S. EPA received 108 public comments as the agency seeks to revise its recycling rate calculation methodology. | janstarik/Shutterstock

If food scraps from households are composted, should that count in the nation’s recycling rate? What if they’re fed to livestock or processed in anaerobic digesters?

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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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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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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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How do outreach efforts impact different households?

Published: March 30, 2021
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Recycling bin with some contamination from non-recyclable materials.

The report from SWANA delves into how poor recycling behaviors develop and why they persist. | Scott Beck / Resource Recycling Inc.

Education campaigns may improve curbside recycling practices for residents who produce average or low amounts of contamination, but they may not impact the worst offenders, according to new research.

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