In Vancouver, British Columbia, private-sector backing for recycling collection has freed up resources to tackle ambitious initiatives from local leaders.
GreenWaste Recovery, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, has been known in the industry for its use of advanced technologies to recover materials. That company characteristic was recently bolstered by GreenWaste’s move to bring on another innovation: automated sorters with artificial intelligence.
As communities and materials recovery facilities wrestle with challenging markets, some stakeholders are suggesting that programs should accept fewer materials for recycling.
Using EPA data, RRS estimated that removing glass and plastics other than PET and HDPE bottles would reduce the nation’s total tonnage recycled by 8 percent and lower the U.S. recycling rate by at least 2 percentage points.
These findings assume that participation and the materials still accepted would not be impacted, though in reality, program changes can cause confusion that can negatively impact collection of all materials. For perspective, the U.S. recycling rate (not including composting) only increased by 3.3 percentage points between 2005 and 2015.
Data Corner is compiled monthly by recycling consultancy RRS.
This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.