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Tag Archives: research

Editorial analysis: Population change will affect recycling

Published: September 8, 2021
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Recycling carts stored before use.

A longtime recycling expert analyzes census data to help predict future recycling industry trends. | Grzejnik / Shutterstock

The release of the U.S. census for the decade of 2010 to 2020 points to important ways municipal recycling initiatives will change in the coming years. An assessment points to five key trends that will affect materials recovery efforts.

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MRFs face ‘brunt of the negative impact’ from battery fires

Published: August 31, 2021
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Lithium ion batteries for recycling.

A new EPA research report runs through how a typical MRF might encounter and handle lithium-ion batteries, and how fires can be sparked. | silabob / Shutterstock

Lithium-ion battery fires are affecting all types of waste management and recycling facilities. But the U.S. EPA recently concluded that the municipal recycling sector has it worse than others.

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Google explores how to capture 4.5 billion tons of plastic

Published: August 24, 2021
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Stacked bales of mixed plastics.

Google’s report noted headwinds to plastics recovery including unfavorable economics for recycled resins compared with virgin resins. | maciej nicgorski / Shutterstock

A report from Google lays out how mechanical and chemical recycling, a virgin plastic production tax, consumer incentives and more can increase plastics recovery over the next two decades.

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Report estimates drop in plastic recycled in 2019

Published: June 22, 2021
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PET bottles collected for recycling.

Data shows that the U.S. PET bottle recycling rate in 2019 was 27.9%, down from 29.0% in 2018. | TeuNg-StyLe / Shutterstock

Slightly less scrap plastic from the U.S. was recycled in 2019 than the year prior. The data comes as brand owners signal greater demand for recycled resins.

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Researchers tout benefits of a US bottle bill

Published: May 4, 2021
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PET bottles for recycling.

Researchers estimate over 74 billion PET bottles were landfilled, burned or littered in the U.S. in 2019. | Teerasak Ladnongkhun / Shutterstock

This story has been updated and corrected.

A new report estimates that a nationwide bottle deposit program would reduce the number of drink containers each American wastes to 67 per year, down from 426 under the status quo.

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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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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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REMADE funds 24 more research projects

Published: March 9, 2021
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Scientific laboratory scene.

The REMADE Institute issued funding to projects exploring a variety of recycling technologies. | Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

A federal initiative focused on energy efficiency in U.S. manufacturing recently selected two dozen recycling projects to support. A majority of the projects are related to plastics recycling, but others target fiber, metals and more.

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