Is it Back to the Future for Recycling?

Must recycling go backwards in order to move forward? On Earth Day 1971, a poignant public service message The Crying Indian spurred our nation to stop littering. Environmentally conscious communities picked up discarded bottles, cans, and papers from our roads and streams and local governments imposed fines for littering. In the early 1970s, most of the collected litter went to landfills, but as anti-littering consciousness grew so did the idea of recycling. With municipal budgets burdened by ever increasing waste tonnage and high landfill tipping fees, recycling became an attractive investment. Continue reading

Recent Trends in Recycling and the Waste Industry

In the USA non-hazardous solid waste is a $USD 55 Billion annual business. This ever evolving industry made up of ten thousand players spans public, private, and municipal institutions. Over the past decade, large public companies and private enterprises have become more entrenched in the industry while participation by municipalities continues to decline. Continue reading

The Urgent Need to Recycle Textiles

The next time you clean out your closets make sure all no longer wanted clothes and household textiles get donated, gifted, or recycled.

Despite all of our garage sales, accessible donation drop boxes, and charity outlets such as Goodwill and Salvation Army, Americans still send 21 billion pounds of textiles to landfills and incinerators each year. That’s 70 pounds for every person! Continue reading

Revitalizing a Recycling Program

Is your recycling program suffering from a bit of malaise these days? As with many well intentioned initiatives, excitement can begin to wane with time. To make sure recycling remains top of mind for everyone at home or at your place of work, here are some ideas to help reinvigorate your recycling efforts. Continue reading

Single-stream Recycling- Building Larger Landfills One Truck at a Time

Just last month my municipality implemented single stream recycling. Like many other local governments, my well intentioned town succumbed to the waste hauling propaganda that single-stream collection is the recycling panacea. According to proponents, single-stream recycling increases collections rates, reduces hauling costs, and keeps more recyclables out of landfills. While this sounds like recycling at its best, in actuality, recyclables collected under the single-stream system are less likely to be recycled and more likely to be buried in landfills than those collected in source separated (deposit, dual stream, and triple stream) systems. Continue reading

Recycling and our Presidential Candidates

With the Presidential race taking up most of the news and the Iowa caucuses just about a month away, it seems appropriate to take as close a look as possible at how “Recycling Friendly” our 2012 Presidential candidates may be.

To keep things simple, I am focusing on the top talked about contenders: President Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry. Because whispers are growing that a new late entry Republican candidate may emerge from the political rubbish, I will save the complete “Presidential Recycling Analysis” for a later date. (Goodness knows I would not want to leave any viable contender out.) Continue reading

Tip of the Week

Just as it is important for all of us to recycle plastics, it is also important for us to support companies that make plastic goods from recycled plastic. When purchasing a product made from plastic, confirm it contains recycled plastic content. Our purchases help to promote recycling too. -R.G.