Guest post written by: Tonya Randell, More Recycling
In 2018, two issues were front and center in the recycling world: markets and contamination. On the surface, they may not seem to be related, but from the industry’s perspective, they are intimately connected. When MRFs or communities look for buyers for their baled commodities, high amounts of unwanted material—or “contaminates”— are a barrier to marketing bales.
In short, when it comes to markets for recyclables, quality matters.
As recycling professionals who work in recycling education, we know how hard municipalities work to educate their residents about how to recycle more and recycle right, especially when it comes to plastics. Over the years, we’ve seen more plastics entering the recycling stream as packaging evolves and more products come in plastics instead of other materials. And because there are so many different types of plastics—and which ones can be recycled varies from community to community—there’s potential for plastics to end up in the wrong bin.
We’ve seen that better communication with residents can lead to more and better recycling. Yet, often education materials are only updated when absolutely necessary, like when a recycling program changes what items it accepts, since updating education materials can be resource-intensive.
So, is there a program to help communities improve recycling education for plastics that is easy, economical, and effective? Three communities used a new resource—the Plastics Recycling Terms and Tools—and found that the answer is: yes!
Does your community use mandatory recycling to support its waste diversion goals? This presentation will teach you how to work with your community to increase recycling, improve compliance rates, and monitor progress. Register to attend this webinar to discover how local governments use technology to manage and measure their mandatory recycling programs.
After attending this webinar, you will:
be ready to apply the 3E Strategy to optimize your MRO
be equipped with best practices to improve compliance rates
be motivated to implement proven systems to help you manage your MRO
be armed with valuable lessons from experienced communities
Is your community looking for a new way to increase recycling and reduce disposal? How about regulating costs and extending the life of landfills? Register to attend this free webinar to learn how to plan, write, and implement a mandatory recycling ordinance in your community.
After attending this webinar, you will:
be ready to start planning your own mandatory recycling ordinance
hear stories that will help you avoid common pitfalls
be equipped with best practices to ensure your ordinance is practical and fair
receive a free Roadmap to Mandatory Recycling Planner to stay organized
Guest author: Shari Jackson, Director, ACC’s Flexible Film Recycling Group
As recycling professionals, it’s our job to make sure we help our communities recycle as much as possible. One area of recycling that’s growing rapidly (it’s increased 79% since 2005!) is the recycling of polyethylene (PE) plastic bags, wraps and film packaging – collectively referred to as plastic film. However, not everyone knows how to recycle plastic film. When recycled curbside, plastic film ends up at a material recovery facility (MRF) where it can clog the sorting machinery, oftentimes requiring facility shut-downs to remove the material. Communities need fully operational MRFs, and damaged machinery or facility shut-downs can negatively affect a MRF’s bottom line.
Every year, hundreds of colleges and universities across North America compete in the RecycleMania tournament where they are ranked based on per capita recycling, recycling as a percentage of total waste, and least amount of combined trash and recycling generated. Working with RecycleMania, we analyzed the 2015/2016 participant school profile surveys to identify common characteristics among top performing schools. To facilitate our research, we defined “top performing schools” as colleges and universities that ranked in the top ten for at least one category in three consecutive years: 2013, 2014, and 2015. Our analysis compared survey responses from top performing schools to responses from all participants to draw conclusions about what top-ranked schools do differently.
London Drugs is a privately-owned chain of retail stores in Western Canada. Founded in 1945 as a small drugstore in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia, London Drugs now serves over 45 million customers each year. It continues to operate as a pharmacy but also offers cosmetics, electronics, housewares, grocery items, a photo lab, and a full-service computer department. While the retail chain has been recycling since the 80’s, its sustainability journey really took off in 2008 with the launch of its award-winning ‘What’s the green deal?’ program.
An increasing number of local governments in the U.S. are implementing mandatory recycling ordinances that target commercial and/or multifamily properties, and can also extend to institutions and C&D projects. We researched local government recycling ordinances implemented across the United States since 1989 to look for trends in the data. Since 2005, mandatory recycling ordinances have tripled in the U.S. They are viewed as an effective tool to increase diversion from the Industrial, Commercial, Institutional sector and help municipalities achieve zero waste goals.
While visiting the Twin Cities to exhibit at the 2015 AASHE Conference, Chris Ronson and I met with Minnesota Twins Stadium Operations Manager, Jase Miller. He graciously offered to give us a tour of the 39,021 seat, LEED-certified baseball stadium located in Minneapolis’ bustling Warehouse district.