Using Exclusive Waste Franchises to Promote High-Road Standards and Protect Community Interests

By Michael Mignano, Senior Research Analyst, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Municipalities across the US have outsourced waste collection to private companies with varying success. According to a guide published by In the Public Interest (ITPI), numerous problems can arise from poorly crafted contracts including, “disputes over pricing and billing…prolonged labor disruptions and uncollected garbage – […]

Read More

City Ordinances and Policies of Successful Zero Waste Communities

By Bob Gedert, SWEEP Steering Committee Member and President of the National Recycling Coalition As the number of communities embracing Zero Waste grows to more than two hundred within the United States, a pattern can be observed from the programs that have achieved success. As new communities consider the bold step forward toward enhancing their […]

Read More

Waste Diversion needs Organics Diversion, and Organics Diversion Needs Compostable Packaging

By Adam Gendell, Associate Director Sustainable Packaging Coalition, GreenBlue & SWEEP Steering Committee Member There is no shortage of ambitious waste diversion goals, and several major cities are currently working towards 2020 milestones for high diversion or “zero waste” goals. Typical tactics for achieving these goals address construction & demolition waste, yard waste, and recyclable paper and […]

Read More

China Import Ban is a “Sputnik” Moment for the Global Recycling Industry

By Rob Watson, Chief Science Officer, EcoHub LLC; Founder & Co-Chair SWEEP Steering Committee China’s announcement on Tuesday July 18th that it was banning the import of mixed paper and plastic, effective January 1, 2018, fundamentally changes the structure and dynamic of the global recovered paper and plastic scrap commodities market. In a press statement […]

Read More

It’s Possible to Change the World, No Matter Where You Are

By Duncan Watson, Assistant Public Works Director, City of Keene, NH & Member SWEEP Steering Committee A running joke circulated during my graduate school days that prompted critical thinking on complex issues- Question: “how many students does it take to screw in a light bulb?” Answer: “None because you can never reach consensus.” Such is […]

Read More

The Cost to Landfill MSW in the US Continues to Rise Despite Soft Demand

By James Thompson, Principal, Waste Business Journal; SWEEP Steering Committee member The average price to dispose municipal solid waste (MSW) has edged up to $50.60 per ton last month, up about 3.5% over the average price in 2016. The price continues to rise despite relatively flat to slightly declining landfill volumes. The rising price reflects […]

Read More

Should We Recycle Everything? What is the Value System of Recycling?

Susan Robinson, Sr Public Affairs Director at WM and SWEEP Co-Chair From the earliest days of recycling we’ve seen a healthy conversation among cities, recyclers and product manufacturers over which materials to include in curbside recycling programs. Perspectives vary, and the vastly different types of curbside programs attest to the varied market conditions and priorities […]

Read More

Don’t Forget About the Workers Who Process Your Trash and Recycling

By Michael Mignano, Senior Research Analyst, International Brotherhood of Teamsters The June 2015 report, “Sustainable and Safe Recycling: Protecting Workers Who Protect the Planet,” revealed the unique and sometimes fatal hazards that recycling workers face on the job. The study detailed 17 recycling worker deaths between 2011 and 2013 and examined the high rate of […]

Read More