A Crisis Years in the Making

By Duncan Watson, Assistant Public Works Director, City of Keene, NH, President, Board of Trustees, Northeast Resource Recovery Association & Member SWEEP Steering Committee Trade journals and even the mainstream media is awash with articles about the impact of China’s National Sword policy, which took the 2013 Green Fence policy–the proverbial shot across the bow–and […]

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The Importance of Assessing Recycling Audit Residuals

By Jordan Fengel, Environmental Services Program Coordinator, Georgetown, TX. Member SWEEP Municipal Standard Committee The act of recycling is necessary, and that is a simple fact. Through recycling, local, regional, and global economies are created enabling used and discarded consumer goods to be collected, reprocessed and reused. All of this allows for finite resources to […]

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Fitting the Pieces Together: Waste Management’s 2017 Sustainability Report

By Susan Robinson, Senior Public Affairs Director, Waste Management; Co-Chair, SWEEP Steering Committee Last week, Waste Management released its 2017 Sustainability Report. This is an annual update to our biannual full report and indicates our progress toward our sustainability goals, along with other key metrics. Thirteen years ago, we began to report on our overall […]

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China’s Import Policy Changes will make Recycling Stronger

Susan Robinson, Sr. Public Affairs Director at WM and SWEEP Co-Chair 危机 “WHEN WRITTEN IN CHINESE, THE WORD ‘CRISIS’ IS COMPOSED OF TWO CHARACTERS. ONE REPRESENTS DANGER AND THE OTHER REPRESENTS OPPORTUNITY”             —John F. Kennedy When I first started working in the recycling industry many decades ago, the municipality I worked […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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