Pacific, West and Northeast are hit hardest by rising recycling costs and disappearing end markets

By Christina Weiler, Colgate University, Founder of UCan Nonprofit Organization China’s material import ban continues to wreak havoc the United States recycling industry. In previous posts, we explored the worsening effects on recycling infrastructure in individual US States, based on Waste Dive’s ongoing investigation. In this post, we analyze industry impacts by region. Based on Waste […]

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Exclusive Waste Franchises Promote High 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 – […]

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How to Ensure that Waste and Recycling Contracts Are Fair

Mike Durfor & Duncan Watson, who are, respectively, Executive Director of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association and Assistant Public Works Director, City of Keene, NH   As public budgets come under ever more scrutiny, it is incumbent upon Solid Waste Managers and City Councils to take the time necessary to understand all of the variables […]

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What We’ve Got Here, Is Failure to Separate (Part 1 of 3)

By Rob Watson, Chief Science Officer, EcoHub; Founder & Co-Chair SWEEP Steering Committee When materials are separate and relatively clean, they are called feedstocks. When they are mashed together after discarding, they are called garbage, even though the basic molecules composing the discarded materials are little changed from the original feedstock. Separation (plus a little […]

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Environmental Leading Practice: Color-Coding Recycling Collection

By Bob Gedert, SWEEP Steering Committee Member, President National Recycling Coalition   Using “leading practices” in recycling collection can possibly achieve diversion of 90 percent of discarded materials from residential homes, based on recent waste characterization studies. Is it realistic to establish a collection program that diverts 90% of household discards? Such high diversion goals […]

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Peak Packaging: the Milestone Nobody Knew to Celebrate

By Adam Gendell,  Associate Director Sustainable Packaging Coalition, GreenBlue & SWEEP Steering Committee Member The U.S. generates a lot of packaging waste each year. The EPA’s most recent estimate came in at over 75 million tons for the year 2013, the highest the figure has been since before the economic downturn of 2007. That’s about a […]

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