Ohio Communities Breaking Waste Recycling Records

In Ohio, the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management Authority is proudly publicizing the news that the district is on track to break last year’s recycling record of four million pounds of material collected.

District administrators are reporting that through the first half of 2014, area residents worked to recycle two million pounds, putting them in a place where exceeding last year’s waste recycling level is very possible.

The increase in recycling is attributed to a program where recycling containers are placed throughout Lawrence and Scioto Counties. The special recycling containers allow residents to easily dispose of recyclable items. The container program started in 2006 with twenty nine containers and now has nearly ninety containers placed throughout thirty four locations. Due to resident demand, six additional containers were placed in 2014 – yet another factor in the county’s recycling surge.

Another benefit to the program is that residents can bring mixed recycling to the drop off locations without any need to separate waste materials. This adds another level of ease and convenience. Currently, the district accepts Paper and cardboard, metal, glass, and plastics.

Finally, the district implemented a “Caught Green Handed” contest where individuals and groups can win a prize bag which includes a t-shirt and a gift card for their recycling efforts. Those “caught” recycling also have their photo taken and are featured in the local newspaper for helping to encourage recycling and improving the quality of life for all residents.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Regardless of the size of your community, waste recycling rates improve when you make the process easier, more accessible, and convenient. If your municipality’s rate is lower than you’d like, take a look at how difficult the recycling process is for residents. A few simple changes to how recycling collection happens can make a big difference in the amount you collect in year.

Retailer Fined Over Hazardous Waste Disposal

Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, recently entered a guilty plea to violating the Clean Water Act. Walmart was found guilty on six counts and issued fines in excess of one hundred and ten million dollars. The charges stem from illegal dumping of pesticides, fertilizers, and bleach into public water and sewer systems in addition to other environmental violations. The retailer was also found guilty of violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act for illegally mixing and reselling pesticides at their recycling facility.

The legal action was originally started by the state of California after an inspector of the San Diego Department of Health witnessed an employee of Walmart illegally dispose of bleach by dumping it into an open sewer drain. This instance, along with several others, were enough to determine that the retail giant was not complying with regulations designed to ensure the public’s safety in terms of handling, disposing, and storing hazardous and toxic materials and waste.

While the financial penalties barely dent the company’s finances, the outcome of the legal case ensures that new employee training programs for managing toxic materials are established and followed. In addition, the company has created a new division to ensure compliance on environmental regulations and safeguarding the safety of their employees and the communities their stores serve.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re a corporate giant like Walmart, or a small-town, Mom and Pop style business, compliance with federal and state regulations when hazardous waste in concerned is a necessity! Do your employees know the proper ways to manage and dispose of cleaning solutions, fertilizers, pesticides, motor oil, antifreeze, or any of the other substances classified as toxic? If you’re not sure, it’s time to get the facts and schedule some training. Not only will you be doing the best for the environment of your community, but you’ll also avoid financial penalties and damaging your company’s reputation.

Maryland University Wants Zero Waste

The University of Maryland athletics department has recently joined the Big Ten and as a result more people have been attending sporting events. However, this boost in exposure for attending sporting events has also resulted in an increase in waste generation.

University leaders are now launching a “Drive to Zero Waste” strategic plan, an initiative that involves Athletics, Dining Services, and Facilities Management. The plan is to divert ninety percent of generated solid waste from landfill disposal to food waste composting and better recycling options. The new program will be launched at the University’s Byrd Stadium.

In addition to educating attendees of the sporting events about the importance of waste recycling and composting, new waste-sorting stations will be placed throughout the athletic facilities. The stations are expected to reduce the amount of waste heading for the trash. While much of the University campus is already engaged in recycling of paper, plastic, and cans, collecting food scraps and organic waste for composting is new. Time and resources have been built into the zero waste plan to allow for people to fully understand the importance of composting and learn how to change their habits. Some changes, like removing all plastic condiment packets and replacing them with condiment dispensers will create an immediate reduction in trash with minimal disruption.

Attendance at sporting events is up twenty five percent this year, and included in those numbers are staff members who will be stationed around the new recycling and composting bins to help explain to fans how their waste materials should be properly disposed of.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Habits aren’t always easy to change, and they certainly don’t happen overnight! If you’re looking to reduce your waste disposal costs and increase your waste recycling rates, it’s important that you take the time to educate your employees and customers about where their waste materials belong. If you put in the time and effort in training, you’ll be rewarded by reducing the amount of trash you send to the landfill each week.


Plastic Bag Ban Gets Closer In California

A full scale, state wide ban on plastic bans is becoming another step closer to reality in the state of California. The state Senate recently passed its plastic bag ban bill and has now sent the legislation to the governor. If the governor signs the bill, it will be the first such law to severely restrict the use of single use plastic shopping bags in the United States.

The Senate bill, SB 270, was passed with a 22-15 vote and followed the approval from the California state Assembly. California Governor Jerry Brown has a deadline of September 30, 2014 to sign the bill into law which was sponsored by Californians Against Waste.

In enacted, the bill would prohibit drugstores, convenience stores, and grocery stores from the use of single-use plastic bags. The law would begin in July of 2015 with a gradual phase-in time. Stores that typically provide plastic bags would have the options of using paper bags, reusable bags of a durable construction or bags that are considered compostable.

Californians Against Waste reports that there are currently one hundred and twenty four cities and counties in California have enacted laws restricting or eliminating the distribution of plastic bags. These municipalities account for thirty five percent of the population of the state.

Cities and towns that have had the bans in place have reported overwhelming success in terms of reduction of municipal solid waste being sent to landfills as well as the amount of trash and litter found on streets and parking lots.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Regardless of where your business is located, if you’re spending money to purchase plastic bags or responsible for disposing of them, it’s time to start thinking about alternative solutions. Every time an item is placed in a landfill, someone has to pay. Providing longer-lasting solutions allows everyone to reduce their waste and save in the long run.

Ford Goes Landfill Free Through Waste Recycling

The Ford Motor Company recently announced that its Oakville, Ontario, assembly plant had succeeded in achieving the zero waste-to-landfill designation. This success now makes the global automotive maker completely free of its reliance on landfills for waste disposal at all Canadian manufacturing locations.

The Oakville location is Ford’s largest Canadian facility with nearly five and a half million square feet. As a result of going landfill free, the plant recycled nearly two thousand metric tons of wood, paper, cardboard, and plastic that were generated as a result of vehicle assembly as well as office and management use. This saved more than five thousand cubic meters of space in landfills and over thirty two million liters of water.

With the zero waste success at the Oakville facility, Ford can now claim it has twenty one facilities around the world that have attained zero waste-to-landfill designation. Ford is on schedule for achieving its strategic waste management target of reducing landfill waste disposal by forty percent per vehicle produced. This is Ford’s second strategic waste recycling goal; between 2007 and 2011 the company launched it’s first waste recycling plan and was successful in reducing waste by forty percent per vehicle during that time.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Regardless of the size or business sector of your company, if you’re looking to cut waste disposal costs and support environmentally-forward practices in your community, developing a plan to increase waste recycling is the way to go. Start small, monitor your progress, and increase recycling initiatives and incentives over a pre-determined schedule. In time, you may discover that your business can claim “landfill free” status by making different choices about how to best recycle and re-use the waste you generate.