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.

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.


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.

PepsiCo. Promotes Plastics Recycling

International beverage provider PepsiCo. is partnering with environmental non-profit, The Nature Conservancy to launch a program designed to promote and increase the rate of recycling for beverage containers while also protecting sources of drinking water.

Envisioned as a five year program, “Recycle for Nature” is expected to save in excess of one billion gallons of water while also protecting the drinking water supplies needed by over thirty five million people in five key geographic areas throughout the United States. PepsiCo. will provide the Nature Conservancy with approximately one million dollars in funding for each of the five years of the program. In addition, increased financial incentives have also been put in place for every percentage point the national recycling rate increases for beverage bottles.

A key focus of the program is to provide more recycling bins in key beverage buying locations such as gas stations and convenience stories. Bottled water, various brands of soda, fruit juices, and other specialty drinks are popular single-serve items in these quick stop locations that are visited by all segments of the population throughout the country.

In a recent national survey conducted by Pepsi, eighty one percent of survey participants indicated that they would like to recycle more at retail locations if waste recycling bins were readily available both inside as well as outside. It is estimated that only twelve percent of current retail locations have clearly marked and easy to find recycling containers.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Regardless of your business, the easier you make it for employers and customers to recycling, the higher your waste recycling rate will be. Make a plan to periodically investigate the recycling options you’re company provides. Your solution to saving money could be as simple as a few strategically placed recycling containers.

Paint Company Faces EPA Fines For Hazardous Waste

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formalized a settlement with paint company, T.C. Dunham of Yonkers, New York, concerning the company’s violations of federal laws pertaining to hazard waste and toxic materials. Inspectors from the EPA discovered T.C. Dunham was responsible improperly stored and labeled hazardous materials. As a result of the agreement, the paint company will need to comply with all hazardous waste requirements and pay a fine of ninety thousand dollars.

During a routine inspection, EPA inspectors discovered an excess of one hundred metal drums of oil-based paint, lacquers, and paint solvents that were corroded and leaking. Many of the containers were unlabeled and undocumented and were found in outdoor locations beyond the immediate business area. The condition of the storage containers posed a significant environmental and human health threat and were well beyond the acceptable standard set by federal regulation.

Federal toxic and hazardous waste law requires that designated chemicals be stored in an established manner to ensure the public’s health and to minimize damage to the environment. Facilities that store, handle, or dispose of hazardous waste are required to train staff about the dangers of toxic materials and how to properly manage them to reduce danger. It’s also essential that staff be able to identify which substances are considered hazardous and know of the approved ways for waste disposal. In addition, hazardous materials such as paint and paint solvents can contribute to an increased risk for fire or explosion – possibly endangering the lives of emergency service responders as well as unknowing nearby residents and businesses.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Most businesses, and homes, have some degree of hazardous chemicals: paints and solvents, pesticides, motor oil are common. To ensure your safety, make sure you store these in a location that complies with the directions provided on the label. However, if your business deals in much larger quantities, it’s imperative that you stay up to date with your state and federal regulations for handling, storage, and disposal. Failure to do so not only places your employees and community at risk, but can also cost you “green” in big fines and penalties!

Philadelphia Hits Record Waste Diversion Rate

Government officials from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recently announced that the city has succeeding in surpassing its seventy percent municipal waste diversion goal rate for the second year in a row.

Based on data in the city’s 2014 Philadelphia Greenworks Progress Report, nearly all municipal solid waste is being diverted from landfills as a result of aggressively utilizing waste to energy conversion and waste recycling programs.

Philadelphia residents and businesses surpassed the Greenworks goal of seventy percent diversion of waste for the first time in 2012 with a seventy-three percent rate. Prior to the Greenworks strategic waste reduction goal, the city’s diversion rate was fifty three percent. Improvements in recycling rates were seen across all target areas and business sectors.

Of all the municipal solid waste collected, recycling accounted for half of what was diverted, or a little less than one and a half millions tons. Twenty three percent, or slightly over six hundred million tons, was used in waste to energy conversion. Of all collected waste in the city, nine percent was from residential collection, eighteen percent was from construction and demolition (C&D) projects, and seventy three percent was from commercial or industrial sources.

Residential recycling in Philadelphia brought in a record-setting one hundred and twenty two thousand tons, bringing curbside recycling in the city up to a twenty one percent rate.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Targeting where and how you want to improve your company’s recycling rate is a smart way reduce waste and disposal fees. Whether your business is large or small, looking at the waste generated by each office, department, or person can help you to uncover ways to cut back. Think creatively, collaborate with other, and before you know it you’ll be going green and saving green every month!

Carpet Manufacturer Boosts Jobs With Recycling

Shaw Industries Group, the industry’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residential carpeting and floor coverings, has recently announced that it will expand its waste recycling and reclamation efforts with a new Evergreen constructed facility in Ringgold, Georgia. It is expected that the new recycling processing facility will create seventy new full-time employment opportunities. Currently, Shaw employs over fifteen thousand people throughout its offices and production plants within the state of Georgia and the southeastern region of the United States.

Shaw has successfully reclaimed and recycled in excess of seven hundred million pounds of carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile and stone flooring products, and synthetic turf since the company started its popular take-back reclamation program in 2006. The new Evergreen Ringgold recycling plant will give the company increased flexibility for developing recycling solutions for its nylon and polyester carpet and flooring products.

In addition, the Evergreen Ringgold facility will be responsible for producing high quality post-consumer recycled materials that can be re-sold for use in a wide range of products and applications. The company’s ultimate goal is to reclaim the highest percentage of their carpeting and floor as possible, thus keeping unwanted materials out of landfills and generating and additional revenue stream. The facility is on schedule to be fully operational by 2015.

Georgia Quick Start, the state’s workforce training program, will collaborate with Shaw’s employees to ensure that proper training is available to support the new recycling initiatives.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business or place of employment generates a significant amount of waste materials that can be recycled or re-sold, it may be in your best interest to develop your own recycling processing facility. You’ll create jobs, reduce waste, and develop new revenue streams!


Employee Education Key for Waste Reduction

Every time your employees generate a piece of waste, they are faced with a decision: Do they throw it into the trash or into a recycling container? The choices your employees make will have a considerable impact on your business’ waste disposal and waste recycling rates.

Getting employees to make the right choices about what should be recycled and what should be disposed of in the trash is essential to keeping disposal costs downs and recycling rates up. Because of this, education is a key factor in the recycling process. Employees must know what should be recycled and the proper way in which to do it.

Why is employee education so important?

1) Recycling innovations and program are always improving and changing and employees should be periodically informed about what materials should be placed in recycling bin and what is considered garbage.
2) Employees are busy doing their jobs and might not always remember the recycling program rules. Clear signage around bins can help.
3) Employee participation will be more consistent is the importance of recycling is routinely stressed and the outcomes communicated.
4) Education helps to ensure a higher quality of recyclable materials being collected and less mistakes being made.

Make employee recycling education a part of every workweek. With social media, websites, flyers and break room announcements, and email, it’s easy to communicate waste reduction and waste recycling goals across all levels of your business. The investment of time, money, and effort required for having a business recycling plan will be returned in the money saved on disposal fees.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether your business is a small shop with a handful of people or a larger enterprise with dozens of employees, recycling rates can be improved if you think creatively and stay consistent in your effort. For ever new recycling program, be sure to track your results to gauge effectiveness and cost savings. In no time you’ll be saving green and going green!


Municipal Partnerships Boost Recycling Rates

Officials in Rochester Hills, Michigan, a city of seventy thousand residents located on the northern outskirts of Detroit, have recently reported that the municipality’s waste recycling rate has increased more than four-fold over the past five years. Administrators for waste disposal and recycling services credit the significant gains to the city’s partnership with Recyclebank.

Rochester Hills is credited with being the first municipality in the Midwest to partner with Recyclebank which is based in New York. Since collaboration started in 2008, the city has experienced a three hundred twenty three percent increase in the total number of pounds recycled by city residents and businesses. Based on this rate of success, Recyclebank’s contract has been renewed by the city for another five years of service.

As a result of the partnership, Rochester Hills residents have increased their waste recycling levels to an average of six hundred and seventy pounds per household each year. Tjhe city’s diversion rate currently stands at twenty seven percent. Since April 2009, the overall amount of collected materials for recycling is nearly twenty two thousand tons. In terms of the overall cost saving experienced by residents, the total amount of money saved since January 2011 is close to two million dollars.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Spending money isn’t always a bad thing – especially if it can help you to make or save more money in the long term. If your town or business doesn’t have a comprehensive waste management and recycling program it might be worth investing in a collaborative partnership. Reducing waste and increasing recycling, re-use, and re-selling is a sure-fire way to avoid escalating landfill fees and preserve the quality of life for all who live and work in your community!

Add Green Design To Commercial Construction Projects

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in less than twenty years, the majority of the buildings in the US will need to be overhauled. Based on a recent research report by According to Architecture 20301, seventy five percent of commercial buildings in the US will need to be renovated or re-built by 2035. This is good news for businesses and those in the construction industry as renovation of existing structures or new construction presents the opportunity to improve energy efficiency – and businesses that harness and reduce their wasted materials and energy save more money than those who don’t.

The EPA offers tools and training materials to help contractors, facilities managers, and building owners incorporate waste reduction and energy savings at all levels – from pre-design through final renovation or construction.

Utilizing green, or environmentally friendly, building practices allows  business owners to stay competitive, reduce their bottom line expenses, and offer employees and tenants a productive environment that isn’t damaging to their heath or well-being of the community.

In the USA, nonresidential building projects classified as “green” now make up forty four percent of the construction market. That’s up from just two percent ten years ago! It is expected that the total percent of green construction projects will exceed the fifty percent mark by the close of 2015.

The average lifespan of a new building is fifty to one hundred years, so plan on incorporating ways to reduce energy and waste right from the start and maximize your savings over the building’s lifetime. The EPA’s Energy Star program can help your business to stay competitive and make the right choices for energy efficiency.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Green construction is here to stay. Don’t get left behind the competition because you’re wasting money on outdated facility management practices or inefficient construction. Take the time to learn about green construction and renovation and plan to use them in your next building project. It’s a win-win situation for your bottom-line, your employees, and your community!