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.

Arizona Cuts Costs With Reduce And Recycle Program

Government officials in Phoenix, Arizona have recently launched two new, recycling-incentive municipal waste and yard waste collection programs designed to save both the city and taxpayers money.

The first program for residents is being publicized as “Save As You Reduce and Recycle.” The initiative provides residential inhabitants the opportunity to save three dollars each month on their waste disposal bill if they cut-back from the standard, large trash container to a medium-sized cart. The program is designed to have residents become more aware of what materials can be recycled and what materials should be placed in the trash. Studies have shown that that many items placed in trash bins could be recycled but aren’t. The program is currently only available to those residents with curbside trash and recycling pick up as provided by the city.

The second program is being called the “Green Organics Curbside Collection” initiative, which offers residents, for a fee of five dollars per month, a large container for organic yard waste. This option will provide residents with a convenient way to properly dispose of grass clippings, branches, garden scraps, tree leaves, and other yard materials in an easy, convenient manner. The program will be implemented gradually throughout select neighborhoods to gauge effectiveness.

The two new programs are a part of the city’s strategic waste diversion plan, Reimagine Phoenix, which outlines steps for the city to reach a forty percent waste diversion rate by the year 2020.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re trying to improve your recycling rate at home, at your business or in your community, it’s important to try creative, new solutions and involve every person. If everyone does their part, and has a vested interest in saving money and adopting sustainable practices, then your waste reduction and recycling plans have a much better chance of success.

Cutting Edge E-Waste Recycling In Illinois

The Michigan-based company, 3S International, recently announced that they have opened a new electronics waste processing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois.

The sixty thousand square foot recycling processing facility contains 3S’s BLUBOX recycling equipment. BLUBOX contains the technology needed to reduce unwanted e-waste into recyclable pieces and safely extract elements, including mercury – at a rate of fifteen million pounds of electronics each year. 3S is currently the only company in the U.S. with the rights to use BLUBOX technology.

In the United States every year, millions of tons of computers and personal electronics are thrown away. While close to eighty percent of all e-waste materials are given over to specialized recyclers, the pieces often shipped overseas, re-sold, or sent to specialized landfills. Based on the results of BLUBOX recyclable processing, 3S will not have a need or reason to re-sell or landfill any of the electronics sent to them for processing.

3S currently collects and receives unwanted and unusable electronics throughout the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan and has the ability to handle  the e-waste recycling needs of six million people each year. The company’s goal is to open close to ten new electronics processing recycling facilities throughout the United States within the next few years.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If old cell phones, computers, gaming systems, and personal electronics are clogging up your home or office, it’s time to clean-up and start recycling! Even if you aren’t in an area that 3S services, chances are there’s a convenient e-waste drop off location at a local store, transfer station, non-profit group or house of worship, or municipal building. Many e-recycling events are publicized in local newspapers, or on radio and television stations, so get those dates on your calendar and get ready to recycle those unwanted items!

Food Waste Composting For Apartments

In Los Angeles, California, Global Green USA, a not-for-profit in the environmental sector, and Athens Services, a waste and recycling services company, have formed a partnership to launch a food scrap recovery pilot program to multi-family apartment buildings.

The City of Los Angeles currently has a municipal goal of seventy percent waste reduction by the year 2020. Diverting unwanted and spoiled food scraps from landfills and using them for composting and energy will save the city’s water and energy. Property managers are embracing the food waste to compost plan as a way to control waste costs and involve tenants in a positive action that can improve the overall quality of life for all living in the City.

Athens Services, which has its own composting facility, will transport all organic waste such as vegetables, meat, dairy, and compostable food-soiled paper from participating apartment buildings. Global Green USA has supplied food composting bins and bags to the apartment buildings as well as educational materials. Both organizations will analyze performance data from the pilot program to improve participation and collection efficiency and maximum cost savings.

Based on data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ninety five percent of waste food scraps are disposed of in landfills annually. This amount of waste results in greenhouse gas emissions equal to the output of seven power plants as well as generating hundreds of thousands of dollars of waste disposal and dumping fees.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If food scraps and organic waste make up a substantial part of your daily, weekly, or monthly waste disposal, it’s time to investigate food composting or food to energy options. Whether it’s collaborating with a non-profit, a private waste hauler, or a city government, developing a solution to reduce your waste may help you to increase your profits!

Increasing Municipal Recycling With Rewards

Known as the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is hoping its residential and business residents will “show some love” for recycling as the City implements an incentive-based recycling rewards system in order to reach its goal of a twenty five percent waste recycling diversion rate by 2015. Currently, the curbside recycling rate in Philadelphia is a little more than twenty one percent.

The city is growing its partnership with Recyclebank Rewards, a New York City-based company that it has worked with since 2010 to develop the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards incentive program. Participants in the recycling rewards program can receive both financial and educational awards. Participants in the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program have received almost three million worth of rewards points since 2011.

Starting in 2009, Philadelphia has improved its recycling rate each year from slightly below seventy five thousand to one hundred and twenty five thousand in 2014. Over the five year period, the city avoided over nine million dollars in waste disposal costs and generated additional revenue through recycling.

In addition, Philadelphia public and private schools are members of Recyclebank’s program “Green Schools,” which provides grant money to implement student-focused projects that benefit the environment in both the community and at school.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business or municipality is finding itself “stuck” trying to boost waste recycling rates, try offering an incentive or another form of friendly competition to see who can have the best results with waste reduction. Whether it’s a financial incentive to a department that saves the most money on waste disposal costs, discounts at the company dining hall or a premium parking spot to individuals who develop effective cost-saving ideas, or a special “thank-you” lunch when company-wide environmental goals are met, you may find that that even small rewards to participants can have lasting effects!


Ski Resort Saves With Deconstruction And Composting

Aspen Skiing Company in Aspen, Colorado decided to take an environmentally friendly approach during a construction and renovation project of two buildings in their skiing and recreation resort. Instead of throwing the wood and building materials into a dumpster for hauling to a landfill, it decided to use deconstruction methods to reuse salvageable materials and then create compost out of the organic waste materials.

The deconstruction program—which involved reversing the construction process by removing reusable items instead of sending the waste to the landfill – along with grinding up unusable scrap lumber for composting, allowed Aspen Skiing to keep eighty four percent of the waste materials out of landfills and allowed for the usable materials to defray the costs of landscaping compost and constructing the new buildings.

While deconstruction may cost more initially than demolition, the savings can be returned with less new materials that need to be purchased as well as reduced disposal fees and the ability to sell or donate unwanted construction materials. When Aspen Skiing deconstructed its on-site restaurant, the total savings was over forty two thousand dollars in part due to the selling of the lumber material for compost.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business is in construction and demolition, or if your business is preparing for a large construction or remodeling project, it may be worth your time to investigate the cost saving associated with deconstruction. The more materials you can recycle, re-sell, or re-use the less you’ll need to pay expensive C&D tipping rates for. While deconstruction was once an expensive or hard-to-come-by option, it is now a more widely accepted practice as it has been shown to reduce costs while also being environmentally friendly.

Waste Recycling Stations Boost Diversion Rate

As a result of using Farmers Brothers specially designed GreenDrop Recycling Stations, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) professional team the Portland Trail Blazers and the Moda Center arena where they play were able to increase the facility’s waste diversion rate to slightly over ninety percent during the 2013 season. This rate is a significant jump when compared to the thirty eight percent waste diversion rate the sports franchise had during the 2007 basketball season. The recycling containers are used to collected all waste generated at the stadium including plastic, paper, and food waste.

The GreenDrop Stations are just of Farmer Brothers custom recycling solutions designed to assist organizations and businesses increase their recyclable and compostable waste and decrease the amount of waste needing to be sent to landfills. The company, which is based in Torrance, California, is committed to developing waste management solutions that can result in one hundred percent diversion rates and zero waste facilities.

Farmer Brothers has currently developed a new waste recycling program to remove an estimated one and a half million pounds of packaging waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills. They have also launched a successful recycling and re-use program for turning over five hundred thousand pounds of coffee bags and containers into landscaping materials for weed control in empty lot reclamation projects throughout California.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When it comes to saving money on waste disposal, it pays to think creatively! How can materials that might otherwise end up in the landfill be used again or sold and re-purposed into something else? Whether it’s using better recycling bins to motive your employees to recycle more or finding ways to compost food waste, thinking outside the box can help you to go green and save green at the same time.


Reduce C&D Waste With Deconstruction

Cutting back on the total amount of construction and demolition materials your business disposes of in combustion facilities or landfills can provide several benefits.

The first step to take is to generate less waste. Carefully pre-planning and materials costing can result in less waste materials to dispose of once the construction or remodeling / renovation project is completed. Taking these preventative steps not only help to reduce the environmental damages associated with landfill disposal, but can also save money on disposal fees, labor costs, and the need to contract with outside services or vendors.

The best way to generate and use less resources, which also helps to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, is to reduce, re-use, and recycle all C&D materials that are needed for the project. In addition, deconstruction and selective demolition can help to cut costs for large-scale renovation or building rehabilitation projects as they have the possibility to divert significant amounts of unwanted or unusable materials from landfills that can be re-sold or recycled. Materials recovered from deconstruction can often be donated to non-profit groups or charities for tax benefit.

Deconstruction can be utilized for a variety of projects. Whether it’s for an entire building or a simple room remodel, items such as cabinets, molding, shingles, historic architectural details and high quality wood have appeal on the re-sale market.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: The next time you’re working on a construction or renovation project, consider the different ways that you can reduce the amount of waste you need to dispose of in the landfill. By looking at opportunities for recycling, donation, and re-selling, you’ll be able to save green and go green on every project!

Panasonic Begins Recycling Program For Rechargeable Batteries

The Power Tools Division of Panasonic and the not for profit group Call2Recycle are collaborating to launch a new recycling and waste management program for rechargeable batteries.

The Secaucus, New Jersey -based Panasonic Corporation of North America will be working with Athlanta, Georgia – based Call2Recycle and customers of Panasonic’s power tools to ensure that collection boxes are well positioned for assembly line workers to place used rechargeable batteries removed from recycled cordless tools. All rechargeable battery packs and battery cells weighing less than eleven pounds will be collected and recycled by Call2Recycle. As part of the new initiative, Call2Recycle will also provide educational programs and materials for customers and retailers to explain how the program will to improve recycling and keep batteries out of landfills.

The new, national recycling strategic plan for all Panasonic power tools replaces the company’s prior recycling model which relied on a patchwork of various battery recycling vendors and services which varied by region and customer location. The new plan allows for great stability and make for a uniform service provided to all stores and customers regardless of location. It is also expected that the new program will help to increase recycling levels.

The collected and recycled used batteries will be shipped to an approved battery processing facility, which will dismantle the batteries and manufacture the components into new materials for use in new batteries or steel alloy products.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business or tool storage room has old batteries collecting dust, make sure you connect with your local waste transfer station or battery manufacturer to see if recycling opportunities are available. Many municipalities charge extra fees to dispose of batteries, due to their toxic and hazardous qualities, so recycling may be a way to save money and save the environment!


Paint Take-back Programs Gain Ground

Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont has recently signed into effect a new law establishing a paint recycling and take-back bill.

Much like legal requirements enacted in other states, Vermont House Bill 262 mandates that manufacturers of paint operate and fund a post-consumer take-back and recycling program in the state. The new law helps to facilitate a waste management plan for Vermont residents and businesses when it comes to architectural paint. The goal of the new law is to help shift the financial burden of managing the responsibility of properly disposing of paint away from local and state governments and to the producers.

Funding for the new regulation will be established by enacting a small recycling fee per each container that paint producers will pay to PaintCare. PaintCare is a national non-for-profit group created by the American Coatings Association to administer state paint recycling and disposal programs. All manufacturers of architectural paint are required to register with PaintCare.

Vermont is now the sixth state in the US to enact a producer responsibility paint recycling law. Minnesota recently adopted a similar regulation earlier in 2014 and many other states are considering enacting similar legislation.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business is in construction, remodeling, or facilities management, chances are you work with paint almost every day. If you live or work in a state with paint recycling programs, make sure you’re utilizing them to avoid any fees or fines that could result from improper disposal. Paint can be hazardous, so always be sure to properly store and dispose of unwanted or unusable cans. Never dump paint down a drain as it can contaminate your community’s water supply and land you in hot water with the Environmental Protection Agency!