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.

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.

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!

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!

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!

Michigan Plans For Waste Materials Recycling Boost

Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder is hoping to save taxpayers money by rolling out a new fifteen-point strategic plan designed to increase access to residential recycling services in all areas of the state.

In addition, Snyder has also enhanced the capabilities of the newly created Michigan Recycling Council so that implementation of the plan can begin without delay.

The new recycling plan contains four key components: implement better tracking and measure systems to gauge recycling progress; improve recycling awareness and education and make technical assistance more accessible; make recycling more convenient for all Michigan residents; and develop markets for the sale of recycled waste materials.

Currently, Michigan’s overall residential recycling rate is close to fifteen percent. Michigan’s recycling rate is far lower than other states in the Great Lakes region and below the national average. Recent studies have shown that over four hundred and thirty five million dollars worth of valuable metals, paper, glass, and plastics are not recycled and re-sold, but instead disposed of in landfills at a significant cost to the state and taxpayers.

The governor is recommending one million dollars be spent to launch the Michigan Recycling Council along with five hundred thousand dollars being made available as grants to support already existing local recycling programs. If even a portion of the currently discarded recyclable material can be resold, the program would not only pay for itself, but also provide an income source for the state.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When was the last time you looked at your waste disposal and waste recycling habits at home and on the job? Are people recycling all that they can, or are some valuable items ending up in the trash? Scheduling periodic evaluations can help to save you money and make sure all residents or employees are doing their part!

Mattress Recycling In California

Earlier this year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that would require the recycling of all old, unwanted mattresses by all residents in the state as well as businesses operating within state lines.

The new law aims to establish a statewide recycling program for mattresses by offering consumers free and easily accessible locations for mattress collection, drop-off and recycling. With this new law, California becomes the third state in the United States and the first in the western part of the country that requires mattress manufacturers and sellers to accept and process used mattresses for recycling.

Unlike other states, California’s regulation does not pass the cost of recycling on to consumers. The recycling program will be financed by a new charge levied on the sales of new mattress. Because of a mattress’ large size and costs for landfill disposal, they are frequently illegally discarded along roadsides and hills, resulting in blight, health threats to the public, and millions of extra dollars spend by municipalities in addition cleanup expenses. Because of the remove of a consumer fee, individuals such as landlords, home-owners, and small scale real estate developers will have choices for recycling old mattresses while cutting back on the number of those that are dumped illegally.

The state also hopes that recycling mattresses will contribute to the growth of green jobs and help boost the California’s waste reduction and recycling goals. The bill was also supported by mattress retailers doing business in California, as well as municipalities, business organizations and environmental groups. The statewide recycling program will be overseen and monitored by CalRecycle for cost effectiveness and recycling efficiency

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Do you know what the regulations are for mattress recycling in your state? Components in a mattress have value in the recycling after-market, so if you’re not recycling them, you’re losing money by letting them take up space in a landfill!