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.

Food Producer Hormel Reduces Solid Waste

International food producer Hormel Foods Corporation recently announced that in calendar year 2013 the company successfully reduced its overall generated solid waste that needed to be disposed of in regional landfills by more than one thousand tons. Additionally, the company was also able to reduce its total weight of required product packaging – including cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum – by over four and a half million pounds.

Hormel, which has its corporate headquarters in Austin, Minnesota, stated that the company has now attained close to eighty one percent of its corporate sustainability strategic goals. Those goals, which have a timeline leading to completion in 2020, include reducing the total amount of waste sent to landfills by three thousand three hundred tons. This amount would represent an overall waste reduction of ten percent. Company representatives say the current waste diversion and recycling figures indicate that the goal may be attained earlier than anticipated.

The company’s pounds per ton of total solid waste was slightly over twenty four pounds in 2013 which was a slight improvement over the prior year. In addition, the reduction in product packaging comprises close to thirty five percent of the total waste reduction goal.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Waste reduction can be more than simply re-using, recycling, donating and composting. If your business is responsible for product packaging, or provides packaging  to customers who visit your location, the less materials you use to securely pack your items, the less waste you’ll produce and the more money you’ll save. Take a look at the bags, containers, boxes, and other materials you currently use and see if greener, more environmentally friendly alternatives are available. New packaging solutions are being developed every year and you might be surprised by what you can find!

Recycling Returns To New Orleans

It’s taken close to nine years, but the Louisiana city of New Orleans is now officially re-launching curbside recycling services for both residents and businesses living and operating in the Central Business District and French Quarter of the city.

The waste recycling services will be available for all residents and small businesses in those neighborhoods starting at the end of January, 2014. It is estimated that over four thousand residential and business locations will be eligible for the curbside recycling pick-ups. All recycling services are expected to happen on a weekly schedule for those in the target neighborhoods. Waste materials that will be accepted for recycling include all forms of paper, paperboard and cardboard, plastic beverage and food containers, and metal containers and cans.

Recycling services to these areas have been suspended since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. The Sanitation Department for the city is currently distributing eighteen-gallon size bins to residents and businesses at no additional cost. While these recycling bins are slightly smaller than those used in other neighborhoods the city hopes they will be easier to use and store for businesses and homes with limited space.

Curbside recycling services are currently available in other neighborhoods of the city for residential properties and small businesses. Residents in the historic French Quarter and Central Business District had been lobbying local officials that inclusion of their neighborhoods were necessary components to help the area achieve its municipal sustainability goals.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether it’s your town or business, it’s important to include everyone in your waste disposal and recycling plans. Every person, no matter where they’re located, is going to generate trash – and if you’re not making an effort to increase recycling and re-use, that’s money and profit coming out of your bottom line!

EPA Announces Improved Recycling Rate

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that the total weight of all municipal solid waste generated and disposed of in the USA remained constant for the year 2011, compared to 2010, but that the country’s rate of recycling moved upward, improving over the prior year.

The EPA reported that Americans generated over two hundred and fifty million tons of solid waste in 2011, a near identical amount to 2010. Of that total amount of waste, almost eighty seven million tons, or 34.7% was recycled or composted. The national recycling rate for 2010 was 34.0%.

The total waste generated per person was almost four and one half pounds per day, down from 2010.

The EPA  also provides recycling rates for various waste materials. Newspapers and paper materials have a recycling rate of almost seventy three percent. Aluminum cans are recycled at close to fifty five percent and glass containers and PET plastics are recycled at  thirty four percent and twenty nine percent respectively. The biggest year over year recycling gains were seen by aluminum cans and tires due to part to their high demand on the manufacturing market.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Even small improvements in your businesses recycling rate or waste disposal rate can result in savings when you compare year to year. The important thing is to track your before and after to see what works and what doesn’t. Every company has unique waste disposal and recycling needs so if you want to save money, you need to do what’s right for your business sector!

Recycling Grants For Cities and Towns

The Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Keep America Beautiful have recently announced the recipients in their collaborative Recycling Bin grant awards for public parks and spaces. This is the first such that the funding opportunities was made available to cities, towns, and community groups.

The focus of the grant was to help municipalities promote recycling in public settings including playgrounds, beaches and swimming areas, athletic fields, parks, walking and biking trails, and other natural settings. Increased visibility and available of recycling bins contributes to a decrease in litter and garbage waste.

In total, thirty three grants were awarded to agencies in twenty three states. A total of seven hundred and ten permanent recycling containers will be distributed. The most popular use for the bins will be at athletic fields followed by neighborhood parks and walking paths.

The grant program is part of Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s environmental strategic plan which also includes improving energy and water use in its beverage production process, reducing manufacturing waste and packaging.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re a city administrator grappling with trash and recycling problems at your local recreation spots, considering investigating grant opportunities like the one offered by Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Having a few recycling bins  may help to keep the space free of little and encourage visitors to recycle more!

Keeping Bottles And Cans Out Of Landfills

The Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, recently signed into law a bill designed to keep plastic bottles and aluminum cans from being disposed of in regional landfills.

The new law offers financial incentives to all municipalities in Tennessee which provide recycling services to their residential and business members. The Recycling Development Council for the Southeast sees the new law as an important step in keeping valuable plastic and aluminum in the recycling stream and out of the waste stream. Both plastic and aluminum are waste resources that have manufacturing markets waiting and eager  to buy them if they are separated them trash to be recycled. Having more plastic and aluminum available for re-use also helps the state in job creation, supports economic development in the “green” industry sector, and helps to reduce strain on landfills in addition to reducing the cost associated with trash disposal.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Sometimes offering an incentive can be a big help to changing behavior. If you’re trying to get your employees to recycle more and waste less, think of ways to reward or incentivize them for changing their habits. If a department knows they can be eligible for a reward as a result of their cost saving, recycling efforts, they’ll be all the more enthusiastic to embrace recycling and encourage others as well!


Waste Recycling At The University Of Colorado

The University of Colorado is making a bold move and enhancing the recycling system in place for the school’s residence housing and cafeterias.

As the new school year started in early September, students, faculty, and staff at this Boulder, Colorad campus were greeted with a switch from separate recycling bins located throughout the dorms and eateries to single-stream bins.

The commingled recyclables, which included paper and bottles are being collected and processed by the non-profit group Eco-Cycle.

The switch to single-stream was done with the hope that recycling would become easier for all students and employees and therefore boost participation and the amount of materials that is waste recycled each month.

The University is staying with dual-stream recycling models for its academic and administrative building and over the year with collect data on which of the two methods was most successful for reducing waste disposal.

For this year, the school’s recycling goal is reduce the amount of landfill waste generated from one hundred and seventy pounds per person to one hundred and forty seven pounds per person pounds. The school is aiming for a waste recycling rate of ninety percent. The University began its recycling program in 1976 and its sports stadium is currently working toward a zero-waste goal.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Not sure what kind of recycling program to try in your business? Learn a lesson from the University of Colorado and conduct a trial experiment! The tools and services for waste recycling are always changing and improving so if you are willing to try something new you might just stumble upon a great new way to save your company some money!


Airports and Waste Recycling

If you’re in the business of managing airport facilities, starting an on-site recycling program can be a great way to save money on your waste disposal costs and positively impact the environment. Every day, airports are filled with employees and travelers consuming food and drinks purchased at airport facilities. Much of this waste can be recycled with proper planning and management.

When establishing a waste recycling program at your airport, there are a few key points to consider:

1. Decide upon your collection method – will your facility separate recyclables or will all materials be delivered to a recovery facility for sorting? Cost, staffing and airport size will be determining factors.

2. Get buy-in from employees and establish “green” representatives from different work areas. This participation is essential to ensuring that the program is promoted and adhered to.

3. Use resources available from the EPA and your local environmental agency to target specific areas where your facility can recycle, reduce, or reuse. Questionnaires are available to help you determine a baseline for your facility, plot goals, and evaluate results.

4. Talk with your current waste disposal company to determine what kind of recycling services they offer and the cost. Determine what kinds of recyclable materials will be collected.

5. If recycling is new to your facility, think about launching a small scale recycling project is one area first. This will allow you to put a system in place and address logistics before expanding to an entire airport.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: As more people spend more time in airports, recycling programs are a great way to show travelers you can about the environment while reducing your waste disposal costs.

Waste Recycling at Shopping Centers

Americans, on average, visit a shopping mall or shopping center nearly three times a month thus making these shopping and socializing destinations an ideal place to practice and encourage effective waste recycling. For businesses responsible for the management and maintenance of these mixed use developments, establishing the habit to promote recycling by retailers, restaurants, and the public can result in saving opportunities. Particular types of waste to focus on for any shopping establishment include:

  • Cardboard boxes and packaging
  • Wooden shipping and shortage pallets
  • Plastic, glass, and metal containers
  • Paper of all kinds (newspapers, office…)
  • Restaurant food waste
  • Organic waste from landscaping

The Environmental Protection Agency has specialized materials and resources for managers of commercial buildings to learn more about creating and maintaining effective recycling and waste reduction programs. A key reason for shopping centers and malls to adopt recycling programs is that it saves money by decreasing disposal costs and can possibly create revenue by selling recycled materials. Visit the EPA’s website to read success stories of retailers and commercial centers who implemented recycling programs to learn about best practice strategies.

Waste Care Wants You to Remember: Every piece of waste that is not recycled must be disposed of in a landfill. Implementing full-scale recycling programs can save you and your commercial tenants money while helping to preserve the environment.

Reduce Energy Use By Recycling

Do you want to see the immediate energy saving benefits of what recycling can do? Visit the iWARM calculator available on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website and learn about how recycling workplace and household items equates to energy usage.

Here are just a few fun facts: Making the choice to recycle an aluminum can rather than put it in the garbage, produces energy equal to operating a 60W incandescent light for a little over 4 hours, or a compact fluorescent light for over 20 hours?  Think about all the cans of beverage you, your family, and your co-workers consume in a given day – if all those cans were recycled that’s enough to light an entire house or small building!

But the iWARM calculator shows more than just the energy benefits of recycling cans. It can also help you determine the energy savings for all these common items:

  • Metal coat hangers
  • Glass bottles
  • Steel cans
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Gallon plastic (HDPE) milk jug
  • Gallon plastic (HDPE) detergent container
  • Plastic grocery bag
  • Plastic (PET) bottles
  • Catalogs
  • Weekly magazines
  • White business envelopes
  • Paperboard Cereal boxes
  • Daily newspapers
  • Printer paper
  • and much more!

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Most homes and business have all the recyclable items listed above. Are you recycling them or adding them in with trash? If you aren’t recycling then you’re adding additional costs to your bottom line! Disposing of your waste and recycling in an efficient, compliant manner can help to save the environment and save you money!