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July 2012 

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United Parcel Service Increases Waste Recycling
Proper Prescription Drug Waste Disposal
Nationwide Tipping Fees
PET Recycling and Shrink Labels
Ignoring Lead Paint Rules Leads to Fines
From Waste to Kitchenware
Billions of Dollars in Recyclables Wasted Every Year
Composting Toilets Takes Green Homes A Step Further
Food Packaging Recycling
Composting Biosolid Waste
Plastic Grocery Bag Ban Grows
Waste Recycling Solution for HDPE
Chicago Saves Money By Waste Recycling
GreenCheck Your Real Estate Renovations
Waste Disposal for Natural Disasters
Waste Recycling of Polystyrene
Food Waste Recycling and Recovery Challenge
Waste Recycling of Aseptic Cartons
Waste Materials Trading Website
Waste Recycling for Apartments
Managing Coastal Waste from Natural Disasters
Waste Recycling for School Cafeterias

United Parcel Service Increases Waste Recycling

It was recently announced in the 2011 Corporate Sustainability Report that UPS, also known as United Parcel Service, has reduced their waste disposal of solid materials by almost three percent compared to 2010. The company, known for their iconic brown trucks and package delivery service recycled almost fifty-four thousand tons of corrugated containers, wooden pallets and wood-product waste materials, and metals.

It should come as no surprise that for UPS solid waste materials are primarily corrugated cardboard containers which comprise more than half of all the waste recycled. Waste materials made of wood or wood by-products make up a quarter of all waste recycled and metal waste materials arrive at a distant third.

UPS has also expanded its electronics waste recycling program for computer and scanning equipment and batteries. Since launching the initiative in 2000, the company has recycled over thirty two million pounds of electronics. Over forty thousand pounds of batteries were recycled last year alone a four percent increase over the previous year.

Two UPS facilities have been designated as achieving a zero landfill waste disposal goal. These two locations will serve as test centers for waste recycling and waste disposal policies and procedures that can then be applied throughout all UPS facilities.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: UPS serves as a great example of turning waste disposal into waste recycling. How can your business operate differently to save the environment and cut back on disposal fees?

Proper Prescription Drug Waste Disposal

Posted on July 30, 2012

California’s Alameda County has passed a rule that manufacturers of prescription drugs must offer and maintain a program to collect and properly dispose of unused medications.

This is the first such stewardship and disposal law in the United States to involve the pharmaceutical drug industry. All drug companies wishing to sell medicine in the county must fund and operate disposal programs for expired drugs. The proposal was passed by an unanimous vote. Plans from all manufacturers are due to the county by July 1 of 2013.

There are several different manufacturer responsibility laws operating in thirty-two states, these laws cover paint, florescent bulbs containing mercury, and electronics. This is the first law of its kind addressing the damage that unwanted pharmaceuticals can create when placed into a municipality’s common waste stream. County officials have said that residents and businesses in the county should not have to bear the burden of financing solutions to keep unwanted and unused prescription drugs out of the water and waste streams.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: We all know that flushing medication down the drain is a bad idea as it can contaminate our water sources. If your business is responsible for large quantities of prescriptions drugs, it may be time to work with your local government and enact a plan similar to that in Alameda County. It may help to save the environment and disposal costs!

Nationwide Tipping Fees

Posted on July 27, 2012

A recent nation-wide survey has shown that tipping fees and disposal costs for municipal waste in the U.S. range from $18 per ton to nearly $106 per ton. Of all the states, Idaho has the least expensive disposal fees and Massachusetts has the most expensive. The surveys included both public and private landfills. Only the top five largest landfills in each state were included, so the possibility exists that businesses in need of dumping municipal solid waste may find better pricing deals at smaller facilities.

A big difference is price is whether the landfill is public or privately owned. Public landfills must set their price according to the expensive incurred whereas privately owned facilities may competitively set their price based on location and demand.

The total number of landfills has decreased from almost eight thousand in 1988 to close to two thousand today. This change is the result of the shift from local landfills to regional ones. The Western and Southern parts of the U.S. contain the overwhelming majority of landfills with the smallest number being in the Northeast. Based on this distribution, the least expensive states for disposal fees are in the South and West. Higher fees are found in areas with denser populations, which accounts for the increase in fees in the Northeast.

Another cost factor is the availability of resource recovery facilities. States that have strong recycling and reuse facilities tend to charge higher fees for waste disposal.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Disposing of waste is a part of every business but you can minimize your waste disposal fees by making sure you recycle, reuse, and resell as much of your “waste” material as possible!

PET Recycling and Shrink Labels

Posted on July 26, 2012

PET recyclers are uncertain about the growing use of stretch sleeve labels on plastic bottles. These new stretch labels replace the use of adhesives, which made the bottle difficult to recycle, but now cause additional concerns such as correctly identifying the bottle resin, proper removal of the label, and preventing the clumping of the removed labels.

These concerns have lead the Washington-based group APR to release a guide to help PET manufacturers in ensuring their stretch sleeve labels do not cause recycling problems.

If labels do not remove easily, they pose a detriment to both recycling and economic benefits. Local municipalities cannot sell the materials and manufacturers who want the material have less sources to purchase it from. The APR guide provides comprehensive measurements and analysis of when a label will remove easily and when it will cause clumping. Their research shows that the denser the label, the more likely it is to cause recycling problems. The ideal label is one that is light enough to float and with enough transparency as to allow scanning machine to identify the PET resin.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When an item can be properly recycled and resold, it goes from being a financial liability to a financial gain. Take a look at the products your business sells or uses. Are you letting money get away?

Ignoring Lead Paint Rules Leads to Fines

Posted on July 25, 2012

In the state of Rhode Island, residential property owners will face fines for not notifying tenants about potential lead paint hazards.

Private Reserve Properties faces fines of $421,900 for repeatedly violating the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act and the federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule pertaining to residential properties. The purpose of these regulations is to make sure that tenants have sufficient information about the health hazards of lead paint in housing to make an educated decision about the safety of their family.

Lead paint exposure is a serious health concern. Infants and children are especially at risk to the toxicity of lead, which can result in lowered intelligence, learning disabilities, hearing impairments, behavior problems, and attention deficit. Lead exposure in adults can result in difficulties with pregnancy, high blood pressure, disorders or the nervous system, and muscle and joint pain.

The complaint, which was brought on by the Environmental Protection Agency, states the company failed to inform prospective tenants, including families with young children, about the health hazards connected with lead paint. The complaint details 61 violations for 16 rental leases administered from 2009 to 2011.

The company owns 130 rental units in areas that have poverty rates higher than average.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Residential property owners with older buildings containing lead paint have two choices. Either to re-mediate the toxic paint through proper hazardous waste disposal practices or comply with federal regulations about disclosure of the toxic substance to prospective tenants. Failure to do will land you in hot water with authorities!

From Waste to Kitchenware

Posted on July 24, 2012

Natural Home Products is using wasted bamboo sawdust to manufacture a line of earth-friendly, nontoxic kitchenware including utensils and bowls. The dust is combined with rice starch and a plant-based binder to make Moboo, also known as molded bamboo. The combined powder is molded and compressed in four colors: pistachio, cherry, natural and charcoal.

Sold through Target stores, Moboo products have been popular with consumers who want to buy inexpensive green products. The molded bamboo offer the convenience and easy care of plastic but is all natural and environmentally-friendly.

In addition to the utilizing Moboo, Natural Home’s kitchen gadgets and tools also incorporate recycled stainless steel, recycled cotton, recycled glass, and recycled fabric in their utensils, oven mits, mixing bowls, measuring cups, and cleaning cloths.

Products are available for sale directly through the company’s website or at Target stores.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Innovative thinking can set your business apart from the competition! What are things that you could do differently to reduce costs, increase market share, and go “green”?

Billions of Dollars in Recyclables Wasted Every Year

Posted on July 23, 2012

In 2010 over four million tons of recyclable cardboard, estimated at a value of over one billion dollars, was disposed of in landfills.

This information comes from the non-profit group As You Sow that advocates for corporate social responsibility and environmentalism.

The group also reports that PET materials with a value of almost three billion were sent to landfills in the same year. While close to half of all aluminum cans are recycled, at a value of one an a half billion, the total number of PET recycling is closer to 25%.

HDPE materials such as laundry detergent bottle and milk jugs was ranked second, after cardboard, as the most valuable discarded recyclable, worth almost three billion dollars.

As You Sow encourages companies to increase their responsibility for the recyclable material that they generate during the manufacturing process, and also suggests that municipalities improve their waste and recycling collection methods to obtain larger amounts of these valuable goods.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Are you leaving money on the table by not recycling and reselling items that you are currently paying to dispose of as garbage? Take a look at your waste stream and see if your trash can be someone else’s treasure!

Composting Toilets Takes Green Homes A Step Further

Posted on July 20, 2012

There is a grown trend in the green housing community for using composting toilets. While traditional toilets flush human waste and paper away with water to a septic system or municipal sewer treatment plant, the “green” composting toilet is allowing homeowners another way to conserve water and contribute to replenishing nutrients in their soil.

Owners and manufacturers of the composting toilets vigorous agree that when disposal is done correctly there is no smell or danger to humans or animals. Several styles of composting toilets have been designed to keep pace with the demand. While some require emptying every few weeks, and more closely resemble outdoor port-a-johns, there are also design that look identical to traditional toilets that contain a special internal composting unit that needs to be emptied only a few times each year.

Users of composting toilets need to add a mix of special bacteria to accelerate the composting process and create an odorless environment. Composting toilets can save homeowners up to eight thousand gallons of water each year and for communities with high water and sewer prices, this can result in significant savings.

While not every residence is ideal for a composting toilet, they are suitable for areas with weak sewers and limited septic capabilities. They are also ideal for pool-houses or outdoor cabin where traditional plumbing would be cost-prohibitive.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: While composting toilets may not be ideal for every home, they can provide both cost-savings and environmental benefits to some.

Food Packaging Recycling

Posted on July 19, 2012

A Plastics Recovery Group has been created by the Foodservice Packaging Institute. This is the second such group established to address recycling methods and best practices for the food-service industry. There are nineteen corporate and industry members and the group is looking to grow.

The group is focused on addressing the issue of food packaging items that are currently not recycled or recovered due to lack of end markets or current infrastructure. The companies are banding together with the hope of collectively establishing industry change as opposed to each business working independently.

The group would like to establish processes and policies so that consumers can separate their food packaging materials into appropriate recycling or composting streams; municipalities support these materials being collected; and end markets are identified for purchasing the recycled materials.

To enhance the recycling of food-service materials, the group will be working closely with leaders in the waste collection industry and government and creating educational materials to better inform individuals and businesses about the opportunities that are available when food packaging is recycled.

Waste Care Wants You to Remember: Are you involved with food packaging or recycling? The Plastics Recovery Group may be a great way for your business to learn more about this exciting new recycling and revenue saving initiative!

Composting Biosolid Waste

Posted on July 18, 2012

In a new waste recycling decision, over half a million tons of sewage sludge, also referred to as biosolids, from Southern California will be transported to a composting facility in the San Joaquin Valley.

The Westlake Farms Composting Facility will process the biosolids along with waste and debris from area farms. The farmland, which spans almost fifteen thousand acres, is owned and operated by the Los Angeles Sanitation District.

The project will begin by composting approximately 100,000 tons of sewage sludge annually and then progress to over a million tons of anaerobically digested biosolids and green waste. It is expected that the project will yield over 300,000 tons of compost yearly that can then be sold as a nutrient to help crops such as wheat, cotton, pomegranate, and pistachio.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Biosolid waste is a fact of life and is in a never ending supply. When you think of innovative ways to recycle to reuse, you turn a financial liability into a financial asset. What is your community doing with biosolids?

Plastic Grocery Bag Ban Grows

Posted on July 17, 2012

The city of Santa Cruz, California has recently banned single-use plastic bags. The ban includes both compostable and traditional bags. The reason for the ban is a financial one for the city which currently spends over $334 million on plastic bag-related costs, with a recycling rate of only 5%.

The Santa Cruz decision brings the number of plastic bag bans nationwide to 79, with 60% of the banning municipalities in California. Bans against plastic bags have been enacted in large cities such as San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, TX , Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. Houston, TX and Los Angeles are also considering a bag ban proposals. Cities such as Washington, D.C. levies fees on plastic bags when distributed.

The Santa Cruz Recovery Station currently has five employees assigned to removing plastic bags from different recycling lines and the cost is greater than the expected sale price of recycled plastic film. Additionally, there is the growing concern of plastic bags polluting the marine area and endangering wildlife and fishing interests.

The Santa Cruz ban applies to all retail businesses with the exception of restaurants. Retailers are also required to charge ten cents for each paper bag, which then can then use to offset the cost of switching from plastic to paper. Exempt from the ban are plastic bags used for meat, fish, wet items, and produce as well as pharmacy items and greeting cards.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Municipalities are making decisions about plastic bag bans based on the percentage of items recycled, the cost of processing, and the expect return on selling recycled materials. If your community isn’t doing all it can to recycle, you may find yourself without!

Waste Recycling Solution for HDPE

Posted on July 16, 2012

Denton Plastics in Portland, Oregon will be the second major recycler of plastics in the United States to invest in a wash line to recycle and process high density polyethylene (HDPE).

The investment, which includes grinding and washing equipment and a 40,000-square-foot building space, is expected to cost between four and five million dollars. The new infrastructure will allow Denton to handle bulky rigids such as crates, buckets, carts, baskets, lawn furniture, and toys. The launch is schedule for spring 2013 and will take 18 months to reach maximum operation.

Currently, the other large-scale HDPE wash line in the U.S. is at KW Plastics in Troy, Alabama which has the capacity to recycle between 10 and 12 million pounds of HDPE monthly.

Denton is in negotiations with material recovery facilities and grocery chains for sourcing a steady stream of HDPE containers. This opportunity presents a major cost savings for supermarkets who can now recycle their back-room containers instead of paying for waste disposal and landfill costs. It is estimated at over 354 millions pounds of HDPE materials are used annually at supermarket chains in bakery, seafood, and prepared food departments.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business uses HDPE plastics, now is the time to look into recycling opportunities. You’ll save money by switching from waste disposal to waste recycling!

Chicago Saves Money By Waste Recycling

Posted on July 13, 2012

The city of Chicago, which is one of the largest waste disposal operations in the United States is beginning a complete re-design of garbage collection to include increased recycling and cost savings.

The switch from ward-based collection methods which are politically controlled to a natural grid system based on streets and geography will improve all aspects of collection and productivity while making the system more financially efficient. The new system has already been enacted select areas on the north side of the city and it is expected that additional neighborhoods will be added later this summer.

City officials hope that the switch to waste collection methods will result in savings of $25 to $30 million dollars for taxpayers while improving garbage collection for all residents.

The city has also promised that it will expand recycling services under the new grid system as currently a less than half of the 600,000 household have access to recycling. However, with garbage collection changes being put in place, it is expected that by 2013 all residents will have recycling available to them.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re a large city like Chicago or a small town, it pays to revisit your waste collection strategy and see if there’s room for improvement. Greater savings and increased waste recycling services can help to make your municipality a better place to live.

GreenCheck Your Real Estate Renovations

Posted on July 12, 2012

Are you interested in making sure that your renovations and updates to commercial and industrial real estate property meet current guidelines and follow best practice? Take a look at GreenChecks from the Environmental Protection Agency. This checklist serves as a guide for “greening” real estate projects and tracking compliance with federal requirements. While designed for federally used buildings, the guide can be used by any business looking to improve the environmental impact of their building. The list addresses everything from new construction to renovation of existing structures.

Topics include waste management, energy consumption, sustainable materials, use of renewable energy, water consumption and storm-water management, and indoor air quality. Each topic provides suggestions for meeting the federal environmental requirements for sustainability.

While the GreenCheck system was created in 2007 it is updated annually to ensure that the latest regulations and innovations are represented. It is a system that is continually revised so as to provide building managers and contractors the best-practices needed for creating and maintaining environmentally friendly commercial buildings.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: While the GreenCheck program applies to federally owned and operated buildings, there’s something that everyone can learn, and maybe even apply, from this checklist. Every step to make your building more “green” can also help to save you “green”!

Waste Disposal for Natural Disasters

Posted on July 11, 2012

It pays to be prepared! Solid waste experts agree, it’s essential to have a plan in place to handle waste disposal long before a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, or flooding hits your area. Once a natural disaster has hit, a municipality goes into crisis mode and it’s almost impossible to plan effectively of how to deal with the resulting waste and devastation. Not having a viable course of action for disaster preparation is a disservice to members of your community as it greatly slows the process of rebuilding and recovery after the disaster has passed.

While disaster planning is essential, patience also is necessary. Municipalities should allow for three to four days before entering the area with heavy equipment designed to clear debris. Residents and business owners need time to salvage belongings from structurally sounds homes and buildings before demolition and to psychologically process what has occurred – and what is about to happen.

However, waiting too long can also have adverse effects. For example, fuel tank leaks at service stations pose a dangerous situation and must be immediately addressed. In addition, vehicles and debris must be cleared from the road to allow for emergency services and medical assistance.

It’s also important to remember that different kinds of natural disasters result in different debris issues. A tornado results in different waste management problems than a flood. The first results in immediate waste disposal needs while the other will occur when people return to their homes and start clearing out the damage. Being prepared for both is essential.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Every region of the United States is prone to different natural disasters – whether it be hurricanes, tornado, flooding, or heavy snowfall. It pays to have a plan in place for proper waste disposal before bad weather hits.

Waste Recycling of Polystyrene

Posted on July 10, 2012

The Houston, Texas Solid Waste Management Department will begin offering residents the opportunity to recycle clean, No. 6 polystyrene foam at their facility due to the purchase of a specialized foam compactor and densifer designed for the material. The recycled foam will then be sold to companies manufacturing recycled products from polystyrene. This new recycling initiative is the first of its kind in the eastern Texas area and it is expected that the sale of the compacted foam will be an additional revenue stream for the municipality.

The compactor was donated to the city by Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc. (TPRI) and will be housed at the Westpark Recycling Center. Over 11,000 reidents current deliver recycling to this facility. TPRI is an American polystyrene manufacturer based in Houston.

Polystyrene foam has long been used in packing materials as it’s comprised of 98% air. However, the quality that makes it ideal for shipping and packaging also makes it difficult to transport resulting in landfill disposal. The new compactor will make the recycling of the foam easier to transport and sell.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether your’re a manufacturer or a local government, it pays to think of waste recycling and disposal solutions that can both improve your reputation while improving the environment!

Food Waste Recycling and Recovery Challenge

Posted on July 9, 2012

Do you know how much food and money your business is throwing away? The Food Recovery Challenge, launched by Waste Wise and the Environmental Protection Agency has been created to assist businesses in reducing as much of food waste as possible and therefore saving money, helping their community, and reducing negative impacts on the environment.

Why should your business get involved in food waste reduction, recycling, and recovery? In 2010, food waste generation was approximately 35 million tons and of that total, 97% was disposed of in landfills or incinerators. Why is this such an environmentally destructive problem? When excess food is send to a landfill, the scraps decompose and turn into methane — an extremely destructive greenhouse gas. Unfortunately, a great amount of this “food waste” is not garbage at all, but untouched, safe food and produce that could feed hungry and disadvantaged citizens in the community. It is estimated that a little over 14% of households are unable to provide sufficient food. Consumption-grade food that is no longer desired by a business could be provided to those in need through charitable organizations, non-profit community groups, and houses of worship. Food scraps that are not fit for consumption can be composted and reused as rich fertilizer and soil amendment. Participating in the Food Recovery Challenge will give your business the tools and resources it needs to get started on a program to reduce food waste, donate usable food, and recycle or compost food scraps.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Food waste recycling can improve your businesses bottom line through reduced waste disposal fees and increase your standing in the community by helping those less fortunate.

Waste Recycling of Aseptic Cartons

Posted on July 6, 2012

A new waste recycling innovation is starting this month in Des Moines, Iowa. In a collaborative effort between schools, the residential Metro Waste Authority, and a local recycled goods manufacturer, aseptic cartons can now be placed in the recycling bin.

This change from waste disposal to recycling will divert close to 375 tons of milk and juice box waste from landfills annually.

Greenstar Recycling, which handles recycling for Des Moines, is utilizing an infrared machine with the ability to identify the slick coating that milk and juice cartons contain. These cartons will then be purchased by ReWall Co., a local company which manufactures building materials from polyethylene-coated cartons and cups.

Des Moines is a part of a single-stream waste recycling system, which means all recyclable materials are co-mingled and then sorted at designated facilities. It is uncertain if this new effort will result in job creation at this time, but it is expected that up to three tons of cartons will pass through the facility each month. City officials are clear that the new recycling stream for aseptic containers would not have happened without ReWall’s market demand and the technology advances available through Greenstar.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Is waste recycling of aseptic cartons available in your area? If not, this could be a great opportunity to expand business while helping to divert garbage from landfills!

Waste Materials Trading Website

Posted on July 5, 2012

A new auction-style website designed to connect buyers and sellers of waste materials has launched online as part of the European Pathway to Zero Waste.

Based in the United Kingdom, the Waste Producer Exchange the site allows sellers to post information and photos of waste materials available for purchase or bidding. This new source for buying and selling of waste recycling materials website has generated over 150 commercial accounts since launching earlier this year.

The goal of Waste Producer Exchange is to keep recyclable materials our of landfills and provide an additional revenue stream for waste collectors. Currently, the site accepts listings for plastics, metals, textiles, leather, rubber, electronics, wood, glass, food waste, oil, cardboard, batteries, and minerals.

The system is comparable to eBay, where recyclable materials are offered on the site, and the bidding process begins. Once a price for the materials is agreed upon the payment is handled directly. By keeping the buying and selling process simple, it is easier for sellers to list their materials and buyers and manufacturers to find materials at a price within their budget.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When it comes to waste recycling and waste disposal, innovation is the key. What can your business do to turn waste into dollars?

Waste Recycling for Apartments

Posted on July 4, 2012

The new law that went into effect on July 1 in the state of California now requires all apartment buildings, commercial businesses, and institutions to implement recycling programs.

Signed by California Governor Jerry Brown in October of 2011, the law requires all apartment buildings with five units or more to provide recycling services to tenants as well as businesses generating more than four cubic yards of solid waste weekly.

The new law also established a deadline for reducing the amount of solid waste with overall goals of recycling or composting 75% of all waste by the year 2020.

California now joins the state of Florida with establishing the country’s most aggressive recycling, composting, and waste reduction goals.

California has long been a national leader in waste recycling and over the last twenty years has created over 125,000 jobs in this employment sector.

Additionally, California will provide financial incentives for businesses who process and manufacture recycled plastic. California currently collects over 500 million pounds of recyclable plastic containers yearly but much of that has been historically shipped oversees for processing. The new funding will allow for the creation of jobs and reduce the need to transport the waste recyclables outside of the United States.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: While California and Florida may be the leaders in waste recycling, there’s work that all states can do to improve recycling, help to save our environment, and create green jobs!

Managing Coastal Waste from Natural Disasters

Posted on July 3, 2012

For municipalities in the coastal region the West Coast, debris from the tsunami of 2011 is just starting to reach the shoreline. This is posing a significant waste management issue at a time when the influx of summer vacationers and tourists present increased challenges for garbage removal and environmental safety. Government leaders from the West Coast and Hawaii say that this influx of waste from Japan will continue to arrive on shorelines for the next decade.

Due to the high volume of waste and cost associated with waste removal and recycling, officials are determining the best course of action. Creative solutions are clearly needed as the cleanup budget associated with this increase in coastal garbage will need to rise in order to keep beaches and harbors from being polluted.

While not all the 8 millions tons debris that entered the waters off of Japan during the tsunami will reach the coast of United States, even a fraction will cause environmental concerns and public safety hazards.

While very large pieces of debris, like the fishing dock that recently washed up on the shore in Oregon, should be logged with the Japanese embassy, smaller debris like styrofoam, plastic, and fishing nets, will need to be handled locally.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Natural disasters are never a welcome event but it pays to think ahead be aware of the outcomes. Preserving our coastlines is important for both recreation and commerce!

Waste Recycling for School Cafeterias

Posted on July 2, 2012

Starting in early 2012, eight New York City public schools were able to reduce over 400 pounds of food waste each school day, cutting the amount of cafeteria garbage being sent to landfills by over 85%.

This innovative program was created by launching a partnership between the participating schools and the parents association. For each cafeteria meal served, volunteers and cafeteria staff separated food waste including meat and dairy as well as compostable food service trays made from sugar cane. Prior to the program’s launch, styrofoam trays were utilized for serving food, thus creating more garbage.

Based on the success of the program and the waste disposal savings experienced by the participating public schools, it is expected that over 20 schools will launch similar programs for the following new school year. Switching from styrofoam to recycable food trays reduces demand on landfills, and composting as much food waste as possible reduces waste disposal costs making it a winning combination for both the school system and the sanitation department.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you operate a cafeteria at a school, hospital, care facility, or corporate headquarters you can always find “waste” in your waste! Making simple changes can help to save the environment and your operating budget!




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