Landfills are often thought of in negative terms by the
general public but some forward-thinking managers at landfills
are looking to change how their neighbors and community members
Common issues such as control of odor, noise, proper visual
screening and storm water are done not only to be a good
neighbor but also to avoid financial penalties from local,
state, or federal governments. All of these factors are highly
regulated and leave landfills little room for deviation from the
However, taking a few extra steps to reach out to the
community can reap additional benefits and goodwill. The R-Board
Landfill in Stafford County, Virginia, recently opened its
facilities to host free composting classes to interested members
of the community it serves. Landfill administrators estimate
that the eight hundred graduates from the composting program who
have diverted over one hundred tons of organic waste material.
In addition to the twice yearly composting classes, the landfill
also provides tours to anyone interested in learning more about
facility operations. The tours have become a popular activity
for scouting groups, science classes and school groups, and
individuals wanting to understand how waste management and
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: How well
are you communicating to your clients about what happens to
their material waste? Making an extra effort to explain and show
your process to the public can change perceptions and possible
help to bring you additional business!
A major overhaul in waste collection and recycling practices
is happening in Los Angeles, California, the country’s second
The city council recently voted to divide the city into
eleven districts with a private hauler responsible for each
area. Currently, the city is responsible for waste and recycling
collection for single-family homes only. Private companies
handle collection for commercial and multifamily properties. The
measure passed easily in favor of the initiative by a vote of
11-3. Those against the measure cited costs and fairness in
contract negotiation for smaller businesses as concerns.
City officials, including those from the division of
sanitation, supported the measure as a way to reduce the number
of trucks needed, help preserve the condition of roads, control
for costs, and to collect recycling in a more efficient way. Los
Angeles has a zero waste goal which is to be attained by 2025.
The city currently has a recycling rate of sixty-five percent
but commercial recycling collects over seventy-five percent.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: More and
more municipalities are establishing zero waste goals which
means opportunities exists for those in the waste and recycling
businesses. What are you doing to fully take advantage of the
importance of “going green”?
In a bold and progressive move, Prince George’s County in
Maryland is strongly considering increasing the county’s
recycling goals and to accomplish such, may decide to legalize
mandatory recycling for all residents in order to attain the
Voting will happen soon for the County Council to determine
if there is sufficient support for establishing a countywide
material waste recycling goal of forty five percent by 2015,
with incremental increases to reaching a recycling goal of fifty
five percent by 2018 and sixty percent by 2020. These would be
some of the most aggressive recycle rates in the country which
currently has an average recycling rate close to thirty five
If the new policies pass the vote, property owners of
condominiums, apartments, commercial buildings, and industrial
properties must make recycling services available to tenants no
later than 2014. Under the current rules, the recycling
responsibility is placed on residential homeowners with
recycling being an optional service that non-residential owner
may choose to provide.
Composting is also included in the new plan, which would be
piloted in 2014 then expanded throughout the county in 2015.
Prince George’s recycling rate for 2011 was forty percent and
is considered above Maryland’s required recycling minimum.
However, the neighboring county of Montgomery has a recycling
rate of forty seven percent and citizens have requested that
more work be done to have their county perform at similar
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Recycling
is everyone’s responsibility whether you own a commercial
building or home or simply choose to rent a retail space or
apartment. What is your local government doing to make sure
recycling services are available to all?
Have you ever wondered if the waste materials you put out for
curbside pick up are really recycled? Do you think about ways
you could recycle more?
The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA), which
represents America’s privately owned solid waste and recycling
companies, has noted that as more people and communities
participate in recycling programs, confusion has grown about how
single stream recycling —in which all materials eligible for
recycling are co-mingled in one bin—works, and if recycling even
happens at all.
In a single stream recycling facility, waste materials such
as jars, cans, paper, cardboard, and plastics are sorted by both
high-tech machinery and employees who oversee the process. The
use of technology makes recycling much easier and faster and
with a greater degree of accuracy.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest report shows
that the U.S. recycles or composts thirty four percent of the
municipal solid waste generated. Single stream recycling,
curbside pickup, and technology developments for sorting and
classifying have helped to keep that percentage inching up year
However, there is always room for improvement. There are
still many communities where curbside recycling isn’t offered.
Residents in those locations need to petition their officials to
stress the importance of making recycling readily available to
all members. In addition, those living in apartment buildings or
businesses in commercial spaces may find that recycling services
are not available to them. In those cases, tenants should
discuss their solid waste services with building owners and make
clear that recycling opportunities are a required feature.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Innovations
like single stream recycling make it easier and more convenient
for everyone to participate. What are things you can do at work
or home to maximize the amount you recycle? When you go green
you’ll be saving green!
With landfill space being in short supply, more and more
municipalities are increasing their efforts to boost the
recycling rates in their communities. Here are a few examples of
recent success stories:
- Virginia’s recycling rate is now at close to forty-four
percent with four million tons of materials either recycled
or reused annually. This amount is up considerable from 2005
when the state’s recycling rate was a little over thirty-two
percent. The community of Vinton has the highest recycling
rate in the state, with over sixty-six percent being
diverted from landfills. The materials recycled include
paper, plastic, metals, glass, yard waste, waste tires and
- The state of Oregon recovered close to two and a half
million tons or fifty-two percent of its waste generated in
2011. The per capita annual disposal rate decreased almost
four percent to twelve hundred pounds per person. These are
the best reported numbers since Oregon began reporting on
waste disposal and recycling in 1992. Of all the waste
materials recovered, sixty-five percent was recycled,
nineteen percent composted and sixteen percent incinerated.
- Miami-Dade County, one of the largest in the state of
Florida, reported an increase in its curbside recycling
program, collecting almost sixty-three thousand tons of
recyclable materials. This is the fourth straight year that
the county has had an increase in recycling amounts.
Residents in the county recycle paper, metal food and
beverage containers, cardboard, narrow-neck plastic bottles
with their caps and lids, milk and juice cartons, and glass
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Community
recycling is on the rise because not only does it help to save
the environment, but it also helps to save taxpayers money! What
is your municipality doing to promote recycling of material
This new product niche for recycling waste materials might be
hard to imagine, but it’s true! The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco
Company, a New Mexico-based subsidiary of Reynolds American
Inc., the United State’s second-largest cigarette manufacturer,
is forming a partnership with TerraCycle Inc. to recycle used
cigarette butts into a material used in the manufacturing of
railroad ties, park benches, and shipping pallets.
The Cigarette Waste Brigade, which is publicized through
TerraCycle’s website, brings together individuals and
trash-battling civic groups to spread the word about the
importance of saving and collecting used cigarette butts. Groups
can then send them collected materials to the company through a
prepaid shipping envelope. According to the non-profit group,
Keep America Beautiful, cigarette butts make up close to forty
percent of all litter on our nation’s roads and highways.
The incentive for collection is that for every pound of
cigarette butts sent to TerraCycle, the sender will receive
credits that can be exchanged for a variety of charitable gifts,
or can be used to make a donation to a charity of their choice.
TerraCycle will recycle the cigarette filters and used them
to create pellets that can be used in creating a wide variety of
products. It took close to two years for the company to develop
and refine the process to recycle the cigarette filters, which
are made of with a mixture of paper, ash, tobacco, and a
cellulose acetate filter.
You to Remember: Cigarette smoking is a habit shared by
many Americans but it only took one company to come up with a
way to turn used cigarette butts into a recycled material that
can be sold to manufacturers
Is it possible for a large factory to operate without
those big, ugly trash dumpsters outside, overflowing with
waste materials destined for the community landfill?
Haworth Inc., one of the largest manufacturing plants in
western Michigan, is filled with employees from the
boardroom to the factory floor who are believers in the
concept of zero waste to landfill.
Inside the facility, strategically placed receptacles are
on the factory floor, each with materials printed on the
side such as rubber, steel, metal, drywall, plastic, and
The plant recycled fifty three million pounds of thirty
different types of material last year. In the case of waste
recycling of drywall and cardboard, Haworth moved from
paying for designated landfill space to earning revenue from
their recycled materials. As a result the company saved over
one million dollars last year. Officials say the success was
a result of shifting focus from lean manufacturing to green
manufacturing with an emphasis on creating zero waste.
The company credits senior management support and
investment in the zero waste to landfill strategy as a
contributing factor for success. Representatives of Haworth
are now involved with education and training of other
manufacturing firms who are interested in implementing the
same strategies for their business.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Why pay
thousands of dollars every month in landfill and waste
disposal fees when its possible to move in the direction of
zero waste through materials waste recycling? If Haworth did
it, so can you!
Select neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Utah will start
offering waste recycling for glass as part of the regular
curbside collection later this Winter, and the city hope to
expand the offering to all residences throughout the city by
Even before the program began, advance communication and
press resulted in over twelve hundred residential customers
signing up to participate. The new recycling program is expected
to divert hundreds of tons of waste glass – bottles, jars, and
other objects – from the city’s landfill.
Before launching the new curbside recycling collection
program, residents who wanted to recycle their waste glass had
to take the material to one of twenty specially marked recycling
bins located throughout the city. While some residents did
participate in that effort, the total collection of waste glass
materials was one thousand seven hundred tons in 2011. With the
curbside glass recycling initiative, that number is expected to
double within the first year.
All curbside recycling residences will be provided with a
35-gallon bin designed for monthly collection. The service will
cost $6 each month and will be added to residents’ water bills.
You to Remember: Is your community doing all it can to
fully recycle and re-sell waste materials? Every object that
ends up in a landfill is costing citizens money so turn your
trash into cash with recycling!
Wondering where growth is happening in the green products
market? The packaging market for green materials was worth
nearly one hundred and ten billion dollars in 2011 and is
expected to reach one hundred and eighty billion by 2018.
Europe is leading the world market in green packaging,
due to the high levels of regulations throughout the
European Union and less available space for landfills. North
American businesses are in second place but still
significantly below their counterparts across the Atlantic.
The surprise may come from green packaging businesses in the
Asia Pacific region as countries such as China, India, and
Indonesia are expected to experience the fastest growth in
the adoption of green packaging in the upcoming years.
A few of the major factors moving individual and business
consumers to embrace and demand green packaging include a
growing public awareness about energy consumption, carbon
emissions, and waste recycling and reduction goals designed
to save on waste disposal costs while helping to protect the
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your
business is in waste materials recycling or green packaging,
there’s plenty of opportunities to expand in the global
market. What are you doing to make some “green” while
helping to preserve the environment?
Thinking about the easy money to be made handling
“questionable” scrap metal? Are you under the erroneous
impression that recyclable materials are easy to
misappropriate for your financial gain? Concerned about the
trustworthiness of your employees? In recent weeks, six
individuals from Tennessee were arrested and charged for
their participation in an intricate plan of stealing
truck-loads of waste scrap metal materials worth close to
two million dollars. The illegal activity had been gradually
taking place over a two year time period.
Each of the six people involved were charged with
property theft in excess of two hundred and fifty dollars
which is consider a class A felony and if convicted, carries
a sentence of fifteen to twenty five years in jail.
It is estimated that cargo theft crimes result in a loss
of up to thirty billion dollars each year for businesses and
that close to eighty percent are considered “inside jobs.”
In this case, the crime was started by employees of a
trucking company which was responsible for hauling scrap
metal material waste throughout the state. Through a scheme
that involved paying off various security guards and
drivers, the materials were then sold “under the table” to
another scrap metal yard which promised not to document the
transaction. The metal scrap was then hauled to another
facility in Alabama and sold for cash which was shared by
all the participants.
Wants You to Remember: There’s money to be made in
the waste recycling of scrap metal but only if you do it
above-board and adhering to the law. Be smart and protect
both yourself, your business, and employees from the dangers
The city of Denver, Colorado will be offering a new home to
political yard signs in the weeks following the November 6th
presidential and local elections.
A regionally based independent business, Alpine Waste &
Recycling is once again offering its annual election day Yard
Sign Recycling Campaign and will make available to residents
special containers in which to waste recycle no longer wanted
political placards, including both window and yard signs.
The idea to establish a special program for recycling the
materials in political yard signs began in 2007 by Alpine’s
recycling unit and has been offered every year since. The
majority of political signs are constructed from HDPE plastic or
corrugated plastic and have demand in the recycling and re-sale
After municipalities collect the yard signs through their
standard recycling collection, they are transported to Alpine’s
recycling facility and prepared for plastics processing.
Ultimately the former political signs will be turned into
plastic pellets. The pellets are then used in the manufacturing
of various consumer items, such as trash cans, toys, lawn
chairs, and other solid plastic goods.
You to Remember: Election Day happens every year so
what is your community’s plan for waste recycling the materials
in political signs? If you’re not recycling and reusing, then
you’re taking up valuable and costly space in your local
In India, the Center for Plastics in the Environment has
begun advocating for the use of plastic materials waste to be
utilized in the construction of asphalt roads. A pilot study has
been successfully completed on a few roads which were paved
using a combination of waste plastic with bitumen. The true test
of the quality and durability of the new hybrid material was how
it upheld during the country’s monsoon season which brings
substantial rains and flooding. All test roads performed above
expectations and the decision was reached that all municipal
roads would be built and repaired using the new formulation.
It is expected that this new, waste plastic paving material
will be added in the States Public Works Department approved
materials list, so that all businesses looking to be considered
for paving and repair work will be aware of it.
It is anticipated that the new paving material will save
money as well as approximately fifteen percent of the bitumen
normally needed for the asphalt will be replaced by the waste
materials collected from thin polyethylene and polypropylene
food carryout bags that are infrequently recycled and have low
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Are you in
the business of paving roads, driveways, or office parking lots?
When was the last time you took at look at the materials used in
your asphalt? You might be able to save some green by using
waste recycled plastics!
NextLife Enterprise, a resin manufacturer and plastics
recycler is contributing to jobs growth and green-friendly
economic development by opening a new recycling facility in
Rogers, Arkansas that will expand the company’s reach beyond
the recycling of plastic material waste. The new plant
currently has three sorting, shredding and baling lines and
employs seventy people.
The facility will also process metal, aluminum,
corrugated cardboard, and glass. Only twenty-five percent of
the waste material recycled will be plastics, but that total
amount is expected to be close to sixty millions pounds
annually. Right now, the new plant is handling roughly one
million pounds of waste material per week, but full
production levels are expected for next year.
The new facility and increased reach of the materials
recycled and recovered was something NextLife clients and
consumers had been asking for. To meet customer needs,
partnerships have been formed to handle special recycling
concerns such as child safety seats and household
appliances. The company goal for the new plant is to be a
full-service material waste to recovery solution that
handles each step of the recycling and reuse process for
Wants You to Remember: As more business and
consumers embrace material waste recycling, more economic
growth and job opportunities are created. What can your
business do to expand in this in-demand field?
In just a few years it is expected that the average
U.S. citizen will own or have access to at least seven
computerized electronic devices. These range from cell
phones, tablet and handheld computers, GPS devices, as
well as traditional desktop and laptop computers. From a
business standpoint, most companies are concerned about
protecting data while the technology is being used but
what happens when it’s time for employees to upgrade
their machines? All businesses, large and small, need to
have a plan that goes beyond wiping the device of
personal and corporate data. A solid plan must also
include the safe disposal of the equipment to ensure
that donations are properly handled and more
importantly, that electronics stay out of the
Working with an EPA certified electronics waste
recycler will help your business to ensure that all data
is removed from obsolete machines and that your
equipment doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Offering
your employees a e-waste recycling day to collect old
equipment is a great way to make sure risks are reduced
while generating awareness in the importance of
Most certified recyclers will be able to provide an
estimated environmental savings that is generated as a
result of the electronics collected. Donating outdated
but still functioning equipment to a reputable charity
can also help to gain your business positive publicity
and good-will. Taking care to address the full
life-cycle of your electronic equipment can be a win-win
situation for all involved.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember:
Promote waste recycling in your workplace by offering
your employees a convenient, economical, and safe way to
retire their outdated equipment. It will help to keep
the environment, and your data, safe and secure!
Throughout the Northeast, New York City metro area, and
Mid-Atlantic region, Hurricane Sandy, also called
“Frankenstorm” for its Halloween appearance is creating
wide-spread and chronic problems for municipalities’ solid
waste collection and waste recycling efforts.
The appearance of a winter snow storm on the heels of the
hurricane is certain to continue to impact many communities
for at least another week as solid waste and recycling
services try to reach homes and businesses through the
on-going clean-up and power restoration efforts.
While many communities and waste recycling companies have
established plans and policies for handling storm conditions
and natural disasters, the strength of Hurricane Sandy and
level of destruction caught many by surprise. In coastal New
Jersey, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm, the
Jersey City Incinerator Authority has placed all garbage and
recycling collection on hold until further notice. Similar
reductions or temporary eliminations of service have also
occurred in Ocean City, Maryland and the New York City metro
Wants You to Remember: Does your business have an
emergency plan for material waste disposal and recycling for
when a natural disaster hits? Simply letting garbage pile-up
outside a dumpster while waiting for return of service isn’t
always in your business’ best interest. What can you do to
reduce your waste output while service is interrupted?
Faerch Plast, a specialized packaging company, is in the
process of developing a new cPET plastic that can be
identified and separated in a waste stream of mixed plastics
by the use of infrared technology. Currently, infrared
cameras can identify the types of plastics but only when the
container is not black. Dark, opaque plastic doesn’t allow
light to shine through and thus cannot be detected.
This new formulation of cPET contains a different pigment
composition which allows some infrared light to be detected
by the camera regardless of the color of the container. The
company is currently testing the material in the United
Kingdom in the manufacturing of meal trays used in
cafeterias and for supermarket prepared foods. Stakeholders
in the food service and restaurant industries utilizing the
trays are excited about the possibility of reducing garbage
disposal costs due to the re-use of the cPET material for up
to three to four times before the quality degrades.
Faerch Plast believes it can manufacture the materials
and still maintain pricing that is neutral to other meal
tray options that require waste disposal instead of being
eligible for waste recycling.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember:
Research and development is always happening in the world of
plastics. When was the last time your business priced
options for switching to a green-friendly, recyclable
version of a routinely ordered supply? If you found it too
expensive before, you may want to check back regularly!
The Hilton Worldwide Hotel Chain recently announced that
it is launching a new material waste recycling program for
mattresses when new beds and box springs are installed at
The company has said that at on average, eighty five
percent of the materials used in the manufacturing of the
mattresses and box springs will be recycled and therefore
diverted from landfills. The steel springs will be removed
and sold as metal scrap for use in tools, construction
materials, and automotive parts. Wood will be recycled for
use in creating flooring, particle board for shelves and
pressed wood furniture. The cotton material will be
re-purposed to create new automobile oil filters and carpet
The hotel chain, on average, purchases more than twenty
five thousand mattresses per year for its United States
locations. The new recycling program will help owners and
managers to reduce material waste disposal fees while
showing a commitment to environmentally sustainable
Hilton is partnering with the DH Hospitality Group which
has been contracted to facility all aspects of the mattress
recycling program and will ensure that recycling centers are
recycling the components and not engaged in reselling or
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Many
businesses, like Hilton Hotels, need to constantly update
and refresh stock or materials to meet their customers
expectations. What do you routinely throw in the dumpster
that has monetary value on the reuse or recycling market?
You might be surprised by what you’ll find!
The citizens of Queen Creek, Arizona understand the value
of recycling clothes and the importance of keeping no longer
wanted textiles out of the local landfill.
Earlier this Fall, the town decided to start a new waste
recycling pilot program to encourage and increase textile
material curbside recycling. The new initiative will allow
the seven thousand residents of Queens Creek to recycle
textiles such as clothing, shoes, towels, sheets, and
blankets into a designated blue bag that would be placed in
a bin with other recycling for regular pick-up. The textiles
can be in any condition – even those that are ripped or
soiled are acceptable.
The collected textile waste is then shipped to United
Fibers an regional company that uses the fiber to make
insulation. The pilot program is expected to run for four
months and during that time monthly reporting will be
available to gauge the effectiveness and participation rates
of the recycling. For every pound of waste textiles
collected the local Boys and Girls Club will receive ten
cents. There is no additional fees imposed on the residents
for the textile collection.
Wants You to Remember: Is there a business in your
community that could use your trash to make new products?
Unique waste recycling partnerships like this one in Queens
Creek can help to reduce landfill waste with bringing in
funds for local services or non-profits!
Could the days of disposal fees to dispose of used and
waste automotive tires soon be a thing of the past?
Bridgestone Corporation recently announced that it has
developed a tire created with one hundred percent
sustainable materials. This advancement is part of the
manufacturer’s commitment to fully adopting sustainable
materials usage by 2050. The new tire was shown to the
public and industry representatives at the Paris Motor Show
held earlier this fall.
The tire is manufactured from natural rubber originating
in the hevea trees and plant fibers. in addition to
synthetic rubber and chemical agents that are derived from
vegetable fats and oils as well as biomass.
The next step for Bridgestone is to develop the
production technology needed for mass production. The
company is hoping for a consumer launch in 2020. Bridgestone
acknowledges that moving to sustainable materials will allow
the company to continue production far further into the
future than otherwise.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Science
and technology is progressing every day and objects like
tires that were once thought impossible to make “green” are
now rolling in that direction. Are you staying up-to-date in
waste recycling and sustainability in your business sector?
You could be losing “green” every year if you don’t!