The Past, Present and Future of Recycling


The Past – We’ve Come a Long Way!

Past

Recycling has come a long way over the past few decades – in the US there wasn’t a single recycling program in place until 1973 (in The Hidden Past of Recycling you’ll read that the concept of recycling was widely used in the past, however only privately or individually). Now, there are over 8,000 programs in operation. The first ever curbside recycling program in Canada began in 1973, the program initially served 80,000 homes in the Toronto area and eventually curbside programs and recycling centers were all over the country.

While we’ve come a long way since the explosion of the environmental movement in the 1970s, our recycling programs still have a long way to go as a collective group. Keep reading and you’ll see how we currently reduce our waste today and how we can improve our recycling habits in the future.

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The Present – Strategies for Zero Waste

Recycling Blog

Currently the US recycles about one third of the municipal trash (waste generated in homes, schools and non-industrial businesses) and Canada recycles about 21 percent of what would otherwise end up in the solid waste stream. Here are some strategies you can do today that will immediately increase how much you recycle:

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Closing the Recycling Loop

Separating your trash from your recyclables is only one step in the recycling loop – in order to close the gap, manufacturers need to start making more products out of recycled material and consumers need to focus on buying these products. Creating merchandise from scratch is often very harsh and damaging to the environment, the more life that we can get out of a product made from post-consumer recycled content, the better!

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Compost, Compost, Compost!

The amount of organic waste that ends up in landfill or burned in an incinerator is a little alarming – 60 percent of household waste in the US is compostable but only 8 percent of Americans compost. Canada has done a fairly good job on the composting front – as of 2011, over half of Canadian households (61%) had participated in some form of composting. If you have a green thumb, composting is the way to go – you’ll never have a better looking garden in the summer!

And if you’re an enthusiastic early adapter to up-and-coming composting trends, be sure to take a look at The Humanure System, which you can guess from the name, involves recycling your poop—and no, it’s obviously not for everyone…

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Keep the Garbage Bucket as Empty as Possible

Recycling and composting are great ways to keep what’s going in the garbage to a minimum, but there are more ways to stem the garbage cans’ burly appetite. Pre-Cycling is a great way to reduce how much trash your house is sending to the curb – buying in bulk to reduce packaging, using reusable bags, having a refillable water bottle or coffee mug – these are just a few examples of how you can pre-cycle..

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The Future – Strategies to Boost Recycling Rates

Future

While recycling has increased in North America, the amount of trash produced has increased as well. The amount of material recycled today equals the total amount of trash produced in 1960. While recycling programs are a continuing success, experts say in future we should focus on limiting the amount of trash we produce to begin with, doing so will help lower the amount of greenhouse gasses being released into the air.

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Updated and Expended Bottle Bills

Having a bottle bill in place is a very effective way to get people recycling. A bottle bill (or container deposit law), requires a refundable deposit on beverage containers ensuring they are returned for recycling. Ideally, every state should have a container deposit law, but unfortunately only 10 states have a bottle bill in place – many of which don’t include plastic bottles. If more states could enact and expand these laws, the amount of plastics ending up in landfills would drop drastically.

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Manage Electronic Waste

Technology is always changing, and with the explosion of smartphones, tablets and laptops over the past decade, it has meant an increase in the amount of electronic waste that is being produced. In 2011, the US generated 3.41 million tons of e-waste, of which only 850,000 tons were recycled – the rest ended up in landfills or incinerators, the toxic chemicals that electronic components are made from end up seeping into our soil or up in the atmosphere. Businesses that sell electronics are beginning to take responsibility for the amount of e-waste produced, offering trade in programs allowing them to recycle unwanted gadgets – some even give you some money back!

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Stop Using Plastic Bags

This ties back to pre-cycling, but the numbers on how much plastic bags are thrown out versus how many are recycled warrant its own section – 380 billion plastic bags are used a year in the US alone and less than 5 percent are recycled! Plastic made with PET (polyethylene terephthalate, in case you were wondering why we needed an acronym for it) do not biodegrade, they do break down in UV light (photo-degradation), but that can take 10-100 years. That’s if exposed to sunlight, and since most garbage is buried at a landfill, the whole process takes even longer.

Currently, less than 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled each year. Recycling one ton of plastic bags costs $4,000—the recycled product can then be sold for only $32. We don’t claim to be the best mathematicians in the world, but we’re fairly confident we wouldn’t want to enter into the business of recycling plastic bags for profit.

Efforts are being done all over to get people to ditch the plastic bags, supermarkets offer reusable cloth bags and now charge you for plastic bags, and San Francisco has even flat out banned the distribution of plastic bags in the city. Fingers crossed that these measures are the beginning of the end of the dreaded plastic bag.

This should most certainly be enough information to get your started on your way to recycling stardom. Stay tuned and we’ll fill you in on the sensible, not-so-sensible and downright strange recycling trends that you’ll start to see in the coming years—including, of course, recycling your #1’s and 2’s.

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Matt Bradbury

Written by Matt Bradbury – Sustainability Research Analyst

Information provided to you by WIH Resource Group, Inc

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For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

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Missouri $120 Million Animal Waste-to-Energy Operation to Start in 2016


A $120 million animal waste-to-energy (WTE) operation in Missouri is under way and should begin operations by mid-2016.

utah013-digesters

St. Louis-based Roeslein Alternative Energy is nearly 50-percent through Phase One of the project, which will generate renewable natural gas (RNG), from several of food producer Smithfield Foods Inc.’s Missouri farms, according to a news release. Phase One involves the installation of impermeable covers and flare systems on the 88 existing manure lagoons at Smithfield Foods large hog finishing farms in northern Missouri. The developments were disclosed at Ruckman Farm, is one of nine Smithfield Foods Missouri hog production facilities involved in the project. That is one of the largest concentrations of finishing hogs in the Midwest. Smithfield Foods in based in Smithfield, Va.

The project will produce about 2.2 billion cubic feet of pipeline-quality RNG, or the equivalent of 17 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

“The technology we have developed is ready to be deployed commercially in a project that makes both economic sense and environmental sense,” said Rudi Roeslein, founder and president of Roeslein. “This is not just about converting the manure from almost two million pigs into renewable energy. It’s about taking environmental sustainability to a new level.”

The project began in 2014 and remains on schedule. Phase Two involves fabricating and installing technology to purify the biogas captured by the impermeable covers and developing an inter-connection to a natural gas pipeline operated by ANR, which transverses Ruckman Farm. Roeslein projects RNG to enter the pipeline in the summer of 2016.

Duke Energy in North Carolina agreed to buy a portion of the RNG to help meet clean energy requirements for power generation.

Part of the next phase, Horizon Two, will add biomass from native prairie grasses to create RNG. Roeslein intends to supplement the hog manure feedstock with that prairie grass biomass. The intent of Horizon Two is to provide an economic incentive to convert highly erodible or marginal land, currently used for commercial agriculture production.

RNG production will double under Horizon Two.

“We are developing a mixture of grasses and native species that provide ecological services, wildlife habitat and biomass that will be co-digested with manure,” Roeslein said. “We hope to demonstrate the concept on a small scale at Ruckman, move it to other farms and then hopefully across the Midwest.”

The project initially was a valued at $80 million, characterized as an anaerobic digestion plant developed in collaboration with Princeton, Mo.-based Murphy-Brown of Missouri LLC (MBM), Smithfield’s livestock production subsidiary.

Some North American zoos have recently made moves to capitalize on its animal waste by converting it to energy.

Earlier this year the Detroit Zoo announced a crowdsourcing plan to raise funds to purchase a biogas system to process 400 tons of waste annually into energy. The zoo has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, who will match the $55,000 the zoo needs.

The Toronto Zoo in Canada also has plans to use animal waste as energy. With more than 5,000 animals on-site, the zoo anticipates it can process about 3,000 tons of animal waste and 14,000 tons of food waste a year from a large Canadian grocery chain, creating 500 kilowatts of generating capacity and about 4 million kilowatts of output.

Source: Waste 360 Magazine

Published by: WIH Resource Group, Inc.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER of WIH RESOURCE GROUP
Bob Wallace, MBA is the Founder and a Principal of WIH Resource Group, Inc. and has over 27 years of experience in waste and recycling collections programs management, transportation / logistics operations, alternative fuels (CNG, LPG, RNG, LNG & biodiesel), Fleet Management, Operational Performance Assessments (OPAs), Waste-by-Rail programs, recycling / solid waste operations, transfer stations, landfills, planning and development. Mr. Wallace has extensive experience in working with clients in both the private and public sectors. Prior to WIH Resource Group, Mr. Wallace served as the Director of Transportation & Logistics for Waste Management, the largest provider of waste management and recycling services in North America. He can be reached at bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com or 480.241.9994. For more information visit http://www.wihrg.com

Contact WIH Resource Group
For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

WIH Resource Group’s Diversified Client-Specific Services include:

  • Waste Management Consulting
  • Recycling Programs Optimization
  • Alternative Fuels for Truck Fleets
  • Research & Polling – Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Landfill Operations Consulting
  • Business and Assets Appraisals & Valuations
  • Collection, Processing, Transfer & Disposal Procurement
  • M&A Due Diligence
  • Waste to Energy & New Technology Evaluation Environmental Services
  • Expert Testimony/Litigation Support
  • Facility Planning & Design
  • Finance and Economic Analysis
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures
  • Operations & Performance Assessment (OPAs)
  • Planning – Solid Waste, Recycling and Program
  • Program Management & Capital Project Planning
  • Rates, Financial Analyses & Appraisals
  • Rates and Regulatory Support
  • Recycling Program Design
  • Renewables / Clean Energy Technology

Click here to request more information about these services & WIH Resource Group

RELATED LINKS: http://www.wihrg.com

Clean Green Renewable Energy

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP
WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management consulting, recycling, transportation / logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, financial analysis. transportation / logistics, alternative fuel solutions, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services.

WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com .

For Additional information on WIH Resource Group, Inc. contact:
Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions
WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
Email: admin@wihrg.com Phone: 480-241-9994

Website: http://www.wihrg.com
Daily News Blog: http://www.wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com
Follow WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

WIH Resource Group’s White Paper on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Use in Refuse Collection Vehicles Industry is Available for Purchasing:   The entire 65-plus page report and Appendices: $299.00 US Funds – Visa and Mastercard Accepted.

CLICK HERE to Order Your Copy today!

Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ E-mail: admin@wihrg.com

Should you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

Be sure to check out Invigorated Solutions, Inc.

  1. Follow @invigorsolution on Twitter
  2. Visit our website: http://www.invigoratedsolutions.com/
  3. Like our Facebook Page
  4. Follow Invigorated Solutions on Tumblr

About Invigorated Solutions

Passionate about life, learning, love and sharing their experiences of life, Bob & Tracy Wallace enjoy sharing their invigorated (energizing) solutions / advice and useful life tips for living life to the fullest on their popular life development blog, “Invigorated Solutions”.  Click HERE to visit our website for more valuable information.

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New York Launches Anaerobic Digester Project – Fuel for Waste Fleet


In the U.S. State of New York, Governor Cuomo has launched a $40 million anaerobic digester project on Long Island. The project, which is scheduled to be completed in August 2016, is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 tons annually, equivalent to removing 8,125 cars from the road. Included in the plan is the utilization of harvested fuel by the waste management fleet. 

The new anaerobic digester will be operated by American Organic Energy at Long Island Compost’s 62-acre facility in Yaphank, Suffolk County and will process over twice as much food waste as currently processed at any existing privately-owned food waste digesters accepting offsite food waste in New York State. The project will accept approximately 120,000 tons of food waste, 30,000 tons of fats, oils and greases, and 10,000 tons of grass clippings from the Long Island region annually that would otherwise have been transported and dumped into landfills, contributing to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The digester will convert these waste streams to clean energy, clean water to be used for plant processes, and solid-based fertilizer.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process that occurs when organic matter is decomposed by bacteria in the absence of oxygen. During the decomposition process, the biogas released can be recovered, treated and used to generate energy in place of traditional fossil fuels.

The biogas produced by the site will first be used to run the digester and the existing facility. Long Island Compost also plans to convert the biogas to renewable natural gas (biomethane) that will be used to fuel its trucks on-site, reducing diesel consumption by 200,000 gallons annually. An additional 1.9 million gallons of diesel per year will be offset by injecting the remaining renewable gas produced by the digester into the National Grid natural gas pipeline on Long Island. This will enable the gas to be used to fuel compressed natural gas vehicles in other areas.

Heiner Markhoff, President and CEO, water and process technologies for GE Power & Water, said, “To achieve greater regional and national sustainability, we are seeing a growing trend underway in which municipalities and industries across the country are focusing more of their efforts on energy neutral resource recovery solutions to reduce their environmental impacts and boost local economic development, including producing more of their own on-site cleaner water and energy.”

The State has awarded the project a $1.3 million grant through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Source: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

ABOUT THE FOUNDER of WIH RESOURCE GROUP
Bob Wallace, MBA is the Founder and a Principal of WIH Resource Group, Inc. and has over 27 years of experience in waste and recycling collections programs management, transportation / logistics operations, alternative fuels (CNG, LPG, RNG, LNG & biodiesel), Fleet Management, Operational Performance Assessments (OPAs), Waste-by-Rail programs, recycling / solid waste operations, transfer stations, landfills, planning and development. Mr. Wallace has extensive experience in working with clients in both the private and public sectors. Prior to WIH Resource Group, Mr. Wallace served as the Director of Transportation & Logistics for Waste Management, the largest provider of waste management and recycling services in North America. He can be reached at bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com or 480.241.9994. For more information visit http://www.wihrg.com

Published by: WIH Resource Group, Inc.

You Tube: Click HERE to visit WIH Resource Group’s You Tube Channel

Contact WIH Resource Group
For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

WIH Resource Group’s Diversified Client-Specific Services include:

  • Waste Management Consulting
  • Recycling Programs Optimization
  • Alternative Fuels for Truck Fleets
  • Research & Polling – Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Landfill Operations Consulting
  • Business and Assets Appraisals & Valuations
  • Collection, Processing, Transfer & Disposal Procurement
  • M&A Due Diligence
  • Waste to Energy & New Technology Evaluation Environmental Services
  • Expert Testimony/Litigation Support
  • Facility Planning & Design
  • Finance and Economic Analysis
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures
  • Operations & Performance Assessment (OPAs)
  • Planning – Solid Waste, Recycling and Program
  • Program Management & Capital Project Planning
  • Rates, Financial Analyses & Appraisals
  • Rates and Regulatory Support
  • Recycling Program Design
  • Renewables / Clean Energy Technology

Click here to request more information about these services & WIH Resource Group

RELATED LINKS: http://www.wihrg.com

Clean Green Renewable Energy

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP
WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management consulting, recycling, transportation / logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, financial analysis. transportation / logistics, alternative fuel solutions, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services.

WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com .

For Additional information on WIH Resource Group, Inc. contact:
Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions
WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
Email: admin@wihrg.com Phone: 480-241-9994

Website: http://www.wihrg.com
Daily News Blog: http://www.wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com
Follow WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

WIH Resource Group’s White Paper on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Use in Refuse Collection Vehicles Industry is Available for Purchasing:   The entire 65-plus page report and Appendices: $299.00 US Funds – Visa and Mastercard Accepted.

CLICK HERE to Order Your Copy today!

Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ E-mail: admin@wihrg.com

Should you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

Be sure to check out Invigorated Solutions, Inc.

  1. Follow @invigorsolution on Twitter
  2. Visit our website: http://www.invigoratedsolutions.com/
  3. Like our Facebook Page
  4. Follow Invigorated Solutions on Tumblr

About Invigorated Solutions

Passionate about life, learning, love and sharing their experiences of life, Bob & Tracy Wallace enjoy sharing their invigorated (energizing) solutions / advice and useful life tips for living life to the fullest on their popular life development blog, “Invigorated Solutions”.  Click HERE to visit our website for more valuable information.

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10 Shocking Facts About Your Garbage


It’s easy not to think about garbage. You throw away your empty cartons, bags, and cups, and once a week the trash collector comes and takes it all away. Out of sight, out of mind… except that it’s not really gone.

Most US garbage is simply relocated from your garbage can to a landfill or incinerator, both of which are fraught with problems:

  • Incinerators: Emit toxic dioxins, mercury, cadmium, and other particulate matter into the air, and convert waste into toxic ash (which is sometimes used to cover landfills).
  • Landfills: There are more than 3,000 active landfills, and 10,000-old landfills, in the US.1 While the number of landfills in the US has been decreasing in recent decades, they have, individually, been increasing in size.

garbage-wihresourcegroup

Along with being a major source of methane emissions, landfills produce “leachate,” a toxic fluid composed of pollutants like benzene, pesticides, heavy metals, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and more, which come from the compressed trash.

Although landfills are technically supposed to keep garbage dry and are lined to prevent leachate from contaminating nearby soil and groundwater, the landfill liners are virtually guaranteed to degrade, tear, or crack eventually, allowing the toxins to escape directly into the environment.

10 Shocking Facts About Your Garbage

MSN compiled 10 facts about garbage that are likely to surprise you.2 You may never look at your trash the same way again…

  1. More Than 100 Tons of Waste for Every American: The average American throws away more than 7 pounds of garbage a day. That’s 102 tons in a lifetime, more than any other populations on Earth.
  2. Bottled Water Is the “Grandfather of Wasteful Industries. Edward Humes, author of the book “Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash,” counts bottled water among the most wasteful of industries. In the US, Americans toss 60 million water bottles daily, which is nearly 700 each minute.
  3. Food Waste Is a Problem Too: Americans throw away 28 billion pounds of food a year, which is about 25 percent of the US food supply.
  4. Disposables Are a Drain: Ten percent of the world’s oil supply is used to make and ship disposable plastics – items like plastic utensils, plates, and cups that are used just one time and thrown away.
  5. Trash Is Expensive: Most communities spend more to deal with trash than they spend for schoolbooks, fire protection, libraries, and parks.
  6. Carpet Waste Alone Is Astounding: Americans throw away 5.7 million tons of carpet every year.
  7. Paper Waste Is a Shame: Americans waste 4.5 million tons of office paper a year. Ask yourself… do I really need to print that?
  8. Opting Out of Junk Mail Makes a Difference: According to Humes, the energy used to create and distribute junk mail in the US for one day could heat 250,000 homes. You can opt-out of junk mail by going to CatalogChoice.org.
  9. Too Many Toys: Only 4 percent of the world’s children live in the US, but Americans buy (and throw away) 40 percent of the world’s toys. Buy less toys, opt for second-hand versions, and pass down the toys you do purchase to others.
  10. Plastic Bags: On average, Americans use 500 plastic bags per capita each year. Such bags make up the second most common type of garbage found on beaches. Stash reusable shopping bags in your purse or car so you’re not tempted by plastic or paper.

Bottled Water: One of the Worst Offenders

US landfills contain about 2 million tons of discarded water bottles, each of which will take more than 1,000 years to biodegrade. Recycling is only possible for a small number of these bottles, because only PET bottles are recyclable. In all, only one out of five plastic bottles ever make it to a recycling bin.3

You might think re-using the bottle is an option, but commercial water bottles tend to wear down from repeated use, which can lead to bacterial growth in surface cracks inside the bottle. This risk is compounded if you fail to adequately wash the bottle between each use, using mild soap and warm water.

But even with washing, these microscopic hiding places may still allow pathogenic bacteria to linger. Perhaps more importantly, the plastic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates lurk in plastic water bottles and can pose serious health hazards, especially to pregnant women and children.

Fortunately, the use of bottled water is one of the easiest habits to change. Simply put a filter on your tap and use a reusable glass water bottle to carry with you.

Why You Should Consider Ditching Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are so wasteful and polluting to the environment that many US cities have already banned them outright. For a succinct and entertaining introduction to the waste that is the plastic bag, I highly recommend the film “Bag It.”4

It is a truly eye-opening look to the vastness of the problem, and the immense waste that could be spared if more Americans toted a reusable bag with them to the grocery store. As their website reported:5

“In the United States alone, an estimated 12 million barrels of oil is used annually to make the plastic bags that Americans consume. The United States International Trade Commission reported that 102 billion plastic bags were used in the US in 2009.

These bags, even when properly disposed of, are easily windblown and often wind up in waterways or on the landscape, becoming eyesores and degrading soil and water quality as they break down into toxic bits.”

On a worldwide scale, each year about 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide. At over 1 million bags per minute, that’s a lot of plastic bags, of which billions end up as litter each year, contaminating oceans and other waterways.

Food Waste Is a Serious Issue

You might not think throwing a banana peel or apple core in your trash is a big deal, but organic waste is actually the second highest component of landfills in the US. Organic landfill waste has increased by 50 percent per capita since 1974, as illustrated in this infographic.6

One solution to this problem is to cut down on the amount of food you waste by planning your meals carefully (and shopping according), vacuum packing produce to help it last longer, eating leftovers and knowing when food is still safe to eat (versus when it’s actually spoiled).

Composting Can Help Reduce Organic Waste in Landfills

Another solution lies in creating a backyard compost pile. Composting food scraps recycles their nutrients and can reduce their ecological impact. It benefits soil, plants, and the greater environment, and it’s not as difficult as you might think. Compost can be created with yard trimmings and vegetable food waste, manure from grazing animals, egg shells, brown paper bags, and more.

This can be done on an individual or community-wide level. For instance, in California, The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency operates a regional compost program in which they accept yard trimmings and vegetative food discards that are placed in curbside containers by local residents.

The organic material is then converted into premium quality organic compost and mulches, along with recycled lumber, firewood, and biofuel used to generate electricity. Since 1993, 1.6 million tons of yard and wood debris have been converted into these beneficial products.

Sonoma Compost, which operates the Organic Recycling Program on behalf of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency, estimates that nearly 1.5 million tons of yard and wood trimmings have been diverted from landfills since 1993 as a result of the program.7

The Consequences of Living in a ‘Throwaway’ Society

Your parents and grandparents likely used products in reusable, recyclable, or degradable containers made from glass, metals, and paper. But today, discarded plastics and other waste are circling the globe at a significant human and environmental cost. It’s a problem of convenience – choosing a plastic disposable water bottle instead of using a reusable glass container, for instance – as well as one of overconsumption.

Even durable items like electronics, toys, and clothes are often regarded as “throwaway” products that we use for a short period and quickly replace – often without recycling, donating, or re-using them for another purpose.

Of course, you are living in a society that makes you feel behind if you do not buy the latest model of this or that, or update your wardrobe with the latest fashions. We’re also increasingly living on the go, where food in throwaway packages is by far the rule rather than the exception.

Contrast that to a couple of generations ago when frugality and resourcefulness were highly valued, and food came fresh from the farm, butcher shop, or baker, and you begin to see where the real problems with excess waste are springing from. The sheer amount of waste that is generated needlessly on any given day is quite mind-boggling. For instance, according to the Clean Air Council:8

  • The average American office worker uses about 500 disposable cups every year.
  • Every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times.
  • The estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards sold each year in the US could fill a football field 10 stories high.
  • Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, an extra million tons of waste is generated each week.
  • 38,000 miles of ribbon are thrown away each year, enough to tie a bow around the Earth.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

You’ve probably heard of The Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Committing this into practice in your home can significantly reduce the amount of waste your family generates while also saving you money. You can do your part by taking the following action steps that reduce your plastic consumption and generation of waste, which will benefit your health as well as the environment.

Reduce your plastic use: If at all possible seek to purchase products that are not made from or packaged in plastic. Here are a few ideas… Use reusable shopping bags for groceries. Bring your own mug for coffee and bring drinking water from home in glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water. Store foods in the freezer in glass mason jars as opposed to plastic bags. Take your own leftovers container to restaurants. Request no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning. Avoid disposable utensils and buy foods in bulk when you can. These are just a few ideas — I’m sure you can think of more. Recycle/Repurpose what you can: Take care to recycle and repurpose products whenever possible, especially ones that are not available in anything other than plastic. This includes giving your clothes or gently used household items to charities and frequenting second-hand stores instead of buying new. Make use of online sites like Freecycle.org that allow you to give products you no longer need away to others instead of throwing them away. Choose reusable over single-use: This includes non-disposable razors, washable feminine hygiene products for women, cloth diapers, glass bottles for your milk, cloth grocery bags, handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues, an old t-shirt or rags in lieu of paper towels, and so on.
Compost your food scraps and yard waste: A simple bin in your backyard can greatly cut down on your landfill contributions while rewarding you with a natural fertilizer for your soil. Support legislation: Support legislative efforts to manage waste in your community; take a leadership role with your company, school, and neighborhood. Be innovative: If you have a great idea, share it! Your capacity to come up with smarter designs and creative ideas is limitless and many heads are better than one. Innovations move us toward a more sustainable world.
Assist recovery: Return deposits on bottles and other plastic products, and participate in “plastic drives” for local schools, where cash is paid by the pound.

ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Bob Wallace, MBA is the Founder and a Principal of WIH Resource Group, Inc. and has over 27 years of experience in waste and recycling collections programs management, transportation / logistics operations, alternative fuels (CNG, LPG, RNG, LNG & biodiesel), Fleet Management, Operational Performance Assessments (OPAs), Waste-by-Rail programs, recycling / solid waste operations, transfer stations, landfills, planning and development. Mr. Wallace has extensive experience in working with clients in both the private and public sectors. Prior to WIH Resource Group, Mr. Wallace served as the Director of Transportation & Logistics for Waste Management, the largest provider of waste management and recycling services in North America. He can be reached at bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com or 480.241.9994. For more information visit http://www.wihrg.com

Published by: WIH Resource Group, Inc.

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For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

WIH Resource Group’s Diversified Client-Specific Services include:

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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP
WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management consulting, recycling, transportation / logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, financial analysis. transportation / logistics, alternative fuel solutions, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services.

WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com .

For Additional information on WIH Resource Group, Inc. contact:
Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions
WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
Email: admin@wihrg.com Phone: 480-241-9994

Website: http://www.wihrg.com
Daily News Blog: http://www.wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com
Follow WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

WIH Resource Group’s White Paper on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Use in Refuse Collection Vehicles Industry is Available for Purchasing:   The entire 65-plus page report and Appendices: $299.00 US Funds – Visa and Mastercard Accepted.

CLICK HERE to Order Your Copy today!

Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ E-mail: admin@wihrg.com

Should you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

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About Invigorated Solutions

Passionate about life, learning, love and sharing their experiences of life, Bob & Tracy Wallace enjoy sharing their invigorated (energizing) solutions / advice and useful life tips for living life to the fullest on their popular life development blog, “Invigorated Solutions”.  Click HERE to visit our website for more valuable information.

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U.S. EPA: UC Davis Takes 1st place in National – WIH Resource Group, Inc.


SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present UC Davis with an award for their impressive efforts to reduce waste during this year’s Aggies’ football season. The Northern California university took home first prize for achieving the highest waste diversion rate in the country as part of EPA’s 2010 Game Day Challenge, a national competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games.

The Aggies’ blew away their competitors by achieving a nearly 90% diversion of waste to recycling and composting, 20% higher than the second place university, Ohio State University. Their high mark was achieved during the October 23, 2010 home game when nearly all the waste generated by the crowd of 6,835 on hand was composted or recycled. The amount of waste sent to a landfill – only 90 pounds!

“We applaud UC Davis as the first university in the country to set a goal of operating a zero-waste stadium,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The team colors may be Aggie blue and gold, but, by reducing their stadium’s environmental footprint, they are also very green.”

The Aggies opened their new stadium in 2007. Key to their success in approaching their zero waste goal has been a commitment by their concessionaire to only sell items that come in recyclable or compostable packaging. For example, only candy in paper boxes is sold, and beverages are served in compostable cups, including a compostable straw. Student monitors provide assistance to fans to help them place their waste in the correct containers.

During the EPA’s National Game Day Challenge 77 participating schools targeted more than 2.8 million fans at football games. The schools together diverted more than 500,000 pounds of waste from landfills, which prevented the release of nearly 940 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 179 cars.

Participating schools tracked the amount of recycled, composted, reused, donated, and disposed of waste during one home football game. Winners were determined based on the amount of waste that was diverted from the landfill in relation to the amount of generated waste and the number of people at the game.

The EPA will present the award to UC Davis at their Plan Green conference on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. The conference is part of UC Davis’ ongoing efforts to advance sustainability practices at the University.

The greening of stadium operations is a growing trend across the country. Annually, approximately 48 million people attend college football games and another 17 million attend professional football games. These 65 million fans can generate a lot of waste, at least 19,500 tons every year.

San Francisco stadiums have been among the leaders in greening major league sporting events. In 2009, the San Francisco 49er’s achieved an 81% recycling rate while the Giants achieved a 75% rate. Their success diverting waste to recycling and composting is part of the City of San Francisco’s overall efforts to achieve a zero waste goal by 2020.

With more than 106 million people who watched this year’s Super Bowl from home, the best opportunity to reduce waste is in our homes and in our cities and towns. Of all the leftover chili, barbecue, chips, and 7-layer dip at Super Bowl parties across the country, only 2.5% is composted. The rest of this food waste makes up 21% of all waste going to municipal landfills. Only one out every two aluminum cans is recycled. The energy from recycling just one aluminum can will power a TV for 3 hours, enough time to watch the game. By taking a few small steps to recycle cans and compost our leftover food, fans can reduce the environmental footprint of our sporting events.

For more information on the winners, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/partnerships/wastewise/challenge/gameday/results.htm. Photos available for download at http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/a36163ac8f9df5ce85257831006744b6?OpenDocument.

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

RELATED LINKS
http://www.wihrg.com

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP
WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management, recycling, transportation/logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, transportation / logistics, alternative fuels use, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services. 

WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com

For Additional information on WIH Resource Group, Inc. contact:
Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions
WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
Email: admin@wihrg.com Phone: 480-241-9994

Website: http://www.wihrg.com
Daily News Blog: http://www.wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com
Follow WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management, recycling, transportation/logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, transportation / logistics, alternative fuel use, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development and environmental services.  Based in Phoenix, the company serves both private and public sector clients throughout North America and globally.  Our customers include both public agencies and private sector businesses customers throughout North America. To learn more visit http://www.wihrg.com

About the WIH Resource Group’s Principal Bob Wallace, Principal and Vice President of Client Solutions, WIH Resource Group, Inc. (WIH) and Waste Savings, Inc. (WSI), former Boardmember SWANA ~ State of Arizona Chapter (Solid Waste Association of North America), APWA (American Public Works) ~ National Solid Waste Rate Setting Advisory Committee and Member of WASTEC (Waste Equipment Technology Association) NSWMA ~ Phoenix, Arizona USA. (bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com).

WIH Resource Group’s White Paper on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Use in Refuse Collection Vehicles Industry is Available for Purchasing:   The entire 65-plus page report and Appendices: $299.00 US Funds – Visa and Mastercard Accepted.

Order Your Copy today!

Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ E-mail: admin@wihrg.com

Source:  WIH Resource Group

Should you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

WIH Resource Group on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/wihresourcegroup

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

The State Of Garbage In America – WIH Resource Group, Inc.


Latest national data on municipal solid waste management find estimated generation is 389.5 million tons in 2008 — 69 percent landfilled, 24 percent recycled and composted, and 7 percent combusted via waste-to-energy.

BIOCYCLE, in collaboration with the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University, conducts the biennial State of Garbage In America survey on the generation and management of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the United States. The State of Garbage In America Report, launched by BioCycle in 1989, is unique in that actual tonnage data is collected from each individual state, with waste characterization studies solely used for validation of the numbers. This is the 17th nationwide survey, reporting data from calendar year 2008.

The data was gathered during the spring of 2010, using an Excel form that was e-mailed to the solid waste management departments in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. All entries were checked and validated using results of former State of Garbage in America reports, EPA waste characterization studies, and also a survey of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) carried out by Eileen Berenyi of Government Advisory Associates (GAA). We greatly appreciate the time spent and the contributions made by the solid waste and recycling officials listed at the end of this report. Thanks to their help and expertise, we can present the 2010 edition of “The State of Garbage in America.” All tonnages are reported in U.S. tons (1.1 U.S. ton = 1 metric ton).

State Of Garbage In America Map_ full size
SURVEY METHODOLOGY
In 2004, the EEC was invited by BioCycle to collaborate on a science-based version of the State of Garbage survey. The State of Garbage methodology uses the principles of mass balance: all MSW generated is equal to the MSW landfilled, combusted in waste-to-energy (WTE) plants, composted and/or recycled. This relies on the assumption that all management methods employed for municipal solid waste are quantified/tracked and reported to the state agencies. According to our survey results, at least 15 states require waste management companies and local government agencies to report annual tonnages. Nineteen states reported that there was no such requirement and another 12 states did not respond to this question. Only five states did not complete the 2010 State of Garbage survey. For states where companies and local agencies are not required to report to the state, disposal data can and, in most cases, are still collected from waste management facilities. This is especially true for landfills and waste-to-energy plants, since they track all of the disposed waste by simply weighing incoming and outgoing trucks. Composting and materials recycling facilities, however, may not have scales and/or are commercial or public enterprises that are not obligated to report tonnages received and processed to local or state government agencies.

An important part of MSW accounting in the State of Garbage survey is “filtering out” non-MSW materials that may be included in the states’ responses. The BioCycle/EEC survey uses the US EPA definition of Municipal Solid Waste, which includes: residential and commercial wastes like paper, plastic packaging, bottles and cans, tires, yard trimmings, batteries, furniture, appliances, etc. Typical “non-MSW” materials are: industrial and agricultural wastes, construction and demolition (C&D) debris, automobile scrap and sludge from wastewater treatment plants. To account for these non-MSW materials, survey respondents were asked to provide a more specific breakdown of the waste streams being reported. This was done either by estimate or from measured tonnages. The non-MSW tonnages were automatically subtracted in the Excel spreadsheet from the total generation reported.

Over the past six years (with the survey conducted every two years), the methodology developed by EEC has been further refined. In the 2008 State of Garbage In America Report (December 2008), MSW management was divided into three main categories: Landfilling, Waste-to-Energy and Recycling. After much discussion and with input from survey participants, it was decided to divide the “recycling” category into materials recycling (i.e., recovery of paper, metals, glass, plastics) and organics recycling via composting (which includes mulch production). The tonnage sent to composting facilities appears to be tracked in many states, and EEC believes that it is useful to distinguish composting and mulching from other material recovery methods. As a result, recycled and composted tonnages are reported in separate columns in Table 2. It is quite likely that some smaller composting operations have, inadvertently, not been included and, therefore, the total MSW composted may be somewhat higher than reported.

In the 2010 survey, an additional “filter” on the reported composting/recycling rates for different materials was introduced: The total amount of MSW generated was estimated using the 2008 State of Garbage national number of per capita generation (1.38 tons/capita; 2006 data) and the population of the state. EEC then used EPA’s MSW Facts And Figures waste characterization report (EPA, 2008) of the average (U.S.) percent composition of MSW times the population of the state to estimate how many tons of each material were generated in the state. On the basis of this information, we were able to “filter out” reported recycling tonnages that were “through the roof,” most likely due to the inclusion of non-MSW materials (e.g., automobile scrap). Reported recycling tonnages that were higher than the estimated waste generation of a particular material were decreased to 100 percent of the estimated waste generation.

PROTOCOL USED FOR RECYCLING TONNAGES
For a consistent determination of the tonnages to report in the survey, the following protocol was established: Use reported tonnage unless any of the following factors were evident:

1. States did not report a recycled material tonnage: The GAA MRF survey reported MRF-processed tonnages that in general were one half of the recycling tonnages reported by the states. Therefore, EEC concluded that approximately 50 percent of all recycled materials are sent directly to paper and other recycling plants and do not pass through MRFs for processing. Thus, states that did not report a recycling number were assigned a tonnage equal to two times the MRF tonnage in the state, as reported by the GAA survey.

2. Overestimate of recycled tonnages: As discussed earlier, for any recycled material where the state-reported tonnage was in excess of the EPA’s average estimate of waste generation, the recycling of that material was set to 100 percent of the generated material.

3. Data not reported: In a few cases where tonnages were not reported (recycled, composted, waste-to-energy, landfilled) or numbers were obviously too low or too high, cross-reference was made to the 2006 data, as reported in the 2008 State of Garbage in America survey.

4. Underreporting of recycled tonnages: When the recycling tonnage appeared to be underreported by the state, and the GAA MRF number was not higher than that provided by the state, the data is marked as “Likely to be underreported.”

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL PICTURE
Table 1 summarizes the State of Garbage survey data from 1989 through 2008. The overall results of the 2010 State of Garbage in America survey (2008 data) are: An estimated 389.5 million tons of MSW were generated, most of which (270 million tons) were sent to landfills. This represented 69 percent of the total MSW and was three million tons higher than two years ago. An estimated 7 percent, nearly 26 million tons, were combusted with energy recovery in WTE plants. The total recycling and composting tonnages for 2008 were estimated to be close to 94 million tons, or 24 percent of the total MSW. They consisted of over 69 million tons of materials recycled and 24.5 million tons of yard trimmings and some food wastes composted or mulched.

It is interesting to note that national MSW generation dropped between 2006 and 2008, from 413 million tons in the 2008 State of Garbage Report to 389.5 million tons in this 2010 Report. This may be a reflection of the economic downturn, as well as the more detailed exclusion of non-MSW materials that was done in the survey of 2008 data.

Table 2 provides the main results of the 2008 data, by state. The “Reported MSW Generated” column shows the raw generation number as provided by each state. It may differ from the “Estimated MSW Generation” column because of differences between definitions of MSW, as discussed earlier. Some states base this number on an extrapolation of occasional measurements of household MSW generation. The “Estimated” generation number is a summation of the MSW sent to each of the four recovery and disposal methods. All tonnages have been adjusted for import and export, assigning waste to the place of generation, not where it was disposed (e.g., out-of-state landfills). On average, 1.28 tons of MSW were generated per capita in 2008. This is 0.10 tons/capita lower than 2006. Hawaii reported the highest per capita generation number: 2.89 tons/capita. However, it has to be taken into account that the population number is skewed by the high influx of tourists — around 7 million people visit Hawaii each year.

Figure 1 provides a breakdown, by region, of recycling, composting, combustion and landfilling rates. According to the 2008 state data, the West leads the nation in recycling (35%) and composting (11%). New England has the second highest recycling rate (22%), followed by the Mid-Atlantic (20%). The Midwest has the second highest composting rate (10%), followed by New England and the Mid-Atlantic (7%). With respect to combustion with energy recovery, New England is the leader by combusting 39 percent of its MSW. The Mid-Atlantic region is a distant second with 14 percent of the MSW combusted. The Rocky Mountain region has the highest landfilling rate (88%), followed by the Great Lakes (81%), the South (79%) and the Midwest (78%).

RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING ACTIVITY
The tonnages of specific materials recycled in 2008 are shown in Table 3. All but 10 states and the District of Columbia provided data on at least one recycled material. Sixteen states had data available on tons collected through single-stream recycling programs; only four states reported aggregated dual stream data. Table 3 shows the “as reported” tonnages for various materials. It can be seen that some states have reported material recycling figures that most likely included non-MSW, primarily in the categories “Iron and Steel Scrap” and “Other Metals.” States that were adjusted for this in the final results of Table 2 are: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Washington (see item No. 2 in section above titled “Protocol Used For Recycling Tonnages”).

The State of Garbage survey requested information on the number of curbside recycling collection programs and population served by curbside recycling in each state, as well as the number of MRFs, drop-off sites and “pay-as-you-throw” programs. Only 25 states had data on curbside programs, and only 21 reported the population served by such programs. These states reported a total of 4,371 curbside recycling programs; New York State did not report a number, but according to the 2006 State of Garbage in America Report (2004 data), New York had 1,500 curbside programs. The total population served by these programs amounts to 87.9 million, of which 23.6 million is from California. California did not report a curbside population number, but this information was obtained from the calrecycle.ca.gov website (calrecycle.ca.gov, 2010).

The State of Garbage survey also requested information on the number of facilities composting yard trimmings in each state. Thirty states reported a total of 2,284 facilities. New Jersey reported the most sites (345) that compost over 1.9 million tons of MSW yard trimmings.

LANDFILLS, WASTE-TO-ENERGY AND LANDFILL GAS RECOVERY
The State of Garbage results for number of landfills and WTE plants, gate (“tipping”) fees for these facilities, and remaining landfill capacity are shown in Table 4. Where states did not provide 2008 data, data from the 2008 State of Garbage Report (2006 data) were used. A total of 1,908 MSW landfills were reported. (Interestingly, when BioCycle conducted the first State of Garbage In America survey in 1989, there were almost 8,000 MSW landfills in the U.S.). Average gate (“tipping”) fees have increased slightly since the 2008 survey; landfill and WTE gate fees were, on average two dollars higher than in 2006, at $44.09 and $67.93 per ton of handled waste, respectively.

Another section of the 2010 State of Garbage survey requested data on the recovery of landfill gas (LFG). Twenty-eight states reported that 260 out of 1,414 landfills recovered landfill gas. However, some of the non-LFG landfills may be closed. A total of 95 landfills reported volumes of LFG captured: 59.1 billion cubic feet. Since LFG generally contains 500 Btu per cubic foot, the energy recovery from these 95 landfills was about 30 trillion Btu. This amount represents only 20 percent of the total LFG energy used by the U.S. in 2004 (150 trillion Btu), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA, 2006). Since this is the first time that LFG capture was included in the State of Garbage survey, it is hoped that more states will collect and report such data in future surveys.

MSW IMPORTS AND EXPORTS, LANDFILL BANS
Waste imports and exports are shown in Table 5. There is an obvious discrepancy between the totals of these categories: imported MSW was almost two times higher than exported MSW. EEC believes this is due to the fact that imported wastes are much better tracked than those exported. MSW imports/exports from other countries, primarily Canada, were excluded where possible.

Table 6 shows materials banned from landfills. It can be seen that whole tires are banned from landfills in almost every state, except Alabama, Alaska, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Wyoming. Oil and lead-acid batteries are banned from most U.S. landfills as well. Twenty-five states ban leaves, grass and/or brush from landfill disposal. Seven states have bans on disposal of containers and/or paper. Three states do not allow disposal of construction and demolition debris.

FINAL NOTE
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues an annual report on MSW generation and management in the U.S. (MSW Facts & Figures, 2008). The State of Garbage methodology differs from that of EPA’s in several ways. First, the EPA characterizes the MSW stream for the whole nation and not on a state-by-state basis. Second, the EPA bases its results on the aggregate of several sources, including estimates of materials and products generated and their life spans, key industry associations and businesses, and waste characterization studies and surveys conducted by governments, the media and industry.

Another important difference is that EPA estimates the tonnage landfilled as the difference between its estimate of MSW generated minus its estimate of what is sent to composting, recycling or WTE plants. The State of Garbage methodology, however, is based purely on tons managed via all four methods in the responding states. Table 7 provides data from the US EPA’s MSW Facts And Figures Report (2008 data) compared to the 2010 State of Garbage in America Report (2008 data). As a result, the EPA estimate of MSW landfilled is 98.5 million tons less than what is actually disposed in MSW landfills according to the BioCycle/EEC measurements.

Rob van Haaren received his M.S.in Earth Resources Engineering from the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering of Columbia University. His thesis research was sponsored by the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia (www.eecny.org). He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate and Research Associate at the Center for Life-Cycle Analysis, Columbia University. Nickolas J. Themelis is Director of the Earth Engineering Center and Stanley-Thompson Professor Emeritus, Earth and Environmental Engineering (Henry Krumb School of Mines) at Columbia University. Nora Goldstein is Editor of BioCycle.

REFERENCES
Berenyi, E.B., 2007-2008 Materials Recycling and Processing in the United States Yearbook & Directory (5th Edition), Governmental Advisory Associates, Inc., Westport, Connecticut.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2008. www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2008rpt.pdf

Calrecycle.ca.gov: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/BevContainer/Curbside/

U.S. Energy Information Administration: www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/landfillgas/landfillgas.html

SURVEY CONTRIBUTORS
BioCycle and the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University would like to thank the following state solid waste management and recycling/composting officials for their assistance with the 2010 State of Garbage In America Report. We greatly appreciate their time and willingness to participate in this national survey. Gavin Adams, Alabama; Douglas Buteyn, Alaska; Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona; Nancy Carr, California; Wolf Kray, Colorado; Judy Belaval, Connecticut; Anne M. Germain, Delaware; Shannan Reynolds, Florida; Randy Hartmann, Georgia; Lane Otsu, Hawaii; Dean Ehlert, Idaho; Ellen Robinson, Illinois; Michelle Weddle, Indiana; Becky Jolly, Iowa; Christine Mennicke , Kansas; John Rogers, Louisiana; George MacDonald, Maine; David Mrgich, Maryland; JohnFischer, Massachusetts; Matt Flechter, Michigan; Arlene Vee, Minnesota; Mark Williams, Mississippi; Brenda Ardrey, Missouri; Bonnie Rouse, Montana; Steve Danahy, Nebraska; Nevada Division of Environmental Protection – Bureau of Waste Management, Nevada; Donald E. Maurer, New Hampshire; Edward Nieliwocki, New Jersey; Connie Pasteris, New Mexico; Scott Menrath, New York; Scott Mouw, North Carolina; Steve Tillotson, North Dakota; Andrew Booker, Ohio; Mary Lou Perry, Oregon; Mike McGonagle, Rhode Island; Elizabeth Rosinski, South Carolina; Steven Kropp, South Dakota; Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee; Kari Bourland, Texas; Ralph Bohn, Utah; Jeff Bourdeau, Vermont; Stephen Coe, Virginia; Gretchen Newman, Washington; Cynthia Moore, Wisconsin; Craig McOmie, Wyoming.

Authors: Rob van Haaren, Nickolas Themelis and Nora Goldstein

Source: BioCycle Magazine – Copyright 2010, The JG Press, Inc.

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP
WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management, recycling, transportation/logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, transportation / logistics, alternative fuels use, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development, business valuations, due diligence and Mergers and Acquistions (M&A) transactional support and environmental services. 

WIH Resource Group’s experience includes the oversight of operations, maintenance, finance, human resources, business development, sales, safety and environmental compliance while maintaining responsibility for multi-million dollar publicly and privately held assets including: a variety of collection operations, Sub-title D and hazardous and Class II landfills, transfer stations, intermodal facilities, recycling centers, buyback centers, material recovery facilities, vehicle and container maintenance operations, call centers and payment processing operations.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the company serves both private companies and public sector Agency clients throughout North America and internationally.  To learn more about WIH Resource Group, Inc. visit http://www.wihrg.com and http://www.wihresourcegroup.com

For Additional information on WIH Resource Group, Inc. contact:
Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions
WIH Resource Group – Waste Management, Recycling and Logistical Solutions
Email: admin@wihrg.com Phone: 480-241-9994  Website: http://www.wihrg.com
Daily News Blog: http://www.wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com
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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

WIH Resource Group is a global leader and provider of comprehensive waste management, recycling, transportation/logistical and business solutions, specializing in, among other services, waste management operational performance assessments, transportation / logistics, alternative fuel use, solid waste planning, waste and recycling market studies, business development and environmental services.  Based in Phoenix, the company serves both private and public sector clients throughout North America and globally.  Our customers include both public agencies and private sector businesses customers throughout North America. To learn more visit http://www.wihrg.com and http://www.wihresourcegroup.com

About the WIH Resource Group’s Principal Bob Wallace, Principal and Vice President of Client Solutions, WIH Resource Group, Inc. (WIH) and Waste Savings, Inc. (WSI), former Boardmember SWANA ~ State of Arizona Chapter (Solid Waste Association of North America), APWA (American Public Works) ~ National Solid Waste Rate Setting Advisory Committee and Member of WASTEC (Waste Equipment Technology Association) NSWMA ~ Phoenix, Arizona USA. (bwallace@wihresourcegroup.com).

WIH Resource Group’s White Paper on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Use in Refuse Collection Vehicles Industry is Available for Purchasing:   The entire 65-plus page report and Appendices: $299.00 US Funds – Visa and Mastercard Accepted.

Order Your Copy today!

Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ E-mail: admin@wihrg.com

Source:  WIH Resource Group

Should you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

WIH Resource Group on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/wihresourcegroup

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

Nudging Recycling From Less Waste to None


 
Sara Marshall peers into a drop-off point for recycling in Nantucket. The town is a leader in “zero waste.”

At Yellowstone National Park, the clear soda cups and white utensils are not your typical cafe-counter garbage. Made of plant-based plastics, they dissolve magically when heated for more than a few minutes.

At Ecco, a popular restaurant in Atlanta, waiters no longer scrape food scraps into the trash bin. Uneaten morsels are dumped into five-gallon pails and taken to a compost heap out back.

And at eight of its North American plants, Honda is recycling so diligently that the factories have gotten rid of their trash Dumpsters altogether.

Across the nation, an antigarbage strategy known as “zero waste” is moving from the fringes to the mainstream, taking hold in school cafeterias, national parks, restaurants, stadiums and corporations.

The movement is simple in concept if not always in execution: Produce less waste. Shun polystyrene foam containers or any other packaging that is not biodegradable. Recycle or compost whatever you can.

Though born of idealism, the zero-waste philosophy is now propelled by sobering realities, like the growing difficulty of securing permits for new landfills and an awareness that organic decay in landfills releases methane that helps warm the earth’s atmosphere.

“Nobody wants a landfill sited anywhere near them, including in rural areas,” said Jon D. Johnston, a materials management branch chief for the Environmental Protection Agency who is helping to lead the zero-waste movement in the Southeast. “We’ve come to this realization that landfill is valuable and we can’t bury things that don’t need to be buried.”

Americans are still the undisputed champions of trash, dumping 4.6 pounds per person per day, according to the E.P.A.’s most recent figures. More than half of that ends up in landfills or is incinerated.

But places like the island resort community of Nantucket offer a glimpse of the future. Running out of landfill space and worried about the cost of shipping trash 30 miles to the mainland, it moved to a strict trash policy more than a decade ago, said Jeffrey Willett, director of public works on the island.

The town, with the blessing of residents concerned about tax increases, mandates the recycling not only of commonly reprocessed items like aluminum, glass and paper but also of tires, batteries and household appliances.

Jim Lentowski, executive director of the nonprofit Nantucket Conservation Foundation and a year-round resident since 1971, said that sorting trash and delivering it to the local recycling and disposal complex had become a matter of course for most residents.

The complex also has a garagelike structure where residents can drop off books and clothing and other reusable items for others to take home.

The 100-car parking lot at the landfill is a lively meeting place for locals, Mr. Lentowski added. “Saturday morning during election season, politicians hang out there and hand out campaign buttons,” he said. “If you want to get a pulse on the community, that is a great spot to go.”

Mr. Willett said that while the amount of trash that island residents carted to the dump had remained steady, the proportion going into the landfill had plummeted to 8 percent.

By contrast, Massachusetts residents as a whole send an average of 66 percent of their trash to a landfill or incinerator. Although Mr. Willett has lectured about the Nantucket model around the country, most communities still lack the infrastructure to set a zero-waste target.

Aside from the difficulty of persuading residents and businesses to divide their trash, many towns and municipalities have been unwilling to make the significant capital investments in machines like composters that can process food and yard waste. Yet attitudes are shifting, and cities like San Francisco and Seattle are at the forefront of the changeover. Both of those cities have adopted plans for a shift to zero-waste practices and are collecting organic waste curbside in residential areas for composting.

Food waste, which the E.P.A. says accounts for about 13 percent of total trash nationally — and much more when recyclables are factored out of the total — is viewed as the next big frontier.

When apple cores, stale bread and last week’s leftovers go to landfills, they do not return the nutrients they pulled from the soil while growing. What is more, when sealed in landfills without oxygen, organic materials release methane, a potent heat-trapping gas, as they decompose. If composted, however, the food can be broken down and returned to the earth as a nonchemical fertilizer with no methane by-product.

Green Foodservice Alliance, a division of the Georgia Restaurant Association, has been adding restaurants throughout Atlanta and its suburbs to its so-called zero-waste zones. And companies are springing up to meet the growth in demand from restaurants for recycling and compost haulers.

Steve Simon, a partner in Fifth Group, a company that owns Ecco and four other restaurants in the Atlanta area, said that the hardest part of participating in the alliance’s zero-waste-zone program was not training his staff but finding reliable haulers.

“There are now two in town, and neither is a year old, so it is a very tentative situation,” Mr. Simon said.

Still, he said he had little doubt that the hauling sector would grow and that all five of the restaurants would eventually be waste-free.

Packaging is also quickly evolving as part of the zero-waste movement. Bioplastics like the forks at Yellowstone, made from plant materials like cornstarch that mimic plastic, are used to manufacture a growing number of items that are compostable.

Steve Mojo, executive director of the Biodegradable Products Institute, a nonprofit organization that certifies such products, said that the number of companies making compostable products for food service providers had doubled since 2006 and that many had moved on to items like shopping bags and food packaging.

The transition to zero waste, however, has its pitfalls.

Josephine Miller, an environmental official for the city of Santa Monica, Calif., which bans the use of polystyrene foam containers, said that some citizens had unwittingly put the plant-based alternatives into cans for recycling, where they had melted and had gummed up the works. Yellowstone and some institutions have asked manufacturers to mark some biodegradable items with a brown or green stripe.

Yet even with these clearer design cues, customers will have to be taught to think about the destination of every throwaway if the zero-waste philosophy is to prevail, environmental officials say.

“Technology exists, but a lot of education still needs to be done,” said Mr. Johnston of the E.P.A.

He expects private companies and businesses to move faster than private citizens because momentum can be driven by one person at the top.

“It will take a lot longer to get average Americans to compost,” Mr. Johnston said. “Reaching down to my household and yours is the greatest challenge.”

Source:  The New York Times & WIH Resource Group

If you have any questions about this news or general questions about our diversified services, please contact Bob Wallace, Principal & VP of Client Solutions at WIH Resource Group and Waste Savings, Inc. at admin@wihrg.com

Feel free to visit our websites for additional information on our services at: http://www.wihrg.com  & http://www.wastesavings.net and our daily blog at https://wihresourcegroup.wordpress.com

WIH Resource Group on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/wihresourcegroup

Follow Bob Wallace and WIH Resource Group on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wihresource

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