Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists


  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Natalie Behring via Getty Images

    Big Food's sustainable packaging goals hit supply and demand reality

    As consumer packaged goods companies set targets to cut virgin plastic use, the pandemic, poor weather and war have complicated their timelines.

    Samantha Oller • May 25, 2022
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    Is jet fuel from waste finally ready for takeoff?

    Multiple projects to create sustainable aviation fuel from waste are underway, including a Fulcrum BioEnergy plant a decade in the making. Questions remain about whether it will be a scalable, viable success for the circular economy.

    Danielle Beurteaux • March 23, 2022
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Jeremy Christensen via Getty Images

    As compost volumes grow, policy and research help boost market expansion

    Composters are continuously exploring market options as organics recycling expands. Transportation projects, carbon sequestration, green roofs and cannabis farming are among many opportunities.

    Leslie Nemo • Feb. 14, 2022
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    EPR remains top item in state recycling policy debate, but bottle bills and plastic bans also in play

    After a "breakthrough" in 2021, legislators and supporters aim to pass more laws in 2022 they say will improve recycling systems and curb litter. Competing stakeholder perspectives could complicate the finish line for many bills.

    Megan Quinn • Updated Feb. 10, 2022
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Glass Half Full

    Glass recycling revival relies on a growing number of specialty drop-off and collection programs

    Recyclers in areas such as Kansas City, New Orleans and beyond are bringing new energy to glass recycling after a period of market pressures. Source separation and high quality remain key drivers of their success.

    Katie Pyzyk • Jan. 31, 2022
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Chuyn via Getty Images

    8 questions about the top trends shaping waste and recycling in 2022

    Waste Dive is watching how much longer heightened M&A activity lasts, what it will take to maintain the workforce in a tough market, where organics infrastructure is growing, what's next for recycling and more.

    Cole Rosengren, Megan Quinn and Maria Rachal • Jan. 13, 2022
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Retrieved from Western Placer Waste Management Authority on January 04, 2022

    FCC Environmental awarded California mixed waste contract worth up to $1.5B

    Placer County's process is an example of how jurisdictions are preparing for major changes under California's SB 1383 organics recycling regulations. FCC won out over GreenWaste, Recology-affiliated Nortech and others.

    Cole Rosengren • Updated April 28, 2022
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Frustrated by collection worker deaths, industry groups target distracted driving

    Waste and recycling groups believe distracted driving and cellphone usage are key factors in the fatalities. A lack of data on crash causes and disagreements on how to solve the problem have stalled meaningful solutions.

    Megan Quinn • Dec. 20, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of SpaceX

    With landfill methane in the climate spotlight, satellite and flyover measurements attract a following

    Landfill operators, nonprofits and regulators are looking to remote measurement technologies as a new way to check on methane releases. But it's too soon to know if they'll settle the emissions modeling debate.

    Leslie Nemo • Nov. 3, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Thomas Cain via Getty Images

    11 CFO tips for riding the rising tide in ESG activism

    CFOs eager to steer clear of shareholder activists should publicly embrace sustainability despite flaws in the measurement of best practices.

    Jim Tyson • Oct. 20, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Everest Labs

    Searching for operational insight, MRFs comb data from AI

    As recycling technology gets more sophisticated, MRF operators and equipment manufacturers say material characterization data from AI-powered systems may be even more valuable than the labor robots provide.

    Megan Quinn • Oct. 6, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    What's next for Recology in San Francisco after $36M DOJ penalty, bribery charge

    The West Coast company is looking to move forward after three subsidiaries admitted to one charge of bribery in a deferred prosecution agreement, but it still faces legal action and a push to change local collection systems.

    Cole Rosengren • Sept. 29, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

    Progress report: Brands face increasing pressure on recyclability claims in 2021

    Major corporations have pledged to make big recycling-related changes by 2025, and environmental groups are holding them accountable through reporting requirements, shareholder agreements and lawsuits.

    Megan Quinn • Aug. 12, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    David Ramos via Getty Images

    With mask, vaccine mandates on the rise, employers have options — but consistency is key

    The delta variant is driving new outbreaks and government guidance. Whatever employers choose, inconsistent enforcement is a "recipe for disaster," one attorney said.

    Ryan Golden • Aug. 11, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    The image by Sam LaRussa is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Waste-to-energy supporters aim to 'clear the air,' reposition technology as landfill alternative

    Recent research shows better performance across multiple environmental measures for WTE versus landfills, but few U.S. communities show an interest in new facilities, and opposition continues to limit growth.

    Cole Rosengren • Aug. 4, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Samuel Corum via Getty Images

    10 ways the PRO Act could change the game for employers and organized labor

    Currently being considered in the Senate, the bill would strengthen the ability of unions to form and collectively bargain, amend the definition of a joint employer and bring many other changes to the workplace.

    Emilie Shumway • Aug. 3, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Progress report: State waste and recycling policies gain notable traction this year

    State lawmakers have made significant headway on laws about EPR, recycled content mandates and plastic products. Other bills are still in play, and experts anticipate even more possible changes in 2022.

    Megan Quinn • July 19, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    David McNew via Getty Images

    From green to gold: 5 ways CFOs can gain from climate risk disclosure

    CFOs confronting growing pressure to disclose climate change risks can find in their analysis opportunities to improve capital allocation and risk management.

    Jim Tyson • June 29, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Amid rising interest in packaging policy, bottle bill changes still struggle to break through

    Multiple states introduce bills each year to update their container deposit laws, but few pass. Experts say balancing competing interests and tough compromises may be the only way for them to make it to the finish line.

    Megan Quinn • June 23, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    The image by Billie Grace Ward is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    New York commercial waste overhaul on horizon, but funding unresolved

    After a year-long pandemic delay, the city is moving on an RFP process to reshape the open market system. Dozens of companies recently took the first application step, potentially including newcomers Waste Management and Winters Bros.

    Cole Rosengren • March 19, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    The image by eileenmak is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Renewed focus on landfill calculations as waste industry faces pressure to reduce emissions

    Greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change are under growing scrutiny from regulators and investors alike. Finding the most precise way to measure them remains a complex effort.

    Leslie Nemo • March 9, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    The image by Dan DeLuca is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    2021 could be year for packaging EPR, nearly a dozen state bills in play

    Lawmakers throughout the U.S. are increasingly interested in shifting more of recycling's financial implications to packaging manufacturers, with many taking a coordinated approach.

    Megan Quinn • Updated Feb. 12, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Rumpke Waste & Recycling

    After years of pressure, glass recycling may be at a turning point

    Companies and groups throughout the supply chain say targeted community solutions, infrastructure investments and educational campaigns are all contributing to a glass recycling resurgence.

    Katie Pyzyk • Jan. 27, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Mack Trucks

    Fleet tech forges ahead, but some bide time on higher-stake EV investments

    The pandemic strained finances for some waste and recycling collectors looking to upgrade their operations. But falling costs and ESG pressures could catalyze EV pilots, routing software adoption and more in 2021.

    Maria Rachal • Updated Jan. 27, 2021
  • story image
    Image attribution tooltip

    Photo illustration by Kendall Davis/Industry Dive; photographs by Gage Skidmore and Getty Images

    Environmental efforts key for Biden, but industry expects limited recycling policy movement in 2021

    While existing initiatives such as a national recycling goal are likely to make headway, and Democratic majorities in Congress could affect legislation, trade groups don't anticipate major changes due to a crowded agenda.

    Megan Quinn • Jan. 20, 2021