Daily Digest: 2 new recycling education initiatives, latest Chinese import data
In the Daily Digest, the Waste Dive team rounds up insights and moments from around the industry you may have missed.
RECYCLING REVAMP CONTINUES
As the recycling world adjusts to its new normal, all involved are still figuring out how to get a cleaner (and more valuable) stream by reducing contamination and standardizing lists of accepted materials. Companies and governments are driving these efforts around the country, with two notable new examples kicking off this afternoon.
At WasteCon in Nashville, Tennessee, attendees from around the country will be participating in a new "advanced recycling workshop" to learn the latest national tactics for addressing these issues. The multi-hour event will feature proven techniques from The Recycling Partnership — with support from Keep America Beautiful, the Southeast Recycling Development Council and Waste Management (which kicked in $100,000 to fund the effort).
Meanwhile, up in Salem, Massachusetts, the state's Department of Environmental Protection will be making an announcement with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito "relative to the financing of municipalities for increased recycling." This includes the launch of a "new public recycling education initiative and web site" that will feature a recommended list of accepted materials agreed to by the majority of state MRFs. While glass is staying on, some other common items didn't make the cut and this can be expected to spark plenty of discussion throughout the state for months to come.
How has your company, government or organization been addressing the contamination challenge? Have you seen any new education campaigns that were particularly memorable? As always, we're glad to hear about it at [email protected]
IN OTHER NEWS
Chinese imports of solid waste drop by 54% so far in 2018 — Reuters
Imports fell from January through July when compared to last year, totaling 11.83 million metric tons. The news comes after China made good on its promise to curtail scrap imports as part of a broader environmental initiative now called "Blue Sky." New retaliatory tariffs announced by China against the U.S. earlier this month are further exacerbating the problem and will likely make it next to impossible to continue exporting much scrap even if it meets tight new contamination standards.
Neighborhoods in St. Louis suffer from illegal dumping — KSDK
The city's garbage trucks are in a state of disrepair, with 36 out of 86 not running. Video shows back alleys full of illegally dumped trash and overflowing dumpsters. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says the city is in the process of purchasing new trucks to alleviate the problem. The city is also working to prosecute illegal dumpers, charging a $500 fine and imposing 40 hours of community service on violators. Officials also hope to install 100 more cameras to catch people in the act, adding to ones already in place that have caught people from outside the city such as construction contractors.
Republic adds CNG trucks to its Denver, Colorado fleet — MarketWatch
The company will add 17 compressed natural gas trucks to its collection fleet in Denver, meaning more than half of its statewide fleet now consists of natural gas vehicles. Using CNG trucks over diesel provides Republic a significant environmental and cost savings as it operates the seventh largest vocational fleet in the country. In an interview with Waste Dive back in December, Republic COO Jon Vander Ark said that about 20% of the company's trucks were CNG at the time and that "CNG will be part of the solution in the short to medium term." He feels that the industry is "at least a couple decades off" in terms of fully implementing electric vehicles as garbage trucks.
Washington County, Maryland wants $250,000 back from West Virginian WTE contractor — Herald-Mail Media
The county Board of Commissioners seeks repayment of a loan that originally had a July 31 deadline. In a letter dated August 14, the county demands that Green Kinetics must repay the full loan amount within 15 days or the county will "take all steps necessary to protect its interests." A previous arrangement stated that Green Kinetics was to give the county engineering documents for a WTE project at the Forty West Landfill in Hagerstown, Maryland instead of repaying the loan. The project contract was signed in December 2013 and was meant to extend the life of the landfill and generate additional revenue.
'Right to repair' taskforce created in Vermont — WCAX
A task force has been created to try to better understand how consumers may gain access to repairing their own products, rather than having to buy new ones when an item breaks. Advocates say legislation is needed to force manufacturers to give consumers access to spare parts, diagrams and tools so that they may fix their own devices. Right to Repair legislation has been considered in at least 18 states so far, with California among the most recent examples.
UK: Taxes are one way to curb plastic waste — BBC
According to the U.K. Treasury, there is wide public support for using the tax system to place financial burden on single-use plastics manufacturers and the products themselves. Hard to recycle items, such as carbon black plastic, are of specific concern for the organization. Any new taxes are expected to be announced in the Treasury's fall budget statement. The news comes after France announced its own tax incentives for reducing plastic waste.
SEEN & HEARD
Do you have events or webinars that should be on our agenda this week? Email [email protected]