In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from industry professionals, consumers and policymakers.
"This is going to get bigger. China just takes in so much volume. There are other markets, but all of them combined can't get close to what China was taking in."
— ISRI Senior Director of International Relations Adina Adler, in an interview with Waste Dive. Reports are starting to come in around the U.S. of recyclers and local governments adapting what sorts of materials they're accepting. The changes are being attributed to China's import ban, which is already starting to limit the global customer base for plastic and paper scrap.
"It’s not easy building a new manufacturing plant in many parts of this country. If we want these jobs to return, if we want to be able to use this material domestically, we need to be sensible about a manufacturing policy in America."
— Chaz Miller, director of policy and advocacy for the NWRA, during a webinar on preparing for China's import ban. While China's restriction on imports will be massively consequential, there's been some talk that it could spur a wave of American manufacturing and recycling investment. U.S. supply of plastic scrap will likely exceed global demand as China stops accepting the material, however, and the permitting and planning process for new recycling centers can be quite lengthy.
"Hopefully in October we can get some trucks down there. I'm going to ask the citizens of Dallas to reach out to Houston because their own trash removal could be affected. But this is the thing to do."
— Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, to Dallas News, about sending garbage collection assistance to Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Crews from San Antonio and Austin, among others, are also helping with garbage and debris collection following the massive storm. Dallas was facing an estimated 8 million cubic yards of waste and debris to clean up and Texas has temporarily suspended some environmental regulations to speed the cleanup process.
"The zero waste goal is aspirational. It opens the door for new ideas and different approaches to be tried. And it's a symbol that can inspire the public to adopt new lifestyles that are more sustainable."
— Eric Goldstein, New York City environment director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, during a hearing on the city's "zero waste" goals. New York City's "zero waste" diversion effort is supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, but is not actually codified in law. Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said that the city is "on track," but that the department would need some more help to reach the 2030 goal on schedule.
"Our intent is not to cause any hardships, but Wilmington’s Charter and Code are very clear in that city government collects trash and recyclables from residential properties only."
— Wilmington, DE Mayor Mike Purzycki, in a statement about coming changes to the city's collections program. After an internal review, city officials stopped a decades-long practice of providing free waste collection for commercial properties and accounts. Wilmington officials estimate that the change in policy will save the city around $200,000 annually. Businesses that have had their garbage collected for free are being encouraged to switch to a private hauler.