In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from industry professionals, consumers and legislators.
"Personally, I have often questioned the 'rules,' wondering if, for example, something like the plastic bag inside of a cereal box is recyclable, and it goes without saying that I am not the only one with such questions."
— CleanRobotics CEO Vaish Krishnamurthy on the issue of waste contamination. To assist in solving the industry-wide problem, Krishnamurthy and her team developed Trashbot, a garbage can that can automatically sort recyclables and non-recyclables into separate receptacles.
"If there’s anything I can emphasize to you, don’t just sell scrap. Don’t just sell recycled materials. Sell systems ... We see that in our business. And we see it every day. That is the way to move along with things."
— Mathelin Bay Associates Managing Director Phillip Karig on patterns that are negatively affecting the recycling industry. At the recent Plastics Recycling Conference in New Orleans, IHS Chemical Senior Director Tison Keel noted that pressure on PET recyclers "is likely to remain" due to challenges like cheap virgin resin PET prices.
"Leadership begins with listening, and I believe Indianapolis deserves a true community conversation before we move forward with any waste and recycling plan."
— Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett on the city's decision to postpone Covanta's plans for a mixed-waste facility, estimated at $45 million. While proponents of the "dirty MRF" say processing mixed waste will help reach recycling goals, opponents don't agree with the contract terms.
"A reliable, sustainable energy infrastructure cannot rely solely on intermittent sources of energy. We hope to see more government support in the coming years to preserve the existing asset base [of biomass energy] as well as add to the nation's biomass fleet."
— Bob Cleaves, president and CEO of the Biomass Power Association (BPA), on how renewable energy sources, such as biomass, biogas, and waste-to-energy, need support and financing to become reliable in the marketplace.
"Now that it’s crunch time, we have to focus on getting this done and in a scientific manner...We need to make sure we do this right. We only get one chance."
— St. Louis County Health Department Director Faisal Khan on a health survey the department will conduct on residents living near the West Lake and Bridgeton landfills. The intention of the survey is to determine of the smoldering Bridgeton landfill has had an affect on residents' respiratory health.
"Coupled with consumer education, legislation should be a priority, especially in the ‘to-go’ city. We can’t keep using throwaway products that are used for a few minutes but take decades to break down."
— Sandra Meola, communications and outreach associate at NY/NJ Baykeeper, on a recent study that found that at least 165 million plastic particles are floating within the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary waters at any given time.