In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from industry professionals, consumers and legislators.
"You’ve got school teachers over here at the high school and Rose Acres (Elementary School in Maryland Heights, MO) saying, 'We’re scared. We’re responsible to take care of all these kids, and we don’t know what to do, we’re not being told how to do that.' You've got people reporting illnesses saying, 'I’m sick, this has destroyed my family.'"
— Dawn Chapman, a member of Just Moms STL, on the fire at Missouir's Bridgeton Landfill that may reach the nearby Waste Lake Landfill, filled with radioactive waste. St. Louis County released an 11-page disaster plan that calls for evacuations in case the fire hits the site.
"Recycling was really based on a couple of very mistaken projections – That it would save money, that it would avert these problems of disappearing landfill space and disappearing materials – and once you realize that the original problems aren’t there, it’s kind of foolish to keep trying to impose a solution to them."
— New York Times reporter John Tierney on the concept of recycling in the United States. Tierney released a controversial op-ed on Sunday that criticizes recycling for being uneconomical, and says that Americans should only recycle paper, cardboard, and metals such as aluminum.
"Recycling and waste-reductions efforts are critical to our goal of reducing the waste stream ... These grants bring much-needed assistance to municipalities that struggle to educate residents about why recycling can make a difference in their communities and bottom line[s]."
— Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito on the state's decision to award $1.4 million in Sustainable Materials Recovery Program grants to 216 municipalities and regional solid waste districts.
"There's so much organic material in the waste stream. It's such a great opportunity ... (But) we are growing as fast as we can with the financial limitations that we have."
— Charlotte Pitt, manager of the Denver's solid waste division, on the city's 16% recycling rate. The city plans to improve the rate by replacing industrial bins with household carts for trash, recycling, and composting, as well as adding two more compost pickup routes.
"Lead and cadmium can cause irreversible health damage, but Kuusakoski's compliance programs lack information on controlling exposure levels and protecting workers through common-sense safety measures like wearing respirators and protective clothing ... The company must protect the long-term health of employees exposed to these dangerous metals."
— Kathy Webb, OSHA's Chicago-area director in Calumet City, on health risks at the Kuusakoski recycling firm. OSHA fined the firm $114,800 and cited it for 26 health and safety violations following a March inspection.