In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from industry professionals, consumers and legislators.
"Landfill and environmental officials are discovering that landfills are resources, not just expenses."
— Vance Kemler, general manager of solid waste operations for the city of Denton, TX, on the city's newest landfill mining project. In partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington, Denton is looking at how landfill space can be reused over and over again.
"I'm really proud that we've been able to build a culture based on being curious. I think a lot of people think that when you start a business, you have to be an expert in your field, and I think that Thread is a perfect example where naivety can be your greatest ally. We don't know how it's supposed to be. We just do what we think is the right thing."
— Thread CEO Ian Rosenberger on the philosophy behind starting his plastics-to-fabric company. Thread works in low-income areas of the world to turn plastic into thread while creating jobs for local civilians.
"Plastics are the workhorse material of the modern economy, with unbeaten properties. However they are also the ultimate single-use material. Growing volumes of end-of-use plastics are generating costs and destroying value to the industry. After-use plastics could, with circular economy thinking, be turned into valuable feedstock."
— Dr. Martin R Stuchtey, of the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, on a recent Ellen MacArthur Foundation report that stated there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
"There’s a series of progressions. Educate `em first. Give them warnings. But after that, they have to do something proactive."
— Greg Maxwell, senior vice president of Resource Management, on Chicago's new recycling policy aiming to keep plastic bags out of the waste stream. The city has said that it will push educational efforts and explain to residents how to recycle, which Maxwell feels may not be enough.
"There’s risk involved in this, and the degree of risk that someone can bear is what is going to determine whether they can commit to this or not."
— Hermon, ME Town Manager Roger Raymond discussing the debate that has 187 Maine towns trying to choose a waste-to-energy provider. Currently the towns have two serious candidates: Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. (PERC) and Maryland-based Fibertight.
"In the past, it seemed as though these far-away ideological people had more say than those who lived right near the site, which is another way to politicize the process. So a true consent-based program more heavily weights the opinions of those who live closer to the proposed site, as it should be."
—Forbes contributor James Conca discussing the Department of Energy's shift in rules for nuclear waste disposal. The DOE will now take a "consent-based" approach, creating jobs and economical benefits in regions that are willing to take the waste.