In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from industry professionals, consumers, and legislators.
"Utilities, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers are all realizing the landscape has changed dramatically, evidenced by many private and public recycling programs struggling financially. Sharing costs ensures the long-term viability of a recycling market that delivers important environmental benefits."
— ARCA Recycling President Edward R. (Jack) Cameron to Recycling Today regarding the company's efforts to adapt to rocky recycling market changes through raised rates and new focuses.
"There are people in D.C. that hold our community, and the lives of our children — they’re holding them hostage right now by pausing on this bill ... What we’re looking for is a second opinion, and we’re looking for an unbiased opinion."
— Dawn Chapman, a Bridgeton, MO resident and organizer for Just Moms STL, to St. Louis Public Radio regarding Senate Bill 2306, which is currently stalled in D.C. The bill would transfer oversight of the West Lake Landfill from the EPA to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"Today, there is a community of confusion regarding the definitions of renewable versus recyclable, biodegradability versus photodegradabililty, and so on — yet such boastful environmental claims are made with fluidity, leaving consumers as content that as long as they recycle, the waste problem is addressed."
— Jack Buffington, post-doctoral researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and a supply chain leader for beer manufacturer MillerCoors, on issues surrounding recycling programs in the U.S.
"A substantial number of drivers in our industry work at night, and are at risk for sleep apnea. No sanitation department or waste hauler wants one of their drivers falling asleep at the wheel."
— SWANA CEO David Biderman on a new federal proposal to test truckers, bus drivers, and railroad workers for sleep apnea. The American Automobile Association Foundation estimates more than 300,000 crashes a year are due to drowsy driving, however a study of commercial drivers found a 73% reduction in accidents among those being treated for sleep apnea.
"How did he survive that accident? He fell 75 feet. He was ejected from the truck, the video clearly shows it. And still, he survived ... He was born that day, and if he doesn’t go to church, he should start."
— Joe Sanchez, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, on a February accident in which a garbage man drove off of an I-95 ramp in Miami. The DriveCam footage, which was released this week, showed that the man was not texting, speeding, or fighting traffic, which makes the reasoning for why he drove off of the road unclear.
"The truth is that we have been losing over $1,000,000 per year on the contract, and a year ago we told the City that we could not continue to lose that amount of money ... Then, two weeks ago the Mayor called me. He said that he realizes that we are not in the business of losing money, but could we just continue to lose for another 18 months so that he would not look bad as a politician."
— Waste Management CEO David Steiner on the company's relationship with Houston, TX. This week, the city of Houston decided to sever negotiations with Waste Management over a new recycling contract due to financial burdens on both ends.