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Thread: Recycling is in trouble — and it might be your fault

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    Recycling is in trouble — and it might be your fault

    The just shut down recycling in my area, they closed 4 drop off points. It was privately run and the company just shuttered the entire operation. They said they were losing money and it got worse monthly. Seems the price and demand for recycled goods has dropped considerably.
    Based on this article it isnt just in my area.

    f you are recycling at home, you are probably doing it wrong.That is why a worker lunged to grab a garden hose off the conveyor belt at a Waste Management recycling facility here Wednesday before it got caught in a giant sorting machine. Such tangles frequently require the plant to stop the waste processing line and clean out the jaws by hand.
    "Our contamination changes by the season," said Mike Taylor, the company's director of recycling operations here. Since it's spring, the facility is getting a lot of garden hoses. Around the holidays, they get broken strands of Christmas lights, another choking hazard for the sorting line. And all day every day there are plastic shopping bags (recyclable at a grocery store but not from a household), chunks of styrofoam, diapers, syringes, food-contaminated containers ... a nearly endless litany of things that residents throw into their curbside recycling carts figuring they are or ought to be recyclable. One worker grabs the remnants of a screen door off the sorting line while another snags a wire rack from a DIY shelving unit.
    Many cities around the country will celebrate the 47th Earth Day on Saturday by highlighting their recycling programs, but the industry is grappling with a dual threat: The value of recovered waste products has plummeted over the past five years, and the amount of effort required to extract them has risen.
    A study by Rob Taylor with the State Recycling Program in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality estimated that the average market value of a ton of mixed recyclable material arriving at a recovery facility in the state dropped from just over $180 in early 2011 to less than $80 at the end of 2015. That value has since rebounded a bit, Taylor found, to a little over $100, but it still leaves the industry struggling to extract profit from the millions of tons of recyclable material Americans throw away every year.

    There are a host of reasons for the decline in the recycling market, ranging from global trade policy to the decline in newspaper readership, said David Biderman, executive director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America. Much of reclaimed American waste is shipped overseas, but China erected new limits on imported waste in 2013. In other nations, "there has been a decrease in demand for that material as growth rate in foreign countries has leveled off," Biderman said. Low oil prices have made it cheaper to produce new plastic bottles, so manufacturers don't have as much need for reclaimed plastic. In addition, packaging producers have figured out how to make bottles and cans thinner, so they don't need as much raw material.
    And as the circulation for print newspapers has plummeted, the recycling industry has lost both a massive customer for reclaimed paper fiber and a huge source of incoming recyclable material.
    Across the recycling industry, "what was once a valuable commodity five years ago is less valuable now," Biderman said.
    The change is perhaps most dramatic for glass. In most American cities, the glass bottle you toss in the recycling cart is essentially worthless, and if it breaks, the shards may make the paper in a mixed cart worthless as well.
    "We work hard to keep glass in the system because it is an iconic recycled item," said Keefe Harrison, CEO of the Recycling Partnership, a non-profit committed to improving recycling programs nationwide. But "it has very minimal market value because it has to compete with sand," which is the raw material glass is made from. Some municipalities have simply stopped collecting glass in their curbside recycling programs. Santa Fe overhauled its recycling program this month and said it would no longer collect glass from households. Residents are being asked to take their glass to four drop-off centers around the city.
    The Elkridge facility sorts a lot of glass, Mike Taylor said, but it "doesn't add value" to the waste stream. "You can't move it long distances without paying hefty freight rates," Taylor said, so "it’s a negative-value material for
    us at the processing facility by the time you separate it and then try to truck it three or four or five hundred miles to get it to a market.”





    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...lem/100654976/
    "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it"



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    Cant blame me, I do my part.
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    Older seniors hate recycling here. They gave us reclycling cans that are HUGE I mean huge. They wont pick them up if they arent 3/4s full minimum and they are too heavy for senior ladies and men to push and pull around. Theres alot of people with long driveways that have to haul those heavy cans a long way.

    Truth be told there was alot of people that just didnt do it
    "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it"



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    I read this article yesterday, and found it very discouraging. We make great efforts to recycle in my household, and our local recycling operation has actually widened the range of things it takes in recent years. (They only used to take in plastics numbered 1, 2 or 4, and now they take all numbered plastics. They also accept phone books now - what few actually get printed these days - and they now have separate barrels for most types of yard waste.) I've been trying to find out where we can take fabric items - torn or badly stained clothing, etc. - for recycling in our area.
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    Unsure where you live but i'm not aware of any mid-sized to large US cities that have abandoned recycling programs.

    Even in purple Boise, 9 of 10 families utilize their "no sort" recycling. And the city clearly labels the blue cans with what may and may not be recycled. I take glass to one of four receptacles within 2 miles of my home and my plastic grocery bags and other plastic film back to Albertsons.

    So don't blame people - blame the lack of EDUCATION behind the effort. Ours is communicated frequently and clearly even if you've managed to ignore the label on the bin.

    Btw - the population of Elkridge, MD is barely over 15,000 - not much of a surprise
    Fascism begins with a central argument that the world is broken .. everything is a mess -Unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Wolf View Post
    I read this article yesterday, and found it very discouraging. We make great efforts to recycle in my household, and our local recycling operation has actually widened the range of things it takes in recent years. (They only used to take in plastics numbered 1, 2 or 4, and now they take all numbered plastics. They also accept phone books now - what few actually get printed these days - and they now have separate barrels for most types of yard waste.) I've been trying to find out where we can take fabric items - torn or badly stained clothing, etc. - for recycling in our area.
    We recycled till they stopped it, they took bottles here also, problem was when you concentrated all the glass and other recyclables in one HUGE container it was alot heavier than spreading it into the other trash cans unrecycled. It was just too much for those up there in age.

    The public dump here that is privately owned kept saying that the trash bulk did not go down once they started recycling and they recycling facility was on the dump site.

    Let me go a little further, here the company made a huge investment some years ago. The cans they gave homeowners are huge because they bought a fleet of trucks that pick the cans up without human employees, just a driver. They do recycling county wides so this was a considerable investment. Recyclables at the time were quite profitable at apprix 400 a ton. Now they are 25% of that. If they prices dont go up or drop anymore. Either govt will have to take it over and LOSE A FORTUNE or recycling will end
    Last edited by Common; 04-21-2017 at 09:29 AM.
    "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it"



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    As usual the leftness talks a good game. The problem is, they don't practice what they preach. Like most anything, once the leftness gets involved. Its bound to be failure and a major $#@! up.




    American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why.....

    Once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, recycling in recent years has become a money-sucking enterprise. The District, Baltimore and many counties in between are contributing millions annually to prop up one of the nation’s busiest facilities here in Elkridge, Md. — but it is still losing money. In fact, almost every facility like it in the country is running in the red. And Waste Management and other recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around.


    In short, the business of American recycling has stalled. And industry leaders warn that the situation is worse than it appears.


    Environmentalists and other die-hard conservation advocates question if the industry is overstating a cyclical slump.


    Still, the numbers speak for themselves: a three-year trend of shrinking profits and rising costs for U.S. municipalities — and little evidence that they are a blip.


    Trying to encourage conservation, progressive lawmakers and environmentalists have made matters worse. By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins — while demanding almost no sorting by consumers — the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system......snip~


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...=.a73537674736
    Last edited by MMC; 04-21-2017 at 10:27 AM.
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    We could just have people on welfare work at dumps to sort trash.
    Alea iacta est

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    We could just have people on welfare work at dumps to sort trash.
    Cool idea, and when the one in ten not already working or disabled gets too old?

    Recycle them into Soylent Green to feed SNAP recipients!

    Fascism begins with a central argument that the world is broken .. everything is a mess -Unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    We could just have people on welfare work at dumps to sort trash.
    Cmon now.....the leftists will just move back into Mommy and Daddys home.
    Don't only Practice your Art, but force your way into its Secrets, For it and Knowledge can Raise men to the Divine!!!!! Ludwig Van Beethoven ~

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