Digging deeper — with a focus on recycling
Recycling has recently been in the news locally, nationally, and internationally. Several articles explore how a California community responds to the China ban, what Orlando is doing in response to wish-cycling, and the waste sorting now required in Shanghai, China.
Market challenges require changes in plastics recycling
Restrictions recently implemented by China have substantially limited the amount of plastics that can be exported there. U.S. manufacturers who work with those materials now have a greater supply than they can use.
An Environmental Resource Analyst in Ventura County, California has written recycle right strategies that could be implemented in any household or organization:
- Know what can and cannot be recycled. Keep straws, Styrofoam, soft plastics (such as bags and bubble wrap), and disposable utensils out of recycling.
- Keep recyclables loose, not bagged.
- Before recycling an item, take a moment to scrape or rinse away most of the food or other non-recyclable material.
This article could serve as a case study of community response to plastics recycling challenges: VCStar.com
A remedy for wish-cycling
Background on the initiative
Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for a New Economy Provide a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates to increase the current EPA-reported 34% recycling rate in the U.S.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiated the Beyond 34 Project to help communities, cities, and businesses create a more sustainable future. Orlando, Florida was chosen to serve as the pilot city.
The Orlando Region Waste Impact Workshop: How Public and Private Sectors Collaborate for Recycling System Optimization, took place in mid-October 2017. One vision developed in that workshop was to promote best practices for recycling more.
What is Beyond34? USChamberFoundation.org
Beyond34 Case Study Report: USChamberFoundation.org/reports
How to recycle with less contamination
Which waste items should be recycled, which can be composted, and which belong in the trash? The City of Orlando Government provides quick and convenient answers through an online tool and smartphone app.
What goes where? Orlando/gov/trash-recycling/
As of July 1, 2019, commercial garbage sorting regulations in Shanghai can bring fines of 7,000 – 70,000 U.S. dollars to non-compliant businesses. Households face fines of up to $30 for each instance.
Rubbish bins have been removed from buildings. Instead, waste must be sorted and brought to designated collection stations for wet garbage, dry garbage, recyclable waste, and hazardous waste.
Read more about Shanghai’s new waste sorting era: South China Morning Post