A Word About Recycling - Aug. 31, 2013
Here are a couple of items from the latest Resource Recycling eNewsletter, the first addresses a new competition the publication initiated.
The a unique project, aimed at modernizing the way consumers relate to recycling, was named the winner of the inaugural Recycling Innovators Forum, held in conjunction with this week’s Resource Recycling Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
The winner beat out nearly 50 other proposals. The judges felt the idea has the potential to transform recycling by placing bar-codes on recyclable products that can be scanned by smartphones. Consumers would be taken to landing pages that lay out all the specifics of recycling the product, and it’s geo-location-specific, tailoring information to a user’s specific area.”
One of the judges, Brenda Pulley, vice president of recycling programs at Keep America Beautiful said she “was impressed by the number of fresh ideas that the innovators discussed in their presentations.”
“It is encouraging to review the range of creative proposals designed to capture more materials into the recycling system, as well as processing related proposals designed to expand and improve the recovery of materials,” she said.
This first incarnation of the Recycling Innovators Forum was sponsored by Alcoa, The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division, Coca-Cola Recycling, eCullet, Resource Recycling, Inc. and Waste Management, Inc.
The long-term goal of the annual event is to foster invention, originality and measurable improvement in recycling customer experiences, processes, technology and markets.”
Another article spoke about how seemingly good ideas may not always work out in the long run, especially if people recycle more than expected
According to the article, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) released its July 2013 quarterly report on its Beverage Container Recycling Fund, and the outlook was not encouraging.
It seems the latest numbers indicate that, without major reforms to the current bottle-deposit system, the recycling fund will be insolvent by March 2015.
The recycling fund collects all the deposits paid for covered containers and then pays out when bottles get redeemed. The system relies on a percentage of containers remaining unredeemed, using that surplus to pay for the program’s logistics, grant programs, market development and payments to cities, according to the story.
However, people are redeeming more than the 70 percent expected, because containers are now recovered at such a high rate in the state (recently pushing beyond 80 percent), the surplus has steadily dwindled and future funding is uncertain.
Unfortunately, fraud has also been an issue for the fund, as out-of-state beverage containers have had an impact on California’s already-overloaded redemption system.
Gloria and Ollie are local citizens concerned with the environment . Contact them at (512) 353-7432 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org