Green Recycling Products Blog

Recycling Containers and Programs for Tailgaters

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

If you run a stadium, park or concert venue, you could learn a little about recycling from the Carolina Panthers. Tailgaters had tons of fun in and around the Stadium this past football season, and in the process they helped collect tons of recyclable material.

The recycling initiative, spearheaded by the Panthers and Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful, collected a record 45.35 tons in its sixth season. Combined with the 83.28 tons of recycling and food waste gathered inside the stadium, a record 128.63 tons of material was collected during the 2014 season.

“The Panthers have had a recycling program since 1997 that we started inside the stadium because it was the right thing to do," director of stadium operations Scott Paul said. "We continue to look for ways to improve the program. Five years ago, the Panthers were approached by Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful executive director about a recycling program in parking lots for tailgaters.

"We put together a team from Bojangles, the Panthers, Center City Partners and the City of Charlotte Solid Waste, and we got buy-in from parking lot operators surrounding the stadium. The program has been very well received."

The collaborative effort has been embraced by everyone involved, including Panthers fans themselves.

"Our fans have bought into the recycling program at the parking lots around the stadium so much so that they now approach our volunteers to ask for the recycling receptacles.”

"We continue to see growth in the recycling program outside the stadium as our volunteers continue to bring awareness to the program in these parking lots. Inside the stadium, we have a dedicated staff of people that get every piece of recyclable material up before we begin picking up the trash."

When your patrons self-police their waste, you save money in clean-up costs while simultaneously making your venue appear cleaner and more professional.  The perfect recycling and waste containers for any public venue include the Revolve Depot and the Encore special event boxes. The Revolve will transform you 95-gallon wheeled carts into an attractive and durable dual stream recycling or waste container. Perfect for those tailgates outside of large stadiums. The Encore single boxes or stations are excellent for collecting smaller amounts of waste/recyclables from tailgaters. These boxes are even cost-effective enough that they can be purchased by the team or school and sold to individual groups to enhance fundraising efforts for the team. Increase your participation rates and support the home team at the same time!

Are you interested in a recycling program for your municipal or college stadium? Contact the Fibrex Group for more information on recycling containers that can even be branded with your team or venue logo.

Styrofoam to be banned in New York City starting in July

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The administration of New York City and mayor Bill De Blasio announced a ban on single-use styrofoam products starting on July 1st, 2015. The decision follows a long-awaited determination by the Department of Sanitation that Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is not a recyclable product. The new law prohibits NYC food service establishments, stores and manufacturers from possessing, selling or offering single-service EPS foam articles or polystyrene loose fill packaging in New York City.

The ban piggybacks legislation introduced in 2013 that restricted the sale and use of single-use polystyrene containers. This includes cups, food containers, and packing materials, and applies to sales in restaurants, coffee shops, food carts, and other establishments. Instead of going into effect back in 2013, the ban was delayed to give the city a chance to find a way to recycle the material.

The Department of Sanitation consulted with polystyrene manufacturers and vendors before reaching their final determination that there is not currently an effective method for recycling or reusing disused polystyrene. Mayor De Blasio is optimistic about the ban’s environmental impact. The law is expected to keep nearly 30,000 tons of EPS waste out of New York landfills and streets.

Although it’s possible that technological advances could make styrofoam recycling feasible, it’s too soon to speculate when such a process will be readily available for large metropolitan areas like New York. It’s also unknown whether future polystyrene recycling will be enough to convince city officials to bring foam cups and food containers back to the Big Apple.

Please contact the Fibrex Group for all of your recycling container needs. We are featuring our newest product the Revolve Recycler at a low introductory price for a limited time!

Give us a call at 1-800-346-4458 for a complete quote. Work. Play. Recycle.

**Via a press release from the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City, NY

Multifamily Recycling: An Opportunity to Reach Zero Waste - Austin, TX

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

As one of the fastest-growing large cities in the U.S., Austin Texas attracts 100+ new residents a day. Due to a tight housing market, most of these transplanted ‘Austinites’ rent apartments, condos or other multifamily units. While curbside recycling is the norm for Austin homeowners, many rental properties don’t yet offer recycling pickup.

At the multifamily properties that do offer recycling, the influx of new residents and frequent turnover leads to contamination issues and a need for ongoing education. In addition, when recycling containers are placed too far away from trash containers, some tenants choose not to participate due to inconvenience.

Despite these challenges, multifamily properties offer enormous potential for achieving Austin’s waste diversion goals. With 734,270 apartment units, multifamily housing makes up about 47 percent of the total housing stock in Austin.

To meet this challenge head on, the Austin City Council adopted an ordinance that requires commercial and multifamily properties to provide their employees and tenants with convenient access to recycling. This city ordinance, labeled the Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO), phases in recycling access requirements over a series of years. By Oct. 1, 2016, all multifamily properties in Austin will be required to provide recycling services.

Their approach is unique in that the requires are being phased in over several years, starting with the largest properties. This gives smaller properties more time to prepare and put infrastructure in place.

To ensure successful implementation, stakeholders are involved early in the ordinance development process. The ordinance impacts all commercial properties, so the Austin Resource Recovery team held a series of stakeholder meetings with a wide variety of industry types, including retail, grocery, healthcare, multifamily and commercial properties, as well as member associations, environmental groups and private haulers. The recommendations that came out of these meetings were included in the ordinance and rules for implementation.

To meet the requirements of the ordinance, multifamily properties must take the following five steps:

  • Recyclable Materials: Provide recycling for plastics No. 1 & No. 2, paper, cardboard, glass and aluminum. Substitute materials may be proposed on the Annual Diversion Plan.
  • Convenience and Capacity: All trash collection service containers or other collection points must have a recycling container within 25 feet. Multifamily and Commercial properties must meet certain minimum recycling service capacity to avoid “token recycling” efforts.
  • Signage: All signs must indicate the recyclable materials accepted and use graphic illustrations, stated in both English and Spanish languages.
  • Annual Education: Educate new employees and tenants within 30 days of hire or move-in and annually thereafter.
  • Annual Diversion Plan: Submit online each year between Oct. 1 and Feb. 1.

Austin Resource Recovery has a team of experts who provide free consulting services to help property owners and managers understand the ordinance requirements and provide guidance on ways to improve or expand recycling programs. The team offers free training sessions, sends speakers to events and conducts onsite waste assessments. Online resources are available, such as signage templates, capacity calculators and tips for educating employees and tenants.

Advice for other cities looking to implement a similar ordinance?

  1. Listen to the multifamily housing industry and get them on board early. Take their recommendations into consideration before ordinance adoption.
  2. Listen to multifamily residents. Tenants are a key factor in driving demand for recycling services.
  3. Create a list of standardized rules that can be easily implemented, to encourage best practices in serving the site tenants.
  4. Plan compliance techniques and acquire proper resources before implementation of the ordinance.
  5. Present the requirements as a means toward the city waste diversion goals, and avoid portraying the rules as new city “regulations.”

As cities like Austin grow and change, listening and engaging with the community is critical to zero waste’s success.

Please visit Fibrex Group to discover the latest products to help you reach zero waste. Our latest dual recycling container, the Revolve Recycler is an attractive cart housing for 95-gallon carts for use at housing communities, universities, resorts, military bases, etc. Or give us a call at 1-800-346-4458.

*Previously posted on by Bob Gedert, director of the Austin Resource Recovery Department

The Benefits of An Environmental Education for Kids

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The environment is a great concern for all of us, whether we realize it or not. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat; every aspect of our lives in influenced directly by the ecosystem in which we live, and the way we live influences or ecosystem in turn. Scientists and activists have known this for years, but the public at large is just starting to catch on and children today are growing up in a fragile world. There are many reasons why our children should be educated about the environment.

1.Those Who Don’t Learn from History…

The world is damaged. There is really no intelligent argument against this point anymore. The rapid growth of our population and the industrial revolution that’s taken place over the past few hundred years have put our environment in a fragile state. Our cities spew toxic pollution into surrounding ecosystems every second, forests are being destroyed daily, the seas are being overfished, and our resources are dwindling. Children should be brought up to think about sustainable lifestyle options, not to perpetuate the mistakes of their ancestors.

2.Global Warming Consciousness

The evidence supporting global warming and climate change is becoming more irrefutable day by day. Only the most stubborn could deny its significance and imminent threat to our health and lifestyle at this point. Children are highly impressionable, and while even the most conclusive evidence may not have an effect on the wealthy old oil magnate who makes his living off of large carbon footprints, there is now a glowing opportunity to educate about the dangers that global warming and climate change pose to the entire world.

3.Get Children Excited

School can be boring, anyone who has been through basic education can attest to that. Students get restless sitting at their desks for hours on end. Environmental education can get students out of the classroom for fun and enlightening field trips that can help children learn about their local ecosystems and inspire a lifelong passion for learning. Dynamic teaching methods are very effective in engaging the students, and this can be a great asset in their learning experience. An environmentally minded education isn’t only good for the environment; it’s good for the children as well.

4.Get Children Outside

Children of today spend more time than ever in front of the TV and computer screens. Video games are prevalent in most households, the internet is whittling away time, and children are becoming more inactive. Inactivity in these crucial years can lead to attention problems, obesity, and a loss of valuable time with friends and family. Environmental education encourages a love of the outdoors, which can help keep children physically and psychologically healthy.


Children should be given all the opportunities in the world, and there will be a great market for satisfying and lucrative careers in the environmental sector in the future. We are approaching an era in which a doctorate in environmental science won’t be the only option for career seeking individuals in this field.

A child brought up with quality environmental education will have developed critical thinking, problem solving skills, and practical knowledge. The knowledge they can gain in this subject could help them to save themselves, and the world as well. Check out the Fibrex Group line of educational recyclers. Work. Play. Recycle.

*Originally published by