Green Recycling Products Blog

Holiday Season Recycling Tips

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

At the Fibrex Group, we urge you to think green this holiday season: reduce, reuse and recycle.

While you’re wrapping gifts, think about using something other than wrapping paper, like a scarf, bandana, dish towel or cloth shopping bag. Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. Newspaper is, though, so you might think about using the funny pages as your paper.

Last year’s Christmas and holiday cards can be used in crafts and as ornaments.

Once all the new gifts come in, it’s time to get rid of the old. Any toys or clothing you or the kids have outgrown can be donated to charitable organizations. The Salvation Army and other charitable organizations are always looking for clothing donations, especially during the cold winter months. You can also find metal bins on several street corners where you can drop off your items.

Discarded electronics, like computers, copiers, fax machines and printers, can be donated to a local non-profit.

When decorating your home, there are ways to consider the environment. An artificial tree doesn’t have to be discarded and a live tree can be replanted. If you buy a cut tree, remember that it can’t be flocked or have tinsel or decorations on it if you plan to recycle it.

There may be landscaping companies that will collect or take trees to grind into mulch, which can then be purchased to spread around a yard or garden.

For lights, those of the LED variety last longer, and save energy and money.

You can recycle packaging materials, like cardboard and foam peanuts from your packages. If you get a present in a gift bag, save it to use for next year’s gifts.

The kids will likely be getting some toys that require batteries. Buy rechargeable batteries for those, as well as cameras and other electronic gadgets. When those batteries no longer hold a charge, call the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at 800-8-BATTERY for information on the nearest battery-recycling drop-off location.

Another tip for you….remember to never burn wrapping paper or Christmas trees in the fireplace. Have a safe holiday season!

For more information on recycling during this holiday season, contact the Fibrex Group.

6 Waste and Recycling Trends to Watch in 2016, as Predicted by Experts

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

As we prepare to move into 2016, the solid waste management industry faces ongoing and new challenges that shape how companies do business. From the push to landfill less and reuse more, to the resulting economic toll of plummeting values of surplus recyclables, haulers, recyclers and landfill operators are finding new ways to thrive.

Here are six likely trends for the upcoming year, as projected by industry leaders.

1. Best practices and new technologies will aim to improve safety

Safety will be a top priority following concerning Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the waste and recycling collection occupation ranks fifth for fatalities. This month, the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) released best practices for MRFs, transfer stations, and landfills, and the organization will continue to roll out a series of guidelines over the next few years. NWRA will also convene a safety summit in March to examine, for instance, safety measures for haulers and protocol for fire prevention.

NWRA Vice President of Communications Chris Doherty also explains that technology is big for safety improvement. "We will make sure we are looking at all opportunities to build a strong safety culture using innovative products that have come out,”  said Doherty, citing as examples cab cameras for coaching and for recording accidents, as well as new personal protective equipment.

2. Automated collections to expand

As a continuation to improve safety, automated collections are thrusting forward in residential services since employees stay within their vehicle. "And they come with the benefit of improved waste volume control as containerized systems help limit overages," said Dan Pio, executive vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Progressive Waste Solutions.

The company is launching several automated residential waste collection programs in response to high interest from the municipal sector. Advanced Disposal is also converting to automated side-loading or front-loading collection fleets.

"While there are still applications that are best suited for reload collection (dirt road routes ... and bulk collection, etc.), we made the commitment to switch to ASL or FEL when operationally and financially feasible ..." said Advanced Disposal Chief Marketing Officer Mary O’Brien.

When considering if automated collection is right for you in your public areas, please consider the Fibrex Group Revolve Dual Stream Recycler. The Revolve transforms your 95-gallon wheeled carts into an attractive and durable dual stream recycling or waste container. This innovative housing for universal wheeled collection carts fit a wide variety of cart designs. Fibrex Group also has cart housing available for 35 and 65 gallon carts. They offer modular models for single, dual or triple stream collection.

3. Commodity prices will continue to decline while diversion costs climb

Over-supply or under-consumption across all commodities will continue, projected Jim Langemeir, American Disposal Services’ general manager of single-stream recycling processing, the American Recycling Center.

The costs are exacerbated of late by decreased energy prices and less market demand, especially since it’s often easier to manufacture products from cheaper virgin materials. To preserve recycling as both a viable economic and business practice, companies are focusing on the cost of diversion programs.

"We can play a pivotal role in enhancing diversion efforts and lowering costs ... by leveraging our strengths in logistics and infrastructure to collect and process materials in an environmentally responsible manner and return them to the economy as secondary resources,” said Progressive's Pio.

Trends moving forward may be sustainable approaches to resource reallocation and to a circular economy.  But there should also be a push in 2016 to get governments and businesses to promote recycling through changes in their procurement process, said Pio.

4. Municipal recycling programs to refuse glass, while some companies will invest in this material

Glass has little value in the single-stream format and can damage sorting equipment. But, moreover, it is expensive to sort and transport to the closest processors, said Langemeir, adding the closest facility to American Disposal is miles away in Chester, VA.

Some municipalities report that almost all of their glass disposed in recycle containers goes to landfills because processors are not equipped to remove broken pieces from single-stream containers. Materials recovery facilities, like the one owned by Georgia-based WestRock, claim there’s no profit in glass.

Still some businesses, including Denver-based Clear Intentions and Cincinnati-based Rumpke are holding out that their investments in high-tech sorters and other equipment will generate profits this coming year.

5. Composting programs will expand in some regions

Heightened focus on composting, particularly in regions where there is a need for compost to grow food, has brought opportunity to companies like American Disposal whose Arlington, VA contract will add food waste pick up in the next few years. Manassas City has expressed interest in the same service.

"It will change the way we service customers, not just on the compost side, but the municipal solid waste side too. It will change how people handle their household waste," said American Disposal Services General Manager Kevin Edwards.

Officials in Prince George's County, MD are looking to turn their food composting operation into one of the first large-scale, government-run programs of its kind. Others have launched, or are considering, similar programs including in Boston and Minneapolis.

6. CNG technology will continue to grow

Public and private landfill operators have converted their methane into clean, renewable electricity for years but are expanding that technology for a cleaner, more fuel-efficient product: compressed natural gas (CNG). Republic Services and Waste Management are among two waste giants turning to CNG: Republic now operates more than 2,200 CNG trucks nationwide, with 38 natural gas fueling stations as of August 2015, as Waste Management has 4,200 trucks that run on CNG.

Some industry legislation, like Congress' finalized $300 billion transportation bill, is helping haulers make the switch to compressed natural gas. The bill's limited truck weight waiver for natural gas vehicles will likely increase the expansion of CNG trucks in the public and private sector, according to SWANA CEO David Biderman.

Original By Arlene Karidis | Waste Dive| December 14, 2015

World Soil Day Campaign: December 5, 2015

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Soils have been neglected for too long. We fail to connect soil with our food, water, climate, biodiversity and life. We must invert this tendency and take up some preserving and restoring actions. The World Soil Day campaign aims to connect people with soils and raise awareness on their critical importance in our lives.

Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fiber production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being. It is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same attention as above-ground biodiversity. Soil is made up of organic remains, clay and rock particles, found on the Earth’s surface. It contributes to food, reduces biodiversity loss, and secures energy. Problems like deforestation, bad agricultural practices and pollution causes soil degradation and erosion.

Soils play a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts. The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil so that its preservation may contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The maintenance or enhancement of global soil resources is essential if humanity’s need for food, water, and energy security is to be met.

The History of World Soil Day

In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) made a resolution proposing the 5th of December be World Soil Day in order to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being. 2015 was also declared to be the Internationals Year of Soils in hopes of raising as much awareness as possible about the enormous role soil plays in food security. Unsurprisingly, so far it’s mostly been the global community of 60,000 or so soil scientists who have been the ones celebrating the day the most. The chances of us ordinary folk exchanging ‘Happy Soil Day’ cards in the near future remain minimal, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to appreciate the important roles that soil plays in our lives (even if it is darn hard to scrub off the carpet when your nearest and dearest feline friends leave muddy footprints on their way to the kitchen).

One way to always help our environment is to recycle. By utilizing recycling receptacles from the Fibrex Group, you can easily collect glass, plastic, paper and organics at home, work or at school.

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