June 30, 2015
A recently formed company called WestRock will be the second-largest paper and paperboard firm in North America, behind International Paper. The company is the result of a merger between two industry giants, RockTenn and MeadWestvaco, and it will operate 26 mills in North America with a combined annual capacity of about 12 million tons. Included are paper recycling mills in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. In total, WestRock operates more than two dozen paper processing centers and MRFs.
Boston residents are recycling more, saving the city money by reducing disposal fees. But the city’s diversion rate, at 23.7 percent, is still below the roughly 34 percent national average. The city pays $74 to dispose of every ton of trash from downtown neighborhoods, while its recycling costs are $5 per ton at most, according to the Boston Herald.
The board of the Consumer Goods Forum, representing 400 retailers and manufacturers, has approved a resolution calling for reductions in food waste. The resolution says the forum’s members will reduce food waste in their operations by half by 2025. Nestlé S.A., one of the member companies, praised the latest pledge from the forum.
Major changes in waste management in Vermont are soon approaching, thanks to the state’s Universal Recycling Law. Starting July 1, the disposal of recyclable materials in the garbage is illegal. A ban on throwing out yard debris goes into effect July 1, 2016 and food scrap disposal will be banned July 1, 2020. The law, passed in 2012, also requires all municipalities to adopt a pay-as-you-throw rate structure.
Residents of the Vancouver, British Columbia metro area will soon face fines for including clean wood in the trash. Officials will levy a 50 percent surcharge on loads found to contain 10 percent or more clean wood. The disposal ban went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, with a six-month education period. Financial penalties begin July 1. So far, the ban has been effective at boosting recycling of the material, according to Metro Vancouver.
In Indonesia, nearly 25 percent of survey respondents said waste is the country’s top environmental concern. The online survey was conducted by Yougov.
Northern Ireland is considering implementing a beverage container deposit program, according to Let’s Recycle. The move comes as Scotland, another part of the U.K., considers the same step. Northern Ireland has about 1.8 million people, making it the smallest region of the U.K.
The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) has issued a statement encouraging Baton Rouge, La. leaders to continue glass recycling. The City has negotiated a new contract with Progressive Waste Solutions jettisoning the material from the program starting Nov. 1. GPI said it and its member companies are exploring options for glass recycling.
For multiple reasons, all glass collected at the curb in Denver is used as landfill cover and none is recycled, but some new businesses in the area hope to change that, according to Westword. Momentum Recycling is building a glass-only MRF with optical sorters, and it hopes to sell clean glass to bottle manufacturers. Another effort, Clear Intentions, is collecting bottles directly from restaurants and bars for recycling.
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