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Featured Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Apr 8, 2015

Update on One-Bin Systems in Medina, OH, and Houston, TX

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/update-on-one-bin-systems-in-medina-oh-and-houston-tx/

Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE) and the Zero Waste Houston coalition have been organizing for two years against a misguided proposal to replace an increasingly successful single-stream recycling program with a dirty MRF, referred to as a ‘one-bin’ system. A stream of support from many groups has aided our efforts across the country that have weighed in on a decision that would likely impact other cities’ recycling and composting goals not just in Texas.

See One Bin posts by Neil Seldman, ILSR.

The news account below of the Envision Waste dirty MRF in Medina, Ohio is the latest report on the poor performance of this technology. The system reached a recycling rate of less than 4%.

Local governments should commit to the education and other investment necessary to increase sorting of discards and compost at the source. Communities can rethink, reduce, reuse, compost and recycle as we have seen in scores of cities and counties in the U.S. that have gone beyond 50%, some reaching over 60% by traditional recycling methods. Fast track alternative like dirty MRFs and incinerators merely perpetuate the mindless cycle of wasteful product and toxic byproduct. They also present taxpayers with financial boondoggles.

Most recently, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle found that bidders on the City of Houston’s “One Bin for All” program have raised serious questions about the feasibility and costs of the project even if it would not include expensive incineration technologies such as gasification.

See City’s One Bin proposals raise financial, technology concerns – Houston Chronicle, March 29, 2015

See Ohio county hits mixed-waste processing crossroads – Resource Recycling, April 7, 2015

Mayor Annise Parker, however, says that her administration has not come to a conclusion about whether or not to move forward with a remaining bidder, and she will make that conclusion at some point before she leaves office in November. For now, Zero Waste advocates in the City are celebrating that all neighborhoods are finally enrolled in the existing single-stream recycling program, and they are encouraging Mayor Parker to pass a Zero Waste Plan that would expand composting programs and apartments recycling as part of a strategy to reduce 90% or more of waste from landfills in the next few decades. Austin has a zero waste goal and San Antonio and Dallas also have long-term plans to reach over 60% and 80% diversion respectively in the next few decades.

Note: Information for this article from Melanie Scruggs, Texas Campaign for the Environment.

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escrap2
Featured Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Apr 7, 2015

How to Maximize the Economic, Environmental and Social Value of E-Scrap: Does EPR Make A Difference?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/how-to-maximize-the-economic-environmental-and-social-value-of-e-scrap-does-epr-make-a-difference/

There are two highly successful non-profit, community based e scrap enterprises operating in Oregon. They have stellar records of efficiency and integrity. They are rivers of wealth for the two cities in which they thrive. The NextStep in Eugene, OR is a repair and distribution center founded in Lorraine Kerwood’s garage as MacRenewal. By 2002… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Mar 6, 2015

March 11th Waste to Wealth Event: Bringing Recycling and Composting Jobs to Baltimore

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/march-11th-waste-wealth-event-bringing-recycling-composting-jobs-baltimore/

The Waste to Wealth = Green Jobs event (free to attend) is being held to present the potential for developing small minority-owned companies in the reuse, recycling and composting sectors in the Baltimore area. ILSR is co-sponsoring this event. Wed, March 11, 2015; 7pm–9pm Baltimore City Community College 2901 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215… Continue reading

laneCountyLogo
Featured Article filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Mar 9, 2015

Model Recycling Communities: Lane County, OR, Pop. 350,000

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/model-recycling-communities-lane-county-or-pop-350000/

There is no one best way for communities to recycle. San Francisco has a highly successful program under an exclusive franchise system. Across the Bay, Berkeley has an equally successful program under a highly decentralized system based on for-profit, non-profit and government agency operations. One of the main reason why recycling grew so fast from… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Feb 18, 2015

Zero Waste Community Enterprises in Atlanta

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/waste-community-enterprises-atlanta/

In 2009 Atlanta declared four neighborhoods within the city as zero waste zones. The effort’s goals include helping local businesses find ways to reduce trash, create jobs, save money and educate others about the advantages of zero waste. In addition to reducing consumption, raising recycling rates, and establishing new resources for composting, Atlanta businesses and… Continue reading