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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 the 1970s on, was that cities and counties learned from each other as they implemented their own unique systems. So today we have a wide variety of local recycling models.

Lane County, OR, is an interesting model for a number of reasons. Lane County is one of the only counties in Oregon that does not franchise, license or otherwise regulate garbage collection. Yet the community reached an impressive recovery rate of 61.5% in 2012. The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) confirms that recycling and composting achieved 55.5% recovery, while the County’s backyard compost-at-home, repair and reuse and source reduction programs each earned 2% toward the total recovery rate. The rate declined to 56.9% in 2013 (see note below); recycling and composting achieved 50.9% and Lane County’s backyard composting, repair and reuse and waste prevention programs each earned 2% more as a DEQ credit toward the total recovery rate.

Residents and businesses in the County may choose among one or more private haulers each of which must provide recycling services only inside the urban growth boundaries of any city of over 4,000 and additional services in cities over 10,000. The system is overseen by city and county governments per state statutes and rules.  The Lane County Department of Public Works, Division of Waste Management operates 16 rural transfer stations to fill in the gaps in lieu of a franchise, license or other regulatory program. Lane County’s comprehensive education and outreach includes a Master Recycler Program (much like popular Master Gardener programs). This as well as their website, www.lanecounty.org/recycle presents a very rich and layered approach directing residents and businesses to reuse and repair shops to self-haul and transfer station recycling, with many stops in between.

The information can help cities and counties that are early in their recycling program development as well as experienced recycling jurisdictions looking for novel approaches to common challenges and opportunities.

Here are key websites for more about Lane County, OR’s broad range of programs:

www.lanecounty.org/waste
www.lanecounty.org/recycle

For additional information contact: Sarah Grimm, Lane County Recycling Coordinator at (541) 682-4339.

NOTE:  There is no clear reason for the decline from 2012 to 2013. Most likely factors are: continued market insecurities due to China’s Green Fence, fewer buyers of wood waste (low cost and low emissions of natural gas causing the market to fall out), voluntary reporting by scrap metal industry, accounting for contamination in co-mingled collections, and adjustment of local data to state-wide data.

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

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Featured Article filed under Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Feb 11, 2015

Heads Up from Zero Wasters in Wales, and the Zero Waste International Trust, Plasnewydd, Wales, UK

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/heads-wasters-wales-waste-international-trust-plasnewydd-wales-uk/

Mal Williams, director of the Zero Waste International Trust, alerts us to some good news from the UK by forwarding the recent government report on just how much potential there is in the Zero Waste world for wealth creation and sustainable jobs, “Resource Management: A Catalyst for Growth and Productivity,” UK Department for Environment, Food… 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

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Featured Article filed under Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Dec 16, 2014

Working Partner Update: Recycling Advances in Delaware

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/working-partner-update-recycling-advances-delaware/

Rick Anthony recalls a conversation he had in 2007 with officials from the Delaware Chamber of Commerce about recycling. An official stated that the only way to require recycling in Delaware was to show a considerable economic payoff. Anthony and Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, under contract with the state Department of Natural Resources… Continue reading