Neil Seldman authored an article published in the October 2013 issue of BioCycle.
One of the remarkable stories about recycling in the U.S. is the intensive and creative approaches to introduce it even though, at first, recycling was an add-on cost to solid waste management. This occurred during the 1970s and 1980s when small businesses and citizen activists, often fighting planned incinerators, began to change the rules in favor of recycling. Over the years, new rules have included mandatory household and commercial recycling, minimum content legislation, product and packaging bans, new collection equipment and routing, and more. By the mid 1990s, well organized recycling started to reduce the overall costs of solid waste management for cities. This coincided with the defeat of hundreds of waste to energy proposals across the nation, making the U.S. recycling movement one of the great success stories for citizen activism and environmental progress.