Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘waste management

#YouStink rallying cry: Recycling ‘cornerstone’ solution to Lebanon garbage woes

By: Karim Traboulsi posted on 24 August, 2015

The ongoing garbage crisis has forced Lebanese to take to the streets

Pushing for a recycling-based solution, not calling for revolution, is the only way forward.

There are many different views on how to tackle Lebanon’s one-month-old garbage crisis.

Yet everyone agrees that the usual sweep-it-under-the-rug approach of the Lebanese government can no longer work.Indeed, the current problem is a turning point for an issue that many believe has been 40 years in the making

.Lebanon’s civil war (1975-1990) put a freeze on any progress on waste management in the country.

After the end of the civil war, due to a combination of factors – arguably led by incompetence and corruption – the Lebanese government failed to develop a modern solution to manage the country’s waste, and resorted to burying it in landfills with little to no downstream processing.

The Lebanese government and the private contractor Sukleen, which was paid hundreds of millions of dollars to collect rubbish from Beirut and Mount Lebanon, acted little more than a “garbage taxi,” in the words of Ziad Abi Chaker, one of Lebanon’s leading environmental entrepreneurs.

Up to 80 percent of waste is buried, if we go with a 2014 report by the Regional Solid Waste Exchange of Information and Expertise network in Mashreq and Maghreb countries, and little of the remaining 20 percent is recycled or composted.

Lebanon waste in brief Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Generation: – 2.04 million tonnes per year (2013)

Final destination of MSW:- Composted 15 % – Recycled 8 %- Landfilled 48 %- Openly Dumped 29 %Waste composition:- Organic 52.5 % – Paper/cardboard 16% – Plastics 11.5 % – Metal 5.5 % – Glass 3.5 % – Others 11 %

Cost of waste management:- Collection and transportation: $10-$31/tonne- Total cost including disposal: $20-$143/tonne (Source: SWEEPNet (2014)

It was only a matter of time for Lebanon, a tiny mountainous country, to run out of space for its waste. This is exactly what precipitated the current, mother of all garbage crises, when the government shut down the overfilled landfill in Naahmeh, the main dumping ground for the capital’s rubbish, under pressure from frustrated locals.

They had had enough with the smell and worrying reports of higher cancer rates near landfill sites. The Lebanese government was stumped.

Already in paralysis, and structurally incapable of thinking outside the box of traditional solutions, it could do little to resolve the problem as no other Lebanese region accepted to absorb the waste of the capital.

The Lebanese government scrambled to find an easy, quick-and-dirty solution. It even considered selling waste to Sweden, which incinerates garbage to produce hot water, but that quickly failed as Sweden requires rubbish to be sorted first.

The next-best solution was to try and bribe neglected Lebanese regions in the periphery to become the capital’s dumping grounds (for example the neglected province of Akkar up north), in return for development projects.

Experts have spoken to local television stations about the prospect of acid rain over Lebanon. When emissions from uncollected garbage merge with oxygen and moisture, they warned, they could turn into acid that will combine with water droplets during the fast-approaching wet season.

The Lebanese government’s mishandling of the issue eventually prompted protests by civil campaigners and activists, who have launched the #YouStink campaign.

The first few protests were small in scale but the continuation of the crisis and violent police reaction has rallied more and more Lebanese around the cause and against government incompetence in general.

YouStink anti-government protests drew thousands over the weekend  forcing the government to deploy hundreds of police. The police clashed with the peaceful protesters, using water cannons and even tear gas. Hundreds were reportedly wounded, triggering a new political crisis and calls for the government to step down.

But protesters have been criticised for raising maximalist demands and expecting too much from a government that has no popular mandate and whose main function has been to prevent Lebanon from exploding under pressure from the Syrian conflict.

A few during the protests called for “revolution” against the system, but many believe the protests should have a more specific, achievable goal.

Predictably, some in the Lebanese left have accused YouStink of not being radical enough.

Ziad Abi Chaker believes that not only there is a feasible solution to the garbage problem, but also that it would be simple to implement a sustainable, profitable and eco-friendly plan.

Recycling and composting, or as environmentalists put it the 3Rs – Recycle, Reuse, Reduce – would be at the heart of such a plan.

The solution starts at the level of individual citizens. If the Lebanese government is unrepresentative and works for the service of a corrupt political class as it is alleged, then it is only logical that ordinary people should take the initiative and not wait for their unelected rulers to act.

The simplest two things people can do is to sort their rubbish and reduce their consumption to produce less organic and solid waste.

Ziad Abi Chaker and a number of NGOs have been trying to raise awareness about this for some years now, and the latest crisis has helped their cause dramatically.

Back in January, Abi Chaker and activist Sobhiya Najjar launched a viral video campaign to persuade Lebanese households to sort organic and solid waste using separate black and blue bags. Existing recycling plants in Lebanon could already absorb a lot of solid waste, including glass and plastics Existing scavenger networks would then pick the blue bags and sort their contents further, and sell recyclable items to private-sector recycling businesses.

Abi Chaker told al-Araby al-Jadeed that existing recycling plants in Lebanon could already absorb a lot of solid waste, including glass and plastics. He says there are other types of waste that Lebanon’s existing infrastructure cannot handle, such as green glass, but points out that the main challenge is organic waste

But even this would not be too difficult for Lebanon to deal with.

Abi Chaker stresses it would not take more than a few years for plants to be built, during which part of the waste could be safely stored for later processing.

Naturally, a comprehensive national waste management plan would improve sorting at home and not rely on scavengers, but rudimentary sorting is a good start to reduce the volume of waste, Abi Chaker argues.

Lebanese citizens could also do a lot more by way of reducing their consumption. Abi Chaker and NGOs advocating the 3Rs have been asking Lebanese people and restaurants, notorious for wasting food, to reduce organic waste by both consuming less and trying to compost when possible.

People can also reduce their solid waste by reusing and repurposing instead of disposing of items like glass or using reusable items instead of disposable ones. Part of the problem has been giving too much power to one company such as Sukleen Bypassing ‘centralised corruption’ Part of the problem has been giving too much power to one company such as Sukleen to handle the waste of metropolitan Beirut and Mount Lebanon, where the bulk of Lebanon’s population is concentrated.

Ziad Abi Chaker and others have instead proposed decentralising rubbish collection and downstream processing by working with local municipalities.Municipalities, together with citizens and environmental NGOs, can handle the sorting and collection of waste and then sell it to private recycling businesses for some revenue that goes back into improving infrastructure.

Municipalities are more answerable to local constituencies, and comprehensive decentralisation has been a constant demand after the civil war as one way to achieve fairer and more balanced development and reduce corruption at the level of the central government.

Enter the state gargantuan task of waste management in Lebanon in a way that meets modern international standards cannot be handled by civil society and the private sector alone, though these must take the lead and waste management must have a solid grassroots bedrock. Waste management must have a solid grassroots bedrock Lebanon’s Ministry of Environment and the Council for Development and Reconstrution, a quasi-state body, have already developed studies and supposedly drafted national waste management plants.

But these join similar plans for public transport, energy and water resource management plans on the forgotten shelves of Lebanese bureaucracy.The Lebanese state’s role, according go Ziad Abi Chaker, is primarily to develop tax incentives, draft legal frameworks and act as a facilitator for waste management stakeholders. It is also hoped that the Lebanese state would help finance and build large recycling plants, especially to handle organic waste.

The problem here is that it is hard to expect politicians to greenlight a radical recycling-based approach to waste management.

Many of those in power and their direct associates allegedly have links to waste management businesses and see no direct benefit for their pockets to go the sustainable way.In fact, politicians now seem to be taking advantage of the snowballing YouStink movement not to heed their citizens’ demands, but to settle scores among themselves and promote half-baked solutions favouring their cronies.Eyes on the prize #YouStink must learn from the mistakes of previous protest movements in the country

The YouStink campaign offers some hope by way of putting public pressure on the government to change its usual approach. But the campaign must learn from the mistakes of previous protest movements in the country, most recently the struggle of the Unions Coordination Committee (UCC) to end a 10-year-old freeze on pay rises amid a cost of living crisis, if it wants to avoid failure and losing public support.

The UCC protest movement expanded its goals so broadly that it eventually lost focus on its main objective.Worryingly, some in YouStink are going on tangents about changing the entire system and replacing the entire political class. While few in Lebanon disagree with these demands, the struggle to resolve the garbage crisis in a sustainable way must remain focused on the issue at hand.

The protesters must sustain pressure on politicians collectively and refuse any solution they propose other than the recipe environmentalists have put forward: No dumping, no landfills and no incinerators. The objective must be kept specific, technical and apolitical, at least until a nationwide recycling-based waste management system is up and running, where the citizens – not the state – take the lead.

Otherwise, the outcome will be more chaos and no solution to the country’s garbage woes.As the saying in Lebanon goes, we want to eat grapes, not kill the vineyard guard.Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff. – See more at: http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2015/8/24/youstink-recycling-cornerstone-of-solution-to-lebanon-garbage-woes#sthash.cizxlOhx.dpuf

The stench of this rotten system in Lebanon is unbearable: Marches, live ammunition, rubber bullets and comments

The following pictures show fallen university students shot at by the police force to dismantle a peaceful rally against the month-old garbage dilemma.

Rabih El-Amine's photo.
Rabih El-Amine's photo.
Rabih El-Amine's photo.
Rabih El-Amine's photo.
Rabih El-Amine's photo.
In context: After the end of the civil war in Lebanon, then Syria, Saudi Arabia and the USA agreed on a triumvirate to  be the Godfathers of the new political system, a system of cantons representing the civil militia aspect of a de-facto divided Lebanon among its various religious sects.
Two of the triumviri leaders were let militia leaders:  Nabih Berry (main man of Syria and current chairman of Parliament for the last 35 years and leader of Amal shiaa militia) and Walid Jumblat (Druze militia leader) and the rich real estate developer Rafic Hariri, parachuted by Saudi Arabia to be their main man and Prime Minister. (The militia leaders were tacitly allowed to keep their weapons hidden from the searches and collection by the Lebanese army).
All the other political figures in this theater, even the new comers of billionnaires to the scene, were the front.
The Maronite Christian militia leader Samir Jaagea was put in prison for 13 years.
General Michel Aoun, designated  Prime minister by the leaving President Amin Gemmayel, was remove by force by the Syrian and sent to exile in France. (Current leader of the Tayyar movement)
After Rafik Hariri was assassinated in 2005, the two militia leaders had a field day to rule Lebanon in every political, social and financial aspects
 
When all the parties agreed on a law or a project the political figures shared in the looting of the public funds and each one had his own financial Black Box and shares in the numbers of ministers, public services, the army and police forces. Accumulating the national debt to reach $70 billion was meant to compensate for the greedy cheese partakers in the system of post militia control under the semblance of a civil State.
Berry was appointed as the maestro of this system of systematic and blatant looting of the wealth of the nation.
When they disagreed, the Lebanese citizens had to suffer in many ways that is conceivable in any sensible State. (No electricity, no potable water, no health insurance…)
Then they disagreed on the ratio of splitting the garbage collection and treatment deals.
And for more than a month, the wastes have been accumulating in every street all over Lebanon and no resolution in sight.
The educated youth decided to rally against this garbage crisis under the slogan: “You stink. Get out of the way”
When the demonstrators gathered in  Sa7at Nejmeh (Star square where the Parliament is located), Nabih Berry ordered the guards to open fire with live bullets.
This order backfired and the people know who is the real gangster in this militia system of government.

A massive shoutout to every Lebanese who will be at the ‫#‏طلعت_ريحتكم‬ demonstration today. I wish I could be with you, but I’ll add my voice to yours on social media.

For those not planning to go, and for those carrying on with life as usual because ‘تعودنا’ or ‘نحنا عيّشين’, you are – whether you are aware of it or not – sending out a message to your government that you accept the poor life conditions that are being inflicted on you.

That you are happy to pay for electricity and water but not get what you have paid for.

That you are ok to pay your income tax and municipality bills but not receive basic waste management services and infrastructure services.

That you are satisfied with Lebanon remaining a third World country although its population is in the top 98 percentile in educational attainment.

Whether you know it or not, your absence, silence and apathy is feeding corruption.

Every human being across the planet has the right to a better quality of life, and to more for their money.

So do your duties as a citizen. Go down to ساحة النجمة today at 6pm and demand your basic human rights!

(Joanna believes that civil disobedience of refusing to pay any kinds of taxes (direct or indirect) is the best strategy to achieve any meaningful results)

Jean El Hakim commented:

In 2005,  1.5 million Lebanese went down to Beirut DT marching against the Syrian occupation…. I didn’t join because I saw the same as ole greedy politicians leading the move… Although I really wanted the Syrians out…
This time and for the first time I see hope in Lebanon…

People are marching against the corrupt politicians with no exceptions! (No political parties officially asked its members to join the rally)

I wish I was in Lebanon because that would be the first time I would participate in real movement that could lead towards a better Lebanon…

To all my friends who are really committed to their politicians… Maybe it is time to step back and really think of the bigger picture….

What has your political party done for your country… Be critical….

We need educated open minded people to run this country… We’ve got plenty of them…

Remember Ziad Baroud? Charbel Nahass? Hundreds of qualified women and men to lead the new Lebanon!

I hope lots of people will join the march this Saturday and I wish I was there with you…

No, this is not to say that the female protesters who were present at the You Stink demonstration last night are to be revered and the males downplayed – but given…
lbcgroup.tv

The scene of the You Stink demonstration in Beirut’s Riad Square on Wednesday evening was nothing short of surreal, with riot police implementing excessive force and violence against a handful of female protesters barricading fellow male demonstrators from the brutal hits of batons and sticks.

No, this is not to say that the female protesters who were present at the You Stink demonstration last night are to be revered and the males downplayed – but given the susceptibility of the female body and the sociological conventions that go along with that (especially in the Middle East), and the army of brutes who stood on the other side of the line ruthlessly charging with rods and shields, one cannot but highlight what now clearly is a mobocracy, i.e. the rule of the strong against the weak.

Not only has the (illegitimate) government failed to forge solutions to the alarming waste management crisis, it is now fighting (and fighting with force) all those who point out the extent of its failure and corruption, namely You Stink campaigners who are demanding clean and sustainable solutions to the country’s waste management crisis and an end to commonplace fraudulent practices.

Befkaya Forest

The riot police hitting women and men alike outside the Grand Serail are but a reflection of the ruling mob that resides behind a great wall, barricading them from the needs of the real people who have now reached their tipping point.

Although the protesters were small in number, the sheer brutality exerted defies logic and points to the serious malfunction of a system built to feed the mobs’ corruption. But protesters are not giving up yet and have vowed to return once again to demonstrate before the Grand Serail, defying batons, sticks, wrongful incarceration and the men behind them.

If you happen to be reading this and have yet to make up your mind as to whether or not you would be joining the men and women of the You Stink campaign, here’s a reminder of who we are up against.

Lest the people forget, below are the few who have taken Lebanon hostage.

  

Prime Minister and acting President Tammam Salam

Academic qualifications: B.A Economy, Management

Greatest Achievement:

-Taking on an illegitimate premiership (which requires great management skills)

-Designating Mohammad Mashnouq as Minister of Environment (Again, great economic, management skills)

 

[Salam] Environment Minister Mohammad Mashnouq

Academic qualifications: B.A. Political Science/ Media Degree

Greatest Achievement:

– Failing to forge solutions to the country’s waste management crisis

– Failing to protect Lebanon’s natural reserves

– Stalling the evaluation of tenders

– Possessing little knowledge on environmental issues

 

[CAR] Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil             

Academic qualifications: B.A. in civil engineering, M.A. in Communications

Greatest Achievement:

– Blatant sexism whilst on duty as acting FM

– Failure to protect Lebanon’s natural reserves as acting Energy Minister

– Negligence in terms of failing to properly refer to seismological studies prior to launching dam projects

– Failing to implement sustainable solutions for the crippling electricity/water crisis

 

[CAR] Energy Minister Arthur Nazarian           

Academic qualifications: Textile engineering

Greatest Achievement:

-Failing to forge sustainable solutions for the crippling electricity/water crisis

-Admitting to having none /blaming incompetence on Syrian refugee crisis – yet not resigning   

 

[CAR] Education Minister Elias Bou Saab

Academic qualifications: B.A. in Marketing, M.A in International Relations

Greatest Achievement:

-Complacency in the failure of the passing of the ranks and salaries series

-Turning a blind eye to the dumping of garbage next to schools/ universities 

 

[CAR] Culture Minister Rony Araiji           

Academic qualifications: B.A. Law

Greatest Achievement:

– B.A. Law

-Failing to protect country’s cultural heritage

 

[Amal] Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil

Academic qualifications: B.A. Law

Greatest Achievement:

-Failure to blow the whistle on the embezzlement of public funds

-Issuing warnings and expressing concern on the country’s financial affairs especially in light of the (illegitimate) parliament’s stalemate

 

[Amal] Minister of Public Works Ghazi Zeaiter

Academic qualifications: B.A. Law

Greatest Achievement:

-Issuing warnings over the dangers of the garbage crisis

 

[Hezbollah] Minister of Industry Hussein Hajj Hassan

Academic qualifications: PhD in molecular biophysical chemistry

Greatest Achievement:

-Failing to implement qualifications in industry

 

[Future] Minister of Social Affair Rachid Derbass

Academic qualifications: a double degree in Law

Greatest Achievement:

-Wrongful arrest of child molestation whistle-blower and activist Tarek Mallah.

-Absolutely hates the name Tarek.

 

[Future] Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouq

Academic qualifications: B.A. Political Science

Greatest Achievement:

-Impeding the legalization of civil marriage in Lebanon

-Moving Islamist inmates from Roumieh prison’s Bloc D to Bloc B

-Pledging to improve the “professionalism” of the Internal Security Forces –Failing

-Pledging to secure the release of the Arsal abducted troops –Failing

-Pledging to protect Lebanon from terrorism –Failing

 

[Future] Minister of Justice Achraf Riffi

Academic qualifications: Bachelor Degree in Sociology and Master’s Degree in Sociology of Crime

Greatest Achievement:

-Toppling Najib Mikati’s government

-Failing to point out flaws in infrastructure of ISF (as chief)

-Defending IS’ flag

 

[Future] Minister of Administrative Development Nabil De Freij

Academic qualifications: A graduate of the Higher Institute of Commerce and Management

Greatest Achievement:

-“De”

 

[NSF] Health Minister Wael Abou Faour    

Academic qualifications: B.A. in Business Administration

Greatest Achievement:

-A mediatized health campaign whose validity remains highly questionable

-Failing to take concrete measures to safeguard the food/health safety of Lebanese citizens especially in light of the garbage management crisis/ water contamination/ use of pesticides

 

[NSF] Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb

Academic qualifications: B.A and M.A. in history

Greatest Achievement:

-Failing to address the growing hazard of dumpsites that are within close proximity to agricultural lands/water resources

-Failing to take concrete measures to safeguard the food/health safety of Lebanese citizens especially in light of the garbage management crisis/ water contamination/ use of pesticides

 

[14 March] Tourism Minister Michel Pharoun

Academic qualifications: B.A. Economics and business administration

Greatest Achievement:

-Refer to Environment Minister’s achievements

The above list highlights the failures of ministers representing ALL parties. It also fails to include several ministers, namely; State Minister Mohammad Fneish, Telecommunications Minister Boutros Harb, Economy Minister Alain Hakim, Minister of Labor Sejaan Azzi, Minister of Information Ramzi Jreij and for good reason: I couldn’t bear to further bore the readers.
Having said that, the list serves to demonstrate the utter displacement of competency and the lost sense of direction clearly manifest in the current state of affairs of the country.
Lebanon is a failed state doomed for disaster. Your parliament is illegal, the cabinet is illegitimate, the country has no president, state institutions are paralyzed, unemployment is at an all time high, poverty is staggering, and last but not least GARBAGE is now at your plate. We are on the brink of an ecological catastrophe.
So are you going to sit there and eat what this team of highly “qualified” team of kakistocrats is feeding you? Or will you join the others who are not afraid to try?
Join the demonstration and help reclaim your country.
Date: August 22, 6 pm
Place: Nejmeh square, downtown Beirut

Big USA recycling myths tossed out: Plastic industries behind these delays

America’s recycling system is in crisis.

That’s the picture the Washington Post recently painted in a damning story on the state of recycling in the United States.

First, the mixed-material “blue bins,” designed to decrease the hassle of sorting, are contaminating the recycling coming into facilities—meaning recyclable materials end up getting chucked into landfills along with trash. Second, thanks to lighter packaging, dwindling demand for newsprint, and low oil prices, the commodity prices for recyclables have decreased—

So China, which used to buy most of our recycled materials, no longer has incentive to do so.

According to the Post, this means that recycling is no longer profitable for waste management companies, and municipalities are stretching to pick up the cost.

So is the end of recycling drawing nigh? Not necessarily.

The experts that I spoke to agreed that our system is broken—but for a slightly different set of reasons than those that the Post listed. And guess what?

They think there’s a way to fix it. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common myths about recycling:

  • Myth #1: Recycling was invented to reduce waste.
  • Back in the 1970s, says Samantha MacBride, a sociologist at CUNY’s Baruch School of Public Affairs and author of the book Recycling Reconsidered, cities and towns became overwhelmed by the amount of plastic packaging entering the waste stream and started demanding something be done about it.
  • In order to avoid regulation and the banning of plastic products they used, the beverage and packaging industry pushed municipal recycling programs.
  • Decades later, the plastics used for packaging have barely been regulated—so cities and towns have to deal with more waste than ever before.The problem is so overwhelming that many contract with private trash companies, the largest of which is publicly-traded Waste Management, which brought in nearly $14 billion last year.
  • Recycling only generates a fraction of the revenue of these companies (much more comes from landfill, which requires less labor), but they are able to make some profit from selling bales of recycled materials to countries like China as raw material.
  • When commodity prices are low, they shut down recycling plants and put recyclable materials in landfills, or renegotiate contracts with cities to charge more for their services.
  • In short, these corporations have no incentive to reduce waste.
  • Myth #2: Blue bins are what’s mucking up the recycling stream.
  • In single stream recycling—the “blue bin” model—consumers put all their recyclables in one bin, while in dual stream, the consumer sorts the materials at the curb into different bins.
  • According to Container Recycling Institute president Susan Collins, data does suggest that single stream recycling leads to more contamination than dual stream—garbage gets thrown into blue bins at a higher rate, spoiling what’s actually recyclable.But MacBride says that contamination rates in single-stream recycling are not actually that much higher than that in dual stream recycling—and that people who complain about blue bins are missing a much larger problem: Because the packaging and beverage industry has opposed banning even the most troublesome plastics, like polystyrene, there are now “thousands of different kinds of plastics,” says MacBride.
  • In 2013, the US generated 14 million tons of container and packaging plastic. It takes so much work to sort through that mess that it’s nearly impossible to make a profit doing it—so companies like Waste Management send it to China. Plus, all of the different kinds of plastics used for packaging confuse consumers. (Can the soda cap be recycled or just the bottle? What about the bag inside the cereal box?)
  • Myth #3: Falling commodity prices mean the end of recycling.
  • Big, profit-driven trash companies like Waste Management argue that factors like low oil prices, less demand for newsprint, lighter-weight packaging, and contamination from single stream recycling have slashed commodity prices and made recycling untenable.
  • It isn’t profitable for us, and we have to react by shutting down plants,” Waste Management CEO David Steiner told the Wall Street Journal. But Collins says this is “not a surprise to anyone.” She and other recycling advocates point out that recycling markets fluctuate like any commodity; oil prices and the market will eventually adapt and rebound.
  • Myth #4: The solution is to quit recycling—it’s just not worth it.
  • That’s the story Big Waste has been peddling. But some smaller recycling outfits aren’t buying it. Take the city of St. Paul, Minnesota: Fifteen years ago, city officials balked when Waste Management raised its rates for the city’s curbside pickup program by 40 percent. So St. Paul ditched Waste Management and contracted with a new partner: a nonprofit called Eureka Recycling.
  • Since 2001, Eureka reports, its recycling program has generated $3.5 million in revenue and 100 new jobs. It also diverts 50 percent of its trash away from the landfill, with a goal of 75 percent in the next 5 years*—an accomplishment it has achieved largely through a program that gives consumers clear instructions about what they can recycle. (That is why Lebanon should ditch Sukleen for ever)Employee-owned Recology in San Francisco also educates residents about recycling and employs hundreds of people to sort the materials coming into their recycling facility. As a result, while Recology, which saves 92 percent of San Francisco’s trash from the landfill, isn’t seeing Wall-Street-level profits, it isn’t experiencing a crisis either.
  • As Collins points out, when commodity prices are down, the the highest quality bales are sold first, rewarding operations doing the best job recycling.One way to improve the bales: Ditch the plastics that are hardest to recycle.
  • Indeed, a growing number of cities—including San Francisco—have banned plastic bags and polystyrene. The result is less sorting required at the facility—and better bales. As Recology manager Robert Reed told me, “We are confident that we can move our materials because of the high quality of the bales that we make and the quality of our recycling process.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the percentage of trash that Eureka Recycling diverts away from landfill.

Note: Lebanon has been experiencing an enduring trash problem with extremely high cost of over $150 per ton. 50% of the expenses go into the pocket of the leading political leaders. Germany and Sweden are ready to pick our trash, but our government refuses to sort out the trash according to protocol.

Andrew Bossone shared this link on July 24, 2015

US recycling issues more from no regulation pushed by plastics industry than high costs argued by big waste companies

No, “blue bins” are not what’s causing America’s trash problem.
m.motherjones.com

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