RE: Mandatory Summary

RecycleWorlds (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:00:01 -0500

Dave- Thanks for compiling and posting the responses. I'm going to copy off
for our reference file.
Peter Anderson

From: David A. Kirkpatrick[]
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 1997 2:31 AM
To: Rick Anthony; Peter Kidd; George Dreckmann; Peter Anderson; Brenda
Subject: Mandatory Summary

Correspondents -

Many thanks to your messages on banning recyclables from landfills/
mandatory recycling. I presented your comments in "internet testimony"
at a city council meeting last night, as shown below.

I would like to post this summary to greenyes/recycle@envirolink but I wanted
to get OKs from each of you. If you have any objections, rewording to the
text below, please email me by the end of the day Wednesday, March 5. That
I will post to those two listservs the approved version.

Thanks again for your help -- internet/recycling advocacy support at its best!

David Kirkpatrick

Durham City Council Public Hearing Testimony
Banning Recyclables from a New Landfill or Transfer Station
The First(?) Internet-Based Testimony for a Durham Hearing From Around the US

Submitted by David Kirkpatrick, Durham Environmental Affairs Board
Monday, March 3, 1997

Message posted to an internet email list for recycling practitioners:

"Durham, NC is considering enacting a ban on recyclables from its new
landfill or transfer station. Curbside recycling is now provided weekly for
News, Glass, Aluminum Cans and Foil, Steel Cans, PET bottles, HDPE bottles,
OCC, Aseptic packages, and Magazines. More than a dozen drop-off centers
are provided for the same commodities. Commercial collections of Glass and
OCC are provided by the city, with other commodities collected by private
recyclers. The city has a population of 155,000 and the entire county of

"The logic for the ban is that the entire community should share the
responsibility for reducing waste if one neighborhood has to shoulder the
burden of a new landfill. The ban could be implemented by a three month
education campaign, followed by warning tickets on refuse containers
containing targeted recyclables, followed by non-collection of containers
with targeted recyclables, followed by actual tickets and fines.

"My questions for list members are: What percentage increases in tonnages
and participation rates have your communities seen when instituting
mandatory recycling? Have there been any articles or studies of the impact
of instituting mandatory recycling/landfill bans? What feedback do you have
on best ways to educate/ encourage/ enforce?

"Thanks in advance for any feedback,

David Kirkpatrick"

Summaries of all responses:

"We conducted a voluntary pilot program in Madison that had participation
rates in the 70-75% range depending on the neighborhood. When our program
went mandatory it went up to 92% and is currently at 97%.
"I think the landfill ban is a good way to go. It is what we use here and
it seems to work.
"Enforcement is a tough one. In Madison we have yet to issue a ticket. In
fact it is not really clear who would issue them. I'd suggest that one
place you will need enforcement is at the landfill/transfer station.
"It is a fine line between wise enforcement at turning people off. We have
chosen to walk away from the issues as diversion and participation remain
high. We continue to educate?"
George Drechmann, Recycling Coordinator, Madison, Wisconsin

"When the mandatory separation requirement went into effect in San Diego the
participation jumped from 30 - 40% to 80 -90 %?
"They used a coordinated approach with logo, colors and slogan and various
media releases, press conferences wards, events?
"Our reaction in a urban southern California coastal population was across
the board ( single family, multi family, commercial and industrial
generators) would separate if it was convenient e.g., at the regular trash
area; and made sense?"
Richard Anthony, California Resource Recovery Association Board member

"The stakeholders (in Halifax, Nova Scotia) set out an ambitious goal of
75-88% diversion based on aggressive recycling, comprehensive backyard
composting and source separated central composting and C&D diversion. ?
"A wide range of recyclables have been banned from landfill and during the
next year all organics will be banned. ? The minimum diversion is 50% and I
believe we will exceed that?
"So, with all of this attention on alternatives, the Halifax region has
moved from a 4% (recyclables) diversion range four years ago to 25% today -
and that does not yet include organics diversion which will come over the
next 9 months.
"Our conclusion therefore is that bans work. They are driving the strategy
at this stage. Considering we narrowly avoided an incineration solution
(effectively accounting for one third of the province), we have made a major
change of attitude and opinion."
Peter J. Kidd, Learning Materials Consulting Services, Halifax, Nova Scotia,

"In my past research documenting record-setting programs, I found that the
majority of communities with 40% or higher recycling levels had mandatory
programs. See ILSR's "Beyond 40 Percent: Record-Setting Recycling and
Composting Programs" and EPA's "Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Composting
Options: Lessons Learned from 30 U.S. Communities" (produced by ILSR).
Other factors, of course, are important in spurring high participation and
recycling levels: providing convenient collection service (such as curbside
and drop-off, providing bins), targeting a wide range of materials for
collection, establishing economic incentives (such as volume-based trash
fees), and undertaking comprehensive educational and promotional activities."
Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

"New York City on educate/encourage/enforce (mandatory recycling through):
Radio, television and newspaper public service announcements. Community
newsletters, letters to community groups. House to house, door to door
delivery of flyers. Telephone numbers for local contacts and inquires.
Violation warnings. Fines."
Horace Morancie, General Services Administration, New York

"In 1991 Dane County, Wisconsin banned recyclables from the landfill it
operated. We did before and after waste sorts and estimated a 22% diversion
rate. The study was published in the 4/93 issue of Resource Recycling."
Peter Anderson, RecycleWorlds Consulting

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