GreenYes Digest V97 #277

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GreenYes Digest Sun, 16 Nov 97 Volume 97 : Issue 277

Today's Topics:
Fwd: America Recycles Day' to Raise Awareness of Recycling And Buying Recycle...
garbage statistics and data
How about another time of year for ARD?
Quote Without Comment

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Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 19:27:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Fwd: America Recycles Day' to Raise Awareness of Recycling And
Buying Recycle...

Who do you believe?
Forwarded message:
Subj: Fwd: America Recycles Day' to Raise Awareness of Recycling And
Buying Recycle...
Date: 97-11-15 12:21:00 EST
From: KeeseCo
To: RicAnthony

Forwarded message:
Subj: America Recycles Day' to Raise Awareness of Recycling And Buying
Recycled Produc
Date: 97-11-14 13:39:23 EST
From: AOL News

Plastics Industry Offers Consumer Information on Recycled Plastic Products
and Resource Conservation
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty-seven states will hold
than 1,000 local events to help celebrate the first-ever America Recycles Day
on Saturday, November 15, 1997. The American Plastics Council (APC) is a
proud supporter of the special day which is designed to educate citizens
the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and buying recycled
content products.
For more information on products made with, or packaged in,
plastic, consumers can visit APC's Shop Recycled Mall at Consumers also can call 1-800-2-HELP-90 for a free
Shop Recycled Guide listing more than 200 recycled plastic products. To find
out about plastics' role in conserving resources, consumers can take a
tour of the Resource Residence, also on APC's Web site.
The following information details plastics recycling statistics in
United States.
Among plastics, the HDPE bottle recycling rate showed the strongest
growth, up one point to 24.4 percent on an increase of 68 million pounds over
1995. As anticipated, the PET bottle recycling rate declined from its record
high in 1995. Contributing factors include the significant growth in the use
of single-serve PET bottles (often consumed on-the-go and therefore less
likely to be recovered for recycling) and decreased demand for post-consumer
resin due to the availability of economically competitive material in
secondary markets, such as fiber applications.
1995 1996
Million Pounds Recycling Million Pounds Recycling
Recycled Rate Recycled Rate
All Plastic Bottles 1,271.7 26.1% 1,307.0
PET Bottles 644.6 33.1% 630.6 29.1%
HDPE Bottles 587.4 23.4% 655.5 24.4%
The opening of several new resin production facilities in 1996 and
constant demand also made the overall PET marketplace more competitive,
lowering the market price of virgin resin. This lower price affected post-
consumer resin and the economics of recycling. Some industry experts say in
published sources that the current market conditions may continue for the
several years; additional new worldwide production capacity is expected to
come on line as resin manufacturers compete for the growing markets for PET,
further impacting recycling potential.
Resin manufacturers recognize the importance -- both economic and
environmental -- of maximizing the efficient use of resources. As individual
companies and through trade associations such as the American Plastics
Council, the plastics industry has invested more than $1 billion nationally
support the increased recovery and reclamation of post-consumer plastics
1990. Much of this investment has gone to expand the body of knowledge about
plastics recycling and develop economically and environmentally responsible
and sustainable plastics recycling programs.
Environmentally Responsible Recycling
Recycling is just one option in the resource conservation continuum --
which also includes waste prevention and energy conservation -- and should
be considered an end unto itself. The decision to recycle a given item or
material should have at least neutral or better environmental impact versus
not recycling or choosing another option.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a developing tool for assessing
impact. APC is involved in the International Organization for
Standardization's (ISO) efforts to forge a consensus on appropriate LCA
methodologies. In the interim, APC supports a common sense approach to
evaluating resource conservation options, including recycling.
One of the primary purposes for APC's recycling rate survey is to
data for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its
Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States. Recycling
data for all materials is provided by each of the various materials
industries. For 1996, APC revised its rate calculation methodology to align
itself with EPA's recommended methodology and to better match the
methodologies used by other materials. Accordingly, the 1995 recycling rates
listed above have been revised to facilitate comparison.
Economically Sustainable Recycling
In general, communities choose to implement recycling programs based on
the goals and needs of their residents and businesses. The opportunity to
recycle is offered as a public service -- like sewer, water and garbage
-- and has associated costs that must be weighed against other municipal
priorities. Depending on market conditions, a portion of the costs of
recycling may be offset by revenues from the sale of collected materials.
Recyclable materials are essentially commodity goods; their value
subject to free-market forces. A review of Bureau of Labor Statistics'
monthly producer prices since 1970 reveals sizable swings in the market
of post-consumer paper, aluminum and steel. The market value of recovered
plastics shows similar peaks and valleys.
The marketability of post-consumer plastics is affected by a
variety of
* the type, quantity and quality of material collected for
* the cost of converting post-consumer materials to a form usable as a
manufacturing feedstock, and
* the consistency of markets for recycled materials -- affected in
plastics' case by the cost and availability of competing material options,
including off-spec, industrial regrind and virgin resin.
The Plastics Industry as an End-Market for Post-Consumer Plastics
Plastics' building blocks are derived from crude oil, natural gas and
other naturally occurring sources. A series of precisely controlled chemical
reactions is required to convert these raw materials into resins with
consistent, predictable performance characteristics. While technology exists
to recover some of the raw material building blocks from post-consumer
plastics, ensuring the level of feedstock purity necessary to produce virgin-
quality resin is, in most cases, prohibitively expensive. By contrast,
recycling is either an adjunct to or an integral part of the production of
virgin glass, steel and aluminum.
Because of the distinct manufacturing process for virgin resin,
recycling has emerged as an independent and entrepreneurial industry. This
new recycling infrastructure for items such as soft drink bottles, milk jugs
and detergent bottles has grown dramatically on a national level in less than
ten years. Other types of plastics, such as polyethylene film, are being
collected and recycled successfully in localized systems.
The American Plastics Council has worked to identify, develop and field-
test promising recycling technologies and methodologies. Results of APC-
sponsored research are available to recyclers, legislative and municipal
officials and the general public by calling 1-800-2-HELP-90.
* How to Collect Plastics for Recycling is a comprehensive manual
-- free
to municipal recycling coordinators -- based APC's four-year research program
on the infrastructure of plastic bottle recycling. The program tested
promising equipment and techniques in seven diverse regions of the U.S. to
identify and analyze factors that could improve collection efficiency and
recycling programs more economical.
* APC maintains a unique handlers/reclaimers database that can help
post-consumer plastics supply with demand. The database can be accessed by
calling APC's toll-free line.
* In 1994, APC provided a grant to the Garten Foundation of Salem,
Ore. to
open a state-of-the-art plastics recovery facility (PRF) serving the Pacific
Northwest that would serve as a model for similar operations in other
This PRF is based on Magnetic Separation Systems' bottle sorting technology
commercialized with grants from APC.
* APC's Perfecting the Plastics Drop-Off guide, based on APC
programs, helps communities improve the quality of plastics collected at
off programs. The booklet includes information on the barriers to a
drop-off program and guidelines for drop-off siting and signage.
* APC is a sponsor of the Solid Waste Association of North
interactive workshop series, "Getting More for Less: MSW and Recyclables
Collection Efficiency."
* APC's Educating Your Community About Plastics Recycling: A Do-It-
Yourself Kit includes a primer on effective community education strategies
camera-ready text and visuals that can be "cut and pasted" into a promotional
brochure for any local plastics recycling program.
* A second collection-increase program was developed by APC in
with the Association of Post-Consumer Plastic Recyclers (APR). Municipal
recycling coordinators nationwide received a kit titled How Do You Get More
These In Here? that includes radio public service announcements, ready-to-
print motivational articles and guidelines for working with local print,
broadcast and radio media.
* "Good ... Better ... Best!" is a turnkey promotional program that
challenges residents to recycle more plastic bottles. When a community or
city reaches the goal amount(s) set by the "Good ... Better .. Best!"
challenge, APC rewards the community by donating recycled plastic playgrounds
or benches to an elementary school(s) chosen by the community.
* The "Check the Neck" program teaches residents that any container
with a
neck smaller than its base can be recycled in an all-bottle collection
and calls attention to commonly overlooked items such as shampoo, juice,
laundry detergent and household cleaner bottles.
* Shop Recycled! A Consumers Guide to Recycled Plastics lists over
products made from or packaged in recycled plastic by category and brand
This guide helps consumers understand the link between recycling and buying
* The Recycled Plastics Products Source Book now lists more than
products made from or packaged in recycled plastic. The book, updated twice
year, is targeted to private and public sector buyers.
The American Plastics Council also is working to advance the
recycling of
plastics from non-bottle applications, including automobiles, computers and
electronics, appliances and building and construction. For more information
on any APC resource or program, call 1-800-2-HELP-90.
Recycling Facts from the American Plastics Council
The Recycling Infrastructure
The number of companies handling and reclaiming post-consumer
plastics is
nearly six times greater than in 1986, growing from 310 companies to 1,704 in
HDPE is the most common resin type accepted by the post-consumer
processing facilities. In 1996, 79 percent of the companies processed HDPE.
PET was the second most common resin type accepted at post-consumer
processing companies. Seventy-five percent of the companies accepted PET for
recycling in 1996.
The East Central Region, which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin,
Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri, has the highest percentage (29%)
of both post-consumer and post-industrial scrap plastic processors in the
In 1996, the number of companies handling and reclaiming
scrap plastics only was measured for the first time. One-hundred and twenty
(120) companies process post-industrial scrap plastic.
Sixty-one companies (51 percent), accepting post-industrial scrap
only, processed HDPE, the most common post-industrial scrap plastic
Thirty-three companies (28 percent), accepting post-industrial
plastics only, processed PET, the second most common resin type processed at
these facilities.
Source: Winter 1996 Plastics Handler and Reclaimer Database
Update, R.W.
Beck & Associates, May 1997.
The Communities
It is estimated that more than 19,200 (59 percent) of the 32,501
communities in the U.S. have access to programs that collect one or more
of plastics.
Approximately 80 percent of the U.S. population has access to some
kind of
plastics recycling program.
Approximately 24 percent of the communities collecting plastics for
recycling participate in curbside recycling only; 49 percent participate in
drop-off programs only; and 27 percent of the communities have both curbside
and drop-off plastics collection programs.
HDPE and PET are the most commonly targeted material in plastics
collection programs. Approximately 97 percent of the communities that
plastics collection programs accept some kind of PET, and over 99 percent
accept some kind of HDPE.
Approximately 12 percent of the communities collecting plastics
accept all
plastic bottles, resin codes #1 through #7.
Source: 1997 National Post-Consumer Plastics Collections Study,
R.W. Beck
& Associates, September 1997.
The Recycling Rates
The volume of all plastic bottles recycled reached an all-time high
of 1.3
billion pounds in 1996. The recycling rate in 1996 for all plastic bottles
was 25 percent, a marginal drop from the previous year's 26.1 percent
recycling rate.
HDPE natural and pigmented bottles were the highest volume resin
recycled at 656 million pounds. The recycling rate increased from 23.4
percent in 1995 to 24.4 percent in 1996.
PET soft drink and custom bottles were the second largest resin
recycled at 631 million pounds. The recycling rate for PET bottles slipped
from 33.1 percent in 1995 to 29.1 percent in 1996. (NOTE: Experts attribute
the decrease in pounds of PET bottles recycled largely to weak domestic fiber
demand and relatively inexpensive off-specification virgin and industrial
scrap resin.)
Source: 1996 National Post-Consumer Recycling Rate Study, R.W.
Beck &
Associates, September 1997.
Plastics in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
All plastics accounted for 9.1 percent of MSW generation in 1995.
Plastics fell into fourth place, behind Paper and Paperboard, which together
accounted for 39.2 percent, Yard Trimmings at 14.3 percent, and "Other
at 9.8 percent (e.g. rubber and leather, textiles, miscellaneous inorganic
Plastics accounted for only 10.6 percent of all containers and
generated in 1995. Plastics fell behind Paper and Paperboard, Glass and
which accounted for 52.3 percent, 15.9 percent and 14.6 percent,
Source: Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United
1996 Update, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, May 1997.
CO: American Plastics Council
ST: District of Columbia

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Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 10:02:41 +0200
From: (Dario Navarra (Amnir+972-6-349590))
Subject: garbage statistics and data

Good morning collegues,
may be some of you can supply me the following data?:
% of garbage incinerated E
% ofg garbage sorted for recycling
% of garbage sent to landfill
in the following countries : Germany, Switzerlan,UK and Japan.
The US figures I have from Biocycle, State of Garbage, apr `97.
Thank you for your kind help. regards dario navarra AMNIR, Israel


Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 09:52:53 -0400
Subject: How about another time of year for ARD?

GreenYes Folks,
Happy First Annual America Recycles Day!
Here in the panhandle of Western Maryland we have trained about 30
volunteers from local organizations who from 10 AM - 2 PM, along with
some 5 - 10 solid waste/recycling industry professionals, will be
stationed at 6 different recycling drop boxes managed by the County's
recycling program.
Well, maybe!
You see the ice/snow began yesterday. Our home was without power for
several hours last night (7:30 PM - after 11 PM) along with 1,800 other
residences in Frostburg. [No, that's not how it got it's name!]
There's a sprinkling of fine snow at the moment. In about an hour I
will go to the 2 local boxes and give the volunteers brochures for
distribution and remind them that we need to get back the leftovers --
of which I expect many due to the weather.
SO, does anyone else want to see a scheduling change in the date/time
of year for future celebrations of America Recycles Day?
I am aware from having attended the session at the NRC '97 in
Pittsburgh that Texas has had increasing success while using this date.
But, a national recycling day needs to be responsive to the national
perspective as a whole.
It seems to me that we should be providing not just content in this
awareness/educational campaign, but also better timing.
December, January, February, and even March are not good months for
folks to practice the collection/drop-off phase of recycling. Yes, the
"Buy Recycled!" message can work at this time -- I might even suggest
that it works best at this time of the year with the peaking of the
sales season!
But I would hope to see a time of year that keeps in mind the total
cycle of recycling (Precycling/Preparation/Collection/Production/etc.)
which includes a more realistic view of the weather.
Otherwise, as a compromise, perhaps we could take the cycle of recyling
and spread the various phases over a year's campaign, taking advantage
of the various natural and human seasons.
For instance, for 1988 in November (the 15th) continue with the "Buy
Recycled!" campaign. But proceed that with a throughout the year series
of an April "Pre-Cycle", a June "Collection/Drop-Off", and an August
"Recycling in Production".
Just thinking outloud in cyberspace and hoping those of you in sunnier
climes can enjoy our cybersnow.
reduce, ReUse, Recycle, Compost -- It's a small planet!
Woody Getz
Western Maryland Group/Sierra Club
Member, Allegany County Solid Waste Management Board
UPDATE -- the snowflakes a now bigger and beginning to lay on the


Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 16:12:47 -0600
From: RecycleWorlds <>
Subject: Quote Without Comment

The 11/10/97 issue of Plastics News has a letter to the editor from =
George Makrauer of ComAd Managment Group (Treasure Island, FL) which =

"Will the environmental community (and Plastics News) look back someday =
and cite 1987-97 as the low watermark for their acumen about plastics =
recycling. Let's hope so.
"Those who bemoan the rate of plastics recycling today as being in a =
'depressed state' continue to ignore two facts of real life: Technology =
makes progess and markets work.
"The plastics industry has nothing to hide about its activities, =
recycling included. ...
"The plastics industry has been eager to support revolutionary steps =
that improve resins, processingand waste minimization. The industry also =
has been willing to support-- with hundreds of millions of dollars of =
investment and operations -- radical steps in recycling that have been =
rejected by customers and consumers as being worthless when compared to =
the overriding benefits of source reduction in plastics packaging and =
plastics products. Technology and the market work.
"Plastics industry achievements for decades have delivered superior =
performance at low cost. Although that might not be worth of a Nobel =
Prize, it is certainly worth of more than the Environemtnal Defense =
Fund's blind opinions and Plastic News' water carrying.
"Short of a change of reason, plastics recycling mourners will suffer =
at the quirk of their fantasies -- and remain a target of derision from =
enlightened scientists and realist thinkers."


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #277