GreenYes Digest V98 #8

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GreenYes Digest Tue, 13 Jan 98 Volume 98 : Issue 8

Today's Topics:
Direct from DuPont's Web Page
GreenYes Digest V97 #318

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Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 11:04:34 -0600 From: "John Reindl" <> Subject: Direct from DuPont's Web Page

Hi David -

Yes, we had talked with DuPont from the first when we heard about=20 the ads.=20

Not only is Tyvek made with recycled content, it is itself=20 recyclable.

But, as even DuPont noted, it is not recyclable as part of the paper=20 recycling process for magazines and newspapers. The two materials=20 are mutually incompatible in recycling. This to me is the issue.=20 Tyvek is a great product in the proper use. But this does not=20 include contaminating other products.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager Dane County, WI

> To those still interested in Tyvek, I just had to get to the bottom of the > technical data. This is right straight from the horse's mouth. See > for more. The post-consumer content info. is= very > interesting. I would submit, in all that has been written that these= issues > are far more complex than we might first think. >=20 > DuPont says: >=20 > "Tyvek=AE is described as a spunbonded olefin - a unique nonwoven material= =20 > created by DuPont from 100% high density polyethylene (HDPE).=A0The=20 > manufacturing processes of spinning plus=A0heat and pressure bonding=20 > creates a balance of unique properties.=A0This uniqueness enables Tyvek=AE > to be used in many diverse applications where it provides more value=20 > than paper, films, foils, or cloth.=A0Tyvek=AE is manufactured in both=20 > Richmond, VA and Luxembourg and is available globally.=20 >=20 > *=A0=A0=A0*=A0=A0=A0*=A0=A0=A0*=A0=A0=A0* > Envelopes made of=A0DuPont Tyvek=AE are tough, durable, lightweight, water= =20 > resistent and contain 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content." >=20 > !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! >=20 >=20 > David Biddle > Philadelphia, PA=20 > 215-247-2974 >=20 >=20 >=20 (608)267-1533 - fax (608)267-8815 - phone


Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 12:52:05 -0600 From: Jim McNelly <> Subject: GreenYes Digest V97 #318

At 09:35 AM 12/31/97 -0500,=20 >Ann Morse asked: >Specifically, I'd like to know if people have had success in recovering >food waste from households, short of collecting it at curbside. For >example, are there examples anywhere of decentralized drop-offs that >have been effective? Surely it's happening somewhere! Or instead, does >anyone have any great ideas?

Hi Ann,

The City of Hutchinson, Minnesota is starting a demonstration of curbside collection of household organics, not including yart trimmings, as a part of their larger program of source separated composting of commercial organics.=20

Their intention is to implement a single vehicle collection system if the program goes into full scale later in 1998. Several ideas are being looked at, including multiple container compartment collection vehicles and regular compacter truck collection using degradable bags for the household organics. These bags would have to be pulled out on a sort line with the rest diverted to landfills. There are no plans at this time to include recyclables on the same collection route.

The City has already implemented an agressive composting bin distribution program with over 30% participation rates. They want to recover the next percentage of the residential waste stream, with the commercial organics driving the volumes up. Most municipalities do not concern themselves with commercial waste, leaving that to the private sector. =20

This is a problem for food materials composting. Most regulators want it processed more effictively than most windrow operations that compost only yard trimmings, which means an upgrade of technologies, much like the standards required for biosolids composting, including adhering to the EPA 503 rules. Commercial organics, such as meal providers, grovers, food processors, and restaurants represent more easily collected materials than household organics, and hence more volumes. But to get municipalities to work with the commercial sector is very difficult.

Household organics are more problematic than commercial. There are more individuals to train and educate. There are more contaminants and less accountability than the commercial streams. Do household organics include pet feces, diapers, med waste, cereal and other fiber boards, bathroom tissues, recyclable papers and yard trimmings? Is brush to be bundled separately? Are there multiple sizes of degradable bags? If using bins, who washes out the bins? Some composting technologies can handle plastic bags and diaper back sheets, others can't. Some shred, some mix, others need a very clean feedstock.

You can see why some communities opt out for the seemingly "easy solution" of mixed waste composting and let the trash get mixed in with the organics.

Composting and collection are a sort of a "hardware - software" problem. The collection, feedstocks, education, container, truck, and tip floor (software) are largely dependent on the composting hardware.

Getting source separated organics out of the solid waste stream is difficult, but worth the extra effort if we are ever going to come close to the zero waste goal.

Jim McNelly

Jim~ McNelly Http://


Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 16:21:57 -0800 From: Helen Spiegelman <> Subject: Tyvek

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, January 12, 1998


VANCOUVER =96 DuPont and the publishers of 18 widely-distributed newspapers and business magazines are red-faced, after millions of copies of a full-page ad printed on "nearly indestructible" synthetic paper became a recycling headache for North American municipalities.

Samples of DuPont=92s trademarked paper look-alike were stapled into the December issues of Business Week, The Economist, Investor=92s Business= Daily, Barron=92s, and a dozen other publications. Readers were challenged to "Go ahead: tear this page in half" and quickly learned that the Tyvek paper is indeed "nearly indestructible".

Tyvek is used for courier envelopes and protective clothing and is touted by DuPont as "stronger than paper and more versatile than fabrics".=20

It is also indestructible by paper recycling machinery. It can "plug the living hell out of the screens" used by paper mills to recycle used magazines if it shows up in noticeable quantities. British Columbia paper recycler Crown Packaging, alerted to the problem by SPEC, is now circulating the warning to their mills in western Canada.=20

December issues of the magazines are just hitting the curb, and municipal recycling operators in North America are facing the prospect that loads of "mixed paper" will be rejected by recycling mills. =20

John Evans, of the City of Vancouver Engineering Department, says that incidents like this will end up costing the taxpayer in the long run. The City pays its recycler based on a "market indicator" price, and the value of the indicator for mixed paper will go down if magazines are known to contain contaminants.=20

Ironically, Tyvek itself is recyclable =96 but not by paper mills. In fact, DuPont has promised to recycle the ads, if consumers will clip them out of the magazine and mail them to their Wilmington, Delaware, plant.

Municipal recyclers in the USA responded to this suggestion with scorn. Aside from the challenge of communicating the instructions to millions and millions of consumers across the country, the cost would be prohibitive -- $32,000 USD per ton, not including labour costs, was one back-of-envelope calculation.

"There is a moral to this story," says Helen Spiegelman, a Director with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation. "If publishers were required to take back their own publications for recycling, the way pop and beer companies are required to take back their empty bottles and cans, then this would never have happened. You can be sure these business publications would have been too sharp to let DuPont get away with down-loading these costs. They would have quashed the Tyvek ad at the design stage, because they=92d know it would foul up their recycling= program."

As it is, producers of throw-away products enjoy all the benefits of cute marketing gimmicks, while local taxpayers foot the bill.

The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) is British Columbia=92s oldest environmental organization, operating continuously since 1969. SPEC=92s focus is urban ecology issues.


Contact: Helen Spiegelman 604/731-8464 =09 sample of December 20 issue of The Economist available for photo!

Helen Spiegelman Vancouver, British Columbia CANADA

604/731-8464 604/731-8463 (fax)


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #8 ******************************