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[GreenYes] Re: #3-7 plastics at curbside
To Tim and Melissa,

First, I want to say that I fully agree with the policy that you outline
regarding collecting materials that are not recycled.  No collection program
should ever advertise that they collect a material for recycling, and then
throw it away.

However, based in part on Oregon data, I think there might be very
legitimate reasons to support an "all-plastic bottle" collection program.

The vast majority of material collected in an all-bottle program should be
recyclable.  PET (#1) and HDPE (#2) should all be recyclable, except perhaps
some odd-colored PET or PET with certain barrier plastics.  I'm sure Pete
Anderson could add a lot about this subject.

However, a fair amount of the other 3-7 plastic can be recycled with #2 HDPE
- at least in small quantities.  Polypropylene - #5 - and low density
polyethylene - #4, both are usually acceptable in small quantities in HDPE
bottle loads.  The reason is that all three of these are polyolefins, and
are fairly compatible.

Also, a fair amount of #7 plastic is also recyclable with #2 high-density
polyethylene.  Much #7 plastic is polyethylene or polypropylene with barrier
layers, but the barrier layers do not interfere much with certain recycling
processes.

This leaves #3 PVC and #6 Polystyrene as being the main problems, along with
some #7 (all other plastic) and maybe some #1.  However, these materials are
pretty uncommon in plastic bottles.  The Oregon Department of Environmental
Quality conducts a regular waste composition study every two years, and
specifically looks at the quantity of different plastic bottle and tub
resins being disposed.  Here are results of the 1998 study for disposal of
plastic bottles by resin in Oregon:

#1 PET - 33.05%
#2 HDPE - 59.47%
#3 PVC - 2.86%
#4 LDPE - 0.34%
#5 PP -  0.89%
#6 PS - 0.03%
#7 Other - 2.78%
unidentified - 0.63%

Thus, the problem resins make up only about 5% of the total plastic bottles
being disposed in Oregon, and much less than that if you look at the total
plastic bottles generated.  Oregon is a bottle bill state, and so our
recovery for plastic soft drink bottles (#1 PET) is very high - over 80%.
Other PET bottles and such as water bottles and almost all HDPE bottles are
not covered under Oregon's law though, but still many are collected through
the Oregon curbside programs.  Most Oregon programs are "all bottle"
collection programs, but #2s and #1s still predominate.

APC has argued that when you change from a specific resin bottle collection
program to an "all bottle" collection program, you get a general increase in
all resins of bottles collected - not just an increase in the 3-7s.  I think
the research they and others have done pretty much backs them up on this, so
that a 1-7 collection program results in more recycling of the 1s and the 2s
as well as some recycling of the 4s, 5s, and some 7s.

How does this square with the issue of saying you are collecting something,
and then throwing it away?  It is still troublesome to collect 3s and 6s and
then dispose of them.  

However, if you object to any disposal, then what is your reaction to
commingled collection systems that mix glass bottles with other materials.
Our experience is that the recovery of glass varies widely in these
programs, and that often more than 20% of the glass put out curbside may end
up being disposed.  By comparison, losing 5% of the plastic bottles to
disposal looks small.

Peter Spendelow
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-greenyes@grrn.org [mailto:owner-greenyes@grrn.org]
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 8:30 PM
To: greenyes-digest@grrn.org
Subject: [Greenyes Digest] V2 #174



[Greenyes Digest]      Saturday, February 2 2002      Volume 02 : Number 174



[GreenYes] Re: #3-7 plastics at curbside
Re: [GreenYes] Re: #3-7 plastics at curbside

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Sat, 02 Feb 2002 08:49:41 -0800
From: Pat Franklin <pfranklin@container-recycling.org>
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: #3-7 plastics at curbside

I'm sure that Peter Anderson will reply to this email.  I believe he
did a report for the CA DOC on this very issue of "all plastic bottle
collection".

Peter, if and when you do reply can you tell us if that report
is available on line?????

===============================================
At 11:21 PM 2/1/02 -0500, Brenda Platt wrote:
>Does anyone know of recycling operators opposed to APC's plan to
>encourage collection of #3-7 plastics at curbside?  Please respond
>directly to Tim, as he's not on the listserve.  You can cc the listserve
>and me too.
>Thanks,
>Brenda Platt
>Institute for Local Self-Reliance
>
> >>  Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 14:02:39 -0800
> >>  From: Tim Krupnik <tim@ecologycenter.org>
> >>
> >>  Hello,
> >>
> >  > My name is Tim and I work for the Berkeley Ecology Center
> >recycling and education program.  I am currently working to write a
> >resolution for the city and state to adopt combatting the American
> >Plastics Council's motion to collect #3-7 plastics at the curbside.
> >The general feeling here is that to present the 3-7 collections is
> >to promote them as "recyclable," which they won't be.  This is, in
> >our view, propaganda that mis-leads the public and makes recycling
> >appear to be less environmentally concerned.
> >  >
> >>  I was informed that you might know of other municipal recycling
> >>operations that are opposing their motion (I need to provide
> >>evidence that this is not just a "Berkeley Thing," and that there
> >>are reliable, concerned people in the industry opposed to the APC's
> >>stance.
> >>
> >>  Might you have any information, articles, etc?
> >  >
> >  > Please let me know.  Thank You,
> >  > Tim krupnik
> >  > Plastics Task Force.

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 15:33:33 -0800 (PST)
From: melissa terry <melissaterry@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Re: #3-7 plastics at curbside

the city of fayetteville (northwest arkansas) also
opposes the "all bottles" collection campaign for the
same reasons...before someone promises to weave gold
from straw, you need to make sure they have some
straw.

the plastics industry is responsible for their #3-7's,
not the community. 

just my two cents...

:}
melissa terry
sustainable environment educator
city of fayetteville
fayetteville, arkansas



- --- Pat Franklin <pfranklin@container-recycling.org>
wrote:
> I'm sure that Peter Anderson will reply to this
> email.  I believe he
> did a report for the CA DOC on this very issue of
> "all plastic bottle
> collection".
> 
> Peter, if and when you do reply can you tell us if
> that report
> is available on line?????
> 
> ===============================================
> At 11:21 PM 2/1/02 -0500, Brenda Platt wrote:
> >Does anyone know of recycling operators opposed to
> APC's plan to
> >encourage collection of #3-7 plastics at curbside? 
> Please respond
> >directly to Tim, as he's not on the listserve.  You
> can cc the listserve
> >and me too.
> >Thanks,
> >Brenda Platt
> >Institute for Local Self-Reliance
> >
> > >>  Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 14:02:39 -0800
> > >>  From: Tim Krupnik <tim@ecologycenter.org>
> > >>
> > >>  Hello,
> > >>
> > >  > My name is Tim and I work for the Berkeley
> Ecology Center
> > >recycling and education program.  I am currently
> working to write a
> > >resolution for the city and state to adopt
> combatting the American
> > >Plastics Council's motion to collect #3-7
> plastics at the curbside.
> > >The general feeling here is that to present the
> 3-7 collections is
> > >to promote them as "recyclable," which they won't
> be.  This is, in
> > >our view, propaganda that mis-leads the public
> and makes recycling
> > >appear to be less environmentally concerned.
> > >  >
> > >>  I was informed that you might know of other
> municipal recycling
> > >>operations that are opposing their motion (I
> need to provide
> > >>evidence that this is not just a "Berkeley
> Thing," and that there
> > >>are reliable, concerned people in the industry
> opposed to the APC's
> > >>stance.
> > >>
> > >>  Might you have any information, articles, etc?
> > >  >
> > >  > Please let me know.  Thank You,
> > >  > Tim krupnik
> > >  > Plastics Task Force.
> 
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> email to: greenyes@grrn.org
> 
> Subscription information for
> this list is available here:
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