Hi GRRN, CRRA District 8:
Apparently my home town, the City of Mountain View is
considering converting our bi-weekly source separated curbside recycling
program to a single stream program under a 10 year "evergreen"
contract. The Mayor has asked me for information on this system
especially the Cons as the garbage company has not been
providing much info on that side.
I understand that single stream is the latest greatest and being hawked
as "the most convenient" program for our busy residents but I am concerned
about the quality of the end feedstocks, the chances of dropping glass from
collection programs, the size of containers *, the potential physical damaged
caused to MRF workers due to repetitive motion sorting action, and the loss of
a connection by the public to the products they buy and what truly is a real
asset to recycling based manufacturing and what is just a so-so product out of
what has become some pretty grungy materials. (Pardon my scientific language,
I guess I am wondering where the garbage in garbage out graph is going to come
out on single stream.)
My early training in commercial recycling in the 80s was that the best
way to teach source reduction was to show the employees just how much material
they really used by them seeing it in their desktop recycling containers or in
their garbage cans. Mixing materials as in single stream, making it "so
easy for residents" that they don't have to think disconnects them from
understanding how they consume resources. Or at the very least how one
packaging material is truly preferable over another.
* Sixty percent of Mtn View residents live in multi-family types
housing, many like my own, have very small garages that can't fit event a 32
gallon wheeled cart. Yard waste carts sit in front of the property,
against homeowner rules, but can't go anywhere else as they don't fit
anywhere. I am concerned that single stream means that residents get big
containers that don't fit the new "townhome sized garages"
So if any of you have some studies you can point me to, I would
View, CA 94040
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