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Re: [greenyes] Trashed Recyclables and the Big Picture
While I agree completely with Gary Liss that there should be much better 
municipal contractual guidelines for and oversight of MRF's utilized to 
process commingled recyclables from single stream curbside programs, these 
guidelines alone will not keep residue rates at 5%.  The reason is "garbage 
in, garbage out".  When localities and/or haulers ignore the importance of 
educating residents on what is/is not recyclable in any given program, the 
price they pay is high residue and this residue cannot be controlled by the 
MRF.  The City of Los Angeles is an excellent case in point.  They have 
contracted with some highly respected recyclers who have excellent marketing 
track records and have invested in state-of-the art equipment.  But residue 
rates have remained at 20-22%  for years because City staff has not 
implemented effective education programs to correct this problem.  Residents 
want to recycle but are not provided with a credible and consistent 
educational program detailing what materials should be placed into the "blue 
bins".  As a result, residents place all sorts of items into the bins in the 
mistaken impression that they are helping recycling.  Similarly, there is no 
substantive program to correct deliberate misuse of recycling bins through 
placement of refuse in these containers.  

Joan Edwards  






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