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[greenyes] Single-stream composition

Recycling planners need to be cautious when using composition data due to the wide variance in materials consumption among communities. Numerous examples exist of problems in comparing data from outside a local region. For example, the Los Angeles Times is America's thickest newspaper (as an aside, Resource Recycling is America's thinnest magazine). Using data from Southern California will over-report the percentage of ONP in a single-stream program. Houston and Birmingham, Alabama are said to have the highest per-capita levels of aluminum can consumption (heat, humidity). As a result, UBC percentages in the Southeast will be high. Some major dairies in several regions have moved away from using plastic milk jugs, thus resulting in a decline in percentage for HDPE in these areas. Religious restrictions regarding alcohol consumption result in lower percentages of glass in some regions, such as in the Mormon-dominated Rockies (about three quarters of glass production is for packaging beer, wine and liquor). These are only several examples why recycling officials will find a low level of similarity among composition data from various communities.
Jerry Powell, Editor and Publisher
Resource Recycling Magazine
E-Scrap News
Plastics Recycling Update

P.O. Box 42270
Portland, OR 97242-0270
(503) 233-1305 office ;
(503) 233-1356 fax
(503) 781-2183 cell

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