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Re: [greenyes] Single-stream composition

Hey Folks-

What Jerry, Pat and others are alluding to on waste composition are
behavioral and cultural differences throughout this country. One further
thing to note is the variability of people¹s simple willingness to recycle
(believe me, the difference between Philly and San Francisco is immense).
Furthermore, the whole argument for single-stream is partially bound up in
the idea that somehow a new containerization method that is ³simpler² to
deal with will increase recycling behavior. I¹m not sure this has been
proven. In fact, I know this hasn¹t been proven. There are just too many

I don¹t have any answers here, but I do think it¹s very important to realize
and understand how much of this game is a social science endeavor.
Concentrating on technologies, methods, and collection systems only goes so
far. There is a great need for an immense amount of research in this field
and we just don¹t seem to be able to push enough for it. I think we
desperately need to get sociologists, economists, and anthropologists more
involved in evaluation and analysis on both the front and the back ends of
solid waste systems nationally, regionally, and locally. There just aren¹t
any simple, easy answers to a lot of the questions that really matter.

I have a great deal more to say on this issue, but I¹ll end with that. Happy
Thanksgiving and Happy Black Friday!


David Biddle, Executive Director

P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118
215-432-8225 (mobile)


Go to <> and choose the ³All dates²
option for articles by ³David Biddle²

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Franklin [mailto:pfranklin@no.address]
> Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 2:12 PM
> To: Jerry Powell; greenyes@no.address
> Subject: RE: [greenyes] Single-stream composition
> AMEN Jerry! Aluminum beverage can sales vary from region to region and so
> do glass and plastic beverage bottle sales. This is due in part to climate,
> marketing and regional preferences, but also because beverage sales vary by
> region. There is a much higher per capita consumption of beer and soda in
> the southeast and southwest and higher per capita consumption of bottled
> water and other non-carbonated drinks in the northeast and pacific coast.
> RE: Resource it really America's thinnest magazine? It may
> be thin in size but it's thick in substance.
> ******************************
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jerry Powell [mailto:jpowell@no.address]
> Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 3:30 PM
> To: greenyes@no.address
> Subject: [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
> jpowell@no.address
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