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[GreenYes] Re: NYC Recycling?

Points from both Wayne and JW well taken. Here in Philly packers (front and
rear) handle lots of commercial recycling accounts. However, the initial
post said that people had witnessed recyclables being thrown in with their
garbage. That is the point in question. I have seen it with my own eyes as
well (doing a 4:30 A.M. stakeout). Pete¹s observations are right on. For the
most part, here in this part of the country, anyway, folks just aren¹t
making the effort to ensure that their carters are being accountable.

I¹m not saying that haulers are all throwing away our recyclables, I¹m just
saying that there have been too many cases where this has been
witnessed...The remedy is to be rational about writing contracts and to
dictate the terms of service.

David Biddle, Executive Director

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


Read In Business magazine to learn about sustainable
businesses in communities across North America!
Go to: <>

on 5/2/06 1:34 PM, Wayne Turner at WAYNET@no.address wrote:

> Not to mention the possibility that the carter may, however so slight the
> chance, be using a 'split tail' vehicle that has two compartments. These are
> used in applications where refuse and recycables are collected on the same
> route at the same time without having to use two separate trucks/crews. To
> the casual observer, it may appear that both refuse and recyclables are being
> mixed in the same truck but in reality they are in separate compartments
> within the truck. I actually received a phone from a citizen one day with a
> complaint similar to the one Karyn raised and after investigating found the
> explanation to be the use of a split tail vehicle. This was a municipal crew
> collecting residential waste, however.
> Wayne Turner
> Assistant Solid Waste Administrator
> Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities
> phone: (336) 727 8418
> fax: (336) 727-8432
> email: waynet@no.address
>>>> >>> "JW Spear" <jw@no.address> 5/2/2006 1:27 PM >>>
> I think this issue is a misunderstanding in a downward spiral.
> It is important to distinguish collection from disposal. If one sees
> recyclables of any nature being deposited in a landfill or burned in an
> incinerator the recycling law or ethic (depending on whether recycling is
> mandatory or voluntary in your state) is being circumvented.
> However, if ones recyclables are collected in a rear load or front load
> collection vehicle, as is often the case with commercial accounts, it does not
> automatically mean the vehicle is headed to a landfill. We have many clients
> that use rear load or front load vehicles to collect recyclables for transport
> to material recovery facilities. These partially and fully automated loader
> vehicles are considerably more efficient than the 'recycling trucks' of the
> late '80s and early '90s and are preferred in many markets for recyclables
> collection
> JW.
> J W Spear, Sr., P.E.
> J Spear Associates
> 325 West Vine Street
> Milwaukee, WI 53212-3605
> Telephone (414) 263-5715
> Facsimile (414) 435-3110
> Mobile (414) 687-0518
> Email jw@no.address
> <>
> Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.
> "Tyranny of the Urgent",
> Charles E. Hummel
> What we do today touches seven generations.
> The information contained in this electronic transmission is intended for the
> recipient whose Name and/or Company details are shown after the word "To" at
> the beginning of this transmission. The content is confidential, and may be
> legally privileged. It is incumbent upon the rightful recipient to ensure that
> this electronic transmission is not illegally copied or forwarded to others.
> If you have received this electronic transmission in error, then please advise
> us immediately, and delete it from your system.
> ================== EOM ============
>> From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf
>> Of Samantha MacBride
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 12:00 PM
>> To: 'Pete Pasterz'; 'David Biddle'; 'Karyn Kaplan'; 'GreenYes'
>> Cc: 'Grayson, Pat'
>> Subject: [GreenYes] RE: NYC Recycling?
>> This may be, but I must point out that all of ³NYC² does not deserve to be
>> tarred with the same brush.
>> The Department of Sanitation collects over 700,000 tons a year of paper,
>> metal, glass, and plastic recyclables, in addition to recycling organic and
>> inert materials through other programs. None of this is landfilled; it is
>> recycled properly. I do not want anyone, Michael Moore or otherwise, to get
>> the impression that their efforts to recycle at home or in public
>> institutions in New York City are at all in vain. As stated in my first
>> email, it is important not to make a few street-side observations as a
>> visitor to this town, and then go on to draw citywide conclusions about what
>> is going on here, or anywhere for that matter.
>> As regards the private sector, we have a wide number of carters here
>> competing for commercial hauling contracts. The way NYC laws are written,
>> City enforcement ends at the business generator.
>> Samantha MacBride
>> Deputy Director, Recycling
>> Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling
>> New York City Department of Sanitation
>> 44 Beaver Street, 6th floor
>> New York, NY 10010
>> 917-237-5674
>> From: Pete Pasterz [mailto:PAPasterz@no.address]
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 12:44 PM
>> To: David Biddle; Samantha MacBride; Karyn Kaplan; GreenYes
>> Cc: Grayson, Pat
>> Subject: Re: NYC Recycling?
>> Most skeptics and non recyclers I talk with cite variations of this reason:
>> "It all gets landfilled anyway, so why should I bother"
>> This is the exact issue that Michael Moore raised in his book "Stupid White
>> Men" on why he no longer recycles, due to his observations in NYC.
>> Unfortunately, it is NOT just an East Coast or Urban phenomenon. I have
>> collected a file of many trade and general media reports from around the
>> country on such incidents of dumping recyclables over the last 5 years.
>> Most were from just a few companies, with one being the predominant offender.
>> When I was the Vice President of the National Recycling Coalition, I proposed
>> a resolution which would ask 3 things of our members:
>> 1. To pledge to set policies in our organizations to not knowingly landfill
>> any items set out for us to recycle.
>> 2. To self report to our customer any internal discoveries of unintentional
>> landfilling, or that resulting from willful violations of our policies.
>> 3. To publicly apologize for the incident and to outline the steps we'll take
>> to prevent it in the future.
>> Needless to say, this was NOT adopted.
>> The industry is paying a price for ignoring this, and no amount of
>> "rebranding" is going to regain the lost trust that this perpetuates.
>> From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf
>> Of David Biddle
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:52 AM
>> To: Samantha MacBride; Karyn Kaplan; GreenYes
>> Cc: Grayson, Pat
>> Subject: dvorak - heuristic [GreenYes] Re: NYC Recycling?
>> Importance: Low
>> Samantha and Karyn-
>> We see the same sort of thing here in Philly and I receive numerous
>> complaints about haulers ³dumping² recyclables and/or seeming to pick them up
>> in the same truck as trash. Obviously, there is little control over the
>> private sector and their practices without stringent enforcement policies in
>> place.
>> In Philadelphia (and Pennsylvania as a whole) transfer facilities that seek
>> to separate recyclables from waste must have a permit to process ³mixed
>> waste.² This was tried by the industry for a few years (there were three
>> facilities so permitted in the Philadelphia area in the mid-90s), but it was
>> found to be wholly impractical and not economic. Currently, we have no such
>> facilities?and yet I still hear often about haulers mixing waste and
>> recycling in front- and rear-loading trucks. Go figure...
>> The key to solving this problem is writing good contracts requiring haulers
>> to provide separate collection systems and documentation on how much material
>> is recycled and where it goes?or, better, contracting with one hauler for
>> recycling and one for trash. We have a document on our web site that provides
>> guidelines on how to think about and write contracts with waste and recycling
>> service vendors . It may be found at:
>> In the end, as far as I can tell, so far, facility managers and business
>> owners are not dictating the terms of service well enough. As such, they
>> suffer the consequences. We now offer a service to help re-write contracts
>> through new RFP processes for businesses and institutions and also provide
>> monthly support in managing programs and interfacing with service providers.
>> The lesson in all of this is that if businesses want ³out of sight out of
>> mind,² then they run the risk of putting the fox in control of the henhouse.
>> Forcing the industry to be accountable is the only way to solve this problem.
>> David Biddle, Executive Director
>> <>
>> P.O. Box 4037
>> Philadelphia, PA 19118
>> 215-247-3090
>> 215-432-8225 (mobile)
>> Dbiddle@no.address
>> Read In Business magazine to learn about sustainable
>> businesses in communities across North America!
>> Go to: <>
>> on 5/2/06 11:21 AM, Samantha MacBride at smacbride.nycrecycles@no.address
>> wrote:
>> Dear Ms. Kaplan:
>> In New York City, businesses are served by private carters operating in a
>> free market, not by the City's Department of Sanitation, which services
>> residents and institutions, collecting three separate streams: commingled
>> paper of all kinds (board and paper); commingled metal, and
>> glass/plastic/beverage carton containers; and refuse.
>> Businesses are required to source separate recycling under Local Law 87 of
>> 1992. Recycling requirements vary by type of business. See
>> l for details.
>> Under the current legal/institutional structure, City has no control over the
>> actions of privately contracted carters once the businesses place source
>> separated materials at the curb. It is certainly possible that carters
>> collect refuse and bundled corrugated or bagged paper in the same truck,
>> without compaction, for post-collection sorting. In such cases it is
>> perfectly feasible to separate paper and board from black bagged refuse; the
>> former going to recycling as paper and board are valuable commodities on the
>> secondary materials market. Post-collection separation of commingled
>> containers would be more difficult.
>> In addition, if your friends are working in anything other than a food
>> service venue, then, as you will note, their commercial building is not
>> required to recycle commingled containers at all, due to the relatively small
>> amount of non-food service commercial waste streams that consist of
>> containers. If they work hard to separate out such containers, the carter
>> has no responsibility to recycle them and most probably will not, due to the
>> small volumes involved.
>> If you are interested in learning more about NYC recycling in general, there
>> are a host of resources at If you are interested
>> in the commercial waste stream in particular, you may want to consult the
>> Department's "Commercial Waste Management Study," at
>> In any event, it is always important to bear in mind that when you discuss
>> New York City, or most cities/jurisdictions for that matter, you are not
>> speaking about one monolithic policy and service provider for all residents,
>> institutions, and businesses; but about an array of institutions, some of
>> them public and others private; and a variety of laws and programs. San
>> Francisco may be one exception in this regard, served as it is by one private
>> corporation for all collections, residential, institutional and commercial.
>> On the other hand, in contradistinction to New York, many cities, including
>> Chicago and Los Angeles, exclude multi-unit buildings from "residential"
>> collection; where as NYC collects the three streams mentioned above from all
>> 8 million residents, regardless of dwelling type.
>> What I can assure you, in regard to NYC, is that under the NYC Department of
>> Sanitation¹s recycling program that serves residents and institutions, there
>> are always two source separated streams of recycling collected separately
>> from refuse; and the notion that some recycling goes into a refuse truck
>> ultimately to be discarded as refuse is an urban myth. For more reading on
>> comparative municipal waste policy, you may want to consult the following
>> reports:
>> Processing and Marketing Recyclables in New York City
>> New York City Recycling In Context
>> Also available at <>
>> .
>> Good luck with your research,
>> Samantha MacBride
>> Deputy Director, Recycling
>> Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling
>> New York City Department of Sanitation
>> 44 Beaver Street, 6th floor
>> New York, NY 10010
>> 917-237-5674
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address]
>> <mailto:GreenYes@no.address%5d> On Behalf Of Karyn Kaplan
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 10:35 AM
>> To: GreenYes
>> Subject: [GreenYes] NYC Recycling?
>> I was in NYC recently and a few business people told me that they work
>> hard to prepare recyclables and then watch the packer truck come and
>> throw all the recycling in with the trash bags.
>> Can anyone shed any light on how NYC does it's recycling collection and
>> indeed is stuff getting recycled or does it all end up in the packer
>> truck, garbage and all?
>> Thanks-
>> Karyn Kaplan
>> University of Oregon
>> E-mail correspondence to and from this address may be subject to the North
>> Carolina Public Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.
>> >>

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