Re: Refillable Bottles & home collection -Reply

carol (
Fri, 28 May 1999 05:26:59 -0400

> knows the kinds of costs that would be involved. I won't take up the
> list's time & space reviewing all the permutations that have already been
> experimented with such as wet/dry collection systems, except to say
> that the recovery of a high fraction of intact reusable items only
> succeeds where the items are delivered by the consumer to a resale
> facility. >
> The main difficulty in the general scheme you seem to be advocating --
> an all-purpose single house-to-house collection of everything recyclable
> and reusable for central processing, apparently together with
> unrecoverable waste -- is cross-contamination and breakage of goods.
> You would have to load and unload the recycle-all vehicle as carefully
> as a moving van to get all manner of reusable items to a processing
> center intact.

Who was it said that "if I'd known it was impossible I would not have
done it"?

I'm not proposing mixing recoverable and unrecoverable material.
I envisioned more *elaborate* home sorting to expand the types of items
now considered recycla/coverable. Seems as though a containerized/
compartmentalized home collection system could solve a lot of
the logistics between the home and the next stage, whatever
that was--and seems as though that would need to take place
more locally to the home than it does now, from what you are saying.

A major issue is cost, which would have to be paid for by the
manufacturer. Otherwise there is no feedback loop in the system
affecting consumers (who, I agree, have to feel the consequences
of wasteful behavior.) Materials difficult to dispose of have to rise
in price.

To assign cost you would have to sample the waste stream and use
statistical methods; at least, I don't see another way. But hey, that
would involve pressing for real accountability. . . .

Do you have links to the "permutations" you mentioned?