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Re: [GreenYes]British Single-Source Collection System

I believe your "single-stream system" is just for "all recyclables," and 
does not include garbage.  I believe the British proposal was for a mixed 
garbage system.  There's a big difference in those approaches.

I have been impressed with how single-stream recyclables work very well if 
there are appropriate participant instructions and quality processing 
facilities.  These work particularly well when combined with separate 
collection of yard trimmings (preferably together with food discards, if 
food composting facilities are available) and a third can for garbage 

I am concerned about any mixed waste collection system that claims to 
"recycle it all" for the reasons Susan expressed.


At 09:37 AM 07/24/01 -0700, Stephen Grealy wrote:
>How are you?  Thought I would respond to your comment since we have gone 
>from a source separated weekly to a single stream biweekly program in San 
>Diego two years ago and now have some comparison data (we currently have 
>216,000 homes in the program).  We have found that the paper can still be 
>marketed as the highest grade..i.e. ONP is sold as #8 and our mixed is not 
>downgraded.  I have been in the processing facilities that handle our 
>stream on several occassions and the paper is coming in clean.  Our 
>contamination/ processing residue is low (around 7%) and that probably 
>helps.  I know some other single stream programs have up to 20% 
>contamination and that could pose more of problem.
>When we were evaluating a single stream operation back in 1995-96 we were 
>told by the paper companies that paper quality would be a big problem for 
>them as you mentioned.  I think a key element is having a strong quality 
>control program that feeds back to the residents so that the stream is 
>kept clean.  We do that with education coupled with enforcement from our 
>quality control team - they are able to pull the bin from those residents 
>that refuse to clean up their recyclables.
>All the best
> >>> "Susan Kinsella" <> 07/23/01 09:16PM >>>
>My main concern is how much of the materials collected in an
>everything-collected-together system can be used for "highest and best"
>recycling uses. For example, some reps from printing and writing paper mills
>are starting to say that they're having trouble getting wastepaper clean
>enough to use for their products. This, in turn, limits their willingness to
>consider expanding their recycled paper lines or increasing postconsumer
>contents. I think that a part of the problem is the move to more
>single-source recycling collection systems, where the wastepaper gets mixed
>with bottles, cans, and food. This drastically limits how much clean
>wastepaper can be pulled out. A much larger percentage (than in
>source-separated systems) ends up only able to be used for low-end products
>(e.g. animal bedding, shingles) or those which will not be recycled after
>use (e.g.  tissue paper, although a lot is not even clean enough for that).
>Countries other than the U.S. and Canada do not track and focus on
>postconsumer content, relying more on mill scraps, but postconsumer is an
>essential  category here.
>While one could argue that it's good to recycle the wastepaper into
>SOMETHING, it's short-sighted if we're not organizing our systems to use
>materials for the greatest resource conservation technically and
>economically feasible. In the case of printing and writing paper, we have
>the opportunity to reuse fibers over and over, providing resource savings
>many times over from the same fibers, but they have to be very clean and
>separated from newsprint and other unacceptable paper sources. So if we
>collect wastepaper in ways that produce so much contamination that the
>deinking mills cannot take it, thereby precluding use of recycled materials
>in the most resource-conserving products, we're failing our zero waste
>You might be able to explain to me how a system that dumps everything
>together could still prevent contamination of most of the paper, but I don't
>see how it could be done.
>Susan Kinsella
>Executive Director
>100 Second Avenue
>San Francisco, CA 94118
>Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 07:40:36 EDT
>Subject: Re: [GreenYes] CALLS NEEDED:  Stop Tax Credits for Garbage Energy
>The audit demonstrates that the system
>effectively mechanically separates 90% of the MSW delivered from the
>(household recycling would not be required) thereby insuring greater
>compliance at the household and only one pick up is required. The outputs
>from the system are recyclables and organic waste.
>To post to the greenyes list,
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Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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