GreenYes Archives
[GreenYes Archives] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

Re: [GreenYes] Re: Single Stream Processing - Pro and Con
(Note to GreenYesers: in order to keep this email reasonable in length -
please refer to previous communications on this topic under the discussion
thread labeled "Re: 2002 Recycling Today Paper Recycling Conference Report")

Dear Helen:

I must confess that I did not understand your message.  If I wanted to
realize the additional value of my recyclables by sorting them, there is
nothing stopping me from then selling them to a buy-back operation.  Are you
suggesting that there should be multiple recycling collection systems
serving the same community serving different constituencies that are
differentiated by willingness to sort?


Roger M. Guttentag

----- Original Message -----
From: Helen Spiegelman <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2002 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Re: 2002 Recycling Today Paper Recycling Conference

> Michele,
> As a fellow free-enterpriser, I have to challenge you on your analysis of
> the issue of fibre sorting!
> You suggest that it is a *social* issue whether fibre products should be
> sorted  ("not possible to educate all consumers", "OK for middleclass
> suburban neighbourhoods" etc.). While this observation scratches the
> it falls short of proposing a solution.
> Sure some people's time is too valuable to waste it sorting their garbage
> -- those people should be expected to pay a price for having someone else
> do it. That's not what happens in our municipal recycling systems.
> If we design inflexible collection systems that do not allow some
> consumers to reap economic benefits by adding value to their discards by
> sorting them, then we miss an opportunity to make recycling more
> This is not a question of 'education' it is a question of economics.
> IMHO, the last thing the city should do is provide free collection of
> unsorted fibres. This distorts the market by rewarding those who don't
> the trouble to sort. It diverts a huge volume of otherwise high-grade
> from the market. It shuts out those who would like to realize economic
> benefits by sorting their trash. It also perpetuates the crude 19th
> infrastructure of 'professional' trash sorters (what advanced professional
> training does it require to stand at a malodorous conveyor and pick news
> and OCC off a stream of MWP?)
> Until we free fibres from captivity in uneconomic monopolistic collection
> systems we will never reach zero waste.
> Just my opinion, of course! :)
> Helen.

To post to the greenyes list,
email to:

Subscription information for
this list is available here:

[GreenYes Archives] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]