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[greenyes] Single Stream - Reply to Follow on Questions
1. Dave Hirshler replied to my posting about single stream with this
comment: "There is no argument that with single stream recycling more will
be put out by the residents, the easier the program,
the more participation."

The answer is that not only is there a question, in fact it is NOT true.  I
had a posting on this subject last month, pointing out that the detailed
study done by Eureka Recycling which actually tested for all parameters and
found that it was the selection of the large rolled cart that was
responsible for greater capture rates, NOT single stream.  Again, this is
another case, where the program's proponents are using gross
oversimplifications that create an impression that is the opposite of the
facts.  Indeed, if single stream is co-collected with garbage, people might,
as the other postings have noted, become confused that it's all being
trashed and recycle less.

2. Steve Hammer asks if much of the quality problems with single stream
would be eliminated if glass were not part of the recycling program.

That's a damn good question.  Clearly, Steve has put his finger on the nub
of the matter: single stream effectively breaks all the glass to the point
where it is no longer color sortable and its fragments get embedded into
everything else.

I think, though, that we'd need to ask this question a bit differently.
Since glass is such a large fraction of the container weight, we'd suffer a
significant overall loss of recovery were we to JUST drop glass, and we'd
need to make that up somewhere else in most cases.  For example, would
residential mixed paper be added or, if it already has been, what else would
that be.  That needs to be determined first in order to assess how well
single stream MRFs can sort that out.

But, the bottom line answer tends to be yes.  Without glass, we have a
potential pathway to not suffer from single stream's debilitating downsides.

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

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