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RE: [greenyes] Trashed Recyclables and the Big Picture
[Re: residue rates and education and Gary's comment, "The use of
non-collection notices should be a key tool to educate residents over time
about what is acceptable or not to include in recycling containers."]

Non-Collection Notices are definitely a key tool to educate generators.  We
started using NCN's in the late 80's to educate the customer how to properly
prepare their set out for collection.  The NCN also let the contractor off
the hook for improper/contaminated set outs, meaning the set out was not
treated as a missed pick-up if the hauler had left a NCN.  The haulers for
our previous semi-automated recycling system (we moved to single stream
7/02) distributed an average of 0.2 NCNs per 1,000 recycling set outs per
month.  This represented a downward trend from the start of the program.
From an educational perspective, the use of NCNs (as part of an education
campaign) clearly was successful at decreasing contamination, evidenced by
the residue rates at both recovery facilities (3%-6%).

The move to fully automated single stream systems disconnects the driver
from the materials collected, leads to an increase in contamination/residue,
and misses a golden opportunity to educate the generator.  And though some
haulers rely on a truck/hopper-mounted camera to identify contaminants, it
is too late at that point because the contaminants are already in the truck.

Stephen M Bantillo
City of San José, Environmental Services Department
Integrated Waste Management
777 North First Street, Suite 300
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 277-3846   Office and VMail
(408) 277-3669   Fax      
100% San José.  Recycle Where You Live Work and Play  

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