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[greenyes] Trashed Recyclables and the Big Picture
I wholeheartedly agree with Joan about the importance of BOTH education and enforcement.

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. That's one of the reasons why I generally prefer semi-automated collection vehicles over automated. With automated, drivers generally will not see non-recyclables and just dump them in with the rest, and will rarely get out of the truck and leave a non-collection notice, as that would defeat the "efficiency" of the automation. With semi-automated collection, drivers are able to spot-check before dumping in the truck, and leave non-recyclable materials behind with a non-collection notice easily.

Gary Liss

At 12:01 PM 04/14/2003 -0400, Jerecycl@no.address wrote:
While I agree completely with Gary Liss that there should be much better
municipal contractual guidelines for and oversight of MRF's utilized to
process commingled recyclables from single stream curbside programs, these
guidelines alone will not keep residue rates at 5%.  The reason is "garbage
in, garbage out".  When localities and/or haulers ignore the importance of
educating residents on what is/is not recyclable in any given program, the
price they pay is high residue and this residue cannot be controlled by the
MRF.  The City of Los Angeles is an excellent case in point.  They have
contracted with some highly respected recyclers who have excellent marketing
track records and have invested in state-of-the art equipment.  But residue
rates have remained at 20-22%  for years because City staff has not
implemented effective education programs to correct this problem.  Residents
want to recycle but are not provided with a credible and consistent
educational program detailing what materials should be placed into the "blue
bins".  As a result, residents place all sorts of items into the bins in the
mistaken impression that they are helping recycling.  Similarly, there is no
substantive program to correct deliberate misuse of recycling bins through
placement of refuse in these containers.

Joan Edwards

Gary Liss 916-652-7850 Fax: 916-652-0485

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