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Re: [greenyes] State recycling rates

Dear Colleagues,

I completely concur with Pat Franklin and Mario Laquerre, from a municipal perspective.

It has taken us years in New York City to get the message out to the press and public that our recycling rate (diversion rate) that now stands at around 20% reflects residential and institutional only diversion of paper, metal, glass, plastic and yard waste from the residential/institutional curbside waste stream served by public collection. If we included commercial recycling and recycling of construction/demolition debris, clean fill, abandoned autos, and other non-curbside streams, New York City's diversion rate would be close to 60%. That fact hasn't stopped journalists, scholars, and other commentators from comparing our 20% to "higher" rates in other cities that do include commercial recycling, C&D, fill reuse, etc. -- even though the data is there if one cares to look for it that explains how each municipality counts different materials towards diversion. In California, if I understand correctly, municipal diversion is imputed from a projected waste generation rate minus actually disposed tonnage; diverted (or prevented) tons aren't even measured directly at all.

Waste News's annual municipal recycling survey demonstrates some of the incomparabilities among cities in this regard very well. In order to counter misperceptions, we in NYC did our own research on this problem that can be found our report, New York City Recycling - In Context at There is further discussion of the "apples to oranges" problem with regard to privatization, collection and processing costs, and other matters relating to processing and marketing in our recent report, Processing and Marketing Recyclables in New York City at that same site.

Samantha MacBride
Senior Policy Analyst
New York City Department of Sanitation
Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling
44 Beaver Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pat Franklin" <pfranklin@no.address>
To: "Dana Coyle" <Dana.Coyle@no.address>; <greenyes@no.address>
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 3:11 PM
Subject: RE: [greenyes] State recycling rates

> All....
> Others may disagree with me, but in my opinion comparing state recycling
> rates is an "apples and oranges" comparison at best. I doubt that there are
> 2 states that measure exactly the same items. Furthermore, some states may
> include materials imported from other states and recycled in their state,
> thus inflating their recycling rate. I would discourage this sort of
> comparison unless you know that the methods of measurement are identical.
> Pat Franklin
> ****************************************
> Patricia Franklin
> Executive Director
> Container Recycling Institute
> 1601 North Kent Street, Suite 803
> Arlington, VA 22209-2105
> TEL: 703.276.9800
> FAX: 703.276.9587
> EMAIL: pfranklin@no.address
> *******************************************
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dana Coyle [mailto:Dana.Coyle@no.address]
> Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 2:53 PM
> To: greenyes@no.address
> Subject: [greenyes] State recycling rates
> Anyone know where I could find a list of the states and their respective
> recycling rates?
> Thanks in advance.
> Dana C. Coyle
> Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste
> P.O. Box 414
> Trenton, NJ 08625
> P: (609) 984-3438
> F: (609) 777-0769

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