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[GreenYes] Re: Getting Haulers to Recycle More


We¹ve got mandatory recycling for the commercial sector here in Philly and
also in the state. The law is not well-written for actual compliance (long
story). There is some enforcement, but it¹s spotty and folks tend to see
non-compliance as a ³cost of doing business.² Fines are typically low. The
larger a business, the less likely the fines will have any impact. As a
result, we only have about 20% compliance at best. Most of that is cardboard
related, and that goes right to the ³economic incentive² issue for haulers
and their customers. There are also a lot of shenanigans going on out there
with hauler separation claims. Markets are booming right and we¹ve seen this
before. As soon as they dip haulers will just start trashing what they
currently recycle.

All that said, I often raise the question in public talks about enforcement
vs. incentives. Obviously, you have the simple avoided cost incentive, but
often I am able to show people huge savings and they still don¹t implement
programs. Abitibi-Consolidated, a newsprint manufacturer, has a great
program for nonprofits where they pay directly for paper brought to their
special containers (see:

We¹re also working on something new called The Delaware Valley Workplace
Recycling Challenge. This addresses two of the biggest problems I find out
there with generators: 1) lack of top-down support; 2) lack of awareness
about tonnages and recycling rates. Even in some of the best programs out
there, all too often facility managers don¹t know how much they¹re
recycling, how much trash they¹re generating, or what the true cost of waste
management is for their facility. Our challenge pushes executive support and
for a small fee we provide program track services. We are able to provide
more than just economics and simple metrics. We convert recycling tonnage
into energy saved and greenhouse gases reduced. See our web site for more. Pay close attention to the Environmental Business
Reporting Tool in the Resources section.

Finally, however, I have to say that all of this doesn¹t get most people
very excited. Although we¹re plugging away. I¹ve written a number of
editorials for our local paper and have really pushed the Challenge at the
hauler and business community and gotten few takers. So, we¹re going to be
adding one more twist. We¹ve pushed RecycleBank hard to come up with a
commercial application of their Recycling Credit program and we¹re offering
to implement this for all employees in a building or institution once the
facility achieves a 25% recycling rate. We have two test cases we¹re
starting on and will hopefully be expanding out from there after we have
some results from these test cases.

One last item: when tipping fees are relatively high (ours are around
$70/ton now) you can break the hauler community into two segments?those with
disposal facilities and those without. The independent haulers tend to
understand the economics of waste a lot more than those who make their
biggest profits off of disposal. I would focus my efforts on the
independents first. They won¹t have most of the accounts and few big ones,
but they will get with the program (whatever it is) much faster. Once
they¹re starting to make some noise, then go meet with the ³less than
independents.² They¹ll be much more likely to listen.

Good luck with everything. If you need more info or support, give us a call.
David Biddle, Executive Director
Greater Philadelphia Commercial Recycling Council
P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118

215-247-3090 (desk)
215-432-8225 (cell)


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on 3/1/07 1:17 PM, Brewer, Gretchen (DEP) at Gretchen.Brewer@no.address

> MassDEP is conducting a brief informal survey of states, counties and
> municipalities that regulate, permit, or have voluntary agreements with solid
> waste and recycling haulers aimed at getting haulers and their customers,
> especially commercial generators, to recycle more. What are the requirements
> or choices haulers have within these models relative to: outreach and
> education to customers on recycling requirements; providing incentives (such
> as rebates and revenue/profit sharing based on commodity sales); reporting to
> customers and/or agencies on amounts recycled, composted, or trashed;
> providing recycling services (such as parallel access); and any other
> thoughts. We are currently working on exploring the possibility of a
> voluntary certification program for haulers and these examples would be
> helpful for us. Thanks.
> Gretchen Brewer
> Bureau of Waste Prevention
> Planning & Evaluation
> MassDEP
> One Winter St, 8 fl
> Boston, MA 02108
> 617-654-6594
> >

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