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Next evolution of R2 adapts to new and diverse sectors in the electronics reuse-recycling industry

This guest blog is provided by the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI).

Industry sectors involved in the resale, reuse and recycling of used electronics have grown increasingly diverse and specialized since the R2 Standard for Responsible Recycling was first introduced in 2008.  Certification to the R2 Standard ushered in accountability and set the industry bar for safer and more sustainable ways to manage used and end-of life electronic products.   As the industry continues to evolve and mature, the R2 Standard is once again poised to lead the way in improving how the world reuses and recycles electronics with the next evolution of the R2 Standard – R2v3.

Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), the ANSI accredited standards developer and oversight body for the R2 Standard, recently released the proposed R2v3 Draft, which is available for review and download on the R2v3 page of the SERI website.  The proposed changes in R2v3 reflect a decade of experience gained from auditing and implementing the Standard and the overwhelming adoption of R2 across diverse…

Is Recycling a Waste?

Guest Blog Courtesy of the Massachusetts Recycle Smart Program

It seems like every day another negative recycling story hits the news. Here’s a recent sampling: 
As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling (NY Times, 3/16/19);
Recycling is a Dumpster Fire. Literally (On Point Radio, 3/14/19).   
Is This the End of Recycling? (Atlantic Monthly, 3/4/19);
Help, We’re Drowning in Recycling (Wall Street Journal, 3/2/19);
U.S. Cities Have Nowhere to Put Recycling (CBS Evening News, 3/20/19);

It’s no wonder our neighbors, friends and family are asking “is my recycling just going to a landfill?”  or “should I even bother?”
China closing its doors to our mixed paper and unsorted plastics was a wake-up call.  Over the last ten years our recycling habits got sloppy. (Wishful recycling, anyone?) But China kept gobbling up everything we sent, sorted out the bad stuff, and made new packaging and products from the good stuff – until they said, “enough.”


How did the waste and recycling industry do in 2018 with regard to facility fires?

This guest blog is courtesy of Ryan Fogelman, VP of Strategic Partnerships, Fire Rover, LLC

Each new year is a time of reflection to both learn from our successes and our failures. For the waste and recycling industry, 2018 was extremely eventful – and full of preventable failures. Being in the fire elimination business, I stay current on how the number and causes of fire incidents are impacted by industry and societal trends. Early in 2018, we focused on China’s ‘green sword’ policy and how to lower contamination in our commodity bales. While the industry was consumed by this issue, I noticed the pace of reported waste and recycling facility fires was continuing to rise. While the public’s attention shifted to wildfires in the summer of 2018, I was working to understand the connection between hot and dry environments and their impact on increased waste and recycling facility fires. As 2018 came to a close and more information about Chinese restrictions on metals became available, I recognized a dangerous trend (initially highlighted in my 2017 Annual Report) — more fires at scrap metal facilities across the US/Canada. 

As my third…

Now is the time to go all in on Recycling!

This guest blog is provided by the Carton Council.

The first quarter of 2019 is almost over and the recycling crisis continues to receive significant attention, including in the mainstream media.  Residents may question if recycling is still worth it at a time when we need them to recycle more and more carefully. In the meantime, those in the industry are hard at work determining new strategies to ensure every material that can be recycled gets its chance at a second life in a sustainable way.

For food and beverage cartons, there is good news. The packaging option that is used for products like milk, juice, cream, water, soup, broth, beans and wine, has seen carton recycling access expand to over 63 percent of the U.S. We know that residents want to recycle their cartons and believe they are recyclable. A survey released last year found that 79 percent of consumers report they always or occasionally recycle their food and beverage cartons.

The Carton Council is also working to ensure there are solid end markets available for sorting facilities to send their cartons Food and beverage cartons…

There’s No Time to be Timid

The Guest Blog this month is provided by Keefe Harrison, The Recycling Partnership CEO

Greetings from Abu Dhabi. As the 2019 World Ocean Summit wraps up, and I prepare to head home, I’ve settled on my mantra for the year:

Warming waters. Acidification. Marine debris. The ocean is the pulse of our planet and it needs our help.  We know that climate change is accelerating the troubles in our seas, compounding the hazards brought on from plastic waste in our waterways.  It can be depressing.  It should be depressing.  But it shouldn’t mean that we give up hope.  Instead, it should be the final push we need to boldly try new things, fail fast, and build new alliances to make change – in partnership, together.

Partnership is part of our name for a reason. Over the past five years, it has been The Recycling Partnership’s approach to work with others to tackle challenges, head on, with no wishful thinking.

Our approach?  Try new things.  Think we can do even better?  Wonderful.  Learn from mistakes and try again.  Play well with others.  Roll up your sleeves.  It’s not always easy to face challenges…