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Community Composting – Does Summer Sun make Compost Too Hot?

Today's Guest Blog is from the Composting Association of Vermont. It was originally published here.

In this first post, I address a question about siting a system, that has come up a number of times over the last few years as we’ve worked to promote community composting and it’s also a question often asked by backyard composters: “Does a compost tumbler and/or bin need to be situated in the full sun?”

It’s a common misconception that compost systems need to be in sunny spots in order to achieve hot composting. Some claim that this is why many bins and tumblers are made of dark-colored materials (think black Soil Saver bins) – in order to absorb the sun’s radiation. While this has some merit, since the sun does heat up the tumbler or bin contents, it’s not where the heat comes from when we talk about hot composting.

In fact, as with everything in well-functioning compost systems, you can thank the microbes for heating things up! Heat is a byproduct of the of the decomposition process.


Recycling Options for Single-Use Gloves

With COVID-19 upon us, single-use gloves are in use more than ever.  The headlines that quickly followed the virus outbreak in the US have often focused on used gloves strewn on the ground, in parks, and in parking lots.  For those working in materials management, this did not come as a surprise, but instead piqued our interest to find a way to manage the discarded gloves.   

Two companies that are facilitating the collection and recycling of disposal/single-use gloves are TerraCycle® and Kimberly-Clark Professional.  Both companies implement a discarded glove collection program and forward the materials to processors for making into a feedstock for manufacturers.  The manufacturers are using the recycled-content feedstock for making new products.

TerraCycle’s Disposable Gloves Zero Waste Box Program began in 2014 when TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box division was launched.  “Since then it's quickly become one of the highest volume waste streams we divert from landfills—80 tons of used gloves collected.” reports Sophia Berrios, Global Marketing & E-Commerce Manager, Zero Waste…

Recycling Makes Sense. A Single Bottle, A Single Can, A Single Box All Matter – So Does Your Participation

This week's guest blog is courtesy of the It's All You campaign of The Recycling Partnership. The original posting can be found here.

Why should I recycle? It’s a question that we’ve all asked ourselves. The Recycling Partnership wants you to know that the answer is easy. According to the Partnership’s Chief Community Strategy Officer Cody Marshall, “Every time we recycle, we reduce pollution and conserve resources. But recycling does more than that. Recyclables have potential. When you recycle something, you’re actually putting material back into the supply chain.” It’s simple, easy, and something that we can all do from the comfort of our homes and offices.

What actually happens to the materials placed into recycling bins and carts?

The current recycling system…

Recycling Programs Essential to Maintain Supply of Essential Products

Today's guest blog is by Brian Hawkinson, Executive Director, Recovered Fiber, American Forest & Paper Association.

Over the last decade, the U.S. paper industry has achieved a consistently high recycling rate, meeting or exceeding 63 percent since 2009—a rate that’s nearly doubled since 1990, when the industry first set a paper recycling goal. Recently, AF&PA announced that the 2019 paper recycling rate was 66.2 percent. The rate represents a slight decrease from the 2018 rate, 68.1 percent, largely due to a reduction in U.S. recovered paper exports to China, but is still an increase from the 2017 recycling rate of 65.9 percent. The recycling rate for old corrugated containers (OCC) was 92.0 percent in 2019 and the three-year average OCC recycling rate is 92.3 percent.

Recovered fiber is essential to produce paper and packaging products. In 2019, more than 31 million tons of recovered fiber was consumed by U.S. paper and paperboard manufacturers. Nationwide, more than a third of the paper industry’s total fiber requirements are met using recovered material.