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Understanding avoided disposal fees (and the benefits and limitations thereof)

Today's guest blog is authored by Roger Gukowski. The original post can be read here.

Landfill fees are an important driver of recycling and composting collection programs from a micro economic perspective.  I was able to develop many parts of my recycling and composting collection programs over many years in part through avoided landfill fees.  By starting a recycling or composting program that first targeted items that were a large component of the waste stream, I was able to avoid the cost of disposing of those items.  That avoided disposal savings gave me a pocket of money within my budget that I could reinvest into additional recycling or composting infrastructure.  That additional infrastructure led to additional diversion which created additional opportunities for reinvestment.  That cycle of continued incremental process improvement allowed programs to grow with little or no additional ongoing funding.  

But the key phrase in that prior paragraph is “in part.” …

APR Supports US Plastics Pact’s List of Problematic and Unnecessary Packaging

Today's guest blog is authored by Kara Pochiro of NERC Advisory Member Association of Plastics Recycling (APR). The original post can be read here.

The US Plastics Pact’s list identifying problematic and unnecessary materials is the result of more than 18 months of expansive discussion, research and debate among the more than 100 companies and organizations that are Pact Activators, some who have also voluntarily signed on to meet the goals of the Global Plastic Commitment outlined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The five criteria used to determine the list are similar to those developed by other US organizations and across the globe.

As the Voice of Plastic Recycling®, and one of the founding Activators and Advisory Council members of the Pact, the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) is particularly pleased that the Pact has endorsed the APR Design® Guide for Plastics…

Recycling’s New Crisis: Demand is Fine, but Where is Supply?

Today's guest blog is authored by NERC board member Chaz Miller. The original post can be read here.

For the last three years recycling has been plagued by a demand crisis. Prices for recyclables set record lows as supply greatly exceeded demand. The press had a field day telling stories of the woes facing curbside programs. 

Our demand crisis began easing early this year as scrap prices began to rebound. Now demand exceeds supply. The gap was so great that most curbside recyclables saw record-setting high prices. They still remain strong even as they are undergoing a normal seasonal decline. 

Stepped up demand for recyclables, driven by growth in domestic manufacturing capacity to use recycled paper and plastic, launched the surge in prices. Those new facilities need additional supplies of raw materials. Barring the unexpected, recycling demand will outpace supply for a while. 

A supply crisis differs fundamentally from a demand crisis.…