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Designing Waste

According to Lean Manufacturing, Japanese companies refer to waste in business as “Muda”, or “the Seven Wastes”. The two types of Muda that involve what we in the waste business typically term “trash” are: overproduction and defects. However, a substantial volume of business waste results from “rebranding” corporate images and lavish events.

Observations from Volunteering at a Food Bank

Today’s article is by Chaz Miller, Director of Policy/Advocacy for the National Waste & Recycling Association in Washington, D.C. In it he describes his experience volunteering at the Maryland Food Bank.

Food Waste Diversion Sen$e

Its International Compost Awareness Week! Composting can significantly reduce the nation’s waste stream, more than 50% of which is composed of organics—food scraps, brush, and soiled paper. Compost helps filter stormwater pollutants and sequester carbon. And, it creates jobs—just making compost employs twice as many workers as landfills, and four times as many as incinerators on a per-ton basis.

A Refreshing Closing the Loop Message

It seems that over the past several years we have failed to include in our messaging the true value of recycling; that is, the importance of taking “waste” materials and turning them into new products. A process that saves virgin materials for future generations, reduces energy use and pollution, and yes, creates jobs through recycling and manufacturing. Moreover, using recovered materials has become a vital component of the manufacturing process for many industries.

The Compost Story

This week's blog presents the Compost Challenge and the soon to be released video, "The Compost Story."

International Compost Awareness Week

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is a comprehensive educational initiative celebrated annually in the US and countries around the world during the first full week of May.

Making Glass Recycling Work, part 2

Today’s article continues to explore glass recycling success stories presented in the Glass Recycling Coalition and NERC’s recent webinar, “Partnerships to Make Glass Recycling Work”.

Making Glass Recycling Work, part 1

The Glass Recycling Coalition has brought together materials management companies, major glass users (such as brewing companies and insulation manufacturers), glass processors, and others to help solve some of the issues around glass recycling. NERC partnered with the Coalition on a recent webinar, “Partnerships to Make Glass Recycling Work”. The webinar provided an overview of glass recycling programs that are successfully handling the commodity.

Fresh Produce Recovery Models

Fresh fruit and vegetables are frequently in low supply at food banks. One solution is gleaning: collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state/county fairs, or other sources, in order to provide fruit and produce to those in need. Several innovative models exist for increasing fresh food diversion to food recovery organizations, including Boulder Food Rescue, Friendship Donations Network’s Neighborhood Food Hubs, and Salvation Farms.

1987—a Big Year for Recycling

As previously noted, NERC was founded in 1987, a year which saw a lot of “firsts” in the world of trash. Some of the other momentous events included, the Mobro “garbage barge;” several states adopted solid waste plans which called for waste reduction goals; and, New Jersey adopted statewide mandatory recycling.