Why Should You Care?
Managing and handling waste is expensive. When recycling is done right, the government, taxpayers, and business owners save money. By reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill, you reduce your disposal costs, and the negative impact it has on the environment. By demonstrating environmental responsibility through recycling efforts, you show the community in which you do business that you care. You could even attract new customers, enhance your chances of winning contracts and improve customer loyalty. Unless everyone starts caring, recycling doesn’t stand a chance. When program participants work hard to keep trash out of containers marked for recycling, only then will recycling be successful.
Single Stream Recycling Doesn’t Work
Rhode Island was the first state to institute mandatory recycling. Haulers quickly introduced the concept of one container for all recycling. Then they took it to the next level on a national basis. Businesses liked it because they didn’t need two waste systems, and many did not have room for a second waste system. Today, buildings are still being designed and built with only one waste system for trash, which is often undersized and overpriced.
Single stream recycling is still being offered today, but the discounts are gone. Single stream recycling costs as much, if not more, than traditional trash hauling, because the material being collected has no overseas market for resale as a recyclable material. Once the processor’s warehouse is full, there is no more room to process and store waste.
Post-consumer, dirty, single stream waste with one or more recyclable materials mixed together are sent to the landfill. Paper and plastic processors need clean single item secondary materials in pristine condition to justify adding any of it to 90% virgin material. Most recycled products use less than 10% secondary materials so as not to degrade their new products.
The entire recycling model of off-site sorting of mixed recyclables at regional material recovery facilities was never sustainable. Combining and commingling aluminum, tin, steel, paper fiber, and plastic bottles goes against every established recycling industry association specification for a homogenous batch of material. Only material that is comprised of the same stock and make up can be sold to processors and manufacturers.
Two Compactors, Two Colors
National haulers use the same color for all of their machines. One hauler may use all blue machines and another all green machines. TOG uses different colors to specify which container to use. Red containers are used for recycling and blue containers are used for trash. All of our enclosures and loading docks are designed to support two distinct waste systems whether they are small dumpsters or compactors.