The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) urges the public to take necessary steps to protect sanitation workers from coming into contact with potentially contaminated items. Solid waste collection is a critical and essential job as part of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The men and women working in the waste and recycling industry are on the frontlines protecting human health and the environment.
The coronavirus pandemic is leading the food industry and regulators to change policies as they grapple with empty shelves, a glut of fresh produce and milk, and sudden shifts in consumer buying habits.
The problem isn’t a shortage of food and commodities. If anything, food waste is becoming a bigger issue as traditionally big, bulk buyers — like college dorms and restaurant chains — suddenly stop receiving deliveries. As a result, millions of gallons of milk are being dumped, and farmers have no alternative but to turn fresh vegetables into mulch.
Construction and Demolition Debris Management in the United States
Brewers Collective, the craft business unit of Anheuser-Busch, announced a national partnership with innovative recycling company TerraCycle to promote the proper recycling of personal protective equipment (PPE). Brewers Collective has installed TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes, specially intended for single-use masks and gloves, at 18 craft breweries across the U.S. Once the boxes are filled, they will be returned to TerraCycle for recycling.
While it’s still early stages, some lawmakers are floating ideas like producer responsibility bills for packaging and European Union-style restrictions on some single-use plastics. But other legislators seem to be steering toward proposals that focus on more traditional goals, like building out government-financed curbside recycling infrastructure.
The list includes new paper mills along with existing mills that are closed or are still operating but are being converted to produce different end products (e.g. from newsprint to packaging).
It also includes two mill that will be using recycled feedstock other than OCC and RMP. One is a facilty desigined to produce paper pulp and plastic pellets using beverage cartons and aseptic packages as its primary feedstock. The other is a mill designed to use food contaminated paper from commercial sources.
The mills are listed in rough order of their projected opening.
The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) sent a letter to Udall and Lowenthal in response to the legislation by the Aug. 21 deadline. According to NWRA, the association believes the proposals outlined by Udall and Lowenthal will lead to more contamination and that Congress should focus on policy initiatives that would expand the domestic recycling market.
“There are better ways to address the issue of reducing plastic waste pollution than by product stewardship or extended producer responsibility financing schemes,” says Darrell Smith, president and CEO of NWRA.
U.S. exporters who are still moving OCC and other recyclables to China may face higher costs, after the Chinese government last week announced additional tariffs on key scrap materials.
OCC, newsprint and some higher-grade recovered fibers will face an additional 5% tariff when imported into China, according to an announcement from the Chinese government. The list also includes scrap aluminum.
The past week brought several significant recycled paper capacity announcements, indicating future domestic outlets for mixed paper and OCC.
Shipping pulp from Kentucky to China: A Chinese company that purchased a U.S. paper mill will install a 700,000-tons-per-year recycled pulp and paper operation, taking in mixed paper and OCC and shipping the output to China for packaging production.
EPA Releases 2016 and 2017 Facts and Figures Data on Paper and Paperboard
EPA publishes data annually to its website on material generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery and landfilling in the United States for a variety of materials and products.