Recycling News

New Zealand has reached a record 57% recycling due to the efforts of industry in designing better packaging along with improved kerbside collections and new markets for recovered materials

Giant trade fair emphasizes clean consumerism rather than froth and frivolity

‘Design for disassembly’ promotes product design with its eventual separation and re-use in mind, identifying significant cost efficiencies as well as opportunities to innovate.

Biodegradable "plastic" bags and dishware are available from Trellis Earth. "Eating healthy salad out of a Styrofoam takeout container is silly," says the company co-founder Chad Blaski. "The toxins [from Styrofoam] leak right into your food."

The UK is now recycling 56% of its packaging waste, and has committed to increasing that rate.

Staples, Inc., the big-box office products retailer, now accepts all brands of used computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes and all-in-ones for recycling. A fee of $10 per item is charged.

Vinyl 2010, the organization charged with coordinating PVC recycling in Europe, says 83,000 tonnes of PVC plastic was recycled in 2006, doubling the amount recycled last year. Vinyl 2010's progress report can be downloaded at

Most computer companies now take old models of their own brand back. Some even take any brand back. For example, HP takes back all brands of computer hardware and all brands of rechargeable batteries (although HP only accepts their own brand of ink cartridge).

How do they recycle packaging so successfully in Europe? Visit GreenPak for resources for policy makers and kids to find out.

A billion cell phones are in use, and USEPA has established that they should be classified as toxic waste. CCCC earns a dollar on every cell phone you give us for recycling. Contact Lois Z. for how to.

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, representing more than 90 percent of the plastic bottle recycling capacity in North America, is taking positions in four areas: supporting legislation calling for required recycling content in certain containers; opposition to efforts to repeal deposit programs in place; support for legislation expanding deposit legislation; and support for legislation banning certain bottles from landfills. --Chartwell’s Solid Waste Digest.

The rate of growth in paper and board recycling in Europe today is rapid. A total of 46.6 million tonnes of paper and board were recycled in Europe in 2005, increasing the recycling rate for these materials to 56%.

European Union makes producers responsible for collecting and recycling spent batteries. Although lead is largely gone, cadmium and mercury remain in household batteries. Why has Cattaraugus County ended battery recycling?

More than 30 countries across Europe and Asia currently mandate some form of producer responsibility for packaging. Why don't we?

"The average computer monitor contains more than five pounds of lead. Computers can also contain mercury and cadmium. When you multiply that by the millions of outdated computers and monitors, you've got lots of toxins that you don't want to put back into the earth."  --ABC News, "Old Computers Often End Up in Toxic Heaps in Developing Countries," Jan. 10, 2006

The Berkeley (Calif.) City Council has officially established one of the nation’s first Zero Waste Goals. The council’s resolution adopts a 75 percent waste reduction goal for 2010, and establishes a Zero Waste Goal for 2020. Zero Waste combines aggressive resource recovery with industrial redesign to eliminate the entire concept of waste. Berkeley had the nation’s first solid waste management plan that included separating waste from recyclable materials in the home, and in the early 1980s the city passed one of the nation’s first bans on incineration.

New York has committed itself to boosting renewable energy from about 19% of the state's electricity to 25% under new rules adopted by the Public Service Commission. This will require increasing wind power from 40 megawatts to 4,000 MW by 2013. But the PSC heard the public outcry against incineration and voted to exclude mass garbage burners from the benefits available to renewable energy sources. See Wall Street J. 9/22/04.

You can save $7.00 per week and reduce waste by packing a lunch instead of running to the deli or the fast food window. Find out more:

Alcoa has teamed up with Pittsburgh Brewing Co. to replace glass bottles with new aluminum bottles for Iron City Beer, and is courting other breweries in an effort displace glass. Aluminum requires much more energy to produce and recycle, processes that produce greenhouse gases compared to glass manufacturing and recycling. Moreover, Alcoa's new aluminum bottles weigh 1.72 ounces compared most aluminum cans, which weigh less than a half-ounce.

Of the 118 tons of material used for the Fleet Center construction project in Boston to house the Democratic National Convention in 2004, 81 tons were recycled, 21 tons were salvaged, and 14 tons were discarded. Salvaged materials were used for construction by Boston-area non-profit organizations. A food composting program was launched that added an organic waste hauler serving the Boston hospitality industry.

updated 12/13/2007
Concerned Citizens of
Cattaraugus County, Inc.

Recycling Tools

EPA has developed a database of links for use by public agencies and private purchasers contracting for supplies: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program.

The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
(NYSAR3) is dedicated to waste reduction.

INFORM links innovative technologies to changing public policies.

Citizens' Environmental Coalition offers
A Household Guide to Building Green.

Freecycle allows you to find organizations in your area that exchange reusable products and materials.