Municipal Recycling

Departments - Legislation & Regulations

August 4, 2001


A recently released report by waste management consultant Franklin Associates Ltd., Prairie Village, Kan., concludes that many communities are reaching a crossroads where a decision on recycling’s future must be made.

The 150-page report, entitled “Solid Waste Management At The Crossroads,” notes that—unlike the 1980s—most states can be confident that they now have plenty of landfill capacity. Coupled with an increased municipal and commercial recovery rate of recyclable commodities, the changing conditions have caused dramatic swings in prices paid for recovered materials. (The report estimates that 27 percent of total U.S. municipal solid waste is now diverted from landfills, compared to just 10 percent in 1980.)

Among the “crossroads” questions the report examines is: will recycling actually decline if communities refuse to pay the additional costs involved? The report looks at several possible scenarios while projecting that the overall diversion rate will climb to 30 percent in the year 2000 and 35 percent in 2010 if the expenses of maintaining the recycling infrastructure are met.

For more information or to order the $45 report, Franklin Associates can be reached at (913) 649-2225 or by e-mail at .


Winona ORC Industries Inc., Winona, Minn., has published a manufacturing guide based on two years of research into manufacturing products from recycled glass containers. Winona ORC (WORC) received a 1995 grant from the state of Minnesota that funded a glass curbside collection/glass paving brick making program.

The project proved successful for the company, which will begin full-scale production of the paving bricks in early 1998. WORC worked closely with the Southeast Minnesota Recyclers’ Exchange (SEMREX) to summarize the program and produce the manual. “For rural regions like ours, it is expensive to transport recycled glass to market, and the price received for it is low,” says SEMREX director Susan Waughtal. “By assisting WORC to create a new business using recycled material, we will ultimately have better-paying local markets for our recovered glass,” she adds.

The manual is available for $7 from WORC Industries Inc., 1053 East Mark St., Winona, MN 55987.


The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA), North Syracuse, N.Y., recently surpassed the one million ton mark in recyclables collected.

The agency’s figures for curbside and workplace collection show a cumulative total of one million tons of paper, plastic, metal and glass collected between 1990 and 1997. OCRRA officials estimate that the agency hit the one million mark some time in October 1997. Tom Rhoads, executive director of OCRRA, estimates that 95 percent of the county’s residents and businesses recycle.


A 640-acre parcel of undeveloped land near Kettleman City, Calif., will soon be home to both a landfill and a natural habitat area. The State of California approved a permit for the Kings County Waste and Recycling Authority to operate the Mustang Hill Landfill on 340 acres of land provided it preserves the other 300 acres as a habitat conservation area. “It’s a pleasure to approve this innovative permit that considers the surrounding environment as well as the waste management needs in Kings County,” says California Integrated Solid Waste Management Board chairman Daniel G. Pennington.


The California Integrated Waste Management Board recognized 278 California businesses as winners of its 1997 Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP).

The Waste Board recognized the efforts of the companies for “the extraordinary ways they reduced, reused, recycled, and purchased recycled products as part of their daily operations.” In addition, the Waste Board gave special recognition to 19 businesses for being five-time winners of the WRAP program, which began in 1993.

Among the companies cited were Bank of America for its efforts to recycle 13,000 tons of paper and Hewlett Packard’s Roseville plant for keeping 93% of its waste out of landfills.

California’s goal is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in waste disposed by the year 2000. Currently, California exceeds the national average with a 30 percent diversion rate.


To promote the beneficial practice of reuse, repair and resale, the Santa Barbara County (Calif.) Public Works Department, Solid Waste and Utilities Division has established a drop-off center for reusable household items at their county transfer station.

“We are thrilled with the number of people and organizations who have joined us in planning reuse events throughout the state of California,” said Pat Stoner, Local Government Commission Second Chance Week Program Director. 

The benefits to those participating in the program include paying lower tip fees due to a lighter load, a three dollar coupon good toward tipping fees, and knowing that something reusable will be reused and greatly appreciated by a fellow citizen.


A local waste hauler was given the green light by the California Integrated Waste Management Board to create a new facility to sort the city of El Cajon’s solid waste to ensure that recyclables are marketed before the remaining waste is land-filled.

Universal Refuse Removal will be permitted to expand its existing operation into a large volume transfer station and material recovery facility.  The new operation will allow the company to receive and transfer up to 1,000 tons per day of solid waste, recyclables and green waste.

In other news, the Integrated Waste Management Board issued a $170,000 grant to Humboldt County Health Department to clean out remnant waste from a collection of 100 illegal encampments.  The county will contribute an additional $76,000 towards the cleanup.

“The money is on the fast track to rid Humboldt Bay of a large amount of garbage that is a serious threat to public health,” said Integrated Waste Management Board member and former Humboldt County Supervisor Wesley Chesbro.