Action Blog

14 Takeaways from Day One at WasteExpo 2015.. Check out #7!

WasteExpo 2015 got underway with a busy conference program on Monday. The third annual Investor Summit featured 16 sessions including company presentations and panel discussions. Education tracks on fleet & equipment technology, recycling/resource recovery, hauling, business development and concurrent tracks on composting and organics all filled the day.

Here are some key takeaways from the first day of WasteExpo.

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Unprofitable Recycling Weighs On Waste Management

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Average prices of recycled commodities fell 14% from January to March

A lot of glass meant to be recycled can’t be, because it is contaminated. Photo: Justin Cook for The Wall Street Journal

Recycling is a growing financial weight on the country’s largest trash hauler.

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Why recycling economics are in the trash bin – CBS NEWS

The recent unexpected collapse in oil prices is putting the squeeze on the recycling industry.

As a result of crashing crude prices, it’s cheaper for plastics companies to use new or virgin materials than recycled stuff. Prices are so low for recycled plastics and glass bottles that companies such as Waste Management (WM) or local governments have to pay to have it hauled away. It’s a simple issue of supply and demand.

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Crains- Trash bill sends chilling message to biz

In a section of the job-hungry South Bronx zoned for heavy manufacturing—a mere minute or two from the Major Deegan Expressway and the RFK (Triborough) Bridge—sits a trash-transfer station. At the state-of-the-art facility, which like all such stations is enclosed to minimize odors, optical-sorting equipment and workers pull recyclable material from regular garbage so as little waste as possible ends up in landfills. Its 120 employees are paid well above minimum wage and earn promotions if they perform well. Some hail from a program that steers defendants from the criminal-justice system into productive employment.

In short, the transfer station is located exactly where it’s supposed to be, hires the people who need jobs the most, pays well and helps the environment.

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‘Waste equity’ bill gets first, fraught hearing

Laborers, legislators, industry officials and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration came out in opposing camps Friday during a marathon hearing on a “waste equity” that’s making its second go-round in the City Council.

The bill, Intro. 495, seeks to reduce the amount of waste shipped to overburdened areas of the city by 18 percent and cap the waste in other areas at 5 percent. The bill is something of a retread of legislation that originally was proposed under the Bloomberg administration but met a quiet death.

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The City Council’s trash plan is garbage

While the solid-waste industry and its labor unions are often at odds about work rules and wages, both agree a City Council bill designed to reduce how much material a transfer station can receive is a really bad idea.

This bill, Intro 495, seeks to cap the percentage of the city’s waste that can be handled in any one community district. That may sound appealing, but it will have many adverse impacts.

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