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The Bulletin news briefs

23 August 2017:

A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and environmental developments from around the globe...

New Zealand Government Moves Forward Date of Microplastic Beads Ban

A ban of microplastic beads in New Zealand will take effect by May 2018, earlier than originally planned, according to a government announcement last week. The ban also will be widened to include "all 'wash-off products for visual appearance, exfoliating, cleansing or abrasive cleaning purposes that contain plastic microbeads. As well as personal care products, this includes household, car or other cleaning products."

"This ban is part of a global initiative to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in oceans," said Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson. "The New Zealand ban parallels similar initiatives in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union and Australia to ban or phase out plastic microbeads in products."

The complete Government of New Zealand announcement may be reviewed at

Next Phase of Pasadena, California Polystyrene Foam Ban Takes Effect

Yesterday, the second phase of a ban on polystyrene foam (extruded polystyrene or EPS) takeout food packaging took effect in Pasadena, California, a municipality neighboring Los Angeles. During the first phase, a ban on the packaging applied only to city-owned or licensed facilities. The second phase applies to all commercial carryout food service providers across the city.

The Pasadena ordinance allows carryout food service packaging made of paper, corn-starch based materials, and and other decomposable products. Food service providers also are encouraged to offer reusable service ware.

The Los Angeles City Council is considering a similar ban.

For more information, go to

CalRecycle Report Says Waste Disposal Up, Recycling Down in California

Earlier this month, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) released its 2017 update to the State of Disposal and Recycling in California. Among the top statistics in the report, "California's overall disposal increased for a fourth consecutive year to 35.2 million tons of material disposed in landfills and 7.5 million tons of material used in a disposal-related activity in 2016, or 6.0 pounds per person per day."

Report also said recycling declined to 44%, which is "the lowest rate since the statewide 75 percent recycling goal was established in 2011."

The report underscores the challenge the state faces in trying to meet a 75% recycling/composting/source reduction goal for 2020.

Download the 2017 CalRecycle waste and recycling report at

Chilean Environmental Minister Announces Funding for Construction of 24 Pre-Recycling Facilities

Today, the Minister of Environment for Chile said more than 4 billion pesos will be used to construct a network of 24 new "clean points" in the Santiago metropolitan area. The project, which is called Santiago REcicla, follows enactment last year of a new national recycling law.

The clean points will segregate and separate recyclable materials including paper and paperboard, bottles, metal cans, and plastics - a sort of pre-recycling network for residents.

The minister said the average Santiagoan "generates on average about half a ton of garbage per year (409 kilos), of which 28% could be recycled."

Get more information at

Ontario Environmental Minister Issues Direction for Amended Paper Products and Packaging Recycling Program Proposal

Last week, the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change issued direction for an amended Blue Box Program Plan (paper products and packaging) proposal. According to an announcement, "The proposal will outline the first phase of transition for the Blue Box Program under the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 and set the stage for a second phase of transition that will result in full producer responsibility under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016."

The province's Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority and Stewardship Ontario will "develop the proposal collaboratively with municipalities, stewards and affected stakeholders."

The minister expects to review the proposal by February 15, 2018.

For more information, go to

New South Wales EPA Announces Availability of $3 Million in Community Recycling Center Grants

Last week, the New South Wales (NSW) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that $3 million in Community Recycling Center grants are available for local governments, not-for-profit organizations and businesses. The grants are to be used for collecting "household problem wastes" such as oils, paints and batteries.

"To date, over 100 Community Recycling Centres have been funded in NSW and 62 are currently operational," said EPA Chair and CEO Barry Buffier. "Almost two million kilograms of household problem waste has been collected since the program started."

Individual grants of up to $200,000 are available to enhance existing facilities or build new facilities. The deadline to apply is November 15.

The NSW EPA announcement is posted at

Scotland Now Has 100 Certified Re-use Stores in Operation

According to a Zero Waste Scotland announcement earlier this month, the country now has "100 quality-certified re-use stores and three flagship superstore 'hubs now in operation."

Zero Waste Scotland has"big ambitions to present re-use as a quality, attractive and good value shopping experience for customers, and drive up rates of re-use and economies of scale for retailers," the announcement explained.

The 100 stores have been certified as meeting the Revolve standard, which is maintained by Zero Waste Scotland.

The Zero Waste Scotland announcement may be reviewed at

Victoria EPA Orders Removal of Massive Waste Tires Stockpile

Earlier this month, the Victoria (Australia) EPA said it will begin clearing a very large pile of waste tires in the town of Stawell. The exact quantity of tires is unknown but is estimated at between one million and two million tires. The Country Fire Authority called for the tires to be removed because of the risk of a tire fire.

"It is estimated that about 8-10 trucks filled with tires will leave the site each day and be sent to Melbourne for shredding," according to the EPA announcement. The shredded tires will be used to make athletics tracks, brake pads, new tyres and road surfaces, although some of the shredded tires "will be used as tyre derived fuel, which is often shipped overseas to destinations that have the technology to use it."

Get more information at

Austin, Texas Expands Residential Curbside Composting Program

Earlier this month, the City of Austin, Texas announced that 38,000 additional housholds will be added to the initial 14,000 households participating in an organic waste collection pilot program. The collected waste is composted.

"During the pilot, the City collected more than 15,000 tons of compostable materials, including food scraps, yard trimmings and food-soiled paper such as pizza boxes," said Austin Resource Recovery Interim Director Sam Angoori. "As we add more residents to the Curbside Composting Program, we look forward to keeping even more material out of the landfill and creating nutrient rich compost which can be used to fertilize plants, gardens and other outdoor areas in our community."

Austin has set a goal to divert 90 percent of materials from landfills by 2040.

For more information, go to

UK Vinyl Recycling Reached Record High in 2016 Says Industry Association

According to Recovinyl, the PVC industry's recycling scheme, 120,392 tons of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) were recycled in 2016, a 12% increase from 2015. Recovinyl released the data today.

The association attributed the recycling growth to "increasing demand from manufacturers for good quality recycled material. Capable of being recycled up to seven times without any loss of performance, PVC can be reused in many diverse new and long-life products from construction products such as windows to flooring and electrical components."

Recovinyl also noted that 560,492 tonnes of waste PVC was recycled through Recovinyl last year across its 18 European member countries.

Get more information at

Previous issues of the Bulletin can be reviewed here.

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