15 August 2018:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and related environmental developments from around the globe...
"Plastic pollution could stop horse riders in their tracks" proclaimed the headline of a news release from the United Kingdom's Environment Agency last week. The headline refers to the use of "plastic granulate, derived from the recycling of cable sheathing and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and sold as an alternative surface for equestrian centres."
The Environment Agency claims the plastic granulate, which is sold as "a cheap replacement for clean plastic granules derived as a by-product from plastics manufacture or granules specifically produced for horse maneges," may contain persistent organic pollutants, phthalates and lead stearate that can leach from the plastic and contaminate land and groundwater. The granulate also may contain "non-plastic elements such as metal fragments and glass, making surfaces where it's used potentially harmful for horses and riders."
"If you're found to have plastic granulate waste deposited on your land without the appropriate Environmental Permit issued by the Environment Agency, you could be fined and be liable for the cost of its disposal," said Greg Deakin, an Environment Agency officer.
The Environment Agency announcement is posted at
Last Thursday, the Chilean Ministry of Environment reminded producers and importers in the Aysen Region of the country to declare their "priority products" to the Seremia del Medio Ambiente de la Region before August 31, as required by Law 20.920 that in 2016 established extended producer responsibility in Chile. Some producers still have not done so.
Currently, the six priority product categories are lubricating oils, lead-acid batteries, tires, electrical and electronic equipment, household batteries, and packaging. Producers and importers that fail to meet the declaration deadline face financial penalties.
Producers may call the Seremia del Medio Ambiente de la Region de Aysen for assistance directly at 67 245 1457 or email email@example.com.
The Chilean Ministry of Environment announcement is posted at
Last month, government agency Statistics Norway published household waste data for 2017. The per capita level of household waste generated in Norway in 2017 decreased 1% to 425 kilograms. The amount of household waste collected for sorting at material recovery facilities increased 1% to 39%.
Less paper was collected for recycling in 2017 due largely to less newsprint being used as subscribers opt for digital distribution, according to Statistics Norway. The total decreased from 260,000 tons in 2016 to 251,000 tons in 2017. However, plastic packaging waste collected increased from 40,000 tons to 44,400 tons; glass increased from 63,000 tons to 66,000 tons; and metal increased from 90,000 to 91,000 tons.
The amount of e-waste collected from household was unchanged in 2017 at 50,000 tons.
For more information, go to
According to the California Waste Tire Market Report 2017 released by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) on July 30, 485,475 tons of scrap tires were managed in 2017, the third consecutive year of increases in scrap tire waste. Disposal was the leading form of waste tire management in 2017, accounting for 24% of the total.
The report states that "the recycling rate (defined by CalRecycle to exclude alternative daily cover and TDF, whether used in state or exported) fell for the fifth year in a row, to 33 percent. Increases in crumb rubber and reuse were offset by a reduction in civil engineering uses, and a seven percent increase in the quantity of waste tires managed served to reduce the overall recycling rate."
Production of crumb rubber from scrap tires increased to 68,142 tons, a 6% rise from 2016, and the use of scrap tires as fuel at cement kilns increased to 75,989 tons, a rise of 4% from 2016. The use of tire-derived aggregate in civil engineering projects and the export of scrap tires either as fuel or in bales both declined in 2017.
Download the 2017 CalRecycle waste tires report at
Eco TLC, the French textile recycling compliance organization, said last month that in 2017 223,000 tons of used clothes, textiles and shoes were collected in 2017, yielding a 3.4 kilogram per capita collection average.
Roughly 36% of the weight of textiles introduced in the French market in 2017 was collected as used items. Reuse accounted for 58.5% of the textiles and shoes managed at sorting centers, and recycling and recovery as energy accounted for 41.2%.
Eco TLC set a goal to collect 300,000 tons of used clothes, textiles and shoes by 2019.
More EcoTLC data is posted at
The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recently released 2017 municipal solid waste (MSW) recycling data for 2017. The state recycled 840,470 tons of MSW and had a 21% rate, a slight increase over the 20.7% rate in 2016.
Metals accounted for 40.14% of the MSW recycling total, followed by paper at 29.72%, organics at 20.35%, glass at 3.11%, and plastic at 1.61%. The remaining percentage includes textiles, special waste (such as lead-acid batteries, tires and household hazardous waste) and other streams.
The 2017 DCNR data also includes recycling statistics on construction and demolition waste.
Download the 2017 Nevada recycling data at
According to an announcement last week by New South Wales Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton, the total litter volume in the Australian state fell by 37% since FY 2013-14. Takeaway container litter fell by 19% since FY 2016-17. Minister Upton attributed the reduced litter volume in part to a container scheme launched in December 2017, referred to as Return and Earn.
"Return and Earn's impact is shown by looking at the scheme coordinator's figures for the three months from March to May 2018, which show it collected around 67 percent of all eligible containers supplied into NSW in that period," said Minister Upton. "This shows the immediate positive impact the container deposit scheme is having on reducing drink container litter, which is the largest proportion of all litter volume in NSW."
The announcement noted that an average of three million containers a day are being collected at return points, and more than 560 million containers have been processed by the container deposit scheme to date.
The NSW EPA announcement is posted at
Late last month, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said it is accepting applications for project grants that seek to reduce waste generation and increase recycling. Local governments, nonprofit organizations and federally-recognized tribal nations are encouraged to apply.
Oregon DEQ is particularly interested in projects that prevent food waste; reduce solid waste generation; establish, restore or enhance recycling or composting infrastructure in rural areas; or help local governments exceed their waste prevention or reuse requirements of the Opportunity to Recycle Act. (Public schools, colleges and universities also are eligible to apply for food waste prevention grants.)
The grants program supports Oregon's 2050 Vision for Materials Management. DEQ has awarded more than $8 million in materials management grants since 1991.
The deadline to submit grant applications for the current funding round is September 28.
Get more information at
Last year, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Connecticut Food Association, supermarkets and the American Chemistry Council's Flexible Film Recycling Group collaboratively launched a consumer education campaign to increase plastic film/bag recycling at supermarkets in and around Hartford, the state capital. The material is not allowed in curbside recycling bins. On Friday, a report on the initial results of the campaign was released by the Flexible Film Recycling Group.
According to the report, the amount of single-use plastic bags collected at participating supermarkets increased by 11% increase and the amount of other plastic films increased by 7%. Non-film contamination of the supermarket plastic film stream was reduced by 23%.
One supermarket in East Hartford reported a 100% increase in the amount of plastic film it collected.
"These results are very encouraging and will help us meet Connecticut's goal of diverting 60 percent of our waste from disposal by 2024," said DEEP spokesperson Sherill Baldwin. "The WRAP campaign builds on RecycleCT's "What's In. What's Out" campaign and reminds us to keep plastic bags and wraps out of curbside recycling bins and to bring them back to retail stores for recycling."
Download the report on the Connecticut plastic film recycling campaign at
A 300,000 square foot grocery distribution center that Walmart Canada plans to open in British Columbia in 2021 will send zero waste to landfill, according to a Walmart Canada announcement last week. The distribution center will be located in the city of Surrey and will serve 60 Walmart locations across the province.
Earlier this year, Walmart Canada committed to achieving zero food waste by 2025 in its Canadian operations.
The Walmart Canada announcement is posted at