Single Stream Recycling
The method used to collect and transport your recyclables determines whether or not they will actually be recycled, i.e. made into something new. Single stream is a curbside collection method in which all recyclables are dumped together in a single compartment truck, to be sorted later at a processing center. But contamination of the recyclables happens in the truck before it ever gets there. Glass breaks, solids get smashed and mixed with unlike recyclables. Liquids like beer, bleach, juices, colas, ammonia, ketchup, feces, motor oil, cooking oil, etc. spill all over everything. For up to date information about this collection method that contaminates everything, please visit the Single Stream section of this website.
Recycle Signal Articles
The articles below about Recycle Signal during its hey days in the early 1990’s provide lots of valuable information about how a citizen/government partnership can result in providing end-users with high quality feedstock, while creating a place of public pride and involvement.
Back in the early 1990’s Signal Mountain, TN had one of the CLEANEST, most successful small town waste reduction/recycling programs in the United States. Contamination was non-existent, and participation was great at the park-like, educational, family-friendly, drop off center. Citizen understanding of waste management was ever deepening thanks to a continuing education program for adults and children. Citizens donating thousands of hours of time, talent, and labor made the program cost effective and very creative.
Unfortunately Recycle Signal is no longer a low-contamination, attractive, educational, family-friendly facility. It’s now a single stream drop off. You’ve gotta keep citizens engaged if you want clean recycling.
Recycling Accountability Legislation
After years of watching collected recyclables become more and more contaminated, Louise Mann initiated, co-authored, and testified for a recycling accountability resolution sponsored by Arkansas representative Greg Leding. It passed the AR House of Representatives in 2013.
Institutes, Organizations, & Publications
5 Gyres Institute
The 5 Gyres Institute is dedicated to the elimination of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and watersheds through Education, Scientific Research and Action-Based Solutions. Utilizing research-based findings, we engage youth, corporate partners, policymakers, and the public to reduce plastic pollution.
Container Recycling Institute
CRI’s mission is to make North America a global model for the collection and quality recycling of packaging materials.
Institute for Local Self Reliance
The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies and enterprises that meet local or regional needs; to maximize human, material, natural and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all local citizens.
Natural Resource Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council’s purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.
Union of Concerned Scientists
Our scientists and engineers develop and implement innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation and reducing the threat of nuclear war.
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.
World Watch Institute
Analyzes interdisciplinary environmental data from around the world, providing information on how to build a sustainable society.
Video by Waste Reduction Resources
Recycling Right in Northwest Arkansas
Providing end-users with high quality feedstock is the theme of this video, shot in 2013. Recycling Right in Northwest Arkansas is an overview of community-based recycling, business recycling, job creation for adult development centers, composting, and recycling education programs.
Everyone involved in the video views their recyclables as “resources” to be handled in such a way as to maintain the integrity of the materials, thus providing end-user with high quality feedstock. Whether a business or residential program, those with high quality materials are the ones in which people, not simply technology, are involved.
Each program reflects respect for recycling workers, the environment, and the bottom line. This DVD project was made possible with funding from the Arkansas nonprofit Ozark Recycling Enterprise, Inc. If you’re interested in obtaining a free copy of this DVD (and don’t mind paying postage), please contact me.