Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Study exposes failure of "single stream" recycling

Some municipalities are trying to save money by collecting recyclable materials (newspaper, magazines, junk mail, yogurt containers, bottles and cans, etc. etc. etc.) all jumbled up together in plastic bags or wheeled toters.

They have been convinced that this will increase the payload of recyclable materials ~ based on the assumption that their citizens are too lazy to sort their trash (how condescending is that?)

This is the sales pitch from the garbage industry, which is really concerned with saving itself collection costs.

And indeed, a new report from the US Container Recycling Institute (carried out by a brilliant Canadian researcher named Clarissa Morawski) looked at dozens of careful studies comparing various ways of collecting recyclable materials and concluded that single stream recycling costs more for everyone except the hauler -- and that the evidence that it actually boosts recycling volumes is only "anecdotal."

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