This presentation, from NC DPPEA, was given during the summer of 2010 at various teacher training workshops. It describes our waste stream, the 3 R’s, why we should recycle, the climate change tie, the 3 arrows, MRF’s, buying recycled, supply and demand and landfill bans.
Portions of our material is provided to us through various partnerships. I’s like to take a minute to thank those folks on the screen.
We dispose of over 11 million tons of garbage per year in NC. That is greater than 1 ton per person. It’s estimated that your household generates 1880 lbs of solid waste annually. 745 lbs of that is recyclable but most households only recycle 200 lbs or so each year.
There are a number of ways to handle our trash. During this workshop you will learn about most of these and see almost all of them in person. By weight, what do you think the most common recyclable/compostable material in our waste stream is?
The municipal waste stream is 50% recyclable. We need to compost to reach that goal. We still dispose of 1.26 million tons of recyclable paper and 95,000 tons of aluminum and steel cans. The remaining material would be yard waste, construction debris, dirty diapers and contaminated recyclables.
I always like to talk about the 3 R’s when opening a presentation. There is a hierarchy to this. We first want to reduce waste at the source, then reuse it and lastly recycle it. Call out some reasons why we recycle.
We learned about a lot of these during our first couple of activities but let me draw your attention to a few we like to highlight. Creates jobs – 14,000 jobs in NC depend on recycling. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions due to the recycling of material versus using virgin products thus helping us fight global warming. Provides raw material for industry. Recycling markets depend on supply and demand. They need material as feedstock which helps increase demand.
This graphic shows exactly how recycling can save energy. You expend energy when extracting the raw material, manufacturing the materials into products, product use by consumer and product disposal. If you remove one of those stages you save energy. So by using less energy we create fewer fossil fuels which reduces carbon dioxide and decreases greenhouse gases and global warming. The cycle of energy use is also showing on page 40 of your manual.
Who can define these? Preconsumer vs. Postconsumer Commingled vs. Source Separated Recyclable vs. Recycled Closed Loop Recycling What do the different icons on the screen mean? Why is one within a circle?
Is it true that anything with the chasing arrows on it means it’s recyclable in your community?
The Plastics Industry created the resin identification code in 1988 to differentiate the different plastic polymer types. The code on a plastic product does not mean that material is recyclable or has been recycled. It has no other meaning aside from identifying the type of plastic. In North Carolina, all plastics (except for #3 and #7) can be recycled into new goods and materials within the Carolinas. What do the 3 arrows mean in the recycling cycle graphic?
It is often assumed that the 3 arrows refer to reduce, reuse, recycle. In actuality they are a depiction of the recycling cycle – collect, remanufacture, buy new products. It is just like any other cycle (butterfly, water, etc.) if one part doesn’t happen it won’t work. So it is important to be involved in all 3 parts.
You’re the first part of the recycling cycle. You help collect material.
Explain MRF separation
Here is a map of all the MRFs that support NC’s recycling infrastructure. What do you think single stream and dual stream mean?
As I said, it is important to collect material, remanufacture it but you also have to purchase products made with recycled material. All these items on the screen were made within the Carolina’s from your own recycled material. Plastic bottles, Fleece jackets, Black plastic hangers and flower pots, Paper tissue and boxes. What are some products you purchase with recycled material?
This shows how your aluminum can is recycled in NC. It stays here locally. How does supply and demand relate to recycling?
As demand increases, cost increases because supply is scare. This is good for sellers and bad for buyers. Industrialization in the 21 st century has lead to the use of recycled commodities overseas. Global demand for resources will continue to grow. What recyclables already have established markets?
Recycling is an excellent example of how the global economy works. Up until October of 2008 the majority of our recyclable material was going to China. They have very limited natural resources so our waste was their feedstock. They would make a new product out of our recycled material, send it back here, and we would buy it in the form of toys, boxes, electronic equipment. So what happened when the US economy got tight? We purchased fewer consumer goods. So China created less product. So they quit buying our recycled material feedstock. So the recycling markets are paying much less in revenue than 6 months ago and it is difficult to move some products. This is why the recycling cycle is a cycle! And it is cyclical so the recycling markets will rebound with all other sectors of the economy soon. Items that still have good demand include some plastic and paper used for household products such as laundry detergent bottles and toilet tissue.
This shows the price per ton being paid for recycled material over the last 10 years. It has definitely increased steadily but then it fell with the rest of the economy. Many in the industry feel the downturn was inevitable because the market was paying too much for material. Remember a year ago there were news reports of people stealing man-hole covers and selling them at scrap yards. That was when the market was out of control.
This chart shows how our economy is recovering as are recycling markets.
This shows how it affected all commodities. This is for plastic PET. The other graphs were for paper.
Recycling includes personnel, transportation, equipment and maintenance costs. However, disposal also has these costs and less environmental benefits. How can we stimulate demand for recovered material? How can we stimulate supply and demand? Laws, incentives, etc. – Recycle Bank vs. Disposal Bans
Please calculate the missing numbers. Which material has the highest value? Which has the lowest value Why might flaked PET have a higher value than non flaked? – lower transportation costs
2500 cans x .63 = 1575 1575 cans x 3600 = 5,670,000 2500 cans * 3600 = 9,000,000 9,000,000 cans x 24 = 216,000,000 216,000,000 x .37 = 79,920,000
MSW regulations What site conditions are important when looking to build a landfill? Soil, Climate – affects decomposition rate, Hydrology – proximity to groundwater, Ground slope – terrain and seismic activity, Proximity to transportation routes and communities
Tipping fee is based on weight
But volume is important based on how well you can compact the garbage
Leachate tanks in picture
Some microbes, called mathanogens, produce methane as the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter. The released methane fills the gaps between waste particles in the landfill. This methane can seep through natural cracks in the soil or it can build to high levels risking explosion. In newer landfills this is controlled by methane collection systems. The gas is either flared (burned) and turned into CO2 or sent to a cogeneration facility and used for power.
For complete rapid decomposition to occur water and oxygen are needed. The process of compacting and covering the waste at the landfill limits the seepage of water and creates anaerobic conditions (no oxygen). Under typical landfill conditions, anaerobic bacteria in the soil will decompose the waste but the process is slower than aerobic decomposition. For example, newspaper in an aerobic worm composting bin can decompose within 6 weeks. In comparison, legible newspapers that were 20 years old have been found in landfills.
As organic material degrades in a landfill it generates more methane than other material. So by composting our food waste we can decrease the greenhouse gas – methane – and decease global warming.
Recycling and Solid Waste in NC
NC Recycling Issues NC Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance
THANK YOU SPONSORS Iredell County Johnston County Lee County Mecklenburg County NC Beverage Association NC Friends of Museum of Natural Sciences NC State NC SWANA New Hanover County Orange County Pasquotank County Raleigh Wake County Waste Management/Recycle America Wayne County Asheboro Recycling Brunswick County Burlington Cary Catawba County Charlotte Chatham County Clayton Container Recycling Alliance Dare County Davidson County Durham County [email_address] Envision Plastics
<ul><li>Saves limited natural resources </li></ul><ul><li>Prevents air and water pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Saves energy </li></ul><ul><li>Provides raw materials for industry </li></ul><ul><li>Creates jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Saves landfill space </li></ul><ul><li>Improves our nations ability to compete </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps habitats intact </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces greenhouse gas emissions </li></ul>WHY RECYCLE? WHY RECYCLE?
RECYCLING COSTS Personnel Transportation Equipment Maintenance However, disposal also has these costs and has less environmental benefits. How can we/government/organizations stimulate demand for recovered material?
NC LANDFILL BANS Take a guess: Which of the following are banned from landfills? Motor Oil (Used) Aseptic Packaging Oyster Shells Glass Containers Scrap Tires Newspaper Yard Trash Aluminum Cans Styrofoam Plastic Bottles Antifreeze Appliances Food Waste Lead-Acid Batteries Televisions Wooden Pallets Motor Oil Filters Phone Books Rechargeable Batteries Computer Equipment Hard Bound Books Beverage Containers from ABC Permitted Facilities
NC LANDFILL BANS Take a guess: Which of the following are banned from landfills? Motor Oil (Used) Oyster Shells Scrap Tires Yard Trash Aluminum Cans Plastic Bottles Antifreeze Appliances Lead-Acid Batteries Televisions Wooden Pallets Motor Oil Filters Computer Equipment Beverage Containers from ABC Permitted Facilities