Trend Watch June 2013

The following contains collection of the most pressing articles surrounding the recycling industry today.

June 2013 Trend Watch


Nominations Open for Innovation in Plastics Recycling Awards

Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623  Email:

Annual Honors Now Calling for Entries through October 30th

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 17, 2012) – Nominations are now open for the 2012 Awards for Innovation in Plastics Recycling. Organized by the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the annual event honors companies and individuals who have successfully brought new technologies, products and initiatives into communities and/or the marketplace.

“We know that plastics are valuable materials and should be given a second life after initial use,” said Steve Russell, Vice President of Plastics at ACC. “Honoring those who have helped to advance plastics recycling demonstrates the vibrancy of the plastics recycling industry in making innovative products, jobs and contributions to the U.S. economy.”

Last year Axion International, Inc., Nepco Industrial Company Ltd. and Trex Company were selected to receive awards.

Learn more about the annual recycling awards, including eligibility and nomination instructions.

Want lower taxes? Recycle more

If you’re concerned about the high cost of living, read on. There’s one simple thing we can all do to help our towns and us save money: Recycle more.

New Jersey is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its mandatory recycling law — the nation’s first — and is re-energizing the movement by emphasizing that “going green” can save greenbacks while helping the environment.

The state’s goal is to raise our recycling rate to 50 percent, meaning that at least half of the stuff we throw away doesn’t end up in landfills or incinerators.

Right now, the numbers are less than stellar. Only 16 percent of the state’s municipalities have met the 50 percent goal. A third of our towns recycle less than 25 percent of their trash.

“People are not recycling the way they should,” said Assemblywoman Grace Spencer, chairwoman of the Assembly’s Environment and Solid Waste Committee, who wants to find ways to make recycling easier and more consistent from county to county.

Although the state hasn’t hit its recycling goal, the trend seems to be moving in the right direction. Between 2009 and 2010 (the most recent year for which figures are available), New Jersey’s overall recycling rate climbed from 37 to 40 percent for municipal trash.

That translates into real savings for taxpayers, through cost avoidance and sales of recyclable materials.

Here’s how it works: In 2010, an extra 364,000 tons of metal, glass, plastic, paper and cardboard were not sent to landfills or incinerators. That resulted in $26 million in savings from avoided disposal costs. At the same time, the recyclables were sold for $45.5 million, adding up to a total savings of $71.5 million.

To reach the state’s 50 percent recycling goal, another 1.1 million tons must be recycled each year. It’s a challenge, but achievable. Other states have done it, and New Jersey can, too.

You can do your town, yourself and the environment a favor by recycling everything you can. In the 25 years since the mandatory recycling law was signed by Gov. Tom Kean, it’s gotten much easier.

Back in 1987, most households had to separate metals from glass and further separate glass by color. Today, in contrast, many of us have the convenience of single-stream recycling. That is, we can toss all glass, plastic and metals into one container. In addition to newspapers and magazines, most junk mail and office paper can be recycled.

But, as Spencer noted, there are inconsistencies that pose a challenge. “Why is it that a yogurt container accepted (for recycling) in Essex County isn’t accepted in Ocean County?” she asked.

The state, Spencer said, must also make it easier to recycle old clothing and electronics, safely dispose of long-lasting light bulbs that shouldn’t go in the trash, and compost food waste.

For more information about recycling, go to the state’s website at

Michele Byers

Executive director

New Jersey Conservation Foundation

Far Hills

Women take up the cause of tackling plastic menace

V Mayilvaganan, TNN | Jul 24, 2012, 06.57AM IST

MADURAI: Naganakulam panchayat level federation (PLF) of women self-help groups (WSHG) has taken up a novel project of recycling plastic materials, shredding them into minute pieces that can be used for laying plastic roads. Ten districts in the state were taken up for the pilot project of recycling the plastic for road construction purposes and the order was issued by the government in the month of March. Out of the 10 districts, Madurai became the pioneer with district collector, Anshul Mishra officially inaugurating the unit at Naganakulam last Friday.

During the visit to the unit, situated in a small hall at Naganakulam, the women are eagerly working on their project as some are busy segregating the plastic bags and materials while few are involved in feeding the plastic materials into the shredding machine that grind the plastic into small particles. Within one hour, the women are able to grind 20 kg of plastic.

There are 480 members from 40 WSHGs in Naganakulam PLF and out of them eight WSHGs have come forward to work on the project. With each group sending one representative, there are eight women making the core group while others will support them in plastic collection and other things.

“We have asked all women self-help groups to collect plastic materials in their panchayat level and we will procure the materials for Rs five per kg. The shredded materials can be sold to Rs 16 per kg,” says G Aruna working with the machine. Public can also collect the used plastic carry bags, tea cups at their homes and hand over to us, she added.

V Karthikaiselvi, manager of District Supplies and Marketing Society under women’s project said the total cost of project was Rs 3.75 lakhs with full government subsidy. The shredding machine has cost Rs 1.60 lakhs while remaining funds will be spent on other purposes like maintenance. “Shredded plastic will be procured by the district rural development agency (DRDA) and they will use the materials for laying plastic roads in the rural areas,” she said.

R Ganesan, joint director/project officer, women’s project said the state government had proposed this project in January and passed an order in March. Ten districts were selected for the pilot study and Madurai was one among them and meticulous planning has helped them to start the project as the pioneers in the state, he said. “We have trained women in this work by February itself and ordered for the machine as soon as the order was passed. We are the first one to inaugurate the project and other districts are eager to follow our path,” he said.

“We came to know about the project during the PLF meeting held in May and we wanted to utilise the opportunity. While recycling of plastic can provide employability for our women, we will also involve in most important work of keeping the environment clean by recycling plastic. So, we opted for the project without a second thought,” says G Bothilakshmi, secretary of Naganakulam PLF.

Plastic Road Technology

Waste plastics, shredded into small pieces (2.5mm – 4.36 mm) and sprayed over hot aggregate (170 degree C); the shredded plastics melts and gets coated over the aggregate. This coated aggregate shows better binding property with bitumen. This waste plastic coated aggregate is mixed with bitumen and the mixer has better strength and resistance to water. The roads laid in this manner do not form potholes because of its lower water permeability character and it is also eco-friendly. Further, it helps to solve not only disposal of waste plastics effectively and usefully but also makes the road to withstand heavy load. The plastic road is the invention of R Vasudevan, dean, Thigarajar College of Engineering, Madurai and he patented the same in the year 2002. Vasudevan was also present for the inaugural function of the unit and he renders his support, said the women self-help group members.

Save the Plastics 2011 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for our blog.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned in 2012 for new content as we strive to Save the Plastics!   Happy New Year!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,900 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.