By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling
According to a report in the Toronto Star, the solid waste division for Ontario's capital posted a huge $37.2 million ($CN) surplus last year, thanks to robust prices for recyclables. Fiber brought in $7.4 million more than expected and plastic and metals garnered an extra $1.6 million. The department gets to keep the surplus by depositing it in the waste management reserve fund, which now has a balance of about $88 million, according to the newspaper.
Remember last week's NewsBit about the California school kids trying to get Crayola to offer a take-back and recycling program for the crayon giant's markers? The kids' efforts garnered over 60,000 signatures on an online petition — and received an answer from the company: Not right now, kids. According to a report by the Associated Press, "the crayon maker encourages 'children to share their ideas,' the company has no plans to offer a recycling program for its markers."
The American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN), an organization that seeks to advance sustainable packaging, has announced that four additional companies in the packaging value chain have joined its ranks. Packaging supplier Bemis Company, Inc., medical device product company DDL, food maker Heinz and environmental website and recycling directory Earth911 are now members of AMERIPEN.
Maryland has exceeded its voluntary waste diversion goal of 40 percent for the sixth year in row in 2010. The Old Line State's overall rate for waste diversion — the recycling rate plus source reduction credits — was 44.6 percent for 2010, the calendar year for which the most recent figures are available.
Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow has announced that its shareholder resolution pushing for extended producer responsibility (EPR) for Kraft Foods — the largest food and beverage company headquartered in North America and second largest in the world — received a 25 percent vote at the food company's annual shareholder meeting . The shareholder proposal specifically asks the company to report on the feasibility of adopting EPR systems that can increase recycling rates.
The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 Wednesday in favor of a plastic bag ban that would affect the distribution of plastic bags at approximately 7,500 L.A. area grocery stores. "With this vote, 49 California cities and counties have now banned plastic grocery bags, eliminating 17,000 tons of plastic litter and waste every year," said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste. "That's 10 times more plastic bags than were recycled last year." Retailers would have a 6-12 month phase-out period depending on their size. Bag ban opponents, the American Progressive Bag Alliance, issued a statement in advance of the vote, calling it "draconian."
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