recycling

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The words “Don’t Be Trashy, Recycle” have been traveling the roads of the Northeast this month plastered on the side of an RV. It’s an effort to raise awareness of America Recycles Day this weekend.

WAMC

The  city of Springfield, which pioneered single-stream recycling in Massachusetts, has launched an education and enforcement campaign in an effort to keep recycling rates up and trash disposal costs down.

The Springfield Department of Public Works said an unacceptable amount of trash and other prohibited items have been turning up lately in the recycling containers people put out for curbside pick-up. Some contamination of the recyclables is allowed, but if it exceeds ten percent the city faces fines, according to Springfield’s recycling coordinator Greg Superneau.

WAMC

The longest serving director of public works in Springfield, Massachusetts is calling it a career. The city’s mayor has announced plans for a smooth transition in a department responsible for many essential city services.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Environmentalists are encouraging citizens to make the holiday season a time for recycling.   "If you walk down the street you will see plastic bags stuck in trees, you will see them in the sewers..."  Saima Anjam  with Environmental Advocates of New York believes disposable bags are usually good for a single trip from the store and have a useful life of about 12 minutes.  The group is encouraging Governor Andrew Cuomo to address New Yorkers' $10 billion disposable bag-per-year habit by imposing a fee on retailers who package consumer purchases in disposable bags.  "In Washington D-C, they

A campaign called Bring Your Own Bag Saratoga, a project from the group Sustainable Saratoga, is reaching out to city government, businesses and members of the public to decrease the use of plastic shopping bags.

The group is hoping to reduce pollution and encourage city residents to shop with reusable bags. Though plastic shopping bags are recyclable, the group claims less than five percent of bags are recycled, and most can only be recycled into other products once. If released into the environment, plastic bags cause harm to birds and marine animals.

Streetwise Cycle/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

As New York legislators continue negotiations over the state budget, with talks now in their late stages, one of the proposals being considered is an expansion of the bottle bill.  The measure would not only impact container types, but the redemption centers where consumers do business.

Proposed NYS Budget Includes Bottle-Bill Changes

Feb 5, 2013
Rex Roof, flickr

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2013-2014 budget includes several changes to the Bottle Bill. Various stakeholders have both praise and concern.

Laura Haight is one who testified Monday at a budget hearing in Albany about the proposed changes to the Bottle Bill. Haight is senior environmental associate for the New York Public Interest Research Group, or NYPIRG. She says there are 20 pages of proposed changes, one of which she applauds, and says would be a first for the state.

  Legislation to expand the 30 year old bottle deposit law in Massachusetts to include noncarbonated beverages won’t make it to the desk of Governor Deval Patrick this year..  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

A bill that would expand Massachusetts’ recycling laws to include a five-cent deposit for plastic containers for noncarbonated beverages has again failed to pass a committee vote to enter legislative debate, drawing criticism from proponents. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection earlier this month launched the “RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts” program. RecyclingWorks provides businesses and institutions with information and assistance with disposing waste properly and encourages recycling.

Greg Cooper from the Mass DEP says that the program is designed to help business reach sustainability goals, but also help their bottom line.