Weekly News Bulletin: Dec. 17-23, 2020


Like your Laptop, Battery Recycling is Getting Hot

Tesla made history earlier this year when it became the most valuable car company in the world. The astronomical valuation of the company is due, in part, to investors betting on electric cars taking over the global automotive market over the coming decades. While many are cheering on this shift away from carbon emitting internal combustion, the explosion in demand for electric cars has created its own assortment of environmental and industrial problems. Chief among those is finding ways to produce enough batteries to meet demand and then how to recycle them when they inevitably die...Read More »



Struggling Recycling Industry Tested by COVID-19

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, waste management firms have faced significant challenges to their existing business models. Among those, smaller recycling facilities have fared the worst. This is due in part to the realities of how Covid-19 spreads rapidly and in part to a downward trend in demand for recycled plastic, both in the US and abroad. As more facilities close, the ones that remain open are often flooded with customers, which along with changes in the makeup of waste through the pandemic, has presented the remaining open facilities with new challenges...Read More »



Connecticut Burn Plant to Close Amid Many Failures

A major waste-to-energy plant in Hartford, CT is set to close, by the end of fiscal 2022 at the latest. This plant, run by the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA), a quasi-public institution, has been the destination of between 600,000 to 720,000 tons per year of Connecticut's garbage since 1988. Soon, the MIRA plant will become a transfer station, where waste that would have been incinerated will be sent to landfills in other states. In the long run, Connecticut is going to have to find new ways to deal with the waste produced in its state...Read More »



Report Blames Chicago's Low Recycling Rate on Lack of Enforcement

A recent audit by Chicago's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) failed to enforce a requirement that commercial and high density (5 or more residential units) properties provide recycling services. The DSS currently only provides recycling services for low density residential properties, whereas commercial and high-density residential properties are required to use contractors to provide recycling services. Under city ordinances, the DSS is required to make sure that owners are providing recycling services and that haulers are providing detailed, accurate and timely annual reports of buildings served and materials collected...Read More »



Republic Services Acknowledges the limits of Recycling Plastics

Groups are increasingly calling on the recycling industry to play a role in improving the current state of plastics recycling. A California based non-profit, As You Sow, recently produced a report outlining the current state of plastic recovery and end markets. The report is intended as a roadmap for consumer product companies that manufacture plastic goods or employ plastic packaging. Republic Services has also issued a report on the state of its plastic recycling. In the Republic Services report, the company finds that about 12 percent of all the plastics they take in, which accounts for about 7.7 percent of total waste volumes, ends up in landfills...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin