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2019 Waste and Recycling Recap

2019 has been anything but a mundane year for the recycling sector. Let’s look back at some of the news within the disposal and recycling field.

New Legislation Introduced on America Recycles Day

Not many people are aware that a recycling-related holiday exists. Well, it does, and it’s called America Recycles Day (ARD), celebrated on November 15th. For this year’s ARD, U.S. representatives sought to push the RECOVER Act, a coalition headed by the Plastic Industry Association. House Bill 5115 would allocate grants at the federal level to states that introduce initiatives to its recycling infrastructure. The bill would allocate $500 million in grants to participating states. Time will tell if this bill goes anywhere in Congress.

Electronic Waste Recycling Celebrates Major Milestone

Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management (MRM) – an e-waste broker founded through a collaborative effort by Toshiba, Sharp, and Panasonic – reached a milestone in 2019 as it announced the recycling of one billion pounds of electronic waste.

MRM currently has a network of more than 20 certified e-scrap recycling centers across 20 states. It also provides electronic manufacturers in every state a designated electronic drop-off location.

This is huge progress; in 2016, over 44.7 million metric tons of e-waste was generated globally. In comparison, only 8.9 million metric tons of e-waste was sent to an electronic recycling take-back system.

Drone Delivery on the Rise

Delivery services like UPS and Fed EX are booming thanks to online retail giants like Amazon. This also contributes to gargantuan amounts of waste, ranging from packaging materials to fuel. According to a Forbes piece, 165 billion packages are shipped throughout the U.S. each year. This translates to over one billion (yes, billion with a “b”) trees consumed for cardboard and other paper material.

How is this relevant to the increase in drone delivery? A Virginia-based drone delivery service called Wing has become the first company of its kind to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a legitimate “air carrier” service. Drones obviously have limitations, particularly regarding weight capacity. Wing’s drones can currently transport packages weighing under three pounds.

Companies that partake in Wing’s program will need to devise new packaging mechanisms in order to meet the weight threshold. The packaging will also need to withstand wind buffeting during aerial transport. Will retailers like Amazon come up with more eco-friendly packaging solutions as a consequence? Only time will tell.

Big Truck Rental Remains at the Forefront of Waste Disposal

2019 was also a productive year for our clients and us. Our rental trucks provide waste disposal solutions, saving time and fuel, and minimizing our overall carbon footprint. Contact Big Truck Rental to browse our current inventory of waste management garbage trucks.

Additional resources:
• Recycling Today, US House Committee on Energy and Commerce to Consider RECOVER Act, https://www.recyclingtoday.com/article/recover-act-goes-before-house-committee/
• The Balance, E-Waste Recycling Facts and Figures, https://www.thebalancesmb.com/e-waste-recycling-facts-and-figures-2878189
• Forbes, Retail’s Big Packaging Problem, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonbird1/2018/07/29/what-a-waste-online-retails-big-packaging-problem/#33d143a7371d

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