What’s Wrong with the Way We Recycle?

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Back in August, a panel discussed “Rethinking MRF” (Materials Recovery Facility) during the Resource Recycling Conference Aug 15-17 in Austin, Texas.

Panelists Stephanie Sidler, Director of Business Development for Recycling at GFL Environmental and Natlie Betts, Director of Municipal Relations discussed how collaborative partnerships between municipalities and vendors are crucial to the future success of efficient waste management. Both panelists expressed that a well-thought-out RFP helps both entities create a long-term plan that allows for changes over the term of the contract. There’s also a growing shift in how we think about waste management: from optional to essential in the health and well-being of any municipality.

How Does This Affect Your Community?

Many recycling facilities are still operating with outdated, 30+ year old technology. Hand-sorting is still active in many facilities, including Chittenden Solid Waste District in Vermont. CSWD is proposing to build a $22M new, more efficient and effective MRF that will provide extensive environmental benefits and affordable, in-state processing for Vermonters’ recycling for decades to come. This new MRF will enable Vermonters to keep more recyclables out of the landfill, replace hand-sorting jobs with more diverse, skilled jobs in a cleaner and better designed facility for workers. With lack of employees, this puts added pressure on vendors needing to answer the needs of the municipality while meeting their bottom line.

According to Betts, “on the municipality side, that really looks like treating recycling as the utility and essential service that it is, and not a ‘nice-to-have.'”

While transparency remains elusive with many vendors reluctant to disclose the end market customer, Sidler recommended municipalities have access to reports of the general “chain of command” for material and help municipalities trust that materials are going where they should.

At SecurShred, we rely on our partnerships with facilities like CSWD to maintain our end-to-end NAID certified secure disposal experience while keeping our environmental standards high. For more information on how you can have us securely shred your sensitive data, or how to reuse your own paper, reach out to SecurShred for more information. 877-863-3003