Picking up and disposing of people’s waste is not going to be the way this company survives long term. Our opportunities all arise from the sustainability movement.

-          David Steiner, CEO, Waste Management

Waste Management is working to derive as much value from the waste stream as possible – with a focus on waste to energy.  Read more by clicking HERE.

Recycling Coordinators: Don’t underestimate the power of good signage Go

I have often heard it said that the biggest barriers to increasing recycling rates are access and education.  You have to have both or it simply won’t work.

Let’s not forget that people are busy and often distracted.  So we don’t just need to have bins available, people need clear directions on how to use them.

The fact that systems are not uniform adds complexity.  We may face one program at work (e.g. office paper only) and another at home (glass and plastics in one bin/ paper in another) and another at the local park (bottles and cans only) and yet another at the airport. Then to top it all off, we visit our local green grocer and we’re faced with composting options as well.

So while recycling is not rocket science, it can be frustrating when faced with the simple dilemma of whether or not you can recycle your plastic cup.  If you are responsible for a recycling program, your signage can help.   In a previous post I mentioned a favorite sign for paper recycling, spotted at BU:  “If you can rip it – recycle it”.   More tips from the experts here.

Above I’ve captured a picture taken at my favorite coffee shop in Portland, ME.  Missing from the picture is a dish bin to the left.  They use real cups and plates for food service (reducing waste by re-using dishes) and then have a great recycling and composting program in place.