Monday, January 28, 2013

Recycling equals economic growth

Across the country, budgets are still being squeezed and job growth in the waste industry is stagnant. But there are areas of slight growth, said Jeremy O'Brien, director of applied research for the Solid Waste Association of North America.
"Obviously, everyone is feeling the budget pinch, so it would be a difficult time to institute new services and hire people," he said.
However, O'Brien pointed to the West Coast, and specifically California, where curbside organics collection is growing, which may add jobs in collections and at compost facilities.
"There are pockets of trends, driven by new recycling goals," he said.
Florida has hit a statewide challenge of 75% diversion head on, and new laws mandating apartment and business recycling in California are growing the recycling market there. The anecdotal evidence seems to back up a 2011 study compiled by the Tellus Institute which said a green economy can grow jobs.
The study, commissioned by the Blue Green AllianceNational Resources Defense CouncilRecycling Works, the Global Alliance for Incinerator AlternativesTeamsters and the Service Employees International Union, said if the nation's landfill diversion rate grew to 75%, there would be a total of 1.1 million more jobs in the waste and recycling disposal industry than if the rate stayed the same or grew slightly.
The study said simple waste disposal at landfills creates 0.1 jobs per 1,000 tons of municipal solid waste disposed, while the processing of recyclables is 2 jobs per 1,000 tons of materials. Organics, which takes some manual processing, requires 0.5 jobs per 1,000 tons of material.
"Recycling equals jobs," said Robert Reed, head of public relations for San Francisco-based Recology.
The company has grown San Francisco's recycling rate to an astounding 80%. And with that has come job growth, he said. Since 2000, Recology has added more than 200 jobs in the city. Those jobs were added as the city made curbside organics collection mandatory and opened additional recycling processing facilities.
"Communities that build recycling facilities, add recycling programs, expand existing recycling programs, add modern composting facilities, they are going to create jobs," Reed said. "They're going to help protect the environment, reduce landfill disposal and create local, permanent jobs."
The overall job numbers in the industry seem to be ticking upward too, with the top 100 employers in the industry reporting just over 4,000 more employees in 2012 than they did in 2011 according to Waste & Recycling News research. The nation's largest waste and recycling company, Waste Management Inc., accounted for roughly half that total number, reporting an additional 2,000 members to their team, upping their total number employees to 45,000 in 2012.
But absent more recycling initiatives, there likely won't be much growth in the market and while the overall number of positions in the sector isn't likely to grow, that doesn't mean there won't be an opportunity for advancement.
"A lot of my colleagues, they are getting toward retirement age," O'Brien said. "There is going to be some changeover in personnel."
He said SWANA began to spot the trend of the aging waste management workforce and instituted various young professional programs to head off a potential situation where senior leadership would be leaving without younger professionals left to fill the void.
"It's clear enough to our board that we've instituted some new programs to specifically target and attract new management to the industry," he said. "It's a business that's not going away and always has something new going on with some of our big concerns with the environment and energy."
And while some municipalities attempt to save money by privatizing, that usually doesn't change the overall job numbers; it simply changes the employer.
"I haven't seen anything that is a major shift between the public and private breakdown," O'Brien said.
While tonnage is down and communities are always looking to save a buck, there will always be a market for jobs in the waste and recycling industry, O'Brien said.
"There's always going to be a need for waste management," he said.

Source: Waste Recycling News

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reusable Car

Automobiles are among the most recycled consumer products in the world. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 95 percent of all end-of-life vehicles in the U.S. are processed for recycling – compared to 52 percent of all paper and 31 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles.

Ford vehicles are now 85 percent recyclable by weight. In 2009, Ford saved approximately $4.5 million by using recycled materials, and diverted between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills in North America alone.

  • Ford is making its vehicles, which are 85 percent recyclable by weight, more eco-friendly through increased use of renewable and recyclable materials; the 2010 Ford Taurus is the latest model to use eco-friendly bio-based seat cushions
  • In 2009, Ford reduced the amount of automotive-related plastics to landfills by nearly 30 million pounds and saved approximately $4.5 million by reusing recycled materials
  • Ford’s “reduce, reuse and recycle” commitments are part of its broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint
  • Automobiles are among the most recycled consumer products. More than 95 percent of all end-of-life vehicles in the U.S. are processed for recycling – compared to 52 percent of all paper and 31 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles
Ford’s “reduce, reuse and recycle” commitments are part of the company’s broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint while accelerating the development of advanced fuel-efficient vehicle technologies around the world.

Building in green materials 
For the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials, including:
  • Bio-based (such as soy) polyurethane foams on the seat cushions, seatbacks and headliners on 11 vehicle models. The 2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles on the road today with bio-foam seats equates to a reduction in petroleum oil usage of approximately 1.5 million pounds
  • Post-consumer recycled resins such as detergent bottles, tires and battery casings used to make underbody systems, such as aerodynamic shields, splash shields and radiator air deflector shields. The latest example is the engine cam cover on the 3.0-liter V-6 2010 Ford Escape. As a result, Ford has diverted between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills
  • Post-industrial recycled yarns for seat fabrics on vehicles such as the Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid. A 100 percent usage of recycled yarns can mean a 64 percent reduction in energy consumption and a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the use of new yarns
  • Repurposed nylon carpeting made into nylon resin and molded into cylinder head covers for Ford’s 3.0-liter Duratec® engine. The industry’s first eco-friendly cylinder head cover is used in the 2010 Ford Fusion and Escape
  • The automotive industry’s first application of wheat straw-reinforced plastic for the third-row storage bins of the 2010 Ford Flex. The natural fiber replaces energy-inefficient glass fibers commonly used to reinforce plastic parts.

In support of Ford’s global product development strategy, material engineers are developing standardized specifications for sustainable materials while working with parts purchasers and suppliers to use eco-friendly components in different markets. For example, the European Ford Focus uses recycled polymer in such components as the battery tray, wheel arch liners, seat fabric and carpets. Materials engineers are in the process of determining if recycled polymer can be used for similar components in the global Focus coming to North America and Europe in 2011.

(Source: Ford website)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Occupant's behavior makes the difference

Encouraging individuals to engage in sustainable behaviors is attracting increasing levels of media coverage, public relations, policy and research interest.

Despite this, understanding of the most effective ways to change and inspire individual's behavior towards recycling, energy and water savings is limited.  This is especially true of the workplace, which is relatively unstudied.

The following survey is intended to bring together the opinions and knowledge from a wide range of professionals, in particular those who work with Green Buildings and those who deal with matters of sustainability. 

The results of this survey will help to draw up a set of techniques and approaches that can be useful to help change the way occupants act in existing Green Buildings (LEED® O&M).

This survey will take just a few minutes. Please fill this out to help us increase our knowledge and understanding of Green Building data. The results of this survey will be posted on this website sometime during Q12013. 

Please click here:

Thank you.
Denise Braun

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Brazilian National Solid Waste Policy

Hi Folks!

Being from Brazil, I was very excited to read about Brazil's new policy regarding Solid Waste. The regulations were implemented in 2010 and are detailed in the document called "National Solid Waste Policy".

For the first time in Brazil's history, "Catadores" were included in the policy. "Catadores" are marginalized trash collectors who have finally been recognized by the Brazilian government as being an important part of the waste recycling process.

To learn more about the "catadores", you can watch the documentary called " Wasteland"

To learn more about Brazil's Solid Waste Policy, please refer to the link below:

I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me.

Denise Braun

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New law, better life!

I am very pleased to post my first article on the website. Stay tuned, as there will be many more to come.

The following article is specifically for residents of California, but it is beneficial for all Americans to read.

In the U.S. there are several cities that do not provide recycling services. It is our duty to ask the City Council....WHY???

New law, better life!

     Every year Americans throw away enough paper cups, plastic cups, forks and spoons to circle the equator 300 times. In 2010 Americans generated approximately 250 million tons of trash, 85 million tons of which was recycled and composted. This is equivalent to only a 34.1 % recycling rate. The average American recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of every 4.43 pounds of daily individual waste generation. California has 37.2 million people producing more than 30.4 million tons per year. The commercial sector generates nearly three fourths of the solid waste in California.  Much of this waste is readily recyclable, but unfortunately the majority of it ends up in landfills.
    With the implementation of the new law entitled AB 341, California becomes one of the first states in the nation to enact a statewide program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills. It´s important to remember that commercial solid waste includes waste from commercial buildings as well as multi-family dwellings. Even in one of the nation’s most progressive states, many cities in California don’t provide a recycling program for multi-family dwellings. This leaves the decision to recycle solely up to the owners of the buildings. Unfortunately most building owners frequently decide to simply contract a hauler who will pick up the trash without separating the recyclables from the non-recyclable waste. Although this kind of service is cheaper and easier, it prevents large quantities of recyclable materials from actually being recycled.
   AB 341 requires that “on and after July 1, 2012, a business that generates more than four cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week or is a multifamily residential dwelling of five units or more shall arrange for recycling services, consistent with state or local laws or requirements, including a local ordinance or agreement, applicable to the collection, handling, or recycling of solid waste, to the extent that these services are offered and reasonably available from a local service provider.  The purpose of the law is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to create new jobs by diverting commercial solid waste to recycling efforts, and to expand the opportunity for additional recycling services and recycling manufacturing facilities in California.
   AB 341 was filed with the Secretary of State on October 6, 2011 and adopted the Regulation on January 17, 2012. With AB 341 the state of California has to improve it’s goal of diverting 75% of solid waste from landfills by 2020.
   Recycled materials can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions through multiple phases of production including extraction of raw materials, preprocessing and manufacturing. A co-benefit of increased recycling is to avoid the emission of methane gas at landfills from the decomposition of organic materials. Recycling also saves 3 to 5 times the energy generated by waste-to-energy plants, even without counting the wasted energy in the burned materials.[1] The recycling rate of 32.5 percent in 2006 saved the carbon emission equivalent of taking 39.4 million cars off the road, and the energy equivalent of 6.8 million households’ annual energy consumption, or 222.1 million barrels of oil.[2]
   The City of Hawthorne is already doing their part. They provide a recycling program for free to all multi-family dwelling. As they say: “Waste reduction is an important part of helping our environment. This program can help you do your part, while also providing a valuable service to your tenants. By reducing your waste, you may also be able to reduce your trash bill and save some money in the process.”
   Now is the time and place to your City to start to do something! Something for better life: improving the quality of life and creating new jobs. 

   “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm”. (Abraham Lincoln)

To read the AB 341 please see at:

[1] Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. Incinerators. Retrieved June 2010 from
[2] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2007, November). Methodology for Estimating Municipal Solid Waste Recycling Benefits. Retrieved June, 2010 from

Natural Resources Defense Council. Recycling 101. Retrieved June 2010 from

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. (2009, December 3). ‘Give Green’ by Decking the Halls with Less Waste This Year!. Retrieved June 2010 from

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2009, November). Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States Detailed Tables and Figures for 2008. Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. Retrieved June, 2010 from

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Can you help AllAboutWaste?

Please write the word "WASTE" in your language.

Here are some examples:
Portuguese - Lixo
Spanish - Basura
German - Müll  
Dutch - Vuilnis 
French - Ordures 
Hebrew -זבל
Thai - ขยะ 
Chinese - 垃圾 
Japanese - ごみ 
Swedish - Sopor 

If you are fluent in any of the above languages, please let me know if I made a mistake and feel free to correct it.  Also, If you know any other languages, please add to the list!

Let´s make a huge on AllAboutWaste

Thank you.
Denise Braun

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Don´t Waste_Campaign

Welcome to the "AllAboutWaste" universe!

This website is All About Waste. Different types of waste.

I've created a campaign called: Don't Waste. I hope you enjoy the Tee Shirt designs.  

Get INSPIRED and tell to your friends.

Please contact me if you're interested in purchasing any of the above tees: 

This is the T-shirt campaign!!