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These NewsLinks represent a decade of ferreting out local online NewsLinks to the issue of Recycling in our area.
* For Recycling Newslinks for 2010 and before go here: Recycling_NewsLinks - 2010 and before.html
The more recent stories are on the top and oldest at the bottom of this list. Looking for something specific. Use Control + F and search for it on this page.
Although many of these links no longer work, I believe that it is important to be able to find that these stories have existed for ferreting out existing or impending environmental problems. The repercussions of pollution or overuse of a resource often takes a long time for us to recognize and when we finally do, it is invaluable to be able to track the history of various issues before they get to a tipping point and became a crisis.
Also, much that mankind has done to change our environment was accomplished without any knowledge of what the environment was like before changing it, but maybe we will be able to heal our environmental if we archive the news stories so we will be able to unravel the events that led up to the disaster. Students, scientists, historians, and citizens alike should benefit from being able to follow the thread of an issue back through time.
Webster couple fights village over composting odor Since the early 1990s, the village of Webster has been churning up its annual roadside leaf collection piles, adding dump trucks full of sewage sludge and laying it all out on an asphalt pad in front of the wastewater treatment plant on Route 250 to make compost. And Mike and Polly Conn, who've lived in the remodeled farmhouse across the street for more than three decades, say they've had enough. "Some days, it's so bad you have to hold your breath just to go outside and get in your truck," said Polly Conn, a vivacious grandmother whose growing concern over health effects from potential dust, allergens, molds and other airborne particulates from the composting operations led her earlier this week to seek alternate housing. "It's just terrible." (December 9, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
State approves long-awaited permits to expand Ontario County landfill The state Department of Environmental Conservation has approved the permits needed to for a 43.5-acre expansion of the Ontario County landfill. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has approved the permits needed to for a 43.5-acre expansion of the Ontario County landfill. The permits will allow landfill manager Casella Waste Management Systems to continue taking waste at the landfill in the town of Seneca while the company expands the landfill by constructing new cells at the site. The DEC Commissioner affirmed the Oct. 7, 2015 ruling of the administrative law judge, according to Ontario County. The ruling means the county “successfully established the proposed landfill expansion will meet all New York State environmental law requirements, and that any increase in noise from landfill operations will fall below the regulatory maximum levels,” according to the county. “The Commissioner also rejected the arguments in the appeal filed by Finger Lakes Zero Waste Coalition with regard to the adequacy of the County’s comprehensive recycling analysis,” the county stated in a release. (November 24, 2015) Irondequoit Post [more on Recycling in our area]
NYC $3.3B plan could bring loads of trash to Finger Lakes LBANY - Winery owners and environmentalists in the Finger Lakes are protesting a plan by New York City to bring trainloads of trash to the region as part of a 20-year, $3.3 billion deal with the giant Seneca Meadows landfill. The concerns are that the landfill, which some say is the largest in the northeastern United States, is near wineries, a gleaming casino-under-construction and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The Finger Lakes region already is New York’s trash capital, being home to four of the state’s largest landfills. Fully half of all municipal solid waste that’s buried annually in the state goes to those facilities. One of them, High Acres in Perinton and Macedon, Wayne County, in June became the first landfill in the state to accept regular shipments of trash via rail. Its owner, Waste Management Inc., also has a 20-year deal to accept refuse from New York City. (October 16, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
Surprise! Americans send twice as much trash to landfills as we thought For years, the EPA has relied on estimates to calculate how much trash was heading to landfills every year. Those estimates were made based on what businesses reported indirectly to the government, population data and patterns of consumption. But starting in 2010, the EPA started asking municipal landfills to measure and report exactly how much waste was heading into the dump so that they could make better estimates of methane emissions being released into the atmosphere. A new Yale study of those numbers, which the EPA partially funded, shows that the real amount of trash going into landfills is twice as much as the EPA estimates. (September 22, 2015) Treehugger [more on Recycling in our area]
Electronic waste is piling up. Here’s why you should care Be honest: How many old cell phones do you have in a drawer somewhere? What about computer keyboards or screens? That waste — the leftover keyboards that we cart out to the curb, old computer screens, cell phones, audio equipment, printers — it’s all considered electronic waste, or e-waste. Its prevalence, in a society that clamours for smaller, better, faster, newer, is piling up. And there are consequences. (September 5, 2015) Global News [more on Recycling in our area]
Bryant: Stop giving charities your junk, Part II Toward the beginning of garage sale season, I wrote a column titled "Stop giving charities your junk." It asked people not to saddle local nonprofits with their unsellable items, like moldy, broken hot tub covers, bottles of old prescription medicine or clothes with holes and stains. After the column was published, I got some emails with useful questions and recommendations regarding such things. (August 3, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
Hawaii Becomes First State in The Nation to Ban Plastic Bags In the past couple of years, cities and towns across the nation have started to ban plastic bags. Less than one percent of plastic bags are recycled, and it costs more to recycle a plastic bag that create a new one. That’s why Oahu, the most populated Hawaiian island, decided to join the other Hawaiian islands and officially ban plastic and other non-compostable bags from their stores. Beginning Wednesday, Hawaii will become the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags. (July 4, 2015) Magazine Good [more on Recycling in our area]
Reining in e-waste Consumers have an insatiable appetite for electronic devices, whether it's the powerful smartphones in their pockets, the massive television screens on their walls, or the sleek laptops they carry with them. The electronics industry understands that appetite well, and it's constantly churning out new products to render the old ones obsolete. And every time a new phone, TV, or computer is purchased, it replaces an old one, which has to go somewhere. There was a time when many consumers just threw their old electronics in the garbage. Those days, however, are gone: an electronics disposal ban contained in the state's 2010 e-waste law took effect earlier this year. New Yorkers can no longer legally put their unwanted electronics out to the curb; they have to find a place to recycle those devices, which include old computers, video games consoles, and televisions. (Cell phone disposal and recycling is actually addressed under a different law.) July 1, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Recycling in our area]
Citizen's group urges more affordable, accessible recycle center in Victor Town officials and Citizens for Improved Recycling work toward a user-friendly recycle facility. When Ed Van Schaick began remodeling his 1830 farmhouse in Victor, he said the town’s Transfer Station/Recycle Center became his “best friend.” He visited often and found everyone to be very accommodating and friendly. It was a free service then, provided by the town. And when fees went up to $20 a year in 2012, Van Schaick was still more than happy to pay the price for a resource he valued highly. But in January 2015 when annual fees suddenly jumped by 500 percent to $120 — and hours of operation were cut 58 percent — he took the news hard. So did a handful of friends, who formed a small but vocal group called Citizens for Improved Recycling in Victor (CIRV). (May 21, 2015) Webster Post [more on Recycling in our area]
Tired out Guess how many illegally dumped tires the City of Rochester collects each year? Go on. Nope, higher. Higher. The city picks up between 80,000 and 120,000 individual tires annually. That's a minimum of 20,000 sets. "This is nothing new," says Norman Jones, commissioner of the city's Department of Environmental Services. "I've been dealing with waste management for over 25 years now, and this has been going on for that long. And we've taken all kinds of approaches to deal with it." Lighting and fencing usually work, Jones says, since the tire-dumpers tend to operate at night and in more isolated areas, where they're less likely to be caught (April 29, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Recycling in our area]
Ontario County Landfill filling up Ontario County - Every day thousands of tons of garbage are dumped at the Ontario County Landfill. Officials said at this rate, the landfill will reach capacity by next year. County officials are working on obtaining additional permits from the DEC to expand. The expansion calls for an additional 40 plus acres at the landfill. "The garbage has to go somewhere," said Casella Regional Engineer Jerry Leone. "This is a highly regulated facility. The landfill expansion will provide another 13 years of space." (April 24, 2014) WHAM [more on Recycling in our area]
City Hall inflating Buffalo’s recycling rate Mayor Byron Brown’s administration has found a new way to inflate the city’s recycling rate by counting clothing donations given to nonprofits such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army. By taking credit for clothing donations – some 4,800 tons last year – the Brown administration is expanding on a practice started in 2013 of counting materials the city does not collect and which state and federal authorities discourage localities from including when calculating recycling rates. Brown, by including these materials, has claimed an ever increasing recycling rate. But data obtained by Investigative Post shows the city’s curbside recycling rate has plateaued at about 11.3 percent – well below the national average of about 25 percent. (March 23, 2015) Investigative Post [more on Recycling in our area]
Monroe County Enhances Ecopark Recycling Monroe County is expanding hours and services at its ecopark. That's a facility near the Rochester Airport that accepts a number of types of items for recycling, and it's open to all county residents. County Executive Maggie Brooks says they specialize in handling those difficult to dispose of items. “It’s not just what you’re putting in your bins at the curb, at home; clothing dropped off here is given to Goodwill, old cell phones are provided to a program called 'Cellphones for Soliders', computers and monitors are recycled here.” (March 25, 2015) WXXI News [more on Recycling in our area]
Pridgen prompts City Hall on recycling Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen knows the city’s recycling rate is well below the national average of 34 percent. In an effort to boost the recycling program, he has gained approval from his colleagues for a resolution that proscribes steps he wants the city to take to promote recycling. (March 3, 2015) Investigative Post [more on Recycling in our area]
Single Stream Recycling Pilot Program Rochester’s residential recycling program is a quarter of a century old! We are working to make recycling easier and more convenient with the introduction of Single Stream Recycling. About the Single Stream Recycling Pilot Program The Single Stream Recycling Pilot Program will provide a wheeled cart to some City of Rochester residential recycling customers to determine if the cart benefits our customers and the environment. Customers from around the City have been selected to receive a new wheeled cart in place of recycle boxes. Recyclables are placed in the cart, without sorting, and the container is placed at the curb on the customer's normal collection day. How does single stream City of Rochester, New York [more on Recycling in our area]
City pilot program expected to boost recycling rate Four thousand Rochester residences will be given big wheeled toters into which occupants can toss all recyclable materials for curbside pickup under a city pilot program that should increase the recycling rate. They will be the first in Monroe County to be able to take full advantage of what's known as single-stream recycling. Single stream, which is new here but common in other communities, usually leads to a marked increase in the recycling rate. "It's exciting news," Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said as she announced the pilot program at a news conference Friday morning. "Single stream is yet another way that we are becoming an innovative city, making recycling easy and delivering services in a cost effective way." (February 13, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
Study: World dumps 8.8 million tons of plastics into oceans Each year about 8.8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world oceans, a quantity much higher than previous estimates, according to a new study that tracked marine debris from its source. That’s the equivalent of five grocery bags full of plastic debris dotting each foot of coastline around the world, said study lead author Jenna Jambeck, an environment engineering professor at the University of Georgia. And if the biggest polluters, mostly developing Asian countries, don’t clean up how they throw stuff away, Jambeck projects that by 2025 the total accumulated plastic trash in the oceans will reach around 170 million tons. That’s based on population trends and continued waste management disposal problems, although there may be some early signs of change, she said. (February 12, 2015) Washington Post [more on Recycling in our area]
Lofty waste-reduction goal for Ontario County landfill nixed Environmental Committee votes down plan to cut waste 90 percent by 2028 With the potential expansion of the Ontario County landfill gaining steam, discussion regarding the future of the facility highlighted the latest Environmental Quality Committee meeting. On Jan. 26, the state approved the county's application to add 43.5 acres to the Seneca-based landfill's current 389-acre footprint, checking off another step in the process for the state to permit the controversial expansion. It is the final expansion scheduled at the facility, and is expected to keep the landfill operational until the contract between the county and Casella Waste Services expires on Nov. 24, 2028. The question coming into focus for county leadership is what happens when that date comes. (February 6, 2015) Daily Messenger [more on Recycling in our area]
The Green Hand: Recyclemania 2015 This year’s Recyclemania competition is just around the corner, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) is set to participate in the national competition beginning on Sunday, February 1st. With a host of materials management events planned, the Colleges are expected to make a strong showing in the competition, which presents awards in categories such as pounds of recycled and composted materials, as well as per capita rates of recycling. Now in its sixth year at HWS, Recyclemania is an annual staple for those interested in promoting sustainability issues, especially improving materials management practices. Most events in the two month-long competition are directed towards education, awareness, and outreach. With contributions from eco-representatives (EcoReps), student volunteers committed to sustainability leadership, and a learning community of students, the Colleges hope to reach a recycling rate of 30 percent. In particular, the Sustainable Living Learning Community, which consists of first-year students in linked courses pertinent to sustainability, will contribute to the competition efforts. Faculty members also have committed to Recyclemania, such as Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, and his students have pledged to contribute. (February 1, 2015) Happenings - the monthly newsletter of the Finger Lakes Institute (more on Recycling in our area]
We could end up with 'as much plastic in our oceans as fish' The head of Ocean Conservancy says a burgeoning middle class and low recycling rates could lead to not-even-remotely-acceptable levels of trash washed out to sea A failure to address the mountains of waste in the developing world will result in as much plastic in our oceans as fish, the head of Ocean Conservancy has warned. Andreas Merkl, CEO of the Washington-based environmental NGO, said the combination in the developing world of a burgeoning middle class and low recycling rates will lead to an exponential rise in the amount of plastic washed out to sea. If governments and the private sector fail to solve this problem, “we end up with an ocean that has an amount of plastic that’s in the same order of magnitude as the amount of fish, in terms of tonnes”, Merkl told Guardian Sustainable Business. (January 26, 2015) The Guardian [more on Recycling in our area]
I scream, you scream ... for single-stream? Monroe County officials are fired up to increase the rate at which local residents recycle. As I reported the other day, their new solid-waste plan is based on the premise the recycling rate more than doubles over the next decade. Why is it, then, that none of us can take full advantage of one of the biggest innovations in local recycling in since the advent of the blue (or green) box? Easy answer: Money. Those that would need to spend it to make this work well haven't done so. Yet. The innovation in question is single-stream recycling -- in which all the recyclable stuff that people can leave at the curb can be mixed together when it's collected and separated at the recycling center by sorting equipment. (January 15, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
Monroe wants to double volume of recycling, composting Monroe County wants to at least double the amount of household and business trash diverted to recycling or composting — and kept out of landfills — over the next decade. That's the goal, anyway. Finding the means to achieve it remains a work in progress. The marked increase in the recycling and composting rate is a centerpiece of the county's new solid-waste management plan, which will be aired at a public meeting at Monroe Community College in Brighton on Thursday evening. The plan doesn't contemplate any huge changes to the way trash is now handled, county environmental services director Michael Garland said. But it does envision new initiatives to increase the amount of solid waste that's recycled. The county also would like to increase the amount of kitchen, food processing and other organic waste that is composted, or turned into usable materials such as fertilizer or mulch. (January 13, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]