Waste Management

States Look to Make Companies Take Responsibility for Hard-to-Recycle Packaging

As plastic piles up, bills that shift the financial cost of recycling to the producers are gaining traction. The results have been mixed this legislative season, but history suggests extended producer responsibility bills are ultimately successful.

A New Bill in Washington State Seeks to Reduce Unneeded Packaging

Laws requiring companies to cover the costs of recycling services are gaining momentum in the U.S. Washington is one of the latest states to consider a strategy that is popular in Europe.

How Smarter Robots Could Improve Recycling

Automating parts of the recycling process with artificial intelligence could increase efficiency and reduce environmental contamination. There could be worker safety benefits, too.

New Ideas for How Cities Can Stop People From Littering

COMMENTARY | Research finds that anti-litter signage is ineffective and points to better options.

How a Powerful Company Convinced Georgia to Let It Bury Toxic Waste in Groundwater

Documents reveal Georgia Power went to great lengths to advocate for risky waste storage. After a ProPublica investigation exposed this practice, the EPA is trying to block the move.

Connect with state & local government leaders

What Is Pay-As-You-Throw? A Waste

COMMENTARY | When governments want people to do less of something, one way to make that happen is to charge them for doing it. That’s the idea behind pay-as-you-throw waste policies, an academic explains.

Localities and States Are Turning to Data Analytics to Catch Fraudsters—and It's Working

Electronic analysis can be costly, but low-tech paper systems don't work anymore, government officials say.

Waste Not? Some States Are Sending Less Food to Landfills

New York is one of eight states that have enacted laws to cut down on food in landfills, where it breaks down into methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and is released into the atmosphere.

Garbage Truck Driver Shortage is Creating a Mess for Solid Waste Agencies

"As the weather warms up, the garbage is going to get more fragrant and it will be more important for governments to get on this,” says one industry official.

How Local Governments Can Deal with Recycling Scofflaws

Education is often cited as the key to improving recycling rates and reducing contamination. But a new report suggests cities might be better served by cutting off problem households.

EPA Sets National Recycling Goal at 50% by 2030

To increase the national recycling rate from 32% to 50%, the federal government says steps need to be taken to reduce contamination in the recycling stream and strengthen the market for recycled goods.

EPA National Recycling Strategy Includes Assessment of State, Local Policies

The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft strategy plan this week that proposes a variety of initiatives to improve recycling rates, increase efficiency and improve the market for recycled goods.

Sewage Testing on University Campus Identifies Asymptomatic Covid Cases

The University of Arizona tested sewage for the presence of coronavirus and identified two students who tested positive but didn’t have any symptoms for the respiratory illness.

Cleaning Up Paper Recycling in South Florida

Waste Management reversed its decision to cut mixed paper recycling in 14 Broward County municipalities, but says reduced contamination is needed.

Cities and Towns are Abandoning Glass Recycling. Can It Be Saved?

Glass is highly recyclable, but collection of the material through single-stream recycling programs is falling out of favor in many cities because of contamination problems and high costs.

Recycling Labels Don’t Reflect Reality for Local Governments

A local government official says the federal government could help by setting standards that make clear what plastics are recyclable.

Mayors Seek Solutions to Recycling Crisis

Industry representatives said companies are hungry for recyclables, despite China’s loss of appetite. But they said cities need to help residents decrease contamination and can do so through education campaigns and better infrastructure.

Don’t Toss That E-Cig: Vaping Waste Is A Whole New Headache For Schools And Cities

In Boulder, Colorado, school custodians are dealing with vaping litter, while city staffers are trying to educate people about not just dumping e-cigarette components in the trash.

New York City Unveils a Next-Generation Trash Can

The winner of the BetterBin design competition is easier for sanitation workers to lift and deters bulk trash-dumpers. It could replace the ubiquitous green litter basket.

Congressional Proposals Would Pay For Recycling Education at Local Level

Two new bills would provide funding for state and local governments to better educate consumers about what can and cannot be recycled in an effort to reduce waste.