WASTE BOARD SUPPORTS RECYCLED PRODUCT MAKERS
The California Integrated Waste Management Board has approved spending $40,000 to help expand the website that promotes products made from recycled materials. The website, www.RecycleStore.com , features building materials such as recycled redwood beams, straw acoustic ceilings and sewer pipes.
“Californians are doing a great job of recycling,” says Dan Eaton, Waste Board chairman, “but without a marketplace for products made from reused material like tires, plastics, wood and glass, we aren’t fulfilling our commitment to making recycling work.”
Manufacturers listed offer a range of products including plastic lumber, glass gifts, jewelry and children’s swings made from tires. Shasta Community College is providing matching funds for the project.
SUSTAINABLE JOBS FUND SECURES CAPITAL
The Sustainable Jobs Fund, Durham, N.C., has announced it has taken possession of $7 million in grants and endowments, which means it now has nearly half of the $15 million fund it is compiling.
“Now we can begin to carry out our mission of investing in strong companies in the recycling, remanufacturing and other sectors that create jobs for low-income citizens in economically distressed regions,” says Richard Defieuz, founder and chair of the Investment Committee.
The Sustainable Jobs Fund is in the process of becoming certified as a community development financial institution. The Sustainable Jobs Fund is in partnership with the National Recycling Coalition, Alexandria, Va.
VIRGINIA AIMING TO BLOCK NYC WASTE?
The two U.S. senators from Virginia—Charles Robb and John Warner—have introduced legislation into the Senate that would allow states to freeze solid waste importation tonnage at 1998 levels. The effort was seen as a response to fears that Virginia will become a prime destination for waste generated by New York City when its Fresh Kills landfill closes, perhaps as early as 2001. Virginia lawmakers have tried to erect similar barriers to out-of-state waste, but those efforts face likely constitutional scrutiny on interstate commerce grounds.
While much of the political effort in New York has centered around making sure out-of-state solid waste shipping remains an option, the continuing efforts of states such as Virginia could aid recycling efforts in the New York City area.
CALIFORNIA HOLDS FUNDING FORUMS
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has held two investment forums for companies involved in materials recycling, composting and reuse.
The first forum was held May 17 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in San Francisco while the second was July 12 at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine.
The events were “aimed at businesses that collect, process or broker recyclable materials, manufacturers who use recycled-content material, businesses that deal in equipment for these activities, or companies that retail recycled products,” according to the CIWMB.
At the forums, such business owners had a chance to meet with potential sources of financing and economic development assistance, including venture capital funds, private investors, banks, investment banking firms, SBA lenders, corporations and economic development agencies.
1990s WITNESS LANDFILLING DROP-OFF IN MISSOURI
A lot less trash is being buried each year in Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Jefferson City.
In calendar year 1997, the amount of solid waste going to landfills dropped by 30% per person in comparison to 1990. “We’re very optimistic about the progress being made in reducing our solid waste and protecting our land resources,” says DNR director Steve Mahfood.
In 1990, Missourians sent 6.8 million tons of solid waste to landfills, or 2,660 pounds per person. In 1997, just 2,040 pounds per person was dumped in the state’s landfills. Mahfood believes the number is even more impressive considering the robust state of the economy. “When people have more to spend, business, industry and individuals generate more waste,” he says. In regard to recycling, Mahfood adds, “The 1997 national recycling average was about 28%, so we’re on the right track.”
The state passed a solid waste law that took effect in January of 1991. The law bans the land-filling of appliances, tires, batteries, waste oil and yard waste. A volume reduction goal of 40% for land-filling was also established by the law.
Among the challenges remaining for the state to meet the 40% goal will be increasing the recycling rate, Mahfood believes. “We want to increase recycling opportunities in Missouri’s rural areas and encourage cooperative marketing techniques to develop stronger markets for recovered materials,” he says. “As long as landfill disposal costs remain lower than the cost of recycling, it will continue to be a challenge to increase the percentage of waste being diverted from land-filling.”