From the Archives

Departments - Newsworthy

May 6, 2013
Recycling Today Staff

Making Headlines in 1978...

May 26: Resorts International Opens the First Legal Casino in Atlantic City

July 25: Louise Brown, the First “Test Tube Baby,” is Born in Oldham, England

Sept. 17: Leaders of Israel and Egypt Sign the Camp David Accords

Dec. 15: Cleveland Becomes the First Major U.S. City to go into Default Since the Great Depression

Business Trends
Left Coast Momentum

From 1978 to 1983, California’s legislature and agencies paid increased attention to recycling.

According to the CalRecycle website,, the Solid Waste Management Act of 1980 “changed the authorized expenditure from the State Solid Waste Management Fund for recycling centers from 25 percent to 30 percent to be available for grants and loans.”

In 1982, California Assembly Bill 3717 prohibited the removal of recyclables segregated from other waste materials and placed in a designated collection location, helping ensure recyclables made it to an end market.

Industry Leaders

The Next Generation

In 1979 and 1980, the third generation of leadership began to emerge at nonferrous scrap company Alpert & Alpert, headquartered in Vernon, Calif.

Howard Farber, current chairman and CEO of The Alpert Group LLC, began working full time for Alpert & Alpert in 1979. The next year, Alan Alpert, current president of The Alpert Group, also began working full time for the company.

Howard’s father, Jake Farber, and Alan’s father, Raymond Alpert, had been the guiding forces driving the international growth of the Southern California company. (See “Forging Relationships” in the March 2011 edition of Recycling Today for a profile of the company.)

Consuming Markets
A Can-Do Attitude

In 1978, brewer Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, started its Anheuser-Busch Recycling subsidiary. By 2008, the company claimed it had helped recycle some 460 billion beverage cans.

Today, as part of Belgium-based global brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev, the company says it has a 99.2 percent “in-house recycling rate” for solid waste and byproducts.

But in 1978 the company was just catching up with Adolph Coors Co. of Golden, Colo. Claiming to be bothered by seeing his company’s cans as litter, Bill Coors, company president, commissioned engineers to design a recyclable seamless aluminum can in 1959.

Shortly thereafter, Coors began a program called Cash for Cans, “offering one penny for each can (and glass bottle) returned for recycling,” according to the company. “By 1966, Adolph Coors Co. was honored by the Good Outdoor Manners Association for environmental stewardship, having collected over 13 million cans in the previous year.” According to an April 1966 article in Time magazine, the company had a nearly 85 percent recovery rate at that time.