Republic Services suggests seven ways to make the holidays more sustainable
U.S. waste collection giant has tips for all
This holiday season, Republic Services, Inc., is reminding their customers and all to incorporate sustainability into family traditions and work celebrations. With parties, decorations, cards, gift giving, and travel, North Americans generate approximately 25 percent more trash than normal during the holiday season, or one million extra tons of waste. Roughly 80 percent of that which is thrown away during the holidays could be recycled or reused, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"The hustle and bustle of the holiday season leaves little time to think about what to recycle or throw away," said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services. "But, there are several opportunities to make simple, sustainable choices throughout the season. We are excited to share our holiday recycling suggestions, and hope they help customers across the country to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible this season."
Republic's 2015 Holiday Recycling Suggestions:
Top 7 Sustainability Tips
- Recycle wrapping paper, even the sparkly stuff!
- Trash the ribbons and bows. Better yet, reuse them!
- Paper bags = recycle. Laminated bags = reuse or trash.
- Put down the pen and paper, and email your holiday card.
- Instead of popping that bubble wrap, save it and reuse it.
- Before you recycle, separate paper and plastic.
- Do not use foam for packing, use shredded paper instead.
Holiday Recycling Checklist
- Boxes (gift, shoe and shipping)
- Wrapping paper (plain or sparkly)
- Tissue paper
- Holiday cards and envelopes (without embellishments)
- Gift bags (paper)
Better to Reuse or Dispose
- Bubble wrap
- Ribbons and bows
- Gift bags (laminated, coated or dyed)
- Packing peanuts (polystyrene foam)
- Toy packaging made of heavy cardboard is not recyclable unless the cardboard is separated from the plastic.
- Sticky gift tags are not recyclable by themselves, but they are acceptable if affixed to an envelope or wrapping paper.
- Check with your local provider to confirm which items can be recycled in your community, holiday collection times or special instructions for Christmas trees.
Republic Services operates 66 recycling centers in the U.S. and processes roughly five million tons of recyclable material annually. The company continues to make significant investments in highly advanced recycling capabilities and technologies, including recently opening the largest and smartest residential recycling center in North America.
Known as the Blue Planetsustainability initiative, Republic is also defining its approach to corporate responsibility through reduced emissions from operations, materials management, safety, community engagement and employee growth opportunities. To view Republic's 2014 Sustainability Report, go to RepublicServices.com/sustainabilityreport.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.