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A City’s Perspective of Waste and Recycling

Episode 13: A conversation with Tori Carle, waste reduction supervisor for the city of Greensboro, N.C.
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In the latest episode of our NothingWasted! Podcast, we chat with Tori Carle, waste reduction supervisor for the city of Greensboro, N.C. We spoke with her about industry challenges, collaboration and more.

Waste360: Are you having luck reducing contamination in recycling in your current role?

Tori Carle: I think so! But the challenging thing is that we haven’t been able to conduct a reliable audit since I’ve been here; we’re actually getting ready to do that this month. It will be great if we can definitively say, “these education programs are working”—or, if they’re not, we need to change something.

Waste360: Greensboro is going to stop accepting glass in the recycling stream this summer. Was that a tough decision?

Tori Carle: It was a tough decision and not one that we came to lightly. Glass is infinitely recyclable, but when it’s mixed in with all of your other recyclables, it doesn’t play well with the others and also attracts contamination. So, the paper mills and plastic reprocessors aren’t happy with that. Even though glass is a wonderful thing to recycle, it’s not something we can have in our single stream right now—and we’re certainly not the only community that is making this change.

Waste360: Do you think policy is keeping up with today’s consumer behavior?

Tori Carle: You can’t have one without the other. You can’t have an education program without the policy to back it up, and you can’t have a successful policy executed without education to let people know about it. They go hand-in-hand, but there’s been a disconnect of late, and we all need to do better. 

Listen to the full interview with Carle here. Read transcript here. Listen to her smart insights on the challenges of “mining above ground,” resident education and participation, tagging programs and more.

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