Need to Know

The Junkluggers Unveils Charlotte, N.C., Franchise Agreement

The Junkluggers Facebook The Junkluggers Unveils Charlotte, N.C., Franchise Agreement

Sustainable junk removal service The Junkluggers recently finalized an agreement with experienced franchisees Ryan and Sarah Barclay to acquire ownership rights to the company’s current location in Charlotte, N.C.

“Ryan and Sarah are joining The Junkluggers team with a wealth of prior franchising experience, and I am confident that the brand’s Charlotte location will continue to thrive under their new leadership,” said Josh Cohen, founder and CEO of The Junkluggers, in a statement. “As we begin accelerating the expansion of The Junkluggers through our partnership with Contractor Nation, there is no better time to welcome new franchisees to our growing network.”

The Barclays’ career in franchising dates back to 2007 when they opened their first Meineke Care Center franchise. They grew that business to four locations in seven years before selling the locations to pursue other career opportunities. Prior to becoming a franchise owner, Ryan spent 10 years in the financial industry in both Pittsburgh, Pa., and Charlotte.

“While researching existing franchise opportunities in the Charlotte area, The Junkluggers was brought to my attention as a top option,” said Ryan Barclay in a statement. “The more I learned about the company and its unique eco-friendly concept, the more interested I was in becoming a franchisee. As Sarah and I begin this next chapter in our franchising journey, we look forward to helping the environment as we work toward contributing to The Junkluggers’ goal of eliminating 100 percent of waste from landfills by 2025.”

Need to Know

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Bottle, Can Deposit Bill

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Bottle, Can Deposit Bill

Pennsylvania Rep. Wendy Ullman has introduced a bill that would encourage residents in the state to recycle and reward them for doing so.

Under House Bill 1322, consumers in Pennsylvania would pay a 5-cent deposit per beverage container at the retailer or distributor. As an incentive to recycle, consumers would get that 5 cents per container back if they take them to a bottle redemption center.

However, Erie News Now reports that if consumers don’t return their glass or plastic bottles and/or aluminum cans, the 5-cent deposit they paid per container would be claimed by the state and put into the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

Erie News has more information:

A program encouraging recycling could be making its way to Pennsylvania in the near future. Representative Wendy Ullman introduced House Bill 1322 as a way to encourage Pennsylvania residents to recycle, and reward them for doing so.

“What I am proposing to do is create a five cent beverage bottle Bill which would have a redemption process,” Rep. Ullman (D-Bucks) explains.

Under this legislation, consumers in Pennsylvania would pay a 5 cent deposit per beverage container at the retailer or distributor. But as an incentive to recycle, consumers would get that five cents per container back if they take them to a bottle redemption center. PennDOT spends more than 10 million dollars a year on litter cleanup, and Rep. Ullman says this would reduce that figure significantly.

Read the full article here.

Need to Know

Malaysia Works to Return Hundreds of Containers of Scrap Plastics

Malaysia Works to Return Hundreds of Containers of Scrap Plastics

After China banned imports of certain materials, Malaysia ended up becoming one of the world’s main destinations for plastic waste. Now, the Southeast Asian nation is negotiating with countries to take back the trash they’ve shipped off to Malaysia.

Reuters reports that more than 300 containers carrying plastic waste from Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, Canada and the United States are being held at the port in Penang state, one of the busiest in Malaysia. Some countries have agreed in principle to take back a total of 200 containers, and Malaysia vowed earlier this year to send plastic waste back to the source countries and get them to pay for the transportation costs.

Reuters has more:

Malaysia is negotiating with countries sending their plastic waste to the Southeast Asian nation to take back the trash and is waiving storage fees to clear hundreds of containers of scrap stranded at ports across the country for months, officials say.

Malaysia last year became the world’s main destination for plastic waste after China banned imports of scrap.

The Southeast Asian country upped scrutiny after huge inflows and stopped many containers that looked to unload scrap in Malaysia without the required permits, officials from the port and the government told Reuters this week.

Read the full article here.

Waste Industry Participates in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer, with about 41,760 U.S. women expected to die in 2019 from breast cancer. For men, about 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2019. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 883, according to BreastCancer.org.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the waste and recycling industry has been active in supporting efforts that raise awareness and money to fund research for breast cancer treatment and to find a cure.

In this gallery, Waste360 describes efforts related to the waste and recycling industry that support breast cancer awareness.

Need to Know

Rubicon Launches Halloween Campaign to Divert Candy Wrappers from Landfills

Rubicon Launches Halloween Campaign to Divert Candy Wrappers from Landfills

Rubicon Global has launched a Halloween campaign designed to help elementary and middle school teachers across the U.S. educate their students on the importance of recycling and keeping candy wrappers out of landfills. The campaign goes hand-in-hand with the company’s B Corp mission to end waste.

According to industry data, $2.6 billion will be spent on candy in 2019, and Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween.

Throughout October, Rubicon will be running its first-ever “Trick or Trash” campaign, offering teachers in elementary and middle schools across the United States a recycling and circular economy lesson plan, as well as a Candy and Snack Wrappers Zero Waste Box through TerraCycle for students to discard their Halloween candy wrappers. All items are being provided free of charge.

“We believe this campaign can be a catalyst for the next generation to recycle more and reduce waste in our world,” said Nate Morris, founder and CEO of Rubicon, in a statement. “Our hope is this program is a great addition to everyone’s Halloween festivities while providing teachers with a curriculum with which to educate students on how to develop positive recycling habits.”

“TerraCycle’s mission has always been to ‘Eliminate the Idea of Waste,’ and we’ve proven that solutions do exist for items that may seem difficult to recycle,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle, in a statement. “Rubicon not only shares our commitment but has taken it to the next level by spearheading the ‘Trick or Trash’ Halloween campaign to reduce the impact of candy and snack wrappers on the environment and help pave the way for a greener future.”

Rubicon Global is a technology company that powers a digital marketplace, provides a suite of SaaS products for waste, recycling and smart city solutions and collects and analyzes data for businesses and governments worldwide.

Teachers can download the lesson plan immediately upon signup. After completing the signup, a Candy and Snack Wrappers Zero Waste Box will be shipped to their school. Once delivered, teachers can simply set up the box in their classroom, cafeteria or hallway and encourage the students to deposit all of their candy wrappers in the box. Once the box is full, teachers can simply close the box, attach the prepaid shipping label and ship it off free of charge.

Need to Know

Virginia DEQ Revokes CFS’ Solid Waste Permit

Virginia DEQ Revokes CFS’ Solid Waste Permit

Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revoked Container First Services’ (CFS) permit to operate the Tri-City Regional Disposal and Recycling facility in Petersburg, Va.

The move comes a year after a lawsuit was filed against CFS alleging the company failed to follow multiple rules regarding how its landfill was operated and was repeatedly notified of violations in September 2015, July 2017, July 2018 and August 2018, CBS 6 reports. According to the lawsuit, violations included “exceeding the permitted waste pile height, failing to adequately cover exposed waste, failing to maintain the required amount of extra waste cover and failing to correct the violations in a timely manner even after being repeatedly notified.”

CFS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meridian Waste, announced its plans to appeal the October 15 case decision and special order issued by DEQ Director David Paylor affecting the Tri-City Landfill in Petersburg.

Meridian Waste/CFS released the following statement on October 17:

Given that DEQ was the prosecuting entity, the DEQ Director’s decision to revoke the landfill operating permit for the Tri-City Landfill is not surprising. The Tri-City Landfill is operated by The CFS Group Disposal & Recycling Services, LLC, a subsidiary of Meridian Waste Virginia, LLC since February 2017. DEQ’s decision disregards the significant investment Meridian Waste has made at the Landfill since February 2017, it neglects the facility’s substantial financial impact upon the City of Petersburg, it discounts the waste needs of the localities participating in the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, and it ignores several of the recommendations of the Administrative Hearing Officer. 

Tri-City Landfill will be filing an appeal with the rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia (Rule 2A:2). The special order and appeal process does not interfere with the company’s solid waste collection processes, contracts or the operation of the municipal solid waste transfer station located adjacent to the landfill.  CFS will continue to provide environmental services to its customers and to keep the community clean and healthy.   

This will be a long legal process that Meridian Waste is committed to winning. The landfill is a vital infrastructure asset that benefits the greater community. It has been operated in compliance with DEQ orders and regulations. The company looks forward to proving this in the objective forum provided by a court of law.

CBS 6 has more information:

Nearly a year after a lawsuit was filed against Container First Services (CFS), the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) notified CFS that they have revoked their Solid Waste Facility Permit to operate the Tri-City Regional Disposal and Recycling facility in Petersburg.

DEQ said the decision came after a hearing was held in June.

Back in 2018, a CBS 6 Problem Solvers investigation found that between since January 1 and the beginning of March, the DEQ received at least 17 complaints from about a dozen different people regarding the landfill's foul smell.

Read the full story here.

Need to Know

Hefty EnergyBags Stored at Boise, Idaho, MRF Until Market Reopens

Dow Packaging Twitter Hefty EnergyBags Stored at Boise, Idaho, MRF Until Market Reopens

The Hefty EnergyBag program in Boise, Idaho, is collecting but not processing hard-to-recycle plastics, such as chip bags, standup pouches, foam containers, candy wrappers and juice pouches. That’s because, according to Resource Recycling, the program’s processor, Renewlogy, suspended processing earlier this year to install new equipment.

According to the report, the Renewlogy facility in Salt Lake City is expected to restart during the first quarter of 2020.

Until then, communities that are part of the EnergyBag program and use Renewlogy as a downstream outlet are looking for other options. Boise, for instance, is collecting and storing the material at the local materials recovery facility (MRF) until the market reopens.

Resource Recycling has more:

The Hefty EnergyBag program is collecting but not currently processing hard-to-recycle plastics in Boise, Idaho. The program’s downstream processor suspended EnergyBag processing earlier this year to install new equipment.

Salt Lake City-based pyrolysis company Renewlogy announced over the summer that the company is installing upgrades at its facility, thanks to grant funds from Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products. The Utah plant is not bringing in EnergyBags for processing as those upgrades are installed, which has led to material piling up in Boise. The Utah facility has not been processing EnergyBags since early 2019, Waste Dive previously reported. The facility continues to be able to process rigid plastics, Renewlogy CEO Priyanka Bakaya told Plastics Recycling Update.

Boise last year rolled out the EnergyBag program, which is in place in several communities across North America and has residents place hard-to-recycle plastics in a bag that is manually pulled off the sort line at a materials recovery facility (MRF). These bags are then baled and sent to downstream outlets such as Renewlogy, a company that converts plastics into diesel fuels.

Read the full article here.

Need to Know

EPA Removes Buckeye Reclamation Landfill from Superfund List

EPA Superfund Program Twitter Image EPA Removes Buckeye Reclamation Landfill from Superfund List

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed the Buckeye Reclamation Landfill Superfund site in Belmont County, Ohio, from the National Priorities List (NPL). Cleanup is complete at the site, noted EPA.

“EPA is making good on its commitment to pick up the pace of Superfund cleanups so the sites can be restored to productive use,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp in a statement. “Promoting redevelopment is part of EPA’s core mission and helps spur the local economy in communities near Superfund sites.”

Under the Trump administration, EPA’s Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfil and strengthen the agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. In 2018, EPA deleted all or part of 22 sites from the Superfund’s NPL, the largest number of deletions in a single year since 2005 and a significant increase over the past few years.

Deep underground coal mining occurred near the site until the early 1950s, and a landfill operated onsite from 1971 to 1991. The landfill was used for the disposal of industrial waste including sludge and liquids as well as municipal waste. The cleanup involved installing a solid cap over the landfill and building a wetland to treat the liquid that drains from the landfill.

EPA proposed the deletion on July 31 and held a 30-day comment period. The agency did not receive any comments, and the final rule to delete the site can be found in docket EPA-HQ-SFUND-1983-0002, accessed via regulations.gov.

The NPL is a roster of the nation’s most contaminated sites that threaten human health or the environment. The sites on the list are eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program. EPA removes sites from the list once all the remedies are successfully implemented and no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment.

Need to Know

Kroger to Standardize Date Labels to Reduce Food Waste

Kroger to Standardize Date Labels to Reduce Food Waste

The Kroger Co. announced its plan to standardize date labels for “Our Brands” food products, providing simpler, easier-to-understand product quality and safety information as part of its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact commitment.

"Kroger recognizes food waste often takes place in our customers' kitchens simply because product date labels can be confusing, resulting in safe-to-eat food regularly being tossed out," said Howard Popoola, Kroger's vice president of corporate food technology and regulatory compliance, in a statement. "As Kroger works to reduce food waste throughout our business and our communities, we are standardizing and simplifying ‘Our Brands’ products' date labels, providing clearer guidance to our customers."

Paradoxically, one in nine Americans struggles with hunger every day, while 40 percent of the food produced in the country goes uneaten, which includes the food waste created in shoppers' households. And according to Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED) research, 20 percent of avoidable food waste is estimated to be discarded every year because of consumer date labeling confusion.

"Standardized date labeling is one of the most cost-effective solutions to reduce food waste and provide more resources to food banks across the country," said Chris Cochran, ReFED executive director, in a statement. "We applaud Kroger's continued leadership on food waste reduction through its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan, and ReFED is proud to partner with America's largest grocer to help the retailer achieve its bold, commendable goal by 2025."

Earlier this year, Kroger began to transition Our Brands food products to feature one of the following date labels:

  • "Use By" is used to represent food safety. If a customer reads use by followed by a date, it indicates the deadline for when it is no longer safe to eat.
  • "Best if Used By" is used to represent food quality. If a customer reads best if used by followed by a date, it indicates the deadline for guaranteed freshness but does not affect the product's safety.

The simplified labels will apply to multiple product categories, including dairy, deli, bakery and fresh and frozen grocery.

"Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste vision was designed to use our scale for good to create positive change in every community where we operate. By implementing a standard and simplified new date labeling approach, Kroger and our customers can play an instrumental role in preventing tons of food waste from arriving at landfills, resulting in a healthier, stronger planet and communities free of hunger and waste," said Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs and chief social impact officer, in a statement. "Kroger is always searching for meaningful ways we can reduce food waste and make it easier for our customers to be Zero Heroes, joining us on our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey because we cannot do it alone."

Kroger will complete its Our Brands date label transition in 2020.

Republic Services Expands Natural Gas Fleet

Republic Services Twitter Image Republic Services Expands Natural Gas Fleet

Republic Services announced the continued expansion of its natural gas-powered fleet as it makes progress toward its greenhouse gas reduction goals. The company will operate an additional 156 compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered solid waste collection trucks serving customers throughout the country by the end of 2019, bringing the total number of vehicles running on alternative fuels to more than 3,100.

With one of the largest vocational fleets in the country, Republic's CNG fleet saves roughly 26 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. The new CNG-powered trucks replace older, diesel-powered vehicles and help decrease air emissions and reduce unwanted noise. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, each new CNG truck deployed is equivalent to planting 600 mature trees each year.

"The Republic Services team cares deeply about protecting the environment today and for generations to come," said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability, in a statement. "With an expanding fleet comprised of vehicles that produce significantly less greenhouse gas emissions, we're making a difference throughout the communities we serve."

In July, Republic unveiled ambitious, long-term sustainability goals, which include a climate change target designed to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030. This emissions reduction target is approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.