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This Week in Waste: Top Stories from November 15-19

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The concept of a circular economy continues to make waves this week. The EPA released its much-anticipated National Recycling Strategy this week as country celebrated America Recycles Day. Here are the top stories for the week of November 15-19.

1. FreeCycle Network Fuels Gifting Economy

“When we got our first local press, we flipped from 30 members to over 1,000 overnight. Over the next couple of weeks, we bumped to 5,000 members, then kept growing as papers elsewhere picked up on what we were doing, and people asked if they could set up groups in their communities,” recalls Freecycle.org Founder and Executive Director Deron Beal.

What’s known as The Freecycle Network kept snowballing as it made national headlines, and today about 9.5 million members worldwide belong to one of over 5,000 local groups. Collectively they post thousands of items daily, diverting from landfill over 1,000 tons a day of materials that are put to use.

Read the entire story here.


2. Vinnie Bevivino Grows Food Waste Recycling Infrastructure With Purpose and Direction

In this Q&A the Waste360 40 Under 40 recipient tells of this work and some of his stops in between, including startup of a compost operation; how despite that he could only keep it going for a few years, it was a launching pad to as great, but bigger things, in the food waste and recycling space. He talks about where food waste recycling infrastructure is now and how he’s working to take it further.

Read the entire story here.


3. EPA Shows How American will Recycle with National Recycling Strategy

"We need a transformative vision for our waste management system – one that is inclusive, more equitable, and reflects the urgency of the climate crisis," writes Michael S. Regan administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the agency's National Recycling Strategy.

The document was released on November 15 on America Recycles Day following months of anticipation about how the Biden administration plans to bolster the nation's municipal solid waste (MSW) recycling system.

Read the entire story here.


4. Republic Services Driver Runs Light Causing Crash - Cell Phone Use and Punitive Damages

Even before the pandemic closed courthouses, litigation backlogs were on the rise. The objective then and now:  increase efficiency without sacrificing integrity. One can take heart from knowing that, within the hallowed tradition and formality of our legal system, a venerable mechanism exists for relatively speedy and just dispositions of lawsuits.

Read the entire story here.


5. Taming the Chaos of the Plastic Crisis

This year’s Waste360 Sustainability Talks featured a dynamic session on “Taming the Chaos of the Plastics Crisis,” which was presented by Dave Ford, co-founder, Ocean Plastics Leadership Network and Ian Rosenberger, founder & CEO, First Mile and Day Owl. In case you missed it, here are some key takeaways from the fascinating discussion — and then we think you’ll want to check out the full session for yourself.

Read the entire story here.

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