While single-stream recycling is more convenient for consumers and results in lower costs than other collection systems, it also results in more contamination of collected materials, lower material quality, and increased waste. Using data from industry reports and interviews with recyclers, this report that highlights the economic and environmental impacts of switching to a single-stream system.
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While the recycling's impact on jobs has been the subject of several studies in recent years, Returning to Work is the first report to take into account the vital importance of material quality, throughput quantities, processing dynamics and end-user needs to analyze the net gains in domestic jobs when beverage containers are recovered through recycling.
As a waste management consultant, rarely do I come across another consultant’s report that not only delights and excites, but compels me to promote, disseminate, and speak-out about its findings. Such was the case several months ago when Dr. Jeffery Morris of Sound Resource Management, based in the State of Washington, responded to my request for information on quantifying the benefits of using finished compost.