Single-Stream recycling

Study: Single-stream is more wasteful, expensive

Sorted recycling systems win out over single-stream recycling in a head-to-head competition when the municipal playing fields are even, according to a research report that tracked outcomes in United Kingdom markets over a four-year period.

WM looks to make unprofitable recycling customers profitable

In Waste Management Inc. parlance, it's called a business improvement plan and it involves taking a hard look at the profitability of each trash collection customer.

Customers that weren't meeting profit expectations were given price increases or they were allowed to walk away.

Now with the decrease in recycling commodity prices during the past year, as well as an increase in contamination within the different material streams, Waste Management is looking to do the same thing on the recycling side of the business.

With 'Single-Stream' Recycling, Convenience Comes At A Cost

Single stream

In many municipalities around the country, the days of sorting your recyclables for curbside pickup are long gone, replaced by a system called "single stream" recycling. But what happens after all those bits of plastic, paper, glass and metal get put in the bin?

Because it's often collected by the same workers who pick up the garbage, it's easy to wonder if the recyclables make their way to the dump, too. But single-stream recycling ends up at a place called a materials recovery facility.

Recycling in America In the bin

It is also hard to increase the quantity of recycled goods without compromising quality. Many cities now give residents bigger bins and demand less sorting, but the often-contaminated results are a costly headache for recycling companies. “We get soiled diapers and dead animals on the line,” complains James Devlin of ReCommunity, which operates 35 recycling facilities in 13 states. One recycling bin ended up holding a six-foot shark.

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