A new solar power system opened on top of the old Thatcher Street landfill in late June. Officials from the city claim the energy produced from the panels is equivalent to offsetting the carbon emissions of 12,000 cars annually. The report adds, the city officials estimate more than $300,000 in revenues generated from the project annually.
Smith’s skill sets include public policy advocacy for heavy industry, grassroots activation, trade association management and growth, public relations and a technical background in safety and environmental processes.
“The waste and recycling industry is profoundly important to the functioning of society, and the complexities and challenges faced by the industry are rarely appreciated,” Smith says. “I am proud to have been trusted with the management of the industry’s trade association, and I am ready to play a role in reenergizing staff, focusing on our mission and driving industry growth with the promotions of solutions-driven public policies.”
The appointment comes as the waste and recycling collection occupation ranks fifth in the nation for injuries,
“We were looking for a proven association leader, and we have found such a person in Darrell,” Ben Harvey, the NWRA board of trustees chair, says. “We are particularly pleased that he has worked previously in the waste industry, has a proven track record in association membership growth, is experienced in local community engagement, and that he possesses exceptional skills in strategic thinking and team building. We also recognized the value of his safety background.”
Smith comes to NWRA from the Industrial Minerals Association–North America, part of the mining industry, and has previously served as an industry advocate for the petroleum and chemical industries. Before entering public policy, he worked in several industries, including hazardous waste. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Citadel, a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of South Carolina and a doctoral degree from George Mason University in environmental conflict and public policy. He resides in Washington.
The military, police departments, gun stores and firearms and ammunition makers often deal with the problem of having unwanted or expired bullets on hand, according to David Spiegelman of Norwood, Massachusetts-based User-Friendly Recycling LLC.
Among the last things established recycling companies want to have on hand (or in any way commingled with other materials), however, is live ammunition.
The dilemma has spurred Spiegelman and researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) to build prototype devices designed to safely convert unspent bullets into recyclable metal powder and inactive gunpowder, which can be used for its chemical properties.
Spiegelman says he first encountered the problem when handling materials from a property foreclosure that included live ammunition. “I couldn’t find a resource to get rid of it; no one wanted to pick it up,” says Spiegelman, who adds that he ultimately was able to convince the reluctant local police department to accept the bullets.
Subsequently, Spiegelman found that police departments were among a larger constituency that had few or no avenues through which to dispose of or recycle live ammunition. He then turned to the CIE and its staff of researchers, including Chen-Lu Yang and Tobias Stapleton, each of whom holds a Ph.D. degree.
“We see it as a market opportunity,” says Stapleton of the prototype that the CIE eventually created. “The process developed renders the bullets inert and then separates them into components parts, including recyclable copper and [inert] gunpowder that can be used in the fertilizer market.”
The patented recycling system involves a tumbler that contains a chemical solution. Stapleton says they are striving to use a solution that is so mildly caustic that, after being used and after “a little bit of treatment,” it is suitable to be drained into the municipal sewer system.
The most recent prototype can handle 20 pounds of ammunition per cycle, but Stapleton and Spiegelman say they believe the process can be ramped up to a larger scale if the market is sufficient.
Spiegelman says the prospect list for the system includes firms that specialize in handling special and hazardous wastes; state or regional law enforcement consortiums, scrap recyclers and ammunition and firearms firms that can use the devices on-site.
Those interested in more information or a demonstration can contact Spiegelman at 781-269-5021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above, from left: PinnPack $2 million check presentation; ribbon-cutting at Del Norte Recycling Center.
The Ventura County, California, Public Works Agency’s (VCPWA) Integrated Waste Management Division (IWMD) commemorated the launch of two major recycling efforts at an event June 14, 2017, featuring a check presentation and ribbon-cutting ceremony at two Oxnard, California, recycling facilities. The new advances, administered through the Recycling Market Development Zone, which is managed in Ventura County by VCPWA IWMD, is designed to make it easier for residents and businesses to recycle both plastic bottles and residential/business carpeting.
A $2 million check presentation of a loan to local recycling business PinnPack Packaging was awarded to help streamline its processes and make it more affordable to use more than 3,000 additional tons of recycled PET (polyetylene terephthalate) plastic. The new initiative will help PinnPack retain 168 jobs.
A ribbon cutting event at Del Norte Recycling Center marked the return of whole carpet recycling to Ventura County. Residents and businesses are now able to recycle whole carpets, separate from garbage, for a lower fee than dumping garbage at the station. The event concluded with the inaugural tossing of the first whole carpet sample in a recycling bin.
Both initiatives are designed to make recycled products more desirable economically while creating jobs and economic activity throughout the county.
“These two initiatives not only demonstrate the economic, environmental and social value of investing in recycling,” says David Goldstein, VCPWA IWMD Recycling Market Development zone administrator. “They also illustrate how important it is to support local efforts that can ultimately have global consequences when we don’t have to outsource our recycling needs, such as reduction of greenhouse gases and stability of recycling markets.”
The event was attended by representatives from each of the various partners including CalRecycle, as well as a representative from the office of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, a representative from the office of state Senator Hannah Beth Jackson and Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez. On behalf of County Supervisor John Zaragoza and the Ventura County board of supervisors, Lourdes Solorzano delivered commendations to both PinnPack and Del Norte Recycling Center.
The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit based in Falls Church, Virginia, that applies corporate partner funding to improve curbside recycling systems in cities and town across the country, has announced that it will be working with Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) to improve recycling throughout the city through the “It’s All You” public service and educational campaign. The partnership begins this summer and will run through the fall.
According to The Recycling Partnership, the centerpiece of the campaign is an effort to educate residents about the curbside recycling program and the impact each of the city’s residents has on its success. A social media and citywide advertising and public service announcement (PSA) campaign, which will be deployed at more than 200 locations across the city, will depict residents engaged in everyday activities and remind audiences about the materials that are acceptable for recycling in their curbside carts. The goal of the campaign is to continue building Chicago’s recycling culture, increasing the quantity and quality of materials recycled.
The message of the campaign is simple, according to DSS Commissioner Charles L. Williams. “Each individual can have a tremendous impact on the success of the program by making recycling part of their everyday routine, just like brushing your teeth or getting your mail. When we recycle, our environment is protected and communities prosper, both healthwise and financially,” he says.
In addition to the PSAs, residents will receive an informational card in their mailboxes with information on recycling basics. The PSAs and informational card were designed to educate current recyclers, re-engage former recyclers and attract newcomers to the program by stressing the ease and importance of recycling in Chicago, the nonprofit says. The Recycling Partnership is providing resources and expertise intended to amplify the city’s marketing at no cost to city taxpayers thanks to funds secured through Coca-Cola and Target.
“The ‘It’s All You’ campaign is a great way to reach residents directly and highlight how easy it is to recycle properly,” says Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “Cities become stronger through community efforts like recycling,” she says. “We respect the city of Chicago for taking on this large issue that is affecting cities everywhere.”