Recycling

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December 8, 2020

Clean Earth surpasses aerosol can recycling milestone

Clean Earth, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, announced Nov. 12 that it expects its Clean Earth Aerosol Recycling System to process 13 million aerosol cans by the end of 2020. According to the company, this would be an 85 percent increase from the company’s 2015 aerosol can recycling volumes. Specializing in aerosol recycling for pressurized steel cans, aluminum cans, plastics and glass, Clean Earth says it has already surpassed its record recycling volumes from 2017.

The company says this increase in volumes is a result of Clean Earth’s history of aerosol recycling Final Rule compliance, health and safety initiatives and the company’s specialized recycling system technology. Clean Earth commits to ensuring that 100 percent of each can goes through the recycling process, helping divert material from landfill and reduce customers’ carbon footprint.

Clean Earth boasts 19 transfer, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs) for processing of aerosol cans. Clean Earth’s largest processing site is a hazardous waste facility in Morgantown, West Virginia, that processes aerosol cans received from across the country. Clean Earth’s network is projected to expand with additional recycling processing units by 2022.

“It’s exciting to have bypassed one of our core company goals this year for the Aerosol Recycling System, which was the processing of 11.4 million aerosol cans,” Clean Earth Vice President of Operations Hector Sanchez says. “Our mission for Clean Earth’s aerosol services directly align with our goals for sustainability—to ultimately go green as a company and for zero components to end up in a landfill. We’re committed to providing a 100 percent sustainable solution for aerosol waste for our customers and remaining a cutting-edge vendor with market-leading technology features.”

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EPA aims to boost recycling rate to 50 percent by 2030

During the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) America Recycles Summit Nov. 17, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler discussed the draft of the National Recycling Strategy and unveiled a national recycling goal that aims to increase the U.S. recycling rate to 50 percent by 2030.

“This ambitious national recycling goal will help guide investments and commitments from across the recycling system,” Wheeler said.

EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management Assistant Administrator Peter Wright added that the U.S. recycling rate “has lingered in the low 30 percent range for the last 20 years.”

“The economic and environmental benefits from recycling are clear, and we’ve made a lot of progress, but much more needs to be done to obtain the benefits of increasing the national recycling rate to 50 percent by 2030,” Wright said. “We appreciate every organization that has submitted comments over the last three years and every organization that has issued a public commitment to continue to help us reach the national goal.”

According to a news release summarizing this year’s America Recycles Summit, the event’s participants also discussed the National Recycling Strategy draft. EPA says that strategy identifies targeted objectives to create a stronger, more resilient and cost-effective U.S. recycling system.

At the Summit, Wheeler encouraged the public to comment on how the EPA can measure progress and actions needed to achieve the three objectives in the draft National Recycling Strategy, which include:

  • reduce contamination in recycling;
  • make recycling processing systems more efficient; and
  • strengthen economic markets for recycled materials.

EPA says the draft National Recycling Strategy remains open for public comment through Dec. 4. When finalized, EPA adds, this strategy will serve as a road map to achieve its new national recycling goal.

Recycling industry associations such as the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, have expressed support for the EPA’s new recycling goal.

“We commend the EPA administrator for his vision of a new goal to achieve a 50 percent residential recycling rate by 2030,” says ISRI President Robin Wiener. “ISRI is grateful to Administrator Wheeler and the entire EPA team for their personal dedication to enhancing recycling as well as their vision to create a National Recycling Strategy."