30 November 2016:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and environmental developments from around the globe...
During their November 25 meeting, state, territorial and national environmental ministers of Australia agreed to "work cooperatively to support initiatives that lead to a 50 per cent reduction in food waste by 2030," and work collaboratively on a National Food Waste Strategy and a National Food Waste Summit in 2017.
The environmental ministers also agreed to support work by the Government of Victoria to "develop an industry led voluntary product stewardship arrangement to address the emerging risks posed by end-of-life photovoltaic systems entering the waste stream."
Other waste and recycling issues discussed at the November 25 meeting including banning microplastic beads, monitoring state level regulations concerning single-use plastic bags, and supporting the Australian Packaging Covenant in additional efforts to reduce packaging waste.
Download the complete, four-page environmental ministers agreed statement at
More than 23,000 Colombian residents turned in 113 tons of waste during Clean Colombia, a first-ever national event held earlier this month, according to an announcement last week by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
In Bogota alone, 3,082 residents turned in 4.4 tons of waste during a four-hour period. The waste items ranged from paper and packaging to mattresses, furniture and stoves.
The Ministry of Environment seeks to increase the current 17% national recycling rate to 25% by 2018. Considering the level of participation in Clean Colombia, ithe Ministry of Environment said it was encouraged that target would be met.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development announcement is posted at
Yesterday the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said that the used tire collecton effort that was part of the state's Mosquito Reduction Strategy concluded and that 1,166 tons of tires were collected at "public properties, including roadsides, public parks and abandoned sites."
The Illinois EPA said that some collected tires "are retreaded and reused, and others are recycled into a variety of products and uses; but most are shredded into a high-energy fuel supplement known as tire-derived fuel."
The tire collection effort launched in July, funded by a $2.50 fee applied to each new tire sold by retailers in the state.
The Illinois EPA announcement is posted at
Earlier this month, Benchmark Household Waste, a waste data project of the Dutch Ministry of Environment and Infrastructure, Royal Dutch NVRD, and Cyclus Management, released 2015 household waste data for the Netherlands. Among the findings, 2015 per capita waste generation decreased to 485 kilograms from 490 kilograms in 2014 while the amount of waste separated for recycling increased to 58% in 2015 from 55% in 2014. Household waste separation has steadily increased from 51% in 2011.
The amount of per capita household waste sent to incinerators in 2015 fell to 202 kilograms from 217 kilograms in 2014. The data includes more detailed composition of the 2015 household waste stream.
For the complete 2015 Dutch household waste data, go to
According to an estimate released last week by Zero Waste Scotland, the country generated 1.35 million tons of food and drink waste in 2013. The 2013 level will be used as a baseline for future food waste reduction efforts.
Households were the largest food waste generator at 600,000 tons, followed by food manufacturers at 540,000 tons, and the hospitality and retail sectors at 54,000 tons and 31,000 tons, respectively.
The Scottish Government hopes to cut food waste by a third by 2025.
In coordination with the Zero Waste Scotland announcement, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said that the government would "collaborate with organisations from all sections of the supply chain to develop options for policy interventions to meet our target."
For more information, go to
Earlier this month, Western Australia Environment Minister Albert Jacob announced the launch of the Community and Industry Engagement Program and said $690,000 is available to support organizations "which championed better waste behaviours and community awareness." The deadline to submit funding requests is December 8.
"The program will cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of a project or event, with the first round of grants focusing on projects and events that align with the 2016-17 business plan priorities in the Western Australian Waste Strategy: Creating the right environment," said Jacob.
Western Australia set goals to divert 65% of municipal solid waste, 70% of commercial and industrial waste, and 75% of construction and demolition waste from landfills by 2020.
The Government of Western Australia announcement is posted at
Every two years, the US Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which consists of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, and the National Restaurant Association, issues a report on "the current state of food waste" based on sector surveys. This year's report was prepared by Deloitte Consulting LLP and released earlier this month.
Among the data highlights, 94% of diverted food waste by manufacturers was repurposed as animal feed or for land applications, and th the top barrier to greater food waste recycling was "insufficient recycling options." Manufacturers also claimed that the greatest barrier to increased food donations was regulatory constraints.
Restaurants participating in the survey said 61% of diverted food waste from restaurants was recycled as bio-based materials and that the greatest barrier to food waste recycling was transportation constraints(44%). Transportation constraints and liability concerns also were cited as the leading reason (41%) that more food was not donated.
Download the 2016 Food Waste Reduction Alliance Report at
In February, Bruxelles Environnement, the environmental agency for the Brussels-Capital Region, launched a program to reduce prepared food waste in restaurants by encouraging diners to take home leftover or uneaten portions of their meals. The program, which is called Rest-O-Pack, includes take home box packaging featuring distinctive program graphics.
Last week, Bruxelles Environnement announced that since February the number of restaurants participating in the program has doubled and more are expected to join the program in 2017.
Restaurants and catering firms in the Brussels-Capital Region generate about 12,000 tons of food waste annually, according to Bruxelles Environnement. The region hopes to reduce food waste by 30% by 2020.
Earlier this month, Eco Entreprises Quebec (EEQ), the provincial packaging and printed paper compliance scheme, identified five sorting centers to participate in EEQ's Glass Innovation Plan. At a cost of $ 5.5 million, the five centers will install advanced glass sorting technology to improve recyclate quality so it can be used to make new containers.
The five centers are EBI Environnement Inc, Tricentris, La Regie intermunicipale de traitement des matieres residuelles de la Gaspesie, Recuperation Frontenac, and Centre de tri de Quebec. The new sorting technology will become operational in about a year.
Together, the five center process about 25% of the glass containers collected at curbside throughout the province. EEQ said it hopes that eventually 100% of glass containers collected at curbside will be recycled.
The EEQ announcement is posted at
Earlier this month, the Glass Recycling Coalition, an organziation of 30 container producers established with the assistance of the Glass Packaging Institute, launched a website. According to the coalition, the website will "provide a national clearinghouse for increasing recycled glass access, supply, and quality, while helping to solve existing bottlenecks for local communities."
The website will also provide "a forum for municipalities to participate in initiatives to keep glass recycling access available in recycling programs and encourage high-quality glass recovery into new products."
The URL of the Glass Recycling Coalition website is