Recycling is not a “Con”

posted by Director Claire Galkowski

I usually have great respect for the NYT, but sometimes they just get it WRONG, like in today’s opinion piece “The Great Recycling Con” , and do real harm (i.e. yogurt containers and other #5 plastic ARE recycled!) .

My colleague Waneta Trabert, Newton’s Solid Waste manager put it very well:

“…Many of us would agree with the overall premise of this piece. Unsurprisingly, there are some missing or twisted facts, outright incorrect information and spots where nuance is overlooked or butchered.

This was a huge missed opportunity to reflect on the role of government vs. individuals vs. producers within end-of-life management systems, package labeling (they even showed the Sustainable Packaging Coalition label lumped in with the plain old chasing arrows…arghhh!), and how the recycling process actually works. And worst of all, they ironically called out industry as the source of the problem, yet completely missed the opportunity to offer Producer Responsibility as a policy solution!!!!

… Reading the comments also made it painfully obvious how little people still know about the recycling process/industry/business model.

…We need to mount a marketing campaign for the recycling industry that counters these confusing messages from mainstream sources. There is so much good that still happens in our industry despite recent challenges, but it is poorly communicated.

Respectfully, Waneta”

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