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« Suppose the N&R is wrong | Main | She sends me there »

Jul 27, 2012


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That's your take? Amazing.

I realize we're only pretending to be journalists, but you could at least give it a try.

Ed Cone

For the second time this morning, I am forced to apologize for a lack of clarity in my blog posts.

A little fun-having aside, my post was intended to pose a real question -- are the concerns raised over the length of the new contract legitimate? If they are legit, do they outweigh the benefits of the deal?

My hope in posting this (and many things) is that readers with the time and interest will make informed efforts to answer the questions. Collaborative and iterative work is the goal.


You know perfectly fucking well that this freak show you call a blog will quickly devolve into ridiculous statements and their consequent refutation, rather than a dispassionate discussion of the details.

Get real.


Without having read any of the proposals, I would concur that a 10-year contract without an opportunity to adjust the expectations therein is a bad move. If the Rhino is correct in the amount of material that ReCommunity cannot recycle that Waste Management can, that is also an issue. That material is going to a landfill. If the City is determined to give the contract to ReCommunity, structure it for 5 years with specific performance measures that require them to increase their capacity to recycle more during that timeframe. It would be ridiculous if the COG is still handling its recycling the same 10 years down the road because of a thoughtless contract.

That being said, of course this new contract will be an improvement over what we have now, but it doesn't seem to be striving or pushing the envelope very much.


Hammer is slipping. He impugns Eric Townsend as a source for story in the N&R because Townsend previously reported something Hammer says "wasn't true," even though it was also reported by Jerry Bledsoe, in the Rhino Times.

Ed Cone

"...this new contract will be an improvement over what we have now, but it doesn't seem to be striving or pushing the envelope very much."

Anyone got examples of better recycling programs that GSO might pursue?


Ed - I would differentiate between the "contract" and the "program". It appears the City's primary interest in the contract has been to realize revenue, which is great. The "program" should really be a subset of a comprehensive waste management (I would prefer the term reduction) plan. Perhaps the Task Force has been working on it, but I just haven't been paying attention. Recycling rates have stagnated in the City for some time and I would like to see efforts to improve those rates and to look at what other places have done to improve those rates. Some localities have recycling laws on the books that encourage via "stick". Others are evaluating "incentive" programs - the city is trying out this Harris Teeter gift card idea and has looked at Recyclebank as well.

Personally, I would like to see the City improve ancillary programs related to hazardous waste, bulk (furniture, tvs, etc.) pick up as well.

Bill Yaner

"Anyone got examples of recycling programs that GSO might pursue?"

Indeed. It's a city called High Point, Ed. But to even offer that unpleasant suggestion to the citizens of Greensboro is like telling Germany that their good neighbor Poland has something to teach them about.....anything.

Greensboro-centrism is one of this city's biggest obstacles to finding a better way. And this blog reflects that bias as consistently as any other instrument of the media.

Ed Cone

I couldn't agree more, Bill, that this blog about Greensboro devotes far too much attention to Greensboro.

Any details on that HP program?


It's true HP isn't well represented here.

Do you have anyone else who can spell?


It's too bad about Nido.

Those Lebanese vampires are the worst.


I keep sending people to HP, but their GPS gets confused and instead of the Palladium, it's Sedgefield and they're never heard from again.


HP shouldn't take Jeremy Williams' loss personally. It's not their fault he ran away with a troupe of amateur clowns.


"HP shouldn't take Jeremy Williams' loss personally. It's not their fault he ran away with a troupe of amateur clowns." Freakenstein

Nor should they take the loss of the last place finisher Mr. Tony Wilkins personally, it's not their fault he jumped in bed with a bunch of far left liberal parasites.


Some additional thoughts on recycling improvements...

Getting to Zero
By Annie Leonard

Recycling has come a long way, but has a long way to go. Sorting our paper, cans and bottles has become second nature for good green-leaning citizens, and many communities have expanded curbside recycling programs to include food and other compostables. But nationwide, Americans only recycle about a third of the 250 million tons of municipal solid waste we produce every year.

That’s right: even though “recycling” has been a household word for decades now, two-thirds of our waste still goes to the dump or incinerator. Obviously we have to do better, but how much better can we do? Can we cut it to 50 percent? Twenty percent? How about aiming for zero?

Zero Waste might sound impossible to achieve, but many communities are well on their way. The New York Times reports that in the U.S., the Zero Waste movement is strongest on the West Coast. San Francisco keeps 78 percent of its waste from the dump, and is on track to hit 90 percent by 2020. Portland and Seattle are on the same path. In a new report, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) tells inspiring stories – OK, inspiring to a trash geek like me – of communities from Spain to Taiwan that have embraced the Zero Waste agenda.

GAIA defines Zero Waste as doing all we can to prevent waste in the first place, then ensuring that discarded materials are safely and sustainably returned to nature or manufacturing. To get there we have to look beyond recycling our paper, glass and cans. Take, for example, clothes.

Old clothes and other textiles are a big part of the waste stream. Each American throws away 68 pounds of clothing and textiles a year. In Recycling Reconsidered, Samantha MacBride says we throw away about the same amount of textiles as we do glass. But because glass gets a lot of attention and is picked up at the curb, we recycle about twice much glass as textiles.

We used to be excellent textile recyclers. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, nearly all textiles were recycled into cleaning rags, batting or to make paper. Now clothing that’s reached the end of its useable life usually ends up in the trash. Each of us can do our part – donating or reselling used clothes, for example – but to change the big picture we have to push the clothing manufacturers to step up.

I’m all for personal responsibility, but we can’t reach Zero Waste through individual action alone. To really close the loop on recycling Stuff, manufacturers need to design products to be more durable and more recyclable in the first place, and then support infrastructure for reuse and recycling for when we’re done with the Stuff.

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