Of the 49 states that have recycling definitions, EREF identified 18 DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS! States use these when creating their waste reduction goals and measuring to see if they met their goals.
When you hear phrases like “think green” or “environmental stewardship,” recycling is likely one of the first things that comes to mind. With all of the pseudo-science and myths out there, you might be confused on how to recycle and even the definition of recycling.
Since 1995, the amount of commodity recyclables in the waste stream has fallen 10 points from 53% to 43%.
A recent EREF analysis examined the waste management policies set by state/local agencies, such as recycling and diversion goals. EREF found that states across the U.S. have recycling goals ranging from 10% – 50%.
If every item that was capable of being recycled actually was recycled, could these goals be achieved? This concept, applicable to diversion in general, is known as the theoretical maximum recovery.
Results found in a groundbreaking new report from the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), in collaboration with the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), indicate a needlestick injury rate at material recovery facilities (MRFs) of 2.7 per 100 workers. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2016 data, MRF injuries (including non-needlestick related) occur at a rate of 6 per 100 workers, suggesting 45 percent of MRF injuries could be attributed to needlesticks.