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29th August 2011

Los Angeles highlights the difficulties with recycling

Los Angeles’ Bureau of Sanitisation have laid out some of the problems such a vast and busy city faces in managing their recycling programme. While the city has proven to be very pro-active at recycling, with 65% of its total waste being diverted from landfill, bosses have revealed the problems modern packaging is presenting when trying to increase this number.

The problem is centred on different materials companies are using for their packaging, meaning often many things cannot be recycled. Furthermore, with each new combination of materials being used, sanitation bosses sometimes don’t even know if a particular packaging can be recycled.

L.A Bureau of Sanitisation Director Enrique Zaldivar told The Los Angeles Times that at least twice a month the city discover new products using new packaging materials which they don’t know what they are made of. He also reveals that the whole sanitation department only has one person who identifies new materials and work out if they can be recycled.

One of the most common item identified as not being able to be recycled is toothpaste tubes due to the mixed materials used in the packaging.

L.A bosses are proposing a uniform certification on products which will mark on packaging the items which consumers can place in their blue recycle bins once finished to prevent confusion and increase the number of items being recycled.

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