In an unprecedented collaboration to solve the U.S. recycling crisis, seven leading bin manufacturers of North America, including BearSaver, Bigbelly Smart Waste and Recycling Systems, CleanRiver Recycling Solutions, EZ Dump Commercial, Landmark Studio & Design, Max-R, and Securr are joining forces with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Recycle Across AmericaⓇ (RAA) to offer the standardized recycling labels on their recycling, compost and trash bins to make it easy for the public to recycle properly throughout society. These bin companies are joining this national nonprofit solution to help eliminate the public’s confusion at the bin, which has been the primary cause of the contaminated recycling and has been China’s reason to ban the purchase of U.S. recyclables.
China has historically purchased more than 30% of U.S. recyclables. However, in January of this year, they enacted the China National Sword Policy, banning the purchase of the majority of U.S. recyclables due to the high levels of garbage mixed in with the recyclables (also known as contamination). As a result of the ban, China now purchases less than 3% of U.S. recyclables. China’s reaction to the contaminated recycling from the U.S. has led to a collapse in recycling markets, causing much of U.S. recyclables to be sent to landfills.
RAA’s society-wide standardized labels for recycling bins solve the public confusion and subsequent contamination issue. To date, there are nearly nine million standardized labels displayed on recycling bins throughout the U.S., which often prove to double and triple recycling levels and significantly reduce or eliminate contamination. In turn, the standardized labels help reduce the cost of processing the recyclables and allow manufacturers in many industries to have access to high quality recycled commodities at competitive prices, thereby preventing the depletion of finite natural resources.
“There has been an environmental bottleneck as a result of public confusion, apathy, and skepticism with recycling, due to hundreds of thousands of inconsistent labels on bins throughout society. Since recycling is considered to be the cornerstone of the environmental movement, its chronic dysfunction has stagnated progress. This a historic moment to have these leading bin manufacturers come together to promote and offer the standardized label solution to help recycling thrive. They understand the societal, environmental and industry benefits that come when the public can instantly know how to recycle right, wherever they might be,” said Mitch Hedlund, Founder of Recycle Across America.
Hedlund continues, “The recent NY Times article ‘The Conflict of Interest that is Killing Recycling’ helps explain some of the deep-rooted issues that have been intentionally hindering progress with recycling. That’s why having these great bin manufacturers and other leaders of industries step up to fix the public’s confusion at the bin with the standardized label solution is so critical at this time.”