Sustainability101 Blog

Category : Recycling, Composting, Waste

EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recently incorporated Great Forest’s volume to weight (VTW) data into their updated industry standard for calculating waste and recycling weights from volume. These conversions can now be used across all industries to help standardize how waste and recycling is tracked. This is the first time an acceptable standard is available for calculating … Continue reading EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

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Client Spotlight:
Hotel Establishes Ongoing Partnership With Nonprofit To Avoid The Landfill

What do you do if you need to get rid of 100 gallons of furniture polish and clear out over 400 beds? While many businesses would simply pay to get the items hauled away, often to the landfill, the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco turned to a nonprofit it had worked with before. In September, we told … Continue reading Client Spotlight:
Hotel Establishes Ongoing Partnership With Nonprofit To Avoid The Landfill

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20 Tips To Get You Started For America Recycles Day On Nov. 15

America Recycles Day is November 15. It is the one day to remind yourself and everyone around you about the importance of recycling. NEED HELP? Here are 20 TIPS to get you started. Following this list of 20 tips will set you on the path to reducing waste and increasing recycling in the most efficient … Continue reading 20 Tips To Get You Started For America Recycles Day On Nov. 15

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VIDEO: Paper Shredding AND Recycling

When paper is shredded AND then recycled, you are not only handling your confidential/sensitive documents corrrectly, but you are also being environmentally friendly. You are reducing the demand for lumber, water and energy required to produce new paper. For secure and sustainable shredding, you should: Go local. Make sure the shredding facility is nearby so … Continue reading VIDEO: Paper Shredding AND Recycling

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What The Surprising Results From 3,550 Site Visits Reveal About Businesses And Recycling

Oct 2016 This blog post is from Great Forest sustainability research intern Kathleen Emerson, a recent graduate from Hunter College holding a B.A. in Environmental Studies: Policy and Management. She is a zero waste enthusiast who is actively mindful of reducing consumption and properly handling waste. She is passionate about sustainability and waste management and wants … Continue reading What The Surprising Results From 3,550 Site Visits Reveal About Businesses And Recycling

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Spotlight: Our New Standardized Labels Can Increase Recycling

Our new recycling stickers have arrived!  These new labels have been proven to increase recycling, and are part of what has been called the “#1 solution to fix recycling.” Great Forest is proud to be working with the nonprofit Recycle Across America to encourage the use of standardized recycling bin labels in order to make … Continue reading Spotlight: Our New Standardized Labels Can Increase Recycling

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Grants Available For Recycling in Delaware

Businesses, institutions and organizations in Delaware may be eligible to receive financial help to install or expand their recycling programs through the Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan Program. Grant applications are due March 3, 2015. Awards will be announced in April 2015, and projects must be completed by May 2016. Learn more and apply online.

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VIDEO: Recycling More vs. Recycling Right (Highlights From SXSW Panel)

This 3 min. video offers highlights of the panel discussion on “Recycling More vs. Recycling Right in America” at the 2014 SXSW Eco Conference on sustainability in Austin, Texas. The discussion was moderated by the National Waste & Recycling Association’s President and CEO Sharon H. Kneiss, and includes Brenda Pulley from Keep America Beautiful, and Phil Bresee from … Continue reading VIDEO: Recycling More vs. Recycling Right (Highlights From SXSW Panel)

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VIDEO: What to do with e-waste in New York (1 minute video)

Here’s a one-minute video that tells you what you can do with e-waste in New York, including the e-cycle NYC program that offers e-waste pick up from buildings, and info on over 90 retail locations in NYC where you can drop off e-waste, including Staples, Best Buy, Goodwill and the Salvation Army. In New York State, check … Continue reading VIDEO: What to do with e-waste in New York (1 minute video)

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Regulation Updates: E-Waste, Styrofoam, and more

Update: Sept. 22, 2015 – Judge strikes down NYC’s foam ban.  The city is exploring its options for reinstituting the ban, including an appeal. We will keep you updated.  New Year, New Rules Across The Country: Here are selected highlights of new and upcoming rules affecting clients across the country.  Check back for updates. 1) NY … Continue reading Regulation Updates: E-Waste, Styrofoam, and more

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How Is E-Waste Recycled? (VIDEO)

The United Nations Environment Program calls electronic waste the “fastest growing waste stream in the world.” In 2015, NYC joined a growing list of cities and states requiring the proper disposal and recycling of e-waste. A typical building generates close to one ton of e-waste every few months.  Many buildings (and homes) have tons of e-waste in … Continue reading How Is E-Waste Recycled? (VIDEO)

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How Big Is Your E-Waste “Secret”?

e-waste

  It is in your home, and in your office, lurking around in the deep dark recesses of your basement or closet – a collection of old electronics that have been stored away, taking up valuable space. Just how big is this “secret” e-waste stash that everyone has? We recently got a hint. To mark … Continue reading How Big Is Your E-Waste “Secret”?

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Top 10 Most Widely Recycled Items?

What are the most widely and easily recycled items? Keep America Beautiful has partnered with National Waste and Recycling Association, Solid Waste Association of North America and the U.S. EPA to develop a simple message designed to answer the question “What can I recycle?”  Click to see the “Top 10 in the Bin.”

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Making A Difference: Transforming An E-Waste Site Into A Model Recycling Center

While we work to help companies recycle e-waste responsibly in the U.S., our sister nonprofit Pure Earth is working to tackle the issue in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, the location of one of the world’s best-known e-waste dump sites. According to the EPA, about 2.37 million short tons of e-waste was discarded in the U.S. in 2009. It is … Continue reading Making A Difference: Transforming An E-Waste Site Into A Model Recycling Center

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Great Forest To Steer Stone Barns’ Composting/Recycling At Popular Fall Festival

Large events often leave behind mountains of waste that few organizers know how to handle. The logistics of recycling and composting at festivals can seem insurmountable, but this year, Stone Barns is meeting the challenge, and we will be there to make sure they succeed. Great Forest will be managing composting and recycling at Stone Barn’s annual Harvest Fest, … Continue reading Great Forest To Steer Stone Barns’ Composting/Recycling At Popular Fall Festival

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Changes to Recycling Regulations in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA

Washington, D.C.: Waste management modernization act summary New provisions are moving D.C. towards increasing composting and electronics recycling, and moving away from the use of styrofoam. Among the details: Waste: Penalties significantly increase, to a maximum fine of $25,000 or suspension or revocation of registration or license, for failure to annually report total tonnage of solid waste … Continue reading Changes to Recycling Regulations in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA

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Decoded – The Mystery of Those Recycling Codes at the Bottom of Plastic Containers

Our friend Russell Klein, with whom we worked closely during his many years as Washington D.C.’s only municipal recycling educator, and who was also responsible for directing (and co-founding) the Material Resource Sustainability Internship (MRSI), has written a great piece to clear all the confusion about plastics recycling, especially for anyone who has tried to use those … Continue reading Decoded – The Mystery of Those Recycling Codes at the Bottom of Plastic Containers

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Where Do Your Recylables Go? (Video)

So you’ve done your part and placed your glass, metal, and plastic recyclables into the correct recycling bin.  What happens next? These two videos shows what generally happens at an MRF – a Material Recovery Facility – where recyclables are taken and processed. Although there will be differences depending on which MRF your recyclables are transported to, the … Continue reading Where Do Your Recylables Go? (Video)

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Chefs or Diners – Who Holds The Key to Composting Success?

Last year, a large hospitality company – we will call them Company A – decided to start composting. They launched their program in the staff cafeteria but ran into problems right from the start. Only a small amount of compost was collected, and almost none was acceptable for composting because of cross contamination. The program was scrapped … Continue reading Chefs or Diners – Who Holds The Key to Composting Success?

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Recycling Warmth: Holiday Coat Drive

With the new year greeting us with a blast of extra cold weather, we were glad to have been able to help Twinbrook Partnership with a holiday coat drive in December for their community in Rockville, Maryland. Great Forest worked with Capital Asset Recovery, an R2 certified electronics recycling vendor, to provide 30 collection bins at 15 locations … Continue reading Recycling Warmth: Holiday Coat Drive

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Tis the Season to Compost?

This month, Environmental Leader featured timely advice from Great Forest experts about composting for businesses and organizations. With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us, the amount of food waste generated is expected increase dramatically. Since 30% of waste generated in the U.S. is made up of organic and food waste, composting may be one of the … Continue reading Tis the Season to Compost?

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The Link Between Selfishness, Happiness, and Being Green

At Great Forest, we are always interested in what motivates green behavior. So when we found out that our very own Kevin McNab completed his Masters thesis paper last year on the relationship between environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) and subjective well-being (SWB), we asked him to summarize his findings for us. His research, which included … Continue reading The Link Between Selfishness, Happiness, and Being Green

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NYC’s Food Waste Challenge Enters Next Phase – Data Collection

This month, Great Forest participated in a waste audit of ten restaurants that are part of NYC’s Food Waste Challenge to collect data that will give the city a better idea of how the program is making a difference as part of PlaNYC 2030. Great Forest has been advising the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and … Continue reading NYC’s Food Waste Challenge Enters Next Phase – Data Collection

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New Composting Facilities Expected in MD, MA, NJ

The nation’s composting infrastructure will increase by 2015 when a new facility opens in Maryland, with plans for more in Freeport, Massachusetts and Northern New Jersey. The Peninsula Compost Group announced last month that they are building a new commercial composting facility in Prince George County, Maryland. Located in an old gravel pit, it will … Continue reading New Composting Facilities Expected in MD, MA, NJ

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Best Recycling Videos: 30-Second Tip – What Type of Paper Can be Recycled?

Share these fun, 30-second animated videos with your staff and tenants to get your green messages across. Then let us know what other video tips you would like to see. Here is how to correct one of the most common recycling mistakes. VIDEO: Recycling Tip #11 – What type of paper can be recycled? Related:  30-Second Video Tip: … Continue reading Best Recycling Videos: 30-Second Tip – What Type of Paper Can be Recycled?

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Best Recycling Videos: 30-Second Tip – Flatten Cardboard

Share these fun, 30-second animated videos with your staff and tenants to get your green messages across. Then let us know what other video tips you would like to see. Here is how to correct one of the most common recycling mistakes. If you solve this easy-to-fix problem, you might be able to improve your recycling program! VIDEO: … Continue reading Best Recycling Videos: 30-Second Tip – Flatten Cardboard

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Vacuum Trash Tubes of the Future?

Instead of being transported on garbage trucks, your trash could very soon be shot through vacuum tubes. A new report documents the feasibility of installing pneumatic tubes in existing infrastructure in NYC–such as the High Line or the Second Avenue Subway–to transport waste Jetsons style. The report was produced by the University Transportation Research Center for the New … Continue reading Vacuum Trash Tubes of the Future?

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Waste and Recycling Rate Hikes in San Francisco – What You Can Do

Waste and recycling costs went up in San Francisco on July 1 due to rate hikes by Recology, the city’s hauler. For commercial clients, this includes a 5% increase in the base rate, among other adjustments. Businesses can expect to see significant increases in their bill. “The rate hike has disheartened many who have been … Continue reading Waste and Recycling Rate Hikes in San Francisco – What You Can Do

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How China’s Green Fence Is Affecting Your Waste and Recycling Costs

Originally published July 2013. 2017 Update: Some see “National Sword 2017,” which targets illegal smuggling of waste, as an extension of sorts of China’s earlier Green Fence, which stopped the flow of low quality recyclables at its border. Because China is the largest market for recyclables, these closer inspections of shipments of recyclables will continue to … Continue reading How China’s Green Fence Is Affecting Your Waste and Recycling Costs

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Composting Gets a Boost in the Mid-Atlantic

Siting composting facilities has been a real struggle in the Mid-Atlantic, but a new facility may turn the tables on years of inconsistent composting services in the region. Chesapeake Composting Works (CCW) began accepting material in October 2012 and is going strong less than a year later. CCW works with local haulers to recover pre- … Continue reading Composting Gets a Boost in the Mid-Atlantic

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Implementing a Centralized Recycling Collection System

This Great Forest case study was featured in Environmental Leader’s 2012 Insider Knowledge Report–Lessons Learned from Corporate Environmental, Sustainability and Energy Decision-Makers, pg 124. (download pdf, 2013 report). Great Forest works with corporate clients to divert as much as 50,000 tons of material from landfills daily. We find that in many cases, businesses can easily … Continue reading Implementing a Centralized Recycling Collection System

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Clearing Backlogs of E-waste – An Astonishing Amount Collected in Two Weeks

A typical building usually generates close to one ton of e-waste every few months. But an astonishing 18 tons of e-waste was collected from one building alone in the first two weeks of a new e-waste program. The building was one of over 70 facilities in the Mid-Atlantic region that had new e-waste recycling programs … Continue reading Clearing Backlogs of E-waste – An Astonishing Amount Collected in Two Weeks

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Earth Day 2013 Recap: Cleaning Up a Stream and More

What did you do for Earth Day? Great Forest held dozens of special Earth Day events across the country this year. We staged recycling games in the lobbies of office buildings and malls, created a “fine art” event with elaborately framed green tips, distributed bags of seed bombs that could be taken home and planted, … Continue reading Earth Day 2013 Recap: Cleaning Up a Stream and More

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Getting More Accurate Metrics with OTC Logs

In March, Great Forest introduced a more reliable volume to weight conversion ratio at the International Conference on Solid Waste to help office buildings calculate their waste metrics more effectively.  Now, Great Forest consultants in the D.C. region have rolled out a simple system that can add to that accuracy – Open Top Container Logs (OTCLs). Great Forest … Continue reading Getting More Accurate Metrics with OTC Logs

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Over 100 Restaurants Pledge to Reduce Food Waste by 50%

Le Bernardin, Momofuku, Chipotle and Juice Generation are among over 100 restaurants in NYC that have pledged to reduce by half the amount of food waste sent to landfills. Instead of throwing away food, the restaurants will implement strategies like composting and recycling. Great Forest provided assistance on the development of this Food Waste Challenge for the … Continue reading Over 100 Restaurants Pledge to Reduce Food Waste by 50%

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Did You Know… Big Retailers Focus on Waste?

Waste management is a top concern for big retailers, according to the second annual Retail Sustainability Report, released early March by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). Nearly all retail companies surveyed have recycling and waste management initiatives in place. The report states what Great Forest clients already know: that recycling at stores not only … Continue reading Did You Know… Big Retailers Focus on Waste?

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Recycle More by Sorting Less? Houston Wins $1 Million To Implement “One Bin For All” Idea

The city of Houston has won $1 million in the Mayors Challenge for their idea to create a new system that aims to recover 75% of all recyclables from waste by simplifying the process for residents. The system calls for the construction of a sophisticated plant capable of separating all recyclables into separate streams after pick-up. Residents no … Continue reading Recycle More by Sorting Less? Houston Wins $1 Million To Implement “One Bin For All” Idea

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Best Recycling Videos: Landfill Harmonic

An orchestra for kids with instruments made from trash? The landfill harmonic features young musicians from a Paraguayan slum who play Mozart on instruments constructed entirely from recycled materials pulled from the garbage dump their homes are built on. This is a great video to share about the potential of recycling. Moving and inspirational. 3 min. … Continue reading Best Recycling Videos: Landfill Harmonic

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2 Case Studies – Effective waste and recycling management can lower waste costs by as much as 50%

It is one of the industry’s best-kept secrets – effective waste and recycling management can dramatically lower waste costs by as much as 50%. David Troust, Great Forest’s director of sustainability for the Mid-Atlantic region, recently pulled together two case studies to illustrate this point. He presented the data to over 100 industry and local … Continue reading 2 Case Studies – Effective waste and recycling management can lower waste costs by as much as 50%

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Turning Waste Oil Into Liquid Gold

Across the country, municipalities are increasingly mandating the proper disposal of used cooking oil to prevent clogs and millions of dollars worth of damage to water and sewer systems. Waste oil can solidify and cling to pipes, limit water movement, cause unsanitary backups and damage expensive equipment. In some cities, the law requires businesses to recycle used … Continue reading Turning Waste Oil Into Liquid Gold

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Case Study: To Compost or Not to Compost – Two Scenarios

To compost or not to compost? That is the question many businesses are still asking. The answer depends on a number of factors that may affect you uniquely. So if you are considering composting, do the research and launch a trial. Here are two examples: Case 1: A large financial firm in Weehawken, NJ, with a three-building … Continue reading Case Study: To Compost or Not to Compost – Two Scenarios

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Processing Organics In The City – How One Hotel Did It

Environmental Leader’s 2011 Insider Knowledge Report featured insights from Great Forest on helping businesses deal with organics. The report shared lessons learned from corporate environmental, sustainability and energy decision-makers. Below is our mini case study (Read the entire report here). Dealing with organics in an urban area can be difficult especially in a city like New York, where … Continue reading Processing Organics In The City – How One Hotel Did It

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The Industry Secret To Cutting 20-50% Off Waste Removal Costs

It may be one of the industry’s best-kept secrets – waste brokers can help buildings find cash in trash simply by helping them tighten their waste contract bidding process. Often, the savings can be huge. The town of Yorktown, New York, saved $1 million when Great Forest first worked with them. This month, Great Forest … Continue reading The Industry Secret To Cutting 20-50% Off Waste Removal Costs

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Small Changes Produce Big Results with Composting

We are always thinking of ways to influence behavior and make it intuitive for people to fully utilize the sustainability programs that exist where they work. In many cases, small, low-cost changes can produce big results. Here is one example of how Great Forest implemented a few small but calculated changes that worked wonders to … Continue reading Small Changes Produce Big Results with Composting

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Taking Green Overseas – Brazil, London and Beyond

Enjoying successful sustainability programs at home, some multinational corporations are exporting their efforts to their offices overseas.  This year, Great Forest began working with a client’s Brazil location on their ISO 14001 program to better manage the environmental impact of operations at that office. “After we established programs in several of the company’s North American locations, … Continue reading Taking Green Overseas – Brazil, London and Beyond

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America Recycles Day: Paper Lake Makes Big Statement About Recycling

                  Hundreds of office workers at 575 Fifth Avenue were greeted with an unusual sight in the lobby of their building on November 15 – a paper “lake” constructed with over 164 bags of recyclables generated from the building.  Great Forest worked with Cushman & Wakefield to … Continue reading America Recycles Day: Paper Lake Makes Big Statement About Recycling

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