January 23, 2024

Local vs. National Recycling: Navigating the Best Solutions for Your Business

Imagine this scenario: you’ve recently moved to a new city and just purchased a soda from a local store. After enjoying the drink, you’re left with an empty bottle, and the question arises - can I recycle this? The answer, as it turns out, depends on where you are geographically. This very question and its answer underscore the significance of the work we do at CIRT and the information we gather.

 But why is it necessary to address this question in the first place? The answer lies in the fact that the United States does not have national recycling rules. There is no one ‘right way’ to recycle, no one set of rules that applies to every situation and area. 

Consider, hypothetically, the implementation of national recycling rules. Just like every substantial issue, there are positives and negatives associated with such legislation. A notable benefit that would come from national recycling rules would be less recycling contamination. Uniform rules that every state, city, and county would have to follow, would provide clarity on what is recyclable, leading to a decrease in the improper disposal of items in recycling facilities. This would make recycling more time efficient and cost effective because recycling facility workers would not have to spend as much time and money trying to reverse the damage of unwanted materials in their machines. However, a potential drawback to national recycling regulations is the likelihood of a limited list of materials. Many facilities across the country are not equipped to handle certain types of materials, resulting in a concise list of recyclable items. Because of this, a significant portion of recyclable materials would still end up in landfills, making a unified list less effective.

While certain states have recycling laws that mandate a specific list of recyclable materials, local governments may have additional regulations. An example of this situation is California, where residents adhere to statewide recycling rules including the recycling of materials like aluminum and glass. The complication is that certain counties or cities may impose further requirements. Because of these complex rules, there is some confusion on what can be recycled and where. CIRT is equipped with comprehensive data on recycling provided by states and local governments, providing accurate information on recycling regulations at both levels. There are pros and cons to statewide legislation. One of the pros is ensuring the recycling of specific materials due to the simplicity of a statewide approach. However, it also presents challenges, as having two distinct lists of acceptable materials can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the difference in statewide and local recycling rules. 

Local governments may further complicate matters by employing multiple curbside recycling providers, with different haulers servicing different neighborhoods. This can make recycling materials confusing for locals, but CIRT simplifies this with data that combines each of these collected materials into a concise list that is applicable for all local neighborhoods. 

With up-to-date detailed data, CIRT can help your company navigate these complicated questions and provide a solution that makes understanding and using this data simple. With data on all regulated states of the United States, CIRT provides a wide variety of SaaS solutions to fit your company's needs. From national, to statewide, to local recycling regulations, CIRT has it all. Now the question is: how will you use this data to make your business more sustainable? 

For comprehensive insights into responsible recycling practices and information on CIRT, visit: https://www.cirt.tech