Dear Seattle, The Garbage Strike Is Good News And An Excellent Time To Start Jubbling.

Waste Management strike in SeattleJubbling is the only team I’m rooting for during the Waste Management garbage strike in Seattle. Those affected by the strike, please think about what you purchase and what you throw out and get to know your local transfer station (dump). It’s an easy work around and being forced to cut back on your garbage in these conditions will help you reduce what you throw out in the future. Maybe after the strike, Seattle’s residents will be ready for the same bi-weekly that Portland has

So citizens of Seattle, please look at the bright side because this is your chance to consume less and reduce what you throw out. It’s less about a garbage strike and more about some good Jubbling.

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Bi-Weekly Garbage Pickup May Be The Key To Reduce Waste And Drive Up Recycling Rates

Waste Management in Portland.Great article in the NY Times, “Cities Get So Close to Recycling Ideal, They Can Smell It,” about the success of waste handling programs in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. What stood out most was the City of Portland’s switch to bi-weekly garbage pickups and how it has increased recycling rates. Yes, more people are putting their garbage in the recycle bin because they produce trash beyond the twice-a-month pickup. But overall, 44% less waste is being deposited in the landfill thanks to the program.

Sanford and Son Salvage TruckThe bi-weekly trash pickup is a simple solution that’ll definitely motivate people to recycle more. We tried to get that type of garbage service where we live and it’s just not available. So now, about once a month, I load up my car with one 32 gallon trash can and head to the dump. It’s my stinky, flying-bug infested, Sanford & Son’ish monthly date with the dump that is propelled by cheap and guided by Jubbling. [NY Times]

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Jubbling Case Study: Open Letter To Waste Management – Title Sponsor Of The 2011 Phoenix Open

Phoenix Open Golf Tournament TPC ScottsdaleEarth911.com posted an article about Waste Management’s efforts to “green up” this years Phoenix Open Golf Tournament. Last year, Waste Managements first as the title sponsor, they were able to encourage and reclaim 62% of the waste that was created during the week long event. And this year, they’re going even bigger by including BigBelly solar powered trash compactors, using kitchen collected greywater for use in the bathrooms etc. They’ll even have Recycling Ambassadors around the course to answer spectator questions about what is or isn’t recyclable – the one gig I wouldn’t want at this golf tournament.

Hooray for Waste Management and the 2011 Phoenix Open! What a great way to showcase your expanding waste disposal offerings.

But as Jubbling goes, I started thinking about this and wondered if I could help. Thinking out loud: “Last years Phoenix Open… 62% of the waste created was reclaimed… this year, you already have BigBelly solar powered trash compactors… I hope that thing floating in the toilet came from the kitchen and was not deposited by me.” And then it hit me – yes, I can help. Please accept this letter and be aware that I expect nothing in return. [Read more…]

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PepsiCo Dream Machine Recycling Kiosks

PepsiCo Dream MachineFrom the Wall Street Journal article PepsiCo Plans Recycling Initiative.

From one beverage to another – PepsiCo, partnering with Waste Management, is planning on installing 3000 recycling kiosks around the country to encourage consumers to recycle more cans and PET plastic bottles. PepsiCo is calling them “Dream Machines” and they are rewarding recyclers through a points system that can be applied toward movie tickets, travel or as discounts for Pepsi products. Currently in the US, only 34% of aluminum and 25% of the PET plastic bottles are being recycled and PepsiCo hopes to increase that number with their Dream Machines. The machines can hold 300 cans/plastic bottles and when they are full, an alert is sent to a Waste Management employee responsible for emptying the machine. Crushing does not occur at the machine because in product tests, consumers were put off by the noise. Here is how they work [WSJ]:

The machine itself is like a vending machine in reverse. A video screen plays advertising and informational videos, which are updated wirelessly and tailored to each site. A consumer first touches the screen and follows instructions, either to swipe a key fob to track rewards points or to defer registration for later, if at all.

PepsiCo Dream Machine Nightmare

A PepsiCo Dream Machine Nightmare

As much as Jubbling wants these great ideas to be the solution, they almost seem to be more of the problem. We felt the same way about ecoATM. It seems like companies are throwing grenades at a problem when they probably only need bb’s. PepsiCo’s Dream Machines are things of beauty and obviously a lot of thought was put into making them work but their limitations – only holding 300 cans or plastic bottles – and the cost of raw materials to build alone seems to outweigh their usefulness.

Alternatives? I keep imagining a person in a cardboard box paying you a compliment every time you recycle a can or PET bottle but that’s not going to be enough. I think the best method to increase recycling rates is for PepsiCo, Coke and the American Bottlers Association to support Bottle Bills in every state. Oregon was one of the first states to pass a Bottle bill and it passed in 1971 despite opposition from bottlers and beverage container manufacturers. It was expanded to cover water bottles in January 2009. With their Bottle bill in place, every beverage container leaving an Oregon grocery store or vending machine has a fee added to it that covers the refund and processing costs of recycled beverage containers. According to Wikipedia, recycle rates in states with Bottle bills is around 90% vs 34% in states without, and the collection sites are already in place – grocery stores.

I hope PepsiCo proves me wrong with their new Dream Machine kiosks. It’s just a feeling that companies like PepsiCo should look at the problem and find their next solution as if they had no resources; try to be truly grassroots. Maybe they’ll discover that the incentive to recycle occurs when you buy your soda and at the very least, maybe they’ll realize that another kiosk is not the solution and they’ll start supporting Bottle bills.

Useful links:
Bottle Bill Resource Guide
Container Recycling Institute
Keep America Beautiful

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