Recycling? Not Really. An Insight.


AAPN member Jim Chi works for e.dye Ltd. What does his company do? From their website, “e.dye® Waterless Color System™ offers an environmentally sustainable process for dyeing fabrics. Using the solution dyed polyester process, e.dye® requires no water to dye synthetics. By adding the color before the polymers are extruded, the color is inside the yarn, resulting in superior color performance”.

Jim is helping us organize our Portland, OR Regional Conference to be held on August 15. Portland is an epicenter of activewear and apparel activism. As a result, Jim has become a leading advocate for the environment, including recycling. He alerted me to the real problem by sending me the following article. I had no idea. Maybe you don’t either:

At least half of Philly’s recycling goes straight to an incinerator
Philadelphia Inquirer: January 25, 2019

Hunt Griffith walked along Sansom Street in West Philadelphia recently, just after city Streets Department workers had scooped up blue recycling buckets, dumped them into a truck, and roared away.

Griffith, 24, a postgraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, paused when he learned from a reporter that the truck was likely headed to an incinerator at a waste-to-energy plant.

“That’s definitely surprising,” Griffith said, considering that he and his roommates had carefully separated recyclables. “When you put out recycling, you expect it to be recycled.

The days when Philadelphia got paid for its recyclables have faded like the haze of burning trash. At least half of the items for recycling are now being incinerated because the price a contractor wanted to process them by separating paper, plastics, metals, and glass — as well as finding markets for them — became too high.

The other half is still going to a recycling facility for processing. But there, it’s likely at least a portion of the loads are contaminated — by food residue, water, or nonrecyclable items — and subsequently disposed of as waste. (Even grease on a pizza box is enough to deem the cardboard nonrecyclable.) Read More