Recycling News for Feb. 16 2009 – Good and Bad

February 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment

A recycling program as well as a conscientious effort to recycle less traditional items is at the center of most folk’s minds who manage or own buildings of any size not just around the home.

So it is interesting and little disheartening to hear that recycling is taking a hit in these hard economic times.  In an article on ( shares how Waste Management’s profits from recycling have gone down as a result of the times.  This is of course because in part that the market for the recycled material is depressed as well.  A large part of that market, recycled paper is affected simply because of a lack of need for packaging material.  If we aren’t buying there is no or at least less need to package new items.  This is worrying because if a significant number of the companies in this market either pull back or go under a great deal of capacity will disappear and have to be rebuilt when times start to get better, setting back the gains already made.

One of the most difficult task a facility manager faces is what to do with old furniture.  Often it is simply hauled to the dump as that is the most economical alternative.  Well Steelcase has a new program where it will help get that used and still usable furniture into the hands of non-profits who need it.  The story on Environmental leader ( states that this program is in partnership with the Institutional Recycling Network (

Excerpt: “The furniture can be recycled, sold, or donated, to another organization, which minimizes the amount sent to landfill. When Notre Dame moved its Law School in January, the university donated 1600 pieces of furniture to Food for the Poor, a  charitable organization in Jamaica and Haiti. While it cost $14,000 to have IRN recycle it, it would have cost $20,000 to send it to landfill.

Lastly today we have the story of Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair having achieved cradle to cradle status. The story on Geenopolis ( is very complete. This certification really means that the item is designed in such a way to make it easily recycleable as well as durable in the first place.

Excerpt: “After three years of work, the Aeron has achieved C2C Silver certification from McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, adding to Herman Miller’s roster of C2C products and pushing it further down the path to eventually selling only products designed with the environment in mind.

“We’ve gone back over the last year and a half to re-engineer the arm pads as well as re-engineer a number of other components,” said Scott Charon, program manager for Herman Miller’s Design for the Environment team.

The details on the certification and process can be found here: (

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Entry filed under: Recycling. Tags: , .

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