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City Club of Eugene: The Recycling Crisis - Can We Fix It?

Recorded On: January 5, 2018

Air Date: January 8, 2017

Most of our recycled plastics and cardboard are shipped across the ocean to China to be processed. As of January 1, 2018, China stopped accepting many plastics and set much more stringent purity standards for cardboard. This has led Lane County to temporarily stop accepting plastic bags and film, milk cartons, aseptic soup/juice boxes, and most plastics except bottles, tubs, and jugs . Most curbside waste collectors are still accepting these items, but how long will this last? What is a conscientious recycler to do? City Club has brought together three experts to help sort out what options there are now and in the future.

Dan Hurley explains the situation as it exists now in Lane County and discusses what changes are on the horizon. Peter Raschio explains how Material Recycling Facilities (MRFs) operate, and discusses the future of sorting out the various items we put in our recycling bins. Carolyn Stein tells us how we can keep materials from going into the bin in the first place.

Speaker Biographies:

Dan Hurley has been with Lane County since 2005 and just completed his fourth year as Lane County Solid Waste Division Manager. He is a graduate of West Point and earned a Masters Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon. He is also the Chair of Belly-Full, a non-profit organization addressing childhood hunger in Springfield, Oregon.

Peter Raschio is marketing manager for Bulk Handling Systems, a world leader in the manufacture of recycling systems located right here in Eugene Oregon. He has been with them since 2012. Prior to that he was a marketing specialist for the U of O athletic department and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. He earned a BS in Business Administration and a MBA in Sports Marketing from the University of Oregon.

Carolyn Stein has been with Bring Recycling since 2008 and has been their Executive Director for over two years. She is a Sustainability Commissioner for the City of Eugene and has participated in roller derby and been a helicopter pilot.

Program Coordinator:  Jon Belcher

Copyright KLCC, 2018

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.