CM: PCR Credit-Material Recovery Cost Transparency 

PCR Credit: Material Recovery Cost Transparency 

(1 Point, Reciprocal)

Credit Summary

The purpose of this credit is to provide transparency to the cost of recovering recycled and composted or digest materials. 

Impact Summary

Submittal Summary

To meet the requirements for this credit, documentation must be provided demonstrating that calculations have been made proving that average cost per ton, household, or capita of processing and transporting materials recovered from those areas meets the set criteria. 

Case Study and Benefits

Intent and Requirements

Intent

To provide transparency to the cost of recovering recycled and composted or digested materials.

Local Government and Industry Requirements

  • Calculate the average cost per ton or per Household or per capita of processing and transporting of materials recovered from residential and nonresidential customers by/through the Local Government Program or the contracted Company’s program
  • All materials collected through single or dual-stream recycling program, e.g.; Paper, Metal, Glass, Plastic and other materials
  • Yard/Green Waste
  • Food Waste
  • Cost of managing contamination/residuals
  • Demonstrate how costs are covered.

Potential Strategies:

  • Include program overhead and administrative costs in per ton/Household/capita calculations. These figures do not need to be reported separately, however.
  • Publicize results on the Local Government’s and Company’s website
  • Protect or mask proprietary information

Why We Care

Illuminating the costs associated with recycling can help rebuild the rampant stakeholder mistrust in the materials management system in the US. A Carton Council survey taken in 2019 found that 44% of respondents simply don’t believe their recyclables are being recycled, and 21% said that they were “unsure” where their recyclables end up. This rampant skepticism or confusion regarding the country’s current materials management system can lead to less adoption of recycling by the community at large, which only adds more materials ending up in a landfill that could have been meaningfully recycled. By presenting the public with the true cost of material recovery and processing. 

Sources: https://resource-recycling.com/plastics/2019/08/21/survey-americans-continue-to-recycle-despite-doubts/

How to Meet the Requirements

To meet this requirement, Local Governments and Industry leaders must calculate the average cost per ton or per Household or per capita of processing and transporting of materials recovered from residential and nonresidential customers by/through the Local Government Program or the contracted Company’s program. They will then provide a report of this data which proves they have met this portion of the standard. 

Required Documentation

Case Studies & In-Depth Information

Referenced Standards

Definitions

Food Waste

CalRecycle Definition: Refers to all surplus food scraps. The term has fallen out of favor with some composters, who prefer to view this material as a resource rather than as waste material. However, this term is interchangeable with food scraps.

CalRecycle ‘Food Scraps’ Definition: All excess food, including surplus, spoiled, or unsold food such as vegetables and culls (lower quality vegetables or trimmings such as onion peels or carrot tops), as well as plate scrapings. Food scraps also are commonly called food remnants, food residuals, or food waste.

Green Waste

SWANA Definition: Solid waste comprising grass clippings, shrub and tree cuttings and other organic wastes resulting from lawn care and gardening.

CalRecycle Definition: A term used to refer to urban landscape waste generally consisting of leaves, grass clippings, weeds, yard trimmings, wood waste, branches and stumps, home garden residues, and other miscellaneous organic materials.

WM Definition: All meat, bones, dairy & egg shells; bread, rice, beans & pasta; coffee grounds, filters, tea leaves & bags; food-soiled paper containers; fruits, vegetables & leftovers; paper towels, plates, napkins & cups; shredded paper contained in paper bags; waxed paper cartons (milk, ice cream, juice, etc.) Plus, Yard Trimmings, such as: branches & twigs; flowers, weeds & roots; leaves, grass & plant clippings; uncoated wood & chips.

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