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Recycling News

Analysis of State Recycling Definitions: Environmental Research & Educational Foundation Report

December 30, 2019

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) identified and analyzed recycling definitions used by state agencies in an effort to document the various ways recycling may be defined. Definitions for “recycle”, “recycling”, and/or similar terms such as recyclables were identified through a search of state codes. Definitions were identified for 49 of 50 states. A definition was not found for North Dakota. Definitions were analyzed based on various components, including: What activities are considered to be part of recycling (e.g. collection, sorting, separating, processing, etc.),What are the end product(s) of recycling (e.g. raw material, product, commodity, substitute for commercial product),  the end uses considered as recycling (e.g. reuse, remanufacturing, composting, waste-to-energy), Are any special wastes specifically included in the definition (e.g. waste oil, household hazardous), andWhether recycling occurs to waste materials, or materials prior to becoming waste. State definitions of recycling were found vary widely, and based on EREF’s analysis there are at least 18 distinct ways that recycling is defined throughout the U.S. Activities…
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Environmental News

What are PFAS?

December 10, 2019

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a complex group of over 3,000 man-made fluorinated organic chemicals that have been used worldwide since the 1940s in industry and consumer products such as non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, cosmetics, firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. The most studied PFAS are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). PFOA and PFOS have been phased out of production and use in the United States but may still be manufactured and used in other countries. During production and use, PFAS can migrate into the soil, water, and air. Most PFAS (including PFOA and PFOS) are resistant to degradation, so they do not breakdown in the environment. As a result of their widespread use and persistence, PFAS are present at low concentrations in the environment and many food products. Additionally, PFAS are found in the blood of humans and animals throughout the world. Potential Adverse Health Affects Studies indicate that PFOA and…
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