preconsumer PVC include industrial Scraps from the manufacture of vinyl siding, blister
packs and floor tiling. EPA was unable to obtain estimates of post-industrial plastics
Currently, the prices of most recovered resins are not competitive with virgin resins;
thus, many communities are discouraged from including plastics in their collection programs.
Further, there are still many technical barriers to the efficient processing of recovered
plastics. For example, the various plastic resins are not mutually compatible, requiring that
they be separated during processing. The development of higher value end-markets for the
plastics that are currently being collected may off-set the costs of processing the recovered
plastic and encourage more communities to recover plastics from the waste stream, which, in
turn, will increase supply.
The glass found in municipal solid waste is primarily in the form of containers,
although glass is also found in durable goods such as furniture, appliances, and consumer
electronics. The chemical composition of glass varies with its use. For example, container
glass differs from glass used in automotive windshields. For this reason,' glass from one
product may not be. used easily in the manufacture of other products.
in 1990, approximately 22 percent of glass containers were recovered for recycling,
with a 20 percent recovery rate for all glass in municipal solid waste. By 1993, 25 percent
of all glass containers manufactured and sold in the U.S. were recycled. If refillables are
counted, the glass recycling rate increases to 33 percent.
The major. market for recovered container glass is the glass container manufacturing
industry: There are 75 container plants in the U.S., but they are not distributed uniformly,
across the country. They are not now using all of the container glass being recovered.
A potential alternative market for recovered container and other glass is the fiberglass
insulation manufacturing industry. EPA's 1989 building insulation products procurement
guideline included fiberglass insulation, but EPA did not recommend recovered materials
levels for this item. EPA now recommends recovered materials levels for fiberglass
insulation in order to foster use of recovered glass in this product. These recommended
levels can be found in the RMAN for the CPG, which was published in the notice section of
the FEDERAL REGISTER on the same date as the CPG.
4. Yard Trimmings
Roughly 47 million tons per year of yard debris (leave-s, lawn clippings, bush and tree
trimmings) and food scraps together comprise about 23 percent of municipal solid waste.
Yard materials alone comprise 16 percent of the municipal waste stream.