An article from today's Star News highlights some of the issues inherent in municipal solid waste management. New Hanover County is currently negotiating a 10-year $71 million deal with a company called R3 Environmental Inc. to take over the county's waste management operations.
R3 is a relatively new company, and aspires to succeed in an area where numerous North Carolina operations have failed in the past: reducing landfill use, turning waste into bio-fuel energy and profiting from the sale of recycled raw material. The article highlights some past failures, noting in particular the technological difficulties in separating trash into usable and unusable components.
Here's another short article on the company and the NH County deal. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the proposal is that - despite the known difficulties of separating trash from usable material - R3's procedure will eliminate the need for curbside recycling. All the trash will be collected together and sorted by R3.
Cost and benefit considerations? Other thoughts on this?