Difference between revisions of "Timeline of recycling"

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| 1884 || Glass || || An official recycling system for bottles with refundable deposits is established in Sweden.<ref name="Scrap Recycling – recognized as one of the world’s first green industries…"/> || {{w|Sweden}}  
 
| 1884 || Glass || || An official recycling system for bottles with refundable deposits is established in Sweden.<ref name="Scrap Recycling – recognized as one of the world’s first green industries…"/> || {{w|Sweden}}  
 
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| 1896 || || || "The first major recycling center was started by the Benedetto family in New York City, where they collected rags, newspaper, and trash with a pushcart" ||
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| 1896 || || || "The first major recycling center was started by the Benedetto family in New York City, where they collected rags, newspaper, and trash with a pushcart"<ref>{{cite book |title=Politics and Public Policy |edition=Barbara Wejnert |url=https://books.google.com.ar/books?id=5KFOn4Z0ZGYC&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=%22The+first+major+recycling+center+was+started+by+the+Benedetto+family+in+New+York+City,+where+they+collected+rags,+newspaper,+and+trash+with+a+pushcart%22&source=bl&ots=LeToeCxiNB&sig=ACfU3U3NBiKOwGMaVD7Excr7vhBraIZLWQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjBo_WZ59HnAhUIG7kGHX3FA_YQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22The%20first%20major%20recycling%20center%20was%20started%20by%20the%20Benedetto%20family%20in%20New%20York%20City%2C%20where%20they%20collected%20rags%2C%20newspaper%2C%20and%20trash%20with%20a%20pushcart%22&f=false}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 1897 || || Facility || A materials recovery facility is buit in {{w|New York City}}, where trash is sorted at “picking yards” and separated into various grades of paper, metals, and carpet. Burlap bags, twine, rubber and even horse hair are also sorted for recycling and reuse.<ref name="A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 1897 || || Facility || A materials recovery facility is buit in {{w|New York City}}, where trash is sorted at “picking yards” and separated into various grades of paper, metals, and carpet. Burlap bags, twine, rubber and even horse hair are also sorted for recycling and reuse.<ref name="A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
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| 1986 || || Policy || Rhode Island becomes the first U.S. state to mandate recycling, including some plastic bottles and containers.<ref name="The History of Plastics Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 1986 || || Policy || Rhode Island becomes the first U.S. state to mandate recycling, including some plastic bottles and containers.<ref name="The History of Plastics Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 1987 || || || {{w|Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries}} || {{w|United States}}
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| 1987 || || || {{w|Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries}}<ref>{{cite web |title=ISRI Time Capsule: ISRI Is Born |url=https://www.isri.org/news-publications/news-details/2017/01/04/isri-time-capsule-isri-is-born |website=isri.org |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 1988 || || Statistics || The number of [[w:Kerbside collection|curbside]] recycling programs in the United States increases to about 1,050.<ref name="A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 1988 || || Statistics || The number of [[w:Kerbside collection|curbside]] recycling programs in the United States increases to about 1,050.<ref name="A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 1989 || || || {{w|Center for the Development of Recycling}} || {{w|United States}}
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| 1989 || || || {{w|Center for the Development of Recycling}}<ref>{{cite web |title=Center for the Development of Recycling |url=https://www.recyclestuff.org/html/about.html |website=recyclestuff.org |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 1990 || || Policy || {{w|McDonald’s}} announces phasing out use of Styrofoam containers. The 20th-anniversary theme for Earth Day is recycling.<ref>{{cite web|title=McDonald’s Trials to Stop Using Styrofoam Cups|url=http://www.care2.com/causes/mcdonalds-trials-to-stop-using-styrofoam-cups.html|website=care2.com|accessdate=16 August 2017}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 1990 || || Policy || {{w|McDonald’s}} announces phasing out use of Styrofoam containers. The 20th-anniversary theme for Earth Day is recycling.<ref>{{cite web|title=McDonald’s Trials to Stop Using Styrofoam Cups|url=http://www.care2.com/causes/mcdonalds-trials-to-stop-using-styrofoam-cups.html|website=care2.com|accessdate=16 August 2017}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
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| 1998 || || Policy || {{w|Extended producer responsibility}} programs (EPR) start being adopted in {{w|Switzerland}}.<ref>{{cite web|title=A comparison of electronic waste recycling in Switzerland and in India|url=http://oldweb.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/*/51479/---/l=2|website=empa.ch|accessdate=16 August 2017}}</ref> || {{w|Switzerland}}
 
| 1998 || || Policy || {{w|Extended producer responsibility}} programs (EPR) start being adopted in {{w|Switzerland}}.<ref>{{cite web|title=A comparison of electronic waste recycling in Switzerland and in India|url=http://oldweb.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/*/51479/---/l=2|website=empa.ch|accessdate=16 August 2017}}</ref> || {{w|Switzerland}}
 
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| 1998 || Waste recycling || Organization || {{w|Ukrecoresursy}}<ref>{{cite web |title=Ukrecoresursy |url=http://eco-invest.org.ua/en/partners_partners/#.XkTN7Gj0mUm |website=eco-invest.org.ua/ |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Recycling Around the World A-Z: Ukraine |url=https://www.recyclingbins.co.uk/blog/recycling-around-the-world-ukraine/ |website=recyclingbins.co.uk |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|Ukraine}}
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| 1998 || Waste recycling || Organization || Ukranian {{w|state enterprise}} {{w|Ukrecoresursy}} launches with the purpose to provide waste recycling services.<ref>{{cite web |title=Ukrecoresursy |url=http://eco-invest.org.ua/en/partners_partners/#.XkTN7Gj0mUm |website=eco-invest.org.ua/ |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Recycling Around the World A-Z: Ukraine |url=https://www.recyclingbins.co.uk/blog/recycling-around-the-world-ukraine/ |website=recyclingbins.co.uk |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|Ukraine}}
 
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| 1999 || || Policy || {{w|Extended producer responsibility}} programs start adoption in {{w|Denmark}}, the {{w|Netherlands}} and {{w|Norway}}. || {{w|Denmark}}, {{w|Netherlands}}, {{w|Norway}}
 
| 1999 || || Policy || {{w|Extended producer responsibility}} programs start adoption in {{w|Denmark}}, the {{w|Netherlands}} and {{w|Norway}}. || {{w|Denmark}}, {{w|Netherlands}}, {{w|Norway}}
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| 2001 || || Organization || {{w|TerraCycle}} || {{w|United States}}
 
| 2001 || || Organization || {{w|TerraCycle}} || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2002 || || || {{w|Carpet America Recovery Effort}} ||
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| 2002 || {{w|Textile recycling}} || || {{w|Carpet America Recovery Effort}}<ref>{{cite web |title=Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) |url=https://www.recyclingproductnews.com/company/5490/carpet-america-recovery-effort-care |website=recyclingproductnews.com |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=CARE 2012 Annual Report |url=https://carpetrecovery.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Carpet-America-Recovery-Effort-2012-Annual-Report.pdf |website=carpetrecovery.org |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2002 || || || "But in 2002, New York City, an early municipal recycling pioneer, found that its much-lauded recycling program was losing money, so it eliminated glass and plastic recycling. According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the benefits of recycling plastic and glass were outweighed by the price—recycling cost twice as much as disposal. Meanwhile, low demand for the materials meant that much of it was ending up in landfills anyway, despite best intentions."<ref name="The Pros and Cons of Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 2002 || || || "But in 2002, New York City, an early municipal recycling pioneer, found that its much-lauded recycling program was losing money, so it eliminated glass and plastic recycling. According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the benefits of recycling plastic and glass were outweighed by the price—recycling cost twice as much as disposal. Meanwhile, low demand for the materials meant that much of it was ending up in landfills anyway, despite best intentions."<ref name="The Pros and Cons of Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
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| 2003 || || Policy || The {{w|California Electronic Waste Recycling Act}} is signed, establishing a new program for consumers to return, recycle, and ensure the safe and environmentally sound disposal of video display devices, such as televisions and computer monitors, that are hazardous wastes when discarded.<ref name="electronic">Electronic Hazardous Waste. (2010). Retrieved from Department of Toxic Substances Control website: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/hazardouswaste/ewaste/</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 2003 || || Policy || The {{w|California Electronic Waste Recycling Act}} is signed, establishing a new program for consumers to return, recycle, and ensure the safe and environmentally sound disposal of video display devices, such as televisions and computer monitors, that are hazardous wastes when discarded.<ref name="electronic">Electronic Hazardous Waste. (2010). Retrieved from Department of Toxic Substances Control website: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/hazardouswaste/ewaste/</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2003 || {{w|Curbside recycling}} || Organization || {{w|Curbside Value Partnership}} || {{w|United States}}
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| 2003 || {{w|Curbside recycling}} || Organization || {{w|Curbside Value Partnership}}<ref>{{cite web |title=The Recycling Partnership |url=http://www.cancentral.com/recycling-sustainability/programs-initiatives/the-recycling-partnership |website=cancentral.com |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Curbside Value Partnership changes name |url=https://www.recyclingtoday.com/article/curbside-value-partnership-name-change/ |website=recyclingtoday.com |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2003 || || || {{w|The Freecycle Network}}<ref>{{cite web |title=The Freecycle Network: Good for the Planet (and Your Wallet) |url=https://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-11-2009/freecycle_network.html |website=aarp.org |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=A Decade of Sharing: The Freecycle Network Turns 10 |url=https://earth911.com/business-policy/business/the-freecycle-network-10-years/ |website=earth911.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Freecycle |url=https://anjr.com/njwastewise/2012/Freecycle%20booklet.pdf |website=anjr.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> ||
 
| 2003 || || || {{w|The Freecycle Network}}<ref>{{cite web |title=The Freecycle Network: Good for the Planet (and Your Wallet) |url=https://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-11-2009/freecycle_network.html |website=aarp.org |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=A Decade of Sharing: The Freecycle Network Turns 10 |url=https://earth911.com/business-policy/business/the-freecycle-network-10-years/ |website=earth911.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Freecycle |url=https://anjr.com/njwastewise/2012/Freecycle%20booklet.pdf |website=anjr.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> ||
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| 2003 || || || {{w|e-Stewards}}<ref>{{cite web |title=What are R2 and e-Stewards Certifications? |url=https://greencitizen.com/what-are-r2-and-e-steward-certifications/ |website=greencitizen.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 2003 || || || {{w|e-Stewards}}<ref>{{cite web |title=What are R2 and e-Stewards Certifications? |url=https://greencitizen.com/what-are-r2-and-e-steward-certifications/ |website=greencitizen.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2006 || || || {{w|World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association}} ||  
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| 2006 || || || {{w|World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association}}<ref>{{cite web |title=World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association |url=https://www.morebooks.de/store/gb/book/world-reuse,-repair-and-recycling-association/isbn/978-613-3-66974-1 |website=morebooks.de |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Frequently Asked Questions about Fair Trade Recycling |url=http://ingenthron.net/mission/faq.html |website=ingenthron.net/ |accessdate=14 February 2020}}</ref> ||  
 
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| 2006 || || Organization || {{w|I-recycle}} || {{w|United Kingdom}}
 
| 2006 || || Organization || {{w|I-recycle}} || {{w|United Kingdom}}
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| 2009 || {{w|Scrap}} || Publication || American professor {{w|Carl A. Zimring}} publishes ''Cash for your trash'', one of the first specialized studies about scrap recycling in the United States.<ref>{{cite web|title=Zimring, Carl A.  Cash for your trash : Scrap recycling in America|url=http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbh/v33n66/en_a17v33n66.pdf|website=scielo.br|accessdate=16 August 2017}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 2009 || {{w|Scrap}} || Publication || American professor {{w|Carl A. Zimring}} publishes ''Cash for your trash'', one of the first specialized studies about scrap recycling in the United States.<ref>{{cite web|title=Zimring, Carl A.  Cash for your trash : Scrap recycling in America|url=http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbh/v33n66/en_a17v33n66.pdf|website=scielo.br|accessdate=16 August 2017}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2012 || Electronics || Statistics || More than 585 million pounds of consumer electronics are recycled. This is an increase of 125 million pounds (more than 25%) over 2011.<ref name="A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling"/> ||
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| 2012 || {{w|Electronic recycling}} || Statistics || More than 585 million pounds of consumer electronics are recycled. This is an increase of 125 million pounds (more than 25%) over 2011.<ref name="A Brief Timeline of the History of Recycling"/> ||
 
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| 2013 || || || "Operation Green Fence was the 2013 effort to just start getting exporting countries to clean their recycling, their plastics in particular."<ref name="America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert"/> ||
 
| 2013 || || || "Operation Green Fence was the 2013 effort to just start getting exporting countries to clean their recycling, their plastics in particular."<ref name="America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert"/> ||
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| 2014 || || || "In 2014, Americans generated about 258 million tons of trash and recycled 66.4 million tons and composted 23 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.6 percent recycling rate. On average, we recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of our individual waste generation of 4.44 pounds per person per day."<ref name="lbre.stanford.edu">{{cite web |title=Frequently Asked Questions: Benefits of Recycling |url=https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-benefits-recycling |website=lbre.stanford.edu |accessdate=9 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 2014 || || || "In 2014, Americans generated about 258 million tons of trash and recycled 66.4 million tons and composted 23 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.6 percent recycling rate. On average, we recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of our individual waste generation of 4.44 pounds per person per day."<ref name="lbre.stanford.edu">{{cite web |title=Frequently Asked Questions: Benefits of Recycling |url=https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-benefits-recycling |website=lbre.stanford.edu |accessdate=9 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2015 || || || "Of the 5800 million tonnes of primary plastic no longer in use, only 9 percent has been recycled since 1950."<ref name="Plastic Pollution"/>
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| 2015 || {{w|Plastic recycling}} || || "Of the 5800 million tonnes of primary plastic no longer in use, only 9 percent has been recycled since 1950."<ref name="Plastic Pollution"/>
 
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| 2015 || || || "In 2015, an estimated 55 percent of global plastic waste was discarded, 25 percent was incinerated, and 20 percent recycled."<ref name="Plastic Pollution"/> ||
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| 2015 || {{w|Plastic recycling}} ||| In the year, an estimated 55 percent of global plastic waste is discarded, 25 percent is incinerated, and 20 percent recycled.<ref name="Plastic Pollution"/> ||
 
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| 2016 || || || "The recycling industry generates revenue volume of 160 billion dollars throughout the world, and employs around 1.5 million people."<ref name="paprec.comvv"/> ||  
 
| 2016 || || || "The recycling industry generates revenue volume of 160 billion dollars throughout the world, and employs around 1.5 million people."<ref name="paprec.comvv"/> ||  
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| 2018 || Paper/cardboard || || "Recycling in the United States has shown continued growth. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that from 1960 to 2017, recycling of paper and paperboard products increased from approximately 5 million tons to 44 million tons. In 2017, the recycling rate was 65.9%, which was among the highest compared to other materials in municipal solid waste. In 2018, that percentage increased to 68.1%."<ref name="Introduction to Paper Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
| 2018 || Paper/cardboard || || "Recycling in the United States has shown continued growth. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that from 1960 to 2017, recycling of paper and paperboard products increased from approximately 5 million tons to 44 million tons. In 2017, the recycling rate was 65.9%, which was among the highest compared to other materials in municipal solid waste. In 2018, that percentage increased to 68.1%."<ref name="Introduction to Paper Recycling"/> || {{w|United States}}
 
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| 2018 || || || " For instance, Apple in 2018 introduced Daisy, a smartphone-recycling robot that can take apart 200 iPhones every hour, and says it diverted 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills that year. "<ref>{{cite web |title=The World Has an E-Waste Problem |url=https://time.com/5594380/world-electronic-waste-problem/ |website=time.com |accessdate=4 February 2020}}</ref> ||  
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| 2018 || || {{w|Electronic recycling}} || " For instance, Apple in 2018 introduced Daisy, a smartphone-recycling robot that can take apart 200 iPhones every hour, and says it diverted 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills that year. "<ref>{{cite web |title=The World Has an E-Waste Problem |url=https://time.com/5594380/world-electronic-waste-problem/ |website=time.com |accessdate=4 February 2020}}</ref> ||  
 
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| 2018 || || || "In 2018, South Africa recovered 1.285 million tonnes of recyclable paper products, putting the country’s paper recovery rate at 71.7%. More than 90% of this recovered paper is used for the local beneficiation of new paper packaging and tissue."<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://recyclepaper.co.za/|title=RecyclePaperZA website|last=|first=|date=|website=|url-status=live|archive-url=|archive-date=|access-date=}}</ref> || {{w|South Africa}}
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| 2018 || || {{w|Paper recycling}} || "In 2018, South Africa recovered 1.285 million tonnes of recyclable paper products, putting the country’s paper recovery rate at 71.7%. More than 90% of this recovered paper is used for the local beneficiation of new paper packaging and tissue."<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://recyclepaper.co.za/|title=RecyclePaperZA website|last=|first=|date=|website=|url-status=live|archive-url=|archive-date=|access-date=}}</ref> || {{w|South Africa}}
 
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| 2018 || March || || ". Since early 2018, China has banned many scrap materials and has not accepted others unless they meet an extremely strict contamination rate of 0.5 percent."<ref>{{cite web |title=How American Recycling Is Changing After China’s National Sword |url=https://www.citylab.com/environment/2019/04/recycling-waste-management-us-china-national-sword-change/584665/ |website=citylab.com |accessdate=11 February 2020}}</ref> "Within the recycling community, there had been rumblings that China might change its policies, but the force of Operation National Sword, announced in July 2017, still came as a surprise. Going into full effect last March, it banned 24 types of scrap and implemented much stricter and more rigorous contamination standards which have been described as “impossible to reach.” As a result, local governments and the recycling industry are now facing an unprecedented recycling crisis, especially in plastics."<ref name="America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert">{{cite web |title=America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert |url=https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/4/2/18290956/recycling-crisis-china-plastic-operation-national-sword |website=vox.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|China}}
 
| 2018 || March || || ". Since early 2018, China has banned many scrap materials and has not accepted others unless they meet an extremely strict contamination rate of 0.5 percent."<ref>{{cite web |title=How American Recycling Is Changing After China’s National Sword |url=https://www.citylab.com/environment/2019/04/recycling-waste-management-us-china-national-sword-change/584665/ |website=citylab.com |accessdate=11 February 2020}}</ref> "Within the recycling community, there had been rumblings that China might change its policies, but the force of Operation National Sword, announced in July 2017, still came as a surprise. Going into full effect last March, it banned 24 types of scrap and implemented much stricter and more rigorous contamination standards which have been described as “impossible to reach.” As a result, local governments and the recycling industry are now facing an unprecedented recycling crisis, especially in plastics."<ref name="America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert">{{cite web |title=America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert |url=https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/4/2/18290956/recycling-crisis-china-plastic-operation-national-sword |website=vox.com |accessdate=13 February 2020}}</ref> || {{w|China}}

Revision as of 14:04, 14 February 2020

This is a timeline of recycling.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
Ancient times As early as 400 BC, people are known to recycle. Archaeological evidence indicates that glass is recycled in the ancient city of Sagalassos, (Turkey), during the imperial Byzantine times.[1] Early Romans are also found to recycle bronze coins into statues that could be sold at a higher monetary value than the original coins.[2] Bronze scrap recovery systems are developed in Europe
18th Century Industrial revolution. It becomes easier and cheaper to produce goods, it is also easier and sometimes cheaper to throw used items away.[2]
19th Century Scrap metal is purchased by sold by railroads.[3] "Dustmen" collect ash from coal fires, in order to use it as soil conditioner and for brick–making. The practice is still alive today.[4]
20th Century In the 1930s, many people survive the Great Depression by peddling scraps of metal, rags and other items.[5] Goods such as nylon, rubber and many metals are rationed and recycled during World War II.[5]. Further in the 1940s ad 1950s, recycling becomes less important as landfilling becomes a cheap way to dispose trash. The 1960s see the rise of the environmental movement, which provoques public awareness and rises environmental consciousness. In the 1970s, a strong worldwide growth in support for energy conservation is triggered partly by the energy shortages and rising prices resulting from the emergence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),[6] thus recycling becomes more popular again and drop-off recycling centers are established.[2] In the 1980s, major cities in the United States begin establishing curbside collection programs for plastics and other recyclables.[7] In the 1990s, municipal recycling programs are established throughout the United States and Europe.[8] Extended producer responsibility programs merge worldwide.

Full timeline

Year Category Type of event Event Geographical location
3300 BC–1200 BC Metal recycling Bronze scrap recovery systems are developed in Europe during the European Bronze Age.[4] Europe
2000 BC Metal recycling Composting/Recycling methods, as well as recycling bronze for later use, are developed in China.[9] China
400 BC Glass recycling "There is evidence that recycling started as early as 400 BC, when ancient civilizations would take glass from conquered villages and reuse the glass in their own settlements. Recycling materials, such as glass, became necessary for survival, especially in times of disease, war, or famine."[10]
105 AC Textile "During the Han dynasty, the Chinese Minister for Agriculture Tsai Lun invents the idea of making paper from old linen rags."[11] China
1031 Paper recycling The first ever recorded reuse of waste paper begins in Japan. Documents and paper are recycled and re-pulped into new paper then sold in local Staples across the country.[5][12][11] Japan
1500s Metal Spanish copper mines use scrap iron for cementation of copper. This recycling practice survives to this day.[4]
1690 Paper/cardboard The recycled paper manufacturing process is introduced when Rittenhouse Mill, Philadelphia starts manufacturing paper from waste paper and rags.[13][9][5][11][14] United States
1776 Metal The first metal recycling is produced in the United States when patriots in New York City manage to melt down a statue of King George III and make into 42,088 bullets.[3][13] United States
1800 Paper/cardboard "On April 28, 1800, Matthias Koops, an English papermaker, was granted the first patent for paper recycling. His patent application involved extracting ink from printed and written paper and converting the paper into pulp to make new paper. This process was later adopted by paper mills worldwide."[15]
1813 Textile Technology Benjamin Law develops the process of turning rags into "shoddy" and "mungo" wool, through a process of combining fibres with virgin wool.[4] United Kingdom
1865 Organization The Salvation Army is founded in London, and begins collecting, sorting and recycling unwanted goods. The Household Salvage Brigades employ the unskilled poor to recover discarded materials. In the 1990s, the organization and its program would migrate to the United States.[16][5] United Kingdom
1874 Paper/cardboard "The Rittenhouse Mill was America's first paper mill, which opened in Philadelphia in 1690. However, municipal paper recycling didn't start until 1874 in Baltimore, Maryland, followed by New York City, which opened its first recycling center that same year."[15]
1884 Glass An official recycling system for bottles with refundable deposits is established in Sweden.[3] Sweden
1896 "The first major recycling center was started by the Benedetto family in New York City, where they collected rags, newspaper, and trash with a pushcart"[17] United States
1897 Facility A materials recovery facility is buit in New York City, where trash is sorted at “picking yards” and separated into various grades of paper, metals, and carpet. Burlap bags, twine, rubber and even horse hair are also sorted for recycling and reuse.[5] United States
1904 Metal Facility The first large–scale aluminum recyclers are operated in the metalworks of Chicago.[8] United States
1907 "The first synthetic plastic — Bakelite — was produced in 1907, marking the beginning of the global plastics industry."[18]
1916–1918 Organization Due to massive shortages of raw materials during World War I, the United States Federal government creates the Waste Reclamation Service with the motto “Don’t Waste Waste – Save It.”.[5] United States
1934 German Recycling and waste management company Remondis is founded.[19] Germany
1939–1945 "Recycling took another step forward during the Great Depression and WWII, when recycling and reusing materials became vital, since resources and materials were limited and people could no longer afford to purchase new materials. Recycling and reusing became a symbol of the war, and a way for American’s back home to do their part to help the war effort."[10]
1939–1945 Paper/cardboard "During World War II (1939-1945), paper recycling efforts resurfaced when, due to a major shortage of paper pulp, people were asked to save used paper and rags to make new paper."[15]
1940 Scrap " Nylon, elastic, used batteries and various scrap metals are recycled in Europe and the United States to benefit the war effort."[11]
1948 Bureau of International Recycling[20][21][22]
1953 Keep America Beautiful United States
1955 (1 August) Publication Life magazine offers a two-page article on “Throwaway Living”, selling to consumers the idea that single-use items are a necessity of the modern lifestyle. Ease and convenience would soon become the two most desirable qualities in product marketing, inevitably leading to parks, forests and highways becoming littered with garbage.[5] United States
1960 Paper/cardboard "Recycling in the United States has shown continued growth. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that from 1960 to 2017, recycling of paper and paperboard products increased from approximately 5 million tons to 44 million tons."[15] United States
1962 Publication Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring, warning that, when you throw something away, it doesn't really go away.[23] United States
1962 National Waste & Recycling Association[24][25][26]
1964 Metal Product The aluminum beverage can is introduced and quickly becomes an industry standard.[8]
1965–1970 Symbol introduction American designer Gary Anderson introduces the symbol for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, inspired in the Möbius strip.[27][5] United States
1968 The aluminum industry begins aluminum recycling.[23]
1970 (April 22) Earth Day is founded in the United States by Senator Gaylord Nelson and globally by entrepreneur John McConnell.[5]
1970 "The first post- World War II mass recycling program in the United States, "Ban The Can," was conceived and executed in 1970 by Ruth "Pat" Webb in Honolulu, Hawaii. Webb organized military and civilian volunteers to collect over 9 tons (8,200 kg) of metal cans from the roadways and highways of Oahu. The metal cans were later recycled into steel reinforcement bars to be used in local construction projects."[28] United States
1971 Policy The Oregon Bottle Bill is passed as a container-deposit legislation in Oregon, requiring cans, bottles, and other containers sold in Oregon to be returnable with a minimum refund value.[29] United States
1972 Facility The first recycling mill is built in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.[7][5] United States
1973 Plastic "The first recycling centre for plastic materials is created in Conshohocken, in the United States."[11] United States
1974 Program University City, Missouri starts offering curbside recycling to its residents.[5] United States
1974 Program The first multi–material curbside recycling program is launched in Canada.[6] Canada
1977 Organization Zero Waste Systems Inc. (ZWS) is founded in Oakland, California, bringing with its name the term zero waste. United States
1981 Policy Woodbury, New Jersey becomes the first city in the United States to mandate recycling.[30][4] United States
1983 Program The blue box recycling system (BBRS) is launched in Canada, initially as a waste management system used by Canadian municipalities to collect source separating household waste materials for the purpose of recycling. The first full-scale community wide BBRS is implemented in the City of Kitchener, Ontario. Today, the blue box system and variations of it remain in place in hundreds of cities around the world.[6] Canada
1984 Statistics Plastics recycling tops 100 million pounds in the United States for the first time in the history of plastics recycling.[7] United States
1985–1989 Program Rose Rowan starts the first kerbside collection service for recyclables.[27]
1986 Policy Rhode Island becomes the first U.S. state to mandate recycling, including some plastic bottles and containers.[7] United States
1987 Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries[31] United States
1988 Statistics The number of curbside recycling programs in the United States increases to about 1,050.[5] United States
1989 Center for the Development of Recycling[32] United States
1990 Policy McDonald’s announces phasing out use of Styrofoam containers. The 20th-anniversary theme for Earth Day is recycling.[33] United States
1990 Program The concept of Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is first formally introduced by Thomas Lindhqvist in a report to the Swedish Ministry of the Environment. EPR is defined as an environmental protection strategy that makes the manufacturer of the appliance responsible for its entire life cycle and especially for the “take-back”, recycling and final disposal of the product.[34] Sweden
1990 Coca-Cola begins blending recycled plastics into its beverage bottles.[7]
1990s "The next step for American recycling came in the 1990’s when single-stream recycling was introduced in California. Single-stream is a system that combines all recyclable items such as paper, plastic, metal, and glass together in a collection truck, rather than being sorted into separate materials and handled separately throughout the entire process. Single-stream is designed to handle the fully commingled mixture of recyclables, but this leads to a major drawback when it comes to recycling glass."[10]
1991–2011 Policy More than 70 Extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws are enacted in the United States, generally requiring manufacturers to implement EPR programs, though without specifying recycling targets.[35] United States
1991 Policy Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is adopted in Germany, after the German Packaging Ordinance is passed, extending to producers the responsibility for their products and packaging, beyond production and delivery through to the entire life cycle. Since the adoption, until 1998, the per capita consumption of packaging is reduced from 94.7 kg to 82 kg, resulting in a reduction of 13.4%.[36][37][5] Germany
1991 Organization The Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL) is established, in order to create jobs and benefit the environment through recycling.[16]
1991 "In 1991, the first electronic waste recycling system was implemented in Switzerland, beginning with collection of old refrigerators but gradually expanding to cover all devices. The organisation SWICO handles the programme, and is a partnership between IT retailers."[38] Switzerland
1991–2017 Tire recycling "According to the tire industry, tire recycling is a major success story. The stockpile of scrap tires has shrunk from over a billion in 1991 to just 60 million by 2017."[39]
1992 Policy The number of curbside programs in the United States reaches four thousand, up from just six hundred in 1989. With the rise of curbside recycling, industries abandon many of their buy–back programs and begin to rely largely on municipal services that require them to pay no extra fees.[40] United States
1993 Petcore Belgium
1993 "The first year when more paper was recycled than was buried in landfills in USA." United States
1994–2010 Tire recycling " From 1994 to 2010, the European Union increased the amount of tires recycled from 25% of annual discards to nearly 95%, with roughly half of the end-of-life tires used for energy, mostly in cement manufacturing."[41][42]
1995 Statistics A record 47.6 billion soft drink containers are recycled in the United States, an increase of 500 million over the previous year. Aluminum cans are recycled at a rate of 63% in the country, with the highest state-wide rate in California at 80%.[5]
1995 Organization The Packaging Recovery Organisation Europe is founded as the umbrella organization of 31 national producer responsibility systems engaged in the selective collection and recycling of packaging waste.[43] United States
1996 Statistics Recycling in the United States is rated at 25%, with the United States Environmental Protection Agency setting a new goal of 35%.[5] United States
1996 Technology Norwegian companies Elopak and SINTEF team up to sell the first infra-red sorting machine.[5] Germany
1996 "Controversy over the benefits of recycling bubbled up in 1996 when columnist John Tierney posited in a New York Times Magazine article that “recycling is garbage.” “Mandatory recycling programs […] offer mainly short-term benefits to a few groups—politicians, public relations consultants, environmental organizations and waste handling corporations—while diverting money from genuine social and environmental problems. Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America.”"[44][45] United States
1996 Organization RREUSE
1997 "This holiday was created by the National Recycling Coalition in 1997. Every year since then, the President of the United States usually issues a Presidential Proclamation recognizing this day and encourage his fellow Americans to commit to the act of recycling." "November 15"[46] United States
1998 Policy Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is adopted in Taiwan for electrical and electronic equipment, requiring producers to take back and recycle products such as televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air–conditioners and computers, regardless of where they are sold.[36] Taiwan
1998 Policy Extended producer responsibility programs (EPR) start being adopted in Switzerland.[47] Switzerland
1998 Waste recycling Organization Ukranian state enterprise Ukrecoresursy launches with the purpose to provide waste recycling services.[48][49] Ukraine
1999 Policy Extended producer responsibility programs start adoption in Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. Denmark, Netherlands, Norway
2000 Study The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms a link between global warming and waste, showing that reducing garbage and recycling cuts down greenhouse gas emissions.[5]
2000 Organization The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) is set up as an industry self-initiative with the purpose of monitoring progress towards meeting the paper recycling targets set out in the European Declaration on Paper Recycling, which is published the same year.
2000 Xtreme Waste[50] New Zealand
2001 Policy The Home Appliance Recycling Law comes into force in Japan, thus making recycling of waste electrics a legal requirement under the Specific Household Appliance Recycling Law and the Law for Promotion of Effective Utilization Resources. Consumers are required to pay a combined fee for retailers to take back discarded air–conditioners, televisions, refrigerators and washing machines and for producers to recycle them.[36][51] Japan
2001 Policy Extended producer responsibility programs start adoption in Belgium and Sweden. Belgium, Sweden
2001 Organization British Metals Recycling Association United Kingdom
2001 Policy Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is adopted in Japan with three basic laws setting the legal structure, establishing the 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), also mandating recycling fees which include consumers.[52] Japan
2001 Gypsum Recycling International[53][54]
2001 Organization TerraCycle United States
2002 Textile recycling Carpet America Recovery Effort[55][56] United States
2002 "But in 2002, New York City, an early municipal recycling pioneer, found that its much-lauded recycling program was losing money, so it eliminated glass and plastic recycling. According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the benefits of recycling plastic and glass were outweighed by the price—recycling cost twice as much as disposal. Meanwhile, low demand for the materials meant that much of it was ending up in landfills anyway, despite best intentions."[44] United States
2003 Electronics Policy The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) is passed into European Law. It sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods.
2003 Policy The California Electronic Waste Recycling Act is signed, establishing a new program for consumers to return, recycle, and ensure the safe and environmentally sound disposal of video display devices, such as televisions and computer monitors, that are hazardous wastes when discarded.[57] United States
2003 Curbside recycling Organization Curbside Value Partnership[58][59] United States
2003 The Freecycle Network[60][61][62]
2003 e-Stewards[63] United States
2006 World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association[64][65]
2006 Organization I-recycle United Kingdom
2007 Electronics Policy Five U.S. states pass laws requiring that unwanted electronics be recycled.[5] United States
2007 Organization Trashy Bags[66][67] Ghana
2007 BuyMyTronics.com[68] United States
2008 USPS Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program United States
2009 Scrap Publication American professor Carl A. Zimring publishes Cash for your trash, one of the first specialized studies about scrap recycling in the United States.[69] United States
2012 Electronic recycling Statistics More than 585 million pounds of consumer electronics are recycled. This is an increase of 125 million pounds (more than 25%) over 2011.[5]
2013 "Operation Green Fence was the 2013 effort to just start getting exporting countries to clean their recycling, their plastics in particular."[70]
2014 Textile Statistics "More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States, and the amount has doubled over the last 20 years. In 2014, over 16 million tons of textile waste was generated, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Of this amount, 2.62 million tons were recycled, 3.14 million tons were combusted for energy recovery, and 10.46 million tons were sent to the landfill. An average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per person per year. On average, nationally, it costs cities $45 per ton to dispose of old clothing. Synthetic clothing may take hundreds of years to decompose."[71] United States
2014 "In 2014, Americans generated about 258 million tons of trash and recycled 66.4 million tons and composted 23 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.6 percent recycling rate. On average, we recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of our individual waste generation of 4.44 pounds per person per day."[72] United States
2015 Plastic recycling "Of the 5800 million tonnes of primary plastic no longer in use, only 9 percent has been recycled since 1950."[18]
2015 Plastic recycling In the year, an estimated 55 percent of global plastic waste is discarded, 25 percent is incinerated, and 20 percent recycled.[18]
2016 "The recycling industry generates revenue volume of 160 billion dollars throughout the world, and employs around 1.5 million people."[11]
2017 July "Operation National Sword, announced in July 2017"[70] China
2017 Paper/cardboard "Recycling in the United States has shown continued growth. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that from 1960 to 2017, recycling of paper and paperboard products increased from approximately 5 million tons to 44 million tons. In 2017, the recycling rate was 65.9%, which was among the highest compared to other materials in municipal solid waste"[15] United States
2018 "Launched in 2018, Global Recycling Day" "March 18"[73]
2018 Paper/cardboard "Recycling in the United States has shown continued growth. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that from 1960 to 2017, recycling of paper and paperboard products increased from approximately 5 million tons to 44 million tons. In 2017, the recycling rate was 65.9%, which was among the highest compared to other materials in municipal solid waste. In 2018, that percentage increased to 68.1%."[15] United States
2018 Electronic recycling " For instance, Apple in 2018 introduced Daisy, a smartphone-recycling robot that can take apart 200 iPhones every hour, and says it diverted 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills that year. "[74]
2018 Paper recycling "In 2018, South Africa recovered 1.285 million tonnes of recyclable paper products, putting the country’s paper recovery rate at 71.7%. More than 90% of this recovered paper is used for the local beneficiation of new paper packaging and tissue."[75] South Africa
2018 March ". Since early 2018, China has banned many scrap materials and has not accepted others unless they meet an extremely strict contamination rate of 0.5 percent."[76] "Within the recycling community, there had been rumblings that China might change its policies, but the force of Operation National Sword, announced in July 2017, still came as a surprise. Going into full effect last March, it banned 24 types of scrap and implemented much stricter and more rigorous contamination standards which have been described as “impossible to reach.” As a result, local governments and the recycling industry are now facing an unprecedented recycling crisis, especially in plastics."[70] China
2019 America Recycles Day becomes an integral part of the Keep America Beautiful Campaign.[46] United States
2020 Metal recycling "In the US, the metal recycling industry generated $64 billion in 2010"[77] United States
2030 Plastic "Coca Cola intends to use 50% recycled Polyethylene terephthalate in its containers by 2030."[78]

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See also

References

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