Another month, another Waste & Recycling News Roundup; and what a roundup it is! All sorts of waste removal oddities have popped up this month. Whether you’re a passive follower of all things waste, or a professional within the biz, take a moment to get yourself caught up on all the big headlines from this month:

(Inter)National Waste & Recycling News

California Busts $14 Million Recycling Scheme

Officials with the California State Department of Justice ripped the pop tab off of a huge recycling scheme involving five guys, a U-Haul, and some aluminum cans. Over a period of two years, these no-good do-gooders managed to smuggle 250 million aluminum cans and plastic bottles from Arizona to California in order to collect the $.05 and $.10 bottle deposits offered by state redemption centers. (Arizona does not have a bottle deposit program, making out-of-state redemption illegal). Over a dozen redemption centers have been implicated for accepting the bin bandits’ bottle booty, totaling just over $14 million in refunds. The bandits, and their redemption centers of choice, now face charges of grand theft and recycling fraud. With any luck, they might just win a good defense lawyer from Pepsi’s new “Look Under the Lid for a Litigator” contest. (not a real contest, unfortunately)

Full story @ CBS LA Local

Vermont Communities Drop Garbage Trucks for Horse-Drawn Carriages

Vermonters enjoy the simple things; soft cheeses, bucolic landscapes, and apparently the clip-clop of horseshoes over the sounds of a diesel engine. Two trash haulers in Bristol and New Haven, Vermont made headlines recently for using horse-drawn carts in place of the standard garbage truck. The practice has been in use by Bristol residents for nearly two decades, and business has picked up enough to allow the haulers to expand into neighboring Middlebury. Customers reportedly enjoy the sight of the horses coming down their street, as well as the service’s simpler-life aesthetic. Its also a zero-emission method of trash collection, but the trade-off is having to vault over manure during your next jog.

Full story @ Mother Nature Network

France Forces Supermarkets to Donate Unsold Food

Last week, France’s parliament approved a new law requiring supermarkets larger than 4,305 sq ft in size to start donating or sending their unsold food to farmers by the middle of next year. The law comes at a time of increased media focus on the nation’s poor, many of which resort to dumpster diving to provide for their families. By forcing supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities French lawmakers hope to increase the availability of food for those in need, as well as to reduce the amount of food that is wasted every year. The law is already making waves across the pond where American food waste advocates have been pushing for a similar law in recent years.

Full story @ The Guardian

Waste & Recycling News from Our Communities

From Shingles to Streets – Columbus, OH Paves Roads with Recycled Roofs

Columbus, Ohio has started a pilot program that uses old roofing shingles as an additive to its asphalt mix. The program is designed to find an alternative to landfilling shingles, and potentially create a local recycling market for the former roofing materials. Over 3,500 tons of shingles will be recycled in order to pave 100 roads throughout the city. If the program is successful, the city could end up diverting up to 6,300 tons of shingles every year.

Hartford, CT Hosts Trashy Museum – Literally

The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, otherwise responsible for overseeing the state’s recycling operations, has created a 6,500 square foot exhibit detailing the history of waste management. Visitors can observe the facility’s single-stream recycling plant in action, in addition to observing the visual history of trash through the museum’s in-depth mural.