The Meek Shall Donate a Massive Inheritance


It’s pretty impressive when you scan the recycling efforts across the country. Dart Container Corp. has recently opened three new drop-off locations for expanded polystyrene products in Oklahoma, Illinois, and Idaho. That makes more than 40 that Dart has opened among the hundreds of others across the country. Momentum Recycling is opening a bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Colorado that can handle 49,000 tons of bottle glass a year. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection partnered with the American Chemistry Council’s Flexible Film Recycling Group to kick off a new collection campaign to boost the recycling rates of plastic film such as shopping bags and plastic wrap.

These types of programs can be massive in their scale and boast incredible recycling metrics.

While I admire the recycling efforts being put forth by governments and industries, I also like to keep in mind the individual efforts being made. Efforts that have an impact beyond finding new purpose for used materials and actually highlight the human factor in a recycling equation. Efforts that had gone largely unnoticed until a Facebook post by an involved party went viral.

Eighty-six-year-old Johnny Jennings is from Ringgold, Georgia. He started recycling decades ago as a way to spend some quality time with his son, Brent. That small acorn grew, and as Brent grew up, recycling helped him put a down payment on a home. Eventually, the acorn became the proverbial giant oak in the form of $400,000 donated over the years to a local charity that provides care for troubled children and families.

Please follow the link that tells his incredible story.


  • tim houghtaling.

    not for pub unless you want it so. I receive your recycling news as part of citizen activism with ‘the poorest county of Florida’ that takes positions: (a) China is not buying paper anymore – if recycling is required citizens will have to pay for us to get rid of it; (b) glass, because it breaks and cannot be separated by color in our mandatory countywide curbside pickup is unsafe to recycle. In addition there is no market for glass making it worthless. HOWEVER glass, being inert, is perfect for landfills as it does not react with other materials; (c) automobile tires are expensive to recycle, more expensive to dump in a landfill. The impact fees paid at purchase do not mitigate costs of accepting tires that must be trucked out of state. And some other ‘stuff’ I forget.
    I have been led to believe most of the statements are, at this time, valid. I believe the waste flow will become profitable in the near future. That said I would really like to see an article detailing the economics of recycling .. when it makes good common sense as well as the costs when it does not pay to pull out ‘stuff’ I would think could be useful (like plastic bags separated before they can clog grinder/separators; Styrofoam, used car/truck tires and the like.

  • Richard G.

    Recycling programs are successful when they are subsidizes by the input of dollars from the taxpayer or some other mechanism as they are not a profit maker. More and more programs come to the market place which adds to the supply thus reducing value. There is an old saying that I heard about being a successful race car team owner which I feel applies to the business of recycling. I believe if you want to make yourself a millionaire in the recycling business start with 10 million.


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