Unless you live in warm climates and prefer not to ever
think of such things as snow, most everyone knows we had a blizzard here last
weekend. It was the only thing anyone
here was talking about for days and days.
It felt like all we did the latter half of last week was get ready for
it. A big waiting game with grocery
store runs, gas tank fill ups, pulling out snow shovels, boots, and the other
necessary equipment to get us through the storm and into the aftermath. Well, we’re still digging out two days later,
but we’re doing okay. I have food and
supplies in my house. My car has a full
tank of gas (if nowhere to go quite yet), and my snow shovel and I have had a
love hate relationship with my driveway.
I took all the necessary precautions, filled my arsenal and when it was
go time, we got down to business using those resources and implementing the
While it’s not quite the same, I feel this way about FPI’s
recovery work. With all of the barriers
we have had to work through, it has taken a tremendous amount of preparation to
be ready to answer the questions. We
to determine MRFs that are accepting foodservice packaging products. We have done two food residue studies
to figure out that foodservice packaging is no more contaminated than other
routinely recycled food packaging products.
We participated with others in a study to determine how materials
flow through a MRF. The preparations
are still ongoing. We are currently
working on an important collaborative study to determine what percentages of
the population have access to recycling for our products. Honestly, we will have to continue to work on
some of the pieces, but, that can only be expected when we have such a large
array of packaging types and materials.
But, for a good portion of our materials, it’s time. We have done a lot of homework and now it’s
time to take the first big test. We are going
to start with implementation as city pilots.
This is the exciting part! The
proof in networks built carefully, piece by piece, including communities, MRFS
and end markets - the willingness of partners to step up and be the models by
which other cities can follow. We
actually have projects in the works for both recycling and composting. This is what we have all been patiently
waiting for and it feels really close.
It is hard to be patient.
It is hard to not just plunge ahead, but as we have said all along, we
want to do this right. We want to be as
thorough with our implementation as we were in preparing for it. That said we’re hoping to have more to tell
you about our city work in the upcoming months of 2016.
This is truly just the beginning of our next phase in
building a nationwide network of foodservice packaging recovery and if we are
thorough in our work, we should always be preparing for the next step.