Industrial Recycling in North America on the Rise, Says CEC

According to a new report from the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, over one-third of U.S. and Canadian toxic releases and transfers reported in 2004—more than 1 million tonnes—were recycled. Recycling has increased in recent years due to increases in production and in scrap metal prices. Most of the materials were metals, including copper, zinc, lead and their compounds.

"The evidence is clear that industry and government action to limit chemical releases is showing steady progress," said Adrián Vázquez-Gálvez, CEC's executive director. "It is equally clear that a large number of small and medium-size industrial facilities need to do a better job in reducing their waste and emissions if we are going to see even greater progress in North America. We trust the progress shown by industry leaders and the fact that pollution prevention is a proven strategy will encourage everyone to tackle pollution issues at the source."

The trilateral analysis in the report, entitled Taking Stock, is based on data from some 9 industrial sectors, 56 chemicals, and 10,000 facilities, comparing releases and transfers for similar facilities in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The report identifies a different pattern of releases and transfers in each of the three countries. Mexico launched its first pollutant release and transfer registry, the Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes (RETC), earlier this year. Mandatory reporting began in 2004, so there is limited data available on industrial recycling for Mexico.:: Via CEC

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