If you didn’t already know the newspaper business is hurting, a look at how the landfill’s contents have changed over the last 20 years might tip you off. The city’s most recent waste-characterization study shows that newspaper waste has declined dramatically, making up about 10,000 tons in 2014 compared to 61,000 tons in 2000.
Glass is also becoming more of a rare find, at 21,903 tons in 2014 versus 34,626 in 2000. Robertson attributes this to better consumer recycling habits and packaging industry changes to favor flexible materials.
On the commercial side, there’s a major decrease in concrete (69,435 tons in 2014; 22,668 tons in 2000), which she says is directly related to the increase in concrete recycling facilities since 2003, per a state law for construction and demolition recycling.