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Recycling Industry - Current State of Affairs

January 2018

Dear Customer,

We have always worked hard to save you money and handle your recyclable materials responsibly. The resulting non-recyclable leftover portions of your materials have been disposed of properly - either sent to a Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facility when possible or a landfill when necessary.  

The last several years have been extremely challenging here in the recycling world and the problems have accelerated more recently. 

China, one of the world’s greatest importers of recyclable materials, announced in July 2017 that they would be placing an import ban on 24 categories of solid waste including certain types of plastics, paper and textiles.  This ban took full effect on January 1, 2018.

Recyclable material values have dropped - in many cases, substantially.  Future drops in value are predicted.  As a result, recyclable materials have become harder and harder to move to end-markets.  Due to a lack of market, many previously recyclable items have now become essentially unrecyclable.

In addition, local landfills have continued to close putting additional strain on Waste-To-Energy (WTE) facilities located in Massachusetts.  This strain has resulted in long lines and in many cases in the inability to deliver non-recyclable WTE feedstocks, when needed.

All of these factors have led to a substantial back up of materials as well as a reduction in the number of materials that currently enjoy end-markets.  The piles of material are growing and there is currently no light at the end of the tunnel.

Due to all of these factors, we have been forced to institute several changes.  We have begun the process of raising our rates.  When processing your materials, we will continue to seek recycling markets first, waste to energy facilities second and landfills third.  However, based upon all the negative factors affecting our industry and your materials, it is likely that the percentage of materials that cannot be recycled or sent to waste to energy will increase, resulting in a greater portion of your non-recyclable materials going to landfill.  

Your sales representative will be in touch regarding the necessary pricing changes for your account as well as to discuss the possibility of discontinuing the collection of certain materials that do not currently enjoy a recyclable market with slim prospects for improvement. 

For more information regarding the current state of affairs, please see the following articles:

Questions regarding this correspondence may be addressed to your sales representative or our General Manager.


The Staff at Conigliaro Industries, Inc.

10-Jun-16 is re-launched! was created to help people find great quality reclaimed and recycled-content items for their home or business. is a division of Conigliaro Industries, a Total Recycling Services company.  Founded in 1990, Conigliaro Industries ( has recycled in excess of 675 million pounds of material from homeowners, businesses, hotels, colleges and industrial facilities across the United States. 

Many of the items received have plenty of useful life left in them.  We began offering these perfectly reusable items for sale over twenty years ago and this part of our business continues to grow. 

In addition to reclaimed items, also offers buyers many "recycled-content" products, that is, products made with recycled materials.  Examples include our PolyCorn Packaging Peanuts which are made from 100% recycled expanded polystyrene, our Plas-Crete Blocks made with recycled mixed plastic aggregate ( and our Boston's Best Patch pothole filler made from recycled mixed plastics. 

Please browse our online store or visit our facility in Framingham, MA often as our offerings are updated hourly!  When you buy from you'll save lots of money and help the environment - a win, win!




Latest EPA figures highlight effect of evolving ton

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

June 23, 2015

Numbers released late last week by the U.S. EPA suggest the nation's recovery of recyclables is at a standstill, with recycling and composting flat in 2013. Industry experts pointed to the shifting material mix as a primary factor in the stagnant U.S. recycling rate.

According to the EPA's nearly 200-page report, the U.S. generated 254 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2013 and recovered 34.3 percent of it – 0.2 percentage points below 2012's recovery rate of 34.5 percent and 5.8 percentage points higher than the 2000 rate of 28.5 percent.

While some material types experienced increased recovery in 2013, including scrap electronics, recovery rates for paper, plastics and food – segments that combine to account for roughly 54 percent of overall generation – were all within a percentage point of 2012 totals.

The 2013 paper recovery rate, by far the highest among major material categories, was 63.3 percent in 2013, while the plastics recovery rate (9.2 percent) and food recovery rate (5.0 percent) remained in the single-digits.

"Sooner or later, people have to ask themselves what is a realistic recovery rate [to achieve]?" Chaz Miller, director of policy and advocacy at the National Waste and Recycling Association, said in an interview. "I think it's clearly more than 34 percent, but I think a lot of cities and states hurt themselves by setting unrealistic, unachievable goals."

The material mix

One challenge noted by Miller and others in the industry is the so-called evolving ton, the phenomenon of increasingly lightweight, sometimes plastics-based packaging replacing heavier, more easily recyclable paper and glass packaging. In other words, a ton of recyclables today is harder to amass than it was a decade ago.

Keefe Harrison, the executive director of The Recycling Partnership, a group that helps support and assist municipal recycling programs nationwide, said single-stream programs have grown in the U.S. The programs have led to higher recovery rates on a community-by-community basis, but they have not been immune to today's lighter ton.

"What I see when I look at the report is not an indicator of consumer apathy or even declining rates – I see a changing packaging scene," Harrison said. "This speaks to me more about the evolving ton than the impact of single-stream to deliver more material."

Plastics generation, accounting for 13 percent of the waste stream in 2013, has increased 27 percent since 2000 while paper generation has fallen by almost 22 percent. In that same time frame, glass volumes have decreased by about 10 percent.

Looking forward

Bill Moore, an expert on recovered paper markets and president of Moore & Associates, said it's safe to predict annual paper generation to fall further in the next five to 10 years.

According to Moore, annual paper generation could soon reach a bottom of 60 million tons (in 2013, U.S. paper generation was 68.6 million tons). He predicted in the coming years the rate at which the material is recovered will be "flat at worst, but probably has a small growth potential left."

One material that might need to pick up the recovery slack, experts say, is food scraps. Food waste increased by 2 percent in 2013 and now accounts for about 15 percent of the overall waste stream. The food recovery rate, meanwhile, is at 5 percent.

Nora Goldstein, the editor of organics-recovery publication BioCycle, says just 2 percent of U.S. households currently have curbside food scrap collection, but she noted efforts to donate unused food are gaining ground.

"The good news, despite these realities, is that generators of food waste continue to be interested in diversion of this stream from disposal," Goldstein said. "And demand for quality compost is growing rapidly."

On the plastics front, increasing the recovery rate has been a unique challenge, said Steve Alexander, the executive director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers. He noted plastics generation continues to grow.

"Growing the [recovery] rate as the denominator is growing is tough, but it's also a nice problem to have because it means there is a sizeable opportunity in plastics recycling," Alexander said.


Recycling is Stalling? We don't think so!

Despite the tough recycling markets Conigliaro Industries is helping our customers recycle more and more every day! 

Click here for more information about the worldwide markets:


Shingles, Shingles Everywhere!

With the incredible snows and the resulting ice dams this past winter, Massachusetts residents are faced with damage to their homes and business properties.  The damage to roofs, both pitched and flat, is especially widespread.  The good news is that roofing materials are recyclable once removed.  Shingles can and should be recycled if you are re-roofing and Conigliaro Industries can help with our cost-effective shingle recycling programs.  We can drop containers, haul the material and get it recycled all with just one phone call.  This spring the volume of waste shingles being handled by Conigliaro Industries has been very high with no end in site.  So if you are generating shingles give us a call at 888-CONIG-25!   


Conigliaro Industries participates in CARE Conference

Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) held their annual carpet recycling conference in New Orleans last month.  The conference was a huge success.  Carpet collectors and recyclers like Conigliaro Industries were able to learn all about the carpet industry as well as learn all about the amazing industry initiatives to increase carpet recycling rates nationwide.  Of note, industry leaders are working hard to develop ways to recycle the ever-increasing volume of PET carpet that will soon hit the waste stream.  For more information about Conigliaro Industries' carpet recycling services call 888-CONIG-25.


US Facing Glut of Scrap Materials

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the US is experiencing a glut in the scrap and recycling industry. 

More information »


Electronics Recycling Bonanza!

Conigliaro Industries provided free-of-charge electronics recycling services at Framingham's April 25th Earth Day Celebration on the Town Green.  The response was incredible.  We collected and recycled 19,740 pounds of material, enough to fill three box trucks and a car!  This was substantially more than the 3,500 pounds collected at the same event in 2014.  Great job Framingham!


The Hook Lifts are Coming, the Hook Lifts are Coming!

Conigliaro Industries is pleased to announce the expansion of our fleet of vehicles and recycling containers.  Beginning in mid-June, we will be offering Hook Lift containers and service.  The perfect solution to all your recycling needs!


Conigliaro Industries turns 25 years old!

Conigliaro Industries reached an amazing milestone on Earth Day, April 22, 2015 - we reached our 25th Anniversary!  Founded in 1990 as a paper recycler, over the last twenty five years we have grown to accept 150 unique materials.  Better yet, we have recycled in excess of 675,000,000 pounds of material since inception!  Happy Earth Day to all our customers and friends!


Conigliaro Industries Goes Solar!

Celebrate Earth Day with us as we “FLIP THE SWITCH” on our brand new, state-of-the-art Solar Power System!  Once we “FLIP THE SWITCH”, Conigliaro Industries shall begin using renewable energy to power our recycling machinery – a first for Massachusetts!


Where:     Conigliaro Industries, Inc.
701 Waverly Street, Framingham, MA

When:         Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010, 10:00am

April 22, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and also the 20th anniversary of Conigliaro Industries.


We consider this a giant step towards a smaller carbon footprint (pardon the pun) as this solar array will generate 63 kwh’s of power for recycling machinery!    This is the largest of its kind in Metrowest, and will generate enough electricity to continually power over ONE THOUSAND 60 watt incandescent light bulbs.


Another Reason to Recycle, Not Landfill, Your Mattress! NEWS

Daughter who threw out mum's mattress with $1million savings stuffed in it searches rubbish dump

By Tom Pettifor 11/06/2009

A woman threw out her elderly mum's old mattress not realising it was stuffed with a million dollars. When she learned the heart-stopping truth she dashed outside but was too late to stop workers taking the rubbish away.

The woman - known only as Anat, who had treated her mum to a new mattress - had no choice but to head for the dumps and begin searching for the fortune in great mounds of refuse.

Yesterday she was a pitiful sight still sifting through tons of garbage on landfill sites around Tel Aviv, Israel. Newspaper Yediot Ahronot published a picture of her plight. Dump manager Yitzhak Borba told Israeli Army Radio his staff were helping her and that she appeared "totally desperate".

He said 2,500 tons of rubbish arrive at the site every day. Mr Borba even increased security to keep out treasure hunters who had heard Anat's story.

She gave her mother the new mattress on Monday. The old lady had stashed away US dollars and Israeli shekels after "a traumatic experience with banks".

Anat remained hopeful but, prepared for the worst, she said: "People have to take everything in proportion and thank God for the good and the bad."

More information »


Conigliaro Selected to Recycle All Mattresses

ASHEVILLE – Buncombe County will start recycling mattresses instead of burying them in the landfill.

According to the county, 95 percent of all mattresses and box springs are recyclable. Instead of taking up space in the landfill, these mattresses will now be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner, although they will not be reused or resold as whole mattresses.

More information »


Alternative Disposal and the Obama Administration...

The new Obama Administration is in place.  How will it affect our industry?

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Landfill Fees Continue to Rise

As landfill fee's continue to rise, Alternative Disposal options become more economical.

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Recycling of Construction Materials Grows

The recycling of contruction related materials such as carpet, wood, ceiling tiles and gypsum continues to grow all across the nation.

More information »


First Conigliaro Industries Tent Sale is a Huge Success!

Conigliaro Industries held it's first of many Tent Sales this past Saturday.  Almost 50 shoppers visited to view and purchase a huge assortment of reused and recycled goods.  The youngest shopper, just two years old, walked away with an almost new, perfectly kickable, soccer ball for just $1.00.  Others left happy with power tools, toys, wood planks, insulation board and many other great, reusable items gleaned from the 125 tons per day of material processed at our state of the art facility!

The sale, organized by our VP of Operations, Richard Garrison and his staff, will be held every Saturday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Come on down and find some incredible bargains!


Free Carpet Recycling to Two Lucky Winners at EPP VendorFair

New Directions in EPP Purchasing and Sustainability

11th Annual Buy Recycled and Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP)
Vendor Fair and Conference

Wednesday, November 2, 2005
DCU Center (formerly Centrum Centre), Worcester, MA

Conigliaro Industries is pleased to announce its participation in the Waste Reduction Pilot Program at the Environmentally Preferred Product Purhasing and Sustainability Show. 
We are offering two pilot awards for free carpeting and padding recycling. We will drop off a 30-cubic-yard container at your site, (within 20 miles of Framingham , MA 01702 ). The pilot site will be able to recycle free of charge as much carpet as fits into the container. The winners will be responsible for ensuring that no materials other than carpet and padding are placed into the container. Booth # 615.
Carpet recycling (offered by Conigliaro Industries). In an effort to reduce the estimated 40,000 tons of carpet currently sent to landfills in Massachusetts each year, Conigliaro Industries is pleased to offer carpet and padding recycling. Carpet joins the growing list of over 150 different materials currently recycled by Conigliaro Industries. We will recycle your old carpeting and create new products.

More information »


Conigliaro Industries wins Huge Training Grant!

Conigliaro Industries was recently awarded a $98,380.00 WorkForce Training Fund Grant from the Massachusetts Division of Career Services!  This exciting new program, offered by the Department of Employment and Training, is just what heavy industry in Massachusetts needs to become more competitive.

This is great news for our employees, who will now embark upon a yearlong training program focusing on plant efficiency, quality manufacturing, process improvement, equipment repair and customer service.  Conigliaro Industries will match the training grant funds dollar for dollar to insure all our employees receive full pay while in their training classes.

Congratulations to Richard Garrison, our General Manager, for working so diligently on our successful grant application!


Carpet Recycling Is On A Roll at Conigliaro Industries!

Got Carpet?

You know Conigliaro Industries for Total Recycling Services of difficult materials.  Now we've tackled one of the toughest - carpet!

We collect, transport and process all types of rolled and square tile carpet waste, including nylon, polypropylene and PET as well as carpet padding foam.

Best of all, our prices are competitive with landfilling.  Together, we can keep over 40,000 tons of carpet waste generated in Massachusetts out of landfills each year!


Plas-Crete Wall Blocks with Rough Stone Finish Look GREAT!

Plas-Crete Retaining Wall Blocks not only look great, but they help contractors solve many difficult site challenges.  The Saversbank Project in downtown Uxbridge features our Plas-Crete blocks with Rough Stone Finish.   The project included large grade drops, a ramp, poured sidewalks, tough angles and the need for cast in drainage ports.  Our engineers and manufacturing departments got the job done, on time and on budget.







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15 years, 35 years, 100 years and 109 years!

 April 2005 is a very special month here at Conigliaro Industries.  On April 18th we will celebrate many major milestones in the history of the company, the industry and the country!

15 years ago on Earth Day 1990, Conigliaro Industries was founded.

35 years ago on Earth Day 1970, the orginal Earth Day was celebrated.

100 years ago the building containing our recycling facility was built!

109 years ago, the first Boston Marathon was run.

What does all this add up to, besides 259 years? 

A PARTY !!!!!!!!

On April 18, 2005, Patriots Day/Marathon Day, Conigliaro Industries will host a great big party for friends, family and business associates.  Located exactly at the six mile mark of the marathon, we will celebrate in style while watching thousands of runners make their way to the finish line just a short 20 miles further east.

Join us as we celebrate all these remarkable milestones.  We'll enjoy food, fun and hopefully some great weather!

If you wish to attend, please RSVP to Cynthia Conigliaro, our Public Relations Manager at or 508-872-9668.



Greg Conigliaro

03-Jan-05 receives over 1,750,000 hits in 2004!

The world really is becoming smaller!  Conigliaro Industries' web site,, received one million seven hundred fifty one thousand seven hundred and sixty one (1,751,761) hits in 2004! 

We always knew our site was an excellent resource for our customers.  Now we know that people from all over the world enjoy visiting our site to learn more about our company and how we help our customers save money, beat their environmental goals and meet or exceed recycling rules and regulations.  


Conigliaro Industries to Open Resale Center in 2005!

Conigliaro Industries is pleased to announce the opening of our new Resale and Visitor Center, co-located with our Recycling and Manufacturing Facility in Framingham, MA.

The Resale and Visitor Center will be a traditional bricks and mortar outlet which will offer for sale:

  1. Conigliaro Industries' existing line of recycled-content products
  2. Surplus building materials, machinery, electronics and other resaleable items flowing through our recycling facility
  3. Other recycled-content and environmentally friendly products manufactured by others
  4. Conigliaro Industries' premium items
  5. Tours of the facility

In addition, the Resale Center shall offer all of the above on Ebay and other Material Exchange Sites.

We are still seeking an entrepreneur to run this new division.  Please click the link below if you have interest!

More information »


Plas-Crete Blocks reach major 9.5 milestone!

Conigliaro Industries recently shipped its 25,000th block to a job site.  Representing 46,250,000 tons of material, the blocks contained in excess of 8,750,000 pounds of recycled mixed plastic aggregate.  That's enough blocks to build a wall four feet tall by 9.5 miles long!

More information »

©1999-2017 Conigliaro Industries, Inc.
701 Waverly Street, Framingham, Massachusetts 01702
(508) 872-9668 | (888) CONIG-25 | (508) 653-6672 fax