such as the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and the Steel Can Recyclers Institute, also provide information. In newer areas of recycling, such as plastics, adequate informational and organizational mechanisms are yet to evolve.
In materials sectors where traditional recycling networks do not exist, information may be difficult to find, especially if users and providers are in very different geographical areas or different parts of the industrial system. Existing waste exchanges and brokerage systems are generally small, local, and ineffective on a large scale. Attempts are being made to create better market arrangements. The Recycling Advisory Council and the Chicago Board of Trade, with the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are seeking to create an exchange market on an electronic bulletin board. This market would initially trade in glass, polyethylene terephthalate, and high-density polyethylene. Some metal recyclers, stimulated by public opinion and the resulting anticipation of new recycling markets, are expanding into other materials to fill the gap (Kisser, 1994).
The internal organization of a firm can be difficult to change. Changing the whole concept of a product or adding new criteria for environmental compatibility to the design process may not fit the ideas on which the firm operates or its internal incentive system. The business-unit structure may make perception and solution of problems that cross organization lines very difficult.
External to a firm, the idea that anything secondhand must be second rate has become institutionalized in the distinction between dealers in new and the used materials and products. Organizational issues can plague not only the establishment of markets, but also the creation of new institutions such as information and waste exchanges and larger-scale brokerages.
The U.S. regulatory system for industrial wastes has been designed around disposal, and the rules treat recycling and reuse as forms of disposal. The designation of a material as waste, as distinguished from scrap or hazardous material, can be crucial.
There are many inconsistencies in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. For example, the waste classification of a solvent-laden rag used to clean machinery depends on how it was used. If the solvent is poured first on the machinery and then wiped with a clean rag, the rag is a hazardous waste. However, if the solvent is poured first on the rag and then the rag is used to wipe the machinery clean, the rag is not considered a hazardous waste (Starr et al., 1994).
Recycling an industrial waste material is likely to require the recycler to become a legal disposer of that material under the regulations. Obtaining a permit