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Page Updated:
October 25, 2022




Recycling and Waste Reduction


You have just finished a fast food meal, and you throw your uneaten food, wrappers, cup, utensils and napkins into the trash. You don't think about that waste again. Ony our neighborhood trash day, you push your cans out to the curb, and workers dump the contents into a big truck and off it goes. You don't have to think about that waste again.
But have you ever wondered, as you watch the trash truck pull away, just where that garbage • ends up?

Does Your Locality Recycle Cartons?
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Recycling News - In the Past Year (Latest Stories First)

  • • The End of a Battery’s Life Matters
    As Much as Its Beginning

    Oct. 24, 2022 -Right now, the last stop in the US for many of the giant lithium batteries that power electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles is a plant in a town near Phoenix, Arizona.

    There, the Toronto-based company Li-Cycle breaks the batteries down into “black mass” — a dark, shredded mess of copper, cobalt, nickel, and lithium that without further processing is as useful as shiny dirt. That is, until most of it is shipped to factories in other countries to separate it into the valuable raw materials that both auto and electronics manufacturers need to build new batteries.

  • • A Way to Recycle Plastic Indefinitely
    Scientists Just Discovered How

    ZME Science

    Sep. 26, 2022 -Remember that plastic bottle you just disposed of in the recycling bin? By the most recent statistics, there is less than a one in three chance it will be recycled. If it does get recycled, there’s only a one in five chance it will be turned into a fresh plastic bottle used for food or beverages. And if that bottle is lucky enough to see a second life, there won’t be a third because the recycling process damages the plastic’s properties, and this is something that is true for all plastic-containing products.

    But what if there was a way to recycle plastic a third, tenth, or even one-hundredth time? Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder believe this is indeed possible. They just published a new study describing how they broke down a type of hard plastic commonly used in aerospace and microelectronics into its basic building blocks, which they used to forge the same exact type of plastic without it losing its desirable properties.

  • • How Sustainable Is Recycling?
    There's No Simple Answer

    Greener Ideal

    Aug. 27, 2022 -Recycling has been a key part of sustainability efforts in developed countries for decades. It’s a tried-and-true, effective way to reduce waste and prolong the life of valuable resources — right? Well, it’s not that simple. Let’s see how effective recycling truly is at cutting back on waste and helping the environment.

    To accurately estimate recycling’s effectiveness, we need to see how different countries organize their efforts. Here are three of the largest waste producers in the world: the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

  • • How Batteries Get Recycled
    The Process Explained

    Greener Ideal

    July 22, 2022 -Batteries are critical to our daily lives. They power everything from our phones and laptops to our bikes and cars. But what happens to batteries when they’re no longer usable?

    Battery recycling is vital for both environmental and economic reasons. When batteries get recycled, valuable metals like lead and cadmium are recovered and used to make new batteries. This recycling process eliminates the need to mine for these metals, which is terrible for the environment.

  • • Can the Solar Industry Help
    the Global Aluminum Shortage?
    Let's Learn How

    BBC Logo

    July 20, 2022 -Did you know there’s a magic metal used daily in the Solar Industry? That metal is aluminum, and it’s called a magic metal because it can be recycled repeatedly without losing its core quality. This is why about 75% of all aluminum that has ever been put into production is still in use today, actively being recycled back into the system.

    While bauxite mining for virgin aluminum is not ideal, taking used aluminum and recycling it back into the system for new aluminum is a great system that everyone can support.

  • • The Truth About Plastics Biodegradability
    Here’s What the Experts Say

    ZME Science

    July 1, 2022 -The world loves to use plastic because it’s cheap and highly durable. But the same appealing properties are a curse when plastic reaches the end of its lifecycle, polluting the soil and ocean for centuries to come. This problem is extremely pervasive and, at first glance, almost impossible to solve. The most plastic-littered place on Earth is actually a remote island in the middle of the Pacific and microplastics — tiny pieces of polymer measuring five millimeters or less — have been found in the lungs and even the blood of humans.

  • •  Scottish Facility to Turn Plastic Waste Into Hydrogen
    Will Chemical Recycling Solve
    Our Plastic Waste Problem?

    TH

    June 16, 2022 -Peel NRE, a part of United Kingdom-based Peel L&P, is building a new $24 million (£20 million) plant in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland that will turn plastic waste into hydrogen.

    The company says it will use new tech to "create a local source of sustainable hydrogen from non-recycling plastics otherwise destined for landfill, incineration or export overseas," reports The BBC. The hydrogen will then be utilized to fuel cars, buses, and HGVs. There are plans to build a hydrogen refueling station on the plant's site.

  • • Tennessee Trail Is Designed Not to 'Tire' You Out
    Tennessee Officials Say One of the Longest Rubber-Bearing Trails in the U.S. Has Opened at T.O. Fuller State Park

    AP Logo

    June 6, 2022 -According to a news release, Tennessee State Parks, the Department of Transportation and local leader cut the ribbon on the on the new 2.5 miles hard-surface walking biking trail.

    Volunteers and local contractors gathered more than 24,000 tires that had been illegally dumped in the park to make the trail. Patriot Tire Recycling in Bristol transformed the tires into crumbs, which were then returned to the park for trail construction.

  • • Oregon's New Recycling Approach
    Other States Are Adopting It

    OPB

    May 27, 2022 -After recycling’s failure to appreciably reduce the amount of plastic the U.S. throws away, some states are taking a new approach, transferring the onus of recycling from consumers to product manufacturers.

    In the past 12 months, legislatures in Maine, Oregon and Colorado have passed "extended producer responsibility" laws on packaging. The legislation essentially forces producers of consumer goods — such as beverage-makers, shampoo companies and food corporations — to pay for the disposal of the packages and containers their products come in.

  • • Getting the World Clean,
    One Recycled Bar of Soap at a Time
    Nonprofit Recycles Partially
    Used Soap Left Behind From Hotel
    Guests for Those in Need

    NYT

    May 17, 2022-When hotel or motel guests check into their rooms, they expect at the very least to be greeted with a clean space, a made-up bed and in the bathroom, soap.

    But what happens when you leave that soap behind?

  • • US Plastic Recycling Falls to Abysmal Levels
    Plastics Use is Increasing While
    Recycling Falls Way Short in the US.

    ZME Science

    May 5, 2022 -The rate of plastic waste being recycled in the United States fell below 6% last year, according to a new report based on official data. The figure is explained by a surge in plastic consumption during the pandemic and by the decision of some countries, particularly China, to stop accepting US waste exports, the researchers found.

  • • Cement Makers Burn Turbine Blades
    as Wind Power Faces Recycling Headache
    Incinerating Blades In Cement-Factory
    Kilns Instead of Sending them to
    Landfill Reduces Emissions Overall

    EC

    Apr. 26, 2022 -Old wind-turbine blades are getting a new lease on life—in cement.

    Turbines are mostly made of steel, a widely recyclable material. But their blades are constructed of complex composite materials such as fiberglass and balsa wood that are difficult to separate and process, presenting a recycling challenge. As a result, blades that reach the end of their lives often end up in landfill.

  • • Trash or Recycling?
    Why Plastic Keeps Us Guessing

    NYT

    Apr. 21, 2022 -The universal symbol for recycling, known as the “chasing arrows” logo, is stamped on so many things. But that doesn’t mean they’re recyclable.

    Manufacturers can print the logo on just about any product. That’s because its main purpose isn’t to say whether it’s recyclable, but to identify the type of plastic it’s made from. (For example, if there’s a “3” in the center, it’s PVC, which most curbside recycling programs don’t accept.) The logo is so widely misunderstood that last year California banned its use on things that aren’t recyclable.

  • • Used Tires Are Not Recyclable, But...
    Using Old Tires to
    Make More Durable Concrete

    ZME Science

    Apr. 1, 2022 -Every year, over 300 million scrap tires are generated in the United States alone. These tires are very rarely recycled due to their properties, so they end up in landfills where they pose a serious fire hazard. Seeking to turn a problem into an opportunity, researchers at the University of South Australia and RMIT University ground old tires into fine particles, which they used in lieu of sand aggregates for concrete manufacturing.

    Concrete slabs made using the repurposed tires proved economically viable and even more durable than conventional concrete in a real-world setting.

  • • The False Promise of Plastic Recycling
    A French Company Has a New
    Solution to the Plastic Problem
    Not Everyone is Buying it

    Mar. 5, 2022, (The Atlantic)-An Attempt to commercialize a type of chemical recycling known as depolymerization, which breaks down polymers—the chainlike molecules that make up a plastic—into their fundamental molecular building blocks, called monomers. Those monomers can then be reassembled into polymers that are, in terms of their physical properties, as good as new. In theory, proponents say, a single plastic bottle could be recycled this way until the end of time.

  • • Startup Turns Non-Recyclable
    Plastic Into Building Blocks
    This Could Be an
    Environmental Opportunity

    ZME Science

    Jan. 21, 2022 -Although Americans do their part and dutifully put items into their recycling bins, much of it doesn’t actually end up recycled. According to the EPA, of the 267.8 million tons of municipal solid waste generated by Americans in 2017, only 94.2 million tons were recycled or composted. Just 8% of plastics were recycled, the same report stated.

  • • Christmas Tree Recycling Options
    Check Them Out

    Dec. 29, 2021, (INHABITAT)-As the holidays wind down and the cleanup begins, you may be wondering what to do with your Christmas tree. Whether your tree is live, recently cut, or fake, think about the greenest way to reuse or recycle your tree with consideration for the environment.

    The article includes a slideshow.

  • • Global Ideas in Focus: Circular Economy
    Could Re-thinking Design
    Change the World?

    DW Logo

    Nov. 22 - From textiles and plastic, to electrical waste: the world is drowning in rubbish. We need to produce less and extend the lives of products. Could the concept of the circular economy show us how to live sustainably?

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Of Interest

  • • Don’t Just Recycle - TerraCycle
    Closed-Loop Solutions

    TERRACYCLE - TerraCycle's goal is to focus on hard-to-recycle materials, developing circular solutions for otherwise linear systems. Today they recycle millions of pounds of such material on a weekly basis, diverting it from our landfills and incinerators.

    When looking at a new waste stream we first focus on moving it from a linear disposal system to a circular one, and then over time to a platform that is as closed loop as technically possible.

  • • What We Can Recycle?
    13 Household Items You
    You Might Not Know You Could Recycle

    -The recycling basics are pretty easy: put paper, plastic, and glass in their appropriate containers so your local recycling center can process them correctly.

    But what do you with those odd (yet somehow everyday) household items filling up our drawers, closets, and garages? While we don’t want to throw them away in the trash, we’re not sure what to do with them. Thanks to this helpful little infographic, you can now take care of your toothbrushes, toilets, and tennis balls with ease!

    Click now for the Live Brighter blog.

  • • Recycling For Kids (1)
    Having Children Take
    Respnsibility for a Clean Planet

    Fun Presentation and Game about Recycling - Natural Resource Facts about Paper and Aluminum and How To Recycle for Kids - Green Living Strategies Presented by Children of the Earth United - Environmental Education for Kids of all Ages, Teachers and Families.

  • • Recycling For Kids (2)
    Children Learning About Recycling
    and Having Fun at the Same Time

    Nico is on a quest to help save the planet! He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge of recycling with everyone, so join Nico on his journey to reduce, reuse and recycle with tips and fun activities. Once you have the practices down, you can share your recycling knowledge with your family and friends too!


    Learn more about Nico by clicking now.
  • • Check Out This Recycled "Green" House
    Modern Recycled Container House in South
    Africa Operates 100% Off Grid

    Mar. 10, 2017- Sustainable design has taken longer to get off the ground in South Africa largely due to expensive construction methods.

    When Johannesburg-based Architecture For A Change (A4AC) took on the challenge of building a modern green home in the country, they aimed to make the house not only environmentally friendly but also affordable. They cut costs by using upcycled shipping containers and other repurposed materials to build Cliff House, a lifted flying container house with an economical, energy-efficient design.

  • • From Trash to Building Material
    What Is Poly Brick?

    It's a revolutionary building material made from 100% recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate Polymer. It is translucent, naturally insulated, and durable. The modular 3-D honeycomb self-interlocking structure makes it extremely strong without any chemical adhesives, while weights only 1/5 of the standard curtain wall systems.

  • • It’s Not Just Trash Anymore
    One Person’s Trash is
    Another's Renewable Energy

    The practical benefits of organic products don't necessarily end when it goes down the drain or into the trash. There is quite a bit of useful energy left in the items we discard.

  • • More About Plastic Waste
    Pollution
    (And What We Can Do About It)

    Plastic is literally at our fingertips all day long. Keyboards. framed computer monitor, mice. The amount of plastic we encounter daily doesn\’t end there. Chances are, you can relate. Plastic is an epidemic.

    But where does all this plastic go?

  • • Plastic Bottles Become Shoes and More
    Timberland Transforms Recycled Plastic
    Bottles Into Shoes and Bags

    Mar. 3, 2017- For its latest collection, Timberland is turning to the bottle—the plastic bottle, that is. The outdoor-wear maker has teamed up with Thread, a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based manufacturer of sustainable fabrics, to transform plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into a dapper collection of footwear, bags, and T-shirts.

  • • A State-by-State Guide to Landfill Bans
    What’s Banned in Landfills:
    A State-by-State Guide

    Earth91/ Nov. 27, 2017 - In some cases, it’s not about whether you should recycle an item, but instead whether you must.

    That’s because in the U.S., there are no federal laws regarding recycling. There wasn’t even a law regarding waste generation until the Solid Waste Disposal Act in 1965, which eventually became the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and set procedures for landfills and collection of household waste.

    This means any items banned from landfills are decided at the state (or, in some cases, city) level. Only one U.S. state, Montana, currently does not have any landfill bans.

  • • Beer Waste Into Clean Water+
    Microbes Turn Beer Waste
    Into Clean Water, Energy

    November 1, 2015 -Cambrian Innovation is extracting clean water and energy from waste streams at two California breweries with a secret set of microbes.

  • • Yes, Pizza Boxes Can Be Recycled After All
    An We Thought
    That We Couldn't

    SIERRA Magazine, July 28, 2020 -When Eric Nelson looks back on his years as a waste reduction manager at the University of Kansas, what stands out are the pizza boxes. "One year, there was a first-week event for all the clubs and organizations," he told me on a phone call from Lawrence. "I think Pizza Hut sent over like 500 medium one-topping pizzas." That was great for the hungry college students, not so much for Nelson, who spent the evening schlepping 500 pizza boxes to the dumpster "because we couldn't recycle pizza boxes."

    It's advice from the dawn of curbside recycling: Don't put your pizza box in the blue bin because the greasy cardboard and cheese scraps make it unrecyclable. For years, conscientious recyclers followed this advice, and tens of billions of pizza boxes were sent to landfills and incinerators. The intentions were good, but it turns out that the advice wasn't.

    New research reveals that, so long as you remove all the pizza, the cardboard container that held your Veggie Supreme can be readily recycled into something new.

  • • An New Role for Discarded Plastics
    Netherlands: Plastic Roads to
    Be Made From Recycled Ocean Waste

    Sept 16, 2016 - After the floating farm, Rotterdam will be the first city in the world that plans to build roads using plastic waste rescued from the oceans. These are polymer blocks, reminiscent of Lego pieces with which we played as a kid, and presented as the ecological alternative to stop pouring concrete.

  • • 3D Printing Our Way Out of Waste
    Is 3D Printing the
    Answer to Plastic Waste?

    January 29, 2015,  -You’ve probably heard a lot about 3D printing in the last few years. "Printing" is sort of a misnomer. Also referred to as "additive manufacturing," it’s the process of creating an object from a digital file by layering filaments to form the finished product. It’s been hyped as a revolution that will make conventional manufacturing obsolete, allowing people to create the products and tools they need in their own homes.

  • • Canon™ Cartridge Recycling
    Canon Environmental Technologies, Inc.

    In 1990, Canon introduced a cartridge recycling program for all-in-one laser beam printer toner cartridges through its Clean Earth Campaign Program. The goal of the program is to achieve zero landfill waste by reusing parts, recycling materials, and employing energy recovery. Canon’s all-in-one cartridges have components that can be recycled and reused by Canon.

  • • Electronics Recycling
    Recycling Electronic Waste
    Responsibly: Excuses Dwindle

    Maybe you replaced old electronics over the holidays or you’re just sweeping out the old and ushering in the New Year. Either way, you’ll need to do something with your old devices. For everyone’s sake, including Mother Nature’s, try to get rid of your old technology the right way.

    Click now to read how
    and watch the video.

  • • Light From Discarded Batteries
    Discarded Laptop Batteries Keep the Lights On

    Millions of discarded batteries have more than enough life to power home lighting for one year, researchers in India say.

    Many of the estimated 50 million lithium-ion laptop batteries discarded every year could provide electricity storage sufficient to light homes in poor countries, researchers at IBM say.

  • • The LandfillHarmonic
    There's No Such Thing As Waste

    Click now to watch this entertaining video and see what we mean.

  • • Self-Destructing Plastics & Recycling Awareness
    Self-Destructing Plastics and Recycling?

    CleanTecnica , Aug. 15, 2018  - Evian says it will produce all its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025. Starbucks made headlines this summer with its pledge to eliminate plastic straws by 2020. British supermarket Morrisons said it would bring back “traditional” brown paper bags for loose fruit and vegetables, which means that 150 million small plastic bags will be removed from circulation. But is any of this foot-stomping about plastics really enough? Isn’t it time for to ask the world’s scientists to research and develop polymers or plastics with built-in self-destruct mechanisms?

    Interested? Click now for whole story.

  • • The Last Straw
    Make the Last Straw You Got From
    a Restaurant Your Last One

    A disposable plastic straw is used on average for a whopping 20 minutes. It’s longer than the four-second lifespan of the plastic stirrer you may use to swizzle your coffee or tea, but 20 minutes is still just a tiny fraction of the several hundred years it could spend in a landfill.

    One straw may seem insignificant, but consider this: someone who uses one straw a day for the next decade will toss 3,650 pieces of plastic into the landfill—and there’s a chance that plastic may get lost along the way and end up in the ocean.

  • • Using Bugs to Clean Up Waste
    Dong Energy Funds
    First Power Plant Using
    Bugs to Clean Up Waste

    July 1, 2016- Dong Energy A/S’s REnescience plant in northern England will use enzyme technology to “wash”; organic matter from unsorted waste, creating a slurry that can be turned into a gas for use in power generation or motor fuels, said their VP of commercial bioenergy at Novozymes.

  • • CO2 As a Refrigerant
    A Good Use for CO2

    Volkswagen, Daimler, Audi, BMW and Porsche have announced plans to develop CO2 technology as a more climate-friendly refrigerant for air conditioning systems.

    VW says CO2 as a refrigerant — also known as R744 — has lower greenhouse gas effects than conventional refrigerants, with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) value of 1, or 99.3 percent below the European Union-specified GWP limit of 150.

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Products That Can Be Recycled


13 Household Items You
Might Not Know You Could Recycle
This List Might Suprise You

They Incluide:

1. Eyeglasses, 2. Carpet, 3. Christmas Lights,
4. Tights & Stockings,  5. Toothbrushes,
6. Prosthetic Limbs, 7. Pet Fur, 8. Bras, 9. Brita Water Products,
10. Motor Oil. 11. Tennis Balls, 12. Keys, 13. Toilets


Does Your Locality Recycle Cartons?
Check Out Your Town/City
There's a way to see if your city or town recycles your cartons.

Click here to find out.

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