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Updated: Aug. 30, 2019

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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
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Recycling News

  • Cambodia Rejecting Plastic Waste From the US and Canada
    Cambodia to Send Plastic Waste
    Back to the US and Canada

    July 18, 2017 (CNN.com)-Cambodia has become the latest Asian country to reject shipments of waste sent to its shores by Western companies for processing.

    Cambodian officials announced Wednesday that they were sending 1,600 tonnes of trash back to their source -- the United States and Canada.

    A total of 83 shipping containers of plastic waste were found on Tuesday at the major southwestern port of Sihanoukville, said Neth Pheaktra, Secretary of State and Spokesman to the Ministry of Environment.

    Click now for the whole story.

  • Rethinking Recycling
    Why It's Probably Better
    for the Planet to
    Throw Plastic in the Trash

    July 15, 2019 Real Clear Science -Millions of Americans dutifully fill their recycling bins each week, motivated by the knowledge that they're doing something good for the environment. But little do they know, there's a recycling crisis unfolding.

    Starting as early as 2017, municipalities across the country, from Douglas County, Oregon to Nogales, Arizona to Broadway, Virginia, to Franklin, New Hampshire, began landfilling many recyclables or simply canceling their recycling programs altogether. The impetus for this disconcerting change? China.

    Are You Shocked? Click now for the story.

  • How to Read Plastic Recycling Symbols
    Exactly How to Read
    Plastic Recycling Symbols

    Good Housekeeping. Mar. 18, 2019  -Sometimes it seems like everything in modern America is made of plastic. The versatile material is in our cars, toys, packaging, clothing, home goods, food utensils, and so much more — but it's also littering our streets, clogging our waterways, and choking marine life. In fact, one study says 32% of plastic packaging ends up in our oceans every year.

    Many plastics can be readily recycled, but according to National Geographic, 91% of plastic has never even been recycled. With all the different rules and symbols, it can be confusing for consumers to figure out exactly how to recycle it. For starters, every town and city has different recycling programs.

    Click now to read this important article.

  • US Cities Burn Recyclables After China Bans Imports
    'Moment of reckoning': US Cities Burn
    Recyclables After China Bans Imports

    The Guardian, Feb. 21, 2019 -Residents of cities like Chester, outside Philadelphia, fear a rise in pollution from incinerators after China’s recycling ban

    The conscientious citizens of Philadelphia continue to put their pizza boxes, plastic bottles, yoghurt containers and other items into recycling bins.

    But in the past three months, half of these recyclables have been loaded on to trucks, taken to a hulking incineration facility and burned, according to the city’s government.

  • We Can Learn How to Stop Creating Unnecessary Trash
    19 Ways to Stop
    Creating Unnecessary Trash

    Mother Nature Network, Dec. 31, 2018 - You dutifully set out a full recycling bin each week brimming with plastic, paper and metal. It's a good habit, but, unfortunately, recycling efforts aren't working as well as they should.

    In the last few decades, for instance, the number of plastic products has exploded, but only about 9% of them are actually recycled, according to National Geographic. Meaning most of your plastic beverage bottles, single-serve food containers, straws and cups end up in the landfill — and ultimately, the ocean — where they take centuries to biodegrade and harm wildlife.

  • Second Use For Single-Use Bottles
    Sustainable Multi-Use Fiber Made
    From Recycled Water Bottles

    Nov. 29, 2018 -Single-use water bottles have become a target for environmentalists concerned about the amount of petroleum required for each bottle and the massive amounts of waste generated from their short lives. But in recent years, companies have begun to use tossed-aside plastic in new and exciting ways.

    REPREVE, a sustainable fiber created from 100 percent food-quality and BPA-free post-consumer plastic, has opened up the door to give companies new options when sourcing eco-friendly materials.

    Click for details from
    inhabitat, including a slideshow.

  • Useful Supplies From CO2 - How About That?
    New Devices Could Help Turn
    Atmospheric Co2 Into Useful Supplies

    Oct. 30, 2018 -New chemical-recycling devices might help combat climate change by making good use of heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels.

    These electrochemical cells convert CO into useful compounds much more efficiently than their predecessors, researchers report. If combined with existing technology that harvests carbon monoxide from carbon dioxide, the devices could help transform CO2 captured from pollution sources, like power plant flue gas stacks. That could reduce the warming effect of carbon emissions and produce chemical supplies for manufacturing and space travel.

    Click now to read the whole
    story from Science News.

  • Houses From Salvaged Materials
    Check Out These enchanting,
    Off-Grid Cabins Handcrafted
    from Salvaged Materials

    Oct. 12, 2018 -Ambitious tiny cabin crafter Jacob Witzling has taken inspiration from childhood fairytales to build some seriously dreamy woodland dwellings for himself and his friends. Using reclaimed wood and other materials scavenged from construction sites, Witzling has designed and handcrafted a series of gorgeous tiny cabins tucked deep into lush forestscapes. Inspired by a deep respect for nature, all of his amazing cabins run 100 percent off the grid with no running water.

    Click to read more from
    CleanTechnica, and view a slideshow.

  • Bringing Awareness About Recycling
    Can Self-Destructing Plastics
    Make Us More Aware of Recycling?

    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?

    Plastics are created from fossil fuels and petroleum and typically don’t biodegrade like materials made from other natural, Earth-based resources such as trees and plants. The heat and catalysts applied during the production process create carbon-based polypropylene chains that form virtually indestructible bonds, something Earth’s natural recycling process cannot break down.

    Click now to read the story from CleanTechnica.

  • UK Mostly Waves “Bye-Bye” to Plastic Bags
    UK Bag Tariff Halves
    Plastic Bag Marine Litter,
    Reduces Sales of Plastic Bags by 86%

    Aug. 2 , 2018 -Following a 5p charge per bag, the sale of plastic bags in the U.K. has fallen by 86 percent, according to reports from the “big seven” supermarkets in the country. Scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) have also found that approximately 50 percent of plastic bag marine litter has been eliminated from the Earth’s waters since the tax was put into effect.

    Statistics on individual consumption show a decline from 140 bags per person to 19 as a result of the bag fees — a total elimination of 300 million bags. The 5p (roughly 0.07 USD) tariff introduced in 2015 seems to be working in the favor of marine ecosystems, which receive nearly all of the plastic waste after human handling.

    Click now to read more
    from Inhabitat, and view a slideshow.

  • An Environmentally-Friendly Way to Produce Plastics
    Demand For Biodegradable
    Plastics Expected To Surge

    July 31, 2018 -In the 1967 film, The Graduate, Mr. McGuire used one word to forecast market trends for an impressionable recent college graduate: “Plastics.” If the film were to be updated for 21st century audiences, it would need two words to describe the promising future: “Biodegradable Plastics.” Biodegradable plastics is a double-digit growth industry coming into its own from increased regulations and bans against plastic bags and other single-use plastic items. Concerns about plastic waste in the environment are contributing to demand for biodegradable plastics worldwide.

    Click now to read all
    about it from CleanTechnica.

  • Don’t Just Toss It - “Park” It
    This Floating Park In Rotterdam
    Is Made From Recycled Plastic Waste

    July 11, 2018 -More than 1,000 square feet of plastic ultimately destined to pollute the ocean is getting a second lease on life in Rotterdam. On July 4, 2018, Recycled Island Foundation opened its prototype to the public: a floating park made entirely from recycled plastic waste and appropriately named the Recycled Park.

    Click now for the the story
    and slideshow from CleanTechnica.

  • When It Comes to Recycling “when in doubt don’t”
    Are You a Wishful Recycler?

    June 26, 2018 -Many people aspire to do the right thing, but knowing what to recycle is not always easy. Putting items in the recycling bin with the hope that they will be recycled can do more harm than good and cause an entire load to be rejected.

    Here’s a list you need to know more about:
    Plastic wrap, bubble wrap, sandwich bags and freezer bags
    Paper towels, napkins and tissue
    Plastic bags and film plastics
    Styrofoam, flexible packaging such as pet food bags, chip bags and juice pouches

    Click now to learn more
    from Forsyth News.

  • When China No Longer Accepts Our Recyclables?
    China’s New Recycling Policies
    May Spark an International Waste Crisis

    Jan. 20, 2018 -The current state of North American recycling results in much of our recyclables being shipped to China for processing.

    But a new policy being implemented by China is going to place much stricter controls on the types of recyclables they accept – and that could spark an international waste crisis.

    Click for more from The Greener Ideal,
    and watch the video to learn more about the
    problem, and how we can help.

  • A Great New Way to Produce Packaging
    This Edible, Plastic-Free Packaging
    is Grown From Kombucha Starter

    June 26, 2018 - Polish design student Roza Janusz has created Scoby, an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging that is easily grown with the same methods used to make kombucha. Created from fermented bacteria and yeast, the organic membrane can be used to store a variety of lightweight foods like seeds, nuts, or even salads. The zero-waste food packaging is completely biodegradable and can also be eaten after use.

    Click now for more on this story
    from Inhabitat, including a slideshow.

  • Don’t Toss That Food Waste - Wear It!
    The Agraloop Turns Food Waste
    into Sustainable Clothing Fibers

    June 18, 2018 - Don’t throw it out — throw it on. The Agraloop Bio-Refinery, a new technology developed by materials science company Circular Systems S.P.C., is capable of turning food waste such as banana peels, pineapple leaves and hemp stalks into natural fiber that can be woven into clothing. “We want to enable food crops to become our primary fibers,” Circular Systems CEO and co-founder Isaac Nichelson told Fast Company.

    The waste materials mentioned, plus sugar cane and flax stalk, could generate up to 250 million tons of fiber each year if processed through the Agraloop, meeting the global demand for fiber two and a half times over. Farmers are encouraged to acquire their own Agraloop systems, so that they may earn extra income from creating natural, sustainable fiber from materials they would otherwise compost.

    Click now to read more on this
    from Inhabitat, and view a slideshow.

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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 Didn’t
    Know You Could Recycle
    This List Might Suprise You

    They include:
    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

    Click now for more
    from Direct Energy.

  • More About Recyclable Items 13 Household Items You
    Didn’t 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.

    Learn more about Creative
    Kids by clicking now.

  • 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
    (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.

  • 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. t

  • 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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