Latest information and Recycling updates
Conserving Resources...Starting in 2013, we will no longer publish newsletters. Instead we will put our efforts into posting information and educational links online. Toward the end of the year we will post a summary report. If you would like the paper edition of this report, please call the office.
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Recycling Container Update: October 21, 2014
Please remember that it is not necessary to use official recycling containers for curbside pick up. Almost all stores carry some type of toter, bin or other container that would work just fine for recycling. The difference is that official recycling containers are often treated with some type of UV protection to better withstand the elements. The bins we have available are open and stackable, UV protected and come with a 10 year warranty. At $12.00 each, including tax and delivery, we found nothing cheaper around town and they are a good deal if you are looking for that size and shape.
We recently did a quick search around town to see what was up with “recycling” containers on store shelves. The following is a list of the containers we found on display as of the end of September. Of course, all stores vary their stock frequently so availability, prices and delivery charges will vary. Most offer free shipment to the store if you order on-line.
This is not a definitive list but may give you some idea of where to look:
Home Depot: Good selection both on their shelves and available on line, with some for under $20.00.
Lowe’s: Only one option in store, a 32 gallon toter for around $14.00. Four choices on line, all for over $75.00
Walmart: None in store. Good selection on line, several under $20.00. Free delivery over $50.00. They have a 3-tiered bin kit for $49.45.
True Value: Limited on-line selection but does offer open, stackable bins for under $20.00 each.
Target: None in store. Mostly in-home options (not very suitable for outside use.) They have a set of three stackable, lidded bins for $49.99.
Sears: None in store. Limited varieties on-line with most over $100.00
K-Mart: None in store. Limited varieties on-line with prices starting at $9.99
Murdoch’s: Does not carry them.
Sutherlands: Does not carry them.
According to an August 13th news release by Resource Recycling a new bill, the Land Based Marine Debris Reduction Act of 2014, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Honda, a California Democrat. The bill authorizes the EPA to “require the manufacturer of the product or packaging to use recovered materials of that or another category in the product or packaging.” This ambitious legislation would be a step toward achieving a 50 percent national recycling rate by 2020 and a 65 percent recycling rate by 2030. Reportedly the bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce (E&C) and will likely head to the subcommittee on the Environment and Energy, led by Republican John Shimkus.
Contamination in the Marketplace
According to this month’s issue of Resource Recycling, the level of contamination in materials collected for recycling continues to be a challenge for U.S. reclaimers, those buying and processing that material for end use. In his article, Mike Verespej reveals that, “In recent years, the percentage of usable material in bales purchased by plastics reclaimers has been dropping, often to shocking levels.” By the time the material has been through the initial collection and sorting process and is again sorted, washed and processed at the mills, as much as 40% may have ended up in a landfill along the way. In addition, the cost of decontamination can make it financially impractical to make the effort.
The problem? China’s Operation Green Fence crackdown on contaminated, mixed bales entering its ports has caused those who market the materials to scramble for domestic buyers. Few of those buyers can deal with the amount of contamination generated by the growing number of single stream collection programs across the country.
The industry may need to come up with some method to reward suppliers that provide better bales, and a multi-tiered pricing system, based on bale quality, may be the answer. In the meantime the need for more public education on what is, and what is not, recyclable is increasingly evident.
In the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean there exists the North Pacific Gyre. A slow moving, spiral of currents full of trash, millions of pounds the majority of it being plastic. Essentially it is the world's largest landfill adrift in the middle of the ocean. There are five such gyre spanning the world's oceans collecting refuse from every continent.
Plasticized is an intimate account of a first hand journey aboard the Sea Dragon with the 5 Gyres Institute on the very first scientific expedition, focused on plastic waste, through the center of the South Atlantic Ocean.
This is an eye opening blog from the crew of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch voyage of 2014. Some left speechless and others left disgusted as humans continue to destroy this wonderful habitat. Take a moment to read their entries -
Would you like a side of seafood with that plastic? Research is finding that marine life is not only eating plastic, as they mistake it for food, but also absorbing it through their respiratory systems. Read more in this article by Science News -
Announcement to our valued curbside recycling participants:
We have always provided our customers with low cost, high quality, locally made recycling bags for use in setting out material at the curb. Unfortunately the local distributor has sold their business to a national firm that no longer offers bags of acceptable quality at an affordable price. As a result, we are no longer able to obtain recycling bags. We are very upset by this turn of events and deeply regret the inconvenience to you, both new and longtime customers. We will be researching some options for local and online outlets from which recyclers can purchase their own containers and will post that information on our webpage as soon as it is available.
Please remember that we currently do offer high quality, stackable recycling bins for purchase. However, you do not need to use specifically designed recycling containers to have your material picked up. In most cases paper sacks, laundry baskets and boxes work well. Please make sure that your containers: 1) are not falling apart; 2) weigh no more than 40 lbs. (with recyclables in them); and 3) do not collect rainwater, leaves, garbage, etc.
Keep America Beautiful has created this fun, fact filled website that answers many questions and gives great insight on what becomes of your recycling material once you set it out at the curb or drop it off at our recycling facility.
Check it out!!!
American Recycler News provides a report with statistics on the waste and recycling stream performed by the EPA.
Americans are increasingly proud to recycle!! In this article appearing November 2013, from the PRNewswire website, a recent survey indicates that 4 out of 5 Americans say they feel a sense of pride when they recycle. It also finds that recycling participation rates are on the increase. Still, more recycling options are needed for people on the go. Read more...
Here are just a few articles that contain some very useful facts for the benefits of recycling.