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Archive for November, 2009

Which is better… Paper or Plastic?

November 18th, 2009 1 comment

Thanks to Earth911 for a great article. Excerpt is here:

Let’s admit it, if it came down to choosing paper versus plastic bags at the checkout line, most people would choose paper. After all, they’re made from a renewable resource and are typically pretty easy to recycle. But when you consider the overall life cycle impact of paper bags over plastic, paper doesn’t look quite as green:

Paper or Plastic, maybe I'll reuse...

Paper or Plastic, maybe I'll reuse...

  • Each year, Americans use about 10 billion paper bags, resulting in the cutting down of 14 million trees.
  • Using paper bags doubles the amount of CO2 produced versus using plastic bags.
  • Plastic grocery bags require 40-70 percent less energy to manufacture than paper bags.
  • It takes 91 percent less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper.
  • In the U.S. nearly 80 percent of polyethylene (the plastic used for bags) is produced from natural gas. This includes feedstock, process and transportation energy.

According to Keith Christman, senior director of market advocacy for the American Chemistry Council (ACC), plastic bags may actually be the better choice.

But why do bags have such a lower environmental footprint in manufacturing? According to Christman, one of the factors that accounts for this is the difference in weight between a typical paper and plastic bag, with paper bags weighing 10 times as much as their plastic counterparts on average.

“That goes along with the fundamental law of reducing – using much less material in the first place,” he said.

Full and original Earth911 article

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: , ,

Recycling Rate for Aluminum Cans Increases 1.4% in 2008

November 16th, 2009 No comments

The recycling rate for aluminum cans increased to 54.2% in 2008 as compared with 52.8% in 2007, according to industry trade groups that track recycling trends.

Aluminum cans have the highest recycling rate of any beverage container, according to the Aluminum Association, the Can Manufacturers Institute and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

“The aluminum can is a sustainable beverage package,” said Kevin Anton, chairman of the Aluminum Association and president of Alcoa Materials Management. “Recycling conserves energy, saves resources and minimizes consumer and production waste.”

Original Article: Waste & Recycling News

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,

Tire Recycling Approval in Colorado

November 11th, 2009 No comments

Magnum Recycling USA received full operational permits and license authority for its Hudson, Colorado 120+ acre Tire Landfill facility. Magnum can now swiftly move forward with its Environmentally ‘Green‘ Technology using its Closed Loop Rubber Recycling Solutions at this production facility.

Magnum’s USA Facility

Magnum’s USA Facility

On November 4, 2009, Magnum Recycling USA received unanimous approval from Weld County for the Special Use Permit that governs operation of the Hudson Tire Landfill facility. The permits allow Magnum to accept tires and begin the installation and operation plan of one of the largest Next Generation Rubber Recycling & Solutions Facility.

Joseph Glusic, President and CEO of Magnum, stated, “We have accomplished significant strides during a very short period of time. This marks the beginning of what will be a rapid expansion at our Hudson Facility. We accomplished our goal of receiving all of the necessary permits and licenses required to allow full operational activity. We can now unequivocally state that Magnum owns and operates the largest tire landfill in the U.S.A.”

Bryan Brammer, COO of Magnum Recycling USA, commented, “We are now working with Magnum Engineering International (MEI) and its affiliates to transform Magnum’s Tire Landfill into a World Renowned Rubber Solutions Facility. This is a major milestone for both the company and its shareholders. With approximately 400,000 tons of tires and rubber scrap, Magnum can now rapidly accelerate its business strategy to produce high quality fine rubber powders and reactivated proprietary compounds through our strategic partnerships. The Magnum SRI Revolutionary Custom Compounds have recently made rubber recycling history by adding 20% rubber recycled content to an OEM Light Truck Tire and still retain all the performance properties of a Traditional Virgin Rubber Light Truck OEM Tire. We here in Colorado are incredibly excited to be involved in such revolutionary processes.”

More images here: Magnum Recycling USA Facility

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,

America Recycles Day – November 15, 2009

November 6th, 2009 3 comments

America Recycles Day (ARD), November 15, is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. Celebrating its 12th year, it has grown to include millions of Americans pledging to increase their recycling habits at home and work and to buy products made with recycled materials. Through America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAB) and the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) support local communities and raises awareness by educating citizens about the benefits of recycling. Volunteer America Recycles Day coordinators are positioned throughout the country and work to organize recycling awareness events in their schools and communities, and in conjunction with their local municipalities.

On November 15 each year, millions of people become better informed about the importance of daily recycling and buying recycled products. The purpose of America Recycles Day is to continue to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment.

Check out the America Recycles Day website and Take the Pledge to Recycle!

UPDATE

There may be local ARD events in your area, check out americarecyclesday.org and take part in this important day!

UPDATE II

The Aluminum Can Council´s 12-week long “America Recycles Day Challenge” collected 105.7 million beverage cans.

The cans, which added up to 3 million pounds, raised $2.3 million for charities like Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Toys for Tots and other groups. If stacked together, the cans would have extended 8,026 miles, the council said.

Sustainable Future for the Community of Missoula

November 2nd, 2009 No comments

Come learn more about a Sustainable Future for the Community of Missoula, November 4, 2009 in Missoula, Montana.

This educational event features presentations, information and networking opportunities, all designed to advance the community’s understanding of “going green”. Local businesses, non-profits and community members will provide practical advice on how to recycle, be environmentally friendly consumers and create a sustainable future.

The event will take place Wednesday November 4, 2009 at the University of Montana. The event will open its doors at 4 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. Raffle drawings will take place every hour. Admission is free and the public is welcome to interact with several sustainable businesses, non-profits and local recycling resources (including ecycler.com).

Come participate in an event aimed at helping us sustain the community, create recycling awareness and learn how to make lifestyle changes that will make a difference. In an effort to sustain our community for generations to come, the community is invited to join local leaders who are like minded and able to assist and educate them on ways to go green.

LOCATION
University of Montana
University Center – South Ballroom
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT 59812

If you are in the neighborhood on Wednesday, come check us out!

Download the event flyer: Missoula-Sustainable-Future

UPDATE

The event was a big success with over 75 participants (more than expected). ecycler received several comments including:

ecycler.com was very interesting, I would be interested in using this service when I begin to live in an apartment or house. I may recommend it to my family members.

and

ecycler…I’ve always said Missoula should have curb side recycling.

Categories: ecycler, event, recycle Tags: ,

Tennessee Bottle Bill

November 1st, 2009 No comments

The Tennessee Bottle Bill is container deposit legislation that is proposed. The legislation, if successful, would require a five-cent deposit on beverage containers. Currently the recycling rate in Tennessee is 10 percent and the bottle bill is projected to increase the rate to 80 percent.

If passed, Tennessee’s bottle bill will cover aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles of up to two liters, excluding milk, liquor and wine. This would be similar to the items covered by the other 11 participating states.

The primary contributor to litter in Tennessee is discarded bottles and cans.

During the last three years the three leading container trade groups (Aluminum Association, the Glass Packaging Institute, and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers) have changed their position and now support bottle bills because of the success of existing bottle bills.

Recent Action

Return to Returnables

By a decisive vote of 10 to 1 (2 commissioners absent), the Shelby County Commission overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution supporting Tennessee’s container-deposit bill. Thanks to Commissioner Steve Mulroy for sponsoring the resolution, and to the many people who presented at, attended, donated to or otherwise assisted with “Return to Returnables,” a public forum on the legislation held on September 17, 2009 at the Agricenter International.

The Shelby County action brings to ten the number of county commissions that have so far voted on (and all endorsed) a resolution on the bill.

Potential Issues

One aspect of beverage recycling laws that has come into question is the illegal redemption from outside states. Michigan, which offers 10 cents for every can and bottle recycled, has faced issues of smuggling from neighboring states like Ohio, where consumers didn’t pay the deposit when purchased and are collecting money for recycling. None of Tennessee’s neighbor states currently have beverage deposit laws.

Check out this article in the The Memphis Flyer: The Bottle Battle

Wikipedia Page: Tennessee Bottle Bill

Tennessee Bottle Bill
Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,