Archive for November, 2010

D-Day is Coming to Delaware

November 29th, 2010 2 comments

Delaware is no longer a Bottle Bill state! Redeem all of your containers now–before it’s too late.

The Delaware Beverage Container Law (aka “the Bottle Bill”) is undergoing a dramatic change. Please be aware that in early 2011, returnable beverage containers will no longer be refundable. Information on the current Delaware Beverage Container Law (some aspects taking effect in December 2010, others in early 2011), can be found here. Information below explains the changes in beverage container sales and returns as mandated through Senate Bill 234.


On June 8, 2010, Senate Bill 234 was signed into law. This piece of legislation does many things, one of which is replacing the Delaware Beverage Container Law. The 5¢ deposit will transition into a 4¢ fee. This fee will go into a temporary recycling fund that will help expand recycling programs. This fee will automatically be removed in 2014. Beginning in early 2011, beverage containers will not be redeemable in Delaware for a deposit. Several opportunities exist for you to recycle beverage containers. You can learn about those opportunities by contacting your waste hauler (or other waste haulers), the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, or the Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Branch.


  • You will no longer be able to redeem returnable beverage containers after January 31, 2011.
  • Stores will continue to refund deposits until that date.
  • The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect until January 31, 2011.


  • Starting December 1, 2010, you should not be charging deposits on returnable beverage containers.
  • You must continue to refund returnable beverage containers to consumers through January 31, 2011. The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect through that date.
  • As of February 1, 2011 you will no longer have that responsibility and you should no longer refund deposits to consumers.
  • You have until February 28, 2011 to redeem returnable beverage containers to distributors.
  • You will need to remit the 4¢ per beverage container fee to the Division of Revenue. This begins December 1, 2010 and includes the types of beverage containers that previously held a Delaware deposit value.

Retail Beverage Container License and Recycling Fee frequently-asked questions


  • Starting December 1, 2010, you should not be charging deposits on returnable beverage containers.
  • You must continue to refund returnable beverage containers to dealers through February 28, 2011. The definitions and responsibilities with regard to this process will remain in effect through that date.
  • As of March 1, 2011 you will no longer have that responsibility and you should no longer refund deposits to dealers.

We’re sorry to see Delaware revert its recycling policies–now we’re down to ten bottle bill states. With some luck and a bit of hard work, Tennessee and Texas will soon join those ten.

Original posting available on the State of Delaware site

Make Black Friday Green

November 25th, 2010 No comments

Are you dreaming of a green Christmas? Holiday shopping can be festive and environmentally friendly, with these ten green gift ideas:

  1. Keep someone warm with a Patagonia fleece jacket, made with recycled soda bottles.
  2. For the budding environmentalist on your list, Garnet Hill sells an “eco-lover’s” dollhouse, complete with a recycling bin, solar panels, wind turbines and a garden fertilized by compost.
  3. Purchase a service on Amazon or iTunes to let someone download movies or episodes of their favorite TV shows – this eliminates the shipping and packaging associated with movies and boxed DVD sets.
  4. For the cook in your family, buy Cuisinart’s line of “Greenware” pots and pans made with a non-stick ceramic surface instead of Teflon.
  5. For the dog-lover among you, Olive Super Poop Bags are a way to clean up after Spot without the guilt. Made from vegetable oil and corn starch, the bags are biodegradable.
  6. Home decorators might like the flip-flop doormat that Gaiam sells, made from repurposed sandals.
  7. If you’re handy, make your own gifts using household items.
  8. Purchase an animal, such as a goat or llama, for a family that could use its milk or fur, through Heifer International.
  9. Bake treats for friends and family.
  10. When in doubt, regift!

Happy Holidays from!

Categories: ecycler, recycle Tags: ,

Ten Ways to Make your Thanksgiving Green

November 24th, 2010 No comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

We all have a lot to celebrate–even with today’s economy. We, at ecycler, have put together ten ways to be green and giveback to the environment.

Don’t travel– Instead of driving or flying somewhere this Thanksgiving, stay close to home. Not only will forgoing travel save your sanity, it will also save some carbon.

Carpool or use mass transit – If you’re not hosting dinner and you have to get to someone else’s home, ride with friends or relatives or take public transportation.

Buy natural and local – Buy free range turkey and organic produce for your Thanksgiving feast. If you can buy ingredients from a farmer’s market or a turkey from a local farm, even better – the fewer miles products travel to your table, the better.

Cook green – Roast your turkey in a reusable roasting pan. If you must use a foil pan, be sure to recycle it.

Dine by candlelight – It sets an intimate mood for your meal and saves electricity. And you can even use beeswax or soy-based candles, rather than paraffin candles, which are made from petroleum.

Use the good china – As tempting as it may be to use paper plates and plastic cutlery in order to avoid doing dishes, Thanksgiving is the time to bring out the china. And use cloth napkins rather than paper.

Give thanks – While you’re going around the table discussing what you’re thankful for this holiday, have each family member mention what he or she can do to be green.

Recycle – Toss all cans and bottles used during dinner into the recycling bin. Then give them away on!

Compost – Don’t throw the scraps in the trash – compost them!

– Remember that the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers! Making turkey sandwiches and soup for the next few days saves on grocery bills and trips to the store.

This and all the Crush that Can episode may be viewed here: Crush that Can is a series of videos–short, humorous videos to demonstrate different ways to decrease the size of aluminum cans in order to prepare them for recycling in non-bottle bill states.

Happy Thanksgiving from!

Categories: ecycler, event Tags: ,

3 Ways to Recycle Soda Bottles and Use Them in Your Garden

November 22nd, 2010 4 comments

Special guest post by Mike Lieberman.

Starting your own garden doesn’t require you to invest a lot of money on new containers. With a bit of creativity you can repurpose old items to grow in.

One item that I’ve been able to use in multiple ways is a soda bottle.

According to Earth911, “Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.”

So why not do your part and keep the soda bottles from the landfill.

Unfortunately soda bottles are a plenty and can be found nearly anywhere. During Keep America Beautiful’s 2009 Great American Cleanup, volunteers recovered and recycled 243,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles that littered highways, waterways and parks.

Here are three ways that I’ve successfully used soda bottles in my garden. Whether you have a backyard or a windowsill, you can utilize one of these low-cost ideas in your garden today.

Hanging Soda Bottle Planter

These are easy to make and hang well from railings and hand rails. I had about 10 of these lining the railing on my fire escape.

Self-Watering Container

If you have limited space and are lazy about watering, you can pack a lot of these in a small space to grow your veggies.

Herb Garden on a Shipping Pallet

For those of you that are bit more handy or would like a small challenge, you can double up on your recycling with this project by using a shipping pallet and soda bottles.

Help to give another life to a soda bottle and new life to a plant.

Thanks Mike!

Mike Lieberman started urban gardening and growing some of his own food in May 2009 on his fire escape in NYC. He inspires others to start growing their own food on his blog Urban Organic Gardener. Lieberman believes that growing just one herb or vegetable will make a difference. It will help to cut back the intensive resources that go into the production and transport of food to our plates. It will also help us to re-establish our connection with food that we’ve lost over the past few years. We are humans. We grow food. For more information on Lieberman, please visit

A Story of Machines

November 17th, 2010 1 comment

On ecycler‘s most recent trip through Michigan (a bottle bill state) we took the opportunity to document a typical grocery store redemption center. In four easy steps we went from having an empty soda bottle to being a dime richer…

A little background, first. A reverse vending machine is a device that accepts used beverage containers and returns money to you–the reverse of the typical vending cycle. Once a container is scanned, identified (i.e., matched in a database) and determined to be a valid container, it is processed and (usually) crushed to reduce its size.

Step 1 – Pick a Machine

Choose a machine based on the container material. In Michigan, for example, you have a choice between glass, plastic or aluminum cans.

Step 2 – Insert Containers

In this case, we have a plastic soda bottle. So, we begin by simply depositing the container in the large opening. The machine will “suck” each container into its bowels and increment the counter.

Step 3 – Review Value

Confirm the count as the machine iterates by one with each deposited container. Then press the big green button to finish the transaction.

Step 4 – Print Receipt and Get Cash

The machine will then print a receipt for you. Take this to the “Guest Services” counter or the attendant on hand for your cash!


It’s that easy… Most of the bottle bill states give a redemption value of five cents, Michigan takes the exception with its ten cent deposit value.

And, we created a special photo set on flickr:

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: , , ,

Top-20 Ways to Make your Business Greener

November 13th, 2010 No comments

Help us celebrate America Recycles Day!

Businesses have an opportunity to offer their customers more than just a product or service – by making green thinking part of their culture, their customers gain peace of mind knowing that concern for the environment is part of the product. Many large companies have sustainability programs that involve working only with suppliers that meet their environmental standards, reducing their carbon footprint by operating fully packed trucks and making fewer deliveries and using alternative sources of energy to fuel their plants. But there are much smaller, everyday ways that offices can reduce waste and involve all employees in making the workspace more environmentally friendly.

We, at ecycler offer these top-20 ways to make your business greener:

  1. Make green thinking part of your corporate culture
  2. Encourage your employees to recycle their beverage cans, newspapers, cardboard and other office waste using and set up recycling bins in your office or warehouse
  3. Recycle other office products that you might not traditionally think can be recycled, such as electronics, batteries, scrap metal and phone books
  4. Use hybrid or electric delivery trucks
  5. Run diesel trucks on B100 or B10 biodiesel (100% biodiesel is referred to as B100)
  6. Use high-efficiency light bulbs in your office (watch for LED bulbs in 2011)
  7. Encourage employees to use alternative transportation to get to work, either by subsidizing bus or train passes; creating car pools or providing incentives for those who bike or walk to work
  8. Eliminate or cut down on junk mail
  9. Provide coffee cups that are re-useable; napkins and other kitchen products that are made with recycled items and that can be recycled
  10. Install hand dryers in your restrooms instead of paper towels
  11. Encourage employees not to print out e-mails, reports and other documents unless absolutely necessary
  12. Install motion-detector lights in areas like the bathroom and kitchen, in order to save electricity
  13. Host monthly clean-up days in which employees recycle items they no longer need in their workspace
  14. Encourage employees to turn off their computers and other electronics before they leave the office for the evening
  15. Provide a water cooler and discourage employees from bringing bottled water to work
  16. Stock the printer and fax machine with recycled paper
  17. Reorder office supplies only when needed rather than keeping extra pens, paper and other supplies on hand, as that encourages employees to take more items than they need
  18. Install energy-efficient refrigerators and dish washers in the breakroom
  19. Have employees deposit their extra change in a bowl and at the end of six months, donate the loose change to an environmental charity
  20. Ask the cleaning crew to use non-toxic cleaning supplies

Doing any or all of these things will help businesses do their part to help the environment. Businesses and residents alike can use to handle many of their recycling needs.

Register as an ecycler discarder or collector today!

Thanks to for the use of their image.

Cool People Care

November 11th, 2010 No comments

Cool People Care is aiming to be the online destination for people to live a more caring lifestyle.

Begun in 2006 as a way for people wanting to change the world to find organizations near them doing just that, Cool People Care produces daily content, hosts a nonprofit directory in the US, and lists charitable events for nearly every community in the US. Likewise, it offers an eco-friendly line of inspirational and fund raising merchandise as it grows its brand and impact with each sale made.

The founders – Sam Davidson and Stephen Moseley – co-wrote New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 Hours in 2007. Since then, the pair have helped thousands of individuals and nonprofits connect and make the world a better place.

Visit and learn more about their exciting work, sign up to get their daily email of one thing you can do in less than five minutes to make a positive impact, and begin living the reality that cool people care.

Categories: ecycler, friends of ecycler Tags:

Upcycle with Bottle Caps

November 9th, 2010 No comments

What does it mean to upcycle? Upcycling is the process of converting discarded materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. We, at ecycler, have found some terrific examples of upcycling recently, but this artist has really caught our eye: RotorCaps.

RotorCaps are made with materials from everyday life that would normally end up in the trash. The aim is to transform these materials into jewelry for adornment and quirky personal expression. It is also to get people excited about recycling and the idea that we can look at these items in a different way and see that there is beauty and value in them.

Bottle caps collected from bars local to Philadelphia (the artist’s home town) are the main attraction. In addition, almost anything that is printed on metal–including cans and tins–will do.

The jewelry is eye-catching, interesting and whimsical. It is inspired by common symbols found in mainstream advertising that when removed from the product is transformed into a personal icon to be celebrated by the individual. Most importantly though, Rotorcaps are about fun!

Check out Jen Roder, renegade silversmith, and her creations at

America Recycles Day – November 15, 2010

November 3rd, 2010 No 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 13th 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!


Radio host Kim Komando, whose weekly three-hour call-in talk show is heard on more than 470 stations, chose ecycler as a “Cool Site of the Day” on Nov. 15 in conjunction with America Recycles Day.

Can I Recycle a Pizza Box?

November 1st, 2010 3 comments

Issue at Hand: Over 1 billion pizzas are delivered every year, while over 11.5 million pizzas are sold every day in this country.

So Can We Recycle Pizza Boxes or Not?

The problem with recycling pizza boxes is the food, cheese and grease that both sticks to the insides of the cardboard box and the oils that permeate the fibers of the paper cardboard. In a nutshell, fiber in food is fine, but food on fiber that is due to be recycled is not! Paper fibers in the recycling bin are actually not recyclable if they have any food contamination on them.

Many recyclers will opt to take a pizza box that is still relatively clean, meaning very minimal or no grease stains at all. If cheese from the pizza has gotten stuck to the box lid, but the bottom of the box is still clean, then consider going the extra little bit of distance, removing the top half, and still recycling the bottom, clean half. Then, you can either discard the dirty box top in the trash, or consider composting it. For boxes with pizza crumbs and maybe a little bit of tomato sauce, consider wiping the insides clean and then recycling it.

What Are the Reasons Behind Not Recycling Pizza Boxes?

Remember, as long as pizza boxes are entirely clean and not soaked with cheese, grease or oils, they can be recycled along with other paper and cardboard. When the pizza boxes become overly saturated with oil and grease, the basic process of recycling fibrous materials is rendered useless, as the paper fibers themselves cannot be separated from the grease and oils.

What you may not know is that paper products are recycled in a process that employs water to do the dirty work. The oil and grease found in paper containers like pizza boxes or other food cartons gets into the water mixture during the recycling process and basically ruins the batch being worked on. As the oil separates and refuses to mix with the water, it gets in the way when in later stages, the mashed up mixture of paper and cardboard needs to be reformed to make recycled paper products.

Read more…

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,