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Aloha, Recycling

August 31st, 2012 No comments
A new report out about recycling in Hawaii shows that recycling has gone up since the state started reimbursing people for returning beverage bottles in 2005.
Before the bottle deposit program was instituted, the landfill diversion rate was 41%, but it’s now  72%, according to hawaiibusiness.com. That percentage includes other items diverted from landfills, but the beverage program clearly has contributed.
And Hawaiians are finding new uses for many types of recycled goods. Green waste is being turned into mulch, glass is being used to fill potholes and build new roads and paper fiber is being used by local packing companies as filler material. When materials can’t be recycled in Hawaii, they must be shipped at least 2,500 miles away to Asia or to the mainland.
According to the publication, “On Oahu, curbside pickup has made a huge difference in diverting trash away from the landfill. After pilot programs starting in 2007, islandwide curbside recycling and green-waste programs were in full operation in 2010 on Oahu. In its first full year, the program collected 18,000 tons of mixed recyclables and 53,000 tons of green waste, representing a 6 percent reduction in municipal solid waste going to Oahu’s landfill, according to Honolulu County’s recycling office.”
Last year, 52 percent of all recyclables were placed in Honolulu’s blue bins. Honolulu’s recycling office estimates the county can earn another $500,000 annually if it can increase the curbside recycling rate to 75 percent.
Local businesses have been making use of the recyclables. Menehune Magic takes green waste from Oahu’s green bin curbside pickup and produces compost for sale under the “Hawaiian Earth Products” label. Crushed glass is turned into “glassphalt” by Grace Pacific. Battery Bill’s reuses car batteries, EcoFeed Inc. uses food for compost and to Hawaii Mail Box Services reuses packing peanuts.
Mahalo.
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Ready, aim, recycle!

July 11th, 2012 No comments

A group of gun-rights activists recycled their old weapons in exchange for gift cards under a program that Chicago police created to get guns off the streets.
Members of Guns Save Life took advantage of the program last weekend by trading in 60 guns for more than $6,200 worth of gift cards. The move was criticized because most of the guns were old and useless and weren’t being used to commit crimes, but rather were rusting in the members’ homes. Still, most of the weapons qualified for the program.
The group admitted it was taking advantage of the program but said the gift cards would be used to buy ammo and weapons for a program that educates kids about firearm safety.

Unfortunately, we don’t know if the metal was recycled properly, or simply dumped into a landfill.

The city of Chicago collected 5,500 weapons and handed out a $100 gift card per firearm and a $10 gift card for a BB gun or replica.

The Chicago PD was not amused.

“There’s a ripple effect following every shooting incident that we all feel. We host the gun turn-in event on an annual basis to encourage residents to turn in their guns so that we take firearms off our streets, and it’s unfortunate that this group is abusing a program intended to increase the safety of our communities,” a police spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune.

But, we all know the truth that gun control simply removes guns from the hands of law abiding citizens and does NOTHING to stave off abuses by criminals.

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Junk to Art

February 9th, 2012 1 comment

Artists around the country are taking everyday objects that are no longer useful to their owners and turning them into works of art.

In Sacramento, Calif., artist Gioia Fonda has exhibiting her works of junk-turned-art at a gallery.  Ms. Fonda specializes in drawing piles of junk that speak to our society’s mass consumerism as well as to larger societal problems like the housing crisis. She has documented piles of junk and trash that have piled up outside people’s homes due to evictions and foreclosures.  She told the Sacramento Bee that her renditions of the junk piles represent “not only a reflection of the lending crisis but also a comment on our rampant consumerism and the utter disposability of what we produce and what we buy.”

In addition to her finished drawings, Ms. Fonda showcases the process of arriving at her finished work. She starts by taking color photos of junk piles, then draws specific objects and cuts them out. She then arranges the cut-outs into collages and makes copies.

A Dallas artist who goes by the name Vet  has been working with a group of artists and community organizers called Art From Scrap. The group collected industrial surplus items and offered it to the community for use in art projects.

“A lot of recycled items are non-toxic overruns and surplus from businesses that would normally be discarded,” Vet told Pegasus News. “I like working with multiples of one item, like different bottle tops, melted crayons, beeswax, shola berry wood chips, fabric swatches, old books, pull down shades, gourds, and pear pods.”

She built a 30-foot “Book Berm” out of discarded books as well as a folded paper tree, miniature dolls and people crafted from Styrofoam.

“Working with recyclables expands my range of mediums by allowing me to combine craft and fine art,” Vet said.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Categories: junk, materials, recycle Tags: ,

Winter Cleaning!

January 21st, 2012 No comments

There’s no need to wait for the birds to start chirping and the flowers to start budding to get rid of the junk around your house.

Why not do Winter cleaning instead of Spring cleaning? After all, the skies are still gray (in most parts of the country) and who wants to waste a sunny, Spring day inside clearing out clutter?

If it’s too overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin, consult a professional organizer. FindMyOrganizer.com is a site that can help you choose one. A third party can help sift through the clutter without the emotional attachment most people place on their possessions and make suggestions for how best to organize the items you do keep.

But if you don’t have a need for outside help, or can’t afford it, plow ahead on your own with these suggestions:

Start small: Don’t try to attack your entire house at once, or you’ll be tempted to give up. Pick one room that’s particularly troubling and then start in one area of that room, such as the closet or the overstuffed drawers. Once you get one area of the room under control, move onto the next. If you’re still on a cleaning streak, move onto the next room. When you’re tired, stop for the day and resume the next day or the following weekend.

Sort, sort, sort: The key to successful de-cluttering and organization is to think in terms of categories. When going through your linen closet, for example, make a pile of mismatched sheets and towels that you never use and set them aside for donation, if they’re in decent condition, or reuse as cleaning rags. Then fold all of the good hand towels, washcloths and bath towels and group the matching sets together back on the shelves. Do the same with bed sheets. Sort out all the other loose odds and ends in the closet, such as shaving supplies, sewing kits and hotel shampoos (c’mon, you know you take those home) and organize like items into clear plastic bins, label them and stack them on the shelves where they can be easily identified. Ah, order.

Purge quickly: Once you’re done, you should have items in boxes or bags meant to either sell, donate or toss. Don’t keep those things lying around or you may never get around to properly discarding them, thus contributing to more clutter (and a possible change of heart). Immediately list the items of value on ebay or craigslist, put the recyclable items on the curb or take them to a center, drop the donatable items off at Goodwill and toss the rest.

You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted. And then, when Spring rolls around, you can secretly smile to yourself when you see your neighbor going through his garage while you head out for a bike ride.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to Bill Longshaw and christineshomeandtraveladventures.blogspot.com for the use of their images!
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Junk Afflicting Cities Across the Country

November 18th, 2011 No comments

From excessive junk on property to hoarding, cities across the country are dealing with the problem of how to deal with residents’ excessive stuff.

In Arlington, MA, a hoarding response team made up of police, a mental health expert and the Health and Human Services department is helping hoarders clear their homes of junk before they suffer health and safety problems.

Excessive piles of household items and food and unclean conditions can attract bugs and rodents.

What started as part of a jail diversion program in June has since become focused on the broader problem of hoarding. The team has handled 16 cases so far, including that of a man who had no plumbing and didn’t know what to do about it because his apartment hadn’t been cleaned in two decades.

Chicago’s solution to junk? Fine people for it. The city, which is aiming to balance its budget in part by raising fees on a number of items, plans to raise nuisance fines to between $300 and $600, up from $250 to $500, for such violations as illegal garbage dumping, excessive junk and poor lot maintenance.

Los Angeles is facing the problem of homeless people’s possessions taking up space on the sidewalks of Skid Row, a 50-block area where mentally ill or addicted people sleep on the street and where everyday appliances and mattresses are piling up. Stuff started accumulating ever since a federal judge ordered the city four months ago to stop seizing property from Skid Row streets.

According to a recent newspaper article, one block alone was lined with 20 packed shopping carts.

Courts across the country have likewise ruled that the property of homeless people cannot be seized just because it’s on the street. But, Los Angeles has lost four lawsuits over property seizures since 1987.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to LA Weekly for use of the images
Categories: ecycler, junk Tags: ,