Archive

Archive for the ‘recycle’ Category

Even Guam has a Bottle Bill!

October 31st, 2011 No comments

In the final days of his administration, the Governor of Guam, Felix Camacho, signed into law Bottle Bill 149 proposed by Sen. Tina Muna Barnes in June 2009, which adds a five cent deposit on beverage containers identified for recycling efforts. It’s now been almost a year (30 Dec 2010) since Public Law 30-221 went into affect.

A little background… After three attempts at introducing bottle bill legislation, Barnes’ attempts have finally paid off. Barnes added that the effort to introduce a bottle bill has spanned 30 years through seven legislative authors.

The five cent deposit will go into a Beverage Container Recycling Deposit Fund administrated by the Guam Environmental Protection Agency. Four cents for each container will be returned to the customer and one cent will be used for administrative and auditing costs and educational outreach.

There are currently 10 states that have a container deposit law. They are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

Many of the states have reported an increase in recycling and participation efforts. For example, in California, recycling rates increased significantly from 52 percent in 1988, when the law was implemented, to 82 percent participation in 2009.

According to bottlebill.org, the legislation helps to prevent litter, promote recycling, reduce waste, create jobs, and provide financial incentives for recycling, among other environmental and economic benefits.

“This bill is not just an environmental issue. It is also an economic issue. Residents will be proactively engaged in reducing the litter on our beaches, roadways and jungles.” Sen Barnes goes on to say, “This legislation will help alleviate the burden placed on the Tourism Attraction Fund and other tax dollars spent on removing and reducing litter. It will encourage the development of young entrepreneurs who will enter into public private partnerships while improving our environment and stimulating our economy. The Bottle Bill is the first step our youth will take toward jobs of the future…green jobs.”

The specifics are still being hammered out; several subcommittees were formed to address rules and regulations, operations and permitting, finance, and outreach.

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

America Recycles Day – November 15, 2011

September 30th, 2011 No comments

Get ready for America Recycles Day!

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 14th 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. 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. One day to educate and motivate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community leaders excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year.

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

Or, follow @recyclesday on twitter

A Green Shave

September 1st, 2011 No comments

Special guest post by John Koontz.

In the quest to reduce our impact on landfills and environment, many men (and women) are forgoing the morning shave. However, some of us can’t rock the beard like Sean Connery and get away with it. So what’s a guy to do? Good news. There is a way to be environmentally conscious and still look dapper – traditional wet shaving. Let me illustrate by using the proverbial “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

REDUCE – Wet shaving products reduce your use of disposable materials and you will find yourself purchasing these items less frequently because they were designed to last. Unlike a cartridge razor you find in the drugstore, a quality double edge razor (like the Edwin Jagger DE89L or Merkur 34C) will last for decades, with only a simple metal blade to change. A straight razor, like one from Hart Steel (made in the USA, by the way) can be used for centuries. Take care of your shaving brush (Simpson Colonel) and it will last longer than most cars. Unlike shaving goop in a can, a hard soap will last at least 6 months of daily use. You can easily see the reliance on extraneous materials, like the plastic in a disposable razor handle, or metal can for shaving foam, will be drastically reduced.

REUSE – If these tools last so long, you may have guessed used items are easy to find. And you’d be correct. Razors are commonly found at online auctions, flea markets and antique stores. However, if you’re scared of the nasties from the previous unknown user, we understand. Buy a new razor and know that your kids can reuse it when you’re gone. Refills for soap bowls are available so the wood bowls can be used for years. The plastic containers for shaving cream are nice quality and can be used to store and organize small items, like screws in the garage.

RECYCLE – While the items that could be discarded are few, the ones that are can be recycled. From the daily shave itself, only the double edge blade is discarded about once a week. Being metal, it is easily recycled. Most packaging of wet shaving products is simple, often consisting of only a simple cardboard box or tissue paper. Again, easily recycled.

You’ll also find that wet shaving products have a focus on being healthier, cutting out many nasty chemicals and using more eco and face friendly ingredients (like products from The Gentlemen’s Refinery or Edwin Jagger). You probably already figured out that wet shaving products are far more economical. (Shhhhh! The cartridge razor companies don’t want you to know this.) And if all this wasn’t enough, most people that try wet shaving find it simply works better. Less razor burn, fewer ingrown hairs, smoother shave. You may even start to enjoy that morning chore.

Grandpa had it right a hundred years ago!

Read more…

Recycle Glass Month

August 19th, 2011 2 comments

It’s almost Recycle Glass Month (September 2011)!

Glass, like aluminum, can be recycled into infinity without degradation to the material. But, unlike aluminum, more care needs to be taken in the recycling process to ensure the glass is not being contaminated with non-container glass.

To make sure you’re not contaminating the recycling stream, keep out non-container glass, like light bulbs and mirrors. And, remove metal caps and neck rings. The glass you recycle can be used to make new glass bottles only if the stream is kept clear of these items. Remember that ceramics, porcelain, Pyrex and dishware are the most destructive contaminants for glass recycling and can damage the recycling equipment.  So, never place them in your recycling bins. So, why recycle glass in the first place? We have TEN good reasons…

Top Ten Reasons to Recycle Glass Bottles

10. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or power a computer for 30 minutes. That’s just one glass bottle.

9. More recycled glass bottles are needed. Stat. Glass container manufacturers have set a goal to reach 50% recycled content in the manufacture of new glass bottles by 2013. They’re going to need a lot more.

8. Spare change. In 10 states with container deposit laws, you can get cash for recycling your empty glass bottles. Or, list them on ecycler.com and a collector will pick them up for free.

7. Conserve natural resources. Over a ton are saved for every ton of glass containers recycled.

6. Save energy. Costs for energy drop about 2-3% for every 10% recycled glass containers used in the manufacturing process. You see where this is going?

5. All this carbon footprint stuff, recycling glass bottles really does makes a difference. Using six tons of recycled container glass in the manufacturing process equals one ton of carbon dioxide reduced.

4. Karma. Glass is 100% and endlessly recyclable. A glass container can go from a recycling bin to a store shelf in as little as 30 days. It’s gonna come back to you.

3. Bars (we know you’re there) are a hotbed for glass recycling. Over 35% of beer and soft drink bottles were recycled in 2008. Is your corner bar recycling?

2. No dish washer required. Just rinse and recycle your glass bottles and jars. But keep out coffee cups, dishware, and Pyrex.

1. What? You’re not drinking out of an endlessly recyclable glass bottle? Start now. Glass is 100% pure taste—and no after taste.

Top-10 list borrowed from the Glass Packaging Institute website. Check it out for more information about recycling glass. Or, follow @chooseglass on twitter!

Visit ecycler.com today and start recycling glass!

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,

Recycling of VHS Tapes

August 15th, 2011 3 comments

Did you know that the recycling of VHS tapes is available? There are hundreds of thousands of people that have old VHS tapes and don’t know what to do with them. Many people feel guilty giving box loads of these tapes to donation services because in reality most people don’t even own VHS machines anymore. This doesn’t have to happen anymore because now you have the ability to recycle those tapes. Ecycler.com developed their website to make it possible for you to begin recycling almost everything you own.

VHS, cassettes, reel-to-reel and old 8-track tapes can now be recycled relieving you of the guilt of dropping them off on someone else. Over the years people probably have collected hundreds of different types of recorded media and as a result, they probably have boxes and boxes of these items stored somewhere in the garage or basement. Many of these tapes have probably already been digitized and now people are wondering what to do with them. You have to realize that by simply throwing them away doesn’t really do the trick because they aren’t biodegradable. If you do throw them away it will take thousands of years for them to break down.

Why take a chance when you can turn those old tapes into jobs, reusable resources and a positive contribution to the environment. That’s right, you can turn those old tapes into a job for someone else. You will also be providing a reusable resource by allowing the recycler to turn those tapes into new products or materials that will be used for future items. You are also helping the environment by decreasing our need to deplete more natural resources and not allowing those tapes to be buried in the country’s landfills.

You see, ecycler.com understands that people simply need to know that they can recycle items like VHS tapes, and by doing so they are able to see the positive effects it creates for their environment and the community. The neat thing is that all of this can be done quickly and easily right here on our website. Ecycler.com provides a way for people that have stuff to recycle the ability to connect with specialized recyclers, in this case, for VHS tapes.

The collector breaks down the VHS tapes into their basic components (plastics, metal, etc.) and gets paid for their recycle value. The items get recycled into something new, the collector as been provided a job, and all of this has been created by the person that submitted the items to be recycled. Pretty neat idea, but it all starts with you. Recycling of VHS tapes is available and what a better way to do it then by helping your environment, and the people that live in your community. Start recycling today to begin helping your environment one collection at a time.

If you have materials (in this case, VHS tapes) to recycle, sign on to ecycler.com, submit all the information, package the tapes (reuse a box!), print out out the label and ship the package. It’s that simple!

Thanks to makelessnoise for the image!

 

Categories: ecycler, materials, recycle Tags: ,

Massachusetts to Expand its Bottle Bill?

August 5th, 2011 1 comment

Support is growing for expansion of Massachusetts bottle bill.

The state’s bottle bill now requires deposits only on soda and beer bottles and cans, but lawmakers are trying to expand the 5-cent deposit to also include bottled water, sports drinks and other beverage containers.

Almost half of the cities and towns in Massachusetts have passed resolutions supporting the expansion and a recent poll found that 77 percent of the public supports it.

Supporters say the bill will improve recycling rates. About 80 percent of soda and other containers covered under the existing bottle deposit law are redeemed or recycled but only an estimated 22 percent of other uncovered bottles are recycled, according to the Sierra Club’s Massachusetts chapter.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued a report recently stating that bottle return machines have the capacity to accept more containers of different types. The agency also said municipalities could save a combined $7 million a year in avoided trash costs under expected improvements in recycling.

But some businesses oppose the expansion because they say it adds cost for the retailers that have to accept the deposits and for beverage distributors that have to pay redemption centers.

Retail groups and beverage manufacturers say the money would be better spent improving curbside recycling programs.

Advocates have been pushing for an expanded bottle bill for years, and now there are 13 different bills pending that would make changes to the state’s bottle deposit law, including one that would repeal it altogether.

The bills would also re-establish a Clean Environment Fund so that unreturned deposit money can be set aside for recycling and environmental projects and boost a fee that beverage distributors pay to bottle redemption centers.

Current MA bottle bill: http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/reduce/bbillcon.htm

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

Recycling of Crayons

August 2nd, 2011 3 comments

You now have a place for the recycling of crayons which is a well received alternative when it comes to discarding crayons in landfills. It has been found that between 45,000 and 75,000 pounds of broken crayons have been documented as the annual amount discarded in landfills throughout the country. This is no small number when you consider that crayons are a bi-product of petroleum called paraffin. Although the crayon wrapper may deteriorate over time, the wax is not biodegradable and will never break down leaving a waxy sludge in our landfills for centuries to come.

There is hope because ecycler.com has developed a service that will allow people, restaurants, education systems and community services programs to get rid of all those unwanted crayons in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. If you have broken, rejected, and very unusable crayons that need a new home, you can simply sign on to ecycler.com and a label will be provided to ship them to a specialized recycler. The process is simple and can be done easily and effectively. When using this service you are contributing to much more than saving your landfills.

When properly recycling your crayons you are actually creating jobs. You are not just creating jobs for the recycling industry but also for the ecycler collectors. You are allowing them the ability to work and redeem any recycling credits that can be used to sustain them and their families. You are also helping to decrease the need for foreign resources and materials that are needed to make new crayons. So what you’ve done is help to create jobs, helped to decrease our dependence on outside resources, and saved the environment from the crayons you may have discarded.

This is not to be taken lightly because look at what you have actually achieved. People are working because you simply decided you weren’t going to throw something away and instead decided you were going to recycle. Now you alone are just one person that has the wheels of sustainability moving forward. What if everyone were to do the same thing? Instead of throwing all their recyclables in the trash, they’ve decided that they too want to recycle. Not only would thousands and thousands of pounds of crayons be eliminated from landfills, but all the other items that could be recycled would be eliminated from landfills as well.

The program is simple! If you have materials (in this case, crayons) to recycle, sign on to ecycler.com, submit all the information, package the crayons (reuse a box!), print out out the label and ship the package. Depending on the company that recycles your crayons, they may come back as non-toxic recycled crayons that can be used over and over again. The recycling process all starts with you because in order for people to really be sustainable and lower their dependence on foreign resources, they will need to understand how important it is to begin right here at home recycling something as small as a simple crayon.

Categories: ecycler, materials, recycle Tags: ,

Will Nevada be our Next Bottle Bill State?

July 1st, 2011 1 comment

Hurray for Nevada!

Nevada will study the establishment of a bottle bill for the state after legislators there approved a measure to look into deposits for various items. Several other states including Texas and Tennessee are also seeking to create a bottle bill for their states.

Previously a deposit proposal that would force a 5¢ deposit on various recyclables, Assembly Bill 427 was changed in early June to a “study”. Both the Assembly and Senate passed the measure which goes into law today (1 July 2011).

The study, according to the bill, must consider which recyclable materials should be included in the deposit program including plastic, glass, aluminum (or tin) containers, and paper & plastic grocery bags. The study must also include an analysis of the process for the payment and refund of the deposit, including the creation of redemption centers. The study will be delivered for the next legislature.

We, at ecycler, are always encouraged to see another state strive to become a bottle bill state.

Reasons to Support The Bottle Bill

  • Keeping current with consumer habits
  • Promotes Recycling and Reduces Waste
  • Provides Financial Incentives for Recycling
  • Produces High-Quality Recyclable Materials
  • Creates Jobs

Read our full posting on the reasons to support your state’s bottle bill.

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,

Ecycler and Upcycling

May 16th, 2011 No comments

We have talked about how artists use ecycler.com to find materials that they use to create works of art. This process of taking something that was waste and turning it into something new is called “upcycling”. According to Wikipedia, upcycling…

is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

This is opposed to “downcycling” where an item is turned into something deemed lesser value than the original item. We won’t get into the debate about what defines better quality or less value, that’s another blog post entirely!

We’ve been checking out some of the interesting things that are being upcycled around the world as of late. Check out these interesting uses for materials that were headed for the scrap heap.

Recycled Inner Tubes and Seatbelt Buckles: The folks at Alchemy Goods make some great products from old inter-tubes. Laptop cases, wallets, purses and even the sexy “Night Out Wallet”. I really like the idea of being able to freshen up my man bag with a quick squirt of Armor All before a big date! Seatbelt buckle bottle opener is pure genius.

Placemats from Old Billboards and Movie Posters: If you’re like me a good placemat saves your table from getting all the drips and drops from my less than stellar eating habits. I like an easy to clean, wipe able placemat that can take some abuse and is interesting to look at. The folks at ReMakes are making some nifty placemats from old billboards and movie posters that fit the bill. Why use virgin plastic for an item that really doesn’t need to be made of new material? And the coolest thing is that these placemats have a QR code so you use that fancy smartphone at the table!

Recycled Oil Drums, Records and Washing Machines: You could say the folks at Lockengeloet have a fertile imagination. Or they are just a bit loco. How would you like a clothes storage dresser or lamp made from a washing machine? Or, an über cool oil drum storage unit to hide your crude oil? This is the true spirit of upcycling where an item that was previously headed for the recycling bin or your garage and turn it into  something cooler, better and downright sexy!

In the spirit of upcycling ecycler has recently launched some new recycling categories such as tennis balls, CD’s, keys and crayons. We’ve found folks that can turn these items into something better. So don’t forget the three R’s and the U.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle!

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: , ,

Maine Bottle Bill in Dire Straits?

April 26th, 2011 No comments

Maine’s bottle bill is at risk of being vastly modified, if not totally dismantled.

Lawmakers in Maine have made various attempts to modify the state’s 33-year-old bottle bill, which mandates a refund for people who recycle beverage containers. Beverage distributors have lobbied for a repeal of the bill, citing concerns about fraud and inefficiency.

One lawmaker has proposed a bill that would study whether to replace the bottle bill with a  curbside recycling program. The Natural Resources Council of Maine has argued that replacing the deposit collection system could lead to job losses, reduced recycling rates and more litter.

The current law states that larger containers, such as wine and liquor bottles, have a 15-cent deposit. Another proposed bill would exempt all bottles over 28 ounces from deposits.

Yet another bill would reduce the number of pickups beverage distributors would have to make to a redemption center. Currently, distributors must pick up all empty containers from a retailer when making a delivery. The proposed bill would require pickup once a store has generated $750 worth of containers, or once a month.

Those concerned with the various proposals contend that they would undermine recycling efforts in the state by providing less incentive for individuals and distributors to recycle.

Information on the existing Maine Bottle Bill.

Categories: legislation, recycle Tags: ,