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Robots Become a Reality in the Evolution of Carton Recycling

The Carton Council of North America and AMP Robotics recently announced that a carton-plucking robot has been installed at Dem-Con Companies, a recycling, processing and disposal company in Minneapolis.

1987…a Good Year

1987 was a big year for recycling and the founding of several notable recycling organizations, including NERC and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

Study: For food-waste recycling, policy is key

A national study by MIT researchers provides one of the first in-depth looks at the characteristics of places that have adopted food recycling, revealing several new facts in the process. For instance: The places deploying food-scrap recycling programs are located throughout the country, not just in well-off coastal areas with popular environmental movements. Significantly, cities with food-scrap recycling often have “pay as you throw” garbage collection policies (PAYT), which typically charge residents for exceeding a certain volume of trash. These programs make people more active participants in waste collection by having them limit and sort garbage. Thus, adopting PAYT paves the way for food-scrap recycling.

Recycling Contamination Creates Extra Work for Everyone--We need to remind people why and how to recycle correctly

So let’s get radical. Maybe we need to rethink how much we want to recycle. If recycling’s goal is to maximize greenhouse gas reduction, we don’t need to recycle everything in the waste stream. Some materials have a bigger greenhouse gas reduction impact than others. We only need to recycle what we can before the law of diminishing returns kicks in. After all, the more materials we try to recycle, the more confusing it becomes. If recycling is going to provide raw materials for end markets, why do we keep making that more complicated?

Planning a more resilient future: Four takeaways from the 2017 Resilient Cities Summit

In July, mayors, senior city officials, and nationally-recognized experts gathered in Stowe, Vermont, for the 2017 Resilient Cities Summit, hosted by the National League of Cities, the Urban Land Institute, and the U.S. Green Building Council. The group of 60 attendees from across the nation discussed how cities can be more prepared for climate risk and achieve a more resilient future.

Green Standards Are Broken and They Need Some Repair

Tech companies are standing in the way of stronger green electronics standards in the US, according to a new report by Repair.org. It finds that device manufacturers have systematically blocked attempts to promote longer-lasting devices.Despite overwhelming consensus that extending product lifespans is better for the environment, tech companies have largely blocked efforts to award points for products that are easier to repair, easier to upgrade, and easier to disassemble for recycling.

We can't recycle our way to 'zero waste'

"...recycling sits fairly low down the waste hierarchy. When we say “it’s not waste if it gets recycled”, it makes it easier to avoid more important actions with greater potential impact. Similarly, when zero waste commitments are defined as “not going to landfill”, it’s too easy for companies or cities to set a diversion target and focus on recycling and recovery, rather than setting targets for the more complicated task of waste minimization. But while recycling (and recovery) is a great last line of defense, it’s nowhere near as effective as avoiding the waste in the first place."

A Beverage Container Recycling Leader

The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association recently announced that in 2016 it achieved a 70% recovery rate of empty beverage containers sold in Manitoba, Canada. This allows the Province to now boast the continent’s fastest, continuously-growing beverage container recovery rate. Manitoba’s unique beverage container recycling model is quickly making a mark on the recycling landscape in Canada.

The Recycling Ethos

The relationship between culture and waste recycling is complex. Some cultures recycle more than others, some litter more than others. Such behavioral differences can be observed not just cross-culturally, but also within cultures. What contributes to the behavior of an individual who is not inclined to find their nearest waste bin, or separation facility if there is one? Studies have shown how easily influenced we are, and small details can produce big changes in attitude.

In with the New, Scrap the Old

History venerates the builders of great bridges, dams, and towers. But rare are commemorative plaques for the un-builders—those charged with the equally heroic task of dismantling those grand structures, once they become dowdy, obsolete, or downright dangerous. - Wired To dismantle a bridge requires careful planning. Different techniques are required to dismantle different materials. For concrete, demolition is done using explosives, jackhammers, and bursting (which involves applying pressure or injecting chemicals to break apart concrete). For steel bridges, like the I-91 bridge, it is done through dismantling. Dismantling steel is done through sawing, water jetting, or thermic lance. Demolition contractors who dismantle steel bridges frequently specialize in scrap metal demolition. Steel can be recycled repeatedly without losing its structural strength.

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