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?
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.
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.
"...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."
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 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.
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.
Business leaders can no longer stand on the sidelines. Increasing numbers recognize this but the majority have yet to do so. True leadership does not kowtow to flawed and compromised beliefs that have shown themselves to be deficient and harmful to our long-term future. True leaders understand that the values of home and hearth transcend the insatiate demands of profit, growth, and personal ambition, and knowing this they move to action.
World Clean-up Day, 15 September 2018, is an event that deserves attention for its magnitude and ambition. It calls upon 5% of the world’s population to roll up their sleeves on one day. As the sun rises in Japan, we will see one of the largest and most positive civic cooperation efforts. We can show that, by working together, we can clear up the trash polluting our nature. By using mass appeal campaigns and smart technological solutions, 380 million people are expected to join the cleanup day. Find out more at www.letsdoitworld.org .
GreenEducation.US (GreenEd), an online education portal for sustainability professionals, became the first organization to have its training program accredited in California by the National Standards Certification Board of the National Recycling Coalition. The certification program provides a 32-‐hour online, web-‐based, professional training program in Sustainable Resource Management and Zero Waste. The goal is to ensure that individuals working in solid waste, recycling, reuse and other related industries have a practical understanding of key policy and programs that affect the management of waste and recyclables.