Aluminum Can-Do Attitude

aluminum cans crushed for recycling

Who doesn’t have a bunch of aluminum cans lying around their house? Since their introduction to consumers in 1959, they have steadily grown to be the most sustainable drink container. You can quickly chill them, stack them, and hopefully, recycle them. Since they are the most recycled beverage holder, and contain around 70% recycled material, they are the most valuable item in your recycling bin.

 

Merchandisers love them because they offer long-term preservation benefits. Aluminum cans create 100% protection against light, moisture and oxygen. They are packaging that is tamper-resistant, which helps to put the consumer’s mind at ease. Not only are foods and drinks packaged this way, but also paint and aerosol products. There are literally thousands of products that come in aluminum cans, and they should all be turned in to an aluminum recycling center near you!

 

They are also becoming incredibly lightweight. Today’s average aluminum can weighs less then a half ounce. They don’t rust and can withstand pressures of up to 90 lbs. per share inch. The market continues to grow with the new energy drinks that usually come in 8 ounce cans. Many microbrew companies have switched to aluminum, as it offers a higher quality, since it doesn’t expose its contents to light or oxygen.

 

The Coors Brewing Company is often credited with creating the first 12 ounce beer can, introducing it on January 22, 1959. And since then, the growth has been remarkable. Obviously, it has been spurred on by the popularity of soda products. The Coca-Cola Company was using cans around the same time. The world loves its soda and beer. Worldwide, roughly 200 billion cans are used every year. If you’re doing the math, that’s about 6,700 cans per second, which is enough to go around the planet every 17 hours.

 

The energy to produce aluminum is more than any other precious metal on the planet; 2% of the world’s energy is used to produce it. It only takes roughly 5% of that allotted energy to produce aluminum from recycled aluminum. So, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t be recycling it. The scary truth is that Americans alone throw away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum cans every year. Perhaps having one too many beers or sodas is the culprit!

 

However, recycling cans seems to be on the rise. In 2013, 1.72 billion lbs. of used aluminum cans were recycled; that comes to about 60.2 billion cans. The energy that this saved could fuel more than a million cars for a full year. The ability to recycle over and over again, creates a high value for the material, as compared to packaging like glass and plastic. It’s known as a closed loop recycling process, and makes it economically and environmentally advantageous.

So, if you’re sitting here reading this, sipping a cold one, or sucking down a Red Bull, when you’re finished with it, put it in your recycling container. If you don’t have one, it’s insanely easy to make one. Heck, just adding a bag under your kitchen sink is all it really takes. Then, when you’ve got enough of them, bring them down to your nearest aluminum can recycling center, and get some cash for them. Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

Originally Published Here: Aluminum Can-Do Attitude


Aluminum Can-Do Attitude syndicated from https://recyclingcenternear.wordpress.com/

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How Tires Are Recycled

Have you ever thought about what happens to tires once they have been sent to the tire recycling center? Well, once they’ve reached the required volume, they get loaded onto trucks and taken to processing centers. After their arrival, they are cut/shredded into 2 inch pieces, which get processed using one of two systems: Mechanical and Cryogenic.

The Mechanical system grinds up scrap tires into small chips using the ambient process. Typically, the shreds are put into one granulator fitted with screens that help in the determination of the product size. With the Cryogenic system, tires are frozen at very low temperatures, which help to break them into different sizes. Afterwards, they are super cooled with liquid nitrogen, becoming very brittle. They are then passed through a hammer mill, which breaks them into even tinier particles.

Steel is removed using magnets and fibers are separated with air classifiers. Usually, it’s sent off to rolling mills to aid in the manufacturing of new steel. Screening is used to make sure there are no more wires, or anything thing else that could be harmful left in the material. The leftover rubber is often sold as rubber mulch, or used for playground turf. Before it’s shipped off, it goes through a cleaning stage. Water, and other cleaning products are used to ensure that it is thoroughly washed.

It is then packed and shipped to various plants like, shoe and athletic/recreational manufacturers. Other uses include molded and extruded products, including mats, and bumpers. Ground rubber is also added to asphalt binder to improve highway performance characteristics, which include how long the road will last. It can also be used in the manufacturing of new tires, and even colored mulch in landscaping applications.

Many people are concerned with the safety of using recycled rubber on playgrounds. However, according to CalRecycle, there are no toxicity issues that would preclude using ground rubber on playground equipment. In fact, there are many benefits to using it, such as durability. Rubber is flexible, resilient and makes a great outdoor cushioning material.

Scrap tires can certainly be an environmentally compatible alternative energy resource when used properly. They’ve been used for energy in Japan, Europe, and the United States since the 1970s.This is accomplished through the usage of pyrolysis, which is subjecting plastic and tire to high temperatures of 400-450 degrees Celsius in the absence of oxygen to change their chemical composition. This causes the break down into smaller molecules that eventually vaporize, which can be burned directly to produce power or condensed into an oily liquid, generally used as fuel. When performed correctly, the tire pyrolysis process is a clean operation that creates few emissions or waste, but concerns about air pollution due to incomplete combustion, as is the case with burning tires have been documented. Beyond that, tires can be used as construction materials; entire homes can be built with whole tires filled with dirt and concrete. They can also be used as barriers for collision reduction, erosion control, and even artificial reefs.

Whatever their usage after they are removed from your vehicles, they are certainly no good, nor are desired in landfills, due to their consumption of valuable space. They can also trap methane gases, which cause them to bubble to the surface and damage landfill liners. So, make sure to “keep track” of where your old tires go, and keep recycling other products, as well!

Originally Published Here: How Tires Are Recycled


How Tires Are Recycled syndicated from https://recyclingcenternear.wordpress.com/

Women’s March Protesters Dumped Their Signs?

The recent Women’s March was certainly an historic event and I think everyone can agree regardless of which side you support that the event was successful in bringing attention to these issues. One of the issues that was supposedly supported by this group of protesters was the environment, but unfortunately they seemed to have missed the mark. The protest sites were left littered with trash and thousands of signs left out in front of the Trump building. It is one thing to peacefully protest, but it is not ok to do so at the cost of our environment. Please continue to show support, but remember to do so in an manner that respects Mother Earth as well.

The 21 January 2017 Women’s March on Washington was a rousing success from a purely numerical standpoint, drawing a crowd estimated at upwards of 470,000 people in and around the National Mall area at its peak.

Nonetheless, the event had its critics, some of whom chose to take participants to task for being messy:
Of course, any event that involves so many people gathering in one place inevitably results in a good deal of refuse being left behind. No matter how many participants may be conscientious about packing out everything they bring with them or use during the day, some percentage of them will simply abandon trash and leave it for others to deal with (especially since available receptacles are often inadequate in volume and number and end up being filled to overflowing long before everyone has departed the scene — a particular challenge in this case, as the National Mall site was host to two mass events on consecutive days). Even a small portion of a very large crowd can leave quite a mess.
Although the photograph displayed above does show thousands of signs carried by Women’s March protesters that were dumped on the ground and left behind, it’s typically shared without a few key pieces of context:

1) The signs in the picture weren’t just tossed willy-nilly onto the ground; they were deliberately abandoned at that location — outside one of the entrances to the Trump International Hotel in Washington — as part of the protest:

Thousands of signs were left in front of the Trump International Hotel near the White House as demonstrators walked.

Holly Willebrand took a photo of herself in front of the sea of hand-crafted messages.

“It a good sign of solidarity,” Willebrand said.

2) The hotel site was already politically controversial for reasons independent of the Women’s March on Washington:

The 263-room luxury hotel opened in November 2016, in a century-old post office building which is part of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site. The minimum nightly rate is $735, while one top-end suite was reportedly available for $500,000 during inauguration week.

There were protests when Trump won the lease, given his track record of bankruptcies and his lack of experience in preserving or caring for historic buildings. Renovation works cost around $2m, and the Trump Organization is believed to pay around $3m a year in rent.

The hotel was the location of inauguration events such as a prayer breakfast at the hotel, and is currently hosting various members of Mr Trump’s new cabinet, along with donors and foreign officials hoping to win the favour of the new President.

Since being sworn in as president, Mr Trump may now be in violation of a provision that no federal official may rent the building, theoretically opening him to litigation. He is certainly making money from the foreign diplomats currently staying in the hotel, in a further economic conflict of interest.

Michelin-starred Spanish-American chef and philanthropist José Andrés was supposed to be providing catering for the hotel, but pulled out after Mr. Trump disparaged Mexicans and immigrants during his electoral campaign, implying they were criminals, rapists and killers.

3) Piling refuse in one location generally makes it easier for clean-up crews to do their job (although that factor wasn’t why the protesters were dumping their signs outside the Trump hotel).

Regardless, one might fairly argue that a form of protest involving the dumping of litter on the ground for others to clean up is an unseemly one. However, the National Park Service noted that, overall, the crowds at both events (i.e., the inauguration and the Women’s March) were “tidier” than those of previous years:

The cleanup continues on the National Mall following the inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington Saturday.

The National Park Service has been working to get the area back to its original condition, removing trash, taking down the fencing and pulling up the decking for the recent activities.

“We’ve had our maintenance team out there since last night when they already did a pass,” National Park Service spokeswoman Emily Linroth said Saturday. “Today, they are really going through with a fine tooth comb and picking up what’s left. They do this every July Fourth, so they are pros at it.”

This time around, officials say, visitors were tidier than prior years. Linroth says so far, the cleanup is going well.

“Fortunately, a lot of people, even though, the trash cans were full, have stacked the trash neatly as close to the trash cans as they could get them, so that is making our job easier,” Linroth said.

This article originally posted at http://www.snopes.com/2017/01/22/womens-march-dumped-signs/

Tire Recycling and Market Development

Since passage of the Tire Recycling Act in 1989, California has dramatically increased the number of waste tires diverted from landfill disposal and sent to beneficial end uses. CalRecycle staff estimates that in 2015, Californians generated 44.2 million waste tires. The beneficial use of 35.8 million of these tires represents a recycling rate of 80.9 percent in 2015.

The California Tire Recycling Act authorized CalRecycle to award grants and loans to businesses and public entities for activities that could expand markets for used tires. The act specifically lists several types of projects: polymer treatment, crumb rubber production, retreading, shredding, and the manufacture of such products as rubber asphalt, playground equipment, crash barriers, erosion control, floor and track surfacing, oil spill recovery, roofing, and other environmentally safe applications. Grants are intended to fund research projects, to encourage business development, and to assist local government in implementing collection, outreach, and public education programs.

In addition, staff determined that the primary focus of the Five-Year Plan for the Waste Tire Recycling Management Program (biennial update for fiscal years 2015/16 through 2019/20) would be to build a sustainable statewide market infrastructure for tire-derived products. A solid market infrastructure for rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC), tire-derived aggregate (TDA) in civil engineering applications, rubber mat and cover products, and the development of new tire-derived products is essential to divert the remaining tires still being landfilled or disposed of illegally.

In order to make these markets sustainable, a steady flow of materials into the marketplace, sufficient capacity, diverse product lines, and continuous viable uses for products must also exist. The activities identified in the Five-Year Plan are designed to help enhance and solidify the infrastructure that manages waste tires from generation to end-product, through partnership with local jurisdictions, the private sector, and other State agencies. Building strong sustainable markets in California can increase the intrinsic value of waste tires as a raw material, diminishing the current economic advantage of landfilling tires. (See Products and Uses.)

The ongoing challenge for CalRecycle is to continue to develop viable markets for the remaining 8.5 million waste tires that are being landfilled annually to achieve the California’s zero waste goals with respect to tires. CalRecycle is dedicated to finding new uses for this valuable resource and is committed to working cooperatively with local governments, industry, and the public to reach this goal.

Recycling Information
Tire Management Program Hotline. CalRecycle’s Hotline, (866) 896-0600, is available for waste tire information. Callers need to leave their name, phone number, and requests and a tire staff member will return the call.
Registered Waste Tire Haulers. Find waste tire haulers in your area using our online search.
Products and Other Uses. Californians use a lot of tires, which can be recycled in California to produce crumb rubber for new products, recycled in rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC), used in civil engineering applications as tire-derived aggregate (TDA), or combusted as fuel.
California Tire-Derived Product Catalog
Recycling Centers | Coordinators | Associations
Recycling Centers. To locate a convenient recycling center, call Earth 911, which has a nationwide automated hotline at 1-800-CLEANUP. You can also get the same information online from the Earth 911 website.
Recycling Coordinators. Call CalRecycle at (916) 341-6199 for the name and phone number of your community’s recycling coordinator. You may also contact our Local Assistance staff or your local city hall or public works department.
California Recycling Advocacy Associations. Recycling advocacy associations actively promote the recovery and use of secondary materials. The California Resource Recovery Association, the Northern California Recycling Association, and the Californians Against Waste are three leading California recycling advocacy groups.

Tire Recycling and Market Development was originally posted on http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Tires/Recycling/

Disposing of Universal and Hazardous Waste

Lots of residences and also companies have waste that needs to be thrown away that falls under the classification of “hazardous waste”. Much of this waste is also very common items that you may use in your home or business. Some examples would be batteries and cleaning chemicals. Fortunately, there are numerous facilities and locations that one can take these items where they can be safely gotten discarded. Several recycling facilities accept a significant amount of these items, while some material can only be dropped off at specialized hazardous waste facilities in your county.

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) identified the materials listed below as hazardous waste several years ago, but households and small businesses were excluded from complying with the regulation to keep them out of the trash until now. February 9 marks the date after which disposing them in the trash is illegal.

The State refers to the list as “Universal Waste” or “U-Waste” and defines it as electronics (VCRs, cell phones, radios), batteries, mercury thermostats, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other products containing mercury or other heavy metals. “These materials can endanger public health and harm the environment when improperly disposed,” said DTSC Director Maureen Gorsen. “Our goal is encourage Californians to recycle or properly dispose fluorescent lamps, batteries, thermostats and electronic devices.”

Universal Wastes Include: 

  • Common batteries: 9V, AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries contain corrosive chemicals.
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs and mercury containing lamps:
    They contain mercury vapor, a toxic metal.
  • Thermostats: There is mercury inside the sealed glass switch in old thermostats.
  • Electronic devices: TVs, computer monitors, computers, printers, VCRs, cell phones, telephones, radios and microwave ovens often contain heavy metals, including lead, arsenic, PCBs, and cadmium
  • Electrical switches and relays: These contain mercury.
  • Pilot light sensors: These often contain mercury.
  • Mercury gauges: These include barometers, manometers, blood pressure and vacuum gauges.
  • Novelties with mercury added: This includes greeting cards that play music when opened, old athletic shoes with flashing lights in the sole, and mercury maze games.
  • Mercury thermometers: These typically contain about a half-gram of mercury.
  • Aerosol cans that are not empty: Aerosol cans labeled TOXIC or FLAMMABLE may not be put in the trash if they are not completely empty.

This is not a comprehensive list, but does contain many of the common items that are disposed of at homes and businesses. It is important that we all do our part to keep these items out of landfills and not throw into the regular trash bins.

Read More Here: Disposing of Universal and Hazardous Waste


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Importance of Recycling Electronic Waste

Currently, the amount of waste generated by humans is unsustainable. For example, did you know that 100,000 sea creatures die each year because plastic waste entangled them? Unfortunately, society is exacerbating this problem instead of solving it. More specifically, electronic waste is now a major issue because people do not know what to do with their old TVs, laptops, personal computers, tablets, and game consoles. Sadly, most people discard their old gadgets as soon as a new version of it hits the market.

What Is The Importance Of Recycling Electronic Waste?

Protecting You and Your Community

The World Health Organization claims that e-Waste poses a severe risk to children when they come in direct contact with it. For example, kids can touch toxic substances that are present in this waste including lead, chromium, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, or brominated flame-retardants.

People around these dumping zones may also inhale toxic fumes emitted by this waste. Additionally, some of these poisonous substances find their way into water systems compromising the health of the communities that depend on that water system. Eventually, serious diseases emerge among those living next to these water systems.

You should also note that dumping zones for electronic waste take up a lot of space. In 2000, landfills in the US catered to more than 4.6 million tons of e-Waste. This kind of space would be ideal for building a stadium, school, or a hospital. However, that is only possible if you recycle your electronic waste.

Helping Others and Creating Jobs

Give your old electronics to someone who needs it. For example, you may have a little brother or sister who needs a computer. You may also have a nephew, cousin, distant relative, or a neighbor who wants it. Moreover, charities are always asking for donations especially when it comes to electronic gadgets.

Recycling your e-Waste helps other people by creating employment opportunities for them. Remember, someone has to look for useable materials within the waste. Then another person has to extract these materials. Finally, someone has to assemble them into a new product. That means recycling e-Waste generates employment for many people so why not do it.

Encouraging Electronic Manufacturers to Invest in Eco-Friendly Products

In 2016, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer had 392,305 employees. In 2012, the same company operated eight factories in China alone. These resources would be instrumental in other sectors of the economy. For example, investing in research and development would be an excellent choice. Another good idea is diversifying its portfolio by launching new products. Therefore, recycling electronic waste encourages companies to think outside the box. These firms will adjust to ongoing market trends. That means they will build more recycling facilities than they have now. Additionally, their investments in eco-friendly products will rise.

Reducing the Physical Handling of Electronic Waste in Third World Countries

China banned the importation of electronic waste in 2002. Unfortunately, that government directive bore little fruit because 70% of the world’s e-Waste ends up in China. This waste affects the local communities negatively. For example, consider the communities that live in Guiyu, China. Here, you will find the world’s largest electronic waste dumpsite. The people who work have high levels of dioxin and lead in their blood. Lead stunts growth in babies and adolescents. Dioxin causes developmental and reproductive problems. Recycling electronic waste within the boundaries of this country reduces the volume of e-Waste that goes to such developing nations. Consequently, the reduced handling of electronic waste means that fewer and fewer people will get sick because of e-Waste.

Recycling Help Build a Just and Moral World

Computers consume an enormous amount of minerals. For example, a bit of gold is always necessary for pin plating. Copper is useful as a conductor in these gadgets, and hard disks cannot function without several metals i.e. zinc, magnesium, and aluminum. Moreover, the hard drive requires other minerals such as cobalt, iron, and nickel.

Do you know the source of these substances? In truth, most of the minerals used in building these devices come from third world countries. For example, did you know that the Democratic Republic of Congo produces 60% of the world’s cobalt? Unfortunately, it is an impoverished and war-torn country. Recycling electronic waste reduces the flow of capital into the hands of dictators who exploit their country’s resources for personal gain.

See More Here: Importance of Recycling Electronic Waste


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How To Dispose of Universal and Hazardous Waste

Many homes and businesses have waste that needs to be disposed of that falls under the category of “hazardous waste” and at the same time is also very common waste. Some examples would be batteries or pesticides. Fortunately there are many centers and locations that these items can be safely disposed of. Many recycling centers […]


How To Dispose of Universal and Hazardous Waste syndicated from https://recyclingcenternear.wordpress.com/