Resource Recovery News

Resource Recovery Headlines

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Cheat Sheet: Biodegradable  •  Raises Concerns Over Recycling  •  Mercury Thermostat Grant  •  Dell bans e-waste export  •  Trashing the Tube  •   Fluorescent bulbs offer mercury advantage  •  A Greener Oil Change  •  How can I recycle CDs, DVDs and videos?   •   8 Ways to Green Your Paper Use  •   Lenovo   •   P2 Week   •   Scrap Theft Bill   •   Half of GM’s Plants to be Landfill-Free   •   Getting to Know Your Household Cleaners   •   8 Ways to Green Your Wardrobe   •    Samsung Electronics Recycling   •   Bottle Bill   •   Recycling Shingles   •   LG Electronics Recycling   •   Pitsch Landfill Recycling   •   Green Toilets   •   Dryers vs. Towels   •   TV Analog to Digital

 

Cheat Sheet: Biodegradable

September 7, 2009

by Haley Paul
Earth911

Biodegradable. It’s a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. And with items ranging from disposable flatware and diapers to bags and balloons now available under the auspices of “biodegradability,” it is important to get the facts on what it all means. Read on…

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NAPCOR raises concerns over recycling PLA containers

July 27, 2009

By  Jim Johnson
Waste and Recycling News

A trade group representing companies that make polyethylene terephthalate containers is challenging the idea that polylactic acid containers can be successfully mixed with PET containers in the recycling stream.
The National Association for PET Container Resources, or NAPCOR, is raising concerns over the “cost of separation, increased contamination and yield loss” as well as the impact on recycled PET quality and processing, the group said.

“We don´t doubt that PLA can be recycled,” said Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman. “But there are unquestionably some big issues yet to overcome.”Click here for more…

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Michigan awards grant for mercury thermostat collection

 

July 22, 2009

By: Joe Truini
Waste and Recycling News

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has awarded a $50,000 grant to a nonprofit environmental and energy education and services group to collect mercury thermostats. Click here for more…

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Dell bans e-waste export to developing countries

May 12, 2009

By Jessica Mintz
Associated Press

SEATTLE — PC maker Dell formally banned on Tuesday the export of broken computers, monitors and parts to developing countries amid complaints that lax enforcement of environmental and worker-safety regulations have allowed an informal and often hazardous electronic-waste recycling industry to emerge.

Although Dell’s announcement does not mark a significant change in the PC maker’s behavior, environmental groups hope that by making its standards public, Dell will raise the bar for other electronics makers. Click here for more…

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Trashing the tube:

Digital conversion may spark glut of toxic waste

January 23, 2009

By Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Michigan environmentalists, electronic waste haulers and recyclers are fearing an e-waste explosion.

Up to 1 million TV sets — toxic chemicals and all — could be headed for Michigan landfills as consumers ramp up TV purchases before the nation’s television stations are scheduled to convert to digital transmission Feb. 17.

A delay is possible. The U.S. Senate appeared close to agreement late Thursday on a bill to delay the planned transition to June 12 — setting the stage for a vote early next week. President Barack Obama earlier this month called for postponement.

While many TV owners will keep their analog sets and use a converter box to capture the digital signal, others are using the switchover as an excuse to dump their old sets and upgrade to plasma screen or high definition sets with a digital converter inside. Click here for more…

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Fluorescent bulbs offer mercury advantage

October 1st, 2008

By Janet Raloff
Science News, web edition

Fluorescent lighting uses less energy than comparably bright incandescent bulbs do. So switching to fluorescents will shave your energy bill. The big surprise: Relying on fluorescent lights may also cut how much mercury — that toxic metallic element — is released into the environment each year.

That finding was not intuitively obvious, since fluorescent lights contain mercury and the bulbs they’re replacing do not. But new calculations by a team of Yale University scientists now indicate that when the electricity used to power lighting comes primarily from coal-fired generating plants, the energy savings associated with fluorescent bulbs will translate into reductions in coal burning. And since most coal contains small but substantial quantities of mercury, burning less coal will reduce the electric industry’s release of mercury into the environment. In fact, most mercury emissions in the United States today trace to coal use.

Now keep in mind that producing — and ultimately discarding — fluorescent lights will release some mercury. When fluorescents accounted for only a small fraction of indoor lighting, they also contributed only minimal amounts of mercury. Click here for more…

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A Greener Oil Change

Greentips: September 2008

Routine oil changes play an important role in keeping your car running in good shape, which helps it get the best fuel economy and minimizes air pollution and global warming emissions. But what about the impact of the oil changes themselves? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 200 million gallons of used motor oil are improperly disposed of in the United States each year. Used oil from just one oil change can contaminate one million gallons of water—a year’s supply for 50 people.

Fortunately, used motor oil (whether it be from cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, or lawn equipment) can be recycled to make new motor oil, processed into fuel oils, or used as raw materials for the petroleum industry. In fact, one gallon of used motor oil can yield the same 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil as 42 gallons of crude oil.

If you are one of the millions of do-it-yourself oil changers, here are some important steps to take to ensure the process is as clean as possible:

  • After draining the oil, but before removing the drip pan from under the car, close and secure the drain plug and check for leaks.
  • Click here for more tips…

How can I recycle CDs, DVDs and videos?

September 6, 2008

by Tim Paradis
The Associated Press
SouthtownStar

Q: I buy more music and movies online and my CDs, videos, cassette tapes and even some DVDs are now just taking up space on the shelf. How can I recycle old media materials?

A: Consumers shouldn’t toss old CDs or videos into the trash. They could contain chemicals and metals that don’t belong in a landfill.

Check with a local library, school or community center to gauge whether they might have use for them. Beyond that, it’s smart to ask a local sanitation department if it recycles such items.

The Environmental Protection Agency points consumers to various resources such as http://earth911.org, which lists services that handle the recycling of various materials. Earth 911 offers more than 2,900 locations that handle media such as CDs and DVDs. The plastic from CD containers, for example, can be used to make new containers or even create the casings that cover street lights, according to Trey Granger, spokesman for Earth 911. Click here for more…

8 Ways to Green Your Paper Use

September 8th, 2008

by Trey Granger
Earth911.org

We may talk of a paperless world, but paper still makes up 35 percent of our solid waste. Even though new paper can be created by growing more trees, that doesn’t mean we can’t be smart about the paper we use. Here’s eight ways to optimize your paper use for the environment’s sake:

1. Save Those Boxes
Many of your larger purchases will come in a cardboard box that you can’t wait to get rid of. While you may not have a need for the plastic packaging (you can find a location to recycle plastic using Earth911), the box can definitely come in handy for:

  • Wrapping gifts
  • Shipping packages
  • Moving

The beauty of cardboard is that it can be collapsed into a flat sheet for easy storage under a bed or in the back of a closet. All you need to create a “new” box is some tape. Click here for 7 more tips to green your paper use…

Lenovo Joins The Climate Group

Announces New Program To Encourage Recycling And Renewable Energy Use

September 15, 2008

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC and NEW YORK — Lenovo today announced it has joined international non-profit organization, The Climate Group, and as part of that membership unveiled a comprehensive program that rewards consumers for recycling end-of-life devices, and offers consumers incentives to power new computers with renewable energy. This new program encourages consumers to make more environmentally responsible choices throughout the lifecycle of the computing device – and complements what Lenovo is doing to “green” its own operations.

Lenovo set a voluntary target of improving its carbon efficiency[1] by 10 percent between 2007 and 2012. To help reach that goal, Lenovo is developing energy efficient solutions in its products, is implementing energy conservation measures at existing sites, and is building new manufacturing facilities using greener materials and technology.

The renewable energy component of Lenovo’s new program includes an e-coupon offered in partnership with Together, a recently launched initiative that offers simple solutions to help consumers save money, save energy and save the planet. Under the program, for every Lenovo notebook sold using the new Together e-coupon, Lenovo will make a donation in the amount of the cost of powering a Lenovo notebook for a year[2] to a renewable energy project in the buyer’s home state. These may include wind farms, solar generation and biomass facilities. Customers just type “together” into the blank coupon field on the online purchase form. More information is available at www.lenovo.com/together.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Pollution Prevention Week 2008

September 11, 2008

Donna Heron, EPA

PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pleased to join organizations throughout the nation in celebrating National Pollution Prevention Week, September 15-21, 2008. Pollution Prevention or P2 means not creating pollution in the first place. P2 focuses on reducing waste at its source, reusing what can’t be reduced and recycling what otherwise would be thrown away! The keys to Pollution Prevention are the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

P2 week provides an opportunity to emphasize and highlight pollution prevention and sustainability activities in business, government and organizations.

“Pollution prevention has grown from a good idea many years ago to one of the principal ways our country protects the environment. As a result, our land, air and water are cleaner and safer,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

According to the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, P2 Week is the time when businesses, environmental groups and citizens can join forces for a common cause. By sharing information about pollution prevention, businesses can become more competitive, and lower operating costs. Individuals can also save money on monthly utility bills.

EPA estimated that each individual generates about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year, which equates to about 4.5 pounds per person, per day. Whether you are a student, a parent a small business owner or a corporate leader, EPA encourages everyone to make pollution prevention part of your daily life. Here are some ways that you can help:

At Home:

  • Adjust the heat or air conditioning at night and when you are away.
  • Keep filters clean to ensure HVAC equipment works more efficiently.
  • Turn off lights and electronic devices when not in use, install sensors where appropriate.
  • When you purchase electronics and appliances look for the ENERGYSTAR label and buy the most energy efficient items possible to meet your needs.
  • Replace light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Increase the amount of insulation in your home to reduce heat loss.
  • Do not mow your lawn or fill your gas tank on Ozone Action Days.
  • Minimize water use by purchasing EPA WATERSENSE designated water efficient toilets, faucets and shower heads.
  • Purchase products in bulk with minimal packaging.
  • Limit fertilizers and pesticides, especially near lakes and streams.
  • Recycle!

At School:

  • Help start a recycling program.
  • Perform a waste audit at your school.
  • Use only recycled paper and other recycled products.
  • Maintain heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other energy using equipment, to reduce the amount of energy used.
  • Install energy efficient lighting.
  • Start an Eco-Club or form a pollution prevention team.

At Work:

  • Install energy saving lights
  • Ride a bike, carpool, walk, or take mass transportation to work
  • Use reusable lunch containers
  • Use a copier that prints on both sides of the paper to reduce paper use
  • Use only recycled paper
  • Recycle toner cartridges and printer materials
  • Seek business opportunities with environmentally sound companies

For more information on Pollution Prevention and how you can help, go to:
http://www.epa.gov/region3/p2/.

Michigan Congressman Introduces Scrap Theft Bill

September 9, 2008

Recycling Today Magazine

U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would make it easier for law enforcement officials to investigate copper theft cases.

The bill, House Reolution 6831, the Copper Theft Prevention Act, would require scrap metal dealers to document copper transactions and would prohibit cash transactions of more than $500 for scrap copper.

Stupak and U.S. Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), co-chairmen of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, introduced the legislation with the support of the Coalition Against Copper Theft. Click here for more…

Half of GM’s Global Manufacturing Plants to be Landfill-Free by End of 2010

Company Accelerating Efforts to Reduce Facility Impact on Environment

September 5, 2008

www.GM.com

WARREN, Mich. – General Motors announced today a commitment to make half of its major global manufacturing operations landfill-free by the end of 2010. When translating the commitment to an individual facility basis, more than 80 of GM’s manufacturing operations will become landfill-free over the next 28 months. GM facilities achieve the landfill-free status when all production waste or garbage is recycled or reused.

As part of the initiative, the company announced 33 global operations have recently reached landfill-free status, bringing the company’s current total number of landfill-free manufacturing operations to 43.  Click here to read more…

Getting to Know Your Household Cleaners

August 4th, 2008

by Ashley Schiller
www.Earth911.org

They say you never know someone until you know where they are coming from. Maybe it’s time we got to know our hazardous cleaners on a deeper level…

This guide gives an overview of the hazardous cleaning products found in the average home. Remember to always read the labels, as they will give you the necessary information about that specific item.

Click here for more…

8 Ways to Green Your Wardrobe

August 18th, 2008

by Trey Granger
www.Earth911.org

Part of back-to-school time means finding that perfect new outfit. One thing you may notice while shopping this year is more of an emphasis on eco-friendly clothing, whether it’s organic materials or recycled content.

In addition to checking the label, here’s eight ways to make sure that you look good in green this fall season.

Click here for more…

SAMSUNG RECYCLING DIRECT SM

All good things come to an end. Let’s make sure it’s a Green end.

Accessed on August 4, 2008

From http://pages.samsung.com/us/recyclingdirect/

As technology continually evolves, so will your digital lifestyle. When you upgrade your consumer electronics, you will need to recycle your old products – responsibly. That’s why we’re proud to reaffirm our commitment to socially responsible recycling with the new SAMSUNG RECYCLING DIRECT SM program, launching October 1, 2008.

This new program, which will be available in all 50 states, makes it easier for you to recycle your Samsung-branded consumer electronics sold in the United States, with the exception of home appliances, in a safe and convenient way. In addition, a growing number of fixed drop-off locations will be made available for home appliances. Click here for more…

‘Bottle Bill’ update going nowhere in Legislature

Effort stalls as retailers worry about expenses

August 7, 2008

By Gerrick Lewis
Lansing State Journal

When Marcus Johnson moved back to Lansing from Kentucky this year, one of the first things he noticed was the lack of empty bottles on the street.

“I see a lot getting recycled here,” said Johnson, who typically takes his cans and bottles to drop-offs to get the deposit back. “(Lansing) is one of the cleaner cities.”

The 33-year-old is among many who want to see the expansion of Michigan’s bottle deposit law to include non-carbonated beverage containers. Click here for more…

Grand Rapids company recycles shingles

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

By Emily Monacelli
The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Your roof’s old shingles might find new life as a road.

Businesses in Michigan and across the United States are participating in the green trend and bucking the high price of crude oil by recycling asphalt shingles, a mix of asphalt and aggregate, and adding that product into hot mix asphalt used for roads and parking lots.

In the yard of Crutchall Resource Recycling LLC, 631 Chestnut St. SW, the jaws of an excavator grab shingles from a pile and feed them into a grinder. The grinder chews the shingles into pieces just coarser than beach sand and drops them into the container of a large truck. Click here for more…

LG Electronics and Waste Management: The LG Electronics Recycling Program

Following information from LG Website at http://us.lge.com/green/

LG Electronics has partnered with Waste Management Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary WM Recycle America, LLC, to establish the LG Electronics Recycling Program. Waste Management will act as the collection, transportation and recycling contractor for the national LG Electronics Recycling Program. The LG Electronics Recycling Program provides consumers with a free and convenient way of recycling their used, unwanted, obsolete or damaged LG consumer electronic products by dropping them off at a designated Waste Management eCycling Center. Waste Management currently has 160 designated drop-off sites across the United States and plans to have at least one drop-off site in each State by September 2008; the number of sites will continue to be expanded over time.

Click here for more…

WM Recycling Locations in Michigan

WMRA – Grand Rapids 1737 Chicago Drive
Grand Rapids, MI 49509
616-243-7191
WM – Saginaw Hauling 1957 Findley St.
Saginaw, MI 48601
989-754-6511
WM MRF 20000 West Eight Mile
Southfield, MI 48075
248-208-2260

Pitsch Sanitary Landfill

Is no longer accepting recycling as of 7/14/08. Pitsch’s is a privately owned/operated facility. Apparently they have discontinued this service as a corporate business decision.

We understand that recycling is vital to the health of our earth and the life of our resources. We are working on a solution for the residents of Ionia County. Please contact your local Township Boards and County Commissioner and let them know how important recycling is to you!

In the mean time, contact the office to learn of recycling opportunities nearby.

State park’s toilets going ‘green’

New Grand Haven facility is first of its kind in Michigan

By: James Prichard
Associated Press

July 7, 2008

Lansing State Journal

GRAND HAVEN – When nature calls, campers at Grand Haven State Park now can go “green” at a new, environmentally friendly toilet-shower building that is the first of its kind in the state park system.

Construction on a similar facility at Otsego Lake State Park near Gaylord is scheduled to begin this fall. Officials hope to eventually replace all the restrooms at Michigan’s 97 state parks and recreation areas with buildings like the one in Grand Haven, which opened for use May 5. Click here for more…

Electric Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels

How to keep your paws clean and green.

By Brendan I. Koerner
Posted Tuesday, June 17, 2008, at 7:17 AM ET
on www.Slate.com in the Green Lantern section.

The restroom at my office has electric hand dryers with little plaques that read, “Thanks for helping us save trees.” Is my company really doing the planet a favor by ditching paper towels? Generating electricity doesn’t strike me as a clean endeavor.

Both hand dryers and paper towels carry an environmental cost, so the Lantern’s peers typically advise folks to wipe their hands on their trousers. But if you fancy yourself too classy to walk around in damp pants, then hand dryers are, indeed, the greener option—not because they necessarily prevent deforestation, but because they actually use less energy once everything’s taken into account. Click here for more…

TVs: The Analog to Digital Switch

From DTV.gov: On February 17, 2009 all full-power broadcast television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital. Digital broadcasting will allow stations to offer improved picture and sound quality and additional channels. Find out more about whether or not you will be impacted by the digital TV (DTV) transition.

NOTE: If you have a DTV capable TV or have cable or satellite service already, YOU WILL NOT BE AFFECTED. This change only affects those who use the TV antenna only.

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