Recycling challenges and failures

Rhodie Ranch
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Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Rhodie Ranch » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:01 pm

I'm very concerned today. My county has just announced that many of the recycling drop off transfer stations will not be taking plastics or paper anymore.

Seems that China has been the taker of much of the co-mingled garbage that some communities have (recycling in with your trash) and now that country says "no more" as of the end of the year. They are worried about the glut of materials, pollution, and more to their country.
This puts immediate pressure on American businesses to step up and create new recycling centers that actually process plastics, glass, metal, and paper into bulk raw materials which can then be used for post consumer waste products (carpet, TP, paper towels, clothing, insulation, roadways, etc). This task is going to be difficult as the cost of entry (making a re-manufacturing plant) is huge, labor is expensive in America and the viability of selling this bulk re-manufactured material has to be cost efficient for the processor interested in the product.

So our plastics and papers will now be sent to the Oregon landfills. Do I attempt to reduce and reuse? Yes I do. My garbage out-put is very small and my recycling out-put is large. Seems I'll need to do a better job of not buying as many things in plastic as I've been; sending paper to my worms and to my compost pile; and reusing bread bags, clam shells, and foam meat trays for other things. We already have slowed way down on bottled water, due to the sheer number of bottles that are throw away every day.

How about you...what can you do to reduce your reliance on plastics and paper?

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Farmfresh
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Farmfresh » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:21 pm

Personally I do try to reuse and re-purpose, and I am also conscious of buying things with limited packaging, but I do not recycle plastics. In our area it is just not an easy thing to do. Walmart does have a shopping bag recycle at least.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

patriceinil
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by patriceinil » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:07 pm

I quit buying bottled water, we use a Britta filter and reusable sports bottles or cups at home. I try to buy things in glass jars that I can recycle to store my pantry dry goods in or for decorating with like vases or candle holders.

We do have recycling here with our garbage service so I do try to put out whatever can be recycled that we don't reuse.

I am bad about using heavy coated paper plates instead of my glass ones most of the time for things that are quick to eat meals and snacks. It saves on my dish washing and water usage.

I recycle my magazines to the nursing home for the residents to read. I rarely buy the newspaper any longer and I recycle the free local paper and grocery ads.

Most of my clothing and linens get donated if still usable or recycled into rags or used for sewing projects.

I know there is a lot more that I can be doing to reduce my waste but some days it's all I can do to just get up and moving without worrying about recycling stuff I'm using.

Rhodie Ranch
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Rhodie Ranch » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:47 am

I was thinking about this post yesterday, as I was at the mega grocery store. I bought lots of plastic...

blueberries and raspberries in tiny clam shells. A clearance pecan pie in a box in a plastic wrap, on a metal tray. (Ok, that's not plastic Barbara), sour cream in a tub, clearance almond bear claws in a plastic clam shell, clearance meat on a foam tray, clearance shucked oysters in a plastic jar, fake crab flakes in a plastic bag, haven't unpacked my cloth mesh bags for produce, so had to use plastic bags, two clearance mushrooms packages in foam holders, and prob more.

I had to buy a trash can for the kitchen, with a step on open lid thingie. Its round and we've been trying to stuff plastic bag in there (to catch the trash) which really doesn't fit well, as its a smaller diameter and fairly tall. So last week, I told hubs - no plastic bags. Its a self contained system, so all trash goes in it and then we empty it into the trash dumpster that goes to the end of the driveway every sunday nite. Hubs said: then we'll have to wash it all the time. And I said, yes I will. |em26|

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Farmfresh
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Farmfresh » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:20 pm

I have been recycling ... sort of I guess... feed sacks for trash bags. At least they are getting a second use before they go to the trash can.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
"Stop Dreaming About the Good Life and Start Living IT !"
Every little bit ... is a little bit.

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Patience
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Patience » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:33 pm

Been working on this lately Rhodie. We learned that we have a factory in our state that turns used plastic grocery bags into plastic deck boards. We do not out meat in our reusable grocery bags so we can drop single use bags off locally for that factory.

We also have a styrofoam recycler fairly close! We are washing meat trays and saving them until we get a pile to take there.

So things are starting to improve?

We do recycle metal cans. Steel and aluminum. We wash them, peel labels and let them dry. Figure that is a donation to our local landfill for operating costs. We take cardboard and paper (not the glossy stuff) there too.

It is hard because our local landfill gives NO information. Bet they are burying plastic right now and maybe the glass too. We live in a poor county. Been thinking about taking plastic and glass to a bigger city.

So much mixed material nowadays. Tough to know what to do with it. But we read that “aspirational” recyclers who toss everything in the recycling bin in HOPES it can be recycled are the biggest reason recycling is failing. So we throw it out if we have any doubt.

I saw Target had recycling bins out last week. Hadn’t been in one for years so Mom suggested we have a look. I did peep into the bin for cell phones, mp3 players and ink cartridges. Someone had tossed a big pile of ordinary batteries in the bin. That’d be where it breaks down.

Rhodie Ranch
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Rhodie Ranch » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:54 am

sadly, China stopped taking alot of the US recyclables last year. Now my southern part of the state no longer takes: glass, any plastic, magazines, mail, any paperboard...wait..

Its easier to say what they do take: cardboard, Al and metal cans (no lids), newspaper. Oil, if you do your own changes. That's it!

I still hate to buy clam shells and trays and the like. It really bothers me.

oh, I send my batteries down to San Jose where they still "take" that kind of stuff.

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Patience
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Patience » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:30 pm

We have been following the plastic story Rhodie. We sure live in interesting times! Maybe we needed to have to deal with it in this country to help us see why we need to find better answers?

News sources have long blamed Asia for most of the plastic in the oceans. But we dug around a while and learned that these plastics in the oceans were actually produced and sold in wealthier nations and then shipped to the poorer countries as big mixed containers for disposal. Because the poorest places could pay people a pittance to sort it all by hand. That didn’t make us proud but ours was far from the only nation shipping recyclables to poorer nations. And that has come to a screeching halt now.

Consumers are pushing for sustainable answers lately. That is a start? And more recycling places are gearing up all the time. We saw recently that there is another recycling plant coming in our state soon.

Pretty big mountain to deal with all at once. I hope we will get there sooner rather than later!

Brian started and operated the local recycling business years ago. He can lay out the math such that I get why we need to take our styrofoam to the place that recycles it in our state. And we can also haul it for anyone we know who cares enough to save it.

The value of the material is too low to pay for truck freight to haul it to the recycler.

Brian spoke to our local and state politicians at the time and really worked hard to educate them. He pointed out that the real cost of hauling low value materials for recycling had to be weighed against the cost of operating the landfill to bury it, though he says he never got anyplace with that.

He predicted then that eventually we would squander enough finite resources that we would have to mine landfills to reclaim and reuse a number of materials. I think he was right. Wonder if we will live to see that...
Last edited by Patience on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Patience
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by Patience » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:40 pm

https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/

We were trying to figure out what to do with mixed material packaging and found terracycle. They have a program to recycle chip and snack bags. Free. Lately we find these are made with layers of different materials, which made them impossible to recycle in our local programs.

https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/haincelestial

They have many more programs. I am thinking I want to alert our local schools.

dizzy
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Re: Recycling challenges and failures

Unread post by dizzy » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:08 pm

My husband keeps putting stuff in the recycling bin that doesn't belong there, things like plastic bags, corks on wine bottles, etc. If I see it, I take it out.

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