Sunday, December 14, 2014

Why Do I Have to Pay For Recycling Service?

Since recycling companies charge customers to pick up recyclables then sell the commodities that are collected, it would seem that companies are double-dipping in a sense.

There are costs associated with picking up, sorting and selling recyclable commodities that the revenue generated from the sale of the materials simply does not cover. Also, money that companies pay for employees, equipment, fuel, maintenance, and insurance greatly impact whether recyclers must charge a fee to provide their service.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Should I Remove Caps From Plastic Bottles Before Recycling Them?

Since the inception of more modern recycling, rules governing acceptable items have somewhat evolved. This is generally due to more improved procedures for recycling collection, as well as more improved processes as the raw commodities get turned into new items.

Although caps on plastic jars and bottles used to have to be removed before recycling them, the Plastics Recycling Industry (APR) asks that caps and closures be kept on plastic bottles and containers at the point of recycling."

Monday, November 17, 2014

How Much Paper Ends Up In the Landfill?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75 percent of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is recyclable, but only about 30 percent is actually recycled.

The reason people don't recycle as much as they could is chalked up to poor recycling habits, lack of education and awareness, and limited collection opportunities. These are the greatest challenges in improving the amount of recovered paper.

How Many Times Can Aluminum Cans Be Recycled?

"According to the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the can recycling rate in 2013 was 66.7 percent – the 2012 rate, by comparison, came in at 67 percent, while the 2011 rate was 65.1 percent."

"Aluminum cans are recycled more readily and more frequently than any other beverage packaging type ‒ period," Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, said in a press release.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Should I Remove Labels From Cans Or Bottles Before Recycling Them?

Recycling used to come with a lot of rules and restrictions making it somewhat inconvenient, although still worthwhile. Along with other mandated "Recycling Do's", labels used to have to be removed from cans, bottles, and jars. Today's more sophisticated recycling processes for plastic aluminum, and metal are designed to be effective, with or without labels.

It was once necessary to remove paper labels before the recycling process since they can cause flash fires in the furnace when recycling, posing a hazard to employees. It also produces impurities in the end product. Some recycling centers offer to remove the labels at the recycling plant, but this service is more rare and most times not necessary.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Are Batteries Recyclable?

With the introduction of an enormous amount of handheld electronic devices, people are using more and more household batteries than ever before.

About three billion batteries are sold annually in the United States, which averages out to about 32 per family, or ten per person. The average person owns about two button-style batteries, ten dry cell batteries, and throws out about eight household batteries per year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Are Books Recyclable?

When we generally think of being done with a book, we think of giving it to a friend or dropping it
off at a donation site. Sometimes, however, it becomes necessary to be done with it entirely and dispose of it. But where does this type of item go?

Recycling softcover books is a common practice. They can go directly into your recycling bin or drop-off center as is. Essentially, this would be like a stack of papers and a cereal box being in the same load of recycling. Hardcover books, however, are a different story entirely.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Are Light Bulbs Recyclable?

Light bulbs are a tricky item to categorize when discussing recyclables.  What type of material is a light bulb, anyway?

At the base, they have two metal contacts, which connect to the ends of an electrical circuit. The metal contacts are attached to two stiff wires, which are attached to a thin metal filament. The filament sits in the middle of the bulb, held up by a glass mount. The wires and the filament are housed in a glass bulb, which is filled with an inert gas, such as argon.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Is Yard Waste Recyclable?

Yard waste, including weeds, grass clippings, twigs and small branches are recyclable in a manor of speaking. These materials are actually compostable, rather than recyclable in a general sense of the word.

Recyclable suggests that a commodity is, through one process or another, broken down and used to make another usable item. Materials that are recyclable include common things like plastics, glass, aluminum, paper, etc...

Composting is mixing various organic substances, such as dead leaves, food scraps, grass clippings, allowing them to decay, and using the new material for fertilizing soil. Compost can be made from any number of organic materials in a number of combinations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What Is Single Stream Recycling?

Single Stream recycling is a relatively new term by most standards. It didn't exist as even a concept just a decade or so ago.

Single Stream recycling, also called "fully-comingled" or "single-sort", refers to a process where customers are able to place all of their clean, unsorted, unbagged recycling into the same container loose.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How Many Times Can Paper Be Recycled?

Experts have determined that upwards of 76 percent of paper mills used some recovered paper in 2011, so the paper you throw into the bin is finding its way into plenty of new products.  The latest statistics are even higher.

The grade of paper is determined by fiber length, which shortens after each trip through the recycling process. After being recycled five to seven times, the fibers become too short to make new paper and will need to be mixed with new, un-recycled fibers

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are Recyclables Picked Up With Our Trash Truck?

Borden Waste-Away Service, Inc. services both trash and recycling but they are never picked up together in the same truck.

After Borden trucks pick up recycling anywhere in our service area, it is then taken directly to our Recycling Works plant where it is hand and mechanically sorted into separate commodities.

Recycling Works, our company-owned state-of-the-art recycling facility here in Elkhart, operates as a “Clean MRF” (pronounced “Merf” and stands for Materials Recycling Facility), which means that we recycle over 90% of the material entering the facility. A state mandate stipulates that any more trash than that would put us into the category of a Transfer Station.

If It Is Single Stream Recycling, Why Are There Separate Bins At Drop-Off Centers?

Single Stream recycling, also called "Fully Commingled" or "Single Sort", is a process by which all recyclable items are collected together in a single truck instead of being separated into different bins by the depositor. The sorting processes in place then support the commingled materials and separate them into commodity types.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Are Straws And Plastic Utensils Recyclable?

Generally, recyclable items have a triangle on them with a number inside which specifically lets you
know that it is, indeed, recyclable. There are some exceptions to this rule with items that are actually recyclable items.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Are Pizza Boxes Recyclable?

Pizza boxes are made of cardboard so they should be recyclable, right? Well, yes and no. Although
most, if not all, recycling centers accept corrugated cardboard, it's actually the grease residue on the box that makes part, if not all of it, a trash item.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Is Shredded Paper Recyclable?

Shredded paper is recyclable in any recycling process that accepts paper in their recycling bins.
There are, however, a few things we need to keep in mind as we put shredded paper into our recycling.

Are Cassette Tapes And VCR Tapes Recyclable?

Cassette tapes and VCR tapes are a type of magnetic media, not unlike the ever-nostalgic floppy disk. This type of media storage uses a thin Mylar tape enclosed by some type of plastic casing. The casing is generally a recyclable item, but the tape is not.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Is Wood Recyclable?

So many things can be made from wood. Wood is recyclable, right? Although some curbside recycling programs don’t yet accept wood, by not recycling wood, we are depleting an extremely important natural resource.

Are CDs and DVDs Recyclable?

A Compact Disc (CD) is made from a 1.2 mm thick disc of almost pure polycarbonate plastic. The surface of a CD is reflective because the disc is coated with a thin layer of aluminum or sometimes gold. The shiny metal layer reflects the laser that is used to read or write to the device. A layer of lacquer is spin-coated onto the CD to protect the metal.The label print is applied to the top of that surface. 

A Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) is made from essentially the same material but can store up to 6 times the data.

Are Garden Hoses Recyclable?

Original hoses were made from linen, then leather, and finally rubber. They were originally used to put out fires and carry water from one site to another for washing, cooking, and drinking. 

Is Styrofoam Recyclable?

Styrofoam is actually a genericized brand name for the actual material called polystyrene. Polystyrene containers do have a #6 recycle symbol in it, but very few recycling centers accept it. Since it is such a light material and, since raw commodity recycling is purchased by the ton, polystyrene's market value is less than other commodities. It may be more profitable in extremely large quantities, but usual amounts produced by residential recycling collection has very little demand as a recycled product.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Are Spray Paint Cans Recyclable?

In the 1940s, the paint industry took another step forward with the invention of the aerosol can. Originally developed by the military as a tool to dispense insecticide, aerosol systems were quickly adapted to other product categories including spray paint. Using similar technology and equipment, a few years later they became the first commercial producers of spray paint.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Can Aluminum Foil Be Recycled?

Tin foil was originally made from a thin leaf of tin and was commercially available before its less In the late 19th century and early 20th century tin foil was heavily used in personal and commercial applications. expensive, more useful aluminum counterpart.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Are Milk Cartons Recyclable?

At the beginning of the 20th century farmers began mechanizing the milking of cows to produce the amount of milk that was in demand. Refrigeration, however, was not yet available.  The closest thing to it was the icebox which was just insulated box that people put ice in to keep things cold. As ice does, it tended to melt leaving the milk spoiled at times. Enter the milkman.