Monday, October 22, 2018

The Plastic Straw Ban in Full Effect

According to, the plastic straw ban went into effect in Seattle, WA on July
1st, 2018.

In a previous article titled, “ Grasping at Straws”, it was noted that,
“Every year 50 million plastic straws from fast food restaurants chains contribute greatly to a landfill full of plastic. Plastic recycling is a green idea that allows to reuse straws and turn these plastic objects into fabulous recycled crafts and artworks for home decorating.”

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Can I Recycle Pringles Cans?

Second only to Lay’s with Ruffles nipping at its heals, Pringles’ 2017 sales hit a whopping $549.7 million.

Pringles, which have been around for about 4 decades are sold in over 140 countries and don’t show any signs of slowing down in popularity or sales.

Kellogg Company bought Pringles from Proctor & Gamble for $2.7 billion February 15, 2012. Since then, the product remains strong. Along with frozen foods and other snacks, “the chips helped Kellogg’s sales rise 4.7% to $3.4 billion this past quarter, Kellogg’s said, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

Thursday, September 20, 2018

How Empty is Empty?

Recycling should be a process in which clean, empty recyclable materials are sorted and baled then sent to the world market for reuse. Contaminants, however, prevent this process from not only going smoothly, but sometimes prevent it from going on at all.

Some commodities, such as metal, glass and sometimes even plastic, go through processes where small amounts of debris or contaminants don’t adversely affect the final product.

Small amounts of food or liquid left in soda bottles, vegetable cans or pickle jars will most likely not be at a contamination level that would render the whole load of recycling unusable.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Is My Beer Bottle Recyclable With a Lime In It?

“People have been making glass for more than 4000 years, and it’s one of the few materials in the world that is perpetually recyclable. The same glass can be broken down and reused over and over again — theoretically, a million times over.

Since recycled glass melts at a lower temperature than new materials, it takes less energy to reuse. In fact, much of the glass in your favorite bottle of beer has possibly been in tens, if not hundreds of bottles of beer before.”

What Happens If I Don’t Rinse Out My Recycling?

Most recycling centers request that you to rinse out your recyclables before you put them into your bin for recycling. But what happens if you don’t?

If there are a few drops of soda in a bottle, a few small corn kernels in a can or some stray pieces of cereal in the bottom of a box, it shouldn’t be a problem to get these materials recycled.

If, on the other hand, there’s enough peanut butter or mayonnaise on the inside of a jar to make another sandwich, recycling centers may turn away the whole truck load due to contamination.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Recycling Paperboard Egg Cartons

Eggs are generally a staple in every American home. You'll be hard-pressed to find one household in the United States that does no have at least one egg in the refrigerator.

Eggs used to be gathered in a basket or an apron and either used personally or sold to friends and family. Considering that
in 2017 the U.S. consumption was estimated at 274.2 eggs per person, the production, collection, and sales are accomplished very differently.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Food Waste Recycling

Food waste recycling is the process of diverting food that would otherwise be sent to landfills to either compost facilities or anaerobic digesters.

“Anaerobic digestion occurs naturally, in the absence of oxygen, as bacteria breaks down organic materials and produces biogas, which can then be used as an energy source.”

Monday, June 25, 2018

Is My Shredded Paper Recycled?

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.

All paper consists of fibers and the longer the fiber, the more valuable the paper is during the recycling process. Since paper is generally recycled over and over, the fibers become shorter and may need to be "downcycled".

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Recycling Facts 2018

1. "Only about one-tenth of all solid waste in the United States gets recycled.

2. Landfills are among the biggest contributors to soil pollution – roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled.

3. Although 75% of America’s waste is recyclable, we only recycle around 30% of it.

Disposable Razors in the Landfill

Disposable razors gained immediate popularity as a convenient alternative to the straightedge blade that had to be re-sharpened.

“In 1847 William Henson invented the hoe-shaped razor that most of us have in our medicine cabinets, and in 1895 a traveling salesman named King Camp Gillette (pictured) combined this shape with the idea of shaving with a disposable double-edged blade. 

The resulting safety razor eventually made Gillette a fortune and solved the hassle of having to remove the razor's blade to sharpen it every few shaves.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

How Many Times Can it Be Recycled?

Although many products are recyclable, some have a higher number of times it can be recycled than others. Here’s a guide to the most commonly recycled commodities and how many times they can be recycled.

According to Alcoa, the world's third largest producer of aluminum, the aluminum can is infinitely recyclable. That means it can be used, recycled, and turned back into a new can endlessly. In fact, it can be recycled and back on the store shelf as a new beverage can in less than 60 days.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Are Dryer Sheets Recyclable?

“Dryer sheets are usually made of thin polyester that’s been covered in a fabric softener chemical and fragrance chemicals. Unfortunately, the wispy polyester isn’t recyclable.“

Most dryer sheets are made from a nonwoven polyester material coated with a softening agent that has a long hydrophobic chain. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Are Plastic Bread Clips Recyclable?

Plastic bag closures, the plastic hook-like piece commonly used to hold bread products closed, are widely used across the world in countries like the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia and Japan. “They are also commonly called bread tags, bread tabs, bread ties, bread clips or bread-bag clips”.

“According to the Kwik Lok website, the idea for the bread clip came to Floyd Paxton, Kwik Lok’s founder, during a flight in 1952….while he was on the plane, Paxton was eating a package of complimentary nuts, and he realized he didn’t have a way to close them if he wanted to save some for later. As a solution, he took out a pen knife and hand-carved the first bread clip out of a credit card”.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Are Magazines Recyclable?

Magazines and catalogs are usually made of a higher weight paper with a glossy finish.

“Magazines are made from paper that's been buffed and coated to achieve a glossy appearance. Next, the paper is covered with a white clay that makes color photographs look more brilliant. The shiny appearance does not contaminate the paper at all.

The Environmental Impact of Convenience

For some, recycling is a big priority. Even a certain degree of inconvenience is accepted and endured to make sure they can recycle as much as possible.

For others, recycling isn’t a priority at all and everything goes into the trash no matter what it is.

There is a third category, however, and as hard as it is to admit it, it’s where I fall. It’s the category of people who will recycle only if it’s easy and convenient. Any deviation from those and the priority of recycling falls to a mere unimportance.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Are Spiral Notebooks Recyclable?

Spiral notebooks, regardless of whether they have a plastic or a metal spiral binding, are recyclable. The preferred way to recycle them, however, is to remove the spiral binding prior to putting the notebook itself into your recycling bin.

Recycling centers may not have the sophisticated mechanisms necessary to remove the spiral binding as the notebook is traveling through the sorting process, but the bindings will eventually be separated from the notebook. This may happen after it gets baled, sold and has begun the