The Impact of Not Recycling

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How To Reuse Plastic Bottles To Help Start Your Garden This Spring

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Reuse Plastic Bottles To Help Start Your Garden This Spring

When you collect and deposit plastic bottles, newspapers, and other recyclable materials at a recycling drop-off location, they will be taken to a recycling plant and recycled into new products. As a consumer, you can recycle your own items at home to reuse them and extend their usefulness. As plastic bottles are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, it requires nearly four barrels of oil to produce one ton of plastic bottles. To help save the earth’s resources and recycle at home, here is a simple way you can reuse your used plastic bottles and help start your garden this spring. Make a Seedling Greenhouse With spring on the way, now is a good time to start planning for your vegetable garden. This includes selecting the seeds of plants you want to grow and germinating them into seedlings in small greenhouses made from an empty plastic two-liter soda bottle. Be sure to remove any labels from the outside of the bottle. For each greenhouse, you will also need: Four empty toilet paper rolls Scissors Potting soil Bleach  Water Measuring tape Clean the Bottle First, you will need to clean and sterilize the empty plastic bottle with a mixture of one part bleach to nine parts water. This is to remove any bacteria or other harmful organisms from the inside of the bottle that may harm your seedlings as they grow. Submerge the open plastic bottle and lid into the cleaning mixture and swish it around until all surfaces are covered. Drain the cleaning mixture from the bottle and set it on a counter to air dry.  Build and Fill the Greenhouse When the bottle is dry, measure up four inches from the bottom of the bottle. Cut around the perimeter of the bottle to separate the top and bottom portions.  Next, make the seeding cups: Measure and cut each toilet paper roll so they are each three inches long.  On one end of each toilet paper roll make four equally-spaced 3/4-inch vertical cuts into the roll.  This will make four tabs on the end of each paper roll, which you will fold under to create bottoms for your seedling cups.  Fill the cups with potting soil and plant your seeds in the soil.  Place four of the seedling cups in the bottom of your plastic bottle and water the seed cups.  The small openings around the tabs of each seedling cup will allow any necessary drainage for your seedlings when you water them. Slip the top of the bottle over the bottle’s bottom to fit the bottom inside the top. Set the greenhouse in a sunny window of your home. Remove the top of the greenhouse bottle when you need to water your seedlings or if there is excess moisture inside dripping down the sides of the greenhouse that needs to escape. Preparing Your Seedlings For Outside Weather When the temperature outside begins to warm up during the day, place your greenhouse outside in sunny weather and move it back inside at night. Then, as soon as any outside freeze threat has passed, you can remove the greenhouse cover to harden-off your seedlings and prepare them for transplanting outside. Hardening-off your seedlings will help them become adjusted to wind and temperature fluctuations outside. For the first day, place your seedlings outside in a shady area for one hour, then bring them back inside....

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Scrapping For Cash: Tips For Getting The Best Price For Your Scrap Metal

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Scrapping For Cash: Tips For Getting The Best Price For Your Scrap Metal

Scrapping metal is a great way to make extra money for things you don’t even need anymore. Not only will you have some spare cash, you’ll be recycling precious resources that have no reason to be thrown in a landfill. Metal can be smelted down to create something new. If you’re interested in scrapping metal, here are some great ways to get the best prices for your old junk. Read more information below.  1. Know what you have You don’t want to show up at a scrap yard with a pile of metal and no clue. Different types of metal have different values. If you have no idea what you’re selling, you might end up being offered a low price. Separate your metal as you collect it and learn as much as you can. Common types of metal that you will come across are: Iron/steel Aluminum Copper Brass/Bronze Iron and steel look similar to aluminum; however, aluminum is much lighter and will not draw to a magnet; while iron and steel is heavier and is magnetic. Copper is a shiny pink, brown or red (depending on how tarnished it is). Copper is usually in wire form. Brass is more of a yellow color than copper and usually in the form of pipe valves and decorative pieces. 2. Save up as long as you can The more scrap metal you bring in at once, the better price you’re going to get. If you bring in a handful of copper wire, you’re pretty much wasting everyone’s time. Get a tote or a 55-gallon barrel to keep your copper wire in. Wait until it’s mostly full before you bring it in. If you have large pieces of scrap metal, let them pile up until you have an entire truck bed or trailer full of metal. Once you bring it in, the scrap yard will likely give you a better price for you large load. 3. Watch the market Like all commodities, the price of metal fluctuates. You don’t want to spend time and energy saving and sorting scrap metal just to sell it while prices are low. Watch the market and sell it while prices are high. Fuel is used to smelt metal at the foundries; therefore, when the price of fuel is high, metal is sold at a higher price to balance the cost. When metal is being sold at a higher price, it’s being bought at a higher price as well. If you are selling copper wire, pay attention to the housing market. If there is a boom in houses being built, copper wire is needed to wire the homes. During a housing boom, you can sell your copper wire at a much higher price. Patience is a virtue. If you have patience to sell your scrap metal while prices are high, it’s worth it. 4. Shop around, but be loyal When you first start scrapping, get an estimate from a few different scrap yards. One might offer you a significantly higher amount than another, especially if they have a higher demand for a certain type of metal. Once you find a scrap yard that you’re happy with, start going there regularly. As they get to know you, they’ll likely give you a better price on your metal for your loyalty....

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Cooking Grease Gets A New Life

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cooking Grease Gets A New Life

If you are like everyone else who has used a large amount of cooking oil for any reason, you have been faced with the problem of how to dispose of that oil after you were finished with it. While you have probably only had to deal with a gallon or two at a time, restaurants often have to deal with much more than that on a weekly basis. Lucky for them, this grease that used to be a waste product is now a hot commodity. It is being used to create biodiesel fuel, along with a host of other products. These recycling options which have given cooking grease a new life, may have also solved your problems of what to do with yours. What Is Biodiesel Fuel? In an effort to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oils, scientists looked for ways to create a renewable, clean-burning fuel. They did not have to look any further than a waste product they already had. This was the cooking oils and animal fats, which already posed a problem for disposal. From this waste, they created a fuel which is comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids that met the standards of ASTM D6751. This fuel became known as biodiesel.  Meeting ASTM standards was important, as this meant the specific grades of fuels would be able to be run in diesel engines in the US, as well as Canada, without the engine having to have any modifications. Not only would the vehicle be able to run on biodiesel, but it could do so without voiding the vehicle’s warranty. Biodiesel can be found, and used in its pure form, which is called B100, or it can be blended with traditional petroleum diesel. Common blended forms include B2 (representing 2% biodiesel), B5 (5% biodiesel), and B20 (20% biodiesel). Always check with your vehicle’s manufacturer to see which blend they recommend. There are recipes on the Internet that will tell you how to make your own, or how to modify your engine to run off recycled vegetable oil. It needs to be noted, these experiments run the risk of ruining your engine and will definitely void any warranty you have. Biodiesel Is Expecting Massive Growth In a little over ten years, the biodiesel market has grown from 25 million gallons being produced in the early years of 2000, to approximately 1.7 billion gallons being produced in 2014. It is estimated that this market will continue to grow, and will hopefully be able to produce approximately 10% of the annual 35-40 billion gallons of diesel the country needs by 2022. This creation, and rapid growth of the biodiesel market not only have lessened our dependence on foreign oil, but it has also had other benefits. Less dependence on foreign oil bolsters our national security, as well as reduces our trade deficit. It is better for the environment and helps to address climate change. It produces less emissions than traditional diesel.    Biodiesel is made from renewable resources, it is not toxic, easily biodegrades, and is safe to handle.  Production of biodiesel contributes to the US job market. The fuel is currently being produced at approximately 200 plants across the country, which has created more than 62,000 jobs. These numbers are expected to continue to grow as...

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About The Japanese Tsunami And How Commercial Trash Removal Firms Are Involved In The Pacific Coast Clean-Up Effort

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on About The Japanese Tsunami And How Commercial Trash Removal Firms Are Involved In The Pacific Coast Clean-Up Effort

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Fukushima, Japan, triggered a tsunami that washed some five million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. Currents are still carrying some of it towards beaches in North America. Here are some insights into the disaster, a listing of some items being found and examples of commercial trash removal companies playing a part in the cleanup effort. Debris Dispersal Much of the debris sank in the waters around Japan, but scientists estimate that about 1.5 million tons were caught in the Pacific currents. Tsunami debris started showing up in the Pacific Northwest in 2012 and there’s no way of knowing how much is still floating in the ocean. The latest reports, as of March 2015, note that a large chunk of this trash is about 25 miles off the North American coast. The trash dispersal is determined not only by the current, but by local wave action and the severity of local storms. Since the fall and winter of 2014-2015 were mild, it’s likely that items still floating about will come ashore during the summer.  Types of Tsunami Debris Found The type of tsunami debris found varies from entire vessels to chunks of plastic foam. Depending on the item, it is disposed of, recycled, or if possible, returned to Japan. Since debris frequently washes up on West Coast beaches, without Japanese labels or signs it’s hard to determine the origin. After initial concerns about radiation, as of 2015, water testing showed the levels were extremely low. Notable Large Items One of the largest items landed on a beach near Newport Oregon in 2012. It was a 66-foot length of dock, loaded with seaweed and tiny marine creatures. Government officials removed the item after scientists tested the marine life, looking for invasive species. A similar dock washed ashore on a Washington beach. Boats have also come ashore, including a 20-foot skiff found on the Long Beach peninsula in Washington. It was similarly tested and removed. Another 27-foot boat came ashore in Oregon. This boat had safety warnings written in Japanese, so the origin could be verified. It was heavily damaged and covered with marine life. The boat was tested and put into a landfill. Miscellaneous Items Lumber and other building materials often wash ashore. Some are small enough to be carted out by weekend cleaning parties, others need heavy equipment. Much of the lumber is recyclable and is carted off by commercial waste removal firms or government crews. Plastic bottles, fishing buoys, pieces of plastic foam, gas cans and small appliances are carted off by volunteers. Much of this is recyclable. Large 55-gallon drums are also found. Depending on the contents, they are disposed of or recycled. How Commercial Waste Removal Firms are Helping Each state and the province of British Columbia has their own master plan for coping with the debris. Much is done by volunteers, but in some instances waste removal firms are playing a big part in the cleanup. The Oregon Coast Oregon is one of the best examples of state parks and local waste removal firms working together. They’ve set up a network of 32 drop-off sites along the coast, accepting debris tied up in special beach cleaning bags. There is no charge for the drop offs....

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5 Baby Items New Parents Need To Know How To Dispose Of Properly

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Baby Items New Parents Need To Know How To Dispose Of Properly

If you are a new parent, you may be surprised by the amount of trash that your new, tiny person can create. To help preserve the earth for your growing child, it is important to educate yourself on the proper way to dispose of or recycle the common types of baby trash. While disposing of your waste properly is a great first step, you will also want to consider ways you can reduce the amount of trash your baby produces by looking into reusable baby items. Below are five common baby items that parents dispose of on a daily basis.  Diapers Cloth diapers produce the least amount of trash, since they can be reused for multiple children. However, for many parents it is unrealistic to use cloth diapers all of the time. You may want to use disposable diapers on longer excursions or overnight, and it is important to dispose of those properly. When you dispose of diapers, you should make sure to flush any feces down the toilet, so it can be chemically treated, rather than throwing it into your trash bin. This will reduce the smell and bacteria in your trash, meaning your trash will not stink up your home or attract neighborhood pests. It also makes it safer for workers to handle your trash.  Formula Cans Unfortunately, many formula cans cannot be recycled because they are made of composite materials. However, the lids of the cans are usually recyclable with your plastics and the steel cans are recyclable with your metals. For cardboard cans, consider re-purposing the can for storage or as a toy. You can also fill the can with wipes or other trash before throwing it away, to reduce the overall volume of your trash.  Wipes Wipes are rarely recyclable. They should also not be flushed down your toilet, as they do not break down like toilet paper. Flushable wipes should only be flushed in small quantities, and it may be safer to dispose of them in the trash. However, the various types of packaging can be recyclable. You should search for plastic packaging that can be recycled in your area. Throw the wipes in the trash with your diapers, but recycle their container.  Disposable Bibs While cloth bibs are the most eco-friendly option, if you are using disposable bibs, you will happy to know that they are recyclable. You should recycle disposable bibs in your mixed paper container. Before you recycle it, wipe any large chunks of food off of the bib.  Worn Baby Clothes It is common for babies to outgrow their clothing before it is worn. If this is the case, then you should try to sell, donate, or give away your used baby clothing. If the snaps are broken, you can mend the clothing before sending it to its new owner. However, if the clothing is worn and stained beyond repair, you can recycle it. Many states have started local textile recycling points. If your state does not participate in this, you may look into taking your used clothing to a retailer that participates in a recycling program. Check out a site like for more information on recycling centers. You can also cut up clothing to be used as rags or cloth baby wipes.  Getting into the habit of...

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