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Interesting news article from BBC. What is current state of recycling in U.S.? What are the laws whe

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Gasifier, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-16258472

    Seems like with such limited resources and an exploding population that we have, we would be doing more of this all around the planet. I know there is some great recycling going on in some areas. But. So much still gets thrown into the ground. Why?

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  2. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    We have a Pay-as-you-throw system here.
    Plastic with the recycle traingle, cans and glass in one box. Paper and cardboard in another.
    $1 for a 10 gallon bag and $2 for a 20/30 gallon bag for garbage.
    Once a week pick up.
    It will take us almost two months to fill a 10 gallon bag with just wrappers.
    Lawn clippings and food scraps go in back yard compost.

    Total is $80 / year for pick up and whatever you put in the garbage bags.


    Newsprint used to get thrown out when prices got too low, but stopped that and now they bale it up and they don't seem to have huge piles very often.



    Supposedly working very well.


    http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/tools/payt/states/06comm.htm#
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    My area has virtually NO recycle program in place. If you want to recycle anything, you must take it upon yourself to do so. Even paper has to be bound and hand delivered to a common receptacle in a parking lot somewhere way out of the way.

    I pay $13 per week for a dumpster that gets emptied every 2 weeks. I can't say that I like it, but it is two house holds that use it (me and my parents) and for some gawd awefull reason, we (let me restate that - the youngest daughter and 2 grand kids) create a pile of trash per week. I have tried to work on it with her, but everything she purchases comes in plastic wrap, boxes, jugs and huge amounts of packaging. One of the less proud habits of the homestead, I must say.
  4. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Your garbage may be recycled. Most of the large haulers have their own single strem recycling plants and even accept waste from small private haulers. Basically what that means is your garbage , recyclables and all are dumped at a plant and goes through a very complicated and high tech system that separates the recyclables. These plants and technology is amazing .They implement vacuum tubes that detect a certain grade of paper or plastic and activate as it's run by on a conveyor. Star deck screens that separate out all large objects of a certain size or bigger. End of line finger separators that can detect different grades of metal and separate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lTBK4UgPw&feature=endscreen&NR=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GP3JuiX5BY&feature=related
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We have a great recycling program in Seattle. It was one of the first in the country. But in the west with wide open spaces, most of the trash still gets landfilled. I'm hoping we too will start bringing cogeneration facilities online.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I would like to think so Lee, but it ain't so. I know where this is being dumped. Matter of fact, I know the dump owner and there ain't no high tech nothin'. Just a big ol pile. The other LARGE operation we have in my neck of the woods doesn't either. An that ain't a pile, its a mountain - and growing.
  7. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    In the early '90's where I live they first started recycling where you take the items to one of 30 or so large divided dumpsters through out the city.Mine was less than a mile round trip at the time from where I lived.A few years later they went to curbside pickup with green rectangular bins that are about 20 gallon approximately.Those were handled & dumped manually by city workers.You'd put any flattened corrugated cardboard on the ground underneath the bin,newspapers,magazines & catalogues inside bottom of bin & metals, certain plastics & only clear or light green glass on top of that.Finally in 2006 the city went with automatic trash & recycling - those 96 gallon wheeled bins that trucks with side arms pickup & dump by controls inside the cab.Smaller towns in the suburbs & several counties out still have the curbside pickup.

    Since then all recyclables are dumped together in the bin (single stream),are sorted out at a central location later.Its around $5 extra per month with the big bin that's in addition to your regular solid waste charges.Pickup is bi-weekly,it usually takes me 6 to 10 weeks to fill up the bin,so I wait until its almost full before wheeling it out to the curb the night before.

    I think its great,I've been involved since the program started almost 20 yrs ago.
  8. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    No curbside pickup where I am unless you hire a private company. Trash and unsorted recycling is taken to the town transfer area on Sat. mornings. Trash is PAYT ($5 for a big lawn&leaf; type bags, $2.50 for one o' those kitchen trash bags), and recycling of the usual stuff is free. They do ask to have corrugated cardboard separated out into a particular section, but newspapers, regular cardboard, glass, plastic, cans doesn't have to be sorted. Electronics and hazardous waste and other stuff has to be taken to the county recycling center during business hours, and they charge a fairly small fee for most of it. I think I paid $5 to get rid of a dead microwave. Folks also make extensive use of Craigslist and Freecycle to get rid of stuff they don't want rather than paying to throw it out.

    Where I used to live in the Boston suburbs, curbside trash pickup was weekly, sorted recycling got picked up every other week. Guess how many people, especially apartment dwellers, bothered storing all that stuff for two weeks and putting it out for recycling? For small appliances and electronics, you actually had to go down to town hall, fill out a form, pay a hefty fee for a sticker (something like $30 for a computer monitor) and *make an appointment* to have it picked up. Guess how many people did that? After they established that idiotic system, you immediately started seeing busted TVs and other electronics just dumped in the woodsy areas or into a stream or river absolutely everywhere. TV repair guy said he would find busted TVs just left on his doorstep like an abandoned baby when he went to the shop in the morning.

    Although VT is a heck of a lot better than Mass., I like Germany's system. They made manufacturers responsible for recycling decades ago, and the amount of packaging that gets put on stuff is minimal as a result.
  9. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    In my town we have three collections a week. One for garbage that is processed at a modern garbage to energy plant. Another for paper and cardboard, and the third is for metal and plastic containers. I don't feel too bad when the occasional recyclable goes in the trash by mistake because at least some energy is extracted form it before it goes to the landfill in the form of ash. They claim on the website that volume is reduced by 90% and that only ferrous materials are recovered for recycling.
  10. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I have seen Seattle and some of the surrounding area. Have a relative that lives there. Nice place. The recycling was great. Some places have great recycling. A lot of places still do not. And, some of you would be surprised to learn that we have trash that comes into our country from our neighboring countries. That is right. They bring it in on tractor trailers loaded to the very top of the 53' trailers. Hauled in and dumped into the ground. Apparently, all for the sake of a little profit. Can you believe that our country allows trash to be hauled in from Canada! That country is huge. What, they can't dig holes in there ground, put the proper clay, and liners in, and dump there own trash in there own country! Unreal. Hundreds, upon hundreds of trucks come into the country every week and dump there trash into our landfills! Oh, I almost forgot. I am sure the trash guys would say it is a good thing. Creates jobs, and they get energy out of the land fills by extracting the gas out of it. Unbelievable.
  11. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Some day or maybe already your chit has ended up in their back yard. Don't sweat it.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Several years ago our township forced everyone into trash pickup and this included recycling. So weekly we have pickup by two different trucks. This is actually now a county-wide plan. We get regular reports on the recycling and our township, although low in population compared to others are still one of the highest for recycling.
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    The city I lived in before we bought the house had just switched over to single stream and automated trucks. It was great - we had these huge 60 gallon wheeled pails that you could dump anything into. All recyclables in one big bin.

    The town we live in now has a pay as you throw system and traditional curbside pickup of sorted recyclables. You pay a yearly trash fee that allows one can of trash and unlimited recycling. Any extra trash each week you have to buy a $2 sticker. The recycling is as much as you want but must be sorted. I just use two bins - one for paper and the other for glass/metal/plastic. Most weeks I have more in the green bins than the trash can.

    IMHO the problem is not just limited recycling options... I think peoples attitudes also play a role. Even here in MA where pretty much every town has recycling pickup I know many people... many of whom are self proclaimed "environmentalists" ... who still throw recyclables into the trash just because its too much effort to separate it into a green bin. Especially food containers that need to be washed. Most people talk the talk but wont walk the walk if it means even the smallest amount of extra work.
  14. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Pay per bag system here . . . had it in place for some time . . . coupled with a free curbside recyling program it helps reduce the amount of recycled waste . . . and of course the returnable cans and bottles have had a huge impact -- heck in the Spring you can often see folks walking the side of the road looking for soda, beer and juice bottles to collect the nickle deposit.

    I'm pretty cheap though . . . since they charge us $1 per bag or trash can I throw my trash into one and jump up and down inside the trash can as a human trash compactor . . . sometimes that trash can is really heavy . . . and then there are bonus days when the trash collectors forget or intentionally leave the sticker on the trash can . . . I live for those days.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The ideal goal is to produce less trash. We have worked on this and are down to about 3 dump runs a year and 4-5 recycling runs. We're rural so this is to the local transfer station. One of the best ways to reduce waste is to avoid products that have a lot of excess packaging. Better yet, make it from scratch and avoid all the packaging. With items like pizza this can make a big difference.
  16. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    :lol: BeGreen. That last line made me laugh my ass off. I am thinking you must eat pizza as much as I do in order for it to make a difference for you. :lol: I eat pizza on a regular basis. Love it!Unfortunately, I do not make it from scratch as often as I should! And you are right, making anything instead of buying it is better. I just took the kids to one of our local Amish homes. This gentlemen makes hand woven baskets. My wife has wanted one for a while. The kids and I are going to get her two tomorrow. No packaging. Just real beautifull craftsmanship. Very decorative looking and functional. I found the article in my original post very interesting when it said that had reduced below half with recycling. And will likely be a lot more in the future. Imagine the resources that we could save for future generations if every garbage dump in the world did that! We are going to have to with the population rising the way it is. Well, it was incouraging to read. I need to concentrate on what we can do at are home to recycle more, on top of what we already do. We seperate all glass, metal, and paper. And when we bring it to the transfer station it is loaded into different trailers according to material.
  17. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    All the current and past landfills are like giant commodity savings accounts. In 50-100 years when the methane is exhausted from them we will be mining/recovering all the useful materials out of them and plasma gasifying the rest for power. I'm all for recycling but waste is not a bad thing.
  18. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I definitely think its better to recycle in the first place but Lee makes an interesting point. I have seen it stated in other sources that before long (few decades or less) we will reach a point where it will be economically cheaper to dig up landfills to extract things like copper and rare metals than mine for fresh ore. Interesting idea.

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