5 Terrible Things That Happen When You Don’t Recycle

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, America produces over 258 million tons of waste every year ― which is close to a ton of trash per American citizen. The EPA believes as much as 75 percent of that waste to be recyclable or reusable, but instead of properly disposing of unwanted goods, many Americans choose to carelessly toss anything and everything into the garbage can. The results of this behavior are quickly becoming disastrous, impacting not only natural environments but also urban areas and human livelihoods. Here are a few ways failing to recycle negatively impacts the world around us.

1. Landfill Growth
Nearly all of America’s trash goes into landfills, which are essentially gigantic midden heaps that are eventually covered with soil and potentially used for urban development. The positive idea behind landfills is that trash will eventually decompose and settle, turning into fertile land. The problem is that much of our waste is not biodegradable; plastics require between 10 and 1,000 years to begin breaking down, and even then, the chemicals used in them can leach into groundwater and destroy surrounding environments.


2. Marine Pollution

Not all garbage is safely tucked into a landfill. At least 10 percent of all plastics created have found their way into the oceans, creating enormous gyres where the non-biodegradable waste is more plentiful than plankton. Most of the pollution comes from poor waste management on land, but some is dumped by unscrupulous ocean liners. The plastics wreak havoc on marine environments, as animals ingest or become entangled in the waste.

3. Incineration

For many, burning trash seems a viable solution to land and water pollution. However, incineration might be even more disastrous than landfills. For one, many products and packaging materials are made using toxic chemicals that are released into the air during the burning process. For another, glass as well as many plastics do not burn except at exceedingly high temperatures, which requires excessive amounts of fuel ― which itself releases dangerous emissions. Studies have found that air pollution causes all sorts of terrible diseases, from chronic asthma and cancer to birth defects.

4. Resource Waste

It isn’t just the items or materials themselves that are wasted when you throw something away; all the effort and energy used to create those items are also squandered. Between 2.5 and 4 percent of U.S. energy consumption is devoted to the manufacturing of plastic and plastic products; what’s more, at least 24 gallons of water is used to create just one pound of plastic, and about 2.5 million plastic bottles are produced every hour. Those resources could be diverted to more beneficial endeavors if everyone recycled more.

5. Economic Trouble

Though it might seem an economic advantage to create disposable goods that must be repurchased, pollution actually hinders economic advancement in notable ways. For example, many beaches experience lower tourism because the sand and water is covered in trash; fishing and shipping industries have reportedly suffered losses of $365 million and $279 million thanks to debris-clogged waterways. Less trash is almost synonymous with more profit for much of the economy.

How to Reduce Trash the Right Way

Though some waste is inevitable, it is possible to drastically reduce the amount of trash you personally produce. For example, one woman committed to a minimal-plastic lifestyle and managed to produce less than 16 ounces of waste over a two-year period. Not everyone has the luxury of avoiding plastic and packaging so thoroughly, but there are a number of effective ways you can increase your recycling efforts.

• First, you should strive to reduce the amount of purchases you make. This doesn’t necessarily mean becoming minimalist; instead, you should merely consider investing in a few well-designed and manufactured products rather than many cheap and disposable ones.

• Next, you should research what objects around your home can be reused. In fact, most things can find new life, and many charities gladly pick up or take in items you don’t want to sell. Some of these items will directly improve the lives of the needy, but others, especially valuables like digital devices on up to larger items like broken-down cars or boats, can be refurbished and sold for funds to benefit charities.

• Finally, you should learn more about recycling services in your area. Not all cities have the resources to recycle all types of materials. Instead of tossing any paper, plastic, or glass good in the recycling bin, you might need to find facilities designed to recycle specific goods. Items that are improperly recycled are likely to end up as pollution.

The E-Waste Problem and How to Help created by Digital Doc

Do you put your recycling through the dishwasher?

Car parts, encyclopaedias, and scrupulously shining tins: Britain’s weird recycling habits revealed

People up and down the country have eccentric habits when it comes to putting out their recycling, it appears.

A nationwide waste management company has been collecting stories of the weirdest things that have been left out in recycling bins by the British public.
image

Even though complete sets of encyclopaedias, surgical implements and – in one case – an engine block from a Ford Escort have been left out for the bin men, it proves that the UK is enthusiastic about recycling, says the Business Waste company.

“We hear all sorts of weird and wonderful stories from waste operators,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “And it would be a shame not to share them.”

image

t’s not just households, either, BusinessWaste.co.uk says. “When companies, shops and businesses get into the recycling spirit, you’d be amazed what they throw out.”

One of the most common things that domestic waste operators say they find are household recycling bins full of bottles and tins that have clearly been through the dishwasher.
image

“It’s more common than you think,” says Mark Hall, “And we believe it’s down to basic pride. Heaven forbid that the neighbours see you putting out dirty rubbish.”

BusinessWaste.co.uk says that tins and bottles are melted down, so they don’t need washing out at all. However, if you’re worried about vermin getting among your recycling, a quick rinse is more than adequate.

But it’s the ever-growing list of strange things left in recycling bins by both households and businesses that raises eyebrows at BusinessWaste.co.uk HQ in Leeds. Among the most bizarre are:

A complete set of encyclopaedias (“We suppose they prefer Wikipedia these days”)
A collection of surgical appliances in somebody’s household waste
Engine block from a 1997 Ford Escort (“Too big. We told them to take it to the tip”)
A full-sized skeleton (“We were assured it was plastic held together with metal”)
One thousand commemorative Royal Baby tankards from a company where “Kate” was spelled “Kait”
A decorative cremation urn (“Empty and unused. They buried their loved one instead, we’re told”)
A signed photo of Jeremy Clarkson
A batch of General Election leaflets where [unnamed party] got the election date wrong
A framed printed copy of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (“At least we hope it was a copy. We’d be feeling a bit stupid if it wasn’t”)
A commercial bin full of company merchandise after the business changed its name (“We’ve never seen so many promotional mouse mats in the same place”)

The most important thing to remember despite all the recycling craziness is that Britain is still recycling, and thinking hard about what should be put out to be collected Business Waste says.

“Government figures say that we’re still only recycling about 45% of our waste, so we have to appreciate the half of the country that is making the effort,” BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall says.

“We appreciate them, even when they fill out world with weirdness.”

How to Tell If Your Skip Hire Company Is Fly Tipping

After loading up a skip, paying for the service and all your waste being carried away on the back of a truck, you would be forgiven for thinking your job is done. But many homeowners across the UK are now being hit by unwelcomed fly-tipping fines. Learn all about these and how to prevent this from happening to you, here:

What is Fly Tipping?

‘Fly-tipping’ is the term given to describe the illegal dumping of any kind of waste onto land that does not belong to you. It generally refers to any waste moved by an unauthorised carrier method.
Remember, all land belongs to someone and it is illegal to dump waste without the owner’s permission.

 How to Tell If Your Skip Hire Company Is Fly Tipping

Skip Hire Firms Hit the News

In recent month, homeowners across the country have been warned against falling for illegitimate waste removal companies who primarily advertise their services on social media or door-to-door. Many of these companies may appear professional, but in fact, they are illegally dumping homeowners’ waste on the streets or in the countryside. And it’s not the companies that are being penalised!

If your waste can be tracked back to you, perhaps through old bills or receipts, you will incur the prosecuting fees for the fly-tipping even though you were unaware of the circumstances. These fines can reach up to £5,000 and leave you with a criminal record.

So, why is the homeowner liable?

Well, you are still responsible for all waste even though it has left your property and if you fail to run the appropriate checks on a waste removal service, ignorance is not seen as a reasonable response.
One gentleman from South London paid a service provider to remove his rubbish yet, even though he picked up the waste when he learnt it had been fly-tipped, was fined £670 in fines and prosecution costs.
 Fly Tipping

How Can You Ensure Your Waste is Disposed of Correctly

In order to avoid fines and prosecution costs, you must ensure that the skip hire company that you use is authorised and disposing of all waste in the correct manner. To do this you can:

Ensure the company has a landline phone number and traceable business address.

Ask friends and family members for recommendations of skip hire services they have used in the past.

Ensure the company has a waste carrier licence. You can do this by accessing the public register for environmental information.

Request to see what other accreditations or licences the firm holds.

Visit the waste recycling/disposal plant for a tour around the premises to learn how the waste is disposed of correctly.

Check if it holds any valid awards for good service.

Research if it belongs to any unions or associations.

So, the next time you require the services of a skip hire company, do your research or you may end up with an unexpected fine on your doormat.

For an accredited and award-winning skip hire and waste management service that sees more than 96% of all waste recycled, contact GD Environmental. Or why not pop by and tour one of its recycling stations? Learn more online here or call 01633 277755.

(images: Simon Carey and Michael Fox under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Absolute Rubbish! The Litter Crisis in Europe

My name is Rich Palmer and I am the owner of Dustbox Cleaning Services, based in the UK.

Being in the professional cleaning industry, I see so much waste, particularly litter; as a result I have put together this infographic – http://www.dustboxcleaning.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/The-Litter-Crisis-in-Europe-Infographic.jpg called ‘Absolute Rubbish! The Litter Crisis in Europe’ which I think your readers might find interesting. A couple of quick facts for you:

· The total cost of cleaning up litter throughout Europe is estimated at €10 to 13 billion per year.
· Cleaning up Europe’s towns and countryside costs an average of €25 per person, per year.
· Road litter clean-up costs taxpayers €1 billion per year throughout Europe.
· 4 in 5 pieces of marine litter in Europe comes from land.

image

Red Rocks

Denver Gives Concert-Goers Something More to Cheer About: Trash — or the Lack Thereof

Local companies will help Denver compost all the cups and plates left behind by patrons at Red Rocks and other venues

Denver, CO – Denver Arts & Venues announced a major new effort to compost trash from prominent venues, including the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. That means tons of garbage from concert-goers and sports fans won’t head to area landfills in the years ahead – but instead will end up as soil for farms and gardens.

Two local companies are partnering with Denver Arts & Venues to help compost and recycle trash from Red Rocks, the Colorado Convention Center, the Historic Denver Coliseum and the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Eco-Products, based in Boulder, will supply the sustainable foodservice packaging, including compostable beer cups and nacho trays. Alpine Waste & Recycling, based in Commerce City, will pick up and process all recycling and compost from the venues.
Red Rocks

“Denver has become a national leader in reducing the amount of garbage going to landfills,” said Brian Kitts, Director of Marketing and Communications for Denver Arts & Venues. “This is one more reason to feel good about living in Denver. Together, we’re doing more to help the environment and make Denver the best — and greenest — city in America.”

Red Rocks, the Colorado Convention Center, the Historic Denver Coliseum and the Denver Performing Arts Complex have all been working hard to reduce the amount of trash going to landfills, Kitts said. Last year, Red Rocks was able to divert about 80 percent of the waste generated by events there.

With this new partnership, Red Rocks is aiming for a whopping 90 percent. That will be possible thanks to the collection of compostable cups, plates and containers made by Eco-Products.

While some foodservice packaging can be recycled, not everything can be. To divert this part of the waste stream from the landfill, compostable packaging is the only option, said Wendell Simonson, Vice President of Marketing for Eco-Products. To keep things simple for patrons, Eco-Products will supply only compostable food packaging so that all of it can be disposed of in the same bins.

“Red Rocks is truly a natural wonder — one of the most beautiful venues on the planet — and we’re proud to help Red Rock visitors keep it that way,” Simonson said. “We’ll supply cups and plates that are both high quality and compostable, so patrons will have the best of both worlds when they visit Denver’s venues.”

Aramark and Centerplate are the two companies that manage the concessions and janitorial operations for Denver Arts & Venues. At Red Rocks, Aramark employees work for hours after shows collecting and sorting waste inside the venue as well as out in the parking lots.

“There are a lot of people doing a lot of hard work to keep this venue pristine,” said Scott Yeager, General Manager of Aramark. “All of us want to conserve our resources and preserve the beauty of this amazing place.”

Once the material is collected and sorted, Alpine Waste & Recycling transports it from the venues back to the company’s facility in Bennett. There the compostables are added to windrows with other compostable materials like food scraps and yard waste.

All of this is then turned into organic materials such as gardening soil.

“Composting represents another great opportunity for waste diversion at Denver’s venues,” said John Griffith, president of Alpine Waste & Recycling. “Alpine is grateful to play a role in furthering Denver’s efforts toward sustainability.”

Eco-Products is embossing all of the cups and plates with a special logo and design, reminding patrons that the packaging is compostable. The logo also will serve as a reminder about the importance of conserving resources.

“What better time to reach people than when they’re relaxed, taking in a concert and having a beer?” Simonson said. “They’re holding a cup and seeing that they can place it in something other than a trash bin.

“Sure, it’s just one cup, but it all adds up in a big way,” Simonson said. “And it’s one of the simplest and easiest ways to help the environment.”

Source: Red Rocks Amphitheater, Denver Arts