Does anyone still recycle?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    There are a lot of people in the USA still going through the motions, but a lot of the business of recycling has fallen apart in the spring of 2018.

    The markets for scrap paper, fiber, metal and glass have essentially crashed, so municipalities are either stockpiling or diverting into landfills. It looks like everyone is still maintaining sort-and-gather standards in the hopes of a restoration of the market. I'm just curious what y'all have encountered.

    I'm seeing some renewed interest in returnable bottling for beverages, but I haven't seen anything turn up on the market yet.
     
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  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Out here in the Bay Area, we have 3 separate cans and 3 separate curb side pickups for residential users. We also take the CRV materials to the local recycler and get a small sum back.

    I work next to (and drive by) a recycling / sorting center. Essentially the garbage goes there and they have employees sort it, picking out the recycling then sending it along. You can imagine how pleasant it is to be downwind if this facility.

    For industrial recycling, the trash from the buildings is sent to this recycling center. We also have our metals sent for recycling after they are cleaned.

    So there are methods in place with organizations in place to handle and use them.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Every garbage day, walking the dog in our neighbourhood, I notice the most abysmal stuff in blue bins. Just an example: milk jugs, not washed out, a tablespoon or two of rancid milk sloshing around, not flattened, securely capped (oh yeah), and sitting in the hot sun. It takes a bit of effort, hopefully people get more educated.

    Every little bit helps. Around here there's a couple of options for recycling used plastic bags, saran wrap, that sort of thing. And a nearby recyler (in addition to cans/bottles) takes styrofoam.

    Down a trail from us Mr Lube takes used oil and filters, transmission fluid, brake fluid.

    Another tact: avoid excess packaging, look at what's in your "garbage": any way to circumvent that. We used to buy our coffee at Costco, cheap as dirt, but came in a silver/plastic laminate bag, as far as I know you can't recycle. However, within walking distance is a local coffee place that roasts their own and will sell you a pound. We did that, and when the bag's empty keep bringing it back, refilling the same bag. Maybe it'll catch on.

    IMG_8945.JPG
     
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  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Ah but what I've been reading is that nobody is buying the stuff post-sort anymore. So it's just going into the local landfill in neatly sorted piles.

    Here's a link to a recent wall street journal article- sorry I couldn't find anything more open in my quick search just now.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah I heard China was putting up resistance: they want clean plastic, and were getting too much detritus in what was supplied. Bottom line, reducing consumption, eliminating excessive packaging is preferable.

    Just thinking about hose clamps I bought yesterday. I usually pick them up from a nearby Rona (hardware centre) and they're loose in a bin, with a just bar code tag. But I was in another place, getting automotive stuff, so picked them up there: two to a bubble pack with a paper.

    IMG_8946.JPG
     
  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    With recent studies on environmental impacts of microplastic in ocean, land, and in our food chain, and concern for our health, I see ban on plastic use in future. Question is, do we have alternative material to replace plastics?
     
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  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    This seems to be central to the issue.

    China stopped all imports of recyclables for a short period this spring, and when they restarted they had drastically tightened the specs for acceptable materials. I understand that they were previously expecting up to 10% of the materials to be contaminated, and often tolerating 20% contamination. Now they're refusing stuff more than 0.5% contaminated. This means they are buying a much smaller volume, and when nobody buys it must go to the landfill instead.

    I've been a fan of the practice for a long time. In my community it is customary to pay private garbage haulers, and those haulers offer recycling options which I use. But it's a bit sad to see all the work of cleaning and separating everything come to nothing.
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Yes.

    Metal, glass and wood are good enough for the overwhelming majority of packages required. But the whole point of shifting to plastic was to eliminate the time-consuming labor of cleaning/sanitizing, organizing, sorting and transporting those containers from one use to the next.

    What I'm getting at is that we need a pretty massive realignment of labor and time management to get back out of plastic.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Package reduction is the quickest/simplest route I think. Costco is one outfit that's TERRIBLE for over-packaging.

    IMG_8947.JPG

    Note too: all of these little dental floss packs are 40 meters. We used to be able to buy a 200 meter single dispenser, and you could buy refills for it.
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Jun 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
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  10. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Number 2,4,5,6 plastic can be easily converted to diesel fuel, natural gas and gasoline and at a much lower cost than a traditional refinery

    No reason plastic should ever get tossed.
     
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  11. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I don't want to suggest that this wouldn't help, but rather that it's just not a strong enough measure.

    Better would be standardization of containers intended for long lifetime direct re-use. Buying re-usable grocery bags was a nice first step, re-filling a growler with nice beer was a cute follow-on, but why can't we apply the same thing to many, many more classes of goods?
     
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  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    And what I'm suggesting is that you would purchase a wooden floss dispenser, carry it to the store when empty, fold out the handle and wind in some new stock from the 10km spool on the rack at the store. You'd have the same floss dispenser potentially for life.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah, where I really see it fall apart is out-and-about food consumption, garbage bins in food courts are a prime example. And, walking our trails around here, slobs abound. You can quickly fill a bag, with the castoffs from Starbucks, McDonalds, Tim Hortons and their ilk.

    Our kids, whenever they come by, empty a bag or two outa their car everytime, just hand it to me.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Maybe it'll take communism. So many packages are thinly veiled advertising vehicles.

    I saw somewhere, tooth brushes where you just change the bristles. TB's and razors, how come no recycle triangle. we could go back to the ol' style safety razor, no plastic.

    upload_2018-6-30_10-20-45.png

    Plus:

    upload_2018-6-30_10-21-55.png
     
  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Kind of off-topic, except it's also a petroleum product in the environment, currently in the news, regarding the ongoing impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill by British Petroleum. Apparently one of the main microrganisms now is one that can eat oil. This what they were saying on CBC radio yesterday, maybe Quirks and Quarks show? Something, just an overview:

    Disastrous BP Oil Spill 'Flattened' Microbe Biodiversity in Gulf
     
    #16 Mendel Leisk, Jun 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  17. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Graphic displays are getting smaller, lighter and easier to power. Why couldn't the wooden floss dispenser have one of those kindle displays to say things like "NEW!! now even flossier!" and display the brand name, ingredients, regulatory compliance and all that stuff?

    But getting back to the original thread topic- has anyone heard much from their local collection services on whether or not recycling is still truly in effect in their communities?
     
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  18. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Our transfer station still takes recycling materials separate from regular garbage. Where they are taking them, I don't know.
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    we get an annual report from our transfer station:

    1) no more black plastic in the recycling bin.

    2) haulers charge less for recycling per pound than rubbish.

    3) workers monitor the recycling bins and pull out incorrect items because you get a financial penalty.

    4) we had a vote to switch to special rubbish bags you have to pay for to encourage recycling, it got shot down.
     
  20. Starship16

    Starship16 Senior Member

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    This is a terrible thought. But I sure hope China is not dumping all their unwanted plastic into the ocean.
    Think back through hundreds of years of history, and all the thousands of sailing ships, cruise liners, military vessels, cargo ships, pleasure craft... whatever. How much crap and pollution has been dumped overboardi?!
     
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