Do You Recycle?

Sunday and more FYI…..

I like many Americans recycle……but many of us know what happens to all that stuff that people put out to help the planet?

The below is a paper written in the UK…but it will give everyone an idea of what is done with all that solid waste…..

The secretive way in which plastic recycling is handled in the UK carries the potential for the next big scandal. While the government’s statutory guidance is supposed to clarify who is responsible, our research suggests that what happens to plastics we believe to be recycled in the UK is in reality quite obscure.

Each council in the UK contracts different companies for the disposal and recycling of household waste, so the rules for residents in different areas vary. But you probably separate recyclables before filling your recycling bin and expect that waste (except when it’s black) to be recycled.

Meanwhile, manufacturers and retailers have pledged to reduce single-use plastics by redesigning their products and using more recycled materials, as well as making different materials easier to separate. There’s no legal obligation for companies in the UK to separate multiple types of recyclable waste when it’s discarded, but many do it anyway.

https://theconversation.com/amp/what-happens-to-the-plastic-you-recycle-researchers-lift-the-lid-142831

Hopefully this article was read…it is informative and should be an eye opener……that is if one gives a crap about the pollution.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

 

Return To Sender

The weekend and I want to touch on something I was proud of in the past……my recycling efforts.

I am one of those tree huggers that recycles…..in my region it is voluntary which I do not agree with….it should be mandatory…..

When my city started a recycling program about 20 years ago we had a company that separated the different items paper, glass, metal…….then we changed the companies and the new companies just throw it all in a truck together with the exception of glass…it is NO longer recycled but sent to a landfill……

I wonder what was up….did they separate it at the site or just bundle it up and sell to another company…..

I got my answer (sort of)…..

“People think that when they put something in their recycling bin, it’s actually going to be recycled. But this is not the case.”

You may be tossing your recyclables into a blue bin supplied by a municipal recycling program, but the municipal government’s responsibility ends once the blue bin contents are sold to a recycling company. Waste and recycling is for the most part handled by private industry in the US.

“[Municipalities] are only responsible for that first contract,” said Hird. They need to know where the recycling and the waste first goes. After that, they’re not responsible for knowing the rest of that chain.” 

Seriously? Then who buys it?

Overseas companies buy the waste and then dump it on a 3rd world country……

Now these countries shave had enough and some are demanding that countries take back their crap…..

Malaysia will send back some 3,000 metric tons (3,300 tons) of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries such as the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia in a move to avoid becoming a dumping ground for rich nations, Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said Tuesday.

Yeo said Malaysia and many developing countries have become new targets after China banned the import of plastic waste last year.

Last week, the Philippines said it would ship back dozens of containers of garbage which Filipino officials were illegally shipped to the country from Canada in 2013 to 2014

http://amp.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/may/28/malaysia-to-send-back-plastic-waste-to-foreign-nat/

Now I do not feel so good about my recycling.  Leave it to capitalist to piss up something as noble as a recycling program.

How do you feel about this?

A Great Idea!

I have found that many people in my area do not recycle….the biggest excuse is that they cannot see how they benefit from it….I am sure that there are other that feel that way….after all we Americans are self-centered and want everything to be about themselves.

I read a great article about a program in Turkey that should be considered here in this country especially those cities with a subway…….

If you find yourself in Istanbul and you’re short on change for your train fare, the bottles of water or cans of beer that are hiding in your recycling bin might come in handy. İTÜ-Ayazağa metro station in Maslak, the city’s second-largest financial district, now accepts recyclable cans and bottles as train fare. The city’s municipal government and an Istanbul-based IT company called Isbak introduced reverse vending machines to the station in mid-October to encourage customers to recycle more by making it super convenient.

Customers can top up their city transportation pass (Istanbul Card) by feeding the reverse vending machines with recyclable plastic bottles and aluminium cans. The machines will crush, shred and sort out the recyclable waste. According to the New York Times, the city wants to introduce 100 more at 25 locations, including schools and universities before the year is out.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2018/10/19/reverse-vending-machines-istanbul/

A great way for people to see a benefit to recycle plus a way for many plastic and tin cans out of the streets and environment…..

I Like this type of thinking….shows there is hope yet.  Is there a reason the US cannot do this?

Sunday, 28Jul18

It is Sunday and I have read something that gives me a small glimmer of hope in our future……first a little background…..

Every time I see a “building boom” I think of the wood being used……why can we not with our technical know how come up with a more efficient way to build a home?

Not long ago I read about an engineer in Western Sahara that was building homes for refugees out of plastic water bottles…..

As the sun rises on the Sahara desert, Tatah Lehbib begins his 2.8-mile walk to the garbage landfill just outside of the Sahrawi refugee camp, where he finds the long-sought treasure to help his people endure living in one of the most inexorable places on Earth: plastic bottles.

https://thinkprogress.org/sahrawi-refugees-housing-dd57f9591d57/

That is a great way to use all those damn water bottles that we as humans make everyday……then I read another good piece about using plastic bricks to build homes……

Conceptos Plásticos is a Colombian construction company that builds homes, shelters, classrooms, and community spaces out bricks and pillars made entirely from recycled plastic, rubber, and electronic waste. The company was founded by Oscar Mendez, an architect, and Fernando Llano, who had previously researched the reuse of plastics as building materials to create “ecoblocks.”  This business venture intends to address three major issues: affordable housing, jobs for vulnerable communities, and reuse of materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The base material for these homes are gathered from local recyclers resulting in a reduction of water and energy consumption. By reusing plastics, the company is able to divert materials that otherwise would take 500 years to biodegrade from being dumped in landfills. This plastic is ground into a rough powder then melted and poured into a mold that creates stackable bricks or “ecoblocks” that can be put together in a Lego-like fashion to build walls, roofs, and decks that are insulated as well as earthquake- and fire-resistant. Simple assembly and disassembly make for homes that are easily relocated, making them useful for temporary housing of refugees, homeless people, or military personnel.

http://projectcensored.org/affordable-housing-built-days-recycled-plastic-bricks/

Humans are making great use of technology to find and use materials made from recycled goods……and then I read about a home built using a 3D printer……

While using basic technology may still cause daily grief for some, the industry is moving in leaps and bounds, with progress being made in alternative, and somewhat surprising, domains.

With these advances in technology and the advent of 3D printing, it has now become possible to print a building – a development that’s caused a stir in the construction business for various reasons, including potential disruptions in multiple global supply chains.

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/countingthecost/2018/07/printing-homes-3d-printed-houses-change-world-180722081917866.html

These are great stories and great use of technology to build homes and schools and such……always a feel good day…..and the trees will smile.

May your day be calm and relaxing….chuq

This Is How We Build A House

Saturday in the garden……snacks of cheese, fruit and nuts and a really nice Riesling…..

Before I post my regular stuff I need to report that ZBig has died…….

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

A very intelligent man especially in international relations….I did not agree with him on much but I could still appreciate his approaches…..

May he Rest In Peace

Now for today’s gem of knowledge……..

You know there is always a story or a report about all the plastic build-up around the world….we have had stories about a massive island of the stuff floating in the Pacific and there has been reports of the amount of the stuff left behind on Mt. Everest……even a story about millions of piece of plastic found on some Pacific island…..in other words solid waste is becoming a major problem.

Let’s turn our attention to Western Sahara…a region that I know well for I worked there for months in the late 70’s…..but first a little history via youtube…..

The conflict had made a refugee crisis that most of the world knows nothing of…..or even really cares….

I recent read a story about this guy in Western Sahara that has a new approach to building adequate housing…low cost housing…..for refugees.

Sahrawi engineer Tateh Lehbib has designed houses for Sahrawi refugee camps that are resistant to desert heat, sandstorms and torrential rain

With temperatures soaring beyond 50 degrees Celsius and sand storms wrecking havoc on the Sahrawi refugees inhabiting the adobe houses and tents of the refugee camps around Tindouf, western Algeria, the region has been aptly named, the Devil’s Garden.

Young Sahrawi engineer, Tateh Lehbib, 28, found an answer to their woes: all they needed to rebuild a home in this arid land was 6,000 plastic bottles.

Source: Meet the Sahrawi refugee building homes from plastic bottles in the desert | Middle East Eye

A completed round house made of plastic bottles in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Tindouf, Algeria (MEE/Eugenio G. Delgado)

I always like a good recycling story and this one is a great one……plus it provides a home for some family that does not have one……

My day is done….posting is a chore on weekends that is why you only get one per day……time for that snack and a glass of wine…….

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have some laughs….chuq

Get The Crapper Out Of The Yard

The AP has had a great story:

The planters in Tina Asmus’ front yard aren’t too pleasing to some of her neighbors, and village officials in Lakemoor have told her to remove them, or face a fine. Asmus, who likes to recycle discarded items, created the planters out of two old toilets and a pedestal sink. Mayor Todd Weihoffen, who is a plumber by trade, said he stands behind police who have given Asmus 30 days to remove the toilets.He said she faces a fine of $25 to $500 if she doesn’t comply by June 15.

Asmus, though, said she will not remove what she calls her “art pieces.” She said each toilet planter cost about $100 to make and holds an assortment of daisies, angel’s breath, lilies and other flowers.

Would not this be a form of recycling?  Kept a bunch of broken porcelin out of a local landfill.

Is Recycling Going To Survive?

Faced with a dramatic slump in the recycling market, the director of the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority has cut 20 of his 24 employees’ work week to four days from five, shuttered six of the authority’s drop-off stations and is urging residents to hoard their recyclables after informing municipalities with curbside recycling programs that the center will accept only paper until further notice.

”The market is just not there anymore,” Steenstra said.

Just months after riding an incredible high, the recycling market has tanked almost in lockstep with the global economic meltdown. As consumer demand for autos, appliances and new homes dropped, so did the steel and pulp mills’ demand for scrap, paper and other recyclables

Cardboard that sold for about $135 a ton in September is now going for $35 a ton. Plastic bottles have fallen from 25 cents to 2 cents a pound. Aluminum cans dropped nearly half to about 40 cents a pound, and scrap metal tumbled from $525 a gross ton to about $100.

It’s getting more difficult to find buyers in some markets, Steenstra said.

While few across the country appear to be taking such drastic measures as Steenstra, the recycling market has gotten so bad that haulers in Oregon and Nevada who were once paid for recyclables are now getting nothing or in some cases are having to pay to unload their wares.

Last year, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They recycled about 150 million tons of material — roughly 80 million of that in iron and steel — supporting an industry that employs about 85,000 with $70 billion in sales, said Bob Garino, director of commodities at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that represents more than 1,600 companies worldwide.

Most recyclables are shipped to Asian countries that use the material to make products that are shipped backed to the United States to be sold.

But the market shift is now jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of long-term contracts for scrap metal as some companies that signed when prices were high are trying to cancel or postpone deliveries to take advantage of the cheaper spot market, Garino said.

Maybe the US should try to recycle their own waste….just a thought.

Turning Crap Into Energy

San Antonio unveiled a deal on Tuesday that will make it the first U.S. city to harvest methane gas from human waste on a commercial scale and turn it into clean-burning fuel.

San Antonio residents produce about 140,000 tons a year of a substance gently referred to as “biosolids,” which can be reprocessed into natural gas, said Steve Clouse, chief operating officer of the city’s water system.

“You may call it something else,” Clouse said, but for area utilities, the main byproduct of human waste – methane gas – will soon be converted into natural gas to burn in their power plants.

The city approved a deal where Massachusetts-based Ameresco Inc will convert the city’s biosolids into natural gas, which could generate about 1.5 million cubic feet per day, he said.

Methane gas, which is a byproduct of human and organic waste, is a principal component of the natural gas used to fuel furnaces, power plants, and other combustion-based generators.

“The private vendor will come onto the facility, construct some gas cleaning systems, remove the moisture, remove the carbon dioxide content, and then sell that gas on the open market,” Clouse said.

Some communities are using methane gas harvested from solid waste to power smaller facilities like sewage treatment plants, but San Antonio is the first to see large-scale conversion of methane gas from sewage into fuel for power generation, he said.