California’s plan to create green jobs – increase recycling

California's goal to achieve a 75 percent recycling rate would create thousands of green jobs, photo courtesy of Recology

California’s goal to achieve a 75 percent recycling rate would create thousands of green jobs, photo courtesy of Recology

California has earned its reputation for leading the way in green innovation and legislation. In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 341, which  required the mandatory commercial recycling in California beginning July 1, 2012. This new law modified the California Integrated Waste Management Act, establishing a policy goal that “75 percent of solid waste generated be source reduced, recycled, or composted by the year 2020.”

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Plant-based water bottle helps fight deforestation and plastic pollution

Treeson Water Bottle PrototypeThere are a lot of water bottling companies out there, and a lot of so-called “green” water and water bottles. I have to admit I’m a bit skeptical when I hear about yet another one. But I did a bit of checking and there’s one that’s caught my eye and imagination.

There’s a new Kickstarter campaign for Treeson water that’s piqued my interest.

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Recology hosts exhibition for artists-in-residence who promote recycling and reuse

Recology logoRecology’s stunning art exhibit at San Francisco Airport is, alas, long gone. Those of us fortunate enough to have seen it can attest to the remarkable creativity of the artists, turning what had been trash into fascinating and often beautiful works of recycled art.

Tonight and tomorrow (Saturday, January 25th), if you’re going to be in or near San Francisco, you’ll get a chance to meet some Recology’s Artists-in-Residence at an exhibition and reception/ This exhibition is the culmination of four months of work by the artists who have scavenged materials from the dump to make art and promote recycling and reuse.

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Recycling to help at risk youth in the Carribbean

Tierrabomba viewThink about the Caribbean and visions of clean sand and beautiful beaches spring to mind. While that’s true, another side is the economic plight of many small Caribbean islands and countries. Tourist-based, their economies fall victim to climate change, bad weather or other factors, meaning the locals often struggle to ear a steady income.

One such island is Tierrabomba, a small island located one mile south of Cartagena de Indias, off the north coast of Colombia. There the lack of waste logistics, clean water, monetary sources, job opportunities and quality education leaves dreams of improvement of a quality life in a distant reality. Continue reading

Celebrate America Recycles Day today – don’t toss the recyclable stuff

America Recycles Day logoIn case you don’t know about it, today is America Recycles Day. This partnership between Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council, it’s a day that serves to remind consumers of the importance of recycling and to raise awareness of the growing myriad of items that can be recycled.

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System now in place to recycle artificial turf

Artificial turf

Artificial turf, used instead of real grass for a growing number of playing fields, has at its end of life been sent to landfills.  The reason is that this kind of turf is comprised of a mixture of polyethylene, polypropylene and polyurethane, though some can use materials like nylon or polyester. While the plastic in turf field systems can usually be recycled on its own, it is difficult for recyclers separate the plastics from the sand and rubber infill.

But leave it to enterprising and creative thinkers to come up with a solution.

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SFO’s latest art exhibit – art made from garbage

Travelers pass by this artwork of Eric Otto, using recycled spray and house paint on found objects.

Travelers pass by this artwork of Eric Otto, using recycled spray and house paint on found objects.

Employee-owned,Francisco-based Recology - the largest organics compost facility operator by volume in the United States - announced today the launch of a web page featuring San Francisco Airport’s (SFO) Museum’s exhibition of work from the Recology Artist in Residence Program at the United Terminal. The Art of Recology highlights this innovative art program that was founded to challenge the way we think about waste, consumption, and art.

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Micro Solutions offers easy way to recycle toner and ink cartridges

PrintAs more Americans recycle, there are still many everyday things that could be recycled, or recycled to a much greater degree.

Ink cartridges are a good example. Almost 2 billion ink and toner cartridges are used worldwide every year. Here in the U.S. at least 350 million of them get thrown out annually. Approximately 1,000 tons of them wind up in landfills or get exported to poor countries overseas.

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Exciting recycling venture

Plastic water bottles in landfill

I’ve written a number of articles about plastic waste and about innovative companies that are working to torn it into useful new products. I just saw this video about a company in India, Daman Ganga, whose recycling process is creating super useful products that specializes in recycling of “difficult to recycle” packaging products.

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Curbside Food Waste Collection – A Growing Trend

Composting food waste scraps can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Composting food waste scraps can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Almost half of the nearly 250 million tons of garbage that winds up in landfills in the U.S. each year could be composted. An average single-family household throws away about 45 pounds of food scraps and food-soiled paper every month—around 25% of total trashed materials! Sierra Club Green Home explores a growing trend that creates a viable alternative to this: curbside food waste collection.

Already over 160 communities in 16 states have implemented curbside food waste collection programs. For more on this growing trend and the important environmental impact that it has, see http://bit.ly/Xy0gS1.

This is the first of a short series on the importance and impact of composting. Come back soon for Part 2.

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