Online shopping is choking our landfills when we could recycle better

Last week’s news about Amazon purchasing Whole Foods has left consumers in a tizzy. On the one hand, it will make high quality food even more accessible. On the other hand, as is always the case, it presents new problems to be addressed.

One of these issues centers around the proliferation of shipping boxes. Americans love affair with online ordering has dramatically increased the amount of cardboard boxes making their way to our landfills.

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Recycle that old (unused) cell phone today on National Phone Recycling Day

old-cell-phonesLet’s face it. Almost everyone has at least one old cell phone stuck in a drawer or cabinet somewhere just gathering dust. A lot of us have a few of them – think small flip phones and other such analog devices. As of last 2015, there were roughly 426 million idle or inactive mobile devices in the U.S. Only 100 million would be recycled.

We hang onto them for no good reason other than we forget about them. But why not do something constructive and recycle them?

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San Francisco’s recycling center gets a upgrade in time for the holidays

Recology logoSan Francisco is known for many things, the Golden Gate Bridge among them. But its San Francisco’s recycling efforts that have brought this amazing city into the national spotlight.

In 2002, the City by the Bay passed legislation that set a goal of  diverting 75 percent of its waste from landfills by 2010 and achieving “zero waste” by 2020. And so began its composting and food waste collection program.

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November 15th is America Recycles Day

RecyclingFor a large percentage of Americans, recycling is fast becoming a way of life.

More households are participating in home recycling and businesses are slowly making the shift as well. Even so, there are still communities – including the one I recently moved to – that still don’t have curbside recycling.

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How to Recycle a Hoverboard

Hoverboard

Hoverboards captured the American imagination more than 40 years ago.

The reality hasn’t quite lived up to our expectations, however. Numerous stories of hoverboards catching fire have spread across the news. This has often been due to the overcharging of the boards’ lithium ion batteries.  Still, concerns for safety abound.

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Dart tells New York City’s Mayor – Don’t landfill polystyrene, let’s recycle it!

Polystyrene

The nationwide movement to take the pressure off our landfills just got another ally. Dart Container Corp. – a leader in the polystyrene foodservice product industry that I’ve been writing about since 2009.

Dart’s President Jim Lammers recently released a video aimed at New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, urging him to recycle, not landfill, the city’s styrofoam.

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States with the most Producer Responsibility laws

Extended Producer Responsibliity graphic

If you’re not familiar with the phrase Extended Producer Responsibility, it’s time to learn.

EPR is the larger picture of what’s necessary and what’s possible going well beyond recycling. It requires manufacturers to be accountable for the products they produce – its complete life cycle from beginning to its final and responsible disposal. It’s a way to dramatically reduce what goes into our landfills and increase the amount of waste that gets recycled and/or reused.

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