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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How landfill waste inspired a symphony

Landfill waste turned into musical instruments for Recology's musical artist / composer Nathaniel Stookey

Landfill waste turned into musical instruments for Recology’s musical artist / composer Nathaniel Stookey

Music is the universal language. It soothes humans and animals alike. Its beauty inspires us, lifts us up. But what inspires composers to write their music?

Perhaps the last answer you’d ever consider would be trash. Yet that’s exactly what inspired composer Nathaniel Stookey to write his symphony, aptly named Junkestra.

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Make Art, Not Landfill: Recology’s Artist in Residence Program Turns 25

Carnival Masks by Dana Albany are featured in the Recology exhibit

Carnival Masks by Dana Albany – made of wood, recycled paint and objects found at the landfill – were featured in a Recology exhibit at San Francisco Airport in 2013

25 years is an amazing anniversary to reach, but even more so for anything related to art made from landfill waste. If that statement doesn’t make sense to you, you don’t know about Recology and/or its Artist in Residence program, which turns 25 this year.

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Who Actually Constructs a Landfill? You Might Be Surprised

Landfill picAccording to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produce about 4.4 pounds of garbage daily. That’s around 1,600 pounds a year!

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New online video game makes learning how to recycle fun

Recycleg Sorter Game

The Super Sorter game makes learning about what’s recyclable fun

There’s no national mandatory recycling law so not everyone recycles. Many folks don’t know much about what can be recycled beyond paper or bottles. Now, as part of Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council’s “I Wanted to be Recycled campaign, St. John & Partners have created a new interactive online game called Super Sorter that shows people different ways things can be sorted and 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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The Paint Cover helps keep paint fresh

The Paint Brush CoverStopping in the middle of a project means dealing with messy, drippy paint brushes. Take a break and you could come back to a dried up brush. The alternative has been rinsing multiple times, wasting paint and wasted water, to say nothing of having to regularly replace paint brushes gone bad.

New York City firefighter Sal DePaola knows this problem well. After years of being bothered by having to constantly buy new paint brushes for his painting business, DePaola came up with a solution – a brush cover with an air-tight seal.

The idea languished for years because DePaola thought someone else would eventually do it. But since no one did, in 2011 he had an engineer draw a mock-up of what became the Paint Brush Cover.

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