August 12, 2011
The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority’s McIntire Recycling facility now accepts plastics #3 – #7. Ever since the recycling bins at Slaughter Recreation Center closed as a result of drop-off overload and unsorted recycling materials – which led to higher costs and workload – UVa Recycling has voiced reminders about their “UVa Generated Materials Only” policy. No worries, though, because now there is a local venue for recycling all domestic plastics!
June 4, 2011
Mixed Waste Collection – where garbage and recyclables are commingled and sorted at Mixed Waste Processing center – is on the rise. While the ease and level of participation are two of its greatest assets, it comes at a cost: contamination, which reduces the quality, and usability, of the raw materials. Here’s a more complete cost-benefit analysis for consideration:
- 100% participation in a recycling program.
- Easy for residents.
- Achieves minimum threshold of recycling with little effort from community.
- Can be efficient system for removing ferrous material from the waste stream.
- Waste material can be baled for landfill disposal or shredded for incineration.
- Recyclable materials – especially paper – may be contaminated and more difficult to market, or even unusable.
- Limited range of recyclable material collected.
- Compared to curbside recycling, participants are generally less informed about waste reduction issues and may feel less ownership of a recycling program.
- Materials are missed by sorting processes.
- Source reduction is not emphasized.
- Worker health and safety concerns.
- Potential odor problem.
February 11, 2011
A long, long time ago GreenLib endeavored to purchase e-cycling containers from UVa Recycling in an effort to increase the availability of this specialized recycling service. At long last, they have arrived! There are now 4 brand new e-cycling containers in the Libraries – one each in Alderman, Brown, Clemons and the Fine Arts. These containers allow members of the UVa Community to recycle CDs, DVDs, Cell Phones, Printer Cartridges, and Batteries. Yay!
April 24, 2010
- Recycled aluminum saves 95 percent energy vs. virgin aluminum; recycling of one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours (Reynolds Metal Company)
- Recycled aluminum reduces pollution by 95 percent (Reynolds Metal Co.)
- Four pounds of bauxite are saved for every pound of aluminum recycled (Reynolds Metal Co.)
- Enough aluminum is thrown away to rebuild our commercial air fleet four times every year.
Courtesy of earth911.com.
April 3, 2010
Like The Story of Stuff, this new film uses simple words and images to explain a complex problem, in this case manufactured demand: how you get people to think they need to spend money on something they don’t actually need or already have. In the United States alone, we consume approximately 500,000,000 bottles of water each week. Imagine that: while 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide, other people spend billions of dollars on a bottled product that’s no cleaner, harms people and the environment and costs up to 2,000 times the price of tap water. Watch the video here. Courtesy of StoryofStuff.com
March 5, 2010
TRUTH: Typically, this myth comes at you in the form of “Sending out trucks all over town to pick up bottles and cans takes more energy than you’ll save by recycling.” It sounds compelling, but it’s wrong. For example, recycling aluminum cans cuts energy use and greenhouse gases by 95 percent compared with the energy needed to make virgin aluminum. In general, the energy used to manufacture new products from raw materials is at least ten times more than the energy consumed by curbside collection, recycling and transportation of recycled goods to retailers, according to a 2004 study published in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. Courtesy of National Geographic.
January 18, 2010
(No that’s not a typo) Precycling is about reducing waste by avoiding items that will generate it, or selecting certain items that will generate less, or acquiring items that can be reused for something else. It’s just another way to lighten our environmental footprint that covers a myriad of possibilities, but being an avid precycler can also save you money too. Some quick examples:
- Buy in bulk, avoid individually wrapped items.
- Buy items that come in recyclable packaging instead of non-recyclable.
- Avoid junk mail.
- Use a computer instead of reading “real” magazines and newspapers.
- Bring your own utensils with you instead of using plastic ones.
- Use cloth handkerchiefs and napkins.
November 4, 2009
- Plastic milk containers are now only half the weight that they were in 1960 (EPA)
- If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep two billion tons of plastic out of landfills (Penn State)
- According to the EPA, recycling a pound of PET saves approximately 12,000 BTU’s.
- We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year (EPA)
Source: University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Produced and maintained by the Office of Waste Management
October 9, 2009
In the space of a decade, cell phones have gone from novelties to arguably the most central objects in our lives. Yet, despite how close we are to our cell phones — paying a small fortune for them, nesting them in our palms, talking to them all the time — we know amazingly little about them and the heavy impact they’re having on our world. Here are just a couple facts:
130 million: the amount of cell phones retired in the U.S. per year, over 40 times more than in 1990
65,000 tons: the weight of electronic garbage created by cell phones per year
Read the full article here. Courtesy of Zeke Crater.
September 26, 2009
- Recycled glass saves 50 percent energy vs. virgin glass (Center for Ecological Technology)
- Recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours (EPA)
- Recycled glass generates 20 percent less air pollution and 50 percent less water pollution (NASA)
- One ton of glass made from 50 percent recycled materials saves 250 pounds of mining waste (EPA)
- Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year (EPA)
Courtesy of Earth911.com.