Posts Tagged ‘litter’

Lately I have had a lot of cleanup projects from construction sites that require taking treated wood and asphalt shingles to a construction recycle station. This facility is one in the same as where the city of Lincoln Nebraska has private home owners dump anything not picked up by the main city trash collection system.

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTURBANDEVELOPMENT/0,,contentMDK:23172887~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:337178,00.html

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201203/grapple-trash-bible-126.aspx

Every time I go it makes me shed a tear as I have to witness the perfectly good items being placed into the same waste collection system instead of the local donation centers. In the not so eco-friendly communities spanning nearly everywhere east of Las Vegas, the average amount of trash placed improperly is close to 6lbs PER PERSON PER DAY compared to less then 1lb!!!

Why are the eco-smart communities generating so much less waste?

It is because of the combination of charging collection rates based on weight AND the system in place which makes it easy to take your recycling in AND GET PAID FOR IT!!!

I feel like my native American friends, who shed a tear watching the Public Service Announcement liter commercial from 1971. (note the actor was Italian)

Even more then the re-useables, are the recyclable items which make up over 80% of the total of all things. The remainder is construction related and even about half of that is wood that should be mulched or burned for heat.

I just can’t stand it because this is nearly the last step in a products life cycle and the United States efficiency of use is dead last in comparison to the worlds leading countries. Our waste of finances to acquire un-needed items and push the economy further out of control alters the general public’s conception of reusing items. Instead of making an effort to find a new home for something we don’t want, most of use are just tossing it into an inappropriate waste collection system.

My visit resulted in rescuing a perfectly good $40 soccer ball from an older man tossing out his grandchildren’s unused toys. On the other side of me was a lady in her 40’s tossing over 20 paintings, frames and canvas’. I looked at what I could reach to see if the canvas was quality hemp to reuse (paint over) but passed on them. The next person that pulled in tossed a fireplace set with stand $40, several new baseboards at $10/each and about 10 more large aluminum framed prints and paintings that someone paid a couple hundred for. There was even a bible in the pile but out of reach.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/06/daily-chart-3

Recycle

 

** For the items that fall in the gray area between degradable trash and recycle approved…. it is best to clean them, group together if needed and leave them at a public recycling drop off station. Even if they are not on an approved “list”, the sorting agency will get them to the right processing area.

The only real common household trash is hygiene and medical products. Trash bags and trashcans don’t even belong inside the house and their proper use should be for sorting recycle materials. 50% of the average full trash bag/can is packaging that is recyclable.

Degradable food scraps should be placed into a earthworm compost pile and most everything else is recycleable or safe to burn.