Tag Archives: waste

Ryan’s Recycling – Making Waste Worthwhile!

At Green Waste Enterprises, one of our core values is to promote recycling and to educate people about the benefits of it for the environment.  We have campaigned long and hard to reach this goal.

We were totally blown away, therefore to find out about 6-year-old Ryan Hickman from San Juan Capistrano, California.  If there is one thing he loves, it’s sorting. So when, at the tender age of 3, his parents, let him come along to return some water bottles at a recycling center, he was thrilled to help.

“He likes to sort pretty much anything, and he liked putting the bottles in the machine,” Damion, said in a recent interview with The Capistrano Dispatch. “He probably got two or three bucks, and he was so excited about it. And of course then he got to sort his change, so that meant more sorting.”

There was no stopping Ryan after this and as soon as they got home Ryan told his Dad that he wanted to collect everyone’s recyclables.  He even got his Mom and Dad to hand out garbage bags to all his neighbors.

ryans recycling 2

That was the beginning of Ryan’s Recycling Company, established in 2012 in the family’s backyard. In the past 4 years he has already earned more than $10,000 by collecting cans and bottles from about 40 “customers” in five different neighborhoods.

Of course, being only 6 years old Ryan has to rely on his parents, grandmother and aunt to drive him around to collect his recyclables.  Ryan’s sorting facility consists of eight large trash cans that he sorts containers into—bottles and cans, plastics and glass, they all have their place. Ryan has learnt the difference between the types of recyclables and why it is important to keep trash separated.   Then every few weeks they visit the recycling center to cash in his hoard.

ryans recycling3

Since starting his business, Ryan has recycled 49,000 pounds of waste, 200,000 cans and bottles and has donated over $1,600 to charity.  The rest of his earnings have gone straight into a college savings account.

In a YouTube video posted last July, Ryan’s Dad asks if other people should start recycling to help save the earth.  He knows how important it is to keep trash out of our oceans to protect the environment and also the creatures that live in and around the oceans.  He worries that the birds at the beach might eat the trash and get sick or die.

Ryan is an example to us all.  If just one little boy can have get this much done, just imagine what we could achieve if WE ALL did just a fraction of what Ryan does.

“He’s very passionate about it, and he likes to get everybody else passionate about it as well,” his Mom said. “I think he’s rubbed off on all of us now. You find yourself walking past a can on the ground and needing to pick it up instead of walking away and leaving it there.”

This is exactly what we are trying to promote at Green Waste Enterprises.  Ryan has shown that if you start young enough, then recycling just becomes a way of life.  He doesn’t recycle because his Dad told him to do it……….he does it because he knows it is the right thing to do……….and he understands the benefits of it.  Well done Ryan……….

MAKING WASTE WORTHWHILE!

 

with thanks to Allison Jarrell, Capistrano Dispatch

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New Year Green Resolutions

Have you made and broken your New Year Resolutions already?  Did you vow to lose weight or learn a new language maybe?  Well why not sign up for these Green Resolutions that are not only good for YOU but good for the PLANET.

  1. Walk, run or cycle to work.

    Not only is it better for the environment, but not using your car to for your morning commute will help you out on your resolution to lose weight.  A brisk walk of more 30 minutes each day will lower your BMI and help to get rid of all those Christmas inches on your waist.  Feeling fitter and healthier puts you in a good mood too!  Many employers now operate a Cycle to Work scheme where you can get tax breaks to obtain cycles and safety equipment.
    cycle

  2. If you have to drive…..

    Switch to petrol or even better an electric car.  The UK Government’s Chief Medical Officer has said that diesel should be phased out to cut the tens of thousands of deaths caused each from air pollution  Diesel cars emit more nitrous oxides (NOx), which can cause health problems for people who have lung and breathing problems.  But petrol cars also emit higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).  This has fewer immediate health risks than NOx but as it is a greenhouse gas this causes big problems for the environment as a whole.  Air pollution contributes to at least 25,000 deaths in England each year through heart attacks and other respiratory diseases.
    A greener alternative to using your own car is to join a car pool with colleagues from work.  There are also a number of ride-sharing apps that you can sign up to like BlaBlaCar or UberPool which is a taxi service that matches up people travelling the same way and is hoped to launch in London by the end of this year.

  3. Reduce the amount of meat you eat

    There is growing evidence that the amount of meat we eat has a direct effect on the environment as it takes the same amount of energy to produce 1kg of meat as it does for 3-10kg of vegetables.  According to the Vegan Society, their numbers have doubled from 150,000 to 300,000 in the last 9 years.  It is now estimated that around 12% of Britons now follow a meat free diet.  However, if you can’t give up meat completely, you can cut back on your meat consumption for a few days a week and try some alternative vegetarian meals instead.

  4. Grow your own!!!

    Growing, transporting, packaging food together with clearing the land for growing, accounts for as much as 30% of Britain’s carbon footprint.  And there is a certain satisfaction in eating something you have grown yourself isn’t there?  You only need a small patch in your back garden.
    CARBON FOOTPRINT

  5. Take your own bag to the supermarket

    In October 2015 the UK Government introduced a compulsory 5p charge for single use plastic bags.  Since then the number used have fallen by an estimated 85%.  In the first 6 months usage fell from more than 7 billion a year to less than half a billion.  This was a saving of almost 41,000 tons of plastic – roughly 300 blue whales.  It just needs a bit of planning to make sure you keep your own shopping bag handy in your bag or your car’s glove compartment.

    i-hate-plastics

  6. Choose your cosmetics wisely

    Microbeads are now in lots of everyday products like face and body scrubs.  It is hoped that these will be banned by the end of this year under new Government proposals.  The beads get flushed into rivers and oceans in their billions with an estimated 86 tons in the UK alone each year just from facial exfoliants.  If you add these to the plastic bags that also end up in rivers and oceans and over time, gradually break down into microplastics you end up with a real danger to marine creatures and birds who end up eating the microplastics which causes damage to them as they are not able to digest them but can also end up as part of our food chain.
    microbeads

  7. Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea

    When you fill the kettle to make your tea or coffee, only fill the kettle with enough water for your immediate use.  Most kettles nowadays have a gauge showing how full it is and you will cut down on the amount of energy used to boil and reboil water
    If you use coffee pods, make sure you recycle them – don’t just throw them with the general trash that ends up in landfill.  The UK spending on coffee pods rose by more than 30% in 2015 when we drank £109m worth.  If buy your coffee in a carton to go, make sure you recycle this also.  Last year, fewer than 1 in 400 high street coffee chain cups were recycled.  Starbucks even announced that it would offer customers who bring their own coffee cups a 50p discount.

  8. Turn your home green

    There are many greener, natural alternatives to chemical cleaning products.  Here are a few

    • Kitchen surface stain remover – make a paste from salt, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.  This will leave a natural “lemon fresh” scent also.
    • Toilet cleaner – Use a can of cola to clean your toilet – YES REALLY!!!  The drink contains carbonic, citric and phosphoric acids which are often found in household cleaning products.  Leave the liquid to sit in the basin for an hour, then use a brush to clean and flush away.  You can also use vinegar as an alternative as it works in a similar way.
    • Wood polish – heat grated beeswax, lanolin, sweet almond oil and lavender essential oil in a pan then leave it to cool.  Clean wood floors with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar.
    • Removing limescale – put 1/4 pint of vinegar in the kettle, fill up with water, bring to the boil and leave it overnight.  The next morning rinse out well and fill, boil and discard the water twice before drinking.  You can remove the limescale encrusted on taps if you soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it round the taps and leave for an hour.  Just wipe with a damp cloth after.
    • Cut your fuel bills (and help to save the Planet) by being fuel efficient.  A cheap way to do this is to invest in some draught-proofing keeping those icy winter chills at bay.  You might also get some thicker curtains which you should make sure are drawn at night to help keep you cosy.    Some of the more expensive ways would be to consider getting a new boiler, loft or wall insulation and even solar panels.  There are many grants available to help with insulation depending on the age and type of property you have.
      pv panels
      photovoltaic solar panels

We hope we have given you a few ideas on how to make this year a Greener Year  We would like to know if YOU have any tips to share with us.  Please comment below.

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Zero Waste Packaging – Be a Champion!

In a world full of single-use conveniences, it’s easy to overlook the impact packaging has on the environment. Though it would be nice, it doesn’t magically vanish once it disappears into a trash truck. Rather, it stays with us for generations, filling landfills and leaching toxins to the environment.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice convenience to protect the environment. Zero Waste Packaging is a commonsense solution growing in popularity quickly.

Consider this for a moment: Americans produce approximately 1.4 billion pounds of trash daily, with approximately 40% of that being packaging of one sort or another. We trash enough disposable cups and utensils every year to go around the equator 300 times.

fullsizerender

What Does Zero Waste Packaging Mean?

Since the 70s, innovators have been working to produce eco friendly packaging that meets the demands of our to-go world, as well as eliminates negative environmental impact. Essentially, Zero Waste Packaging means that materials are either 100% reusable or decompose without harm. This philosophy applies to sourcing, production and disposal.

The most successful and idealistic Zero Waste Packaging production systems mimic natural cycles. The ultimate model is this: when plants in a forest die, they decompose and become topsoil that feeds the next generation of plants. Nothing is lost, and nothing is harmed. One life cycle’s end is the beginning of another.

Standard Packaging is Dirty Business

Plastic utensils, straws, single use coffee cups and plastic bags are examples of packaging that don’t decompose without harm, like plants. As these materials decompose, they damage the environment by leaching chemicals into groundwater and poisoning wildlife that mistake it as food.

Making matters worse, these types of wasteful packaging take generations to decompose. Take a standard plastic grocery bag as an example. It takes 10 to 20 years to break down under the best conditions. If that bag isn’t disposed of properly, it will eventually make its way to the ocean. After drifting for some time, the bag will join one of the many garbage patches floating in oceans around the world, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Trash Time Decomposition

Created by Be Green Packaging Store

Your Voice Matters

With economical eco friendly packaging and single use serveware available, there is no reason why anybody should use wasteful products. If every food service provider switched to Zero Waste Packaging, the positive results would be far-reaching and immediate.

You can help strengthen the future of Zero Waste Packaging by purchasing foods from companies that use 100% biodegradable, eco friendly packaging. Another way you can help is to ask companies and businesses you frequent to use Zero Waste Packaging. Send your comments through email and social media, as well as speaking to front-line employees. If owners and stakeholders hear from enough of their customers and staff, they will change their ways because they have to satisfy customers to stay in business.
Zero Waste Packaging is no longer a dream from the 70s. It’s reality. If enough people stand up and demand change, it will happen.
Zero Waste Packaging vs. Traditional Packaging (Infographic)

Created by Be Green Packaging Store

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Rio 2016 – Embrace (Sustainability Management)

The ‘Embrace’ proposal is aimed at delivering sustainability before, during and after the Games. With our partners and sponsors, we will develop projects and programmes that will serve as seeds to be cultivated by society as a whole.

Our way of working sustainably is based on integrating three pillars – PLANETPEOPLE and PROSPERITY – and our aims are to:

  • establish a standard of sustainability for holding events
  • insert sustainability into the DNA of event organisation
  • serve as an example of good sustainable practices
  • be transparent through dialogue with society

PLANET

Delivering low-impact Games, minimising pressure on materials and energy resources, without impairing the quality of the event.

Rio 2016 is following sustainability guidelines and embracing low-impact operations in its processes. This means that even before beginning an activity, we consider how it can be delivered efficiently, from an environmental point of view.

Efficiency

The Games will inevitably generate environmental impacts. We are talking about high consumption of water, energy, raw materials, food and so on. Rio 2016 undertakes to use all resources conscientiously and rationally, prioritising certified, reusable and recyclable materials.

• Buying 100% certified wood → Rio 2016 undertakes to buy all the timber items required for the Games from sources with chain of custody certification. This means that, in addition to sustainably managed logging, traceability is guaranteed from the time the timber leaves the forest through to the end user.

• Sustainable headquarters → Rio 2016 has its headquarters in a temporary building. After it is taken down, 80% of the material will be reused in future structures. The building consumes 70% less energy than ordinary buildings. Timers on bathroom wash basins, intelligent flushes and a rainwater collection system enables us to cut water consumption. Furthermore, the building is fully accessible to people with physical and visual impairments.

• Material life-cycle analysis → Up to 2016, the visual identity of the Games will be displayed throughout the city of Rio de Janeiro in various forms and printed on various kinds of material. To ensure more conscientious and sustainable choices, the organising committee has analysed the life-cycles of 106 materials that will be used by the Games visual identity team to minimise the environmental impact.

Carbon Emissions

To deliver low-impact Games, we are working on a number of initiatives to cut our emissions. We have completed a study of our carbon footprint and defined an emissions management strategy, based on impact measurement, cutting emissions, mitigation where possible and offsetting what cannot be mitigated.

• Biodiesel from recycled cooking oil → Fleets of buses and trucks will be fuelled by diesel containing 20% recycled cooking oil. Biodiesel emits less carbon and sulphur than mineral diesel. It is estimated that 20,000 oil collectors will be involved, boosting the development of this production chain.

• Logistics efficiency programme → Logistics are a major factor in boosting the Games’ CO2 emissions. Rio 2016 is designing an intelligent route model to cut transportation time for the more than 30 million items to be bought in for the Games. This will also cut fuel consumption, as well as carbon emissions.

• Technology-based carbon mitigation plan → This plan aims to mitigate 100% of the emissions generated by the Rio 2016 Games, which will amount to 500,000 tonnes of co2eq direct emissions from our operations and 1.5 million tonnes of co2eq from spectators. Mitigation projects involve the agriculture, manufacturing and civil engineering sectors, and they will reap short, medium and long-term benefits.

Managing carbon footprint Rio 2016
Managing carbon footprint Rio 2016

 Waste

For Rio 2016, one of the key points related to sustainability is waste management, since large volumes of waste will be generated daily during the Games. Our great challenge is to minimise waste and raise awareness among spectators, athletes, volunteers and others involved in the event in regard to the correct way to dispose of and recycle waste.

• Rio 2016 headquarters waste management → Before the Games, our office is the only waste producer. Our workers have been instructed on how to dispose of it correctly. Some of our actions include not buying plastic cups, reducing the number of printers available and not providing individual waste bins.

• Guide to sustainability for packaging → One of the critical points in the generation of waste is packaging. With this in mind, in April 2013, Rio 2016 published a guide to sustainable packaging, in which the committee laid down sustainability options and mandatory requirements for this category of items, including labelling, ecodesign, accessibility of information and packaging materials.

• Games waste management strategies → Our strategy does not only cover the Games-time period: it begins during the preparatory phase and ends when the venues are dismantled. Recycling cooperatives will be involved and the strategy is based on the following sequence: waste generation avoidance → minimising volume → managing inevitable waste → promoting behavioural change. The strategy also includes treatment of organic waste through composting, in order to reduce the amount that is sent to landfills.

PEOPLE

Promoting Games for everyone, offering the best Olympic and Paralympic experience.

By embracing and welcoming everyone, Rio 2016 proposes to engage them and raise awareness on important topics, such as diversity, inclusion and accessibility. We are working so that Olympic and Paralympic values and attitudes transcend the Games and provide inspiration for people’s daily behaviour in the workplace and in society in general.

PROSPERITY

Deliver prosperous Games, inspiring the establishment of a chain of qualified suppliers and developing a management model prioritising transparency and dialogue with stakeholders.

Rio 2016 has embraced the challenging responsibility of making conscientious choices for everything purchased, also covering the dismantling cycle. The aim is to improve the quality standards of our suppliers and their production chains. Based on transparency, we will make our documents and reports accessible to the public, giving full details of our management models and assuming accountability for all our activities. Furthermore, we will create an environment that facilitates dialogue and exchange with all civil society participants.

For more information read the official sustainability documents here.

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Recycle City – Interactive Game

Welcome to Recycle City
Welcome to Recycle City

Welcome to Recycle City!

Just a few years ago, this place was called Dumptown. For years, the folks living here hadn’t thought much about where their food, toys and other possessions came from – or where they went when they threw them out. And, eventually, that became a very BIG problem…

Because Dumptowners didn’t know what happened to waste after it was thrown away, they thought nothing of dropping empty soda cans here and there or putting cans of leftover paint right into their trash cans. They bought and dumped more and more every year. Things that easily could have been reused or recycled were tossed in the trash,

because nobody knew recycling made a difference. At the dump, they threw dangerous chemicals and poisons (hazardous waste) into the regular garbage (solid waste).

The garbage heap grew and began to smell. Sometimes it caught fire, sending toxic smoke into the air and making it hard for everyone to breathe. Dumptowners tried moving away from the mess, but wherever they moved, the problem was still there—on the ground and in the air. They knew they had to fix it.

They learned to reduce the amount of waste they threw away. For example, they bought items at the store that weren’t wrapped in extra packaging, so there would be less to throw away, and they bought products in larger containers. They learned to reuse other things—like washing out empty containers to store food in instead of throwing them away. And, they learned to recycle. They set up bins around town to collect glass, paper, plastics, and aluminum that could be converted back into raw materials, then made into new products. They turned their food scraps and yard trimmings into rich compost to grow their gardens.

Dumptowners paid special attention to reducing the toxic materials they bought, such as trying safer pest control products or household cleaners. For the hazardous products they did buy, Dumptown set up special collection points where people could drop off used chemicals, paints, and cleansers for safe handling and proper disposal. Finally, they closed the old city dump and built a new solid waste landfill outside of town. With the town’s new image, it needed a new name, and Recycle City was born. Travel around Recycle City and find out what folks here are doing to reduce waste and make the environment better.

Click on the picture at the top of the page or just click here to enter this interactive game.

There’s lots to do here – people and places to visit and plenty of ways to explore how the city’s residents recycle, reduce, and reuse waste.

To get started, just click on any section of Recycle City that you want to tour, or click on the Dumptown Game. You can create your own Recycle City scavenger hunt or go to the Activities area and see other ways you can explore.

We think this is a GREAT site to educate kids on recycling and ways to reduce waste.

 

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Why We Should Recycle

UK households produced 30.5 million tonnes of waste in 2003/04, of which 17% was collected for recycling (source: defra.gov.uk). This figure is still quite low compared to some of our neighbouring EU countries, some recycling over 50% of their waste. There is still a great deal of waste which could be recycled that ends up in landfill sites which is harmful to the environment.

Approximately 55% of 220 million tons of waste generated each year in the United States ends up in one of the over 3,500 landfills. Municipal solid waste landfills are the second-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 22 percent of these emissions in 2008 (EPA, 2011).

Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. Did you know that:

  • 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
  • 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
  • The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
  • On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
  • As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
  • 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.

Aluminium

Discarded cans
Discarded cans
  • 24 million tonnes of aluminium is produced annually, 51,000 tonnes of which ends up as packaging in the UK.
  • If all cans in the UK were recycled, we would need 14 million fewer dustbins.
  • £36,000,000 worth of aluminium is thrown away each year.
  • Aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use in just 6 weeks.
  • 20 recycled cans can be made with the power needed to make a single new can.

Glass

In this Sept. 15, 2009 photo, discarded glass piling up at the Cheyenne, Wyo., landfill is shown. The city continues to struggle to find a market for the jars and bottles it collects for recycling.  (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)
In this Sept. 15, 2009 photo, discarded glass piling up at the Cheyenne, Wyo., landfill is shown. The city continues to struggle to find a market for the jars and bottles it collects for recycling. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)
  • Each UK family uses an average of 500 glass bottles and jars annually.
  • The largest glass furnace produces over 1 million glass bottles and jars per day.
  • Recycling 15 glass bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for 31.3 hours or run A/C for 1 hour.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.
  • Glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose.

Paper

a world of waste paper
a world of waste paper
  • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials and 35% less water pollution.
  • 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK.
  • The average person in the UK gets through 38kg of newspapers per year.
  • It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of newspaper.

Plastic

50 billion plastic bottles used in US
50 billion plastic bottles used in US
  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
  • Every pound of recycled plastic reduces energy use in plastic production by 84% and greenhouse gas emissions by 71%.
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
  • In the US four fifths of plastic water bottles used ended up in landfill.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.
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