Where does all the plastic go?

Where does all the plastic go?

polluted river bank from trash - mostly plastic bags and bottlesWhether we have recycled it into a new shape, have it sitting in a landfill or destroying someone’s natural habitat, nearly all plastic that we produce is somewhere on this planet. And the effects it has on our ecosystem could be catastrophic. A study conducted by the Plastic Disclosure Project says that plastic negatively affects more than 700 species of birds and animals. Research has also shown that more than half of all sea turtles have eaten some form of a plastic bag and by 2050 all seabirds will have digested plastic. However, it’s not just the wildlife that’s at risk.  According to Environmental Health News, some substances found in plastic, can be absorbed by the human body and yield negative effects to human health.

So the question that we must ask our-self:

“How can I use less plastic?”

A. Keep reusable shopping bags in your car.

Did you know, that you use roughly 360 plastic grocery bags each year? That comes up to about 100 billion per year worldwide. Even though most people reuse these plastic bags around the house, eventually they will end up in a landfill or a sewage drain.

  1. Don’t use straws!

The number 1 picked up trash on the beach is straws, that’s no surprise when over 6 million straws have been produced in the last 25 years!

  1. Buy in bulk.

Not only will buying in bulk help the environment, it will also keep money in your wallet! A study conducted showed that if we started buying in bulk, we would save 100 million lbs. of trash that would normally go straight to a land fill!

There are many more options to help go plastic free, and everyone can do their share!

Even if all you’re doing is not using a straw.

Unlike national chains, R&R Containers takes pride in cleaning up your rubbish in the safest and most environmentally friendly way possible.

Whatever your roll off dumpster needs entail, R&R wants to be your go-to local, friendly, and reliable service because we know where all the plastic goes and can take care of our environment.

R&R Container would like to wish all our military a blessed day on this Veteran’s Day. Thank you for your service.
 

 

Recycle!

Recycle – How to reduce the waste you throw away.

chalk board sign that says reduce, reuse, recycleHave you ever seen the movie Wall-e? If so, you know that a world piled sky high in trash is much less beautiful than the one we live in today. As humans, we have a job to do our best to keep our world clean and healthy. And we can all do our parts, even if it’s the littlest thing, like changing how much junk mail you receive, to composting left over fruits and vegetables.

Here are some ways to reduce your waste.

1. Reusable containers.

Packing a lunch is something everyone does eventually, using throw away bags and containers will be much more expensive than using reusable – washable containers from home. Individually wrapped items, such a jello, ketchup packets and Kool-Aid drinks, normally will be thrown in the dumpster instead of recycling.

2. Give away your unwanted items!

You have to admit, there are a few things laying around your household that are no longer used, maybe that old TV in the addict or even that leather jacket you’ve grown out of. Instead of throwing them away, consider giving them to a donation center, such as goodwill. If you have more than just a few things, you might want to rent a dumpster to haul it out.

3. Compost!

Did you know that 10% of the average household trash, is left over food and yard waste? All this can be composted into new life, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and other fruits/vegetables. If you really want to start reducing your waste, you should start your own garden!

4. Stop getting junk mail!

I’m not sure you’re prepared for this. But the average American receives 30 pounds of junk mail per year. Crazy right? Here are some tips for getting rid of that pesky junk mail.
You can unsubscribe from mailing lists.

You can sign up for electronic versions of catalogs and magazines. You can also sign up for paperless billing with service providers.

5. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk definitely saves you money. It also dramatically reduces the amount of packaging you have to brought home, which accounts for about 30% of the waste thrown away each week. Recycle and buy smart and call R & R Container for your hauling services.

Non-Biodegradable Waste

For those of us who care about the earth and our environment, it’s really important to recognize the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

non-biodegradable_waste

We all know that we should recycle. Some of us do. Many of us do not. As a species, we have created incredible technology in the last several decades. This technology has provided products that can withstand extreme temperatures, pressure, are durable and usually inexpensive. These are all things that have helped to make life easier for many decades.  But there is an impact on our environment, unfortunately.

It is easy to forget that some of these products do not break down naturally. This is called being non-biodegradable. Most of them are some form of plastic. One of the most abundant household waste is found in plastic grocery bags.  This material is called polyethylene.  It is a very inexpensive material and used in almost every packaging product containing plastic. We find it in everything from sandwich bags, water bottles to detergent bottles and hard hats. It is arguably the largest individual contributor of nonbiodegradable waste from humans.  Not to mention, it is a non-biodegradable product that is often not recycled.

When we throw away non-biodegradable products, they are not able to be decomposed (broken down) by exposure to air, moisture or the earth. When something can be broken down by the soil or environment, it is considered biodegradable. Natural waste, such as compost, branches, leaves and even dead animals, is easily broken down by the earth.

More and more non-biodegradable garbage is not recycled and put into landfills. The increase detriment to the environment is seen with the rise of our waste and landfills. Even making the smallest changes can have a significant impact over time.  So what can you do?  Follow the 3 R’s:

Reduce– the amount of non-biodegradable waste you use.

Reuse– plastics, especially things like water bottles.

Recycle– this can’t be over-stated. Recycling of non-biodegradable waste is important to the health of our earth.

If you have biodegrable or non-biodegradable waste removal needs, please contact R&R Containers. If you want to read more on common household plastics and recycling click here.

Kennesaw State Recycling Responsible

Becoming Recycling Responsible takes a great deal of effort initially.

Remember back when we, as a nation, began recycling. When I was a child, living in Michigan, we always collected and returned beverage bottles and cans. We would return them to the grocery store, Meijer’s, where they’d literally count the bottles and cans by hand and give us a voucher for $.10 per that we could pay toward our grocery bill. That was in the 1970’s.

recycling responsible

Kennesaw State Recycling Responsible – View the Power Point

Kennesaw State University Leads with Recycling Responsible Efforts

In 2012, Kennesaw State University compiled a slide show exposing the work and dedication involved in a successful recycling program. The slide show is a pictorial showcase of following recyclables from classroom to recycled product.

They also developed a video that is fun: Here is the Video Link. 

As you can see in the slideshow, recycling is still performed by actual human hands. The sorting process has not yet been completely automated. There are machines used for purposes of movement and baling but it actually requires human eyes and hands to sort.

Sorting Similar Commodities:

In order to understand why sorting is so complicated we can look at plastic to explain. There are seven categories of plastic. The categories, as marked on each product, identify what the plastic is made from. Based on that, we can define how it needs to be recycled and what other items are similar. Read about Plastic Recycling.

R & R Containers in Acworth, GA is a Recycling Responsible Company. We commend Kennesaw State University for a great example for others in their commitment to reduction of landfill waste.

The Cost or Profit of Recycling

Do you have any idea what recycled materials are worth?

cash profit of recycling

A international waste disposal company is discovering the cost or profit of recycling our trash. They offer FREE use of a container, FREE pick up and delivery, they take your “trash” and keep the profit. Yes, Profit! They specify materials such as:

profit of recycling cans

  • Plastic bottles and containers
  • Beverage cans
  • Paper
  • Flattened cardboard
  • Paperboard
  • Food and beverage cartons

Each of these commodities offers varying rebates around the country. Particularly metal products have a huge rebate to the tune of a low figure of $200 per ton. Cardboard and paper is not as lucrative but still offers in the ballpark of $100 a ton. Around the country these numbers change but you should know what kind of money you’re leaving on the curbside, just glad that someone will come pick it up.

I always say, “No one is going to pay for your trash,” and it is only your lack of knowledge to believe a large, successful company is just doing you (and the environment) a favor.

One source I checked explains:

The rebate (value to you) of aluminum cans varies between 28 cents and 50 cents per pound over a one year period. There are about 30 can in a pound. Not a great rebate, but for a larger community effort could be beneficial. As with these cans, the value of metal varies often. Contact a local recycling provider to find out what the going rate is.

Corrugated cardboard is worth $80 per ton (baled = 3/4 ton per). That’s pretty good if your business received a lot of cardboard packaged deliveries.

The value of recycling far outweighs the profit of recycling. EPA shares it’s thoughts.

For specifics, it’s hard to find. Recycling commodities are like stocks. They are in fact illusive.

Recycling – Just the facts Ma’am.

You know how important recycling is, you just don’t know how you can do your part.

We all appreciate the opportunity to recycle. Our towns and cities have allowed us to participate but the rules are sometimes confusing. Initially, recycling household products involved separating into bins before they were picked up. Now, many communities have gone to a single bin for all products.

Have the recycling rules changed?

No. There are still standards about recycling we need to be aware of and I thought it may be helpful to remind you of those in a list so here are the facts:

Electronics

Many cities and towns have locations that receive and recycling electronics. Some refurbish them for resale or redistribution. Some disassemble to destroy. Sometimes there are rebates sometime not.

Glass

  • Glass containers (bottles) are often separated by color.
  • Lightbulbs, sheet glass, mirrors and Pyrex recycle together because of a different melting point than containers.

Metal

Almost all metal can be recycled. Metal has a good to excellent rebate. Day to day the demand for different metals will fluctuate. A vital detail regarding metal is cleanliness.

  • Food can need to be rinsed. Some centers prefer no labels.
  • Soda cans need to be rinsed. Some centers like them crushed others not.
  • Foil wrap need to be rinsed.
  • Paint and aerosol cans are hazardous but are sometime accepted with labeling intact at recycling facilities.
  • All other heavy metals like copper, iron, steel are recyclable and valuable

Paper and Cardboard

  • Newspaper: gets recycled back into newspaper
  • Magazines, glossy print papers, phone books, envelopes, letters, paper packaging, standard office paper
  • recycling
  • Drink cartons with waxy lining
  • Corrugated cardboard: looks like this
  • Do not include: carbon paper, stickers, laminated paper and cardboard, food or grease stained wrappers and napkins


Plastics

Fortunately, most communities allow you to throw all your plastics into the same bin to be sorted by the recycling center. It is important when buying products to understand the challenges for recycling. Recycle by numbers is a great article about what the numbers mean in content and recycling.

Please take the time to sort your recyclables from your regular trash, every effort makes a difference.