Archive for August, 2019

Recycling and reusing materials

Posted on: August 29th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

Municipalities, manufacturers and retailers are thinking of new ways to recycle, reuse and reduce what they’re disposing of. EREMA is an Austrian manufacturer of plastics recycling systems that has set up its North American headquarters in Ipswich. The machines that it sells convert different forms of plastic, like plastic bags and film, into pellets that are easier to use to make a new product, like decking.

Stop & Shop has an anaerobic digester at its Freetown distribution center. This machine takes food that’s beyond the point of donation and turns it into energy. The biogas is converted into electricity – enough to provide about 40% of the power needed to run the 1.1 million-square-foot facility.

About 6% of waste sent to incinerators in Massachusetts is textiles, but Simple Recycling is working with cities and towns to change that. The textile recycling program hands out special bags for clothing, shoes and small household items, and then on trash day, residents can leave the bags curbside for collection. The for-profit company sorts the items, sells what it can to secondhand stores, repairs some items and sends what can’t be worn to be shredded into fibers to used in items like insulation in a motor vehicle, carpet padding or thermal insulation for homes.

Recycling Corner: Breaking up isn’t hard to do

Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

https://brookline.wickedlocal.com/news/20190826/recycling-corner-breaking-up-isnt-hard-to-do

Dear Hector,

It’s over! Four years. School’s out. Gone. Done. Kaput. See you later. It’s been fun.

Bye, bye.

Debbie Disposer

With the big Sept. 1 changeover coming up, is there someone leaving your building, apartment or house who needs a reminder about how to dispose of their things? Remember, in Brookline, breaking up isn’t that hard to do — as long as you follow the rules.

Use your black cart (with cover closed) for household trash.

Use your purple Town of Brookline overflow bags for any excess trash. Your landlord should have purple bags. Or purchase them ($15 cash for five bags) at local stores. Do not leave unbagged excess trash at the curb.

Use your blue cart (cover closed) for recyclables. Google “Brookline recycles” for a list of what can go into the blue cart. Make sure you “recyclesmartma” so you don’t contaminate the stream.

Use your pink “Simple Recycling” bags for discarding clothes, linens, and usable household articles. Or take those items to a charity. Your landlord should have extra pink bags.

Use your telephone (617-730-2156) to schedule a pickup of large, bulky items and electronics such as couches, mattresses, furniture, metals, televisions, air conditioners and computers. Call a week in advance.

Use your calendar to be sure you don’t put discards at the curb too early. That means before 3:30 p.m. on the day before collection. Because Labor Day is on Monday, Sept. 2, collection days will be one day later than usual for that week.

Use your head when you have to get rid of hazardous household items such as bug sprays, cleaners, solvents, oil paints and chemicals. Drop them off on Tuesday mornings at the HHP Drop-Off on Newton Street or ask your landlord where to store them so he or she can properly dispose of them for you. Do not put them in your trash — even if you think nobody’s looking or nobody cares about the environment.

As always, thanks!

Curbside Clothes Recycling a Hit in Rhode Island

Posted on: August 12th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

https://wasteadvantagemag.com/curbside-clothes-recycling-a-hit-in-rhode-island/

A new service for recycling clothes makes it easier to declutter and curtail waste headed to the landfill. Simple Recycling, based in Solon, Ohio, offers a unique curbside pickup service for unwanted clothing — and a bunch of other items that can’t go in recycling bins. Groups such as The Salvation Army and Big Brothers Big Sisters have drop-off bins and pick up of used clothes, but Simple Recycling makes it a bit less complicated by collecting on the same day and in the same spot on the curb as your regular recycling. Once it partners with a community, the company encourages participation by mailing colored collection bags to all residences. New bags are delivered each time full ones are collected.

The service is free and the host community receives a nominal monthly payments based on the tonnage collected. Simple Recycling started in 2014 and now operates in nine states. Nine communities in Connecticut and 37 in Massachusetts offer the service to their residents. Within the past year, four Rhode Island Island communities — Bristol, Coventry, Middletown, and North Providence — joined the service, and they all seem pleased. “It’s working out awesome. Our residents absolutely love it,” said Jackie Anthony, recycling coordinator in Coventry.

Residents in Middletown are pleased with the program since collection began last December, according to Will Cronin, the town’s recycling coordinator. “Stuff is being diverted (from the waste stream) and that’s the name of the game,” Cronin said. Like other textile recycling services and owners of drop-off boxes, Simple Recycling’s only role in the recycling process is shipping what it collects to sorting facilities. The company is compensated based on the weight of clothing it collects.

Free Curbside Textile Recycling Service Coming to Avon

Posted on: August 12th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

https://www.avon-ma.gov/sites/avonma/files/uploads/textile_collections.pdf

Beginning Monday, September 16, 2019, Avon residents will be able to recycle unwanted textiles simply by bagging them and leaving them at the curb on their regular scheduled recycling collection day. The Avon Board of Health is providing this new service, free to the residents of Avon, in partnership with Simple Recycling.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 84% of old clothes, shoes, belts, handbags, and textile items end up in a landfill or an incinerator. On average, that results in approximately 68 pounds of textile items per person each year. As a result, textiles comprise more than six percent of all the residential and municipal trash in the United States.
Simple Recycling aims to change that. The company provides free curbside collection and recycling of unwanted textiles and housewares to communities across the United States including surrounding communities of Abington, Whitman, East Bridgewater and Easton. After collection, Simple Recycling will donate all reusable items and other items to recycle into new products.
In the weeks before the program’s September launch date, Simple Recycling will send mailers to homes that receive recycling collection from the town. These mailers will contain information along with two free pink bags for residents to get started using the program.
When cleaning out closets or disposing of unwanted items, residents should place all textiles in the provided bags. Residents may then place the bags at the curb on their regular scheduled recycling collection day. Bags should be placed three (3) feet from your recycling tote and should be put out before 7:00AM on the day of your pick up. Simple Recycling’s trucks will pick up the bags, free of charge. At the time of the pick-up, Simple Recycling will provide a new bag for the resident to continue to dispose of textiles.
Simple Recycling will accept a wide range of used textiles. The list of accepted items includes all types of used or new clothing (men’s, women’s and children’s), coats/jackets, jewelry, shoes, purses, hats, small toys, blankets, sheets, drapes/curtains, pillows, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. A list of all items can be found on their website at www.SimpleRecycling.com.
Simple Recycling service is not meant to compete with local charities. Its purpose is to provide a convenient curbside collection option for residents who choose that option. Ultimately, it’s about keeping those items out of the trash. If residents can eliminate textiles from the municipal waste stream, the town could decrease the tonnage of waste produced, potentially reducing costs on waste disposal.
For more information about the Simple Recycling program, for more bags or missed pickups, residents may call 866-835-5068 or visit www.SimpleRecycling.com.
Residents may also contact the Avon Board of Health at 508-588-0414 x 1016 or at kwaldron@avon-ma.gov

Curbside Clothes Recycling a Hit in Rhode Island

Posted on: August 12th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

https://www.ecori.org/composting/2019/8/9/a-new-service-for-recycling-clothes-makes-it-easier-to-declutter-and-curtail-waste-headed-to-the-landfill

A new service for recycling clothes makes it easier to declutter and curtail waste headed to the landfill.

Simple Recycling, based in Solon, Ohio, offers a unique curbside pickup service for unwanted clothing — and a bunch of other items that can’t go in recycling bins — while keeping fears of hoarding at bay.

Groups such as The Salvation Army and Big Brothers Big Sisters have drop-off bins and pick up of used clothes, but Simple Recycling makes it a bit less complicated by collecting on the same day and in the same spot on the curb as your regular recycling. Once it partners with a community, the company encourages participation by mailing colored collection bags to all residences. New bags are delivered each time full ones are collected.

The service is free and the host community receives a nominal monthly payments based on the tonnage collected.

Simple Recycling started in 2014 and now operates in nine states. Nine communities in Connecticut and 37 in Massachusetts offer the service to their residents.

Within the past year, four Rhode Island Island communities — Bristol, Coventry, Middletown, and North Providence — joined the service, and they all seem pleased.

“It’s working out awesome. Our residents absolutely love it,” said Jackie Anthony, recycling coordinator in Coventry.

The only glitches, so far, have been complaints from some nonprofits that fear the service will reduce their share of revenue from collecting and selling clothes. Simple Recycling, a for-profit company, says no cities or towns have curtailed the service over the concern. The company encourages residents to donate their unwanted clothes to charities. Simple Recycling says it offers the convenience of regular curbside service, especially for the elderly and people with mobility issues.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody. It’s an option, that’s all it is,” said Robert Nascimento, recycling coordinator for North Providence.

Anthony said nonprofits that manage collection bins across town reported no change in the volume of material since the Simple Recycling service started in April.

A small number of collection bags containing clothes have been stolen from the curb in North Providence since the program began in June, but the thefts haven’t hindered the service.

Residents in Middletown are pleased with the program since collection began last December, according to Will Cronin, the town’s recycling coordinator.

“Stuff is being diverted (from the waste stream) and that’s the name of the game,” Cronin said.

Like other textile recycling services and owners of drop-off boxes, Simple Recycling’s only role in the recycling process is shipping what it collects to sorting facilities. The company is compensated based on the weight of clothing it collects.

The sorting facilities, often operated by thrift stores, decide what items go to their stores, which is about 20 percent of what they receive from the collectors. The remainder is sent to textiles exporters that ship between 50 percent and 60 percent overseas. The rest is downcycled either domestically or internationally, where it is then processed into raw material for items such as carpet padding and insulation.

Sonny Wilkins, vice president of municipal relations for Simple Recycling, said municipalities receive $20 or $40 per ton based on the type of mapping employed for the collection service. The revenue paid by sorting facilities allows Simple Recycling to offer the service without a fee.

“The way we are able to do that is to liquidate as early as possible,” Wilkins said.

There is no shortage of volume. Since 1960, textile waste has increased 811 percent, and only 15 percent is recycled or donated, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The apparel industry is driving up clothing sales with the trend toward cheap, disposable, and “fast-casual” products. The industry generates pollution and requires significant amounts of energy and resources to manufacture and ship.

“Most of the world’s textile factories are in developing countries where governments can’t keep pace with the industry’s massive pollution footprint,” according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Donating unwanted clothes helps the environment, as does closing the life-cycle loop by shopping for secondhand clothes and other used goods. Repairing clothes yourself or sending them to the tailor for alterations extends their usefulness and keeps money working close to home where it helps the local economy.

“The whole purpose of the idea to keep textiles out of the landfill,” Nascimento said.

Here are some clothing waste stats:

Textile mills generate one-fifth of the world’s industrial water pollution and use 20,000 chemicals, many of them carcinogenic, to make clothes, according to the NRCD.

Textiles account for 5.5 percent of waste in the Central Landfill in Rhode Island, according to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.

85 percent of all clothing ends up in landfills or is incinerated, according to the EPA.

Here’s how to take advantage of soft recycling services in Oakland County

Posted on: August 5th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

Here’s how to take advantage of soft recycling services in Oakland County

While the upcoming school year knocks on the door, cities in southwest Oakland County need not throw last season’s clothes away. The nine cities encompassed by the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County, which are Farmington, Farmington Hills, Milford, Milford Township, Novi, South Lyon, Southfield, Walled Lake and Wixom, are reminding residents that old clothes can be recycled right on the curb.

South Lyon and Wixom became the first two cities in the country to pilot a curbside program with Simple Recycling, which takes care of “soft recyclables” like clothing, in 2014. The rest of the authorities partnered with Simple Recycling in 2016. Simple Recycling is a for-profit recycling company that comes at no cost to residents.

“Eighty-five percent of the clothing we want to discard on an annual basis is just thrown away in landfills,” said Mike Csapo, general manager of the Recycling Authority. “Most of the clothing that we want to get rid of isn’t donated or otherwise reused or resold. So in order to capture that material, Simple Recycling tried to make it as easy as possible to get rid of it.”

Clothes picked up curbside by Simple Recycling first head to local resale shops. If they’re turned away there, the clothes are shipped overseas and, if they still cannot be sold, are recycled into things like rags.

“It’s one more option for people to put something back into the value chain instead of in their trash can,” Csapo said. “This is a program that competes with landfills for materials, not with charities.”

Residents to the five cities are sent Simple Recycling’s bright orange bags to set clothes on the curb. When the bags are picked up on a person’s designated rubbish pick-up day, new bags are left in their place for the homeowner to use. Homeowners can also call 866-835-5068 to request more bags.

Csapo stressed that, if people can, donating to local charities is always preferable for giving their clothes new life. But, if that’s not possible, he said the Simple Recycling program is in the neighborhood every week.

“We always encourage that people first consider charitable giving, there’s plenty of charitable organizations out there that can use a lot of the stuff that we want to throw away,” he said.

The City of Livonia is currently considering whether to adopt the program, so its services may soon be coming to Livonia.

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