Recycling and reusing materials

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.