Addressing our recycling problem

glass and plastic recycling

China has stopped importing much of the waste it accepted from around the world, so now countries are scrambling to find alternatives. In many cases, recycling programs are being scrapped.


South Korea’s tremendous success reducing food waste through composting

composting decaying vegetables

Throughout the world, the problem of food waste keeps growing, compounding the larger problem of waste and garbage.

There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. One involves wasting less food.

Another involves better management of food waste through composting, and the incredible success of this approach in South Korea can be a model for the entire world. South Korea has managed to increase food waste recycling levels from 2 percent to a staggering 95 percent according to the linked article.

South Korea has embraced composting and linked it to urban farming, with training programs that teach people how to compost food waste.

More importantly, sending food waste to landfills is now banned, and South Koreans are required to discard food waste in yellow biodegradable bags. The cost is typically around $6 per month, which is very reasonable but also puts on cost on throwing out food. This provides an incentive to be more careful about wasting food and also encourages composting.

This is one of those ideas that should be embraced around the world. Perhaps California can start?


Are Plastic Roads Realistic

Is the concept of roads made of plastic realistic? It seems like a cool idea as we could have a new way of creating roads while also recycling tons of plastic waste.

Well, this concept was introduced last July to much fanfare, but we haven’t seen any articles about it since.

We’ll see . . .


WEEE Recycling – What does it mean for businesses?

ID-10060928 recycling
Free image courtesy of

Did you know that each year, between 20 to 50 million tons of electrical waste is disposed of across the world?
The world we now live in is influenced by a digital culture whereby technology is advancing at such a rapid speed; new products and innovative upgrades are no longer an uncommon occurrence and have become part of our everyday life. All of this has made it far easier and acceptable to replace existing electronic equipment with the newest model to keep up with current trends.

E-waste is becoming one of the fastest expanding waste networks in this day and age, which is where WEEE recycling comes in.

What is WEEE recycling?

WEEE stands for Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment and it was a directive set up to deal with and reduce the amount of electrical products and equipment that end up as waste.
With only a minute percentage of this type of waste actually being recycled, the initiative looks to target businesses that manufacture, import or distribute these types of EEE products and ensure they comply with regulations.

How do I know if I am an EEE business?

If you operate within the UK and are any of the following, you will be classed as an EEE producer business and will need to comply with the scheme:

• Importer of electronic and electrical equipment
• Manufacturer of electronic and electrical equipment
• Re-brander of electronic and electrical equipment

Retailers who stock and sell electrical goods will be classed as distributors under the act and will need to follow specific guidelines.

What does it mean for my business

As a producer of electrical products, you have a responsibility to follow the regulations set out no matter the size of your organisation.
The WEEE initiative provides businesses with guidance and advice to help decipher when an electrical product is classed as waste and when it is not. This will help to encourage and change the thought process within businesses and minimise the amount of waste being thrown away.

Regulations are set up now to ensure the waste is dealt with in the correct manner and will not harm the environment, this means a change for businesses in terms of procedures, processes as well as culture. However, this legislation will ultimately help to make businesses become greener to reduce their EEE waste.

If you feel your business falls within these categories, please visit the environmental agency online for further information on this legislation.

This post has been contributed by Enviro Waste, a leading rubbish removal company who is putting the environment at the heart of its activities.


How to Recycle Old Technology

English: A spiral CFL bulb on a white background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone should recycle. Not because some environmentalist says so, but because it’s just a responsible use of resources. If something can be reused or broken down and rebuilt into something useful again without consuming new resources, it means less trash building up and more resources available for the future.

But not everything is as easy to dispose of as plastic, cans and paper. And some things shouldn’t be thrown away because they may be harmful to the environment or are still usable. This often applies to technology. Old tech often needs to be recycled or disposed of in certain ways. Here is how to dispose of or recycle some common pieces of technology.

Cell phones

New blackberry phones are great. They offer so many wonderful features and can replace most any phone on the market. But what should be done with the old cell that the blackberry is replacing? Like all the technology in this article, cell phones really shouldn’t be thrown into a trash can. They contain plastics and metals that shouldn’t be incinerated or left to accumulate in landfills.

The EPA has a program called “Plug-In to eCycling” through which people can dispose of their old phones. The program either recycles them or donates them to community organizations who distribute them to people who can still use them.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs

CFL bulbs use less energy than standard incandescents and can reduce energy costs. Disposing of CFLs can be tricky though. They contain a small amount of mercury, which is harmful. If CFLs are thrown away then there will be a small but cumulative amount of mercury in landfills.

CFLs should be taken to recycling centers. The materials of the bulb can be recycled and used again. The EPA recommends using to find local disposal sites.

Also, in the event a CFL bulb breaks and leaks its mercury, the EPA provides clean-up instructions.

Televisions / Computers

Computer monitors and televisions, both LCD and CRT, need to be disposed of correctly. Both may contain hazardous materials. Broken or burnt-out televisions or monitors should be taken to a recycling center (check for locations). The EPA’s Plug-In To eCycling program also takes televisions and computers.

If the TV or computer still works, consider donating it to a charity. But, also consider using a disk drive cleaner to remove any potentially sensitive information from the hard drive.

Household appliances

Refrigerators and air conditioning units both contain many materials that are harmful to the environment (like oils, mercury, fluorocarbons, foams, metals, etc.). Many of the materials in these appliances are reusable, and some utility companies offer appliance recycling programs. Or, once more, provides local disposal sites for large and small appliances.

Recycling may take some extra effort, but it’s not difficult. It is said that the earth is not ours, and that we borrow it from the next generation. If that is the case, we should try to recycle and dispose of things correctly so we don’t leave them with a mess.


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