When you try to recycle, it might just end up in the trash

Discussion in 'Environment & Conservation' started by kazenatsu, Jun 29, 2020 at 7:46 PM.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    I've been trying real hard to recycle, but recently I've become dismayed to learn that a lot of times when I put something in the recycling bin, it's just going to end up in the trash.

    A lot of people who care about the environment and recycling probably do not realize this.

    For example, plastic bags. While they are certainly theoretically recyclable, the recycling workers will try to grab them off and throw them into the trash because they can clog up the conveyor belt, or get blown all over the place.
    A had an old pillow with a tag that said 100% polyester cover and filling. Polyester is the same exact material is PET plastic (like for example what your water bottles are made out of). But a worker is probably going to see this pillow, have no idea what it is, and throw it off because they think it's not recyclable. This huge lump of recyclable material is most likely going to end up in the trash. These minimum wage paid recycle workers can't be expected to know whether every item is recyclable or read all the little tags.

    Then glass. For a long time I was putting glass containers in my recycle bin, but recently I found they were just throwing these in the trash, and that they have a special bin downtown you have to go to to be able to drop off your glass recyclables. If you put them in the regular recycle bin, they will just end up being thrown in the trash.

    No one cares, and the problem here is never going to be solved.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020 at 7:47 PM
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  2. Shook

    Shook Well-Known Member

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    This has been the situation with recycling since the 1970's. A good deal of recyclables end up in the trash anyway, and glass is expensive to melt down recycle, so it's just thrown out for the education of archeologists at a later time. Something to think about next time you buy groceries.

    Hey, we tried.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020 at 7:57 PM
  3. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Donor

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    My old boss got fined by the city for not separating out his recycling. He mailed the citation back, but with instead of payment, a photo of the garbage collectors dumping his recycling and his trash both into the compactor truck. He never heard from them again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020 at 8:02 PM
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  4. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    So folks, don't recycle, because your efforts will just end up in the trash. Let's all just give up and our concious will be clear. They would have just thrown it away anyway.
     
  5. mamooth

    mamooth Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Things to recycle:
    Aluminum and steel cans
    Newspaper
    Brown corrugated cardboard (if you have a lot of it, like a business)

    Glass is borderline as to whether recycling it saves any energy.

    Things to trash:
    Plastic
    Misc paper and cardboard
    Especially trash any paper/plastic/cardboard food wrapping. Your greasy pizza boxes won't be recycled.

    My trash goes to the city incinerator and gets turned into steam heat, so I don't worry about anything filling up a landfill.
     
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    The point was, if greenies really care about the environment, there are some low hanging fruits to address. They're just not trendy or appealing fruits.

    Starting a whole new initiative may not make so much sense, if the initiatives you've already started have so many holes and flaws in them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 1:41 AM
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  7. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    So folks, recycle because it makes you feel better about yourself not because it does any good.
    " well at least I tried "
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 3:05 PM
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  8. Rush_is_Right

    Rush_is_Right Well-Known Member

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    Some places charge extra for recycling. I would investigate and find out if it's just being thrown away.
     
  9. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly. I have been thinking about how to recycle glass and brick. Glass bottles ... if unbroken ... can be washed and reused. The problem is customers. If you can find buyers for recycled goods. What good are they? I have been in the process of recycling an old house. 20200205_161319.jpg he wood is old but it is in great shape. Heart pine over a hundred years in use is more rot resistance than today's lumber. A little bit of linseed oil and it is good for another 100 years. This is a shelf in my shed. It is holding up fish tanks now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 3:21 PM
  10. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    Except toxic waste. The ash would probably be considered toxic waste.
     
  11. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    Old wood is superior to wood harvested now because it's old growth. Check out how tight the growth rings are. Old barn wood brings big bucks
     
  12. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    30 rings per inch of growth minimum. But I just use it around the house. I would buy recycled for one big reason.... saving money. If you can figure out how to make recycled material less expensive you will have something. I have a 100 gallon fish tank made from recycled auto glass. Cost me about fifteen bucks with tape.
     
  13. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    Repurposing and recycling are different things. You can do lots of repurposing on your own but putting trash in receptacles hoping someone else recycled them is often fruitless. My wife won’t let me throw away anything resembling a container. She finds a million uses for that stuff with her garden and livestock.
     
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  14. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

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    Okay, call it upcycling if you wish. I say,"cool, free lumber." And antique block and window glass. The roof was sold. The 1x12 wall boards were sold. The glass was salvaged. The interior walls were salvaged. Everything possible was salvaged.
     
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  15. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    I’m a salvager from way back but I do it to save money not the environment
     
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  16. Josephwalker

    Josephwalker Well-Known Member

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    Far superior lumber. Second growth you can lay your finger between growth rings.
     
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