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Topic: Weather, Climate, and Environment

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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2912 on: May 22, 2020, 08:32:40 AM »
If you can get all the PP in one place and all the PE in another and all the PET somewhere else, you have a useful product.  We have two dumpsters downstairs, one is for "recycling".  A lot of what goes in there is cardboard, the rest if glass and plastic and some cans.  It's an unholy mess really.  People add "styrofoam" packing material to it, not much by weight but a lot by volume.  Polystyrene is readily "recycled" IFF you can get it separated into a clean stream.  Just as monomers are combined to make polymer, polymer can be "uncombined" to make monomer, it's not hard to do.  Styrene however is really cheap material, so nobody really cares to recover it from polystyrene.  The PET is a different kind of polymer entirely, very useful for plastic bottles.  The main plastic by far is polyethylene (PE) used for "jugs" where containing CO2 is not an issue, milk jugs for example.  Food plastic wrap is something very different though.

When we were putting together food boxes to give out, it was astonishing to me how much waste we generated.  The various food items came expensively packaged, especially the apples and the yogurt.  I spent a good bit of my time breaking down all the cardboard boxes.  Restaurants deal with this constantly (these were restaurant food items available because they had all closed).


847badgerfan

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2913 on: May 22, 2020, 08:37:12 AM »
Those are discouraging numbers.

I'm curious about glass.
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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2914 on: May 22, 2020, 08:44:55 AM »
https://cen.acs.org/materials/inorganic-chemistry/glass-recycling-US-broken/97/i6

mericans dispose of some 10 million metric tons of glass annually. Most of it ends up in the trash. Only about one-third gets recycled. That’s not because of some intrinsic materials or chemical property that makes glass difficult to recycle.

People also tend to throw in a lot of things that shouldn’t go in the bin, such as plastic bags, batteries, light bulbs, soiled food containers, used napkins, and what Nordmeyer and others call “wish-cycling” materials. One example is a popular single-serve coffee-brewing product that features a plastic cup and foil lid. Well-meaning people think since those components can be recycled, they’re justified in tossing the whole thing—dirty filter, wet coffee grounds, and all—into a recycling bin.


utee94

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2915 on: May 22, 2020, 08:51:04 AM »
Some  friends redid their countertops in a recycled glass composite.  Looks great, they have a very modern home and they went with light blues and greens, sort of a seaglass look similar to this.


Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2916 on: May 22, 2020, 08:55:25 AM »
 10 states have passed so-called bottle bills that require consumers to pay deposits on beverage bottles. The idea is consumers will be more likely to recycle the bottles to get back their deposits. The laws are having the intended effect. In states with those laws, 98% of bottles are recycled, compared with the national average of roughly 33%.

If the US as a whole recycles 33%, I bet most of that is these ten states and the other 40 states do almost nothing.

bwarbiany

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2917 on: May 22, 2020, 09:23:21 AM »
10 states have passed so-called bottle bills that require consumers to pay deposits on beverage bottles. The idea is consumers will be more likely to recycle the bottles to get back their deposits. The laws are having the intended effect. In states with those laws, 98% of bottles are recycled, compared with the national average of roughly 33%.

If the US as a whole recycles 33%, I bet most of that is these ten states and the other 40 states do almost nothing.
Hmm. California has this. However I know that I *never* separate my bottles and cans and take them back to anywhere to get that deposit back. They just get tossed in my recycling bin. I can say that from listening to all my neighbors filling their recycling bins, it sounds like a lot of glass bottles and aluminum cans end up in their bins too.

So yes, I recycle my beverage containers, but I don't know how they can possibly track the 98% and attribute it to the returnable deposit since I've never once returned them to get the deposit back. As far as I'm concerned, it's just an extra tax. 

MichiFan87

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2918 on: May 22, 2020, 10:52:15 AM »
The deposit system is really successful in Michigan. There were even trucks from Chicago that would transport ones from other states to get money, but they got caught, and I think the system got changed somehow to prevent fraud. After Michigan games, there are people that will walk around all of the tailgates to collect left over cans and bottles, as well.

I'm pretty pessimistic and cynical about the future of recycling. The best solution to me seems to be reducing plastic consumption and use more compostable products, at least in places with programs for composting, which will hopefully be more common place in the future.... Otherwise, waste-to-energy systems (be it to hydrogen, electricity, and/or something else) seem to be best solution.
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utee94

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2919 on: May 22, 2020, 10:58:55 AM »
 Otherwise, waste-to-energy systems (be it to hydrogen, electricity, and/or something else) seem to be best solution.

FearlessF

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2920 on: May 22, 2020, 11:05:20 AM »
We try to do the right thing here at work regarding recycling.  One lady is really big on it.  Makes her feel good.

Of course she doesn't have much responsibility.  I'm the guy charged with getting everything in the proper dumpsters.

yes, as much as I've tried to educate, folks toss all types of garbage that is not recyclable into the bins.

Annoys me, just a bit.  I end up sorting crap.

I hope the process and time spent is helpful, but I'm skeptical.

Cincy's posts do not help my attitude.
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OrangeAfroMan

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2921 on: May 22, 2020, 12:17:55 PM »
We could just require all throwaway products must be biodegradable.  We could utilize hemp instead of ignoring it because of antiquated, invented problems with it.  We could stop being the only animal that doesn't live in concert with nature.  

We could do these things tomorrow.  We won't.
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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2922 on: May 22, 2020, 01:07:49 PM »
Being "biodegradable" is not the panacea some think it would be, and would of course incur significant costs.

We could sell milk in glass bottles again, not biodegradable, but reusable.

Nearly all the hype on "biodegradable" is just that, hype, and anything in a landfill isn't going to biodegrade anyway.

CWSooner

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2923 on: May 22, 2020, 01:12:00 PM »
An AP teacher workshop I attended in Denver last summer served lunches in plastic containers that were supposedly biodegradable in sunlight.
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Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2924 on: May 22, 2020, 01:21:05 PM »
Then they would be photodegradable, perhaps, and into what?  In a landfill, there isn't much sunlight.  And I bet those containers went to landfill.  I've been through the "wars" on biodegradable stuff, it's nearly all hooey.

There is a guy at Arizona who digs up landfills (cores) and he finds 30 year old hotdogs that look OK.  He dates the garbage by reading newspapers.

A landfill is designed to entomb material, degradation is a bad thing.  It happens, and the products it produces are undesirable, like methane and leachate.

Cincydawg

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Re: Weather, Climate, and Environment
« Reply #2925 on: May 22, 2020, 01:31:00 PM »
The main reason "biodegradable" doesn't take off, aside from cost, is mentioned above, if it goes to landfill, nothing biodegrades.  So, what's the point?  It might limit litter for stuff that gets tossed out.  But one also has to be concerned about what it biodegrades into.  Not everything breaks down into innocuous stuff.

Recycling would be a better idea, IFF we source separate plastics, glass, paper, and Al.  Americans generally do a poor job of that.  We're better at making new stuff.

 

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