Landfill: We don’t want it! Compost it! Recycle It!

Ever wonder where all of that garbage goes?  Ever wonder if there was a way to help reduce landfill and garbage waste.  How about a compost pile or recycle?

Compost is a combination of decomposed plants and animal materials and other organic materials that are being decomposed largely through aerobic decomposition into a rich black soil.

A great way to save money is by composting your yard trimmings and food scraps.  This compost pile can help you create rich soil conditions for your flowers and veritable gardens.  By composting you can help reduces things like fertilizers, pesticides that are unwanted in our soils while also reducing water consumption.

A great idea for a composting bin is one that is made of recycled plastic milk jugs. 

Check out this web site:  http://www.composting101.com/ it has great ideas about composting.

Compostables

Usually, compostable materials include food scraps and yard trimmings. Paper that cannot be

recycled also can be composted.

Food Scraps

Includes grease-free organic scraps from restaurants, cafeterias, motels, and other places

producing food waste. It is technically possible to compost food waste in a manner similar to

yard trimmings, although additional problems with rodents and other scavengers need to be

addressed. Some sates allow farmers to sterilize food waste and use it as animal feed.

Yard Trimmings

Includes landscaping debris, grass clippings, branches, and leaves. There are large-scale

facilities which compost yard trimmings, producing a product that can be used for mulch, potting

soil, landfill cover, and soil amendment. Also, composting can be performed directly on site or in

backyards.

Recycle It! 

With all the new emphasis on recycling you would be foolish not to join in the festivities. If you really tried you could probably help reduce landfill generated trash by 80 - 90% if you combine composting and recycling.

When you throw something away, take another look at it and see if it can be recycled.  Sure, the easy thing to do is just throw it in the trash – out of sight – out of mind.  Right?  Wrong!  It has to go somewhere and that somewhere is the landfill. 

So here is a list of materials that can be recycled:

Paper

High-Grade Paper is usually generated in office environments and can earn recycling revenues

when present in sufficient quantity. Types of high-grade paper include:

Computer paper (also known as Computer Print Out or CPO).

Can be all white or have a white main fiber with bright green or blue bars.

White ledger.

Most white office paper, including white computer paper, copy machine paper,

letterhead, white notebook paper, and white envelopes. Common contaminants include

glossy paper, wax-coated paper, latex adhesive labels, envelopes with plastic windows,

and carbon paper.

Tab cards.

Usually manila-colored computer cards; may be other colors but must be separated by

color to be valuable as a high-grade paper.

Other Papers

These papers are less valuable than high-grade paper in terms of recycling, although they still

can be cost effective to recycle in many cases. Examples of other types of paper include:

Colored ledger.

Most non-white office papers, including carbon-less paper, file folders, tablet paper,

colored envelopes, and yellow legal paper.

Corrugated cardboard (also known as Old Corrugated Cardboard or OCC).

Includes unbleached, unwaxed paper with a ruffled (corrugated) inner liner. It usually

does not include linerboard or pressboard, such as cereal boxes and shoe boxes. For

most business, cardboard is a cost-effective material to recycle.

Newspaper (also known as Old News Print or ONP).

It is most valued when separated from other paper types, but can be recycled as mixed

waste paper.

Miscellaneous waste paper.

Encompasses most types of clean and dry paper which do not fall into the categories

mentioned above, including glossy papers, magazines, catalogs, telephone books,

cards, laser-printed white ledger, windowed envelopes, paper with adhesive labels,

paper bags, wrapping papers, packing paper, sticky-backed notes, and glossy

advertising paper. This mixed paper has limited value in existing markets.

Mixed waste paper.

Paper that is unsegregated by color, quantity, or grade (e.g., combination of white

ledger, newsprint, colored paper, envelopes without windows, computer paper, glossy

paper, etc.) Mixed paper generally sells below the price of the least valuable paper in the

mix.

Glass

Color-separated

This includes all container glass that is separated into clear, green, and brown. When this glass

is broken or crushed for recycling, it is called “flint,” “green,” and “amber” cullet, respectively.

Mixed Color

This is the same as color-separated glass except clear, green, and brown glass are mixed

together. It generally has very limited market value.

Plastic

There are 7 types of plastics that are identified by a Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) code

number ranging from 1 to 7. These numbers are usually found on the bottom of plastic

containers inside a three-arrow recycling symbol. A description of each kind of plastic is

presented below. Also, you can check with the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) at 800-2-

HELP-90 for information about haulers/recyclers in your area. Some recyclers only accept a

sub-category of the ones presented below. For example, a recycler might only accept HDPE

milk jugs and not all HDPE products.

PET (SPI = 1)

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most readily recyclable material at this time. It

includes 1- and 2- liter clear soda bottles, as well as some bottles containing liquor,

liquid cleaners, detergents, and antacids.

HDPE (SPI = 2)

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is currently recyclable in some areas. This class

includes milk, juice, and water jugs, base cups for some plastic soda bottles, as well as

bottles for laundry detergent, fabric softener, lotion, motor oil, and antifreeze.

PVC (SPI = 3)

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC, also referred to simply as “vinyl”) includes bottles for cooking

oil, salad dressing, floor polish, mouthwash, and liquor, as well as “blister packs” used

for batteries and other hardware and toys.

LDPE (SPI = 4)

Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) includes grocery bags, bread bags, trash bags, and a

variety of other film products. LDPE is currently being recycled by some of the major

retail chains.

Polypropylene (SPI = 5)

Polypropylene includes a wide variety of packaging such as yogurt containers, shampoo

bottles, and margarine tubs. Also cereal box liners, rope and strapping, combs, and

battery cases.

Polystyrene (SPI = 6)

Polystyrene includes Styrofoam coffee cups, food trays, and “clamshell” packaging, as

well as some yogurt tubs, clear carry-out containers, and plastic cutlery. Foam

applications are sometimes called EPA, or Expanded Polystyrene. Some recycling of

polystyrene is taking place, but is limited by it low weight-to-volume ration and its value

as a commodity.

Other (SPI = 7)

Can refer to application which use some of the above six resins in combination or to the

collection of the individual resins as mixed plastic (e.g., camera film can include several

types of plastic resins). Technology exists to make useful items such as plastic “lumber”

our of mixed plastic resins, but generally the materials are more useful and valuable is

separated into the generic resin types described above.

Metals

Aluminum

Included in this category are aluminum beverage cans, as well as clean aluminum scrap and

aluminum foil. Currently, aluminum is a highly valued material for recycling.

Tin-Coated Steel Containers

Includes cans used for food packaging (i.e., canned foods). Some local recyclers might require

cans to be cleaned and crushed with labels removed.

Bimetal Containers

A typical example includes tin-plated steel cans with an aluminum “pop top” (e.g., peanut cans).

These containers can be separated from aluminum cans by using a magnet. [Note: Technically,

tin cans are bimetal, be we do not consider them when referring to bimetal cans.] Many

recyclers accept bimetal containers with tin-coated cans.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Includes most types of scrap metal which do not contain iron (such as copper and brass). This

scrap can be a relatively valuable commodity, depending on quantity. It is often recycled

through scrap metal dealers, although some general recyclers will handle it with other

materials.’

Ferrous Metals

Includes iron and iron-containing metal scrap. Ferrous metal is handled in the same manner as

non-ferrous metal, but generally has lower market value.