Posts tagged waste

Recycling Depots Take Stuff That Doesn’t Belong Curbside

Miss Burrows reminds me about recycling depots. Most folks in the Portland metro area aren’t aware of “depots” – facilities where you can take recyclable refuse that has a market but isn’t suitable for curbside pickup (and, in many cases, will be rejected if placed at the curb). Metro has a “Find a Recycler” website that will help you locate the right taker for your material. You can also call Metro’s very helpful and useful Recycling Information Hotline at 503-234-3000.

recycleFar West Fibers has seven depots located throughout the metro area that accept a wide range of materials, from plastic lids (which don’t go in your curbside rollcarts or bins, only the body of the container) to plastic take-out clamshells (clean only, and apparently they’re a pain to deal with).

Eye-opening factoid: Portland metro residents throw away about 20 tons of material per day in curbside recycling that doesn’t belong there, and has to be removed and landfilled. Some of that material can be recycled at depots, though it never ends up in the right stream.

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The Story of Stuff

Yesterday I finally got around to watching “The Story of Stuff.” Even at its totally ADHD-digestible 20 minutes, I hadn’t made it a priority because some part of me kept thinking, “I already know that.” But Annie Leonard’s disarmingly simple presentation hits home the message that our linear, unsustainable relationship with Stuff is coming apart, for better and for worse, and that we have a fundamental opportunity right now to redefine that relationship, close loops, create sustainable cycles, and change the way we do business. If we don’t, the results will cause (and to some extent already are causing) cultural indigestion and crises of gargantuan proportions in the health of human society. Alarmist? It only sounds alarmist to anyone who’s addicted to the functioning of the linear model of Stuff and who, like an ostrich, pretends not to see what comes out the back end.

Click here to watch The Story of Stuff, and please leave a comment with your thoughts and impressions.

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Plastic Not-So-Fantastic

plastic_productsIf you think you consume and throw away a lot of plastic at your home, you probably do. Many people frankly don’t even get that far (i.e. thinking about it). But the business park you casually drove or biked by yesterday probably generates more in a day than you toss in a year. It’s amazing how much plastic is produced, consumed, and discarded in our “economy.” It’s petroleum, persistent, and in some cases, quite pernicious. The $1M question – can it be recycled?

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