Check out this article about the costs of recycling in Seattle...
Sure, like most Northwesterners, you recycle like a demon. Cans, glass, plastic, yard waste. You even compost your kitchen scraps. You’re a regular environmental hero. Or maybe not ...Tim Croll, head of solid waste for Seattle Public Utilities, points out that that even recycling uses a lot of energy, fossil fuel and natural resources.
Check out this article about our cleanup efforts in Seattle...
Chris Martin is busting open garbage bags in a Georgetown lot—three days' worth of accumulated waste from two downtown office buildings. He won't say which buildings they are. That's because (a) the tenants are mostly environmental advocacy groups, and (b) the results of this "garbage audit" are not going to be pretty.
Martin and his crew dump the contents on the ground, forming heaps of banana peels, coffee cups, energy-bar wrappers, McDonald's packaging, plastic bags, water bottles, bunched-up paper, and other by-products of office life. They sort through it all with rakes and hands, separating out the recyclables from the true trash—that is, doing what the tenants should have done in the first place.
Check out this article about our cleanup efforts in Seattle...
Chris Martin, an entrepreneur from Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, has a knack for creating efficient systems. More than a decade ago, Martin began using his neighborhood, an area once known as a haven for raucous night owls and the down and out, as a test bed for a waste collection scheme that has proven to turn profits and reduce the amount of trash headed to landfills.
With his company CleanScapes, Martin set out to make Dumpsters a thing of the past and reduce the waste stream to boot. Customers receive color-coded bags for trash, recycling and compost, all of which CleanScapes picks up multiple times per day. The program nearly doubled waste reduction efforts in Pioneer Square.
Check out this article about our cleanup efforts in Seattle...
As Spencer Smissaert hauled the night's trash to the Dumpsters behind his work Thursday, he pointed to the spot where he often finds people smoking crack. It's even worse in the winter, he said, when transients seek out shelter in the Dumpsters between Fifth and Sixth avenues just east of Westlake Center. That's when it frequently reeks of urine and feces, pretty much what you'd expect from a downtown alley, he said.
"Sometimes you open the lid, and it will be in there," said Smissaert, an employee at Old Navy.Smissaert isn't the only one who could do without the foul odors and behaviors around downtown Dumpsters. Next year, Mayor Greg Nickels wants to expand a "Dumpster-free Alley" program that would remove them from public alleys in the downtown business district to curtail crime and promote recycling.
Check out this article about our efforts to reduce waste in Seattle...
If you think you've done your civic duty by recycling your plastic bottles and sending away your yard-waste for composting, brace yourself for the next step. Seattle's garbage authorities say you really ought to be producing less waste overall. Seattle residents are doing a pretty good job at sorting out their recyclables and food waste. But overall, it still adds up to a lot of waste to be trucked to a far-away final destination.
Chris Martin, President of CleanScapes, a local garbage hauling company that earlier this year took over the contract for many Seattle neighborhoods, says, "It takes the same big trucks to pick it up and the same amount of energy to process it, etcetera."
Add flair to your wardrobe by reusing and repurposing old clothing, shoes and common household items. Plastic bags, snack wrappers, ripped clothing, mesh produce bags, duct tape, old sheets – any material you can think of, can be upcycled into new clothing or fashion accessories for yourself or little ones. There are a wealth of "trash fashion" resources in print and online which provide ideas and detailed instructions for getting started.
Waste reduction and prevention is a simple, yet effective strategy for creating sustainable communities and economies, and maintaining a healthy environment. Human activities – a.k.a. the choices we make every day at home, at school or at work, have a direct impact on the conservation of natural resources, the demand for raw materials (water, oil, minerals, trees) and the long-term vitality of the environment and the community we share.
Check out this article about our bicycle recycling program...
Got some junked spokes?
Instead of tossing your beat-up bike, you can take part in a new recycling program that collects old bikes, gives them a new life, and puts them back on the streets through affordable bike programs. The best part of all? It requires minimal effort for consumers.
When Washington State Rep. Reuven Carlyle heard about the Neighborhood Waste Reduction Rewards competition he decided to start a competition of his own – a very personal one. He challenged his family of six to reduce their own garbage, recycling and yard waste by 25%!
Check out this article about our bicycle recyling program...
A year ago Rodney Watkins, a garbage hauler with CleanScapes, pulled his truck into the North Transfer Station in Seattle and saw one of those very pricey Cannondale bicycles with all its expensive components ready to be dropped into the garbage pit.
Why should perfectly good bikes become trash, Watkins wondered. And then he remembered a movie his children had watched, "Robots," where the chief robot's mantra was "See a need, fill a need."
Gift cards are a popular way to give thanks and celebrate special occasions by giving the gift of choice. Retailer-specific, pre-paid “credit” cards are available from businesses large and small, from local cafés like Caffe Ladro to Amazon.com. In most cases, this style of gift-giving greatly reduces the packaging waste associated with purchasing and wrapping an item. Great news! Well, almost. The main challenge has been what to do with gift cards once their value has been used.
Gone are the days of disco balls and black lights. Yet, in some corners of our homes the shag carpet remains. Time to remodel? If you are replacing carpet at home or at work, there are local resources available in Kent and Tacoma for recycling your old carpet, carpet pad and installation scraps.
The secret to successful carpet recycling is keeping it dry. Wet and soiled carpet is considered garbage and cannot be recycled. It is important to note that one of the main obstacles to carpet recycling is asbestos. If your carpet was installed before 1981, there is a chance that the carpet pad or carpet glue contains asbestos. Guidelines for safe removal and disposal of materials containing asbestos are available on the Washington Department of Labor & Industries website.
It’s not garbage, it’s art! From ‘shabby chic’ home decorating projects to egg carton alligators, arts and crafts projects involving unwanted everyday items are a fun way to reduce waste and a unique way to reuse many items that are otherwise destined for the landfill.
Welcoming a new bundle of joy does not need to create an additional source of waste for your household. Luckily, you are not the first parent who needed to stock up on miniature supplies and equipment!
Almost everything parents need to prepare the nursery, closet, diaper bag, car, bathroom and kitchen can be found second hand or made from recycled or sustainable materials. The Seattle area is home to a wide variety of second hand shops and online shopping and exchange sites like Craigslist, Freecycle and Trading Cradles. With spring around the corner, garage sale signs will lead the way to a brave new world of used toys, clothing and equipment for baby.
When your CDs and DVDs have seen better days and you are ready to clear out your collection, consider recycling them. Green Disk, Back Thru the Future and the CD Recycling Center of America offer unique recycling options for CDs and DVDs. Green Disk also accepts other forms of electronic media, cases, cords and cables. While CDs and DVDs cannot be recycled in curbside bins, there are many reuse and alternative recycling options offered by disc recyclers that will keep them out of the landfill. If you are unable to participate in these alternative reuse and recycling programs, place unwanted CDs and DVDs and their cases in the garbage.
Whether you have leftover Styrofoam and packing peanuts from mail-order gifts or just purchased a new TV, you no longer have to throw these packaging materials away. Packing peanuts can be bagged up and donated to any local mail store. Contact the Plastic Loose Fill Council’s Peanut Hotline online or call 1-800-828-2214 for the names of local businesses that reuse them. Block Styrofoam can be recycled for free at Styro Recycle in Renton.
‘Tis the season for holiday parties, family gatherings and raising a toast with friends! If your special event involves wine or champagne, consider collecting your natural corks and drop them off to be recycled. Drop-off locations include Boxwood in Seattle, the Vineyard Wine Shop in Greenwood and DeLille Cellars in Woodinville. Natural (as opposed to plastic) corks are collected locally by ReCork and recycled into shoe components, flooring, gaskets, bulletin boards and sports equipment. Recycling cork is a great way to keep a natural resource out of the landfill!
Do you have unused, broken or unwanted bicycles or bike parts? You can recycle them! CleanScapes has partnered with Bike Works and Seattle’s transfer stations to create a new recycling opportunity in Seattle. At Seattle’s North and South transfer stations bring your bikes and parts to CleanScapes “RE-CYCLING” dumpsters, which are painted bright green and decorated with bicycle decals. All of the bikes and parts collected are taken to Bike Works where youth and adult volunteers of all skill levels help sort and repair broken bikes.
At some point in the life cycle of your clothing, the time comes when no amount of button or zipper repairs, patches or sewing will bring it back to life. Instead of taking up unnecessary landfill space and throwing unusable clothing or shoes in the garbage, there is another option! Retext Northwest is a locally-based company that recycles unwanted textiles, including clothing, shoes and backpacks. Retext collection boxes are located throughout the Puget Sound.
Unusable textiles are recycled into rags, or pulled apart and reprocessed into fibers for paper, upholstery, pet bedding and insulation materials. For your unwanted reusable clothing and shoes, consider taking them to any of the available non-profit donation sites around the city.
Fall’s first frost has come to the Pacific Northwest and with it, the beginning of the rainy season. What better way to tuck in the garden for the winter than to provide thirsty plants with rain catchers. Look no further than your recycling bin for 2-liter water bottles and you have half of what you will need to create bottle-mounted watering spikes.
Is your recycling can ready to lose weight? The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year. Add paper waste reduction to your New Year's resolutions. You can dramatically reduce the amount of paper arriving in your mailbox and on your doorstep by signing up to cancel junk mail, phone books, and catalogs.
Date: 4/30/2011 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Cost: FREE. Bring event flyer or show proof of residency.
Location: Shoreline Park & Ride
Aurora Ave N at 192nd
Shoreline, Washington 98133
Whether you cook with butter, olive oil or pancetta drippings, your used or unwanted cooking oil and grease can have a life-after-dinner as biofuel. While you can put cooking oil and grease in the garbage you now have another choice - support a local and renewable green fuel movement by donating your kitchen oil.
From flashlights to cell phones to hybrid cars, battery power has become an everyday essential for most Americans. Annually, more than three billion household batteries are sold in the United States, producing more than 125,000 tons of waste. Many batteries still contain toxic materials such as mercury and cadmium, which pose a threat to human health and the environment if not disposed of properly.
Switching to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) is an excellent choice to make when it comes to energy savings. However, CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, a highly toxic substance, and are not allowed in the garbage. Here are a few options for recycling CFL tubes and bulbs in Seattle:
The following scenario is probably all too familiar. You’re topping off that delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream, and slowly but surely you run out of gas and that fluffy topping is barely sputtering out. You take out the empty cartridge, glance left at the trash bin, then right at the recycling bin. As an eco-conscious barista, what is one to do!?
Coffee shops are full of odd disposable items. CleanScapes' Waste Diversion team did an audit for a local coffee shop and answered several questions about how to dispose of common coffee shop waste. Read on to find out how to green your coffee shop!
Green thumbs Seattle rest assured: The heaps of empty plastic plant pots sitting outside your garden shed can all be recycled in your curbside recycling! Just be sure to give them a good shake and a rinse. Loose dirt can contaminate loads of recyclables.
Recyclable nursery pots include square and round pots and seedling trays of all colors.
It's not about the numbers! I wish I could answer this question with a simple recycle-by-number chart, but unfortunately plastic recycling requires a bit more scrutiny.
The number on your plastic product describes the plastic composition of your item but does not indicate whether the plastic can be recycled into a new product. Misleading? A little.
Washington State now has a network of free drop-off locations for unwanted electronics. This service began January 1, 2009, thanks to a Washington State law passed in 2006 that puts the onus on electronics manufacturers to pay for recycling costs associated with their products.
There are actually two separate questions bundled into this larger question:
What is the most environmentally sound end use for shredded paper?
How do we get to the correct end use with curbside pickup?