Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Can I Recycle - Dos and Donts

There seems to be lots of confusion as to exactly what you can and can't recycle.

Here are a few things I know for sure, and just a few things I suggest.

The number one rule of all is to know where your recycling is headed, meaning what facility/company is it going to, then find out what their rules are. You see, one place may take certain things where as another may not.

Ted's Recycling bales it's own cardboard and handles it's own aluminum. They are a recycling island unto themselves. Their rules apply.

Doty's bin near the tracks, however, goes to the Montgomery County Recycling Facility in Hillsboro, IL. So the rules of this facility apply to what goes into Doty's bin.

The Green Fiber bins around town belong to a company that makes insulation. They have their own rules to follow. Usually these are on the side of the bin. They do not want ANYTHING with food contamination.

So, onward. There is a big controversy over pizza boxes. Some say don't recycle because Ug! there is food in it. Some say just do it. What is our situation in Greenville?

Well, it just so happens that I asked an employee of the Montgomery County Recycling Facility recently, "Can we recycle pizza boxes?". Her answer was "Yes!" Her reason being that they are allowed 5% contamination in each bale of cardboard that they produce.

Now - this means a little grease spot is OK, but if your pizza box is crusted over with melted cheese and black olives glued to it, I'd perhaps think twice. Try to clean it off as much as possible, and if you can't, then rip off the lid or any part that isn't covered in cheese. However, if its just a few crumbs that can't be shook out and a little grease circle where the pizza was then recycle away!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using the Green Fiber bins that are found around town, then you MAY NOT recycle your pizza boxes. They do not want any food at all in there bins. This takes us back to the most important rule of all found above. Know where your recyclables are going and follow the rules of that facility.

Another fine thing to know: Doty, which again, takes it's stuff to the Montgomery County Facility in Hillsboro, only takes steel and aluminum cans. Aluminum cans only are allowed at this facility. If you have other aluminum stuff that can be recycled then take it to Ted's Recycling. They recycle ALL kinds of aluminum. I asked once if they take pie pans, tin foil, tops of yogurt containers, etc. They said they would if they are completely clean and have no food on them.

Another question: Can you leave the paper labels on glass or steel cans? The answer is yes. The Montgomery County Facility does allow labels on their cans. However, I entreat you to just take an extra second or two and rip them off. Why? Because they can be put in your paper recycling. Just think of all the paper on cans that can be recycled. The same goes for glass jars. Those are a little harder to get off, so don't freak out if you can't. There is actually a cleaning process by which these are taken off in the recycling facilities. But if you can get if off without too much trouble then why not?

I have been asked about the plastic paper windows in envelopes. Again, (you should know the mantra by now) it depends on where you are recycling. Some companies, like Montgomery Co. Recycling want their paper and magazines and such separated. In this case, I would guess that you shouldn't put the plastic window in with paper. (This is a guess and I plan on asking next time I'm there) The Green Fiber bins are another place that I would say, "no" to the plastic windows. As their name suggests, they are after fibrous material. However, if you are taking your paper to Ted's, they take paper, newspaper, magazines, office paper all together in a big bin that says, "Mixed Paper". In this case I think it's OK.

Three last things:

1. Don't panic if you do something wrong. It's OK. You are taking action and making an effort. The only way to do it is just to start and learn as you go. Soon you will be answering other peoples piercing recycling questions.

2. As a general rule, please wash out your recycling. Contamination is not a great thing and it doesn't take a great imagination to think about what a recycling site (like our Doty dumpster) would be like if there was food everywhere. I don't know about you, but I don't want to encounter rodents of any kind. There is inevitably some contamination in the process, however, we can help out the facilities and make their job more productive by washing out our stuff.

3. Think about composting all the food stuff you are scraping out of your recyclables. A huge chunk of what goes into landfills is food. This is really sad, because food in plastic bags emits methane gas which contributes greatly to global warming. People don't realize this fact. However, if food is composted, it's methane release is minor, and it produces rich soil that can be used on vegetable gardens with great results. (read my other posts on composting- or check out one of my green links on how to start composting)

note: you don't have to waste lots of water to do this. Let things soak. Rinse them right away before they get hard. Put glass and some plastic in the dish washer.

I would be glad to entertain any more questions at any time, and I will let you know as I learn too.

Happy recycling!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Art of Composting by Ella B. Peters

My mother-in-law so graciously gave me this information to post on my blog! She has been composting for years, and is a real pro. As you all know, plants arise where ere she walks. I hope this article will be beneficial to many people, me included.


The Art of Composting
by
Ella B. Peters

Most of us were brought up in an era when "waste not - want not" was a well used adage. This alone should spur us on to return to Mother Earth what is hers.

The advantages of adding compost to the soil are numerous. Most importantly you make the soil richer by adding nutrients as well as increasing it's "water-holding" capacity. There is better aeration and texture too! The utter joy "garden addicts" experience spreading the "black gold" around bedding plants and perennials is no small thing either!

There is a misconception among many that one needs large areas to compost or that the whole procedure is to "smelly". Firstly, large areas are nice to have but successful composting does not depend on size. Secondly, if you have odor, this is easily corrected by turning your pile more often. Composting is not expensive either. It's free!!

Compost is a combiniation of high nitrogen and high carbon materials with the addition of air and water. The smaller your "organic stuff" the faster it will break down or decompose. I use a big old blender (bought for a few dollars at a garage sale) for all my vegetable and fruit trimmings as well as egg shells. (It's amazing the amount a two member household can acquire in a day!) I keep a plastic ice cream bucket by my sink so that my husband is reminded that banana peels, etc do not go down the garbage disposal or into the waste can but to the compost heap!

Chewing up leaves with a lawn mower helps speed up the process as well as taking up less space in your pile, box, bag or bin. Using a machete or axe to chop up vines, tough stems (such as from sunflowers) also speeds decomposition.

Compost Recipe
High-carbon materials (fibrous things)
  1. Straw
  2. Saw dust
  3. Shredded newspaper (not glossy magazines or colored newsprint) (I soak my "shreds" in a bucket of water overnight)
  4. Leaves
  5. Hay
  6. Pine needles
  7. Hedge trimmings
High-nitrogen materials (plant materials that break down easily)
  1. Coffee grinds and tea leaves
  2. Lawn clippings
  3. Barnyard manure
  4. Fresh weeds that have not gone to seed
  5. Fruit and vegetable "kitchen parings"
  6. Perennial prunings
DO NOT USE: Meat scraps, grease, bones or dog and cat letter, droppings. These attract rodents and the neighborhood cats and dogs.

Methods of Composting
1. The Black Plastic Bag

If you are extremely limited in space and time, this method is for you! Toss your kitchen trimmings in a large heave garbage bag. (I'd use the blender first.) Add 1/2 cup of water if your trimmings are dry. Remember the compost needs moisture but shoud not be "soppy-wet". Toss in a cup or two of garden soil which has the microbes for break-down. (Store bought soil will not do!) Tie bag and shake. Open bag every 3 days to allow air in. If odor is strong your materials are too wet. You'll have compost 4-5 weeks after you've stopped adding scraps.

2. The Pile Method

One of the simplest ways to compost is to have a pile (or two or three in different stages in a corner of your garden or yard). Fences, flowers or trees are good ways to hide your "pile". Simply build layers of high-nitrogen, high-carbon materials adding a few light layers of garden dirt then sprinkle with water or let the rain do it! Your pile should be at least 3 feet by 3 feet to collect enough heat inside to "cook". Be sure your matting things like grass clippings and leaves are placed in thin layers as they tend to pack down under weight. When this happens anaerobic (without air) bacteria take over and your pile becomes a slimy mess! If you are in a hurry for compost, turn your pile every 3 days but this is not necessary. The composting process slows down in cold weather and speeds up during hot days.

3. The Box

A simply constructed 3 foot by 3 foot box with slats across the bottom for air is a more contained but easier method to compost.

4. Compost Bins

Store bought bins and tumblers are a great idea but more expensive. So far I've resisted the temptation to invest in the beautiful "contraptions" but they are efficient and not as unsightly as a pile. Most gardeners have too much compost for one machine and would need to resort to additional methods.

5. the Barrel

A round 3 foot hight and 2 foot wide barrel is a good compost vehicle that is mobile. Simply poke holes all over the barrel with a hammer and nail. Add your high-carbon and high-nitrogen materials with a little garden soil and water. If your materials are damp, omit the water. Put on the lid and every few days give the barrel a good roll. Put away upright and in 3-4 weeks you should have compost.

I always have been intrigued with the science of composting. If you are not, you may stop reading. The workhorses of the compost heap are the bacteria, fungi and other microbes. These creatures are found in common garden soil and every garden has them! They multiply by the billions in new compost and begin breaking down the material. This process generates or creates heat through oxidation. As the microbes break down the matter, they make "yummy" nutrients for the next "people" in the chain of critters such as mites and protozoa. The next group of workers are the millipedes, worms and sow bugs. Some times I look at my compost pile and wonder what's all in there. It's down right scary.

Tips for Composting

A person should own a pitchfork or what farmers call a hay or manure fork. It has 5 or 6 tines that make it easy to turn your pile or add layers. Do not turn your heap until it is ready. The heat inside is needed for good break down and the center of the pile should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. One measures the temperature by inserting a thermometer in the center of the pile (or inserting your hand. It should feel real warm. Yuk!) If you do the turning now you'll actually slow down the process. It's ready to turn when the center of the pile cools down to the same temperature as the outside layer. Turning at this time introduces air and new material.

The commercial liquid and powder bio activators which contain microbes have decreased in popularity lately. In fact, latest data tell us this is an unnecessary expense and garden soil does just as well. I like to use it. Maybe it is in my mind but I think it helps speed the break-down. Ahem!

Sources
  1. Rodaler Perennial Encyclopedia
  2. Ortho's Easy Composting
  3. Garden Gate Magazine
  4. Better Homes and Gardens Book
  5. Spring Hill Nursery Leaflet
  6. Data from fellow gardeners
  7. Personal experience
Turn compost every 3 days after Temp is 131 degrees
30 to one ratio of carbon to nitrogen


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seven New (Garbage) Wonders of the World - 2006 article

I just read this article that popped up when I googled about man made structures that can be seen from outer-space. I am feeling so dejected right now.

I encourage all of you to read this article that can be found at

http://www.nyinquirer.com/nyinquirer/2006/11/seven_new_garba.html

I know the name sounds goofy, but it seems like a reputable site. It has links within the article that you should read as well, like the one about the field of floating plastic trash bigger than Texas, or the cartoon character, Yucca Mountain Johnny, that helps explain Yucca Mountain to children in Nevada.

What I don't get is how we never hear about this kind of news. I did see a show once last year about the plastic in the Pacific, but it was a small blurb. Isn't anyone who is in charge of this show disturbed at all by what is going on? Or do they not care because ultimately there is money and business involved.

I know, I know, no easy answers. But can't we at least go spend some of the money that just gets thrown around for any inane reason, and clean up the Texas size floating mass in the Pacific. I don't know. Perhaps that could be a start.

I just want to shout, "WAKE UP PEOPLE." We are all responsible for this mess and we need to start acting like it. We are killing ourselves by these actions. We are killing our planet. We can stop. How? JUST STOP!! Refuse to continue throwing away plastic in the trash. Refuse to continue throwing away steel and aluminum cans in the trash. Refuse to continue throwing away anything that can be recycled or reused by someone. Purchase less packaging. Refuse plastic bags when you shop. Bring your own cloth bags and when they get dirty, wash them. Just stop.

If enough consumers change their consuming habits, companies will notice and change too. We DO have power over this problem. We can change it, and our actions DO matter.

By the way, money is the root of all evil.

Refuse to participate in this evil.

Just stop.

Oh, I almost forgot. The other man made structure that can be seen from outer-space is Fresh Kills Landfill, Staten Island, USA. Used by NYC for 50 years and received 29,000 tons of garbage per day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresh_Kills_Landfill

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

America Recycles Day - November 15


Lately I have been reading some very negative view points about recycling and how it really doesn't save much of anything. Some nay sayers comment on how much contamination goes into recycling facilities and ends up costing more time and effort than its worth. For example, a contriband plastic bag or shredded paper gets caught in the machine, and it causes the facility hours of work to free up the trapped waste, costing the facility more money than they will ever receive.

Other negative views state that the companies that sell us products packaged in all these containers that need to be recycled, are footing the responsibility to us, the consumers, to clean up their mess. They say, "don't recycle," then maybe these companies will take more responsibility for their messes.

I say this. A lot of people can spend a lot of time griping and arguing about many details pertaining to recycling. One could spin endlessly trying to decided, "should I, or shouldn't I," and never get a black and white answer. Like everything, the system is not perfect. There is contamination in recycling facilities, and people do waste a lot of time and money dealing with the "glitches".

I don't think, however, that these negative friends are taking into consideration the ripple effect that recycling can have on a person's life. By choosing to take action, and to "just start," despite all things that point to why you shouldn't, you will make a difference - for the planet, for yourself, and for others.

Personally, I can attest to this. Our recycling has had profound effects on our lives. We became more mindful of the waste in our lives, and of our own indifference. We live, as Americans, a very shallow, consumeristic lifestyle that says, "it's ok if it's not just right, or too old, or broken, or just outdated - throw it out. You can always get something else". Just seeing the mountain of "trash" that would have been going into our trash cans, was enough to give us pause. "Where is all of this cardboard coming from?" We had no idea that we threw out so much cardboard. "Are we really buying all this stuff?" Lots of children's things are packaged to death, with lots of excess cardboard.

Another example of this was with the cans. "Why are there so many cans? When did we stop eating real food? What does "fresh" taste like? What does our money support if we are not buying locally? Are our eating habits supporting unethical practices abroad?"

Well, I could talk a lot here about this road, but I will keep it short as not to sound too preachy. That's not my intent. Here is a little of our road. Recycling led to less spending... led to realization of consumeristic lifestyle... led to putting God back into first place in our lives... led to releasing our money to God... led to giving like never before... led to relief of poverty over seas and locally ...led to greater desire to give... led to realizing how our actions impact the poor globally... led to wanting to change more...led to composting...led to gardening... led to desire to can our own food... led to greater thankful perspective on the bounty that the earth provides us all... I could go on.

The point, recycling is so much bigger than the actual act. It's that, plus a lot more. Then, when you add the other two Rs of Reduce and Reuse, the impact is even greater. December will be the end of our year of buying nothing new. Another result of the road afore mentioned. Our spending is unrecognizable. We reuse more, and we reduce our trash just by buying less- less packaging.

Yes there are problems with recycling. Yes you could argue that it's not worth it when you throw in all the glitches. But when you look at the global picture of the change that occurs within yourself and your actions, and the impact that you have on friends, family, and biggest of all, your children, there is no question that it is effective, transformative, and in fact, DOES make a difference.

And if you don't buy any of that, buy this---It's just the right thing to do. We don't trash our homes, why would we trash God's earth, the very thing that gives us life and sustains us?

Please join with people all over our great country and make November 15th, America Recycles Day, the day that you begin your journey on your own road. See for yourself what a difference you can make!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Believing in Something Can Do

When you really believe in something, it's amazing what you can do for that cause.

I am definitely not a bug person. The day I lifted my bags full of recyclables out of the wooden crate I keep them in and found roaches running for cover, I did do a pause. But then I just took a deep breath and loaded them up for recycling. Mind you, I did take out each item very carefully, and it probably took me twice as long that day to empty out my sacks, but I just did the deed. Anyone who knows me, knows that I really must care about our earth to do this.

Note here: if you wash out your stuff real well, it will help with bugs. I haven't seen any since that day, because I rinse stuff out well, especially in the summer. I also have my stuff on a back porch. If yours is inside the house/kitchen, I'm sure it won't be a problem at all. Please keep reading.

Another example of dedication for the cause, happened this summer. I, as I'm sure many of you, went to several out door feeds, picnics, and various asundry eating frenzies a la fresco. The standard for these are plastic plates, cups, and utensils, with napkins galore. It pained me every time I saw people throwing away recyclable items. Everyone agreed what a shame it was, but nothing was done. Finally, I decided to take action, and began digging in the trash can at one event, retrieving all the plastic that could be recycled. We are talking up to the waist here. It was a deep can. I did look around while I was down in there, and what I was seeing wasn't so much what I was liking. Again, a deep breath was required.

After retrieving everything I could (luckily I started early on) I stood guard and stopped each person approaching the can with the goods. "Hand them over. Give me your recyclables!" Isn't life fun? Soon a friend came and happily pitched in, pulling another bag and a huge paper sign that read, "recyclables" out of the air. She set up two cans - one for trash, and one for recycling. Everyone was thrilled and gushed at what a great idea it was, participating fully and with gladness.

I guess I have two points.

First, no matter how strongly you feel about something, nothing actually gets done without some action. The action makes it real, not to mention accomplishes something for what you believe is worthwhile.

Secondly, when you believe something to be true, to the very bones of you, things become possible for you to do, as actions, that were not possible before. You are endowed with moral strength. The kind that says, "I don't care if there are cock roaches in my hair," or "I'm waist deep in a smelly trash can with people standing all around me, but it's OK."

And well, I guess there is a third thing-- more often than not, it has been my experience anyway, that you will soon find yourself not alone, but with other people who feel just as strongly, waist deep in that trash can too.

My actions matter, your actions matter. They change stuff. They change you. They change other people. They change the world.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Composting

Composting is actually the best thing ever!!

I tried to get my husband to compost forever, but he just didn't want to make the effort for fear it would not be right. It turns out that it is quite simple, and nature just takes it's course.
I think the story goes something like this: I just walked out by our shed one day and said, "We're going to compost now." I grabbed some big rocks and put some of our rotting fence that you may have been noticing :') on top of the rocks. Shazam, a compost pit!! (actually, it was more like my husband grabbed the heavy rocks and rotting fence :') We started dumping.
It is so satisfying to see our leftover scraps being turned into rich soil that we will use for our garden next year. It does not stink at all, and saves even more in our trash cans. We hardly have to take our trash out at all, and actually have a difficult time remembering to do so when we really need to.
We keep a bucket, one of those prairie farms ice cream things, under our kitchen sink right by our trash can. Everything that can goes in there. We empty it out once a day, or more. I was very surprised to find how much we were throwing out that is good for soil. It doesn't sit long enough to even start to smell.
Things that can go in compost that you might not be aware of: napkins and paper towels (if using them, but try to stop and go to cloth please :'), hair (if giving children haircuts), dead flowers from arrangements, yucky weeds (if not too aggressive), leaves, and ... can't think of anything else now. Of course, anything food related. As my mother in law says, "give back to the earth what came from the earth."
I don't have the citation, but I did read in an article in Time magazine that our food that goes into tied bags and put on the landfill actually make up a large amount of carbon emissions. So, if you can't afford an electric car right now, that's OK, because you can make a pile of goo just outside your house.
The biggest secret of all... it's fun!!! We get a kick out of chucking things into the woods and providing our local raccoons with tasty first picks. They leave the neighborhood trash cans alone more too.
My husband received a huge pitch fork to turn the pile with. It is soo cool, and did I say fun? I'm looking forward to using our home grown dirt to grow our veggies next season.

Happy composting!!!!

What Do I Do With my Glass??

Right now I am taking my glass up to Edwardsville whenever I go there.

There is a long, low, blue bin close to the main highway in the parking lot of Home Depot.

In this bin is a container for glass.


My tip would be not to buy glass whenever you can get plastic or something else. We really don't have much glass these days, so it's no big deal to wait a month or two before hauling it up to Edwardsville.


You can also reuse glass containers for various things around the house. Some glass jars make cool vases, or storage containers, banks, or plant growers. Be creative. Art is another option. I think maybe Highland recycling may take some glass for art projects. You may want to check if this is still the case.

Highland Recycling at 618-654-3293.

Where to Recycle in Greenville - UPDATED February 27/2010

The #1 place to recycle in Greenville:

Your very own curbside!!!!

If you live in Greenville, IL within the city limits, you will be receiving a blue bin on wheels that you can use for recyclable material. This container is single stream, meaning that no sorting is required. You should have received a flyer from QRS with your water/trash bill that shows you clearly what QRS accepts. Be sure to rinse your materials before putting them in your bin. Nothing with food substances should go in these bins. These bins get put out on the same day as your normal trash.

You may single stream in your very own blue bin:
  • Cardboard (break down to make more room)
  • Plastic 1-7
  • Aluminum
  • Tin Cans
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Mixed Paper
  • NO GLASS
This service begins in Greenville on March 1, 2010!


For those outside the city limits:

Doty
Dumpster
1-618-487-5794
located at railroad tracks by FS
Turn South at Harris and 2nd

Also can turn East at 3rd and Water


THESE DUMPSTERS ARE NOW SINGLE STREAM

You may single stream:
  • Cardboard (break down to make more room)
  • Plastic 1-7
  • Aluminum
  • Tin Cans
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Mixed Paper
  • NO GLASS


Ted's Recycling 1-618-326-7399 ***NEW LOCATION
1164 Mulberry Grove Rd., Mulberry Grove, IL
South of the interstate.
Going east on 40- turn right at 4-way stop,
go over interstate and it's on the left.
OR take Mulberry Grove Exit ramp and it's right there, then get right back on entry ramp to 70E to Vandalia.

Everything is inside now, which means that you have to go during business hours:
M-F 8am-5pm
Sat. 8am-12pm


  • Aluminum
  • Iron
  • Steel
  • Cardboard
  • Mixed paper
NOTE: Besides Aluminum in bulk, they take: Aluminum cans, Aluminum pie pans, tin foil, Hershey kiss wrappers
***HOWEVER***
1. These items must be CLEANED of all food.
2. All other aluminum products MUST BE SEPARATE from cans.
They are processed differently.

IGA
1-618-664-0022
  • plastic shopping bags
recycling container near check out lanes


Will-O-Th'-Wind
1-618-664-3353
  • Re-chargeable batteries
  • Working cell phones (if not working, will only take the rechargeable battery)

Home Depot Parking Lot Bin (bin through Madison Co.) 1-618-659-3682
2500 Troy Road, Edwardsville
Bin is there M-F only!


  • Glass!
(they take other things too, like plastic, magazines, paper)

Inside HomeDepot

  • Energy saving light-bulbs

Montgomery Co. Recycling - Hillsboro
1-217-532-9577
Chris Daniels - Manager

  • Plastics 1-7
  • Cardboard
  • Steel/tin and aluminum cans
  • Newspapers
  • Paper

Highland Recycling Center
329 Madison St., Highland
1-618-654-3293

  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Bulk Mail
  • Phone Books
  • Office Paper
  • Shredded Paper
  • Aluminum Cans and Aluminum Scrap
  • Batteries
  • Steel, Copper, Lead, Brass, Wire, Magnesium, Stainless Steel
  • Catalytic Converters


Office Depot in Edwardsville

6647 Edwardsville Crossing Drive
Edwardsville, IL

  • Cell phones
  • Computer monitors
  • Electronics
  • Inkjet Cartridges
  • NiCad Batteries
  • Office Machines
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Televisions
  • Toner Cartridges
PLEASE go to this link for exact specifications and detailed instructions for above items!!!!
Office Depot in Edwardsville Specifications for Recycling

NOTE: Some of these services require a Tech Box for recycling, where you purchase a box for $5, $10, or $15, put your stuff in, and it gets shipped off. AGAIN, be sure to check link above for details on your recyclable item!

Eagle Recycling Services
26099 Wiedle Road
Carlyle, IL 62231
1-618-226-3478

They buy the following items by the pound:
  • Whole Computers - .10
  • Lap Tops - .13
  • Hard Drives - .15
  • Mother boards and sound/video cards - 1.75
  • Power Supplies - .05
  • Disc & Floppy Drives - .03
  • Cell Phones (without batteries) - .05
  • Monitor board & circuit board scrap - .02
  • Memory Scrap - 3.10
  • Ceramic processor chips 386/486 only - 23.00
  • Ceramic processor chips - medium grade - 13.00
  • Ceramic processor chips - low grade - 3.00
  • Computer Housing - (tin) - .02
  • Batteries - NI cad - LI ion - NiMh - .13
  • Ribbon wire - .20
  • All other insulated copper wire - .65
  • also brass, copper and aluminum

(prices subject to change without notice)

accept but do NOT buy:
  • monitors

Charge $5.00 for TV sets

Guarantee destruction of ALL e-scrap (can watch destroy hard drives if desire)
No min quantity required

Web Innovations and Tech Services - St. Louis/Danville, IL
witsinc.org

Here is the list of materials we accept:

  • Computers, Monitors($5 fee), Printers, Cables and Peripherals (keyboards and Mice etc)
  • Office Equipment, Business equipment and machinery including most furniture and operations equipment
  • Networking equipment, Server, telecommunications, Phones,cell phones, clocks, etc
  • Tv’s($10, 15 or 20 fee based on size), VCR, Stereos and like audio and video equipment including cable/satellite
    · Home electronics, blenders, toasters, irons etc and most home furniture(please call)
    · White Goods: Washers, Dryers, dishwashers, furnaces etc ($5 fee)
    · Medical Equipment and all types Diagnostic equipment
    · Electrical, cabling, and Communication machinery and equipment
    · Industrial machinery and equipment including power and gas equipment.
    Lawn Equipment, tools, old mowers, tillers etc.
    · Air conditioners, refrigerators, humidifiers and other Freon containing devices($5 fee)
    · Old motors, transformers, and other electrical equipment.
    · Car and lead-containing batteries and items
    · Cd's, VHS, DVD, Cassette, DAT, and all type of data tapes



For more details on How tos and Tips of Recycling click here: What Can I Recycle Dos and Donts

Transformed through Trash

When I lived out east, recycling was a requirement. We all had our bins to set curb-side and it was dutifully picked up by the sanitation department. It was clear that with so many people occupying such little space the trash would consume us all if we did not reduce our quantity. It made sense, it was the norm, and we recycled.

Upon moving to Greenville, I went into culture shock. I can remember feeling horrified by my own hand placing can after can into the trash. In my daze of moving, staying at home with a toddler in a rented house, and expecting a new baby, I half- heartedly asked about recycling and was met with shrugs and “I don’t knows.” Slowly I became quite skilled at tossing anything away with no thought.

I’m not sure how it happened. If it was my recent education on the state of world poverty from Sider’s book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, or Katrina’s devastation- among others, reading the Old Testament through, or Al Gore’s movie about global warming, The Inconvenient Truth. . . but, I woke up one day and knew. I had to recycle. I can hear your chuckles, but I’m dead serious. I realized my actions matter, despite how small or insignificant they may seem. This was no longer a case of recycling to follow the rules, but recycling to change the world. Along with recycling comes reducing and reusing. The three Rs.

I’ve been told by critics that the water I use to rinse out my cans is a waste, and that the gas I use to drop off my recycling is a waste and pollutes the air. This may be true, but I can say this, that we’ve reduced our weekly trash by half. If every one in Greenville did the same, that land fill at the edge of town wouldn’t be so full. Materials would be reused and not just rotting in the ground. My children know the difference between trash and something that can be recycled, and their habits and attitudes could be crucial to the earth in future years. I have also been changed through this process of recycling. My spending habits have changed drastically. I give more, I donate more, I reuse more, and overall I feel less bogged down with stuff or the desire for more stuff. Overall, I think it’s worth a little extra water or gas. Plus, I’ve found that if you drop off recycling on the way to the store or running other errands, it’s not costing that much more. Also, if you rinse your cans out right away before the food gets dried, it comes out easily with hardly any water used. For those sticklers out there, you can use the same water to rinse multiple cans.

We are a wealthy country in a world of poverty. We look around and see wide open spaces of land and feel no need to reduce our trash. We no longer have the luxury of living like we are the only ones on the planet. Our actions do matter. The Feb. 19th issue of Time ran an article stating that according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC), they “concluded for the first time that evidence of the earth’s rising temperatures was “unequivocal” and that this warming was more than 90% likely to be the result of human activity.” The article, Raising the Climate Stakes, goes on to say that even if things were miraculously fixed tomorrow “we are locked into more climate change” at least through the century. Even with 600 scientists from 40 countries declaring officially there is global warming, leaders are fighting over who should change. It reminds me of my children – “No, you first,” “That’s not fair, you first.” China wants its “hay-day” of industrial living and feels the US was first to cause all the major carbon emissions, so the US should be first to clean up their act.

I think if there is to be change, it will be from people like you and me. People who decide to change their lives in small and big ways, and demand more out of companies and industries that drive this monster. If we know that our actions in this wealthy land contribute to climate changes and weather patterns that devastate poorer countries, or our own, how can we not change? I believe it becomes a moral issue.

As the hymn goes, “This is Our Father’s World”. We were given it to tend and care for. It’s not just a rock. It’s alive, it breathes, it sustains us, and it speaks out, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard, yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world,” Psalm 19.

I hope this site will be a way to help myself and others live more consciously. I also hope this site will be a source for practical information on living green which will help us all to live clean and lean in the great city of Greenville.

bulk of article written in 2/2007

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