Friday News of the Green 
Personally, we like to recycle. So long as it’s not too much work.

Sound familiar? After all, at least in our town, we can’t just put the paper products in the big blue bin with the plastic and the glass. Noooo. We have to place the paper and the cardboard (and we must open all boxes and flatten those things Flat with a capital F!) and place them in a separate plastic or paper bag.

It’s work. And sometimes, well, we’re lazy and we just throw the gosh darn paper product in with our regular trash.

After all, we justify to ourselves, recycling doesn’t really have a positive impact on reducing the amount of junk in landfills (we say, because we remember reading it somewhere sometime).

Or does it?

Well, says recycling does have a positive impact on keeping trash out of landfills.

Here’s an item that warmed our lazy, but guilt-ridden hearts for all the times we didn’t separate the paper from the blue bin: Don't the trucks used to pick up the recyclable materials from your sidewalk emit more pollutants into the air than are saved by recycling? Well...

“‘You're going to collect waste one way or another,’ points out Jeff Morris, a Washington-based environmental consultant. A recycling program should allow garbage collection to become less frequent (or to use fewer trucks), offsetting the cost and energy involved. Plus, new truck designs can collect both recycling and garbage (at different times), avoiding the huge capital expense of an extra fleet. They can also self-dump specially designed bins, saving time and manpower.”

Read the whole article, titled “Recycling Myths: PM Debunks 5 Half Truths about Recycling.” In addition to the myth busted above, we also liked the debunking of myth number 3, that you and I must place the paper in a different bin than our plastics, otherwise recycling must be done by hand and that’s, well, wasteful:

“These days, processors are beginning to move toward "single-stream" material recovery facilities, which allow homeowners to dump all their recycling in one bin and rely on machines to do the dirty work. According to Eileen Berenyi, a consultant who studies solid waste management, the number of single-stream facilities in the U.S. jumped from 70 in 2001 to 160 in 2007.”

Hallellujah! Let my blue bin full of glass and plastic say hello to my newspapers!!!!


Here’s a spiffy online tool to help green your office environment. It’s brought to us by the Environmental Protection Agency at its ENERGY STAR site . Called ENERGY STAR @work, it’s an animated, interactive office cubical. Click on the stars scattered about the piece and you’ll learn nifty tidbits about how to make your office space more energy efficient.

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