Sunday, August 28, 2011

Recycling Event - September 2011

What is Hard To Recycle?

The average American generates 4.6 pounds of trash PER DAY – but most Americans only recycle 1.5 lbs of such waste.

The Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) in partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department and Colcom Foundation is providing opportunities for area residents to properly dispose of a wide variety of materials at  “hard to recycle” collection events scheduled in 2011.

At the upcoming events, individuals can drop off televisions, e-waste, cell phones, printer/toner cartridges, compact fluorescent bulbs, alkaline batteries and tires without rims for recycling.

There is a new focus on not just recycling but also reuse at this year’s events.  PRC is partnering once again with Global Links which will enable area residents to drop off medical equipment and supplies – such as crutches, canes, and walkers – at PRC collection events at no cost and Construction Junction will be present at every event collecting usable building material (for more details visit for reuse.

NEW THIS YEAR – PRC welcomes partner Off the Floor.  Off the Floor is a local organization who works to get gently used furniture into the hands of in need families in the region.  Off the Floor will be collecting gently used furniture at all Hard to Recycle Events in 2011!  Visit for details on what they will accept.

2011 Schedule

 Saturday, September 17th 2011
Location Pittsburgh Mills
590 Pittsburgh Mills Circle, Tarentum, PA 15084

Acceptable Materials

  • CFLs: –FREE- Thanks to Duquesne Light’s Watt Choices Team!
  • E-waste: Computers, TVs, Laptops– Free
  • E-waste: Printers, Scanners, Stereo’s, Small Appliances – Fees Apply

  • Tires – Fees Apply

  • Medical Supplies (Crutches, Wheelchairs, etc)
    NO Prescriptions  Visit for a more detailed list

  • USUABLE Building Materials Visit for a detailed list

  • Batteries Fees Apply

  • Cell Phones/Ink and Toner Cartridges Free

  • Fluorescent tubes Fees Apply

  • Gently used furniture (dressers, beds, etc.) for detailed list

  • Reusable Tote BagsFree - Visit for details
For more info, please visit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waste Haulers and Manufactures the Truth Behind the Story

Manufacturing of any product produces a magnitude of waste. I have been in the waste industry for over 20 years in the USA and in Europe. So, as and expert in the waste industry, I have seen the sheer enormity of waste produced by manufacturers. The amount of waste produced in the production of most products is an enormous problem for the manufacturer.

As the producer of large amounts of waste, you have the issues of health and safety, pollution control, equipment needed to remove the waste, the placement of equipment for ease of use, the cost of complying with state and local regulations and the removal of the waste. The waste industry knows what a huge problem this is for manufacturers and they do their best to keep it that way. I don't say that in a malicious context.

I say it because it's the way the waste hauler makes its money. After all, they are called waste haulers because they haul your waste away. And the more waste you produce, the more profit they make. I'm sure that you have sat across the table from your local hauler and heard them tell you how they can move your waste and comply with all the legal issues that you have concerning the waste you produce. And they can. I'm not disputing that at all.

What I am disputing is the image that they portray as the people that you can trust to do the job in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way possible. In the twenty years that I have been helping manufacturers deal with their waste removal, the one thing they have all said to me is "I believe that I am paying way too much to remove my waste". The truth is they are! It is not in the best interest of the hauler and its profits to be or to even offer a way to be efficient. Quite frankly their unscrupulous strategy is to be as inefficient as possible.

Today's waste haulers are in an industry that produces billions of dollars. They have done their research and planned ahead for the best ways to keep their profits up and grow their business in the same way that you have. The difference, in my opinion, is in the unscrupulous strategies they employ to achieve there goals. To give you an example, a waste hauler will tell you that the best way to handle your waste is to use open-top roll-off containers and that this is the way you can keep your cost down by fitting a lot of waste into one container. They will only charge you for the pull plus tonnage. On the surface this seems reasonable. But here is where there unscrupulous strategy comes in. They will place a roll-off container on your site. You start to put your waste in to it and they come and haul it away. Sounds good right? They are pulling the "full" roll-off away and replacing it with an empty and charging you each time they pull it.

What you don't realize is that the "full" roll-off they are taking away isn't full (not sufficient tonnage in container to be considered full)! The hauler will come in and pull that roll-off as much as he possibly can. The least amount of waste in the roll-off the better. I have seen them pull roll-offs when they weren't even a quarter full. And you the customer still have the full charge to pay. Remember, we are talking about waste haulers and they are charging you every time they hook up to that roll-off and haul it away. There is the tonnage charge for the waste that is in the roll-off. But where the waste hauler really makes his money is with the haul charge. So, the more times he can haul a roll-off away with the least amount of waste the more money he makes. Let's take it a step further. Let's say that as the customer you saw this was happening and confronted your waste hauler with it. I can tell you right now that they have a myriad of canned excuses that have been researched.

These are excuses that you, as the customer, can't really argue with. Let's just name a few:
1) we just wanted to make sure you weren't left with a roll-off that was overflowing;
2) you are on a scheduled time for pick up and my drivers don't have time to climb out of their truck to see how full your roll-off is;
3) We are just trying to give you the best service we can.

If you where to push them for a solution to the problem. They will offer you a ram compactor for what they consider to be a reasonable cost. They will sell it to you as the best way to get as much waste into a container as possible and reduce the number of pulls for which you are charged.
Again, sounds good, doesn't it? This will reduce the number of pulls slightly and your cost per month will go down slightly. But they know that they will make that lost revenue back when they raise your cost per pull which they do at least once a year anyway.

Let's ask ourselves, why didn't they offer a ram compactor sooner? Why did you have to push them for a solution to a problem they created? Answer: PROFIT! Let's also ask ourselves, why is the ram compactor the machine of choice for the waste hauler and not some of the other waste handling machines out there? Answer: The ram compactor has been around for 50+ years and is inefficient.
It is very old technology. The hauler knows how to turn the pressure down on them if they chose, to where they are not much better than an open top roll-off. And they can still control how often it gets hauled. Because you can't see the inside of a ram compactor, you can't tell if it is full or not. So you get charged accordingly.

The big issue here is not the haulers' using unscrupulous tactics to make their enormous profits but that the manufacturers are forced into the position of trusting that the advice of the hauler is in their best interest. They believe the image that the haulers are being efficient and fair with the service they are providing. There are answers out there that stop the haulers from using these tactics. The trick is to ask for the answers from someone in the industry other than the same hauler who stands to profit the most.

Mr. Robert Kamppi has been in the Waste industry here in the United States and in Europe for over 20 years. He has worked with National Waste Haulers, Equipment Manufacturers and as consultant to Manufacturers and industry. He has also become an independent, trusted and valued expert nationally on waste hauling efficiency and reduced environmental impact strategies for many companies. He is currently involved with the introduction and placement of next generation High efficiency waste control equipment. Mr. Kamppi firmly believes that Manufacturers and Industry leaders that are looking to lessen there impact on the environment and lessen the impact of waste removal on there bottom line profits should investigate this new equipment. You can contact Mr. Kamppi at his web site for more information or to ask any questions

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hazardous Waste - Managing Hazardous Waste In The Workplace

The phrase "hazardous waste" is often misunderstood. Many people would assume that hazardous waste relates to chemical waste and toxic waste. This of course is true, but what many businesses do not realise is that many day to day items such as aerosols, paints, computer monitors, fluorescent tubes, fridges and certain cleaning products, are also classed as hazardous waste. At some point the majority of businesses will therefore produce some form of hazardous waste, which will need to be disposed of in the correct manner.

Following the introduction of the Hazardous Waste Regulations in July 2005, the number of items classed as hazardous has significantly increased. Since this date, producers of hazardous waste have also been required to register as a hazardous waste producer with the Environment Agency. The aim of the new regulations was not only to reduce the amount of hazardous waste produced and disposed of, but also to produce a "cradle to grave" monitoring system for the hazardous waste that was produced.
Some shops and offices may be exempt from having to register as a hazardous waste producer if they produce less than 200kg of hazardous waste within a 12 month period. However, due to the wide classification of hazardous waste that is now in place, a large percentage of businesses, especially industrial businesses, will have to register.

When should a business register as a hazardous waste producer?
The correct answer to this is as soon as hazardous waste is produced. However, in practice most businesses will not register until they require their first collection of hazardous waste since the new regulations were implemented. The main reason for this is because many businesses will not realise that they need to register until they have contacted a hazardous waste disposal company to collect their waste.

If a business has more than one premises, each premises that produces hazardous waste will need to be registered as a hazardous waste producer. The registration process can either be done by the company itself, or can be done by a hazardous waste disposal company on their behalf.
If your business produces hazardous waste you must keep the waste separate from your non-hazardous waste and make sure it is correctly labelled. Even when the waste is collected by a registered waste carrier, ensuring the consignment note is completed correctly remains the responsibility of the waste producer.

If you are unsure whether the waste your business produces is hazardous, seek advice from the Environment Agency. Alternatively, contact a specialist hazardous waste disposal company who will be able to use their knowledge and experience to help identify the waste and provide expert advice as to the correct storage and disposal methods for the waste.
Depending on the amount of hazardous waste that you produce, most specialist waste management companies will also be able to carry out a waste audit of your site to access the best way to deal with each of the different waste streams that your business produces.
Utopia Waste Management is an independent waste management company based in the UK which provides a full range of waste management and recycling services. We specialise in providing cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions for the specific waste management requirements of individual businesses. Our range of services include hazardous waste disposal, fluorescent tube recycling, asbestos disposal, confidential waste destruction and the recycling of electrical items under the WEEE Directive. For further information please visit our website at

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Recycling Program - 5 Things That You Can Recycle

Contrary to what many people would have you believe you can make a difference to your environment in most countries of the world these days, you can start immediately, and it won't need to cost you a penny. You can do your part to help save the environment by participating in the recycling program in your city or state.

Here are some of the different items you can recycle, as well as ways to make your community efforts count.

1. Cell Phones
If you have an old cell phone that you don't use anymore, you can donate it to a recycling program in your area, so that some of the undamaged parts can be used to create new phones. In some cases, these phones are reprogrammed and given to the less fortunate. Cell phone recycling has even been used to help families with loved ones fighting in Iraq and the phones have brought these families closer by providing a more effective way for families to communicate with one another. For more information on how you can get involved with this type of recycling program, visit search on cell phone recycling in your local telephone directory, on contact your local authority for the nearest recycling point.
In Europe cell phones are classed as WEEE. That means that you have the right to expect you original cell phone shop to accept your returned phone once it is no longer needed. So, if in Europe you don't know where to recycle your phone you can simply take it back to the shop where you bought it.

2. Energy Saving Light Bulbs
If you use 'regular' light bulbs, known as tungsten filament bulbs, in your home, you can start right now by replacing each one as it fails with a new energy saving bulb. Some large stores are so keen to ensure that there customers adopt the low carbon emission bulbs that don't use as nearly much energy, that they are offering them at reduced prices. One example in Europe is IKEA where their energy efficient bulbs are a fraction of the cost of the same bulbs in other stores.

3. Glass Bottle and Metal Cans
You can save the glass bottles that mineral water or some sodas are packaged in; the glass can be used to create another bottle, or for parts of another new glass product. Also, if you drink soda or canned juices often, you can recycle the metal cans, or save the tops and take them to your local recycling center; some centers even offer a small monetary reward.

4. Waste Paper
Save your newspapers and all clean waste paper and take it to the waste paper recycling bins at your local household waste recycling centre. This waste paper is then processed and used in recycled paper products, saving new trees from being felled.

5. Car Batteries
Take your old car batteries to a recycling centre and leave them in the "battery" bay provided. These batteries contain strong acid and lead. To allow these chemicals into the environment is highly dangerous and polluting. If you recycle nothing else, please recycle old vehicle batteries, even just to protect children who may pick one up and suffer acid burns if left around or dumped.

One Thing That Cannot be Recycled is Small Batteries
Many people think that small batteries can also be recycled. If you have used penlight and torch batteries to power an electronic device or toy these simply must be disposed of sensibly in your rubbish bin, or take them to your local recycling centre where there is usually a battery recycling box. This is important as these batteries may contain small amounts of toxic chemicals.
Some small batteries are re-chargeable types. If these are still holding their charge when re-charged, they can be recharged and sold as 'green batteries', which could help your the city to save money, and protect the environment from being polluted by the chemical materials inside each battery.
You can find out which drop-off points are available for recyclable items, in your city, by visiting your local authority's web site.
If the Council has not already provided you with recycling bins, you can in most cities and towns request recycling bins from your local sanitation department. Then take direct action by simply starting yourself to separate your trash into a bag of sorted recyclable material so that it can be sorted again, bulked up, and transported to a processing plant, for use by the new user, and used again. Plus, a bag or bin of the remaining waste.

Teaching your children to recycle at an early age will also help to make them more sensitive to the needs of the environment, and will teach them to conserve natural resources.
For more information on recycling programs in the UK, and how throughout Europe there are big investments now taking place to massively improve recycling rates and reduce landfilling of waste. Then visit The Mechanical Biological Treatment Plant web site.
For other information about waste management and recycling we also recommend a visit to The Landfill Site web site.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Where to Recycle Plastic

If you have been paying attention to any current events lately you are well aware that it is vitally important to recycle many products so that we may help save our Earth. Most common household items that are made of glass, plastic and newspaper are recyclable nowadays. While you may know that it is important to recycle you might just not know where to do your recycling. There are several places that you can do your recycling and you can even do it at your very own home.
One place where you can recycle all of your plastic products is at your very own house. Many cities have implemented a local recycling program where city workers will collect your recyclable products on the same day that they collect your trash. Recycling plastic through this city service is quite easy and saves a lot of time. All you need to do is place your recyclable products into the appropriate bins and place them by the curb on your designated garbage day. Your city workers will then dispose of your recyclables in a proper fashion.

Another way that you can recycle plastic is by taking your recyclable products to your local recycling center yourself. This might be a good option if your city or town does not offer recycling pick up. You will need to separate all your recyclables into their appropriate categories of glass, plastic or newspaper. When you get to the recycling center then you can just dump your products into the correct bins. However, it is important that you place each item in the correct bins so that you do not mess with the recycling center's process.

Recycling plastic products is now more important than ever. In order to help save our Earth we will need to recycle as many plastic products as possible. Luckily there are several places where we can recycle our plastics. The easiest place to recycle your plastic is in your own home using your city's recycling pickup service. This service usually coincides with your trash collect and only requires that you place your recyclable plastic containers in marked bins near the curb. Another place where you can recycle plastic is at your local recycling center. This will require you to drive your recyclables to the recycling plant but also allows you to recycle your plastic items much more frequently. If everyone would chip in and do their part we would be making great strides towards having a greener Earth.
Alton Trevino is an environmentally conscious individual and feels it is important to recycle and teach others about the benefits of recycling. Please visit the following pages to find some interesting facts about recycling in general as well as facts about recycling plastic.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to Set Up a Recycling Program in Educational Facilities


As the founder of the German Green Party, Petra Kelly once said "If we don't do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable." It is time we answered Kelly's call to action and set into motion the necessary steps to revitalize the earth, such as, integrating recycling programs within local communities. The simple practice of generating new uses for discarded materials conserves natural resources, reduces air pollution, saves energy and downsizes landfills. For example, if everyone in the country recycled a newspaper a week thirty-six million trees a year would be saved.
There are six steps involved with setting up a recycling program in an educational facility:
1. Consult a waste collection service
2. Determine what is needed
3. Gather equipment
4. Organize
5. Roll out the program
6. Maintain program

This guide will outline each of these steps in detail and how to use them to implement a successful recycling program.

Step 1: Consult a Waste Collection Service
Before introducing a program determine what type of recycling is possible for the area. Contact the local municipality and find out who collects waste and recyclables for educational facilities in the area. When contacting the municipality evaluate their customer satisfaction and collection costs.
Each community has a different procedure for collecting recyclables. Find out from the waste hauler what the collection requirements are in the area including:
o What types of materials are collected
o How materials are separated
o What color schemes are used
o What types of containers are accepted
o When are materials collected
o How much does it cost
o What type of areas work with the collection trucks
o What happens when the program requirements change

Step 2: Determine What Is Needed
Determine how much and what type of waste is generated in the school. Apply it to the specifications provided by the hauler and the anticipated level of traffic for the area. Together this information will provide what is needed for the recycling program to run. For example, an elementary school may require mid-sized centralized containers or small desk-side bins for each classroom. The type of recycling bin which will work best will depend on how often it will be emptied, the amount of staff contributing to it, student enrolment, possible janitorial services and the size of the area.
A great way to determine what is needed for a recycling program is by seeking the input and approval of those in the space. Applying the advice of administrative staff, teachers and parents can encourage future program use. It can also ensure that an appropriate recycling program is selected by those who will be using it.

Step 3: Gather Recycling Equipment
Now that the specific needs of the program have been determined the equipment can be purchased. Consult a recycling bin manufacturer for program ideas and container solutions. Ensure that the bins selected are easy to use, efficient and environmentally sound.
Easy to use recycling containers should be versatile and custom designed to work with any environment. There are different bin features available which make participation in a recycling program easier such as:
o Mountable bins for increased surface space
o Desk side bins for increased leg room
o Stackable containers for easy storage
o Large wheeled or lidded containers for easy transportation

Select the container which makes the most sense for the area it will be placed in. Containers should feature the correct combination of visual indicators and sorting mechanisms to maximize the ease in use. Use clearly marked labels, shaped deposit slots and different color options. These tools will allow students, staff and parents to quickly identify what the bin is designed to collect.
Implementing plastic containers which are environmentally sound can assist a recycling program. Select containers which are 100% recyclable, made with a minimum of 35% recycled content and complimented by matching waste baskets. Containers meeting these requirements will maximize the results of a recycling program in an educational facility as they have green solutions built right in.
North American made containers have a reduced impact on the environment. Local products will reduce air pollution resulting from overseas shipping and toxins from foreign containers. Also, if the recycling bins are within arm's reach they will be easier to replace or distribute in the future should new containers be needed.

Product Recommendations
Busch Systems offers an extensive line of recycling and waste container solutions. The type of bin to select for an educational facility will depend on how it will be used. There are three categories to consider when selecting recycling containers for academic environments: individual, shared and outdoor. Listed below are product recommendations for each category:

a. Individual recycling containers best service areas occupied by one person, such as, teacher's desks or workstations. The product best suited for this category is the 'Deskside Recycling Bin'. The container is custom designed to fit seamlessly under desk drawers and can contain upward of three gallons of recyclables. This bin is also available with a matching waste basket which can be hung alongside of it.

b. Recycling containers designed for shared use target common areas, such as, gymnasiums or staff lounges. The 'Upright' Series is ideal for such an environment as it is available in large sizes and uses simplified sorting mechanisms. Children and young adults alike favour this container as its see through design allows them to watch the recycling process take place.

c. Outdoor recycling containers are for exterior facility use, such as, building entrances and schoolyards. The 'Four in One HD' recycling bin is best suited for this category as it has various collection slot options and fitted liners. This container consists of four compartments which are all able to collect twenty three gallons of waste or recyclables.
These are only a few of the recycling container solutions offered at Busch. To view the complete line of equally attractive alternatives please visit:

Step 4: Organize the Recycling Program
After a container is selected it must be incorporated into a well organized recycling program. The first phase of systematizing is assigning a program coordinator. This should be someone in the facility who is interested in taking charge of the program. Once the coordinator is made aware of their responsibilities they can ensure that the recycling program is always running smoothly.
The new candidate can begin their duties by selecting where the containers should go. When deciding where bins should be placed bear in mind other containers which may be in the environment, traffic, capacity and collection. The scheduling of container collection may be the deciding factor in determining where the bins should go. Placement options may be limited depending on the size of the collection vehicle and the accessibility of the area.
Suggested Green initiatives
Once the collection of recyclable material has been arranged other green initiatives can be considered. Listed below are a few suggestions for green practices which educational facilities can perform:
o Turning off lights when leaving classrooms
o Using electronic communications to submit and distribute assignments and reports
o Encouraging the packing of waste free lunches in reusable containers
o Setting up a compost
o Buying recycled materials and supplies

Step 5: Roll Out Program
Following the development of a recycling program is the execution. In order for the program to run productively the end user must be educated on how it operates and explained what the goals are. Rolling out the initiative will get those sharing the space excited about the program and motivated to use it.
Organize a meeting with all staff at the educational facility. Educate the staff on how the program runs, what the goals are, who the program coordinator is and what everyone's responsibilities are. Have the staff roll out the program to their students in ways that get them motivated to use it. An elementary school teacher for example, could explain how the program works with the introduction of a reward system based on student participation. The winner could be awarded a miniature recycling container full of treats.

Step 6: Maintain Program
Maintaining a recycling program is a critical component to ensuring its longevity and success. A large part of the upkeep process will be the responsibility of the program coordinator. They will need to constantly monitor the effectiveness of the program and find ways to improve it. The coordinator will also be responsible for keeping those in the facility enthused and new staff or students educated on the program procedures.
There are several ways in which a program coordinator can keep up enthusiasm at a school. For example, the coordinator of a high school could offer incentives to the class and teacher which collects the most recyclables. Having separate incentives for each will encourage teachers to influence student participation. The teachers could motivate students by sending recycling progress reports home and encouraging parents to post them prominently.

In conclusion, the combined usage of the above six steps will enable an educational facility to incorporate an effective recycling program. The program should work toward conserving our natural resources and safeguarding our environment. Ideally, a new recycling program will allow future generations to flourish in what we have instead of flounder in what we have left behind.

Alon Tal, Speaking of Earth: Environmental Speeches That Moved The World (USA, 2006) 140.
Waste Reduction Week Canada. 23 Sep. 2009. Environment Canada.
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