Cutting Edge E-Waste Recycling In Illinois

The Michigan-based company, 3S International, recently announced that they have opened a new electronics waste processing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois.

The sixty thousand square foot recycling processing facility contains 3S’s BLUBOX recycling equipment. BLUBOX contains the technology needed to reduce unwanted e-waste into recyclable pieces and safely extract elements, including mercury – at a rate of fifteen million pounds of electronics each year. 3S is currently the only company in the U.S. with the rights to use BLUBOX technology.

In the United States every year, millions of tons of computers and personal electronics are thrown away. While close to eighty percent of all e-waste materials are given over to specialized recyclers, the pieces often shipped overseas, re-sold, or sent to specialized landfills. Based on the results of BLUBOX recyclable processing, 3S will not have a need or reason to re-sell or landfill any of the electronics sent to them for processing.

3S currently collects and receives unwanted and unusable electronics throughout the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan and has the ability to handle  the e-waste recycling needs of six million people each year. The company’s goal is to open close to ten new electronics processing recycling facilities throughout the United States within the next few years.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If old cell phones, computers, gaming systems, and personal electronics are clogging up your home or office, it’s time to clean-up and start recycling! Even if you aren’t in an area that 3S services, chances are there’s a convenient e-waste drop off location at a local store, transfer station, non-profit group or house of worship, or municipal building. Many e-recycling events are publicized in local newspapers, or on radio and television stations, so get those dates on your calendar and get ready to recycle those unwanted items!

North Carolina Recycling Experiences Growth

Unifi has recently announced that its REPREVE® Recycling Center is undertaking an expansion of services and adding new jobs. The facility, which operates in Yadkinville, North Carolina and opened in May 2010, is expecting to increase its waste materials processing from forty two million pounds annually, to nearly seventy two million pounds. This growth is being fueled by increased customer participating in recycling and new customer acquisition. The Center’s current customer roster includes Ford Motor Corporation, Nike,The North Face, Patagonia, Volcom, and others.

Due to the growth in the Recycling Center, it is anticipated that ten new jobs will be created this year including filling hiring needs for managers, machine operators and recycled material handlers. The company recently spent five million dollars for capital expenditures and new machinery in preparation for the expansion and growth opportunities.

The fastest and largest growing segments for the Recycling Center are in the apparel, textile, and automotive sectors. The new improvements and expansion at the facility now allow for the recycling of lighter-weight fabrics and clothes, yarns and textiles that are Flame Retardant, and those textile materials that use WaterWise™ color technology in their manufacturing.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Not only is the recycling of your business’ waste materials a smart way to cut down on waste disposal costs, but it also helps to create jobs and economic growth at recycling facilities. In addition, the materials you recycle go on to be sold and re-manufactured into other goods and products instead of ending up in a landfill where they don’t do anyone any good at all! When your business recycles you not only help the environment but you help your local and national economy as well. It’s a win win situation for everyone.

EPA Announces Grants To Reduce Diesel Emissions

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced over two million dollars in grants available through the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) to businesses and municipalities on the West Coast and in the Pacific Island Territories. The grants, designed to help reduce the amount of diesel emissions released into the environment by heavy construction equipment and large vehicles such as buses and tractor trailers, will be administered through the West Coast Collaborative and the EPA.

The funds will be used to clean up ninety three heavy- and medium-duty diesel engines, and reduce nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide. By helping to promote clean diesel technology, the emissions reductions will help to improve environmental conditions in communities where older diesel engines can be found. The project is also expected to bring about public health benefits as well.

Some of the West Coast Collaborative projects for the prior year were:

  • California Air Resources Board: to retrofit diesel school buses.
  • Pima Association of Governments: replaced diesel school buses with natural gas buses.
  • Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management: replaced diesel garage trucks with renewable natural gas generated from food waste.
  • South Coast Air Quality Management: replaced older school buses with fully electric powered buses.
  • Port of Oakland: repowered diesel rubber tire cranes with Hybrid Electric Power.
  • Arizona’s Office of Energy Policy: repowered old construction equipment with Tier 3 engines.
  • Puget Sound Clean Air: replaced diesel trucks with liquefied natural gas.

WastCare Wants You to Remember: Is your business or municipal leadership staying aware of funding opportunities available through the EPA? Connecting with your regional office, or following the national agency’s news releases, can help to prepare you to take advantage of these grant programs when they arise!

EPA Offers Grant Funding For Pollution Reduction

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making two million dollars in grant funding rebates available to both private owners of construction equipment and municipalities to retrofit or replace older diesel engines in construction vehicles. The rebates serve as an incentive to reduce pollution and improve air quality in the areas where the trucks and heavy equipment in used.

The exhaust from diesel engine equipment can negatively affect children, those with health and respiratory problems, and senior citizens. Updating the older engines helps to make them more environmentally friendly by limiting the quantity and nature of the exhaust and therefore improves the air quality in the area where the equipment travels or is being used.

The rebates are a part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). Starting in 2008, DERA has awarded in excess of five hundred million dollars to businesses, municipalities, and public groups to update over fifty thousand diesel powered heavy equipment vehicles. Old diesel engines release significant amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides into the air, however, specialized equipment can help to reduce these emissions and reduce the health impacts to those operating the equipment as well as those living or working in the vicinity.

All owners of private and public construction equipment in areas with poor air quality, or air quality issues, are urged to apply for the funding. Applications are due by January 15, 2014 and funds should be awarded in February 2014.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business in involved in heavy construction or transportation, investigating grant funding rebates from the EPA may help you to improve your diesel-powered vehicles. Keeping your employees healthy means more time on the job and more “green” for your bottom line!

Alternative Wood Decking Increases Plastic Film Recycling

Southern California alternative wood decking manufacturer Trex, is increasing its collection of thin-film plastics in its home-base and hopes to expand operations throughout the country.

Since 2008, Trex has partnered with regional dry cleaners, grocery stores, hospitals, and the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park for collecting the unwanted lightweight plastic film and bags it uses in the manufacturing of wood alternative decking and construction materials. Trex decking is made of ninety five percent recycled material, combining sawdust with recycled items such as bread and sandwich bags, plastic newspaper sleeves, and grocery and dry cleaning bags.

Using compressed-air mini-balers, Trex has able to make the collection and storing of the waste materials easier and less expensive for their participating partners. Company officials hope that it is this convenience and ease of use that will allow operations to expand in the coming years.

In 2011, over one billion pounds of plastic film and bags were recycled in the United States. More than half of all that recycled plastic material was acquired by the businesses in the plastic and alternative decking and construction materials industry.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: In construction and remodeling, the alternative materials market is a growing one. The plastic grocery bags you choose to recycle today not only help reduce trash in landfills but they also help new “green” businesses to grow and develop!

Is One Bin The Wave Of The Future?

The city of Houston, Texas recently was awared a one million dollar grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to launch its “One Bin for All” recycling initiative. This innovative new idea, where residents use only one bin for both trash and recyclable materials, with all waste materials being sorted off site, may revolutionize how cities can take control and maximize  recycling.

The awarded funds will be used to create a new recycling facility, expected to open in 2015. Houston currently has a recycling rate of fourteen percent but curb side recycling pick up is only offered to a third of them. All other residents must take their recycling to designated drop off locations.

Waste management officials in Houston are hopeful that new technologies will make the screening process in determining garbage from “gold” easier and more effective at the new facility.

Houston isn’t alone in moving to this trend. Montgomery, Alabama has already started construction on their new facility and will be moving to try to “one bin” method. Facilities operating this way use equipment such as ballistic shredders, density separators, optical scanners, and other technologies to sort waste materials into twenty different recyclable categories – including food and organic waste materials.

Once up and running, Houston hopes to reach a landfill diversion rate of seventy five percent.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Remember that there isn’t just one way to handle waste disposal and recycling. If you’re trying to cut disposal fees, it pays to look at a variety of methods and track your program for effectiveness. If something doesn’t work as well as you hoped, don’t give up – simply try something new!


Cleaning Up Garbage Trucks

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently announced that it will help to fund a diesel emissions reduction project sponsored by the waste management office in the city of Louisville, Kentucky.

The project, which will receive funding up to fifty four thousand dollars from the EPA, is part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act. The award dollars will be used to re-engineer two garbage haulers with the result being reduced emissions in excess of ninety percent. The project and grant money will also be used to maintain the exhaust filters to ensure they are functioning properly.

Reducing emissions from city garbage and sanitation vehicles is a major concern  in both Louisville as well as other municipalities around the country. Updating the trucks, which spend thousands of hours traveling city streets each year, with environmentally beneficial systems will not improve air quality for residents, but will also help to maintain the life of the vehicles.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: What is your city or town doing to manage their waste and recycling systems? Are your elected officials aware that the EPA can help fund “greening” projects like this one in Louisville? Being aware of outside funding resources can help to save taxpayer dollars and improve quality of life for all who live and work there!

Solar Powered Recycling Compactors

New York City’s Times Square location is about to purchase and install thirty new solar powered recycling bins in an effort to boost recycling rates and descrease the amount of trash needing to be disposed of from this popular tourist location. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced that a pilot program would be started to install the innovative recycling bin and gauge their effectiveness.

The solar-powered recycling stations contain separate sections for garbage, aluminum, plastic, and glass cans bottles, and paper. Solar energy is used for compacting the trash, and as a result, the bins require less frequent collections and maintain a clearer and more sanitary appearance.

Times Square receives close to half a million visitors every day and is responsible for generating over fifteen thousand pounds of garbage daily that needs to be sent to landfills. The city’s goal is to have over one thousand new recycling bins on the streets before the end of 2013 in an effort to increase recycling and save the city money on expensive trash hauling services. Currently, the city’s recycling rate is a mere fifteen percent, but plans are in place to raise that number to thirty percent by 2017.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you manage a high traffic facility like a hospital, airport, shopping mall or amusement park, solar powered trash and recycling compactors might be a great piece of equipment to invest in. Visit the WasteCare website to learn how we can help you!

Clean Diesel for Construction

Construction work relies on diesel equipment for the power to get jobs done that are too large for humans to do. However, the diesel emissions that come out of this heavy-duty equipment can significantly impact the health and well-being of the people working on the construction site and living near it.

While new federal regulations about “clean” diesel engine apply to newly manufactured equipment, the average lifespan of heavy equipment is 30 years – so there are many older, pollution producing vehicles still being used every day. The Clean Construction project, sponsored by the EPA, give owners and operators of heavy equipment strategies and ideas for reducing diesel emissions from old machines. Materials describing affordable solutions for environmentally-friendly uses of heavy equipment such as idle reduction, not only help to reduce diesel emissions but they also help owners to save money.

Increasingly, large-scale commercial and residential projects are requiring clean diesel specifications and use as part of necessary contracts for doing business.  Construction firms that utilize clean diesel practices find themselves in a better position when competing for Green Building contracts.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business uses heavy equipment of diesel-power vehicles, take a few moments to learn about the ways to “clean” up your operation. It can help to environment and your bottom line!

FedEx Earns Profits For Waste Recycling

The package transportation company Federal Express didn’t create its waste recycling program overnight, but the business has shown how profits can result from reducing the amount of materials sent to landfills. The company currently estimates that it earns ten dollars for every one spent on recycling or recyclable products.

The company has indicated that they have recycled over ninety three million pounds of waste material since recycling operations began in 2006. Last year alone, close to fifty million pounds of materials were recycled.

In 2004, the company realized that waste recycling and environmental sustainability were concepts that weren’t going to fade away and that they need to start planning how to address them and incorporate them into the business model. The now successful plan started with very humble beginnings:  two balers that were part of a vendor’s “lease-to-buy” offer. Getting the waste materials to a central recycling location was simple, given FedEx’s hauling networks throughout the nation.

Despite the success, the company continues to look for way to be more sustainable. One recent change involves swapping out packing material such as peanuts and plastic air “pillows” for reused shredded cardboard shred that originates from the FedEx recycling center. That change satisfied customers demand and continues to save the company money.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: From humble beginnings grow great change! If your business is new to recycling, take a page from FedEx’s play book and start small. Control your costs, monitor growth, and take advantage of new recycling and reuse opportunities when they arise. You’ll be surprised what can be accomplished over time!