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August 2012 

 Jump to WasteCare's August 2012 Waste Recycling Blog


D.C. Restaurant Waste Recycles Oyster Shells
Food Waste Recycling Opportunity
Waste Recycling Algae Into Plastic
School District Ends Polystyrene Tray Use
Cell Phone Self-Serve Waste Recycling
Children Prompt Waste Recycling For Markers
World’s Largest Waste Recycling Facility
Waste Recycling of Scrap Metal
Landfill Gas Becomes Energy
Avoiding Asbestos Laws Brings Prison Time
Substitutes for Flame Retardant Chemicals
Hazardous Chemicals Need Safe Management
Fort Worth Increases Waste Recycling Options
Landfill Waste Provides Power
Gum Recycling Sticks in the U.K.
Remyxx’s 100% Recycled Shoes
An End to Plastics Waste Recycling Codes?
Safely Recycle e-Waste
Renewable Packaging Choices
Restaurants Improve Waste Recycling
Waste Recycling of Unwanted Plastics
Hazardous Waste Violations Result In Penalties


D.C. Restaurant Waste Recycles Oyster Shells

Posted on August 31, 2012


The Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington D.C. has been a popular restaurant for locals and visitors since opening its doors for business in 1856. Know for its seafood dishes, and in particular, oysters, two years ago the restaurant decided to enact its own form of environmental policy – it is returning their oyster shells back into the Chesapeake Bay.  This area of the Atlantic Ocean is one of the primary sources for oysters in the United States and environmental stewardship of the area is essential for those businesses who rely on it for recreation and the seafood it produces.

Since starting the waste recycling program, the restaurant has returned almost eight hundred acres of oyster shells. This is the equivalent of ten waste disposal garbage bins being sent to a landfill every two weeks. The new recycling program has two benefits: not only does is save the restaurant in disposal fees but oysters need shells to order to live and reproduce. Depleting the Bay of oyster shells effectively limits the source and reduces the quantity and quality available to restaurants. This new policy helps to ensure that oysters will continue to be plentiful in years to come and diverts waste from local landfills.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When it comes to avoiding waste disposal and increasing waste recycling, creative thinking is the key. Take a look at the trash your business produces. Is there a way you can turn garbage into gold? (or shells into oysters?)


Food Waste Recycling Opportunity

Posted on August 30, 2012


North Carolina exceeds 1.1 million tons of generated food waste generated annually, and a new research study has shown that the state government could do much more in diverting that waste from landfills with increased waste recycling efforts.

The study found that the state should invest more time and effort into working with local municipalities to increase the collection and recycling of food waste from grocery stores and residents.

It is estimated that in North Carolina, food waste comprises twelve percent of all municipal solid waste with the average household disposing between five and ten pounds of food waste weekly with a total output of close to a quarter of a million tons of waste each year. In contrast, restaurants and supermarkets generate a little over half a million tons of food waste annually.

Based on current waste recycling practices, only sixty thousand tons of food waste is being used for other efforts – almost all food waste is being disposed of in landfills.

Waste Care Wants You to Remember: Recycling of food waste in North Carolina presents a business opportunity for those experienced in this kind of material recovery – both for residential and municipal waste recycling as well as commercial endeavors. Are you ready to make some “green” while going green?

Waste Recycling Algae Into Plastic

Posted on August 29, 2012

A start-up company named Algix is turning to algae to manufacture plastics.

The company is working on cultivating aquatic biomasses (algae) for use as industrial, retail and commercial plastics.

Algae sources from wastewater treatment locations develop in nitrogen-rich environments, creating a high-protein organism. When blended with a base resin, a form of plastic is developed. Algae results in a thermoplastic while duckweed plants, which are also abundant at wastewater facilities, result in a strong, stiff plastic.

The created plastic material is ideal for injection and compression molding and thermoforming.

The plastic can also be used as mulching film sheets as it biodegrades and become plant food. Farmers or gardeners could unroll a sheet and let it dissolve naturally.

Additionally, there are uses for flooring and carpeting as well as the creation of biodegradable packaging materials, lawn and garden appliances, and paint cans.

There are some limitations to this algae plastic. One is that it cannot be made into a clear substance instead appearing dark green to murky brown. Users cite that this new form of plastic has an earthy feel different from conventional plastics. That difference, combined with it’s earth friendly composition could appeal to those looking for the convenience and durability of plastics but wanting something more environmentally friendly.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Waste Recycling and the green economy offers lots of room for innovation and entrepreneurship. What can you do with the waste generated by your business or community that can earn you “green”?

School District Ends Polystyrene Tray Use

Posted on August 28, 2012

The Portland, Maine public school system has banned the use of lunch trays containing
single-use polystyrene in all cafeterias and meal distribution programs.

The school district will now be using lunch trays constructed of paperboard manufactured  in Maine. While the new trays will cost the school system more money to purchase, the price is being offset by funds saved during the last school year as part of a comprehensive waste reduction and waste recycling program which greatly reduced waste disposal costs for the district. It is estimated that the school diverted close to thirty thousand tons of waste from landfills as a result of the program.

The new, locally made and environmental friendly lunch trays will be in place when school resumes in September. The district has over seven thousands students enrolled in grades K-12 and has traditionally used almost half a million single-use lunch trays each school year. The switch will reduce further the amount of waste that can be recycled versus school waste that must be disposed of in landfills.

The school district’s goal is to divert as much as seventy percent of waste to recycling efforts. The cost savings in reduced disposal fees will help to fund greener options for the schools such as the paperboard lunch trays. The school system also believes that the recycling program allows students learn valuable lessons about environmental stewardship by showing how small actions can result in big changes for everyone.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re involved with your community’s school system, take a moment to learn more about their waste disposal and waste recycling efforts. Making some changes can result in big savings for schools and local taxpayers!

Cell Phone Self-Serve Waste Recycling

Posted on August 27, 2012

Recycling old cell phones can result in small financial windfalls for consumers while providing manufacturers with recycled metals and plastics. However, the process can often be cumbersome and inconvenient as a result, less cell phones are recycled. However, a new system is being implemented in Texas with the introduction of self-serve cell phone recycling kiosks.

Produced by the California-based EcoATM, the self-serve kiosks, which resemble large ATM cash machines, will accept cell phones and small electronic devices from customers and provide cash back depending on the make and model. Dozens of these kiosks will be placed in shopping malls throughout the state.

Based on the success of the Texas project, the kiosks will be making their way to malls and shopping centers throughout the rest of the country next year.

Three years of testing self-service recycling in California yielded very positive results and high consumer response. The most often cited benefits were the instant gift card payment and the ease of use not found in other cell phone recycling programs.

The EcoATM machine also addresses security issues in that it erases all data from the phone or device when the customer accepts the offering price. Approximately seventy-five percent of the collected devices are re-furbished and re-sold. The rest are recycled for their metals and plastics.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: What can your business do that the competition is falling short on? With so many opportunities for waste recycling, where can you provide a valuable service while enhancing your bottom line?

Children Prompt Waste Recycling For Markers

Posted on August 24, 2012

Dixon Ticonderoga, a leader in the writing utensil manufacturing market, has recently announced that it will establish a national magic-marker recycling program. The program was prompted by a letter writing and outreach campaign started by a group of elementary school students in California.

The company, which is primary known as the makers of yellow No. 2 pencils, said that it  is planning to increase the program so that it includes many of its other writing implements and art supplies. Many schools rely on these supplies throughout the year, so the waste recycling program is seen as a way to appeal to school districts wanting to reduce their waste disposal fees while providing a service that is environmentally friendly.

The decision to start the recycling program happened after students at the Sun Valley Elementary School launched an online petition on Change.org in early May, asking another popular manufacturer, Crayola, to provide a way to recycle used magic-markers. The students revived over eighty thousand signatures, but Crayola refused to implement a recycling program. This refusal prompted Dixon Ticonderoga, a Crayola competitor, to step up and offer a recycling program to school for their products.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Do you have a competitor who is refusing to address customers calls for recycling? By making the decision to “go green” your business can possibly attract new customers and add “green” to your bottom line!

World’s Largest Waste Recycling Facility

Posted on August 23, 2012

Ever wonder what the largest recycling facility in the world can do? Phoenix, Arizona -based business Republic Services’s Newby Island Resource Recovery Park in Milpitas, California is processing close to one hundred and ten tons of various waste streams each hour and diverting approximately eighty percent of all waste material collected.

The Milpitas facility handles processing for all commercial waste materials generated in San Jose, California. It also contains the ability to process one hundred and twenty tons of residential waste material annually, with a close to one hundred percent recovery rate.

The Republic Service’s system features four lines for waste processing: a residential line, a commercial line, and two additional lines for commercial dry and wet recyclables. The conveyors stretch one and one half miles long. The amount of waste recycled and composted annually covers five hundred football fields and totals more than four hundred pounds per person.

San Jose’s goal is to divert all of its commercial and residential waste from landfills and use it to convert into energy.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: What is your business and community doing to reduce waste disposal and increase waste recycling? If you’re not going green then you could be losing “green” every year!

Waste Recycling of Scrap Metal

Posted on August 22, 2012

If you’re in the construction, demolition, or remodeling business, chances are you’ve waste recycled scrap metal. Ever wonder what determines the monetary value of various scrap metals? Here are a few factors:

1) The Global Marketplace: Overseas markets, especially China, play a significant role in determining US values as more than half of all US scrap metal is exported.

2) The Home Market: The overall health of The New York Stock Exchange also impacts the price of metals.

3) It’s the Economy, Stupid! Car sales are a good indicator of what happens in the scrap metal industry; when new sales are down, steel production is likely to be down. When demand increases, expect increases in scrap yard prices.

4) Who’s Buying? Like all businesses, scrap metal sellers want to make a profit. It’s a supply/demand balance between what sellers can charge and what buyers will bear. Location, type of metal, and demand can fluctuate.

5) Scrap yards and Scrappers: While catering primarily to a local market with smaller demand, scrap yard often have flexible pricing. Scrappers develop relationships with scraps yards to ensure they’ll receive the best prices for their materials.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Scrap metals have value so if you’re putting them in with your waste disposal materials you’re losing money! It pays to develop knowledge of the local and regional scrap yards and dealers in your area and do research to make sure you get the best price for your recycled metals!

Landfill Gas Becomes Energy

Posted on August 21, 2012

The town of Severn, Maryland has converted the Millersville landfill to a gas-to-energy facility. Landfill Energy Systems is responsible for the design and construction of the 3.2 megawatt power plant.  The new facility will provide electrical power to an average of two thousand homes in Anne Arundel County.

The new facility generates electricity with previously collected and burned methane and reduces the community’s reliance on coal and crude oil as energy sources. The plant has created new employment opportunities and it is estimated that the reduced emissions is the equivalent of removing five thousand vehicles from the road.

Landfill Energy Systems is responsible for forty energy producing power plants and operates in forty-five landfills in sixteen states. They are responsible for producing more than two hundred megawatts of renewable natural gas and electricity annually.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Is your municipality doing all it can to reduce its dependence on non-renewable energy and explore opportunities that are reliable and sustainable? Take a look at your local landfill and see what possibilities exist to help the environment and the members of your community!

Avoiding Asbestos Laws Brings Prison Time

Posted on August 20, 2012

Last year, an Illinois man charged with violating the Clean Air Act for illegal removal of asbestos was sentenced to ten years in prison, fined fifteen thousand dollars, and ordered to pay almost fifty thousand dollars in restitution to the Environmental Protection Agency.

During the court case, the prosecution argued that the business owner’s flagrant disregard for proper handling and disposal of the toxic material endangered the health of employees and the community surrounding the building. It was shown that by improperly handling the material, increased profits were attained by the company. Asbestos was historically used in construction and building materials and its microscopic particles can easily enter the lungs where it has been shown to cause lung cancer and other serious health and respiratory problems.

The case showed that workers hired for the job were not trained asbestos removal professionals and were not paid as such. Those employees assigned to the building were never properly trained in removal procedures. Additional evidence presented included failure to ensure that the hazardous insulation was wetted before being removed to prevent airborne particles, failure to mark vehicles utilized in the transport of asbestos, failure to properly mark the one hundred bags the removed materials were placed in, and illegal dumping of a hazardous materials in an open field in a public park, resulting in soil contamination and endangering public health.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Asbestos is a highly dangerous materials with stringent regulations for handling and disposal. If your business is involved with construction and remodeling where asbestos is present, cutting corners is not an option! Failure to follow the law endangers both the environment and your personal freedom.

Substitutes for Flame Retardant Chemicals

Posted on August 17, 2012

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Design for the Environment Alternatives Assessment Program has recently released a report on alternative solutions that manufactures can use in place of highly toxic flame retardant chemicals, and in particular, decaBDE. DecaBDE is used extensively in the construction of building materials, automobiles, and electronics but it is linked to developmental problems in both humans and animals. The report provides information on thirty different alternatives to decaBDE which will not longer be produced in this country by the end of 2013.

The alternative chemicals that are discussed in the EPA’s report are readily available in the marketplace and will be used with increased frequency as the decaBDE ceases production. These alternatives are not considered environmentally friendly as each contains different toxic components. Some are consider safer for human exposure but cause greater environmental harm. Others are less hazardous than decaBDE but still contain toxic chemicals. The EPA has stressed that on-going testing and monitoring will be necessary to completely understand the long-term hazardous impact of these alternative solutions.

The Design for the Environment Alternatives Assessment Program helps governments, businesses, and industrial sectors select safer chemicals and provides research and data on environmental and human impacts.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business uses flame retardant chemicals it’s important to understand the dangers to both your employees, your customers, and your community. Use research to make the best decision possible and everyone will benefit from it!

Hazardous Chemicals Need Safe Management

Posted on August 16, 2012

Three waste management facilities in Utah must pay fines for failure to adhere to Risk Management Program policies related to the Clean Air Act. In addition to the monetary fines, the businesses must also correct the cited violations for use of toxic chemicals. The Clean Air Act requires that all facilities have established Risk Management Program policies if they handle, use, store, process, or manufacture hazardous chemicals such as ammonia or chlorine. Not having approved policies can place the general public and surrounding environment at risk should an accidental spill or air release happen.

The Utah facilities were inspected by the Environmental Protection Agency which discovered violations in the areas of programs for preventing accidental hazardous chemical spills and policies to minimize the effects of accidental releases should they occur. The three waste management facilities are responsible for storing extremely hazardous chemicals in large quantities and thus subject to federal and state regulations for ensuring the safety of area residents and the surrounding environment.

Establishing strong and effective risk management policies assists businesses in operating in a responsible manner toward their employees and community, and also provides valuable information to emergency response personnel in the event of an accidental spill or release.  The three businesses have certified that they are now fully compliant with Risk Management Program requirements.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your facility deals with hazardous chemicals it is essential that you establish and conform to Risk Management Program policies. Failure to do so endangers your employees, your community, and the environment - and can also land you in court facing legal action and fines. Do what’s right and follow the law!

Increase in Plastic Bag Bans Worldwide

Posted on August 15, 2012

The call to ban plastic bags throughout Southeast Asia becomes louder with each passing month. Environmental supporters cite that the abundance of plastic bags is contributing to street flooding, clogged drains, and damage to marine life.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s largest city, has been considering a ban on plastic takeout bags and Malaysia has imposed a ban on free bags one day a week in an effort to reduce. Current waste recycling efforts are very low in Malaysia with close to ninety-five percent of all waste being sent to landfills.

The rapid increase in the amount of waste generated throughout the region can be attributed to growing populations, economic growth, and greater affluence creating a large consumer class that did not previously exist.

Municipalities are most concerned with drainage issues created by the plastic bags which result in flooded streets, contribute to visual pollution, and are not biodegradable. In addition to reducing the amount of bags, officials are also trying to eliminate the habit of littering by promoting the concepts of reusing and recycling.

When the furniture and household goods retailer Ikea announced last year that its Malaysia store would eliminate all plastic bag use it said that it wanted consumers to think about their attitudes towards free plastic bags and encourage the habit of using reusable bags for their shopping.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Is your business considering an expansion in Southeast Asia? If you’re in the reusable container or waste recycling business, opportunities might exist for you!

Fort Worth Increases Waste Recycling Options

Posted on August 14, 2012

The residents of Forth Worth, Texas, now have increased recycling opportunities in their community. The city did has recently announced that households can now recycle pots, pans, pizza boxes, paper beverage cartons, and juice boxes as part of the regular trash and waste recycling services. The city currently accepts plastics, glass, cans, paper and cardboard in its recycling facility.

For the newly added items, residents are being asked to clean food waste off of boxes and containers so that they are easier to process. For kitchen pans and pots, sorting to determine if the item is aluminum or steel will take place at the recycling facility.

Due to the anticipated influx in recycling, it is expected that the sorting facility will be hiring new employees.  The facility will continue to process materials using manual labor from a conveyor belt, however, if the new recycling initiate is a success, the facility will invest in acquiring new sorting technology to enhance and improve the waste recycling process.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Think recycling can’t improve your business? Think again! Not only can you do your part to protect the environment, but you can add dollars to your bottom line and help to increase employment.

Landfill Waste Provides Power

Posted on August 13, 2012

Beginning in early 2012, a Coca-Cola bottling facility in Georgia started using energy powered by landfill gas to provide most of the businesses energy requirements.

This innovative new waste recycling energy system provides electricity, chilled water, and steam. According to Coco-Cola, it is one of the largest landfill-gas energy installations in the United States.

This energy efficient system assists the company in attaining environmental objectives while also cutting cost associated with the manufacturing process.

The biogas system in Georgia generates a minimum of forty-eight million kilowatt-hours of energy yearly. This is equal to removing the carbon dioxide emissions of six thousand vehicles annually.

As a result of this innovative new system, Coca-Cola has earned a top five spot on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of biggest in-house environmentally friendly power generators.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Energy costs are something that every business incurs  Why not try to find ways to reduce those costs while enhancing the environment? You might save more “green” than you’d expect!

Gum Recycling Sticks in the U.K.

Posted on August 10, 2012

How many times have you found gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe? Gum is a very popular confectionery. Whether it’s chewed to freshen breath, blow bubbles, help with smoking cessation or weight loss, of just for fun, it’s consumed by children and adults alike. However, unlike chocolates or other candies, chewing gum is not easily digestible and at some point looses its flavor – requiring that it be thrown away. Not everyone is conscientious about placing their used chewing gum in the trash and as a result those gooey, chewy pink gummy bits end up stuck to a shoe like glue!

However, a new chewing gum waste recycling program has begun at the Southampton Airport in England that is targeting gum chewers. The airport now has twenty-five pink containers that are for used for chewing gum recycling. The containers are emptied on a regular basis and the used gum is sold to be recycled into car tires, cell phone covers, and toys.

The Southampton Airport has over two million people travelers annually and would spend an average of five thousand dollar a year on chewing gum removal from floors, furniture, and walls. The airport hopes that the eye-catching containers will encourage travelers to properly dispose of their used chewing gum and reinforce the message that the airport is providing recycling opportunities to its patrons.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Instead of spending thousand of dollars on waste removal could you be saving, or earning, money with waste recycling? Whether it’s chewing gum or something else, take a look at where your business is spending money. You might find a green alternative!

Remyxx’s 100% Recycled Shoes

Posted on August 9, 2012  

How about this for an innovative business idea? Using a mixture of number 5 recycled plastics such as yogurt containers, Remyxx shoes is making a name for themselves while promoting recycling. Printed on the very top of the shoe, and making quite a statement, is the number 5 recycling symbol of a triangle made of three arrows.

Gary Gagnon is the founder of this new venture, and he is currently working on getting these shoes in front of a larger audience. The entire shoe is 100% recyclable from the bottom sole to the laces to the padding in-between. The idea for the Remyxx shoe came about when he noticed a pair of old sneakers in a trash can – ready to go off to a landfill. He  then met with a chemist who helped him to create the mix of plastics that go in to making his distinctive, unique sneakers.

The material created by the recycled plastics has the appearance of canvas, but is something else entirely. Remyxx has recently raised almost forty five thousand dollars through a fundraising campaign and plans on using the funds to make more of the eco-friendly shoes and officially start his business. The average cost of the shoe, which will be available in both youth and adult sizes, averages $65.

Each year over three hundred million pairs of shoes end up in landfills through traditional waste disposal means. The break-down time for most footwear is up to forty years depending on the material they are made of.

For buyers of the shoes, the company will offer the incentive program Reduce, Reuse, Remyxx, where their old Remyxx shoes can be sent back for recycling in return for a five dollar coupon for their next pair.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: One person’s trash can be another person’s goldmine! Take a look at what ends up in your trash bin. Are you missing out on an opportunity to make money and increase your business?

An End to Plastics Waste Recycling Codes?

Posted on August 8, 2012

The plastics recycling industry has introduced a new community outreach and education plan that removes resin identification codes from plastics. The group cites that the codes prevent recycling as they cause confusion among most consumers.

The new recycling plan instead uses the six types of plastics that are most popular and easily identified by consumers.

Resin identification codes, which are a number located inside of a triangle made of arrows and stamped on the bottom of plastic containers, were initially designed for the recycling industry and not for household individuals. They have been in use for over twenty fice years. Consumers often have difficulty identifying the number or have uncertainties about which numbers are accepted by their municipality.

The new plastics recycling plan illustrates six different categories:

1) Plastic bottles
2) Plastic containers without thermoformed packaging
3) Plastic containers with thermoformed packaging
4) Rigid plastic without bags or foam
5) Plastic with bags or film wrap
6) Plastic without bags or film wrap.

Each category will have a corresponding graphic as well as facts designed to help individuals properly identify the plastic they are looking to recycle. The hope is that consumers will be able to easily and quickly determine which plastics can be put in their recycling bin without searching for resin codes.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re looking to increase waste recycling in your home or business, make it as simple and easy as possible for everyone to know what belongs in the recycling bin and what goes out for the trash. Educating all involved will have to reduce your waste disposal costs!

Safely Recycle e-Waste

Posted on August 7, 2012

Does this scenario sound familiar? You business would like to recycle electronics waste but you’re not sure where to take it, when to take it, and how to make sure that any information on the device has been successfully destroyed. As a result, you have a closet, or another storage area that is filled with old computer monitors, phones, printers, and other devices that haven’t been produced in years! You would like to use that space for something else, but you just don’t know how to get rid of the old electronics.

If your business is in this situation, you are not alone. Fear of having data get in the hands of unscrupulous individuals is a primary reason why businesses are hesitant to recycle.  While many recycling facilities buy hard drives and other computer parts of the valuable metals they contain, most of these locations do not have the proper training or authority to destroy the data found on e-waste equipment.

This uncertainty leads many businesses to simply smash the equipment and dispose of it with other trash in a landfill. Unfortunately, this has a very negative consequence on the environment as the components of e-waste often contain toxic substances that leech into the groundwater.

It pays to take the time to find a reputable recycler for your e-waste that fits your businesses needs. Some facilities offer money for the metals found in your devices, others will not. Some provide drive shredders right on site where you can verify that your material was properly destroyed. Select municipalities also offer public shredding and e-waste days where residents and businesses can properly dispose of their waste.

When you find a facility that accepts e-waste, ask for their procedures for destroying your materials. A trustworthy recycler will have this information on hand, along with the proper licenses and authorizations. Taking small steps to recycle your e-waste can help to improve the quality of the environment, possibly earn you a little money, and certainly free up some space in that storage closet!

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: The recycling opportunities are numerous for various business materials. Are you looking for ways to save money? Look to the e-waste that’s collecting in your office!


Renewable Packaging Choices

Posted on August 6, 2012

As consumer attitudes about environmentalism become increase in awareness, more and more businesses are incorporating these concerns into their delivery model. Utilizing sustainable packaging is one area that has seen great interest by consumers and adoption of by businesses.

For businesses looking to shift to environmentally-friendly packaging, many concerns arise in the areas of affordability, safety, and overall effectiveness. When it comes to packaging your product, you want materials that are strong and durable. Consumers need to trust that products are secure within and won’t be damaged during transport. While many packaging options made of recycled cardboard and plastic are just as stable as their traditional counterparts, it’s always worth conducting safety tests of your own to ensure the packaging meets your customers’ standards.

Making the switch to environmentally-conscious packaging is something that can benefit both your customers and your public relations efforts within your community. Once you select the packaging option that best meets your business needs, be sure to let the word out! You may be pleasantly surprised at the response you receive!

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Every business needs to stay in-tune with the changing needs of their customers. If you utilize packaging for your products or services, consider the benefits of going green – you may win more customers and support because of it!

Restaurants Improve Waste Recycling

Posted on August 3, 2012

It was recently announced that Darden Restaurants, parent company of the 2,000 Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurant chains in the United States and Canada, has successfully increased its waste recycling rate from 14% to 28% over the last three years.

For the last year, this landfill diversion rate is equivalent to 140,000 cubic yards of food and restaurant operations waste that was recycled. The figures were reported in the company’s annual sustainability report.

This waste recycling increase is complemented by the company’s successful 100% recycling of unusable frying and cooking oil. In 2011 this represented 20 million gallons that were diverted to create food products for animals, biodiesel, and soaps.

As a result of their emphasizing environmentally pro-active measures over traditional waste disposal, the company achieved cost savings of $18 million with estimates of additional savings up to $12 million to occur between 2012 and 2016.

In addition to the recycling and reselling efforts, Darden has removed all food take-out containers made of polystyrene and increased its use of take-out packaging that contains recycled content and is recyclable. Carry-away bags are available in biodegradable plastic or paper and beverage cups are made of paper.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: While it might see easier to stick to “business as usual,” when you look at every aspect of your operation you might be surprised where you can find a cost savings or profit instead of a liability!

Waste Recycling of Unwanted Plastics

Posted on August 2, 2012

A recent research study at the University of Texas in Austin indicated that if only 5% of all unusable materials at U.S. recycling facilities were converted to fuel, it would create energy to annually power almost seven hundred thousand homes.

Led by Dr. Michael Webber, the associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, the research study determined that fuel created from unrecyclable plastics had a higher energy capability than select grades of coal and could be used in industrial settings.

The study was part of a project designed to demonstrate that fuel from non-recycled plastics, paper and cardboard could successfully power a cement kiln.

In addition to the energy produce, the study also indicated that carbon and sulfur emissions were reduced – almost to the equivalent of remove a million automobiles from U.S. roads.

The study was funded by the American Chemistry Council, which is interested in finding new ways to harness and profit by America’s most abundant and affordable energy resource – those materials disposed of in landfills.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: One business’s trash can be another’s treasure. When was the last time your business did a waste disposal and waste recycling audit? There may be innovative new ways to save green all the way around!


Hazardous Waste Violations Result In Penalties

Posted on August 1, 2012

A metal plating manufacturing business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa will pay almost twenty thousand dollars in federal fines and violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Electro-Coatings which uses chrome, zinc, and nickel in its plating operation, must also spend over one hundred thousand dollars to update its facilities to include technology designed to reduce the amount of hazardous chrome generated as a by-product of their operations.

The Environmental Protection Agency filed the charges of hazardous waste violations against the manufacturer in 2011. All businesses that generate or utilize hazardous waste must comply with federal and state regulations for management, storage, and handling of toxic waste. Failure to follow these regulations can result in harm to the environment and human health.

The business is responsible for generating over one thousand kilos of toxic waste every month, placing them in the business regulation category of large quantity producer. Regulations vary based on the amount of hazardous waste generated every month. Electro-Coatings was charged with violating storing hazardous waste beyond ninety days without proper permits, improper container management including lack of labeling and sealing, lack of sufficient emergency equipment and employee training, insufficient risk planning, and operating without permit a hazardous waste facility. As a result of the settlement agreement, the business is now in compliance with all regulations.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business involves hazardous waste be sure you’re compliant with all state and federal regulations. Failure to do so not only harms the environment, but can harm you, your employees, your reputation, and your bank account!


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