How Soil Remediation is Done

The process of cleaning soil is probably a lot simpler than what you might think.

Once the soil gets to our state-of-the-art facility (either brought to us by you, or Cardella Waste), it is dumped in our sealed-off facility. Our Negative-air filtration system purifies the air before it is released back into the atmosphere. Meanwhile the waste material is sorted and recyclables are separated. The balance is loaded onto rail cars (which reduces our CO2 emissions).

We offer disposal and remediation of contaminated soil:

• Petroleum Contaminated Soil
• Non-Hazardous Contaminated Soil
• Lead Contaminated Soil
• PCB Window Caulking
• Construction Waste
• Demolition Waste
• Non-Hazardous Waste
• Vegetative Waste
• Dry Industrial Waste (ID27)

Give us a call today at 201-472-1031 if you need help with contaminated soil.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It’s an Old Phrase, But a Good Concept.

We’ve all heard it. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. But why? What are you doing when you follow these 3 simple phrases?

Make An Impact

It’s simple. You can make an impact on the environment when you make a couple changes. Here are a few suggestions we’ve put together to help you make those changes—and lessen the waste going into landfills.

  1. Reduce. This means:
    • Buy items in BULK, CONCENTRATE, RECYCABLE or REFILLABLE containers, and use LITTEL or NO packaging
    • Use REUSABLE lunch boxes/bags, shopping bags
    • Use CLOTH napkins & rags instead of paper
    • Use RECHARGEABLE batteries
    • Use WASHABLE plates/cups/utensils
    • RENT items you don’t use often
    • GO TO THE LIBRARY to borrow books and magazines
  2. Reuse. This means:
    • Use old glass jars for FOOD STORAGE, ART SUPPLIES, VASES.
    • SELL or DONATE used items, don’t just toss them
    • MAKE ART, think of all the uses for newspaper (painting, decoupage)
  3. Recycle. This means:
    • Recycle common items such as:
      • Cardboard
      • Plastic
      • Glass
      • Paper
      • Aluminum
    • Purchase items made from recycled materials such as:
      • Bags
      • Paper
      • Books
      • Flooring
      • Furniture

Do you have any other tips we’ve left out? What do you do to reduce your carbon footprint and work towards a cleaner, healthier environment?

Green or Greener?

Here at Westside Environmental, we care about the environment. The word “environment” is even in our name! We do know, however, that not all companies practice what they preach. That’s why we strive to make the world a greener place every day not just by the recycling work we do, but more importantly by the methods we use to get the job done. There are different shades when it comes to “being green” and we like to think we’re just a little “greener” than the rest thanks to our two recycling centers and innovative rail-based transportation that protects the environmental while saving both time and money.

Greener Centers

Most recycling facilities have one center but we wanted to do more. We have two recycling centers, including the NY/NJ metropolitan area’s greenest material recovery facility. With two centers, we can recycle and properly dispose of double the materials in the same amount of time as the other guys.

Our unique “Gold-Standard” negative-air technology processes 80,000 cubic feet of air per minute and eliminates any release of pollutants, dust or odors during the process. Our NJDEP permitted facilities complete six full air changes every hour, not only meeting or surpassing EPA Fugitive Emission Standards but also saving time.

Greener Transport

Most material recovery facilities in the United States rely on heavy-duty trucks to transport waste and soil. Diesel trucks are a fairly reliable transportation method, however the environmental risks from diesel pollution are alarming. Diesel pollution from trucks not only damages the environment but can also make people sick. In fact, the state of California has found that fine particle matter from diesel pollution accounts for 70% of the cancer risk from air that we breathe in*.

We wanted to limit the amount of trucks we had on the road releasing pollutants. That’s why Westside Environmental became the first rail-based material recovery facility in the United States. Being rail-based makes us a few shades greener than other recycling and environmental companies that use trucks as  our rail-based transportation reduces CO2 emissions.

Greener is Better

Claiming to be a green company is one thing, but there’s always ways in which a company can be greener. We’ll never stop striving to protect our environment with the latest recycling and material recovery technology. If you’d like to make your business cleaner, check out these quick tips we put together—it’s easier than you think!

*Source: UCS Website

How Plants Fight Soil Contamination

46th Annual Earth Day

Last month we celebrated the 46th annual Earth Day and it was so exciting to see so many people stepping up to take care of our planet! While Earth Day is technical just one day per year, you can celebrate Earth Day every day by doing simple things like participating in a park cleanup or reusing recyclable materials to create something new and beautiful like these mason jar herb gardens that we shared last month! But, did you know that humans aren’t alone when it comes to taking care of planet Earth?

Did you know Plants Fight Soil Contamination?

Plants also work hard to try and make the world a cleaner, healthier place. Specifically, some plants help by remediating petroleum-contaminated soil. Petroleum-contaminated soil is actually one of the most common forms of soil pollution and tends to happen due to drilling refineries, accidental spills and even illegal dumping. Not only is petroleum-contaminated soil bad for the Earth but it’s bad for humans as well! There are dozens of health risks that come with being near soil that is contaminated with oil considering even inhaling the vapors from it can lead adverse health affects.

Soil Contamination Facility

So how do plants help fight soil pollution? It’s a process called phytoremediation. It sounds fancy, but it’s pretty simple. Plants located in petroleum-contaminated soil use their roots to absorb the contaminants. This is called stabilization. Then, depending on the plant, there are three different ways the pollutant is dealt with above ground, but all ways involve removing it from the soil. Take a look at this informative chart by Urban Omnibus if you’d like to learn about the process in more detail:

A Guide to Phytoremediation

While phytoremediation is one method of removing petroleum hydrocarbons from soil, it doesn’t work for every pollutant and with all plants. To help out hard working plants, see what you can do by taking a look at these easy tips for reducing land pollutions.

For those really tricky soil contamination emergencies, rely on experienced environmental companies like Westside Environmental to rid the soil of contaminants by using our state of the art negative air system. Call us today at: 201-472-1031 to learn more.

Glass Recycling: A Mason Jar Herb Garden

There’s a saying that March comes “in like a lion and out like a lamb.” So far, March 2016 has been a little different. Warmer than average temperatures and sunny days have made the beginning of this month seem more lamb than lion. While it might seem like the perfect time for heading outdoors and gardening, you never know what the weather will be like at the end of the month. In order to get you through the almost unpredictable weather, we found this easy DIY herb garden craft that you can keep indoors; in case Old Man Winter decides to pay us another visit before the end of the month!

Image from: ConsumerCrafts.com

Here’s what you’ll need to add some spice to your kitchen:

>  Reused Pint Sized Glass Mason Jars
>  Herbs
>  Soil
>  Mason Jar Holder (optional)

This craft is a really great way to reuse materials (like glass mason jars) instead of throwing them away and bringing the springtime indoors. The first step is to fill the mason jars halfway with soil and then add the seeds for the herbs or small plants you wish you to grow. All that’s left to do is find a sunny windowsill in your kitchen and take care of your herbs. If March decides to go out like a lion instead of a lamb, you can at least enjoy the green of the outdoors with these cute and functional herb gardens!

And, usually the rule of thumb is after Mother’s Day (it usually marks the end of cold weather), you can transfer these herbs into bigger pots and move them outside if you’d like!

Stay tuned for more glass recycling tips, or general recycling information, by following us on Facebook.

How Aggregate is used in Construction

Aggregate Stone

The environmental and fiscal benefits of using aggregate in construction are no secret. Being able to repurpose recycled materials to lower costs and improve the overall quality of projects is a major advantage that construction aggregates offer to property owners and city planners alike. But how exactly do construction companies use aggregate? If you can’t think of the answer: Don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list that demonstrates that many ways that aggregate is used.

To Strengthen and Support

Construction workers turn to aggregate most often to strengthen and support various structures. Aggregate provides a strong, hard base for workers to build on top of. Its use as a foundation offers a strong yet flexible base for buildings, bridges, and dams. In roads and railway ballast, aggregates are used to resist the overall (static and dynamic) load as well as to distribute the load properly to the supporting ground.

To Drain Water

When used as a foundation, recycled aggregate also greatly improves drainage for buildings. Construction aggregate also allows water to better drain off of road surfaces. Aggregate is one of the main reasons why your vehicle doesn’t simply sink into the soil during wet spells. While water sticks closely to soil particles, it has a harder time holding on to the voids between aggregates so gravity takes over and allows the water to drain.

To Reduce Shrinkage and Cracking

When concrete is mixed, construction workers mix in more water than necessary with the dry components. This extra water results in a difference of moisture content which produces stresses that ultimately are relived when they crack the concrete structure. These are called “Shrinkage Cracks.” Since water doesn’t affect aggregates like it does soils, the use of construction aggregates keep structures from sustaining shrinkage cracks during dry spells.

Do you know any other uses for construction aggregate? Let us know in the comments below!

DIY “Flower Petal” Jewelry Stand

If you can’t tell from scanning through the rest of our blog, we love DIY recycling projects. When you’re the greenest material recovery facility in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, repurposing materials like peanut butter jars, toilet paper rolls, and soda cans is just something that comes naturally.  When we’re lacking in inspiration though, we love to turn to the Internet to see what crafters are up to. When we saw this DIY jewelry stand made out of plastic soda bottles, we just knew we had to share it with you!

We’ve seen a lot of great recycling crafts during our searches but this one is by far the most beautiful and useful idea. Jewelry is not that easy to organize and even when you have jewelry boxes they aren’t always the most attractive (or environmental friendly) holders. Why not make your own, aesthetically pleasing jewelry stand that repurposes the bottom of old plastic bottles?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two 2 liter bottles of soda
  • One 1 liter bottle of soda
  • One 20oz bottle of soda
  • One 12-inch length of threading rod
  • One bag of nuts
  • One bag of washers
  • Drill
  • Dremel (optional)
  • Glass bead (optional)

The directions are pretty simple and straightforward. You can get detailed instructions by taking a look at the creator’s blog. We’ll give you the basic steps:

  1. First cut the bottom of your soda bottles off as deep or as shallow as you’d like. These will serve as the holders for your jewelry on the stand, so keep in mind what jewelry you’d like to put on each bottom.
  2. Drill holes that are the same size as your threaded rod in the center of each “petal.”
  3. Stick the rod through the holes and secure it with the nuts and washers.
  4. Decorate and place jewelry.

Don’t forget to post pictures of your completed craft on our Facebook page and keep the conversation going about recycling on Twitter using #werecycle @westsideenviro!

Recycled Cans Bowling Craft

We love the start of fall here at Westside Environmental. The kids are back in school, temperatures are starting to get cooler, football is starting up—did we mention the kids are back in school?

As relaxing as your kid-free home might be, we know you secretly miss spending time with them. When we came across this fun recycled craft we knew it was perfect for an afterschool or weekend activity with your little students. Not only is soup can bowling a craft that’s fun to make with your kids, but it’s also a game that can be played over and over again for unlimited fun!

Recycled Can Bowling

Recycled Can Bowling Game

This craft is easy to make and only requires a few materials that you can find in your home. All you’ll need are soup cans, a 5″ Styrofoam ball, and some paint! The soup cans will serve as your bowling pins so while we recommend five for the size of the Styrofoam ball, you’re welcome to use as many as you wish you recycle! The more cans you use the more challenging your game will be!

Here’s how you put it all together:

  1. Clean out your soup cans and dry them so they’ll be ready to be painted!
  2. Paint your Styrofoam ball black like a bowling ball. For some added detail, add three white dots to serve as finger holes.
  3. Next, let your kids paint the soup cans however they’d like. Let them get creative! You never know what your little art students are going to come up with!
  4. Paint numbers on the front of the cans with black paint. Be sure to paint them with the bottom of the paint can facing up!

All that’s left to do is to line them up and knock them down! Don’t forget to post pictures of your completed craft on our Facebook page and keep the conversation going about recycling on Twitter using #werecycle @westsideenviro!

10 Ways to Reuse Plastic

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We all know these three words. In fact, most of us have grown up hearing them. Why is it then, that we often focus only on “recycle”? Reduce and Reuse are just as important when it comes to going green and taking care of our environment.

This post is going to focus on the second word, “reuse” and how we can reuse plastic bags without just throwing them in the recycling bin or using them again at the store. Over 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. That means every minute, approximately 2 million plastic bags are used. Think about that… that’s a lot of plastic being used probably only one time. Below are 10 creative ways to reuse plastic bags to make our lives easier and our impact on the environment greener.

  1. Keep left over plastic bags in your glove compartment to use as trash and recycling bags on road trips. This is also helpful if you have kids and are just driving across town!
  2. When going on a trip, pack your shoes in plastic bags before you throw them in your luggage. That way, the rest of your belongings will be kept clean from any dirt or germs at the bottom of your shoes. You can also use these on trips to keep dirty clothes separated from clean ones!
  3. Have kids? You can use plastic bags as parachutes for action figures to elevate the fun at playtime. All you need are plastic bags and string (or dental floss!) Check out these directions and get crafting!
  4. If you’re moving anytime soon, save up your plastic bags and use them to pack drinking glasses, vases, and other fragile items. A layer of four bags or so around each object provides it with enough protection without the mess of newspaper ink or broken Styrofoam.
  5. In the winter you can use plastic bags to cover up your side view mirrors and windshield wipers on your car. When it gets cold or snows those parts will be frost-free!
  6. You can even use plastic bags to help you clean! Use them to dust off out-of-season shoes and anything dusty that might be forgotten in your closet.
  7. Plastic bags are soft when piled together so you can use them to stuff pet beds or throw pillows that have thick fabric covers.
  8. When it’s cold outside you can use plastic bags to protect plants from getting frost overnight. Just cover them with the plastic bags and tie the handles around the pots. Make sure you remember to take the bags off in the morning!
  9. If you’re going to be doing arts and crafts, cut slits in the sides of your plastic bags and lay them out on your crafting surface so you don’t make a mess!
  10. If all else fails or you’re just not the creative type, you can save up your plastic bags and donate them. Look for local food pantries, libraries, grocery stores, or hospitals that will take them.

Recycled Bird Feeder

The summer months are the perfect time to spend your days outside. There’s nothing more peaceful than enjoying the beautiful weather and relaxed summer wildlife. An easy way to enjoy the wildlife is to invest in a bird feeder for you yard or apartment. You could invest a lot of money on an expensive bird feeder or you could invest some time by building one yourself. Although it may sound complicated, building your own bird feeder can be very simple and environmentally friendly—especially if you build one from a clear peanut butter container.

Recycled bottles and jars are perfect for crafting bird feeders

We’re always looking for new ways to use old materials and this bird feeder not only makes use of an old peanut butter container but a yogurt lid as well! All the supplies you’ll need are listed here as well as the directions.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a recycled clean plastic, clear peanut butter jar
  • a lid from a large, plastic yogurt container
  • a dremel
  • a washer or nut
  • sturdy string or twine
  • a pair of scissors
  • birdseed
  • Gorilla Glue
  • a stick

This is all you need for crafting your own recycled bird feeder

Once you’ve got your materials together it’s really quite simple to put together. You can also get creative and try different shaped plastic containers. This person decided to use a water bottle. You can use whatever shape or color plastic you can find. Send us some pictures of your finished bird feeders and we’ll share them on our social media pages!

Don’t forget to recycle your cut out pieces from the peanut butter container! And don’t forget to keep the conversation going about recycling on Twitter using #werecycle @westsideenviro!