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.

What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a Philosophy

zero waste recycling green background with the earth rising above the white words zero waste

This philosophy brings recycling into every step of the consumer system. Zero Waste encourages humanity to design products and systems that use recycled materials and discourage waste. In a nutshell, all resources used to create new products should come from recycled sources, the products should also not be thrown away, they should recycled further to create new things. Basically, waste not, want not.

zero waste recycling methods infographic

“Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.” says the Grass Roots Recycling Network.

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out more information about our recycling center and how we are trying to get New Jersey as close to Zero Waste as possible. Check us out on Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  Click our logo below if you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey construction crews go green.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

Westside Environmental

What is LEED? Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

Want to learn more about LEED and LEED Qualifications?

LEED is transforming the way we think about construction. More crews are building sustainable communities. Check out this LEED  infographic and see how it’s helping New Jersey with going green. Learn how you can build responsible projects. LEED certification helps contractors in industrial, commercial, and  residential construction projects effectively manage, use, and dispose of resources and waste.

What is LEED in construction and recycling? Environmental waste removal and new house construction use LEED a certification process to signal if a house is eco-friendly.

Want to Learn More?

Check out these great resources:

  1. U.S. Green Building Council (Click here)
  2. Create an account to start your LEED project (Click here)
  3. Green Build Vimeo HD Video Conference (Click here)

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out our environmental news and eco tips on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  Click here if you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey go green. that link.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

Today is National Learn about Composting Day 2014

What is National ‘Learn about Composting’ Day?

It’s always May 29th. It’s a day to teach your kids, your employees, and yourself about composting. Today is the perfect opportunity to go green and help the environment. Composting is simple, here’s a guide to help you get started (Click here). What Westside environmental does for soil is a bit like composting, instead of putting nutrients in, we take pollution out. We clean the soil so it can safely be used again. This is called soil remediation.  But today we are talking about composting and how it keeps our environment a little greener. Everyone can compost. You just need to start.

can for composting on national learn to compost day may 29th westside environmental blog

What you should  compost

As we learn to throw out less compostable waste, we divert garbage from going into the landfill. There are long lists of things to compost so there will be no trouble getting started. Most people know that you can compost vegetable scraps from the kitchen, garden trimmings, and yard vegetation. Here is a complete list of what you can compost (click here). There are also household items to compost such as raw untreated wood, cardboard, and newspaper.

compost is great for soil westside environmental

Where to start

You will need a composter which you make (click here) or purchase (click here) or start on your lawn (see infographic below). Read up on the links we provided so you know exactly what to compost and how to get started. Start composting today, you can help save the planet, keep more waste out of landfill and save money.

where to start when learning to compost. an infographic

Connect with Westside Environmental

Check out our eco news and green tips on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+.  If you want to learn how Westside Environmental is helping New Jersey go green then click that link.  Tweet us at @WestsideEnviro.

Westside Environmental

Recycled Art – Can Sculptures

We got a lot of retweets this week for a series of posts on beautifully designed tin can sculptures. We collected the most popular recycled art and wanted to share them with our blog followers. If you aren’t already following us on twitter, you should. We tweet awesome stuff about recycling, DIY, environmental news, crafts, and art.

Recycled Art - Tin Can Sculptures

Defender of Recycling Facilities everywhere.

Recycled Art - Tin Can Sculptures

Yoshi was green before it was cool. Keep recycling!

Recycled Art - Tin Can Sculptures batman

I. Am. Batman.

Recycled Art - Tin Can Sculptures pixar dinsey toy story

Disney Recycling Art! So cool.

Recycled Art - Tin Can Sculptures pokemon pikachu

Guess which Pokemon

Recycled Art - Tin Can Sculptures pixar Wall-e Walle

Pixar goes green with Walle

If these incredible images don’t move you then you won’t like any of the cool posts we have on  Twitter,  Facebook, or Google+. That’s fine, we have other posts for you about how recycling can save you money. But, if you have any cool tin can sculptures you want to share with us, tweet us @WestsideEnviro.


Recycling Grants Available for Community Organizations and Schools trying to Reduce Waste

Recycling grants – What are they?

Governments or corporations give money or services to communities, colleges, and businesses to help them go green and recycle. Coca-cola is offering some recycling grants to communities and colleges. Take a look and see if you know someone Coke can help out.

Act fast! This grant stops March 3, 2014. The Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant Program gives recycling bins to supports recycling in communities and on college and university campuses. Coca-Cola is providing bins to selected recycling grant recipients for the collection of beverage container recyclables. There are a limited number of Grants available so apply now. This grant will be provided to a only some applicants who can demonstrate how their proposals will lead to sustainable recycling opportunities. recycling grants Coca-cola, coke recycling reduce waste for colleges and communities

Think  how your community can benefit from recycling. Have a clear plan for how you want to build a recycling plan around these bins.

Here’s a break down of the grant programs two areas of focus: There are Public Space bins and College Space Bins. Keep reading to apply for your community or college.

Public Space Bin Grants The Public Space bin grant program is open to non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools and religious organizations. Learn more about the Public Space Bin Grants.

Who can apply?

For the Public Space bin grant program, the grant program is open to non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools and religious organizations. For profit businesses are not eligible to directly receive grants. They may however partner with otherwise eligible organizations on proposals submitted in the eligible organization’s name. Click here to apply


Recycling grants, coke, coca-cola, recycling waste reduction

Collegiate Bin Grants The collegiate bin grant program is open to two-year and four-year degree granting colleges and universities. Learn more about the Collegiate Bin Grants.

Here’s the application process from the Coca Cola Website for 2 year and 4 year colleges.

2 Year Community Colleges

Local community colleges face unique challenges to building recycling programs, often times with fewer operational resources than larger four year schools. We’re pleased this year to offer dedicated grants for community colleges in addition those awarded to larger colleges and universities. Click here to apply

4 Year Colleges and Universities

Colleges and universities are small cities that generate large numbers of cans and bottles and offer an opportunity to encourage recycling at a time when many students are developing lifelong habits. By targeting colleges, the grant’s purpose is to help campuses overcome obstacles to implement or expand recycling programs that address long term recycling participation. Click here to apply

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Green Demolition – Environmentally friendly material recovery

Green Demolition and Material Recovery Facilities

Green demolition otherwise known as green deconstruction is a growing industry. Westside Environmental, an NJ based green recovery facility keeps 85 percent of construction waste out of a landfills. Accomplishing this takes care and attention. Sure, you can go in with a bulldozer and a wreck a place, but that’s not what green demolition is about. Deconstruction means finding valuable recyclables and diverting waste from landfills. This may cost more upfront, but you’ll save on tipping costs (what they charge to dump in landfills) and get tax credits.

Green demolition deconstruction demolition recycling environmental

Green demolition is required for LEED Certification,  which promote environmentally sustainable construction. LEED Certification gives added value to a construction project, and credits are given to a new project that diverts at least half of its construction waste from landfills.

Green demolition deconstruction. We believe waste management means diverting waste from landfills, and recycling what some call garbage. From municipal garbage collection to recycling tires

The alternative to onsite separation is taking waste to an environmentally friendly recovery facility that accept bulk deliveries, such as Westside Environmental in New Jersey. These facilities can  handle sorting different materials.

In some places green demolition is mandatory, such as in cities like San Diego, California. Construction crews pay a hefty deposit when they file for a building permit. They get the money back when they prove at least 50 percent of their construction waste has been recycled or reused. Talk about an incentive.

Once companies train their crews to deconstruct with recycling in mind, costs between traditional demolition and environmentally friendly deconstruction are reduced.

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Is the Super Bowl Going Green?

Super Bowl is Going Green

Imagine the Super Bowl and you see BIG American style partying: thousands of beer cans, tailgaters, huge crowds and a Mardi Gras sized mess when the out-of-towners pack up and go back home. This year the Super Bowl is going green.

The greenest part of the Big Game is no longer the guacamole or the turf on the field. Every year since the early 1990′s the NFL  has been going green at the Super Bowl. This year’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium will be the greenest to date. The league will be composting food to use as bio-diesel to run their generators. They are even planting trees to offset the carbon emissions from the event.

Super Bowl is Going green. Generators Heating the Big Game will be run by biodiesel

Super Bowl is Going Green. Generators Heating the Big Game will be run by biodiesel

Jack Groh, the NFL’s environmental programs director is trying to “stay ahead of the curve.” According to Groh, they try to increase their environmentally friendly practices each year. The biggest concern is keeping MetLife Stadium warm in the middle of a cold north eastern February. To run the generators used to heat the 13 block Super Bowl Boulevard, Groh will be using  Biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil. These generators will help bring power to the masses and keep the event toasty and warm.

Like Westside Environmental, making the world greener is Groh’s passion. Starting in 1994 in Atlanta, his biggest step forward was simply recycling bottles and cans at the Super Bowl. No one really thought about it before Groh got there.

Westside and Groh are constantly going green. For example, according to Groh, thousands of trees have been planted to offset carbon emissions created by the the Super Bowl. You can smell the smog clearing.

Super Bowl is going green by offsetting carbon emissions by planting trees offset

Breathe it in, This year the NFL will be planting trees to offset the Super Bowl’s carbon footprint

There will also be hundreds of recycling bins and compost pales to reduce landfill waste. Thousands of pounds of beer cup plastics and  can metals will be kept out of our landfills because of Groh. He said, “Our primary objective is to see that it doesn’t go to a landfill,”.

It’s great to see an organization that is  common sense solutions to problems we all face every year. Hopefully New Jersey can learn from this and promote environmentally friendly practices like the ones being pioneered by Groh.

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Image Credit: Grow Trees



Recycled Aggregate

What is Recycled Aggregate?

Today we will be exploring the definition, uses, and benefits of recycled aggregate. If you are in construction or roadwork you should listen up. We  have news that could save you money while helping the environment.

Seriously, what is Recycled Aggregate?

Recycled aggregate is created by crushing asphalt, concrete, and construction waste. When recycled it is used in roadwork as a road base or in construction. Recently this eco material  has been used to create environmentally friendly public street furniture. Its applications are always growing.

Recycled Aggregate concrete street furniture and road pavement

Recycled Aggregate is being used to create public street furniture.

Benefits of Recycled Aggregate

Using recycled aggregate saves money for purchasers, local governments and it creates a green economy. Recycled aggregate takes less energy to make than creating brand new material. Westside Environmental believes that when recycling is done correctly, it conserves precious resources. That’s why we have been involved in recycling for over 20 years.

Let’s review the benefits

Environmentally friendly


Helps grow the economy

Where would I use Recycled Aggregate?

Crews usually use recycled aggregate in paved roads as shoulders, aggregate base,and  sub-base. It has also been used in gravel roads as surfacing. Most modern buildings have it for building foundation. It is frequently used in construction to fill utility trenches. However, with a little imagination you can use this product almost anywhere.

Recently, the national university of Singapore successfully recycled aggregate and concrete into unusual uses. Primarily they have used it to repair and renovate. But they have made strides in the construction entirely new buildings. As seen in the picture below, they even created public benches out of aggregate. We believe this style of construction is a step towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Recycled Aggregate Concrete benches in Singapore

Aggregate Concrete benches in Singapore

Give us a call  at 201-472-1030 to see if aggregate is right for your project.

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