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.
- 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
- 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)
- Recycle. This means:
- Recycle common items such as:
- Purchase items made from recycled materials such as:
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?
What Are Household Hazardous Wastes?
You wouldn’t know it, but there is probably a large amount of hazardous waste in your home. Any bottle that says: Danger! Warning! or Poison! Is probably dangerous to both you and the environment. Products like paints, cleaners, oils and pesticides are just a few household products that contain potentially hazardous ingredients and therefore require extra care when you dispose of them.
How to Dispose of Household Hazardous Wastes
Because of these dangerous ingredients, these materials and other HHW’s cannot be poured down the sink or in your backyard because then they pose a threat to sanitation workers, septic tanks, children, and the environment as a whole. Many communities in the U.S. offer a variety of different options for safely managing hazardous waste and it’s important for you and the environment to take advantage of these programs!
Benefits of Proper Household Hazardous Waste Management
Disposing of your HHW’s correctly isn’t enough. To make an even stronger impact on the environment it’s important to reduce the purchase of HHW’s as well. It’s really quite easy when you think about it. Before you buy a HHW product, ask yourself these two questions:
- Does it do just one job, or can I use it for multiple tasks?
- What restrictions does this product have?
- Does the label say what to do if the product contacts skin, or is inhaled or swallowed?
If a product can only be used for one task, has a lot of restrictions, and doesn’t contain the proper medical advice, it’s probably best to steer clear from buying it. Reducing the amount of HHW’s you purchase in your household helps conserve energy and materials that would have been used to make the product in the first place.
When you reduce the amount of HHW’s your buy and dispose of them in the proper manner, you are doing a lot of good for yourself and for the environment. To learn more about HHW’s, visit the EPA’s information page. If you’re looking to safely dispose of any petroleum or lead contaminated soil, get in touch with a Westside Environmental Application Form.
Here at West Side Environmental we’re concerned about the preservation of our environment and the proper disposal of materials. Basically, we think recycling is really trendy. Who cares what Rihanna wore to the MET Gala? If it wasn’t recycled plastic bottles and cardboard TP rolls, we’re really not that interested.
So while it might be a while before the likes of Rihanna thinks recycled clothing is the new black, we hope that these recycling trends will inspire you to make a difference in the way you dispose of your waste. Here’s a quick look at the freshest ways the leaders in the waste and recycling industry are staying green.
1. Most companies in our industry are embracing the change from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas (CNG). 10% of all waste and recycling truck fleets have made the big switch in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
2. Big cities are creating more aggressive waste agendas. For example, New York City just signed a 20-year agreement with Covanta to convert the city’s municipal solid waste (MSW) into clean, reusable energy.
3. Dealing with coal ash is another new trend in the recycling industry. Coal ash is formed when coal is burned to create steam for power generation. Approximately 45% of all coal ash is reused.
4. Extended Producer Responsibility laws are gaining ground in certain areas of the country. These are the laws that pertain to the disposal of more hazardous materials like batteries.
5. Financial performance is increasing for recycling companies. This means that the population is becoming more environmentally aware and recycling more.
6. Mergers and acquisitions of multiple recycling and waste companies are a large trend in the industry.
7. More and more states are now embracing recycling goals. Comprehensive recycling plans are a growing trend.
8. Lastly, States are banning food waste from landfills and adopting organics recycling.
Did you know 33 tons of food is disposed of every year in the United States? Imagine how many people we could feed if we could salvage just ½ of that waste in a year. Perhaps it could feed some, or better yet all, of the 17 million Americans that don’t have enough food. At least that is what Chef Michael Love hopes to achieve with his book, The Salvage Chef Cookbook. He’s not suggesting you start raiding through trash bins, but rather, take another look at the food you’re throwing out before it goes into the trash, teaching you how to be creative with your cooking.
“Every day families throw away perfectly edible yet overlooked food as they are often unaware of how to ‘salvage’ it and create something delicious,” Love has said.
The Salvage Chef Cookbook isn’t just 125 recipes for cooking food ‘on it’s way out’ – but rather an educational book on proper food storage with answers to commonly asked questions about food.
“Salvage to most people means saving something that has been discarded. To me, salvaging in the kitchen is about taking real food destined for the trash bin and finding an innovative and delicious purpose for it, thereby saving money, reducing waste and delivering delicious food to the table,” said Love.
Learn more about the book and author by visiting www.lovecancook.com. And, if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of your own to start being a part of the solution check it out on Amazon.com.
Thank you Earth911 for teaching us about this great cookbook!
Here is a list of 7 things we thought were interesting, and think you should know, about Americans, and their waste and recycling habits. What one surprises/shocks you the most?
- American’s throw away about 3 pounds of garbage every day!
- If you stacked all of the aluminum cans recycled in 2010 they would be 1,454 times taller than the Empire State Building, or if you laid them out they would circle the earth 169 times!
- A glass container can go from a recycling bin to a store shelf in as few as 30 days – and many glass container manufacturers use up to 70% recycled glass when making a new product
- If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
- In 2009, the plastic bottle recycling rate reached a record high of 2.5 billion pounds, or 28% of all plastic bottles consumed in the United States.
- Each year, more steel is recycled than aluminum, paper, glass and plastic combined.
- Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
Wondering where we found out all this information, or want to find out more about American’s recycling habits? Check out these interesting and informative websites:
And don’t forget to keep the conversation going about recycling on Twitter using #werecycle @westsideenviro!
What they don’t want you to know
There are Green waste management services like Cardella Waste and Westside Environmental and then there’s NonGreen dumpster rental services. These commercial construction waste haulers don’t want you to know this one thing. It is more expensive to dump the waste generated when building a New York skyscraper or a New Jersey home than it is to recycle it. Don’t give your waste to a roll-off rental company that just dumps directly into a landfill. It’s cheaper to use a company that recycles and then only goes to the landfill as a last resort.
How does Recycling Lower your New Jersey Tipping Fee
Every pound of waste that is given to a landfill costs you more money. New Jersey has some of the highest tipping fees in the country. The average cost per ton of waste is $72 according to a 2013 survey of Tipping Fees per US State. Recycling waste from a construction site means you can save thousands of dollars by the end of the project. Remember, the tipping fee is more expensive than the cost to recycle in many parts of the US.
Get in Touch
Click the link to learn more about our Green Services for construction crews seeking LEED qualification or just looking to save on hauling construct waste. Don’t forget to check out our other blog post here.
Broken Promises for NJ
New Jersey is home to an environmental nightmare left over by industrial dumping and illegal waste disposal. Over four decades ago, politicians promised the peopel of NJ that they would clean up this mess. This political rhetoric has left a wake of nearly 20,000 contaminated sites across the state. NJ is also the proud winner of the most superfund sites in the country. Don’t clap, that’s not a good thing.
Whats really happening in NJ
We have contaminated soil all across the garden state. Here is an ongoing list, compiled and curated by the Bergen Record for all the news articles that have come out about cleaning up contaminated soil. (Click here for the updated list)
We want our politicians to help lead the charge in creating a cleaner NJ. Although, according to the New York Times, Governor Chris Christie has invited soil remediation services to dump unprocessed contaminated soil on marshes (click here). Westside Environmental has had enough. It’s time for politicians to commit to environmentally friendly practices that create clean soil. We want to keep as much contaminated waste out of landfills and ecosystems as we can. New Jersey soil remediation is the only answer. Do you agree? Tell us in the comments.
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.
Soil Remediation – Clean Soil, Air, and Water
What is Soil Remediation? We hear that question a lot at Westside Environmental (WE) and WE have answered it briefly in previous blog posts. Today we’re going to quickly go through everything you need to know. If you have a construction project going on and your soil tested positive for something foul, listen up. WE are the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area’s greenest material recovery facility and soil remediation center. We’re going to keep you up to speed and explain what soil remediation is.
Westside Enviironmental Makes Soil Healthy
Soil remediation is when soil is purified after it is contaminated. Soil cleanup is just one part of environmental remediation. What is Environmental remediation? Glad you asked, it includes pursuits to clean the air, water and repair damage to the Earth. These important ecological efforts are supported worldwide by the United State, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Each country, and many others, are in one form or another involved soil remediation.
Deciding the method to clean the soil occurs on a case by case basis. There is no magic bullet. Different strategies are used depending on the nature of the soil contamination. We will discuss these later in the post. If you are making the decision to use soil remediation you should think through the following questions:
- How will this method disturb the humans and wildlife living in the general vicinity?
- What is the expected success rate predicted from this remediation?
- Does the company perform onsite or do they safely remove the soil for minimal disturbance.
Soil Remediation Methods
The methods most often used in soil remediation are dredging and excavation. This requires extracting harmful soil and moving it to a landfill designated for soil remediation. Usually, the soil is recycled as fill for the recently excavated area.
Clean Soil, Air, and Water
New methods to clean the environment are being tested every day. Soon soil remediation will make it possible for people to grow food with purified water on previously contaminated land. Westside environmental is a partner in making the world a greener place. Get involved and make an appointment today at www.WestsideEnvironmental.com.
Got a question? You should give us a call at 201-472-1030
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Photo Credit: NRCS