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Author Topic: RECYCLING ... what a joke!  (Read 11745 times)

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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« on: June 22, 2008, 09:00:42 AM »
Okay.   Alright.

I admit it.  This is a bald-faced imitation of what TexasTimbers did.

My interest here is specific, so I will put it out there.  I just don't have
enough information on it and would like more.  Would you follow a brief
true story line with me to set the stage, please?

My BIL works as in a high tech steam generating power plant at a local
plant.  It is big enough to power the plant and often sells back power.
It can run on gas.  It can run also on coal or rubber nuggets.  Their best
fuel source is the rubber nuggets which are made from recycled tires.

Polyethylene and polypropylene, etc. are solidified polymerized forms
of crude oil products.  Why are we burying, rather than burning these
potential fuels?
  The stuff is everywhere.

Our small sized municipality began a recycling campaign about 15 (?)
years ago.  All of a sudden,  " You shall separate this, that and the other.
It will be collected thusly."  Et cetera, et ceterahha.  That mysteriously
died.  Next, was voluntary recycling, with centers.  Now it has become
a network of centers CALLED recycling centers which only divided a
few types of trash:  recyclable metal like applicances; mulchable limbs;
and regular mixed household garbage.

                              As I said,  my particular question,
                  since we have talked wind and ethanol to death, 
                                         is this one:
      "Why can't plastic waste be either burned for energy or converted
         back from whence it came - a liquid or gaseous energy source?"

P.S.  I would be interested in your own experience with "recycling" in general.
        As a basic idea, I am all for it (but not just any old way will do).
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2008, 09:17:24 AM »
Hey  don't this belong in the joke thread?   

 I think that we can do that, But   people are lazy ,beuracracy has ziltch for forward thinking. It should be done and set into the energy policy.  Oh yah congress has failed to act on any type of energy policy ,nevermind.
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 09:34:32 AM »
"Energy policy" seems to be a mix of various high-stakes games.
Lobbyists report back to their employer/handlers.  The handlers then decide
how to feed the politicians to keep both sides working for the handlers.  They
also make the decision as to whether to keep paying that high-priced lobbyist.
The lobbyist's primary function, then, is to tell both the handlers and the politicians
what they want to hear.

End result is no real energy policy being developed which most logical minds
could recognize as comprehensive or effective or within the realm of reality.
I believe that most politicians spend so much of their time engaged in hearings
and discussions with those of vested interests that they have no time for independent
research and logical thought.  Logical solutions are not the objective of lobbyists.
Often, logical solutions are not the intent of a particular given interest group, either.
On the other hand, they are SUPPOSED TO BE  the objective of our legislators.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline florida

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 01:37:14 PM »
It can, just not at a price that makes it worthwhile. Plastic bottles make great fuel. The problem is how do you gather them up and get them to where they are burned using less energy than they create?
The Federal government mandated that the amount of trash in landfills had to be reduced.   Recycling is the results of that decision but most recyclables costs more to collect then they're worth. Aluminum is the only recyclable that could pay for itself but of course it doesn't  because you can't get enough uncrushed cans in a truck to pay for the truck expenses.
Plastic bottles are even worse since most of them are big, take up a large volume but weigh almost nothing. PVC's burn well they also release chlorine gas and heavy metals which create problems of their own. Polyester bottles don't have chlorine but are better suited to reuse as plastic then as fuel.
If recycling anything really worked we'd be getting paid for the stuff we throw in the blue bins.
General contractor and carpenter for 50 years.

Offline Tom

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2008, 01:47:50 PM »
The empty plastic containers, destined for fuel, could be collected by the municipal pickup if a little "shredder" would be installed on the recycle truck. Those plastics that are not recycled now, could be shredded at the curb and the only limitation would be weight.

While there might be a few, I don't think that most Municipal recycling is done very seriously.
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Offline DanG

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2008, 04:39:16 PM »
Our County's recycling program has bit the dust.  It all goes to the landfill now.

I don't care for the idea of burning plastic.  I'm giving my lungs enough of a fit with these DanG cigarettes.  However, I read or saw somewhere that non-degradable plastics will remain intact for 700 years underground.  That seems like a good thing to me.  Just smush them and bury them under a cornfield and someone may find a use for them someday.

What about tin cans?  Ain't they made out of steel?  I'm sure I throw away at least a hundred pounds of'em every month.  Ya reckon the scrap yard would buy them if I smashed them up and saved up a ton or so?

BTW, I sat next to a guy on a long airline flight, some years ago, and he worked for a company that recycled plastic pop bottles for the carpet industry.  He said they had a baler that could put 40,000 pounds of them on a semi.  Also, I once hauled 770 pounds of uncrushed beer cans in my horse trailer.  After the crusher got through with them, I could have put them in the front seat with me.  If the thief that runs our local scrapyard will pay me 85 cents/lb for them, you can bet your bippy there's some money in it somewhere!
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2008, 05:08:18 PM »
It is definitely an economic issue in our county.

If black rubber can be burned clean enough at a local power facility, then there is a way
to burn plastic cleanly.  I believe that the secret to handling plastic bottles is the same as
handling lumber:  Handle it once.

If I knew that there was a compunction -either legal or economic -to handle my waste plastic
just once into a shredder/sterilizer that would be a possibility.  Styrofoam cups, plastic wrappings,
bottles and other plastic disposables into that device.  Output: small, standardized, sealed blocks of
ready-to-process mixed plastic destined for a refiner or a burner.  No muss; no fuss; no landfill for
that stuff.

Today's fuel costs make many things which were outlandish yesterday into ideas which are quite
financially viable, today.  What about a local power generator which only hauls ten miles to gather
the plastic, then uses a combination of fuels to operate.  Small, efficient, localized.

The only reason such things can not be done (in light of today's fuel prices) is that there are those
who politically DO NOT WANT THEM DONE.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline Ianab

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2008, 05:24:19 PM »
We have a working recycle system in our small town. I probably costs us money to run (paid for by town rates), but it costs money to have it hauled to a landfill as well, so it probably comes out even.

We have 2 kerbside wheelie bins, one for recyclables and one for rubbish. The rubbish one is a bit small, so that creates an incentive to actually sort the recyclables and put them in the other bin.

In the recycle bin you can put cans (aluminum and steel), glass bottles, plastic (1 & 2, that's fizz and milk bottles here), cardboard and newspapers. Once you take that out of your household rubbish, the small bin is enough.

The recycle bins are collected on a different day and the unsorted load is taken and sorted at a central depot, crushed and baled and shipped off to where ever. Sure it costs money to do this, but it costs to dump it anyway.

It's not perfect, but it works.

Ian
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2008, 05:46:53 PM »
I have no idea if my small town is making money or not.I think the best paying one is white office paper.The market goes up and down on all of this stuff.When I had my other house they had curb side pick up for recyles.That was a regional center.They took anything that was not radioative.The town that I live in have roll ways that we put our recyles into,except for glass,cans and plastic containers.Corrugated carboard,cearal boxes,newspaper all needs to be seperated and goes into bins in a roll way.Metal,like old lawn mowers,lamps, a metal stand goes into a roll way.Tin cans,clear,brown,colored glass are all seperated into 55 steel drums.So are all plastic containers.Theres are seprated by white and colored,which all have to be #2.Milk jugs in ME are clear for the most part,these are seperated too.They do take used oil and tires are taken for a fee.Propane tanks,computers,old paint,batteries,have to be taken to the regional center 15 minutes away.There is another roll way for trash,but regular house trash is contracted out to be picked up road side at our homes.
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2008, 07:55:32 PM »
You can see from the responses here that the recycling effort is pretty spastic.
The area around thecfarm in Maine is doing major segregation recycling,
while Laurens County Georgia is only crudely dividing types of trash.

We have had attempts within Georgia to build burn facilities for some types
of waste.  It gets voted down.  I don't think people see the possibilities and
can only focus on the fear of a "Love Canal" coming to their neighborhood.
If a high-tech incinerator  won't fly politically, then it is likely that a high-tech
power generator which burned waste would also have a tough row to hoe.
Like DanG says (as he smokes his cancer stick), burning stuff to get rid of it
just doesn't sound right to a lot of people.

Somewhere sometime hard reality, possibilities, and public education will have
to meet.  The total amount of plastic made yearly in the US, minus the known recycled
tonnage will give a remaining amount.  Whatever than tonnage is represents the amount
of highly concentrated energy which we are spending money on to bury in the ground
again.  Ironic, no?
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Online WDH

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2008, 08:18:01 PM »
We recycle very seriously (I was going to say religiously, but that did not seem right).  It is pretty easy to do here in Houston County, Georgia.  You put the recyclables in bins and set them by the roadside.  They take everything but glass.  That has to be taken to Perry to the recycle center. 

However, most people around here just throw everything away in the roll-away trash cans.  On pick-up days, most of the neighbors cans are full to overflowing.  Ours is usually less than half full.  That is because we recycle everything.

The problem is this........it is too easy just to toss everything.  There is no incentive to recycle.  You have to take it on yourself. 

I say make it mandatory.  Charge for trash by the pound and give back credit for recycles.  There is no excuse where there is an established process to collect recycles curbside to just throw it all away unless you are just lazy.  I hate lazy.

There are a lot of people who just don't care.  They do what is easy, and it is easier to throw it away than recycle it.  I say make it hard to throw it away and then it will be easier to recycle.  Then people will do it. 

You don't see me throwing away good boards in the slab pile :).
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2008, 09:19:48 PM »
In my mind the issues of alternative energy, energy conservation,and recycling all tie together.

It is sad that someone who was really serious about logical policy in all these areas simultaneously
would probably have one heck of a time raising the funds to be elected to national political office.  Many
special interest groups would fear that person.  The key word that would cause the problem is
the "logical" part.  That word would eliminate extreme ideas in favor of a balanced approach, a
concept that special interests, by definition, might not appreciate.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 09:26:19 PM »
Another comment,I have heard of some towns in Maine going to a dollar a bag for trash.You went to the town office to get stickers that cost a dollar each.Seems like towns lose money from the state,goverment if so much is not taken out of the trash.I have heard from one guy at work,one transfer worker will just about go through your trash to make sure you are recycling all that you can.Most towns close to me are manadatory.But the way some get around it is they use a private trash hauler.Supposely the towns was going to crack down on this.I usally only have a half bag a week of trash.
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2008, 10:12:07 PM »
By the way, cfarm, I love your state.

We took a July vacation up there several years ago.
Great memories.  Cool weather.  The cool part was my main reason for going.
We avoided all the busy areas and stayed off the beaten trail. Loved it.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline Ianab

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2008, 03:29:35 AM »
Quote
The problem is this........it is too easy just to toss everything.  There is no incentive to recycle.  You have to take it on yourself.

Hence the smaller rubbish bin. It's plenty big enough IF you recycle. If you dont, you can still take your rubbish to the transfer station if you have too much, or hire a bigger bin off the waste company. Either way you pay extra.

You can take as much extra recyclables as you want to the tansfer station for free.

We did have problems with people putting rubbish in the re-cycle bin, not nice for the workers at the sorting station. But they did a bin inspection for a couple of weeks and took the bins away from a couple of people. They are now stuck with the small bins and have to haul their extra away themselves.

It's not perfect, but it's a working system.

Ian
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2008, 06:39:57 AM »
Our roadsides see too much trash from people too lazy to take it home with them and just toss their fast food wrappers out the window.  If people had to pay a dollar a bag, then we would see trash dumped along roadsides.  We pay for trash services with our taxes.  So you pay whether you use them or not.
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Offline breederman

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2008, 07:12:04 AM »
If our county doesn't send enough tons of garbage to the land fill we get asessed a higher tipping fee!  Reduce our garbage,pay more to get rid of it. >:(
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Offline Engineer

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2008, 08:53:02 AM »
Here in my small town, we take recycling very seriously.  In the early 90's the town was on the fence about putting in some sort of recycling facility, and after seeing a couple of other local towns put them in and make a profit off of them, we decided to do the same thing.  I was on the selectmen's board at the time and made the facility my "pet project"; it got built and a year later I got off the board.

We separate everything.  The system has changed significantly since fifteen years ago but what's current is: Corrugated cardboard goes into a baler.  All paper, except for wrapping paper, gets baled for a trip to a power plant, and that's including pasteboard, magazines, white paper and newspaper.  For some odd reason I haven't figured out, all plastics marked with a triangular recycling symbol (1-7) and steel cans go into one giant bin.  They take 'em somewhere and recycle them.  Aluminum goes into a bin, returnables with deposit go into a bin if you don't want to take 'em to the store yourself, glass goes into a big dumpster and crushed, and we have several piles in a different location for all other metals, white goods, electronics, brush, tires and construction/demolition waste.  There is even a section set up for used books and magazines if you don't want to actually throw them out, the "free-library" get a lot of business.  Also a bin for used cell phones that they donate to some cause, and a shelf for egg cartons that a local farmer picks up. 

The only thing that really goes in the packer truck is really trash - diapers, foam, plastic wrappers, meat bones,  contaminated paper/plastic goods.  We, as a family of seven, with two kids in diapers, average six kitchen-size bags of trash per month, and when the urchins are out of diapers, we'll be able to cut that down to one or two.  We try to avoid things that are hard to recycle, like aerosol cans (Cheez Whiz and Reddi-Whip, anyone?) and buy things in bulk so that it's more likely we have to recycle a large box than a bunch of small foam trays and plastic wrap.  I also save newspapers, white paper and corrugated cardboard; it heats my house. 

Offline ely

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2008, 09:23:25 AM »
we recycle all of our tin cans, aresol,soup and others. basically if it will stick to a magnet it will get sold. and for that matter if it does not stick to a magnet it will still get sold. everything else gets burnt.

Offline jim king

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Re: RECYCLING ... what a joke!
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2008, 09:58:32 AM »
It seems it is a much easier problem to solve in a third world country.  Here we have people who live at the city dump and collect everything you can imagine.  Only organic material is not recycled, everything has a market here.


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