Nov
3


Recycling: A Refresher Course

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This primer reminds you of what you can and can’t recycle―and why.

Plastic

Most plastics are recyclable,” says Keith Christman, senior director of packaging at the American Chemistry Council Plastics Division, in Arlington, Virginia. The problem is, not all plastics are recyclable everywhere. Almost all recycling programs accept plastics numbered 1 and 2. (Look for the number on the underside of a product, inside the ubiquitous triangle of chasing arrows.) But the numbers are not regulated federally; 39 states have various rules, so what you see can be inconsistent. “The plastics industry has put the recycle symbol on everything,” says Marti Matsch of Eco-Cycle, in Boulder, Colorado. “People think the symbol means the item is recyclable, but that’s not always true.” More than a tool for recycling, “the symbol identifies what a certain plastic is made of,” Christman says.

Here's a cheat sheet:

No. 1: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET, PETE), the most widely recycled plastic, is used for soft-drink bottles and is also commonly found in textiles, which explains why a bottle can be turned into fleece.

No. 2: High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used for detergent bottles and grocery bags.

No. 3: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) is what salad-bar containers are made from.

No. 4: Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is used for dry-cleaning and fresh-produce bags.

No. 5: Polypropylene (PP) is what makes bottle caps, yogurt cups, and drinking straws.

No. 6: Polystyrene (PS) is also known as Styrofoam.

No. 7: These “other” plastics, such as polycarbonate baby bottles, are generally not recyclable at most centers.

Paper

Putting the wrong type in the wrong bin can make a difference. Recycling facilities work to keep similar papers together so they can get the most money for their products. (For example, office paper, which has long fibers, is worth a lot more than the “mixed paper” of cereal boxes, which has shorter fibers.) Another factor is food contamination. Plastic, glass, and metal containers are cleaned to remove food, but paper is not. Food particles can contaminate an entire batch, as the food (along with the paper) begins to biodegrade if it is left to sit. When paper is recycled, it is pureed into a pulp “smoothie” and passes through screens that take out anything that’s not paper: chunks of wood, plastic, or glass; paper clips; staples. It’s then treated with chemicals to remove inks, which means recycled office paper can still be white.

Metal

Recycling metal saves an enormous amount of energy and money. All steel products, for example, contain at least 25 percent steel scrap, which requires 75 percent less energy to produce than “virgin” steel and explains why scrap metal has become a valuable commodity. As for aluminum cans, recycling just one saves enough energy to run your TV for 2½ hours. Metal is separated into two piles―ferrous (containing iron) and nonferrous. The device that figures this out? An industrial-size magnet that attracts ferrous metals, like steel, but not aluminum, which is nonferrous.

Glass

Recyclable glass almost always refers to “container” glass―that is, bottles and jars. Other types, like windshields and Pyrex, have different melting points and are not accepted by most recyclers.




Comments


Jan - Monday, July 19, 2010 @ 9:50 PM
Running out to my recycle container right now to check. Helpful article.






Comments subject to review.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Generational Housing Needs and Their Effect on the Market

Saturday, May 13, 2017
Consumer Agency Launches Tool To Help You Find A Cheaper Mortgage

Saturday, April 8, 2017
King County home prices resume their climb

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Keys to Help Buyers Compete in a Seller's Market

Thursday, May 23, 2013
10 Things Buyers Need to Know

Sunday, April 14, 2013
Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The 8 Top Home-Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Fiscal Cliff Bill a Benefit for Homeowners

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Should You Help Your Adult Kids Buy Their First Home?

Monday, October 29, 2012
Economists Bullish on Housing Recovery

Sunday, October 21, 2012
What is moving housing upward?

Monday, September 10, 2012
Five Common Mortgage Myths

Thursday, August 2, 2012
It's a great time to be a seller

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Are appraisers falling behind on home value increases?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Is Now the Time to Invest in Rentals?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
4 Guidelines for Successful Negotiations

Thursday, May 24, 2012
5 Reasons Now is the Time to Buy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Unique Housing Market

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Buying a home won’t get much cheaper

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
New Rules to Speed-up Short Sales

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Home Prices to Rise in 2013

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Buying Cheaper than Renting in 98 of Top 100 Major U.S. Markets

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Five Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Thursday, March 8, 2012
How the FHA Loan Plan Can Help You Refinance

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards

Estella said
"That is a beautiful shot with very good lighting ." about Women Consider Owning a Home to be a Vital Component of the American Dream
on Sunday, May 12, 2013 @ 9:57 AM

Chris White - Team Leader said
"Unfortunately you are not alone. It's more than an outcry. The powers that be really need to come down harder on Bofa than they already are. Working on these short sale for over 2 years now I've uncovered down right fraud happening on the lenders parts. If they cared more about moving this country forward than protecting their own wallets then they would cut the red tape and approve these short sales in a timely manner. Our team made the wise decision to get BofA loans which were FHA or Freddie Mac backed, approved prior to listing on the market. Then we can list the home as "Price Approved" and close in 30 days. In this instance BofA does a full appraisal, rather than an incompetent "Broker Price Opinion" (nothing against agents but they have no idea how to make adjustments on comparable homes) and then the bank issues an "Approval To Participate" letter which dictates what price we can go on the market and take anything north of 88%. I really do hope your situation improves. " about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:15 AM

Lisa Zeiner said
"We made an offer 4 months ago to BofA, and have heard nothing. It was a cash offer which is better than the zero money they are collecting now. And since the people don't care they are trashing the place, by the time BofA gets around to it our offer will be gone as the place is a mess!! Septic issues now, garbage being dumnped. All of this could have been avoided if BofA really wanted to correct their cash flow problem and sell these properties in a timely manner. They cry about cash but then do nothing intelligent to fix the problem" about Congressional Bill to Speed Up Short Sales
on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 @ 9:06 AM

Jones Ramirez said
"Thank you for the work you have done into this post, it helps clear up a few questions I had." about How do appraiser’s determine a homes value?
on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 @ 10:07 PM

HollyRobsonf said
"Hey - I am certainly happy to find this. great job!" about Bank of America to Offer Principal Reduction to Underwater Borrowers
on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 @ 6:45 PM