Everything you know about recycling is probably wrong

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A refresher for the new decade.

The next time you pass a recycling bin, do yourself a favor and take a peek inside. See anything unusual? Let’s rip the Band-Aid off right now: Turns out many of the things we drop into recycling bins don’t go on to beautiful second lives as bespoke greeting cards or shiny new bikes — a large percentage of this stuff actually ends up in landfills.

If you’re just tuning in, some background to our current recycling problem: In 2018, China, which previously bought and processed 70%(!) of the US’s recycled plastics, changed its policies about what kinds of recycled waste it would accept. China banned imports of certain types of paper and plastic, and cracked down on contamination (like leftover food scraps) in the materials they still process and recycle.

As long as we were shipping our recycling overseas, Americans never really had to deal with the repercussions of being, to quote Alana Semuels at The Atlantic, “terrible at recycling.” We tend to just throw everything into the bin without much thought about whether everything is actually, you know, recyclable. Now that US towns and cities are scrambling to figure out how to deal with recyclables, Semuels explains, they have two options: “pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.”

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Illegal Toxic Waste Can Be Spotted From Space

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No place to hide

Move over Erin Brockovich. Today’s environmental detectives can use radar, helicopters and even satellite images to help them spot illegal toxic waste dumps and help catch those responsible.  Ironically, the tightening of restrictions on waste disposal and the enforcement of new recycling laws have made illegal dumping more likely, turning it into big business for the criminals involved.

 

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Terrabon Develops Process To Convert Vinegar Into Gasoline

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Inside this white building, piles of sorghum are broken down into acids. The acids they produce can be used to make gasoline.

A company that has developed a process for converting organic waste and other biomass into gasoline–Terrabon, based in Houston–recently announced a partnership with Waste Management, the giant garbage-collection and -disposal company based in Houston. The partnership could help Terrabon bring its technology to market.

 

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Biodegradable Packaging Designed For McDonald’s

Biodegradable Packaging Designed For McDonald’s

Biodegradable packaging designed by University of the Arts graduate student, Andrew Millar 

Have you ever eaten at a fast food restaurant and noticed how much trash comes with your burger, drink and fries? University of the Arts graduate student, Andrew Millar has noticed the amount of trash and has designed an alternative eco-solution to this wasteful problem. (Pics)

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AlwaysOn Selects BioFuelBox As A GoingGreen Top 100 Winners

AlwaysOn Selects BioFuelBox As A GoingGreen Top 100 Winners

 Converting waste into ASTM quality biodiesel

BioFuelBox Corporation today announced that it has been chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the GoingGreen Top 100 Winners. BioFuelBox was specially selected from a list of more than 500, with nominations coming from top venture capital firms and a wide breadth of green technology insiders.

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