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What Happens to Recycled C&D Materials?

What Happens to Recycled C&D Materials?

C&D waste refers to construction and development waste that occurs when there’s a new construction project happening. Some of these materials are byproducts of building something new. The large bulk of the materials, however, come from demolition and clearing out old structures. The challenge here is that C&D waste has a huge variety of things under its umbrella. Anything from pavement to carpeting to tiles are included. In fact, it even includes pipes, drywall, and, you guessed it, the kitchen sink. So when we recycle C&D materials, what actually happens for them? Benefits of Recycling C&D Materials Lower disposal costs Less carbon emissions Preserves resources Give Materials a Second Life Much of the time, manufacturers of construction materials offer a buy-back program for old materials, as they can use it to produce new ones. However, sometimes these bits and pieces are turned into something entirely new. Here are some of the things that we do with old construction materials. Bricks and blocks: Whole bricks can be collected for use in another project. If they’re all broken up, they can still be used as surfacing in sports arenas, for gravel in landscaping and paving projects, and to make new bricks. Wood: Wood leavings can be chipped, and then used for chipboard, landscaping projects, or even for a base in playgrounds. Plasterboard and gypsum: Plasterboard can be reprocessed into new plasterboard pretty easily, much of the time. It can also be used for moldings while installing bathroom fixtures, or even to condition soil. Plastic: Recycled plastic can be used for many things, including outdoor furniture and landscaping projects. Sometimes, it’s also...
4 Creative Tricks for Less Trash

4 Creative Tricks for Less Trash

Looking for ways to reduce the amount of garbage that you throw out each week? There’s a lot of our waste that’s ultimately unnecessary when we start to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are some clever ways that you reduce the amount of trash that you use. 1: Minimize Bottles and Cartons So much of what ends up in our trash can is from the things we drink. Bottles from water and soda, cartons from milk and juice, and even paper or foam cups can all crowd our trash can. What can you do to reduce the amount of waste produced by your beverages? Well, first of all, you can install a filter in your kitchen and start trying to drink more tap water. Plastic water bottles are harming the ocean’s ecosystem, and it’s a relatively easy switch to make. Additionally, drinking water instead of sugary drinks will help your whole family be healthier. If you demand some flavoring in your drink, look into drinks that you can mix yourself in a pitcher, or little drops that infuse the water with flavor and electrolytes. 2: Cancel Paper Subscriptions, Opt Online How often do you grab the day’s mail, sort through checking for important bills or cards, and then just dump the bulk of it in the trash? Even if the mail is something that we’ve opted-in for, like bank statements, or magazines, there are more eco-friendly ways to get the same information. Wherever possible, change your notifications and subscriptions to email. Then, start going through all the ads and mailers that you get and call them to see...
Dealing with Yard Waste

Dealing with Yard Waste

Now that the summer season is upon us, lots of people are getting their hands dirty with some yard work. If you can avoid the hottest part of the day, it’s a great time to knock out a yard project that will make your outdoor space a nicer place to be. However, along with yard work comes a lot of green waste. In fact, if you’re being really proactive in your yard, you might find yourself completely filling up your trash cans with grass clippings, dead branches, and fallen leaves. Here are some different ways that you can deal with yard waste: Compost Pile Many people use yard waste to balance out their compost pile, which is a great way to recycle organic waste. See, in order to properly mix, compost must be an even mix of “brown” materials, which are carbon-rich, and “green” materials, which are nitrogen-rich. Green materials include food scraps, grass clippings, and even manure. Brown materials, on the other hand, are usually drier, fibrous materials like wood chips, straw, dead leaves, or newspapers. If you don’t compost at your home, you might have a neighbor who needs the materials–ask around! Rent or Buy a Chipper/Shredder Even if you compost your materials, you might need an extra step in processing green waste, and that’s where a chipper comes in. Giant tree shredders are available, but you can also get a personal unit, or rent one. This will transform branches and leaves, and any other green material, into sawdust that can easily be disposed of, or used for other purposes. Take It to the Dump In order...
Upcycling Is The New Recycling

Upcycling Is The New Recycling

How often have you been driving home from work, and seen a lonely piece of furniture sitting on the curb of one of your neighbors home, waiting to be picked up with the trash in the morning? All too often, when someone is done with their furniture, it gets thrown out. And then that old furniture gets replaced with a brand new piece of furniture. Although there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this, there is a considerable amount of accounted for waste every year in the form of furniture. When it comes time to replace a piece of furniture, think about upcycling instead. Check out your local thrift shops   Although some people leave their old furniture on the curb, a lot of people take their old furniture  to the closest thrift shop, instead. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and it has never been truer than in this instant. When you need a new couch or coffee table, head to Savers or Goodwill and see what they have in stock. People are donating every single day, so it shouldn’t take more than a few days to find something you like!   Keep an eye on Craigslist   Another great place to get inexpensive used furniture to upcycle, is on Craigslist and other virtual yardsale websites. Be careful when you use sites like this, and bring a friend along with you to help you transport your new-to-you furniture.   Update your furniture with a coat of paint   A little bit of paint or wood stain goes a long way when it comes to old furniture. Something doesn’t...
4 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles

4 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles have found a way to integrate themselves into almost every aspect of our lives. We’re not just talking about plastic drinking water bottles. Laundry detergent, bottles of honey, and your favorite bottle of shampoo are all sneaky ways that plastic makes its way into your home. They’re in our homes in abundance, so why not find a few fun ways to reuse them? Reuse coffee creamer containers for snacks   After you’re done with your favorite coffee creamer, rip off the label, and rinse the bottle thoroughly. Once it’s dry, you can store snacks in them! You can also use them for dry goods such as coffee beans, salt, and sugar.   Start an herb garden   You don’t usually associate plastic bottles with gardening, but there’s a first time for everything! All you need to create a small herb garden is an empty 2-liter bottle. Poke drainage holes in the top third of the bottle, and then cut the bottle in half. Flip the top half over, and place in the bottom with a strip of fabric between them. And now you’re ready to fill your bottle with soil and herbs!   Beach bucket out of laundry detergent bottle   Those laundry detergent bottles are SO big, and therefore seem like they wouldn’t be useful for crafting purposes. Because when you think of crafts, you think of reusing your bottles as pencil holders or piggy banks. But you can cut the bottom off of a large laundry detergent bottle, and use the top half(the half with the handle) as a beach bucket! Perfect for scooping sand...
5 Reasons You Should Compost

5 Reasons You Should Compost

There are a lot of different ways that you can recycle and reuse things that you may be currently throwing away. It may be extra effort to recycle and reuse the things you consider “trash”, but that extra effort is worth it. Not only will you be doing your part and having a positive impact on the environment, but recycling can also give you a sense of accomplishment and help you reduce cost in some areas of your life. One way to recycle and reuse that a lot of people don’t take advantage of, is composting. Composting is the process of reusing food waste, usually by way of turning food waste into soil. Composting builds soil   Probably one of the biggest reasons that you should compost, is that we use a lot of soil. Composting plays a very important role in the creation of healthy soil. The US loses about 3 tons of topsoil every year, and at this rate, the US will be out of healthy topsoil to use in about 60 years. Composting your food waste may seem like it won’t make a difference, but every effort makes a difference.   Healthier plants   Compost makes incredibly rich soil. This is because composting fosters the growth of diverse life, and this will make your plants healthier. Healthy plants are less likely to suffer damage from pests and the environment.   Composting negates the need for pest control   Pesticides are generally regarded as unhealthy for the environment. Adding compost to your soil not only feeds the plants by giving them valuable nutrients, but it also creates...
3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

We all love our Mother Earth, although we don’t always act like we do. Earth day was on April 22nd, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to remember all we have to gain by taking better care of the Earth that we live on. It’s a reminder to treat the Earth better, every single day of the year. Here are a few ways to continue to celebrate Earth Day for the rest of the year. Ride a bike   You may think that just you driving a car doesn’t contribute much to the pollution, so you alone can’t make a difference. But that’s wrong. Every single person who chooses to live more sustainably, makes a significant difference, even if you can’t see it. Try riding your bike when you have to only travel short distances! Plus it’s great for your physical health!    Grow a garden   Not only is a garden great for the environment, but you help cut down on CO2 emissions used to transport fresh produce. Growing and shipping fresh produce takes up a lot of energy, so growing your own garden, if that’s an option for you, is wonderful for the environment.   Support renewable energy   There are so many benefits to switching to renewable energy like the use of solar panels. Solar panel prices have dropped since they’ve become a more commonplace home purchase, which means that now is definitely the time to take advantage of that. By buying from renewable energy companies you’re not only supporting the environment, but you’re also supporting renewable and green energy as a whole and making...
Where does Ocean Pollution Come From?

Where does Ocean Pollution Come From?

We all know that a lot of plastic is ending up in our oceans. But a lot of us also don’t really know how this plastic gets there. You certainly aren’t emptying your recycling bin off the edge of the pier into the water below every single night. So how is all of this toxic plastic making it into the ocean? A lot of plastic is produced annually   As of 2015, 8.3 tons of plastic is produced every single year. That’s a lot of plastic. On average, only 9% of that is recycled, and about 12% of it is incinerated. That leaves 79% of it to find a new home in either a landfill or somewhere in the natural environment. With all of this plastic, the answer alone is not to recycle more. We need to be using reusable items and recycle everything that we can.   What countries put the most public waste in the water?   A study was done to determine where most of the plastic in water comes from. And it isn’t America. However, that does not mean that we are not still a huge part of the problem. The reason for that? The US sends over half of it’s recycled material to China to sort and recycle. China can’t/won’t recycle something with more than 1% contamination, as it can cause potential harm to its employees. When we don’t abide by this rule, the plastic sent to China to be recycled cannot be recycled properly. This doesn’t mean that China is off the hook for dumping plastic into the ocean(The US is on the...
4 Items to Stop Using to Reduce Your Waste

4 Items to Stop Using to Reduce Your Waste

Trying to live a waste free life can be really hard, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. There are so many items that we only use once, throw away, and then those items end up in landfills. That isn’t what we want. If you ever have to use a disposable item, you can always recycle them to try to lessen the impact that it has on the environment. The ideal situation, however, will always be to use reusable objects instead of disposable ones. Here are four disposable items that are easy to swap with reusable ones that will make a huge impact on how much waste you throw out. Plastic bags   Did you know that it takes 12 million barrels of oil to make the 100 billion plastic shopping bags that the U.S. uses each year? And then the majority of those 100 billion plastic shopping bags don’t get recycled; they end up landfills. Make sure you bring your reusable bags with you to the grocery store to reduce your use of plastic bags!   Water bottles   How many water bottles do you think you throw out in a month? If you have access to clean drinking water, there is absolutely no reason that you should be wasting so much plastic on a bottle that will just be thrown out after. 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year. Try using reusable water bottles instead.   Straws   Another huge plastic consumption culprit? Straws. Did you know that you can buy reusable straws? You can choose from bamboo, glass, stainless, and silicone! They even make...
4 DIY Projects to Make Your Home More Efficient

4 DIY Projects to Make Your Home More Efficient

We all want to save a little money, and we all want to do just a little bit more for the environment, right? And when those two goals lineup, it’s even better. Because is there anything better than helping the environment and being more eco conscious and saving money, while you’re at it? We contend that there is not. If you want to make a few small fixes and repairs to your home that will save you money and make your home a little more energy efficient, read on! Install low flow toilets   Your toilet uses a lot of water every day. The older models of toilets are also designed to use a lot more water than is necessary, whereas newer toilets use a considerably less amount of water. New toilets are a lot less expensive than you’d think, plus they’re much less expensive than what it costs to run a toilet that uses a lot of water. You don’t have to replace the whole toilet in order to start saving water, though. You can replace a few of the mechanics within the tank to make your toilet low flow and more efficient.   Fix your leaky faucet   A leaky faucet wastes a lot of water and money, understandably. And it’s usually a very quick fix. Tighten the faucet to the best of your ability, and that will probably fix the leaking, and at the very least, will minimize it. If the drip doesn’t stop, replace the faucet or washers, whichever is causing the leaky issues.   Seal up your drafty windows and doors   If you...