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Author Topic: The truth about recycling
Pseudo_Croat
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So, should we recycle or should we not recycle? That is the question.

- Pseudo "so confused" Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Pseudo_Croat:
So, should we recycle or should we not recycle? That is the question.

- Pseudo "so confused" Croat

Yes, we should. Even if only some of what we put in the recycling bin or blue bag is recycled, it's worth it. And if the city is going to spend money on seperate pickups for recyclables in addition to the garbage pickups, it's a pretty good bet that they are recycling whatever they can.

If you want to make it easier, call your recycling centre, waste management department, or whoever is in charge of it in your area and find out exactly what you should be putting out as recyclables and what the guidelines are, such as washing jars.

If they want jars to be cleaned and you don't want to wash them, make it easier for the recycling sorters by putting the dirty jar in the garbage.

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by wingsoficarus:
our government doesn't see recycling as "cost effective."

It is not "our government," it's our reality.

New York Times March 30, 2002 ABSTRACT - Few companies have achieved economies of scale that could maker plastic recycling pay; manufacturers say they cannot get stream of high-quality material at reasonable price, while recyclers say they cannot guarantee such a stream until sales grow robust enough to drive down costs; Environmental Protection Agency says nearly 95 percent of 24.2 million tons of plastic waste generated each year still goes unreclaimed; plastics take up disproportionate and growing share of landfill space

And for those willing to brave the London Telegraph:

The Swedish group said that the "vision of a recycling market booming by 2010 was a dream 40 years ago and is still just a dream."

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
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Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
(...) And for those willing to brave the London Telegraph:

The Swedish group said that the "vision of a recycling market booming by 2010 was a dream 40 years ago and is still just a dream."

Ah, yes. Good old Valfrid Paulsson created quite a ruckus over here for a brief period of time. Haven't heard anything else from him for months though.

I took the liberty of translating a couple of articles about said ruckus. The original (Swedish) articles can be found at Aftonbladet.se here and here. Pretty interesting stuff.

Personally, for the time being, I choose to take the word of the Environmental Party's leader and those still working at Naturvårdsverket (the government's environmental protection agency) over that of Valfrid Paulsson and Co. And if, in a few years time, I find that I've been wasting my time recycling everything I can get my hands on at least I'll know that I did it with good intentions.

To quote Paulsson himself from the articles above:

quote:
Valfrid Paulsson recycles and doesn’t want to encourage people to mix their trash. When all the rubbish incinerations are equally effective we can stop recycling. But we have to wait for the clearance, he says.
ETA: The translations probably contain errors and weird sentences but I never claimed to be the best translator in the world. [Wink]

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-Oh, we'd all like to lick the great Superman, Jimmy.

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tagurit
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I use paper bags, rather than plastic, when I have to have extra bags at the grocery, that is, when the stores actually have paper bags. My reason is because I believe that plastic production results in more pollutants and that plastic bags are not really recyclable (or at least not recycled). I think that the use of paper bags is not as bad for the environment and that the production of paper bags is not causing us to cut down more trees because paper grocery bags are made from the waste product of lumber production.

Now, admittedly, it's been a long time since I actually read much on the subject, having satisfied myself a long time ago, but things change.

So, is this a safe assumption on my part? Anyone know? It seems from what Jenn says that at least, even if plastic bags are recyclable, that they are cost-prohibitive to recycle. That at least falls in line with my ideas.

I've considered for several years that I ought to seek some updated info and perrhaps re-evaluate a bit, but I just haven't seen to take the time to do so.

Styrofoam: Hate it. Can't abide the taste of it and it just seems to me to be the most harmful to the environment to produce. I discourage people as often as I can without getting into their business and I won't use the crap myself, unless there's just no way around it. However, I really am not sure if my stance is valid and based on fact, or if my logic needs an update.

I'm really glad the subject of recycling was brought up. I want to be as environmentally friendly as I can. But, I don't know all the facts.

tag

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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AAMAH

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Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Note: This is coming from someone who has recycled her tush off for the past couple of years but isn't really up on the scientifics of it all.

quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
I use paper bags, rather than plastic (...) My reason is because I believe that plastic production results in more pollutants and that plastic bags are not really recyclable (or at least not recycled). (...)

So, is this a safe assumption on my part? Anyone know? It seems from what Jenn says that at least, even if plastic bags are recyclable, that they are cost-prohibitive to recycle. That at least falls in line with my ideas.

I can't really say anything constructive on this subject because the one thing that I don't recycle is soft plastic (including plastic bags). The only reason for this is because we don't have any soft plastic recycling in my building, only hard plastic recycling. It's one of those, I would if I could situations. The only option would be to let the soft plastic pile gather up until we traveled out of town to IKEA and stuffed their recycling bins full. But since we only go there 3 or 4 times a year (by public transport no less) it isn't an appealing solution.

As for your inquiery (sp?) I always assumed what you did, that paper was better than plastic. But according to this article it's a toss up, as long as you reuse/recycle them afterwards. But the best thing (according to the article) would be to use some sort of regular clothbag or -like I've started to do- use one of these. It's described as a suitcase but I don't know... Anyway, it's easy to pack and if you buy a lot of heavy things you just roll it along.

quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
Styrofoam: Hate it. Can't abide the taste of it and it just seems to me to be the most harmful to the environment to produce. I discourage people as often as I can without getting into their business and I won't use the crap myself, unless there's just no way around it. However, I really am not sure if my stance is valid and based on fact, or if my logic needs an update.

ITA about hating styrofoam. Like soft plastic our building doesn't recycle it and although it says right there on the metal recycling bin that you can not recycle styrofoam some idiots just throw it in anyway and I find myself picking it up and throwing it in the trash (force of habit).

The only really useful links I could come up with about styrofoam were about where to send it and why it isn't recycled.

--------------------
-Oh, we'd all like to lick the great Superman, Jimmy.

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Black Belt and Socks
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
I think that the use of paper bags is not as bad for the environment and that the production of paper bags is not causing us to cut down more trees because paper grocery bags are made from the waste product of lumber production.


tag

As someone who has worked in the paper business for a number of years, I can assure you this is not entirely true. The vast majority of commercial paper is recycled, and almost all paper contains some amount of recycled material, but we still use trees. I am not aware of any paper made from the "waste" of lumber production.

BB "trees are really crops" &S

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"How dare your reality hinder my ability to believe what I want!" Joe Bentley

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Red Squirrel
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I think recycling should always be second to trying to not use so much in the first place.

Using s "bag for life" or canvas shopping bag means that the paper/plastic debate is moot. Most people know when they're going to be doing some food shopping so can remember to take some bags ready. Having a spare plastic bag with you also helps if you buy something unexpectantly.

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The Sqizzle formally known as Lexi

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abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
My reason is because I believe that plastic production results in more pollutants and that plastic bags are not really recyclable (or at least not recycled).

No doubt. Here's a community we nicknamed "BagDad", built on a landfill. Guess why the name:

 -  -


quote:
Styrofoam: Hate it. Can't abide the taste of it and it just seems to me to be the most harmful to the environment to produce. I discourage people as often as I can without getting into their business and I won't use the crap myself, unless there's just no way around it. However, I really am not sure if my stance is valid and based on fact, or if my logic needs an update.
There was a big flap about styrofoam potentially filling the planet to the level of the ionosphere, about 15 years ago; all the fast-food vendors switched to cardboard and paper wraps. Turns out, IIRC, styrofoam DOES biodegrade... longterm exposure to sunlight breaks it down, supposedly.

ham "I don't recycle - I just use it until it can't be used no more" bubba

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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For the people who use canvas bags, may I ask, how many do you have, and do you have children? I just can't imagine toting in enough canvas bags to do all my shopping for the week.

Although...

I do remember, in the 80's, my mom used a grocery store that discounted prices by having a serve-yourself mentality. They had no bag-boys, and shoppers had to buy or provide their own bags and egg cartons(!). We'd take our stash of paper bags in every week and bag our own groceries. It wasn't any extra hassle.

(I loved that store. It was the only place I ever shopped where you could select your own eggs. We had the most fun picking out pretty, speckled brown eggs.)

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Screaming Blues Murder Jam
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Fried Spam & Cookies Sammich:
For the people who use canvas bags, may I ask, how many do you have, and do you have children? I just can't imagine toting in enough canvas bags to do all my shopping for the week.

I take the canvas bag, but I fill it with... old plastic bags! I put about ten in there so that I'm guaranteed to have enough. When one of them eventually falls apart I figure that I at least got a lot more use out of it than getting a new bag each time.
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Tikidrone
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http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/recycling/solidwaste/plastics.html

Good info site...

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I have seen the future and it licks itself clean. Bucky Katt

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tagurit
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Black Belt and Socks:
As someone who has worked in the paper business for a number of years, I can assure you this is not entirely true. The vast majority of commercial paper is recycled, and almost all paper contains some amount of recycled material, but we still use trees. I am not aware of any paper made from the "waste" of lumber production.

[Eek!] Really? Then, what happens to the wood waste of lumber production?
quote:
Originally posted by Lexi Pie In The Sky:
I think recycling should always be second to trying to not use so much in the first place.

Using s "bag for life" or canvas shopping bag means that the paper/plastic debate is moot. Most people know when they're going to be doing some food shopping so can remember to take some bags ready. Having a spare plastic bag with you also helps if you buy something unexpectantly.

I agree whole-heartedly. And I do have some canvas shopping bags. I have one large one that the others get stuffed into when not in use. Where I shop, here in Canada, everyone bags their own stuff, anyway. Though, I only have my two largest ones with me, and that's what raises the question of which is the best to use.

Another reason I prefer paper bags and will use a few for my shopping if my supply at home runs low, is that I use paper bags to "dredge" things like meats in flour. I shake up the flour and meat together in a paper bag.

I'm pretty good at reusing things. I try to be as resource-sensitive as I can. I really just want to make sure that the ideas of what's best, that I've formulated over the years, are really valid.

Thanks for the pics, Hammy. That's real funny. NOT.

I always wash jars and cans to be recycled. When I had a family, and much more trash, I'd wash the jars and cans in the dishwasher. My ex-husband and I used to joke that we washed more garbage than actual dishes in that thing. [Smile]

Thanks for the links everyone. I'll do some reading later this afternoon.

tag

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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AAMAH

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bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by wingsoficarus:
However, I have heard from a few of my family members and friends that most of what we put in recycle bins ends up in landfills anyway

Reminds me of one office I used to work at in downtown DC where somebody went to a lot of trouble to get us recycle boxes for excess printer paper. One night I stayed late and watched the cleaning lady cheerfully dumping all the recycle boxes into her trash bin along with all the other garbage.

buf 'best laid plans' ungla

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"Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."

George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

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tagurit
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by bufungla:
quote:
Originally posted by wingsoficarus:
However, I have heard from a few of my family members and friends that most of what we put in recycle bins ends up in landfills anyway

Reminds me of one office I used to work at in downtown DC where somebody went to a lot of trouble to get us recycle boxes for excess printer paper. One night I stayed late and watched the cleaning lady cheerfully dumping all the recycle boxes into her trash bin along with all the other garbage.
You know, the same thing occurred at the federal building in Detroit. After complaints we were told that dealing with paper for recycling was not part of the cleaning contractor's contract, so if we wanted the paper to get downstair into the recycle bin, we'd have to assign someone to do it. [Roll Eyes] What a mess that turned out to be, even though our agency used volunteers. If someone didn't get the paper collected for the day, into the trash barrels it went. Plus, the recyclers didn't pick up routinely, like they were suppose to, so you'd get the paper down to the dock, and the recycle dumpster would be full, with stacks and piles of paper sitting around on the dock. Truly, this recycle program hadn't been well thought out.

tag

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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AAMAH

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Fried Spam & Cookies Sammich:
For the people who use canvas bags, may I ask, how many do you have, and do you have children? I just can't imagine toting in enough canvas bags to do all my shopping for the week.

The canvas bag idea was first raised by a poster from London. The people of London have fewer children than the people of Fried Spam & Cookies Sammich's Florida. And few Europeans "shop for the week."

--------------------
"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
And few Europeans "shop for the week."

Where have you read that (not being snarky just curious)?

In our home we are very devout weekend shoppers. Although we'll stop by a store in the middle of the week if we run out of the basic elements (milk, soured milk, catfood...) we save the non-urgent things for the weekends.

Our heaviest excursion was when we carried home 74 lbs (34 kg) last month. A third of that was kittylitter but the rest was mostly nothing but food. And since we don't (want nor) have a car we rode the tram with it the 2 kilometres it takes to get home.

What is the "average" amount shop-for-the-weekers in the US take home?

--------------------
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Double Latte
Happy Holly Days


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In California, the State requires each city to have an effective recycling program. The city must demonstrate that no more than X% of household waste goes to the landfill and at least Y% to recycling centers. So, yes, at least here some of it is political. What the recycling center does with it is dependent on the market value of the stuff, which varies, as was mentioned before.

--------------------
"Senility Prayer"
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do
And the eyesight to tell the difference.

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Black Belt and Socks
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Belt and Socks:
As someone who has worked in the paper business for a number of years, I can assure you this is not entirely true. The vast majority of commercial paper is recycled, and almost all paper contains some amount of recycled material, but we still use trees. I am not aware of any paper made from the "waste" of lumber production.

[Eek!] Really? Then, what happens to the wood waste of lumber production?


tag

Several uses: particle board, used in laminated products (furniture, counter tops, etc.), decking (for wood chip products), formed wood products (primarily toys), pressed board (construction), and imitation fireplace logs/starter logs (with a fuel added). Other uses include fertilizer, mulch, alcohol production and packing materials.

BB "and we're looking for something to do with the needles" &S

--------------------
"How dare your reality hinder my ability to believe what I want!" Joe Bentley

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Hacker Barbie
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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My step-father is an ardent non-recycler. His reason: Sometime in the 80s, the small town that he lived in had a huge recycling campaign. About a year later, whoever collected all the recyclables according to him didn't have anywhere to put the paper, and gave him a whole bunch of huge sheets of really thick "paper" made out of many, many pressed-together papers. He lined the horse stable with them.

Somehow that experience made him think that all recycled paper meets that sad fate. The fact that this happened in the 80s and only once doesn't seem to matter.

Every time I ask "are you really throwing that away?" when he throws stacks of old newspapers or magazines in the trash, I get that story.

I wish I was joking, but I'm not.

Diana

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by Black Belt and Socks:
quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Belt and Socks:
As someone who has worked in the paper business for a number of years, I can assure you this is not entirely true. The vast majority of commercial paper is recycled, and almost all paper contains some amount of recycled material, but we still use trees. I am not aware of any paper made from the "waste" of lumber production.

[Eek!] Really? Then, what happens to the wood waste of lumber production?


tag

Several uses: particle board, used in laminated products (furniture, counter tops, etc.), decking (for wood chip products), formed wood products (primarily toys), pressed board (construction), and imitation fireplace logs/starter logs (with a fuel added). Other uses include fertilizer, mulch, alcohol production and packing materials.

BB "and we're looking for something to do with the needles" &S

Dang. Well, there goes most of the feel good portion of my personal friend to the environment program. *sigh*

Still, I never throw bags away, paper or plastic. I always find some use for them. I suppose I shouldn't feel too badly. Though, I do wish they'd stop with the plastic. Just another look at Hammy's pics is reminder enough of why.

tag

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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AAMAH

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Black Belt and Socks
The First USA Noel


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My apologies, tag. I was not intending to upset the apple cart on paper recycling. From what I see, paper recycling is the most sucessful program, and probably reduces the need for virgin wood by 25 to 30 percent. If more people participated, that could bring the figure closer to 50%. [Smile]

BB "not that they need saving" &S

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"How dare your reality hinder my ability to believe what I want!" Joe Bentley

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tagurit
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Now I'll feel guilty using newsprint in my gardening projects. [lol]

Thanks, BB&S. I'll just carry on in my same-o mode.

tag everytime you lay newspaper on the ground, another tree is killed... urit

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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bufungla
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
Now I'll feel guilty using newsprint in my gardening projects. [lol]

Thanks, BB&S. I'll just carry on in my same-o mode.

tag everytime you lay newspaper on the ground, another tree is killed... urit

One could make a good argument for not recycling paper as being good for the environment, especially global warming-wise.

As BB&S pointed out, (paper) trees are a crop. Cutting down on paper use to save trees grown for paper mills is like cutting down on corn use to save corn. If you're really concerned about global warming, you'll want the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to be reduced. One way to get the carbon out of circulation, so to speak, is by growing plants that breathe CO2 and convert it into celluose. Get rid of the carbon without burning it (which would recreate the CO2), and it's out of circulation. I have no idea if the amount of carbon produced by tree farms even compares to the amount released by burning fossil fuels, but at least it would be going in the right direction.

buf 'really long-term, global scale recycling' ungla

--------------------
"Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."

George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

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die daagliks phosdex
Monster Mashed Potatos & Grave-y


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quote:
Originally posted by tagurit:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Belt and Socks:
As someone who has worked in the paper business for a number of years, I can assure you this is not entirely true. The vast majority of commercial paper is recycled, and almost all paper contains some amount of recycled material, but we still use trees. I am not aware of any paper made from the "waste" of lumber production.

[Eek!] Really? Then, what happens to the wood waste of lumber production?

One of the more interesting examples in this respect I am aware of is where Xcel Energy uses waste sawdust as an energy source, compressing such into ur-briquettes for burning at their French Island steam station in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

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"Nie lees die hoofopskrifte--lees die daagliks phosdex in plaas ..."

Posts: 1316 | From: Winona, MN | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Ciara Zest & Banana Peel, quoting me:And few Europeans "shop for the week."

Where have you read that (not being snarky just curious)?

I don't know. Maybe I was just repeating an old stereotype.

I've never been to Sweden, but I certainly think that in Britain, Belgium, and a few other places I recall, you just don't see the kind of massive supermarket orders as in suburban America. Even in Canada (judging from Ontario and Quebec), you don't see the American-sized multi-cart order that would fill a tram all by itself. Of course, I'm probably spreading sterotypes myself.

quote:
Our heaviest excursion was when we carried home 74 lbs (34 kg) last month. A third of that was kittylitter but the rest was mostly nothing but food. And since we don't (want nor) have a car we rode the tram with it the 2 kilometres it takes to get home.

What is the "average" amount shop-for-the-weekers in the US take home?

Well, I can't put a number to it, but probably a lot more then 34 kg.

Reasons:

-- Outside New York City, which really is different from the rest of America, public transit is not much used. I take it to work, but hardly anyone takes food on it.

-- Much of the US has low population density compared to Western Europe -- some of our relatives in North Central Illinois drive 45 minutes to Wisconsin for groceries.

-- The number one factor: Temporary promotional prices. Yes, they have plenty of promotions in Britain, and more in Canada. However, in the US the sale price is, with amazing frequency, half or less of the regular price. So we "stock up." This also means there are a lot people who just have those few essential items for which they can't waiton the next sale.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

Posts: 5780 | From: Suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ciara...
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
I don't know. Maybe I was just repeating an old stereotype.

Aw, chucks! I was hoping you'd have some numbers. For some reason I like statistics. [Wink]

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Ciara doesn't like Mustard:
(...) What is the "average" amount shop-for-the-weekers in the US take home?

Well, I can't put a number to it, but probably a lot more then 34 kg.

Reasons:

-- Outside New York City, which really is different from the rest of America, public transit is not much used. I take it to work, but hardly anyone takes food on it.

-- Much of the US has low population density compared to Western Europe -- some of our relatives in North Central Illinois drive 45 minutes to Wisconsin for groceries.

-- The number one factor: Temporary promotional prices. Yes, they have plenty of promotions in Britain, and more in Canada. However, in the US the sale price is, with amazing frequency, half or less of the regular price. So we "stock up." This also means there are a lot people who just have those few essential items for which they can't waiton the next sale.

Thanks for jogging my memory. My grandmother has friends in the US that she visited a couple of years ago. They lived rather far away from the supermarket and she told me about the massive amounts of food they took home each week, I just figured she was exaggerating.

Taking groceries on public transportation is not the most comfortable thing in the world but it sure beats walking. [Wink]

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-Oh, we'd all like to lick the great Superman, Jimmy.

Posts: 2298 | From: Eastern Scandinavia (Sverige) | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
politicat
The Red and the Green Stamps


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My 2 rubles:

When I lived in Kiev, working on a history project in grad school, I saw a huge difference in the way people shopped, but i think the difference had far more to do with the difference between an URBAN location and a suburban location. In the US, most places really are suburban or rural, and have the public transit or lack thereof that goes along with a non-urban population. Even though I went to school in one of the largest Metros in the US (Phoenix), it is essentially a huge suburb; the high density living and mixed use spaces don't exist in the Phoenix Metro area the way they do here in Denver, or in Boston or Washington DC or New York (or any older city.)

When I lived in a small apartment without a car, I was very careful about what I bought and how I transported it - I had a cart with wheels that I could drag along; incidentally, I saved on bags, since everything could just go into the box on the cart (the box was a rubbermaid tub thingamammied to the wheels.). I also shopped far more frequently than I do now that I a) have a car, and b) work at home. It's too much hassle to go out and buy things! When I worked at an office, I was out anyway.

I think another issue though is that calories are REALLY cheap in the US, and since food is seen as security, and it's a cheap form of security, that's why we see these huge grocery orders that are less common in other countries. Because we subsidize so much of the cost of food production (since expensive food tends to cause socialist tendencies in the population - this has been demonstrated rather clearly in the last century - and we can't have socialism running rampant, now can we? ) we don't see the real cost of food. Other countries, who don't subsidize this way, don't end up with the same issues. They're far more conscious of how they eat and what they use. (This may be the underlying cause of the obesity epidemic in the US and Britain - our calories are too cheap.)

PCat (who actually waxes nostalgic about the days of her little trolley, since she got such very good exercise for free out of it.... exercise she now must pay for at the fitness center!)

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bruce in france
Deck the Malls


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Re: "shop for week", there is still a sizeable portion of the French public that purchases groceries much more often, but many families (including mine) do one major trip per week and then supplement with litres of milk and loaves of bread as needed. However, the *volume* of this trip is considerably smaller than when we lived in the US, mostly due to smaller package sizes.

Re: "bags for life", it's all we use; we have 3 canvas bags, 2 insulated bags, and 2 sturdy plastic bags with handles (they are rarely all filled at once).

Re: the OP, it is the case today that recycling is in fact profitable for certain metals, e.g. copper and alumin[i]um, and certain plastics (esp. #1 & 2), and less so for glass and paper.

-b

Posts: 210 | From: Orsay, France | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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Just about everyone I know here does a weekly shop - some people do monthly, but it's usually weekly. The bag-for-life idea is slowly beginning to catch on, too.

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

Posts: 8528 | From: Nottingham, England | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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In England I got very used to a weekly shop with a couple of side trips a week to pick up fresh fruit and veggies. It was the best way to shop IMO. I bought the 10 p bags for life from tesco and re-used them all the time. It makes the most sense if you do most of your shopping by either walking or by public transit. I guess if you are used to doing a BIG shop by car every couple of weeks its a whole different ballgame.

I really miss that [Frown] .

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

Posts: 18428 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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For those that care...

When the old styrofoam packing peanuts were replaced (well, MOST of them were) by the new biodegradable corn starch versions, I found that the new ones work WONDERFULLY as fertilizer in gardens and potted plants.

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

Posts: 5622 | From: Jax, Florida | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Frozen Chosen
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Well, as far as the recycling thing goes, aluminum/aluminium is one thing that has tall tales associated with it. While it is recyclable, it's very cost-inefficient to do so. The steel industry has spent years and much money trying to educate people about using steel products for recyclables. Steel is much easier to recycle, as it can just be melted down. There's the whole short-term v. long-term CO2 burden issue with the manufacture of aluminum auto bodies vs. steel auto bodies factor. MIT did a study on the life cycle impact...mind-numbingly boring if you're not interested, but I was interested...

Anyway, I also use and re-use grocery bags (and get nasty looks when I ask for paper bags), totes sometimes. I use the heck out of those bags until they're no longer usable.

I save most glass jars for re-using as well, and don't bring home much plastic other than the rubbermaid lunch things that I use instead of baggies to pack lunches around here.

Newspapers and magazines get picked up from the curb here, but you can just put them out in a regular cardboard box, which they will also take.

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Black Belt and Socks
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Frozen Chosen:
Well, as far as the recycling thing goes, aluminum/aluminium is one thing that has tall tales associated with it. While it is recyclable, it's very cost-inefficient to do so. The steel industry has spent years and much money trying to educate people about using steel products for recyclables. Steel is much easier to recycle, as it can just be melted down. There's the whole short-term v. long-term CO2 burden issue with the manufacture of aluminum auto bodies vs. steel auto bodies factor. MIT did a study on the life cycle impact...mind-numbingly boring if you're not interested, but I was interested...

Could you provide a cite? This is contrary to everything I have believed about aluminum recycling, and I wonder if they took into account the mining/processing of raw ore. This also appears to contradict the Aluminum Can folks.

BB "maybe I'm just mind-numbingly boring" &S

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"How dare your reality hinder my ability to believe what I want!" Joe Bentley

Posts: 697 | From: Backwoods of Arkansas | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
bruce in france
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Frozen Chosen:
Well, as far as the recycling thing goes, aluminum/aluminium is one thing that has tall tales associated with it. While it is recyclable, it's very cost-inefficient to do so.

Excuse me?

quote:
Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy and 20 recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
Quote from The Aluminum Association's Recycling Facts page

-b "my Dad used to be Technical Director of The AA"

Posts: 210 | From: Orsay, France | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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