Well, it looks like Nov.15 is once again upon us
so, please, allow me to wish you a very happy Friday.
As is custom
when Keep America Beautiful-sponsored, big business-backed America Recyles Day
(AKA Lloyd Alter at sister site TreeHugger's favorite day of the year
) comes around each year, I’ve wrangled up 15 stories from the past year relating to reducing, reusing, recycling, repurposing, composting, upcycling, freecycling, scavenging and more. And believe me, there's plenty more
where those came from.
I should also provide an update on one story from earlier this year regarding a small army of solar-powered, WiFi-enabled waste receptacles that were stationed throughout New York's most trash-heavy neighborhood, Times Square, as part of a efficiency-minded pilot progam launched in part by the Times Square Alliance. Apparently, the pilot has been a success — since launch last March, 18 tons of cans and bottles and 12 tons of paper have been collected resulting in 25 percent of Times Square's waste stream being diverted from landfills — and the program will expand from 30 recycling stations to 46 (in case you wondering, the most used receptacle by volume is at 46th and Broadway).
How do you plan on observing the 16th occurance of the "only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States," a day that would perhaps be best spent concentrating on producing less waste
and not fussing over the triple R triumvirat in a self-congratulatory manner?
From glue sticks to flip-flops, TerraCycle has embraced hard-to-recycle waste with open arms. And with this new collection scheme, the company is taking on the country's most pervasive type of litter: Cigarette butts.
Move over bake sales and car washes ... a do-goody alternative to municipal curbside pick-up, Christmas tree recycling has become a lucrative fundraising activity for nonprofit groups in Portland, Ore.
• With new bylaw, Concord opens the floodgates for bottled water bans
Concord, Mass., a town that's no stranger to progressive, eco-minded thinking, officially becomes one of the first municipalities in the U.S. to outlaw the sale of standard-sized, single-use bottled water.
• Plastic Birdhouse: Water bottle waste gives winged beauties a place to perch
A Portuguese design firm has found a clever way to repurpose an all-too-common form of plastic waste while also creating "a home for nature in our home."
• Interface expands fishing net recycling scheme on quest toward 'zero'
Eco-minded modular carpeting behemoth Interface and the Zoological Society of London expand Net-Works, a coastal cleanup/recycling initiative that benefits impoverished fishing communities in the Philippines.
• Houston landfill diversion scheme finalist for Mayors Challenge prize
Although Houstonites may be good at a lot of things, recycling is not one of them. And knowing that residents may never come around, the city proposes a technologically advanced solution dubbed One Bin for All.
• Solar rubbish and recycling bins to grace garbage-y Times Square
Michael Bloomberg takes a breather from his health kick to introduce a small army of solar-powered waste and recycling stations that will be installed in the trash-generating heart of New York City.
• Junked jeans reborn with Scandinavian-style recycled denim rugs
Trendy and spendy Swedish clothier Nudie Jeans continues its mission to give worn-out old pants a second lease on life with Post Consumer Recycled Denim Rugs.
• Furniture made from cow poop and dirt shows at Milan Design Week
From Tel Aviv-based sustainable designer Adital Ela comes Terra, a line of compostable stools and lampshades made from agricultural waste, compressed soil and manure.
• Kickstarter campaign aims to bring 'Landfill Harmonic' to the big screen
Young musicians who live in a Paraguayan slum built atop a landfill play on instruments they created from trash. The filmmakers behind ‘Landfill Harmonic’ have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help tell their story to a wider audience.
• The recycling of hard plastics is now a whole lot easier in New York City
In perhaps the biggest push to bump New York City's recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces the immediate inclusion of rigid plastics in the city's recycling program.
• Oxgut Hose Co: Salvaged fire hose home accessories with a heroic past
We all know that fire hoses save lives. Now, Oakland-based Oxgut Hose Co. is rescuing retired hoses from landfills by upcycling them into functional items for the home including eye-catching and versatile mats.
• Are you guilty of recycling bias?
New study shows that people are less likely to recycle items that have been cut, crushed, crumpled or otherwise physically altered.
• Drum Lamps: A new spin on old washing machine parts
Although the last thing you may want a pendant lamp to remind you of is drudgery and set-in stains, all laundry associations disappear with Willem Heeffer's lovely lighting collection made from salvaged washing machine drums.
• Survey finds that most Americans are lousy at recycling in the loo
Johnson & Johnson launches a bathroom recycling campaign after discovering that even the most dedicated household recyclers fall short when it comes to keeping spent bath and body products out of the trash.
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A happy America Recycles Day 2013, from my bin to yours
Observing America Recycles Day? Check out the top 20 waste diversion-related stories published this past year.