Last week I was visited by a representative from my local council. When I opened the door a very cheerful women announced that she was calling round to explain the recycling service offered by the council. She handed me a leaflet which would explain what I could put into my recycling bin and another which introduced their e+ card which I should apply for. Apparently, being in possession of this magic card would enable me to claim free gifts in return for correct recycling. This all sounded very positive and proactive and so I thanked her, closed the door and got on with my work.
A couple of days passed after which I thought it might be a good idea to read the leaflets to confirm what I could now recycle and to find out where I could apply for the special card. The council’s efforts at recycling had always been less than impressive as there were only a few things you could actually put into the bin and so I was looking forward to improvements. I hate waste and it rankled with me that my local authority were doing little to minimise it.
On reading the leaflet I was rather shocked to find that nothing had changed. The list of recyclable items was still very short and was dwarfed by the list of material you could not put in the bin. Residents would still be required to transport the rest of their rubbish to a recycling centre themselves, which of course most people either will not or cannot do. A mountain of perfectly recyclable material was still going to end up in landfill.
The card annoyed me too. The idea is that your bins are checked and if you have no banned items in there you are rewarded with points on your card. In other words this is not so much an incentive scheme as an audit and I am sure that this will eventually lead to sanctions or charges being imposed on those who do not play ball. The council really should focus on recycling more rather than punishing their residents for making a mistake. I now wished that I had looked at the leaflets whilst the woman was on my doorstep. I could have good have vented my spleen right there and then but I didn’t have my reading glasses and so could not see them!
Not So e+
To make matters worse the e+ card which does rather imply that it is electronic cannot be applied for online. If I want one of these things I have to present myself at the council offices or local sports centre with documents to prove my identity. This is absurd! I pay £2000 per year in council tax and the account is in my name. Why do I need to prove I live here to get a card? I obviously live here otherwise why would I be paying all that money? I am quite inclined not to get a card except that the things also get you discounts at the sports centres and I would like to take advantage of these.
What promised to be a new dawn had turned out to be a case of same old S*** just another day. If I want to recycle my food trays, yoghurt pots, foil, glass bottles and plastic bags I still have to collect them in something and then drive them to the appropriate place myself. Those journeys use valuable fuel and cause me to emit more co2. Even worse, most people don’t bother and just send everything to landfill. The council have to come here to collect the items they will accept so could they not help save the planet by collecting everything whilst they are here?
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her bridal shop.
There is a huge difference in relation to the standards of waste disposal methods used both here in the UK and India. Even though India has recently grown as a nation in terms of power and stature, sewage and waste infrastructure has failed to improve and in some cases has worsened. On the contrary, waste management and infrastructure in the UK is exceptionally efficient and economical.
Waste Management Issues in India
The most well known cause for bad sewages and waste management in India recently is due to a large influx of people from rural areas that have flocked to the cities of India. This means that the infrastructure of waste management as it is now, cannot cope with the extra people and therefore, has created havoc within India in terms of environmental cleanliness or in this case, a lack of.
Recently, a report conducted by officials provided an estimation of waste generation figures expected by 2047 that waste generation in India's cities will increase by five times in comparison with today’s figures. This could be catastrophic for the residents of India and the Government, as we all know that germs can cause deadly diseases and if the situation gets that far, could be very difficult to contain.
Currently, bad waste management and infrastructure has reported to be so severe that wildlife species often found in marshlands, have died out. Wildlife such as frogs, have been amongst those affected by waste and sewage. This is how bad it is now for wildlife, which makes it a severe issue for India to solve and manage effectively.
The official report also suggests that the investigation carried out in the city of Bangalore has exposed that more than half of the waste produced in the city is un-treated. Quite a revelation in such an up and coming country and is one which could seriously jeopardise the future of the country in several different ways.
Moreover, because of the inadequate waste management in India, water within lakes and so forth are being polluted. Again, this isn’t a problem of the future that India faces, it’s happening now and presents a whole host of serious problems, including not having enough clean water to go around and as a consequence have to pump fresh water across long distances for people. At one point the fresh water will dry up if the problem is not rectified.
So, why is waste management in the UK, successful?
In UK, many effective actions have been put in place to deal with the issue of waste generation. The Waste Prevention Programme for England is designed to help businesses and people understand how to reduce waste, use resources efficiently and save money. They have also produced laws which make businesses responsible for what they produce. A range of actions are also being taken to improve recycling and waste collection from households. Reducing the amount of hazardous waste – potentially harmful to environment or human health – is also being taken into account. They are also continuously working to get the right infrastructure in place to deal with waste. A range of measures are being taken to deal with waste crime- which includes the operation of illegal waste-management sites and illegal export of waste.
Looking at the systems in place for both the countries, it is evident that UK has more advanced infrastructure in place and is constantly working to improve it. However, India needs to work a lot more to sort out its escalating problem of waste disposal, without using urban expansion and population growth as an excuse.
Finding the Right Strategy
Finding the right waste management strategies for your business is difficult. You need to firstly ensure that your waste management solution(s) meet the full legislation laws and CSR. Secondly, you need to ensure that the strategy isn’t costing the business too much.
The environment comes first in regards to waste management and your plan should reflect this. Below are some of the services that you should consider to carry out effective waste management:
- Waste recycling services.
- Hazardous waste services.
- Hazardous goods training.
- Hazardous waste registration.
- Packaging waste services.
- Battery collection and recycling.
Not all of the above waste management strategies will be relevant to all businesses i.e. packaging waste services may not be applicable for businesses that do not produce much package wastage.
Tim is the author of this article and is an expert in both construction site cleaning and construction site catering as well.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
When you think of green marketing, the sport of stock car racing probably isn't the first thing that pops into your head. Heck, it probably isn't even the millionth thing you would think of pondering the state of modern corporate green initiatives. NASCAR, the largest automotive racing venture in North America, is working hard to change that image.
The Issues with NASCAR
Started in 2008, NASCAR Green is an effort by the sport’s largest sanctioning body to address the environmental issues that arise from putting on each race. The biggest NASCAR races attract more than 100,000 spectators. The biggest races produce as much as 100 tons of recyclable waste. NASCAR vehicles churn out a lot of carbon dioxide, the gas most commonly identified with global warming.
The cars themselves are notoriously inefficient. The average NASCAR vehicles get between 4 and 5 miles per gallon of gasoline consumed. That means a 43-car field can burn through as much as 4,300 gallons of fuel during a 500-mile race. NASCAR has turned to use E15 fuel from Sonoco to reduce some of the impact. NASCAR Green is also working with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant thousands of trees to offset the CO2 emissions from stock car races.
What They Are Doing to Change This
NASCAR Green has also been looking to more exotic solutions on a longer timeline. The stock car association has worked with Sunoco to increase the amount of ethanol used in racing fuel. And there has even been talk of integrating solar-power solutions. Racing venues are also increasingly turning to solar power to provide clean electricity. Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania is host to over 40,000 solar panels.
NASCAR Green, however, tries to focus on more immediately applicable solutions. NASCAR recycles all the tires used during each race. Batteries and fluids are also aggressively recycled. NASCAR says that some racing teams are achieving as high as 96% recyclability of the entire vehicle.
NASCAR also works hard with venues and suppliers to ensure as much of the waste produced by crowds at the races is recycled as possible. Race fans produce between 70 and 100 tons of recyclable waste over a single NASCAR weekend at the track, mostly from plastic bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard containers. At Fontana Speedway in California the solution is simple: there is a recycling plant right next to the track that handles everything. NASCAR also works with companies like Coca-Cola Recycling to co-ordinate efforts to handle the garbage from crowds.
NASCAR tries to encourage recycling among the infield camper crowd that is distinct to its audience. Each NASCAR weekend, the infield of the current cup series race becomes one of the largest campgrounds in the United States. NASCAR Green provides curb-side recycling pick-up in the infield to ensure recycling among campers is easy. The service is provided by a mobile processing unit pulled by a clean diesel rig.
NASCAR is continuing to work toward a green future. While the racing venture may not be the first corporation that comes to mind when you think green, NASCAR is fighting to change that perception. It continues to push venues and racing teams to improve their green efforts. NASCAR’s goal is to be the largest green initiative in all of sports.
Jade Steven has been a green blogger for 2 years now. She enjoys talking about green living, the benefits of a 24 volt dc power supply, and different ways you can save money while saving the world.
There is extremely high turnover in the computer world. It is rare for someone to hold on to the same computer for more than a few years. Many people get the latest model of laptop as soon as it comes out each year. While the reason for this is obvious, given that each new model boasts substantially-improved performance over the last one, there are also some pretty obvious downsides. The main problem is waste. Every year, a whole generation of laptops and desktops is thrown away to become new fixtures on landfills. This has serious repercussions for the environment.
The problem with computer waste is that just like many other machines, the parts will not decompose naturally. Laptops are not biodegradable. As a result, not only is this clearly only a short-term solution, but there may also be long-term repercussions. We are going to have to deal with the waste eventually, and while we wait, some of it is already doing harm. Computers are mostly made from plastic and metal, but there are also some more harmful materials present in miscellaneous components such as motherboard batteries. Various chemicals are free to seep into the ground and the water and cause all manner of trouble for both wildlife and ourselves.
The solution to all of this is responsible recycling. It is not hard to see that if we reuse the materials that would otherwise go to waste, we solve many of these problems all at once. It is important to take a stand against wastefulness and make an active effort to recycle everything we can. Computers are a good place to start. Rather than simply throw out your existing PC or laptop, consider taking it to a responsible recycling company. They can undoubtedly find a better use for it than merely dumping it on a landfill.
Directives like WEEE recycling can help to make the world a better place. Although we are unlikely to see vast changes in the short term, our long-term prospects are much better than if we were simply to continue dumping materials as we have done in the past. Proper recycling practices can help to reuse our machines and turn their plastic, metal and glass into new items. This more sustainable circle bodes far better for our future. Look for recycling companies that adhere to WEEE protocols so that you can be sure that your computer will be in good hands.
Guest article brought to you by OCM Business Systems, the PC recycling experts.
People are starting to pay more attention to recycling methods, and this can only be a good thing for the environment and our world at large. The vast landfills of waste that we have produced are all the incentive we need to change our approach. Recycling gives us the opportunity to make things better by reusing existing materials rather than simply throwing them out and drawing more from the Earth. Recycling starts at home, and your old computers are a great place to begin. Modern computers and other electronics devices are very well suited to recycling, as many of the components are made from glass, steel, aluminium and recyclable plastic.
Positives And Negatives
Recycling computers is only a good thing, but there are a few dangers that you should be aware of before you hand over your machine. While most of the glass, plastic and metal parts of a computer can be recycled very easily and effectively, there are other components that present greater difficulties. Certain components within a computer case can contain hazardous chemicals and other things that can present a danger if not disposed of correctly. It is also worth remembering that computers older than a certain age may present more difficulties than modern machines. Most modern electronics devices can be recycled almost in their entirety however.
Rules And Regulations
Whenever hazardous materials are involved, it is easy to understand why rules and regulations are important. Not only do toxic chemicals present a danger to the environment as a whole, but they can also run the risk of damaging the health of those working around them. Ideally, any recycling company involved in the recycling of computers will be experienced and well versed in the disposal of these materials. It is a good idea to check before submitting your machine, as a company that follows the necessary guidelines and ensures the safety of its operations will be far kinder to the environment.
Towards A More Sustainable Future
We are constantly moving towards a future in which we need far less in the way of new raw materials. There is no reason why the vast majority of our machines cannot be produced from existing, defunct designs that are no longer needed. When people replace their computers every two or three years, there can be a lot of waste as a result. It is well worth doing your part to maintain our environment and move us towards a time when we no longer need to contaminate the land, sea and air to such an extent in the production of electrical appliances. It is a nice thought that the device you have been using for your entertainment and productivity can be recycled into something else that will serve humanity similarly for many more years to come, before undergoing computer recycling yet again.
It is inevitable that no matter how good your brand-new computer seems today, it will be hopelessly outclassed by next year. It tends to be the case that those users who care the most about getting the latest and greatest hardware are the most disappointed when a better model comes out the following season. Because of this, people generally replace their machines quite often. It is rare to find any enthusiastic user who is still using a terribly outdated PC. When replacing your computer, do try to avoid merely throwing it out, as recycling is a far more sensible and responsible option in today's world.
When looking at a computer, and in particular when looking at its innards, it is pretty obvious that very few parts are biodegradable. Steel, aluminium, glass and plastic are likely to stick around for decades if not centuries. Simply throwing away your computer ensures that it will be spoiling the environment for an indefinite time into the future. This is even more serious when you consider the hazardous waste contained in many displays and batteries. Harmful toxic gases and liquids can cause all manner of untold harm to the world if simply dumped indiscriminately.
Disposing Of The Waste
Recycling is the only sensible way to take care of this problem. Rather than throw harmful chemicals and permanent materials onto a landfill, consider having your computing hardware sorted into its component parts and then reused for new applications. This ensures that each kind of material is handled separately and carefully. Batteries, for example, need to go through special processing to ensure safety for both the environment and the workers involved. The chemicals can often be either disposed of more effectively or reused, which not only saves the environment but also reduces the need for further manufacturing of harmful chemicals.
Circle Of Life
The life of a computer does not need to end when you are done using it. Instead, its components can be broken down and reused for future applications. Raw steel and aluminium can be used for any number of machines, from new computers to cars to phones to kitchen appliances and more. It is a nice thought that the materials in your old device may be in use by someone else in a different part of the world today rather than sitting uselessly in a landfill.
PC recycling must be done by a responsible company that takes care to make the most of all of the materials in your old machines. Related safety precautions include shredding the hard drives in order to prevent your old data from falling into the wrong hands. The various gases and fluids in displays, batteries and other miscellaneous components should be disposed of safely and professionally so that they can be reused to the best of our abilities in new products. When you send your computer to a dedicated recycling facility, you can be sure that it will be treated carefully and processed so that we all get the maximum benefit from your initial purchase.
Computers are a commodity in today's world. As they become cheaper and cheaper even while increasing in power over previous years' models, more people buy them and dispose of them each year. This wastefulness cannot be good for the environment, and it is made all the worse by the hazardous nature of some of the materials used in computer manufacture. While some of the materials in your computer are easily recyclable, such as the glass, aluminium and steel parts, others pose greater difficulties. Batteries and other miscellaneous electronic components can often contain chemicals that are very unpleasant for the environment, and indiscriminately dumping them on a landfill may not only be a poor idea, but may actually be against the law. In order to keep companies in check, there is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or WEEE directive.
What started as merely a good idea has since become European law. The most essential goal of the directive is to place greater responsibility on companies dealing in waste disposal so that our world is not polluted unnecessarily. Because of the law, a large percentage of computer components is now recycled relatively harmlessly compared to simply dumping pieces on a landfill. As a result, it is likely that at least some of the materials used in your current computer or smartphone had a previous life as an earlier model. Alternatively, the materials might have come from a car or some other machine. This circular approach to disposal makes our world a better place.
When disposing of an old computer, it is important to make sure that the disposal and recycling company is legitimate and takes all the necessary precautions to make the process as kind to the environment as possible. Remember that it is not only the environment at large that benefits from this. Dangerous components are also taken care of in a safe way rather than allowed to risk hurting someone in the process of being dumped. Some fluids present hazards to the environment, such as polychlorinated biphenyl, which can deal damage to the land and sea long term. Chlorofluorocarbons are notorious for depleting the ozone layer. Other miscellaneous components like back-lights in laptop displays also present problems and must be disposed of with care. Batteries and cathode ray tube monitors are some of the worst offenders.
All good disposal and recycling companies make use of the WEEE recycling directives. In most cases, they are required to by law, although it is always worth checking to see whether a particular company can boast full compliance. When disposing of your used computer parts, it is only sensible to seek the environmentally-friendly solution. Look for companies that have recent site inspections and can provide full certification for their procedures. The best recycling companies work with partners who can provide evidence for the reuse of materials in new products. When you have a paper trail that follows materials from one consumer product right around in a circle to another product, you know that the recycling process is effective and genuinely helpful.
Categories: Recycling Tags: Recycling, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, Waste Management
Recycling is important, not just in the UK but all countries of the world. It is one of the best ways for you to help make the world we live in a better and healthier place. Recycling is needed more than ever before as the amount of rubbish we create is increasing year on year. Why?
- Greater population so more people to create more waste
- Lifestyle amendments leading to more people eating fast foods
- Cheaper, newer non-biodegradable packaging
- Greater wealth in many locations so people are purchasing more items that lead to waste
I’m going to mention a few points on why recycling is important to the environment, people and animals.
You may not know it but recycling helps people. How?
- Will keep the human species alive longer as less trees will be cut down that produce the oxygen we breathe 24hrs a day.
- More energy will be produce thus saving the natural resources on earth.
- Creates more jobs.
- Inspires others to recycle.
- Gives you a buzz!
How does recycling help the environment? Here are a couple of points;
- Reduce the pollution caused by the waste. Unfortunately we can’t remove pollution completely however we can do a great deal to decrease it.
- Help preserve natural resources
- It will assist in creating awareness to the people around you.
- It will assist against the threat of global Warming.
Here are 5 infographics on recycling that you should print and pin up on the office wall.
- Recycling By the Numbers (by The New Ecologist)
- Responsibility for the Planet
- Save Trees: Recycle Your Moving Boxes Infographic (by My Move)
- Composting 101
- To Recycle… Or Not To Recycle
With the above information and resources, I hope I have been successful in convincing at least a few people and readers as to the importance of recycling. Even doing a small amount will go a long way. Here in the UK we have special bins and boxes for different types of waste. Every office should use these resources to their maximum advantage and do their bit for the environment. Thousands of sheets of paper, hundreds of cans and lots of electronics – all these can be put to better use than throwing them in the black bin.
Do you have any tips for us on recycling in the UK and world? Whether it be for the office, the shop or the home, please share your experience, solutions and tips for the benefit of us all in the comments below.
Ahmed works as the internet marketing specialist for a company called Toner Giant Ltd who are major suppliers of Canon toner cartridges to businesses and consumers in the UK. In his free time, Ahmed can be found on Xbox live gaming against fellow players