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Please stop smoking, it's good for you and the environment! :)

Find places to recycle anything but cigarettes at RecyclerFinder.com

The detrimental health effects of cigarettes in relation to the body of a smoker are well known, and are actually printed on most advertising and packaging. There is even research that suggests the smoke that is exhaled can have adverse heath effects on people, children, and pets that are in the immediate area. One area that is not often considered, however, is the environmental impact that the entire process of smoking has on the planet and its population.

The amount of resources that are spent in order to produce a pack of cigarettes is much higher than some other products. The agricultural methods that are used to produce tobacco use an excessive amount of water and deplete the nutrients in large areas for many years. The plants themselves sometimes have negative reactions with surrounding fields, making it impossible to integrate the crop. The genetic engineering that is involved in creating drought and disease resistant tobacco plants has also caused problems with germination in surrounding areas.

A single cigarette requires paper that is produced from trees, and the filters are made in such a way so that when a smoker is done, the filter still contains many of the thousands of chemicals that are produced. Cigarette butts account for a large percentage of the waste from many countries and can take up to 25 years to decompose. When improperly disposed of, the butts can be consumed by animals in the environment and can cause intestinal blockages. Even after the butts have broken down into component parts, the chemicals from the treated tobacco can contaminate an area so it is unhealthy for habitation.

There are few immediate solutions for many of these problems. Campaigns to reduce or stop smoking are the most effective way to prevent damage to the environment and to people. Advanced agricultural methods can help reduce the water and energy needed to grow tobacco, and new materials can make cigarette filters that are recyclable, although without strong governmental regulations the chemicals they contain can still be harmful.

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Landfill near New York City

Locate landfills and other recycling facilities with RecyclerFinder.com

A landfill can adversely affect the property values of the homes in the area and the health of the residents who live in the community. It also has a negative impact on the environment. Although landfills are relatively easy to locate on an Internet search or map, many people do not think about the surrounding area before moving into a home. In addition, residents often have no control over a new landfill being built or an existing one expanding close to their home. Sometimes, people only discover that they live close to a waste management facility after they become chronically ill.

One of the best ways to minimize the toxic effects of pollution on people and the environment is to recycle more and refrain from contributing to the amount of waste that gets thrown out. In many cases, people automatically throw things away because they don’t know where to find a recycling facility, or they are not aware of everything that can be reused or recycled. There are so many items that can be reused or re-purposed now, and the Internet is filled with creative ideas on how to do this. People can also use RecyclerFinder.com as a resource for locating recycling facilities in their area. When more items are recycled, both the population and the environment enjoy the benefits.

Find places to recycle anything at RecyclerFinder.com!

Solar Sidewalks RecyclerFinder.com

Taking a Stroll on the Sunny Side of the Street!

Solar panels already appear on buildings, street signs and even buses. The sidewalk may be one place you would never expect to find them. However, two companies in Spain are working to change that. Solar sidewalks could eventually become a common sight in major cities.

These sidewalks consist of photovoltaic panels embedded in other durable materials. Spanish tile manufacturer Butech and solar panel maker Onyx have developed paving tiles made of glass and ceramic. A possible alternative is to embed thin-film panels in the sidewalk.

Questions remain about the durability of these tiles. The Butech/Onyx paving tiles use very strong glass to protect the photovoltaics. This glass can support the weight of humans and furniture, according to Inspiration Green. Their ability to survive a wintry climate remains unclear.

These sidewalks will benefit the environment by decreasing the amount of energy that power plants must generate by burning coal, oil and natural gas. This limits air pollution and curtails the environmental damage caused by fossil fuel extraction.

Such walkways will also help the environment by reducing the need for petroleum-based sidewalk materials. The manufacturing process for Butech/Onyx paving tiles will cause less harm to the environment than pavement production, according to Inhabit.com.

An additional advantage of photovoltaic sidewalks is that they can generate power near homes and businesses that use electricity. When transmitting power across many miles, transmission lines lose a portion of the energy. Such sidewalks would help to counteract this problem.

As of early 2012, no sidewalks of this type have been installed. They are still not available for purchase in the United States. A few years ago, IBM predicted that photovoltaic sidewalks would become affordable by late 2013. For now, the future of this technology remains uncertain.

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Recycling shoes at RecyclerFinder.com

Recycle these ASAP please!!!

In the past, when shoes became unwearable, they were thrown away or taken to the landfill where they added to the existing piles. Today, recycling is a friendlier solution for getting rid of worn-out footwear. Not only does this create a cleaner environment, but the components produced through recycling can be used to create new products. This process prevents landfill overflow and creates an atmosphere of stewardship and sharing among societies. How do people get started?

The easiest way to recycle footwear is through a program like Nike’s ReUse a Shoe, which breaks them down and uses the resulting nylon, rubber, and foam to create products like Nike Grind, a component in athletic mats, or even new footwear to donate to others. Nike’s website lists over 200 drop-off locations around the world where people can bring athletic shoes and LIVESTRONG wristbands to be recycled or donated.

While Nike focuses mainly on preserving a trash-free environment, other programs such as Crocs Cares, Soles4Souls, and the Cinderella Project focus on donating. These organizations collect worn Crocs, athletic footwear, and high heels to donate to impoverished communities across the globe. For example, Crocs Cares donates Crocs to developing nations to prevent the spread of disease; the Cinderella Project donates formal evening wear and accessories to teenagers who cannot afford them for proms and formal dances. Websites for each of these groups list locations and contact information for donating gently used pieces.

Finally, for those who wish to recycle within their local communities, Recyclerfinder.com provides a free application for computers and mobile devices so people can search for nearby facilities. Plenty of options exist for turning shoes into usable materials or for donating them to a worthy cause, both of which keep them out of the landfill and on people’s feet where they belong.

Find places to recycle shoes at RecyclerFinder.com!

Locate recycling centers near you with RecyclerFinder.com

Find places to recycle disposable razors at RecyclerFinder.com

Find places to recycle disposable razors at RecyclerFinder.com

Every year, Americans damage the environment by purchasing and throwing away over two billion disposable razors and razor blades. That means that billions of these pieces of plastic are going to waste and piling up in landfills across the country year after year. The negative impact on the environment could at least partially be avoided through recycling.

Recycling Disposable Razors

Cutting down on waste may be a matter of choosing to recycle a razor or purchase a razor that is made with recycled materials. Some shaving companies are now running programs that allow consumers to send back their used blades and handles to be recycled into new products. The most environmentally-friendly businesses offer a combination of recycled and recyclable handles, with handles made of 100 percent recycled materials that can also be sent back to the company to again be recycled.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to recycle blades in the United States unless the shaving company is specifically running a program in which they allow consumers to send back their used blades. Currently, there is one company in the United States that is actively advertising their ability to recycle a used razor. The company, located in Massachusetts, is called Preserve and specializes in American-made personal care and kitchen products that can be recycled.

Making a Razor Last Longer

Some consumers purchase disposable razors because they cannot afford the purchase of a high-quality, reusable razor. Consumers that find themselves in this situation can cut down on waste by taking steps to make the razor last longer. Rust is a common problem with disposables, so it’s important to dry the blade shortly after use. Keeping the blade sharp and free of rust is a matter of storing the blade in olive oil when it is not in use.

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Find places to recycle plastic bottles at RecyclerFinder.com

Around the world people are recycling plastic bottles. Find places to recycle plastic bottles at RecyclerFinder.com

If you look in your cupboards and in your refrigerator, you’ll find any number of plastic bottles. While many of plastic bottles end up in landfills, these plastic bottles can be recycled over and over again into useful products.

Before you recycle your plastic bottles, be sure to separate the caps from the bottles as these are of a different plastic. Wash them out and remove labels if so required by local regulations before sending them to be recycled.

The bottles are collected and hauled to a plant set up for recycling. If you turn over your bottles, you’ll find numbers and/or icons on the bottom. These identification codes designate different polymer types of material. Two identification codes used on the bottom of plastic bottles are the numbers “1” and “2”. Polyethylene terephthalate will show a “1,” while high-density polyethylene will show a “2” on the bottom of the bottle. Once the bottles are inside the recycling plant, they are sorted out in accordance with their type of polymer material.

After the bottles have been organized according to type of their material, they are once more organized according to color. Similar bottles are then crushed and compacted by huge machines that mold them into bales. These bales are sold to business that specialize in processing the bottles into flakes for the next step in the process.

Polyester fibers are created from bottles with a “1” designation. These become fabrics for clothing, carpet and new bottles. Milk cartons, grocery bags and things like handy, usable bins are created from bottles with a “2” designation.

Unlike glass bottles, plastic bottles are popular because they don’t break when dropped. Unfortunately, they also don’t disintegrate in landfills. However, these bottles can be recycled over and over to provide new products from the old.

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plastic bottle recycling

View of over 2 million plastic bottles for recycling.

When people recycle, they protect the environment and prevent valuable materials from going to waste. However, it’s important to check the recycling codes on bottles, tubs, bags and other items. Proper sorting improves efficiency and reduces the operating costs of recycling facilities. Plastic manufacturers use seven different codes.

#1 PETE/PET: Polyethyl tetraethylenei. Many beverages come in plastic bottles of this type. If your city doesn’t accept these bottles, you may be able to bring them to a redemption center.

#2 HDPE: High-density polyethylene. Manufacturers often use this plastic for rigid containers. Most recycling programs accept this type. You may have to recycle number two plastic bags at a grocery store.

#3 PVC/V: Polyvinyl chloride. Various chemical containers and other products contain this plastic. Only some towns and cities accept it. Remember to thoroughly rinse out any chemical residues.

#4 LDPE/LLDPE: Low-density polyethylene or linear low-density polyethylene. This more flexible plastic is used in some bags and condiment bottles. Most cities recycle it.

#5 PP: Polypropylene. This relatively common plastic is found in some cereal bowls and containers for refrigerated foods. You might be able to recycle it in a major town or city.

#6 PS: Polystyrene. This material can come in the form of plastic or foam in disposable cups, trays and cartons. It is particularly harmful to the environment. In most areas, it must be discarded.

#7  OTHER: Unlike the other numbers, seven doesn’t refer to a specific plastic. The material may consist of multiple plastics or a less common type. Few cities recycle it.

Metal, glass and cardboard often lack code numbers. If you need to sort metals, use a magnet; it won’t stick to aluminum. A symbol with a phone number usually means that you must take the item to a special location to recycle it. Contact your local government for specific sorting guidelines.

Sources

1. Argonne National Laboratory, http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/environ/ENV003.HTM
2. New York City, http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/resources/plastics_codes.shtml

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Srap into Cash

Everyone can use a little extra cash these days. Turn your scrap into cash at RecyclerFinder.com!

Scrap yards and bulk recyclers are willing to pay for certain materials, but many people don’t realize that their junk could be worth cash. With its new mobile application function, RecyclerFinder.com makes it even easier to research and locate local and regional companies that pay for copper, brass, steel, aluminum, glass and more.

The first step is to find out what materials are available to be sold and recycled. Old appliances, furnaces and air conditioners, for example, often include copper tubing and brass fittings. Both materials are in high demand and can bring a nice cash payout. Steel, tin, iron and glass can also be sold at many scrap yards, though the prices per pound are often low. Electric motors, batteries, radiators, and copper wiring and plumbing fixtures are other items commonly purchased by recyclers.

At RecyclerFinder.com, a ZIP-code search quickly reveals a list of nearby facilities that accept specific materials. The recycling company’s name, address, phone number and website are provided, making it convenient to contact the company for information about current prices and other details, such as the amount of sorting and dismantling required. The list of facilities also includes a “Scan and Go” QR code for each center. Once scanned with an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or other smartphone, the code brings up a map to the recycler along with the contact details.

Recycling scrap can add up to big cash with very little time and effort. It helps keep potentially hazardous materials out of landfills and provides a good incentive to clean up trash in the yard or around the community. RecyclerFinder.com makes the process of tracking down a recycler quick and convenient, and supplies all of the needed details in one place. The new smartphone-friendly QR code takes the guesswork out of getting there with one simple scan.

Turn scrap into cash at RecyclerFinder.com!

Recycling water in space

Luke, I am a dork!

When astronauts travel into space, they carry along air and water. Volume and weight restrictions limit the amount of supplies that can be carried, so water must be rationed and recycled. This is especially important on long missions. Extended stays at the International Space Station would not be possible without careful recycling.

Water recycling has always been employed at the space station. It is not a glamorous aspect of being an ISS crew member, but astronauts must even recycle urine to preserve limited drinking water supplies.

Recycling equipment on the ISS is a system of modular components. A separate water processor assembly and urine processor assembly function together as the water recovery system, and the water recovery system is part of the larger oxygen generation system. These systems function together to produce enough air and water to support seven ISS crewmembers for extended stays in space.

If manned space exploration is to progress further, size and efficiency of recycling equipment must be optimized. Preservation of all available resources will be critical to interplanetary travel to Mars or the establishment of a lunar colony. The technology ultimately used must be able to sustain astronauts for a period of three years without external resupply.

Researchers are working steadily on several different approaches to recycling. Some efforts focus on mechanical processing, while others use chemical reactions to reclaim oxygen and water. Some research even focuses on bacterial processes, similar to those used at wastewater treatment facilities on Earth, to produce air and drinking water.

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