Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Green Living and Recycling Go Hand in Hand

January 25th, 2015

Green Living and Recycling Go Hand in Hand1

There are many way to embrace an eco – friendly lifestyle. Recycling remains a cornerstone of the “green “mindset. With the increasing world population, the problem with the waste disposal becomes more severe. Furthermore, recycling is vital for the sustainable living and preserving the planet’s resources.  In order to fully incorporate this practice, people need to know not only the benefits, but also the ways in which they can support the initiative.

Recycling vs. Raw Materials

One of the mains benefits of recycling is that it reduces the need for raw materials. Mining, logging and quarrying as well as the processing of goods produce an enormous amount of pollution. Even the electricity required to fulfil those tasks have a great impact. In the process of getting raw materials, the natural habitats are destroyed, resulting in the death of the local wildlife.

Recycling on the other hand requires less energy. Opponents of the idea argue that transportation of the recycling materials also adds up to the pollution.  This is true, but it is nothing compared to the emissions produced for transferring the raw materials. In most of the cases recycling uses less energy, thus have less influence on the environment. For example, the bags made from reused material, rather than polyethylene decreased the energy consumption by two – thirds.

Some of the materials cannot degrade for hundreds of years.  They will continue to pollute the Earth even when we are no longer here. They will not only flood our planet, but will also poison the soil. Cleaning the ground from these toxic ingredients will become almost impossible.

» Read more: Green Living and Recycling Go Hand in Hand

EuroShield Recycled Rubber Roofing System

December 16th, 2014


Canmore Black Shake

Canmore Black Shake

Euroshield is a rubber roofing product that has been manufactured in Calgary, Alberta for the last 13 years.  It is made from 75% recycled rubber tires and 20% other recycled material for a total of 95% recycled material. Each new roof contains between 250 and 1000 rubber tires, and any scraps produced during installation can be collected and recycled into new product (depending on location).

There are four product lines:

  • EuroSlate, mimics the look of slate. Available in Brownstone, Greystone and Blackstone colours.
  • EuroShake, mimics the look of cedar shakes — available in either the hand split or taper-sawn looks and three colours: weathered brown, grey and black.

Both the EuroSlate and EuroShake are the original products developed by EuroShield. They are about 3/4″ thick at the butt end and interlock using a tongue and groove system. They weigh approximately 3.3lbs/square foot and need no additional truss support.

» Read more: EuroShield Recycled Rubber Roofing System

The Problem with Incinerating Waste (and it’s not what you think)

November 14th, 2014


By Utilisateur Jyoccoz (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Utilisateur Jyoccoz (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

While in Poland, we attended Poleko 2014, Poland’s largest environmental protection trade fair. I had meetings with many people around the subject of construction waste management. Europe in general and Germany in particular are known for its progressive waste management policies, so I wanted to find out what they do and how they do it.

Anyone involved in the waste sector, especially on a global level, already knows how they do it — the phrase “burn baby burn” comes to mind. Incineration is a big part of European waste management, whether you are in a Scandinavian country, Germany or Holland, all rely on incineration.

I spoke with Peter Meinlschmidt a physicist with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research about how Germany handles waste. He told me that all organic material (including plastic) is forbidden to go to landfill.

» Read more: The Problem with Incinerating Waste (and it’s not what you think)

Why Can’t You Recycle Your Pizza Boxes?

November 21st, 2013

By Dirk Ingo Franke (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I’m one of the few people I know who looks on a municipality’s website about the recycling rules as soon as I move into a new neighbourhood (but then again, I’m one of the few people I know who moves every few years!). Both in Toronto and Montreal I’ve noticed that pizza boxes cannot be recycled. I’ve always had a problem with this rule. I’ve always wanted to know why. After all, they’re made from cardboard and generally, cardboard is one of the most common and easily recyclable materials out there.

While looking for a recycling centre that will fit in my new kitchen, I stumbled across this very interesting blog post on the Glad website. In a nutshell, it turns out that the reason some municipalities prohibit pizza box recycling is that the oils from the cheese and meat that soak into the box conflict with the way the cardboard is broken down.

From the website:

 Cardboard (and other paper products) are recycled through a process by which they are ground up and mixed with water.  Oils in this mix can prevent the paper fibers from binding properly, resulting in spots, holes and other problems with paper quality.  [source]

Stickers on the outside of the box can also contaminate the recycling process.

The website offers a few suggestions about what you can do with your used pizza boxes instead of throwing them in the garbage.

  1. Compost in a city composting program. Check to see if your city composting program accepts “brown waste” such as soiled paper napkins and paper towels, food wraps and pizza boxes. Don’t, however, add pizza boxes to your backyard compost as they will attract pests.
  2. Tear away contaminated pieces and put the rest of the box in recycling.

If a soiled pizza box does get into a recycling container it can cause the entire lot to be diverted to landfill, so if you don’t have a city composting program (ahem, Montreal!!), throw the pizza box in the garbage. One box in landfill prevents the entire lot from having to go, so it’s the best of the worst.

So the next time you want to put your pizza box in the recycling bin, check first with your municipality’s website to make sure it’s accepted….and enjoy your pizza!


Aspera Recycling and Greentree Provide Carpet Recycling for the Maritimes

October 24th, 2012

I’ve written about Aspera Recycling before. They already work with a few municipalities and retailers in Ontario to keep old carpet out of landfill. For those who live in the Maritimes, here is some good news about how to get rid of your old carpet!

HALIFAX – During the Carpet Recycling Summit in Halifax last week, Aspera Recycling Inc., the leader in postconsumer
and post-industrial carpet recycling in Canada, announced the opening of Aspera Atlantic a division that
will service the Maritime region. The Ontario based company has partnered with Greentree Resources of Halifax
NS to open a collection and sorting facility, the first of its kind in the Maritime Provinces.
It is estimated that Nova Scotians discard between 6800-7900 tons of waste carpet each year. Currently, there is no
other facility in Atlantic Canada that accepts used carpet for recycling. By working closely with leading carpet
manufactures and retailers, Aspera Atlantic will be able to reach its goals of diverting carpet from landfills and
maximizing the utilization of the recycled components.
“Carpet is made of plastic and putting it into landfills where it will sit for centuries to come is just not a sustainable
solution” says Richard White, President of Aspera Recycling. “The RRFB and the Nova Scotia government
recognize not only the environmental impact of this practice but the loss of non-renewable resources. We are
delighted about our partnership with Greentree to launch the diversion and recycling business in the region to help
solve this problem.”
Aspera Atlantic will collect, sort and prepare the carpet for processing. Paul Behner, President of Greentree
Resources said “We are very pleased to partner with Aspera and provide a solution to the Atlantic Region.” In 2008,
Behner was recognized by the Eco-Efficiency Centre for Environmental Excellence in Business for his work in civil
construction. “I am passionate about recycling; I see a world where all materials can be recycled with a goal to create
net positive impact on the environment.”
About Aspera Recycling

Aspera Recycling was founded in March of 2011 as a pro-active response to meet growing demand for waste
diversion and the recycling of post consumer used carpet. Having established a Canada wide collection network,
Aspera is the first national waste carpet diversion and recycling company with collection and sorting facilities in
Vancouver and processing facilities in Toronto.

About Greentree Resources
Greentree Resources, located at 933 Cobequid Road, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia is an eco-station development
with a long standing history of recycling.

::via Aspera Recycling

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