Accurate IT Services and Director of Client Relations Jack Knapp were pleased to have The Aztechs Robotics Team visit our facility this week. They are part of Dublin City Schools and are working on a recycling project. These young students are learning how to reuse electronics and computer parts. Anand Padmanabhan, the coach for the team, toured the facility along with these students and learned about our process. We are happy to see students learning about recycling and caring about the environment. Thank you, Aztechs for touring our facility and allowing us to teach you about electronics recycling.
By Jared Paben
Offices will generate more recyclable materials and less contamination if each employee is given a large recycling bin and small garbage can, according to a study.
The study, titled "Recycling at Work: Research to Inform Improved Recycling in the Workplace," was commissioned by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) with support from PepsiCo Recycling and commercial real estate giant CBRE.
"It was important to do this because we see recycling in the workplace as a real potential opportunity to increase recycling," said Brenda Pulley, KAB's senior vice president of recycling.
Over six months in 2014, Action Research studied different recycling and garbage bin configurations in CBRE offices in Atlanta, Boston, Houston and San Diego. All offices had single-stream recycling collection.
The stakeholders tried the following configurations at each employee's desk:
The first configuration, with a small garbage and large recycling bin, showed the greatest success, according to the report. It yielded a higher percentage of recyclable materials and lower percentage of garbage in recycling bins as well as a lower percentage of recyclables in garbage cans.
Before the project, 79 percent of offices had some amount of paper in garbage cans, but the number dropped to almost zero during the experiment, the report stated.
"Our research clearly shows that by combining specific-sized trash and recycling receptacles, with simple signage and messaging, businesses and other organizations can increase employee participation and improve their rate of recycling of office-generated materials," Jennifer Jehn, KAB president and CEO, stated in a press release.
The "recycling-bin-only" option was unsuccessful and might have actually led employees to throw away recyclable materials they would have otherwise diverted, the report noted. It was unpopular for workers, and four offices dropped out of the survey after they were assigned this configuration, the report said.
A pilot project has been started for thousands of students in the New York, Maryland, and Michigan areas. This new project will include a hands on learning environment surrounding the science of recycling. The project is headed by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and they plan to combine both classroom learning along with on-site visits to local recycling centers. JASON learning, a non profit group, also helped in the development of this program. ISRI believes that this project will teach these students the skills needed for careers in the field and help them develop interests in science, technology, engineering, etc. The president of ISRI believes that this education process will create the next generation of leaders for the recycling industry.
Accurate IT was excited to be invited by SWACO to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility. Jack Knapp, our Director of Client Relations was among the many guest who attended. There were also representatives from the EPA, US Senate, House of Representatives, and many local communities. The event included several speakers, a facility tour, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and cake. The event was a huge success and we are thankful for SWACO inviting us to be part of it.
The University of Central Florida had over 200,000 plastic bottles dumped into their reflecting pond to raise awareness about our impact on the environment. This event was called Reflect on Sustainability and was created by the IDEAS for UCF and the UCF Student Government. Many students were shocked and some thought it was a prank. As you can see in the video, these students are taking a bolder approach to raise awareness and it seems to be working. Of course, after the demonstration, the bottles will be removed and recycled. To view the full video and article, click the link below.
Canadian roaster Club Coffee has come up with the first fully compostable single-serve coffee pod that works with the Keurig machines. They are one of the companies that sued Keurig for controlling the market and creating a monopoly to keep prices for the cups very high. Their product is the PurPod100, made from coffee chaff, which is the skin of the bean that comes off during the roasting process. It is compostable because it is designed to be digested by bacteria. This cup can be fully broken down with composting in a matter of weeks. They are working on multiple certifications including their final certification to bring this product to market. This will make it much easier to recycle these pods because currently for many of the pods that can be recycled, the coffee grounds and the lid have to be separated from the cup in order to recycle it. It’s easier to make the cup of coffee at this point than it is to dispose of the cup that brews it, leaving most of them ending up in the trash. With this company moving forward at a rapid pace, the fully compostable pods will be on grocery store shelves in no time.
Announcing the 2015 Green Community Award Winners! Tri-Rivers Recycling Center, Marca Industries Document Destruruction & Recycling, ECO Center, Sims Brothers Recycling, Goodwill, DKMM Solid Waste District, MCI Green Initiative, Accurate IT Recycling Services, Keep Ohio Beautiful have all worked together to make Marion County cleaner and greener. Thanks for all you do! #BeeTheGood — at Marion County Building.
Come to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this Saturday, April 18th, between 9am and 5pm to drop off your old electronics for responsible recycling! The Columbus Zoo will receive a portion of the proceeds from the event. For every person who drops off an electronic to be recycled, the Zoo will offer a coupon for Buy-One-Get-One Admission for the weekend of the event. Accurate IT Services is locally owned, operated, and R2 certified. This ensures that your equipment will be handled securely, responsibly, and never see a landfill. We can accept most electronics and small appliances free of charge. CRT and rear-projection televisions will be accepted for a fee of $20 per unit. CRT monitors will be accepted at $5 a unit after two free per car. Exposed tubes will not be collected for safety reasons. Also, we cannot accept alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, etc) or light bulbs of any kind. Any equipment containing refrigerant is also not accepted, including air conditioners. For more information on the items we can accept, please visit our website’s items accepted page at: http://www.ait-recycle.com/recycling-items-accepted
RecycleMania is a recycling tournament started in 2001 as a competition between Ohio University and Miami University. It spans about two months, February and March, and since its creation, many schools across the US and Canada have joined in. This year, more than 40,000 tons of materials were diverted during the competition which now includes many different divisions and covers a wide range of recyclables. In the E-Cycle category, the winner was Southwestern College, who recycled 22.2 pounds per person of electronic waste. The Grand Champion of the competition was Antioch University for the second year in a row. They diverted nearly 97% of their waste from a landfill, which is quite impressive. The list for this competition grows each year and with each year, more waste gets diverted from the landfill. This is a great competition and the more colleges that join in, the healthier our environment will be.
Many municipalities in California have started a popular wave of plastic bag bans and it could be catching on in Ohio. Mayor Michael Coleman introduced a 5 year sustainability plan for the city of Columbus that includes a consideration on banning or at least creating a surcharge for plastic bags in the city. Kris Keller, a Clintonville Area Commission District 8 Representative, has introduced the idea to prohibit many large retailers from using plastic bags, or at least charging for them to reduce the use. This would exclude small businesses, however. According to the Mayor’s 5 year plan, if 5,600 people commit to using reusable shopping bags, assuming each person uses two bags per week, together they will have avoided the waste of 1,164,800 plastic bags in just one year. In similar news, the Arizona Senate has passed the vote for disallowing individual Arizona municipalities to place bans on plastic bags and bottles. It is currently awaiting the signature of the Governor. If this is signed, it will be the first statewide law keeping municipalities from putting bans on plastic bags. The problem with these bags for curbside recycling pickups is that many materials recovery facilities have said that they can jam up equipment and interfere with operations. This leaves most residents throwing the bags in the trash, ultimately ended up in a landfill where it will not biodegrade for 20 to 1000 years.
By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling
Medina county is being pushed to depart from its long-established mixed-waste processing recycling system, after a report indicated the method was producing a recycling rate below 4 percent. Medina County is located southwest of Cleveland and just west of Akron.
Since 1993, Medina County has owned a mixed waste processing center that received all MSW from the county's roughly 175,000 residents. The facility, which had been operated by Envision Waste Services, has come under fire after the County released data indicating it only recovered 3.6 percent of material in 2012. The county report containing that data recommended keeping the mixed-waste system until 2030 and complementing it with a drop-off program.
Leaders in the City of Medina, which serves as the county seat, have advocated an immediate rewrite of the 2016-2030 plan, altering it to introduce curbside collection. "A 3.6 percent recycling rate is not satisfactory to the residents or city officials," John Coyne, Medina City Council president, told Resource Recycling. According to Coyne, when the facility first started operating in 1993, it was billed as "a new and better way to recycle materials." But he says after more than 20 years of sending material to the site, he and other local leaders are ready for a revamped process. "Our goal is to lower our costs and increase recycling as much as possible, and I think that's everybody's goal," Coyne said.
According to Beth Biggins-Ramer, the county's solid waste district coordinator, the County has stopped using its mixed waste processing center until it can figure out how the facility fits into the region's waste management aspirations. She added the region's most pressing need currently is not necessarily lifting recycling rates. Instead, the goal is simply meeting the state obligation to ensure recycling access and update the county solid waste plan. Biggins-Ramer said her department has heard "loud and clear" some residents' desire to move toward a more traditional curbside system. "We are not against that," she said. "Our constraint is working through all the statutory timelines we are mandated to."
For the time being, Medina has introduced a "single-stream drop-off" system countywide, with all other material currently going to landfill. Its 400-plus page solid waste plan for 2016-2030 has to be approved by Medina's communities and reach the Ohio EPA by the fall. In addition, a working group has been established to look into possible changes to the program, including introducing curbside. If that working group can settle on actionable items, the County will "voluntarily enter into a new and updated plan rewrite," Biggins-Ramer said.
Steve Viny, the CEO of Envision, argued the now-idled mixed waste processing facility has been popular with the community and successful. "It's been a successful program for over two decades, it's been well embraced by the general public – they love it – and it's also helped the County meet the state of Ohio's recycling access goals," Viny said.
Medina's mixed waste processing center is one of only a handful operating in the U.S. The facilities, also referred to as dirty MRFs, to attempt to recover recyclables from the MSW stream. The approach has been hotly debated by many in the recycling industry. The fate of Medina's 15-year plan, which will be voted on by the entire County later this year, could come down to the City of Brunswick's position. As the largest city in the County, Brunswick has "veto power," Medina's Coyne said, to decide whether to approve or decline the plan. Coyne said Brunswick has been "generally aligned" with the city of Medina on the recycling issue. Brunswick officials did not return a request for comment.
This video goes over how solar roadways work and the impact they could have on life as we know it. While there are many technical issues that are still being tweaked, the idea itself is an intriguing one. The inventor couple has managed to raise over 2 million dollars for this project and even gained a few test contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The last article we posted about the Keurig cups has a bit of an update. Keurig Green Mountain has just released a new product called a K-Mug, which is essentially a travel mug that has a larger pod. This K-Mug pod is ‘recyclable’ according to the company. It is made up of #5 plastic and can be separated from the lid and filter for recycling. According to Keurig Green Mountain, their Vue and K-Carafe pods are also now recyclable, leaving the original K-cups out of the loop. Keurig is taking the right steps to reach their goal of making all of their pods recyclable by 2020, but releasing a new product that features a recyclable pod doesn’t quite have the same impact as changing the K-cups to be recyclable. There are still billions of K-cups going into the trash every single day. It is the hopes of many that Keurig will make all of their cups recyclable before their 2020 goal deadline.
Accurate IT Services will be participating in a recycling event at Athens County Fairgrounds on March 28th from 10am to 2pm. Everything from electronics and building supplies to clothes and furniture can be recycled during this event. All recycling services are free, with the exception of non flat screen monitors and televisions, which require a $20 cash only fee. You will not be able to recycle light bulbs or alkaline batteries. For more information on this event, view the link below.
As an electronics recycler, we see our fair share of plastics that need to be recycled, like computer cases and household appliances. One type of plastic that many people use is the Keurig K-cups and unfortunately they are not readily recyclable. It says on their website that they aren’t and that they are currently working on the problem. They expect to have a solution by 2020, 5 years from now. Most people find this answer to be unacceptable, including the creator of the design, John Sylvan. He has approached the company several times with solutions to this problem and his ideas have been rejected. He actually regrets coming up with one of the most popular coffee brewing designs because of the impact on the environment.
According to several sources, many companies that have tried to fix the problem on their own are actually being sued by Keurig Green Mountain. One company has actually created a plastic clip for the single serve brewer that allows for outside single serve cups; ones that are recyclable. According to this company, the impact of the non recyclable K-cups in nearly unfathomable. “Lined up, end to end, the 9.8 billion 2-inch pods sold by Keurig in 2014 alone would encircle the equator 12.4 times, according to Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. The estimated 35.6 billion pods sold by Keurig since 2007 (Green Mountain Coffee purchased coffee-maker Keurig in 2006) would encircle the globe more than 45 times.”
Those numbers are quite shocking, especially for such a short timeline, and are only expected to increase. Most homes and offices have this type of appliance and every single day these cups are ending up in the trash. While Keurig is looking into a compostable option for its cups, most cities lack the infrastructure in their municipalities to make a big difference. They also have the brew your own style cup where you can fill it with whatever coffee or tea grounds you like. The problem is, most people still buy the K-cups because they can just throw them away when they are done instead of washing out the custom brew container. Many third party companies are now spreading the word on the environmental impact in an effort to help the environment and are doing what they can to come up with solutions.
Yesterday, we were honored to work on a training video with Dublin City Schools Power Plus Program and OCALI, the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence. They filmed the Power Plus Students while working at our warehouse and showed detailed the training they receive. They also interviewed them and our staff about their experiences and thoughts on this partnership. They interviewed Jack Knapp our Director of Client Relations, Rich Williams the tear down supervisor and Matt Muse the warehouse manager about the young men and the program. Yesterday’s filming will be part of a training video series that will be used by schools, businesses, and organizations worldwide. We are honored to have been include on this inspirational learning tool. Now we are able to help not only Central Ohio communities, but communities throughout the world.
As most of us in the recycling world know, CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) glass is very difficult to deal with and handling CRT equipment can be a dangerous job because of the amount of lead. CRT equipment is considered one of the hardest types of electronics to recycle. There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to reusing it and there is an over abundance of this type of equipment in the recycling industry. Recently, there have been some interesting developments for the reuse of CRT glass. One spanish based company is beginning a pilot project for using the glass in ceramic tiles. There is already a company in California that is currently making these tiles. They basically turn the CRT glass into a sand like material. This material can also be used in road striping, building materials, and even used as golf course sand. CRT glass can be used as charge material in certain metal production processes. While the reuse market is still very small, there have been great developments in recent years. With the continued dedication of the community we can divert all of CRT equipment from landfills everywhere and even make use of it with the recent advancements in technology.
Jared has also been learning here since August, like the other Power Plus students. Jared’s favorite thing to do here is work in the shipping and receiving department where he can hone his already polished skill set. He is a very talented and experienced student. Jared has also learned how to take apart computers and sort the various electronics that get recycled here. Jared feels that Accurate IT Services has really helped him and that he will be able to find employment because he now has warehouse experience. Jared likes the work environment here and says he feels good emotionally. We are happy to have Jared here learning skills every week. Thank you Jared, for all your talented work here at Accurate IT Services. The Power Plus students are amazing to work with and we truly value the opportunity to help the community.
Josh is one of the many great students in the Power Plus Program, which is a community based post secondary job training program created by Dublin City Schools. Josh has also been here a little over six months and during his time here he has increased his skill set tremendously. He’s always got a smile on his face and he’s a very hard worker. In his interview, he said that he feels happy and proud to learn at Accurate IT Services. He also said that learning here has helped him become more independent and that he is able to use tools more efficiently. Like the other Power Plus students, Josh feels that training here will help him gain employment in the future. That is why the Power Plus Program is so great. It teaches job skills to these young adults so that they can apply them in life. We are so lucky to be able to work with this program and great students like Josh. Thank you Josh, for all your hard work here from all of us at Accurate IT Services.