Archive for January, 2009

How does landfill and litter affect our wildlife?

Posted by Mrs Green
January 30, 2009 65 views No Gravatar

As I’ve said on previous posts; we all have our reasons for attempting to reduce our rubbish. For us, it was a combination of things with wildlife, conservation and the environment playing a very important role in our decision to attempt a zero waste lifestyle.

I had chance this week to have a quick chat with Rosalind Cookson. She is Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s ‘Don’t waste wildlife‘ project manager.

I wanted to ask her about litter, the landfill and wildlife, as well as catch up with her particular passion which is composting.

MZW We’re at the end of zero waste week in Gloucestershire; what impact can landfill waste have on our wildlife?

RC Landfill takes up space that could otherwise be a wildlife habitat. It also gives off harmful emissions including methane and produces toxic slime called leachate which harms the environment for all of us.

MZW And what about litter – how can that effect wildlife?

RC Litter can be harmful to wildlife and people.  Broken bottles can injure and also small mammals can get stuck inside bottles, cans and other containers.
Animals and birds can get stuck in plastic bags. Wildlife can also eat litter by mistake which can cause death.

Thanks, Mrs. Green, for posting this interview about how we harm our wildlife. My husband and I are working on zero waste in the United States for our home.

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Great Fan Created Video for Keep America Beautiful

I love this fan-made spot for Keep America Beautiful:

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Magazines are History

magazines_1345While I have always been a loyal subscriber to newspapers and magazines, my lifestyle has been changing for the past two years.

Last year, I dropped my daily local newspaper and Wall Street Journal subscriptions. Although I had read newspapers my entire adult life, I was challenged by a reader of my blog, The Earth Is Not a Trash Can, to unsubscribe to lessen the amount of paper I recycled each week. I survived and adapted by reading the local newspaper on line each day. My trips to the recycling drop-off center were cut in half. This became an added benefit during the year marked by rising fuel prices and gas shortages.

This year, in this economic downturn that seems to get worse each week, I am giving up subscribing to magazines, another life-long habit of mine. Plus for the past 11 years, I  worked for two magazine publishers, both of whom laid me off work due to poor ad sales. Hey, I was not even responsible for selling ads.

Is it my way of protesting my lay offs to stop re-subscribing to magazines, although I never subscribed to any of the magazines produced where I worked? No, although I am motivated to be more environmentally friendly, it is actually financial. Since I am unemployed, it is an easy, painless way to cut costs.

Next week, I will receive my last Newsweek. Although I have been tempted to renew in the past few weeks with reduced cost subscriptions, I am not re-subscribing with Newsweek because I do not think that they will be around this time next year. The death of the news weekly has been rumored for a while by industry wags.

Other magazines have been sending me low cost offers, too. Often my mailbox has been filled with these. But even $1 per issue for a monthly seems a high price to pay in this economy.

My withdrawal from printed magazines will not be abrupt. Before the latest layoff, I had renewed The Atlantic, and I noticed today that my subscription to More is good for another year. I think I got a buy one year, get one year free from that publisher.

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The Mini E

I have just been notified that Mini of Nashville is using Twitter to connect with its customers. Mini tweeted a link to YouTube about their new electric car:

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Recycling rate soars to 98 per cent after estate adopts green …

Mark Prigg and Benedict Moore-Bridger
27.01.09

A HOUSING estate in Fulham has one of the most improved recycling rates in the country.

The Clem Attlee Estate has adopted a series of green measures on a trial basis including recycling chutes and mini-recycling banks on each floor.

Today, figures reveal that after six months the estate has boosted participation in recycling to 98 per cent.

It is now hoped the scheme could be rolled out across the capital.

John Twitchen of Sauce, the environmental consultancy which ran the project, said: “Collecting recycled rubbish from high-rise blocks is difficult, so we wanted to try a few different ideas here, and see what works.

“We’ve been incredibly pleased with the results, and we are now very hopeful that this could form a blueprint for every high-rise block in London.”

This is a great idea for all the new high condominiums planned in the United States. Making it easy to recycle is the key.

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Update on 11th Hour Project

Or, as they stated “11th Hour News Flash:”

The newest piece from Climate Central, Iowa:  Corn and Climate, will air tonight on The NewsHour.with Jim Lehrer.  You will be able to find the video on Climate Central’s website after airtime, along with excellent supporting materials pulled together by their top-notch scientific staff.

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Here's An Advantage to Picking Up Roadside Litter

By Peter Ambrose

Story Published: Jan 26, 2009 at 9:44 AM EST

Story Updated: Jan 26, 2009 at 9:44 AM EST

MOUNT COMFORT, Ind. (AP) – Three Indiana state highway workers cleaning up litter alongside Interstate 70 just east of Indianapolis found about $100,000 in an abandoned tire.

State police suspect the cash – which photos show to be in denominations of $5 to $100 – may be drug money. Indiana State Police spokesman Mike Burns says a drug-sniffing dog found the scent of drugs on the cash.

Police say the workers found the tire Friday in a ditch near the Mount Comfort Road exit on I-70. When they picked it up, the tire fell apart, revealing the cash, and the workers called police.

I saw a recently dumped tire in my neighborhood. I need to pick it up.

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Here’s An Advantage to Picking Up Roadside Litter

By Peter Ambrose

Story Published: Jan 26, 2009 at 9:44 AM EST

Story Updated: Jan 26, 2009 at 9:44 AM EST

MOUNT COMFORT, Ind. (AP) – Three Indiana state highway workers cleaning up litter alongside Interstate 70 just east of Indianapolis found about $100,000 in an abandoned tire.

State police suspect the cash – which photos show to be in denominations of $5 to $100 – may be drug money. Indiana State Police spokesman Mike Burns says a drug-sniffing dog found the scent of drugs on the cash.

Police say the workers found the tire Friday in a ditch near the Mount Comfort Road exit on I-70. When they picked it up, the tire fell apart, revealing the cash, and the workers called police.

I saw a recently dumped tire in my neighborhood. I need to pick it up.

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Man trapped in recycling bin while diving for keys

Published: 26 Jan 09 09:00 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20090126-…

A Mönchengladbach man was stuck with his feet in the air for hours after diving into a paper recycling container to retrieve his keys, police in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia reported on Monday.

“He got himself stuck upside down in the opening and suddenly couldn’t move back and forth,” a police spokesperson said.

An acquaintance of the man’s called the fire department when he saw the helpless 39-year-old’s feet poking out of the container on Sunday evening, police reported. Fire department workers used metal cutters to widen the container opening, which then caused the man to fall all the way inside.

Authorities were forced to cut a large hole in the container and build a makeshift lifting ramp to free the man about an hour later, police said.

“He had his keys again, but sustained a few cuts and bruises to get them,” the spokesperson said.

I once dropped my plastic recycling bin into the paper container. I had to abandon it there.

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Emptier Pockets Prove Good for the Environment

Posted: Sunday, 25 January 2009 2:55PM

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)  — There’s an upside to the economy getting trashed…landfills around the state are receiving considerably less garbage.

At one of the nation’s largest depositories in Puente Hills, about 17 miles east of Los Angeles, operators have seen a 30 percent drop in trash being delivered from neighboring municipalities. Disposal rates at the Miramar Landfill in San Diego are also way down.

Robert Reed, the public relations manager for Sunset Scavenger in San Francisco, said the tonnage of daily garbage and recycling produced in the city is down about five percent, and that much of that change has taken place in the last six months.

Reed said in addition to reduced personal consumption, construction waste has plummeted with the slowing housing market.

Also contributing to the reduction in trash at landfills – a state law calling for 50 percent of trash to be diverted from dumps.

The litter on the roadsides has not been decreased unfortunately.

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