Archive for August, 2009

Scotland Sets Ambitious ‘Zero-Waste Society’ Goal

This is something that I wish the United States would adopt, a goal for a zero-waste society. But we cannot get public healthcare in the United States. I’m visiting Scotland for the first time in a few weeks. I hope to find some enthusiasm for a zero-waste society.

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By James Murray Published August 25, 2009

EDINBURGH, — [Editor’s note: this article originally appeard on BusinessGreen and is reprinted with permission.]

The Scottish government could ban recyclable materials such as glass, metals, textiles and wood from being sent to landfill, under new plans designed to help Scotland meet its goal of becoming one of the world’s first “zero-waste societies.”

The proposals, which would effectively extend the ban on sending hazardous waste to landfill to cover several new materials, feature in a new draft plan that was published yesterday and is now subject to a 12-week consultation period.

The plan also includes proposals for new incentives to encourage businesses to increase recycling rates, increased investment in recycling facilities and collection facilities, the creation of 2,000 new jobs in the waste and recycling industries, and the introduction of new targets for material re-use as well as recycling.

Environment secretary Richard Lochhead said the new plan would require a shift in the way that businesses and households regard waste. “This is a positive step in tackling Scotland’s waste — viewing it as a resource rather than a problem,” he said. “There are major economic benefits, as well as environmental gains, to be had, including creating thousands of jobs and new business opportunities.”

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Dirty Rags

DirtyRag_1722I often fantasize (or fear) that dirty rags left in the environment such as this one may be related to a crime. I would never touch an item just in case.

I wish people would clean up after themselves.

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What Is This Black Handle?

BlackHandle_1710I’m calling this a handle, but it is made of a styrofoam, which has been molded and is very strong.

What is it? I know that it is litter.

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Vandalism Is Not Cool

BentSign_1716This sign for Riverwalk subdivision was posted on a DO NOT LITTER sign.

The DO NOT LITTER sign is placed on a private road. I think someone moved the Riverwalk sign to this area, hung it on the post and bent  it.


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Free to Good Home: A Tree

I received this email today:

We have an indoor tree inside RiverGate Mall that needs to be removed.  Our interior landscaping contractor suggested I try to email someone with the Arbor Foundation to see if you would be interested in taking the tree and giving it a home elsewhere.  She said it is a $2500 tree.

If this is something that you do, or if you know someone interested, please let me know.

The tree would need to be removed before or after mall hours and the company/person removing the tree would need to provide proof of liability insurance incase damage/injury were to occur.

Thanks so much!

Janet Thompson
Assistant General Manager
RiverGate Mall
1000 Rivergate Parkway, Suite One
Goodlettsville, TN 37072
615.851.9656 fax

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Balloon_1725Abandoned balloons in the environment are very dangerous to wildlife.

Ribbons are dangerous as animals can become ensnared in them.

Keep these items out of the environment. Please clean up after parties.

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Every Bite Is Pure Joy

PureJoy_1712When I first began photographing the trash I find for my PlanetTrash blog, I always took pictures of McDonald’s litter because there was so much of it around.

Later I read that McDonald’s trash is the most common in Britain. I agree that it is the most common fast food litter that I find.

I have not photographed any McDonald’s litter in quite a while. I could not resist photograghing this bag because of the tagline: Every Bite Is Pure Joy.

Every bite of the honeydew melon I ate earlier today was pure joy. I do not associate pure joy with any food item from McDonalds.

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More Vandalism Pictures

Not only is spray painting on signs vandalism, it is also littering:


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More on Storm Drains

StormDrain_1701A few months ago, I pointed out the dangers of a contractor pouring dry wall spackle down a storm drain in front of my house. This storm drain is down the street from my house.

There are a cloth item, a plastic medicine bottle and grass clippings all poised to wash into the drain and into our water system.

Grass clippings, though organic, should not be dumped into storm drains. They may contain pesticides. Grass clippings are ideal for a compost pile. Try composting.

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In Denmark, The Danes Recycle You

Well, why not recycle the metal parts? In some cases, we are recycling some organs and tissues.

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In Denmark, The Danes Recycle You by Brad Warbiany

There’s the oft-repeated factoid that the Indians used every part of a buffalo when they killed it. The Danes are learning from their example:

But in one area, greenery might be taken to excess. Denmark’s crematorium association has revealed its profitable sideline in recycling metal parts salvaged from the dead. Burnt bodies leave knee or hip replacements that can be recycled as scrap metal, says Allan Vest, the association’s chairman. Since 2006 the country’s 31 crematoriums have earned DKr 77,762 ($15,000) from 4,810kg of salvaged metal sold to a Dutch recycler.

When the ecclesiastical ministry changed the law to allow such recycling in 2005, it barred the reuse of such spare parts in works of art. But it did not say anything about telling relatives about the fate of a deceased. This is not a problem, says Mr Vest; recycling is good for the environment.

That principle underlies a second practice: recycling crematorium heat. Earlier this year, 15 crematoriums said they favoured sending waste heat into district-heating systems. This is because new regulations, due to come into force in 2011, will require crematoriums to filter out toxic substances such as dioxins and mercury from waste gases. To do this the crematoriums must use water to cool chimney gases from around 800°C to 180°C. It is the excess energy from the cooling process that crematoriums want to capture.

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