Recycling in America: In the bin

Read the full story in The Economist.

To placate shareholders and shoppers, American companies are promising to use more recycled materials in their products. It’s a nice idea, but surprisingly hard to achieve. Coca-Cola committed to using at least 25% recycled plastic in its containers by 2015, but revised this downwards owing to scarce supply and high costs. Walmart is struggling to find the material to meet its goal to use 3 billion pounds of recycled plastic in its packaging and products by 2020. “The problem is supply,” explains Rob Kaplan of Walmart.

New campus recycling bins aim to bring waste awareness

Read the full story in the Daily Illini.

In an effort to make campus more eco-friendly and closer to a zero-waste initiative, 20 new recycling bins with standardized signage were installed on the Quad this month, making 30 total recycling/landfill stations.

The project was completed by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). According to the project’s leader Bart Bartels, technical assistance engineer at ISTC, the center makes recommendations and completes projects aiming to reduce waste emissions on campus.

This zero-waste initiative is part of the goal of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), the University’s mission to make campus carbon neutral by 2050.

The Metals Price of E-Waste, How Can Large Nations Recycle More Scrap?

Read the full story in Metal Miner.

While advanced countries have robust recycling policies for electronic goods and most major cities in the US have, at least unofficial, scrap gathering and recycling networks involving local scrapyards and trucks that gather metals and bring them to the for-profit yards for recycling. A majority of the brands operating from India, for example, do not have a tangible policy for taking back or managing the end of life of their products.

13 Ways to Upcycle Vintage Cookie and Tea Tins

Read the full post at Grains of Earth.

In most thrift stores, there’s a section for old-fashioned metal tins designed to hold cookies or tea. They’re often unique, cheap and tempting to buy, but what can you do with them afterwards? Besides storing cookies, etc., the best way to reuse an old tin is to create something entirely new with it, like one of these 13 everyday objects.

Repurposed Books Highlight Changing Library Roles, National Library Week

Read the full story from Syracuse University.

Two tables full of repurposed books turned into artwork and items of creative expression are forming a celebration of National Library Week at Syracuse University, as well as serving as a signpost of how changing times are affecting libraries, those in the library profession, and the communities that libraries serve.

The “Upcycled Library” display is being hosted by LISSA, the Library and Information Science Student Assembly organization at the School of Information Studies (iSchool). The group’s goal was to host an event that would present “an opportunity to give old books new life.” Described as “part creative destruction, part book giveaway, part community building, and part library advocacy,” LISSA’s idea was to distribute free, out-of-circulation books, recruit project participants, then ask them to create something new from the book materials, according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Why recycling economics are in the trash bin

Read the full story at CBS News.

The recent unexpected collapse in oil prices is putting the squeeze on the recycling industry.

As a result of crashing crude prices, it’s cheaper for plastics companies to use new or virgin materials than recycled stuff. Prices are so low for recycled plastics and glass bottles that companies such as Waste Management (WM) or local governments have to pay to have it hauled away. It’s a simple issue of supply and demand.