Revolution recycles its 3 millionth pound of MN ag plastic waste

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Revolution Plastics just collected its 3 millionth pound of used Minnesota farm plastics for recycling, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said Tuesday.

Closing the Loop on E-waste: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

Bridgens, B., Hobson, K., Lilley, D., Lee, J., Scott, J. L. and Wilson, G. T. (2017). “Closing the Loop on E-waste: A Multidisciplinary Perspective”. Journal of Industrial Ecology. doi:10.1111/jiec.12645This article is open source.

Abstract: This paper describes the challenges faced, and opportunities identified, by a multidisciplinary team of researchers developing a novel closed loop system to recover valuable metals and reduce e-waste, focusing on mobile phones as a case study. This multidisciplinary approach is contrasted with current top-down approaches to making the transition to the circular economy (CE). The aim of the research presented here is to develop a product service system (PSS) that facilitates the recovery of valuable functional components and metals from mobile phone circuit boards. To create a holistic solution and limit unintended consequences, in addition to technological solutions, this paper considers appropriate component lifetimes; the (often ignored) role of the citizen in the circular economy; customer interaction with the PSS; environmental life cycle assessment; and social impacts of the proposed PSS. Development of enabling technologies and materials to facilitate recovery of components and metals and to provide an emotionally durable external enclosure is described. This research also highlights the importance of understanding value in the CE from a multifaceted and interdisciplinary perspective.

Recycling Solar Glasses After the Eclipse

Read the full story at Earth911. The reuse section of the article is particularly helpful.

Note especially that Astronomers Without Borders and partners are launching a project to distribute eclipse glasses to schools in South America and Asia for eclipses in 2019. Information about where to submit glasses will be featured on the organization’s Facebook page. You can also sign up for their newsletter to receive updates about where to send your glasses.

With the buzz about the exciting event darkening the daytime sky, eclipse glasses equipped with solar filters have sold out at retail stores and online vendors. Some variations are plastic. Others are bamboo. Lots feature relatively inexpensive paper frames.

About 2.1 million paper versions provided by Space Science Institute/National Center for Interactive Learning in partnership with other organizations were distributed by thousands of libraries in the United States. American Paper Optics in Tennessee sent out a press release stating that the firm would be working to produce 100,000,000 pairs of eclipse glasses. American Paper Optics is among various vendors with products meeting safety standards as listed on the American Astronomical Society website.

After enjoying the eclipse experience, lots of observers are likely deciding what to do with their solar glasses. Here’s what you should know:


Champaign County Residential Electronics Collection Event Scheduled for Oct. 14, 2017

Republished from the SEI Blog.

The next free electronics recycling collection event for participating communities in Champaign County, IL is scheduled for October 14, 2017. The collection will take place from 8 AM to noon at Parkland College (2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign). Use the Duncan Road entrance and follow the signs.

There is a 10 item limit for participating residents, and a 2 TV limit. All sizes, types, and models of televisions are accepted. This is of particular significance, because although there are multiple businesses that do accept various types of electronics for recycling year-round, there is currently no place in Champaign County to recycle older, bulkier cathode ray tube (CRT) tvs. (See the Champaign County Electronics Recycling Guide for information on businesses that accept electronics for recycling, including items accepted and contact information).

Participating communities include:  Bondville, Broadlands, Champaign, Gifford, Homer, Ivesdale, Ludlow, Mahomet, Ogden, Rantoul, Royal, Sadorus, Savoy, St. Joseph, Thomasboro, Urbana, and Unincorporated County. Due to the popularity of these collection events, residents must register at Online registration opens on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 8 AM.

See for further information, including items accepted at the collection event. Questions can be addressed to the recycling coordinator in your community:

  • City of Champaign: 217-403-4780
  • City of Urbana: 217-384-2302
  • Champaign County: 217-819-4035

image of post card announcing residential electronics collection event on october 14, 2017

Trump Administration Reverses Bottled Water Ban In National Parks

Read the full story from NPR.

In 2011, the National Park Service put in place a policy to encourage national parks to end the sale of bottled water. The aim was to cut back on plastic litter.

It was not actually an outright ban – but 23 out of 417 national parks, including Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, implemented restrictions on bottled water sales. The parks encourage visitors to use tap water and refillable bottles instead.

Now, The Trump administration has reversed this Obama-era policy.

Revitalizing Plastics Recycling Symposium and Annual Meeting

September 12, 2017
I-Hotel & Conference Center, Champaign, IL
Register here.

Recycling experts will share their expertise and highlight the potential for making a difference in the future of the recycling industry.

Speakers include:

  • Brian Plotner, University of Illinois Student Majoring in Public Health
    Research Study on Plastics Recycling in Illinois
  • Max Babits, Project Analyst, RRS
    Materials Recovery for the Future
  • Ken Santowski, President, Chicago Logistic Service
    Recovering Polystyrene (Styrofoam)
  • Tanner Smith, Corporate Development Analyst, Delta Plastics
    Agricultural Plastics Recycling
  • BK Sharma, Senior Research Scientist, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, division of Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Champaign (UIUC).

Two Live Demonstrations

On-site pyrolysis tour

While some recycled plastics have a high value, others merely end up in a landfill.  However this can be avoided.  With plastics to oil technology even the most brittle, hard-to-recycle plastics could become a valued commodity.  Plastics to oil converts plastic back to the oil where it originated and can be sold to refineries to produce gasoline or diesel.  This demonstration with pyrolysis equipment on-site will show you how you can participate in making a difference in the future of plastics recycling.

Optional expanded polystyrene densifier tour

Recycling of expanded polystyrene is possible with a densifier.  See this technology in action.  Take a tour of Dart Container Urbana Plant’s expanded polystyrene recycling operation & densifier.  Facility has a 24/7 drop-off so bring your recyclable Styrofoam.

A variety of recycling gurus will share their expertise and highlight the potential for making a difference in the future of the recycling industry.