Tag Archives: waste

Eight Insane Facts About Textile Recycling 

Waste not Want Not? I often get questions about how to re-purpose clothes that are too worn to be used again…. but there are MANY OTHER uses.   Here are a few basic ideas for the ripped / destroyed clothes

  1. QUILTS– cut out squares of the material, or the logo / school name and use again.
  2. Make a shopping bag. Put two tee shirts together- cut out the neckline with a deep U shape, and sleeves and sew the bottom end shut the Shoulders will be your handles and the bag will be great for groceries and soft for vegetables. And best of all, washable.
  3. Rags. You know how to do this.
  4. Stuff a pillow case with worn out clothes and use a s a dog / cat bed. Easy to re-stuff, and wash.
  5. RE-sew an item. For example: Cut a ripped man’s shirt down, and make a cute skirt for a little girl, keeping the buttons and pocket, adding an elastic waist. Make a stuffed toy, or a cloth piggy, like Ms. Oink.
  6. Contact a re-cycler. In the Bay Area we have a wonderful group: SCRAP. They gather materials to reuse, and give them away for free to TEACHERS, and sell them for a small about to consumers.

You will also be interested in these 8 Insane Facts About Textile Recycling posted by USAgain on their blog.  Great motivation to RE-USE.

No matter what side of the Atlantic you represent, the extent of personal textile waste is staggering. One battle that both Brits and Americans are losing is the battle against textile waste. Here’s why:

  1. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
  2. The consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75% of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
  3. The average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year.
  4. Americans generate almost 13 million tons of textile waste per year.  Brits generate about 1.12 million tons of textile waste a year.
  5. Even though the UK appears to generate less textile waste, One in five Brits admit to throwing away a garment after a single wear. This means that more than $127 million of clothing winds up in landfills each year after being worn once. (One in five Brits also think that light sabers exist.)
  6. One in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but only wear four of them regularly. (One in Four Americans also don’t know what nation the U.S. declared independence from.)
  7. The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
  8. Over 70% of the world’s population uses secondhand clothes.

By placing drop boxes for used clothes across the country, USAgain has saved over 480 million items of clothing from landfills, and they aren’t stopping there.

Make a change in your own life by depositing reusable clothes, shoes and household textile in a USAgain dropbox near you.

Waste Not, Want Not

Harrison and Agromin’s Food Waste Program Continues to Grow

foodwaste Ventura, Calif.–In April 2012, Harrison Industries, a Ventura-based trash and recycling hauler, and strategic partner and organics recycler Agromin launched an innovative pilot program that is designed to one day virtually eliminate food waste from local landfills. In less than a year, Harrison trucks have collected more than 700 tons of food waste from restaurants, grocery stores, schools and other businesses with Agromin turning the waste into compost.

Albertsons supermarkets in Ventura, Camarillo and Carpinteria were the first Harrison commercial customers to join the food waste program. Previously, food scraps from Albertsons’ meat, produce, deli, dairy, bakery and floral departments ended up in the trash. Now, the food scraps are placed in specially marked recycling barrels that Harrison trucks collect and deliver to Agromin. The Oxnard-based organics recovery company employs a Covered Aerated Static Pile System that mixes organic yard waste with food waste to create enriched compost and alternative fuels.

In the year since it was launched, the food waste recycling program has grown to include over 30 Harrison commercial customers–from restaurants and supermarkets to hospitals, hotels and schools. Ventura County Jail’s Todd Road facility in the Santa Clara Valley has even joined the program.

Participating Harrison customers are:

  • Ventura: Albertsons; Community Memorial Hospital; Ventura County Medical Center;   Smart & Final; Brophy Bros. Restaurant & Clam Bar; Andria’s Seafood Restaurant; Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill;  Ventura Beach Marriott; Mimi’s Café; Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach; Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort;  Margarita Villa Mexican Restaurant; Harbor Sushi; The Greek At The Harbor; Christy’s Deli;  Milano’s Italian Restaurant; and Patagonia.
  • Camarillo: Albertsons; Marie Callender’s; Smart & Final; California State University, Channel Islands; and Solar World.
  • Ojai: Ojai Valley Community Hospital; St. Joseph’s Health and Retirement Center; Westridge Market; and Ojai Valley School.
  • Carpinteria: Albertsons and Sly’s.

“It’s been a big success,” said Donald Sealund, food waste program coordinator for Harrison Industries. “Everyone’s been doing a great job, and we hope to keep adding customers to the program.”

According to Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away 40 percent of the food supply each year. “Millions of tons of food end up in landfills,” says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. “If we can transform just a small percentage of this waste into rich compost or biofuel, we can make better use of our resources and create a healthier planet. The participants in the food waste recycling program are at the forefront of these efforts.”


Another Reason to Think about Garbage!

It’s piling up! And why? Because San Mateo County Garbage workers are on strike!
When we pay attention to recycling, composting, using less packaging, this becomes less of an issue. I wouldn’t want to be the family with a mound of plastic disposable diapers and no trash pick-up on this very hot sweltering week. Ugh!

Garbage workers in San Mateo County started a 48-hour strike Wednesday (Aug. 25) to protest stalled contract negotiations with Allied Waste Industries, a company spokeswoman said.

Several East Palo Alto residents said their garbage bins, normally collected Wednesday at 6 a.m., still lingered on the curb by mid-afternoon. The sweltering afternoon heat accentuated the pungent smell, one resident said.

Thirteen workers at the Ox Mountain Landfill near Half Moon Bay are participating in the two-day strike over negotiations that have stalled since their contract expired at the end of 2009, Allied Waste spokeswoman Peg Mulloy said.

Labor Dispute news… more information!

Simple Greener Kitchen

I often hear about how to remodel your kitchen and make it green, there are many, many green gizmos and appliances. Consider if you really need to re-do or if repair or selective replacement can work just as well. You can often get a NEW look by keeping the “bones” of your kitchen and refacing  cabinets and appliances-rather than a tear out. The wood that was used in the 1950’s is higher quality and stronger than the manufactured wood and particle board today, so give material selection some careful consideration.

If you are really convinced that you need to update, look at selling old appliances on eBay, or old home recycling centers (There is one is EPA), put your working items on your neighborhood newsletter, donate to Goodwill  or use   “free cycle” to give it away. So many contractors “DUMP your JUNK”… so ask(! ):  “Is this going to the landfill or getting recycled?

Here are a few more “green” ideas, that you can implement in your current kitchen:
1. Eat more raw food (better for you, and doesn’t require energy to prepare).
2. Use water from the tap to drink. Water bottles clog the landfill. Ask your local utility about the water safety measures in your community, you may find it safer than bottled or equivalent.
3. Keep your root veggies out of the frig (put in a dark, cold place (remember hearing about root cellars?) They will last a long time.
4. Go to local farmer’s markets for food, go on your bike. AND eat what you buy. Sounds simple, buy many Americans throw out about 40% of what they purchase.
5. Along with buying Energy Star, buy smaller appliances. Use manual tools like can openers, paring knives, even hand coffee grinders!
6. Drink room temperature water! Saves on chilling and ice cubes, and doesn’t use up space in the frig.
7. Buy dry goods in bulk (less packages and less trips to the store)
8. Turn out the lights when you are done in the kitchen. Unplug appliances you don’t use and put away.
9. With clearer, cleaner counters you may want to stay home more to eat. Wouldn’t that be a money, time and energy saver! ?