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      I got a notification in the mail today.

      My waste disposal company will be discontinuing all recycling services as of October 1. Beginning on that day everything (plastics, glass, metal, cardboard, paper etc.) is garbage and it is all going to the landfills.

      I am not surprised. Local papers have been reporting this for two months as company after company, and town after town makes the same announcement.

      The notices are all the same: the costs of recycling have spiraled out of control and can longer be borne.

      Why?

      a) A federal program that subsidized recycling programs has been eliminated.

      b) State based programs that provided matching funds for that federal program have as a result been eliminated in more and more states.

      c) The principle "buyer" of recyclable materials is China and that country has canceled nearly all of its contracts in response to U.S. Tariffs.

      d) Regulations on manufacturing of materials made of glass, cardboard, plastic etc. that encouraged the use of recyclable materials have largely been abandoned or are not being enforced.

      More fallout from the Trump Administration.


      P.S. A particularly interesting comment for Ian Miller that widens the discussion. Here it is.

      The basic problem for recycling is a lack of products that will earn a profit. In the 1970s I developed a technology that would convert mixed coloured polyethylene into a near white material that was almost as good as virgin, BUT the cost of doing this meant that new polyethylene from the oil companies would undercut it. So we switched to a cheaper route that would use only industrial packaging that had no colour, and that limped on for about twenty years, struggling to sell the product, until a fire broke out and the company took the insurance and decided to do something more profitable. Almost anything was. Actually, burying plastics is not the worst thing you could to, if it is deep enough - you are at least fixing carbon.

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          MurphtheSurf3
          a week ago

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          "Actually, burying plastics is not the worst thing you could to, if it is deep enough - you are at least fixing carbon."


          Like I said, the answer is right in front of our noses. But Science in its hubris continues to search for the most complicated, the most elegant, solution. The solution has to be able to generate a profit! Earth cannot be trusted to recycle its own produce. Human hubris. Human ignorance!

          Among the deepest wells in the world have been the “Kola Superdeep Borehole,” a 1989 experimental well drilled the Soviet Union. It reached 40,230 feet deep. In 2008, an oil well was drilled to 40,318 feet in Qatar. In 2011, a 40,502-foot (about 8 miles) well was drilled offshore of the Russian island of Sakhalin. The continental crust is typically from 30 km (20 mi) to 50 km (30 mi) thick, and it is mostly composed of less dense rocks than is the oceanic crust (3-6 miles thick).

          3 billion metric tons of iron ore was extracted from the ground in 2015. The space that that ore occupied.......

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              MurphtheSurf3
              2 weeks ago

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              The problem with recycling, is that we try to recycle things that are worthless. Paper, aluminum and steel are the only things that have enough value to be worth dealing with. Glass is expensive to haul, and worthless. Plastic is difficult to separate by type.

              Recycling works if take out what makes sense. We have a trash problem. Burning to produce electricity makes sense to me.

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                  nelson humphreys
                  a week ago

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                  I do not disagree but certainly what I describe here makes the problem much worse.

                  We need to alter our approach but the undercutting or elimination of supports for recycling and antagonizing those who have been our principal market are not sound approaches.

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                      nelson humphreys
                      a week ago

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                      Burning makes sense to you? You burn trash and all it does is take the land pollution stuff and move it to the air where it's inhaled by plants and animals and poisons them. Did you take any biology along with all those business classed you took? Some plastics when burned release phosgene gas which is deadly.


                      Now that I got that out of the way.


                      I was worried when Trump started imposing tariffs on China. Now China which was taking all of our plastic recycling trash off our hands is not going to take the plastic recycleables from the USA anymore.


                      I recycle my plastic trash. I wash it out and make sure that it's clean and the proper type of plastic before I take it to the recycling center in my neighborhood. So far they are still take the plastic as far as I know. But I moved so I'm not near the recycling center anymore. I have to drive 20 miles from where I live now back to my house. I have about 6 thirteen gallon sized plastic trash bags full of plastic waste. I hope that they still take the plastic waste for recycling.


                      If China does not take it then they make shut down my plastic recycling center. Most of my trash is either plastic of cardboard/paper. Left over food is ground up by the garbage disposal and flush into the sewers for disposal. All that ends up either in the solid waste from the sewage treatment plant. That is put back on land some where after it's dried. The rest goes into the creek or Ohio River.


                      My dump charges us $1.00 for small 13 gallon plastic bags and $2.00 for the larger 55 gal plastic bags of trash. So when I pull out all the plastic from my trash it saves me money. They let us dump the plastic for free.

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                          MurphtheSurf3
                          2 weeks ago

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                          Republican administration are bent on lessening federal resources to states and requiring states to be more self reliant. Trump's tariff's are one thing - his thing, his conservative thing. China's recognition last year via their "National Sword" program - that they were accepting far too much contanimated waste from our nation and other nation's too - didn't help. But we should have anticipated someday - China wouldn't willingly be our sole dumping locale. Contaminated plastic and paper would no longer be accepted - on face value. There would be terms. They would be flat out refusal to accept them at some point. Why were we doing that to China or any other spot on the Earth. How was that our nation taking care of its refuse?

                          I am equal parts fascinated by this link from one of Portland's best investigative papers and deeply frustrated. What do you think? This is Portland, Oregon's attempts at addressing garbage in all its forms. HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED by Portland families. And yes, as long as China accepted our toxic waste - we didn't care what happened next.


                          https://www.wweek.com/news/2018/06/06/recycling-is...





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                              Dala Horse
                              a week ago

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                              I just got the chance to read the article....your contribution has widened the topic considerably....widening the focus to include the responsibility of those who recycle to do so scrupulously....with great care.....so I need to add to my list of those responsible for the folding up of recycling across the country those who degrade the process from the start....such as those ardent portlanders! Sharing this article.

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                                      MurphtheSurf3
                                      2 weeks ago

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                                      this is the kind of damage from the Trump admin that the press should be screaming about.


                                      But instead we get 24-7 coverage telling us that the federal response to a hurricane over a year ago was not as good as Trump says it was.

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                                          Jerry Tanenbaum
                                          a week ago

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                                          I think that 3000 lives and an economy that is still in rubble is an important story AND so is this...Both/And from my perspective. Of course Trump has given extra legs to the Puerto Rico story by denying what is so obviously so on the eve of another record hurricane.

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                                                  MurphtheSurf3
                                                  2 weeks ago

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                                                  Don't recycle correctly and the time it takes to weed it all out is the answer. There is a list and it has to be clean. How hard is that? I rent and we have a recycling dumpster while seeing all the time of all that doesn't belong there. We even pay a nickel for every water bottle and soda can to return it . You should see how many of them are in there. Including myself because. Yes I am one of those lazy asses that hasn't gotten myself yet to save them and take them to the machine they have at every food store to get my deposit back. Our town doesn't allow plastic bags so brown bags or reusable ones or none at all. But you can use recycled plastic Bags but other than CVS that has small ones they are too expensive. My husband has in the Plastic Industry for almost 40 years now and they making container with less plastic than they use to. The industry is working to use less and more recyclable. But it does take all of us to do our part too.

                                                  We used to own made recycled golf tees. You had to be careful buying the recycled material because of dirty recycled contaminated material or the mixing of different plastics making it hard to produce a quality product. The sorting and cleaning of it is so important too be successful.

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                                                      jaccam
                                                      a week ago

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                                                      Your note points to a situation in which proper recycling is a goal that is supported by the structures in place and by citizens like yourself who strive to make the program work as best it can. Bravo!

                                                      You also point out the recycling requires a commitment and discipline along with creative reuse of materials.

                                                      I point out that recycling is fundamentally non-profitable and that what is needed is support by government for the effort and regulations that encourage it.

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                                                          jaccam
                                                          a week ago

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                                                          I clean my plastic before I dispose of it but my mom doesn't wash out the containers like I do. I have to get on her about washing things out before putting them into the plastic recycling bags. She is 93 and forgets things.

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