Recycling News: Old Shoes, Cast-Off Gadgets, Turning Trash into Energy

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You ask, what can I recycle ? Old running shoes is one thingKeeping up-to-date on what can be recycled; how states are helping reduce e-waste and landfill and which states are doing a good job.

  • Here’s a great list of items you may not know can be recycled. Examples: worn-out running shoes are in demand at shoe recycling facilities that rurn them into athletic surfaces–see recycledrunners.com for dropoff locations. Nike is participating, too–see the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe site. Worn out jeans are another recycle-it item: That pair too frayed for the thrift shop can be used to manufacture insulation products. Companies like Bonded Logic recycle jeans into natural fiber insulation for walls and ceilings.
  • With an ever-growing avalanche of infinitely-replaceable gadgetry, e-waste recycling is becoming big news. States are passing laws outlining proper e-waste disposal–twenty-five states now have regs on the books, and most of these laws require the gadgets’ manufacturers to properly dispose of a certain percentage of the waste they create, which helps to support a working e-waste recycling market. New York, for example, has an electronic takeback program in which manufacturers must take back one product for every product sold.
  • Turning waste into energy is also a way states can save money. According to a recent report by watchdog group Citizens Budget Commission (via Crains New York), waste-to-energy plants in New York City would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also lower trash-management spending by as much as a third of the current landfill costs. The Big Apple is sending about one-tenth of its trash to waste-to energy facilities. Connecticut is the winner among U.S. states, turning so much waste into energy that it plans to shut down its one remaining landfill within a decade.

 

Gadget photo: MikeFinkelstein via Flickr; sneaker photo: Ansik via Flickr

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