recycling

Kathleen J. Davis / WESA

The city of Pittsburgh is piloting a new glass recycling drop-off program, in an effort to reduce contamination in single stream recycling.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A drop-off site for hard-to-recycle electronics and hazardous waste opens Wednesday in the Strip District. The city of Pittsburgh initiative will be located at 3001 Railroad Street near the 31st Street Bridge.

Oyster Recovery Partnership

Pittsburgh has become the first city outside the Chesapeake Bay region to recycle used oyster shells through the non-profit Oyster Recovery Partnership. The shells are used to rebuild oyster reefs in the bay.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Council has given preliminary approval to a waste management plan that will serve the county through 2028. This is a regular 10-year update of the plan, but this time around recycling is taking center stage.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

At the end of last year, the City of Pittsburgh announced that a hazardous and electronic waste recycling program would start for residents in January. But four months later, the program still hasn't begun.

Carnegie Science Center

An ocean scene made from nearly 27,000 recycled straws and other plastics debuted at the Carnegie Science Center last week. The large structure, called Straw Forward, depicts swimming sea creatures including a turtle, jellyfish and octopus, and a large white bird swooping over the water.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Starting Jan. 1, glass and some plastics will no longer be accepted in recycling bins in 22 South Hills communities, including Moon Township, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair. This is because a new Waste Management contract will go into effect, and the company is trying to move away from recycling glass.

Erica Deyarmin-Young, a public affairs coordinator with Waste Management, said processing glass is time consuming and expensive for the company.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Every minute, 1 million plastic bottles fly off store shelves and into the hands of consumers. More than 90 percent of these are not recycled, winding up in landfills or waterways. Thread aims to help reduce the amount of cast away plastic bottles by using them to make fabric.

How You Recycle Plastic Is About To Change

Aug 10, 2018
Courtesy of Waste Managment

The global market for recycling has changed dramatically over the last year. And it’s already trickling down to what happens curbside.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Multi-layer constructs, the plastic packaging used for some food and beverage items like juice boxes and bags of chips, are composed of multiple layers of different materials. Because the different materials can't be separated, this packaging is not recyclable, and ends up in landfills or the environment.

Beer_Powered / Flickr

Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman has listed expansion of the city’s recycling program among his priorities for 2018. (Update: Mayor Bill Peduto announced Tuesday that Gilman would leave his city council post in January to take over as Peduto's chief of staff.)

Peter Kaminski / flickr

It’s time to stop using blue Giant Eagle grocery bags to hold recyclables.

Why Sort Your Trash If A Robot Can Do It For You?

Jun 27, 2017
Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Increasingly, when you find a trash can in a public place it has at least two openings—one for trash and one for recyclables. But according to Charles Yhap, humans don’t do a very good job of sorting what they throw in those cans.

“Americans typically achieve, when they have a 50-50 chance between two bins, it’s usually 30 percent,” said Yhap.

With that in mind, Yhap launched a company called CleanRobotics with a flagship product called Trashbot.

This Machine Will Change The Way You Think About Plastic

Oct 12, 2016
Perpetual Plastic Project

Plastic pollution is all around us—from grocery bags blowing down the street to the islands of plastic floating in the oceans. But Bart Bleijerveld, an industrial designer from the Netherlands, sees plastic a little differently. He says it’s a really useful—even beautiful—material. We’re just using it the wrong way.

“It is designed to last for a really, really long time, while everybody’s using it as a disposable,” Bleijerveld says.

Here's Why Penn State's No Longer Recycling Styrofoam

Aug 19, 2016

The nearly 5,000 recycling bins on Penn State’s University Park campus collect all kinds of materials: bottles, cans, paper, but no longer polystyrene, which is often referred to as Styrofoam. The school has recently decided not to recycle polystyrene for a slew of economic reasons, one being the fall of oil prices.

Lydia Vandenbergh is an associate director of employee engagement with the Sustainability Institute of Penn State. She says the decision to start recycling university dining containers and packaging around 2000 was appropriate then.

Changing The Way Pennsylvania Recycles E-Waste

Mar 3, 2016
Ruocaled / flickr

Since its passage in 2010, the Covered Device Recycling Act has worked to keep electronics, including TVs and computers, out of landfills.  As the Act nears final implementation stages, however, it’s become increasingly difficult for Pennsylvanians to find organizations that will take their e-waste at an affordable cost. Justin Stockdale, Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Resource Council, says the CDRA is creating problems for his organization’s annual “Hard-to-Recycle” event. He’ll join us live along with Representative Chris Ross of Chester County, one of the original sponsors of CDRA, who is collaborating with other lawmakers to find a solution.

No, Pittsburgh, Your Recycling Isn't Going To The Landfill

Feb 18, 2016
Lou Blouin / Allegheny Front

Pittsburgh’s Jana Thompson takes her recycling pretty seriously. She’s even been known to pry the unrecyclable spouts off otherwise recyclable dishwashing detergent bottles. And check out her recycling bin, and those clear plastic salad tubs are stacked as neatly as a set of Russian dolls.

Your Environment Update For Dec. 30, 2015

Jan 6, 2016
Lou Blouin / Allegheny Front

Foolproof Ways to Fight Littering

Littering continues to be a big environmental problem in cities. And one Pittsburgher from the city’s North Side neighborhood is taking the problem personally. Meda Rago regularly picks up trash to keep her street clean, and she really isn’t kidding when she says she’s found some pretty weird things chucked into the alley behind her house.

“About two years ago, we came down the alley and saw an entire roast turkey lying in the street,” Rago says.

Dan McKay / Flickr

 

Among those New Year’s goals of eating healthier, volunteering more or sticking to a new hobby, the Pennsylvania Resources Council also wants resolution makers to add one more thing: recycling.

Composting and recycling bottles, cans, paper and any potentially hazardous material are easy ways to get involved, said Justin Stockdale, the council's regional director.

Those crutches that you still have from when you broke your ankle 10 years ago. The bike your kids never ride anymore. Even your old VHS tapes.

These are a few of the donations you can make at the Pennsylvania Resources Council’s fourth annual “ReuseFest” this Saturday, June 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at UPMC Passavant in the North Hills.

ReuseFest will feature eight local nonprofit organizations that will be taking donations, including Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center, Construction Junction, Off the Floor Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Gives Back and Goodwill.

Pittsburgh-area apartment complexes typically “fall through regulatory cracks” when it comes to recycling programs, according to Mary Kate Ranii, program and outreach coordinator for the Pennsylvania Resources Council.

Because of their ineffectiveness, the PRC began a recycling program in January of this year that aims to provide education and resources to influence residents in local apartment complexes to better their recycling habits.

Repurposing: It's Good for Business

Jan 27, 2015
Rebecca Harris / CWE Chatham

Repurposing refers to finding new uses for items. Some enterprising entrepreneurs have even turned this into a profitable moneymaking venture.

This week business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of repurposing.

Harris emphasizes that repurposing doesn’t just change the use of old goods; it also changes their value.

'Cans for Pets' Boosts Recycling, Helps Shelters

Jan 12, 2015
Kara Holsopple / The Allegheny Front

Recycling just one aluminum can save enough energy to run a television for three hours. But some segments of the population—like pet owners—apparently haven’t heard that message. Aluminum pet food cans are one of the least recycled household items.

Margaret Corrado is an exception to that rule. At a pet store south of Pittsburgh, she dumps about 40 little empty cat food cans from a plastic grocery bag into a blue recycling bin.

What To Do With All That Christmas Packing Material?

Dec 25, 2014

Chances are, if you got that gigantic flat screen television this holiday season, there was polystyrene in the packaging. But now that the TV is on the wall, what are you going to do with all that stuff?

Instead of throwing away the white molded packaging material, the Pennsylvania Resources Council is encouraging you to recycle it at a designated drop-off spot.

Pittsburgh has battled the notion that the city is a dirty dusty polluted old steel mill town since the 1950’s, and finally it seems that the world is catching up with Pittsburgh’s environmental friendly initiatives. As a fighter in the battle to make Pittsburgh greener, Construction Junction in Point Breeze will turn 15 on November 12th, marking the changes that Pittsburgh has been making to respect the environment.

TV Dumping, A Growing Problem Throughout the Region

Jul 10, 2014
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

In 2010 a statewide ban was passed as part of the Covered Device Recycling Act. It called for electronic waste, or E-Waste to be taken to approved recycling drop-off sites. However, discarded televisions have been showing up curbside throughout the city.

Justin Stockdale, western regional director of the PA Resources Council said the problem tends to be caused by a lack of knowledge of the proper methods of getting rid of old televisions. The largest problem is figuring out which facilities take them, a task even Stockdale admits can be difficult.

“Many of these processors, even Goodwill industries, in fact, was collecting TVs up until about the middle of last year and realized, again, they were confronted with the same problem: they don’t generate enough revenue as part of this OEM sponsored program, to cover the cost of management. And so they step away from it, and now we’re left with Best Buy stores, Construction Junction,  our PRC operated events, and that’s about it for western Pennsylvania.”

If a resident does leave a television to be picked up by collectors, Stockdale says the city will often place a sticker on the discarded television. These stickers do not issue fines for residents, but Stockdale says some provide information in the form of a website link, to where residents can take their old televisions to be recycled.

Green Workplace Challenge Winners Announced

Jul 7, 2014

The results are in for the 2013-2014 Green Workplace Challenge, and seven local organizations have been honored for their environmentally friendly facility improvements.

FedEX Ground, DMI Companies, Pashek Associates, Allegheny County, the University of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, and Conservation Consultants Inc. received the highest scores in their various categories of competition.

When it Comes to High-Tech Roofing...Plastic Bottles are Key

Jun 30, 2014
Reuse Everything Institute / Facebook

Reuse Everything Institute, a local non-profit, has created an innovative means of reusing wasted plastic bottles. The non-profit has developed a business solution that could help people in developing countries out of poverty.

Institute founders, David Saiia and Vananh Le hope to use plastic bottles to create high-tech thatch-style roofing. Le says the affordability for consumers is the main focus of REII.

“The roof is high in quality, and we want to make it affordable to the consumer. It requires much less energy than recycling in that we are automating our process. The machine that David created was hand cranked, now we are automating it so that we make it more cost effective for people, generally, pretty much to run mom and pop businesses. So, we actually don’t melt the plastic like recycling, we just cut it into continuous strips of ribbon and convert them into other products.”

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Stanley Benovitch said his dog Trixie has been killing rats since February.

He said that stems from an infestation in Hazelwood resulting from the sudden closure of the Pittsburgh Recycling Plant.

The plant went bankrupt in January, and the owners left the building – and all of its trash – behind.

Now the residents of Hazelwood are calling for someone to come clean it up.

Businesses Based on Recycling

Apr 29, 2014
Wikimedia

Now that Spring is here households and businesses are no doubt doing some Spring cleaning. But if you want to help the environment or earn some additional cash, where and how do you recycle some of the items you're discarding? This week contributor Rebecca Harris looked at the business of recycling. 

Recycling is now mandatory in residences, businesses, offices and institutions in Pittsburgh, so these companies have become more important in the city. The average American generates 4.6 pounds of garbage per day, and only recycle a pound and a half.

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