Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recycling in Millbrae, CA

I was at my mom's on recycling day, so I took some pics of Millbrae's collection service. The city does a 2-sort system, as you can see on this cart, which has a divider in the middle.

Then the recycling truck came by. Millbrae is serviced by SSF Scavenger.

And I was surprised to see the automated arm dump the cart's contents into one hopper ...

Maybe there's a divider in the hopper that keeps the bottles and cans separate from the paper? But if not ... why have residents sort their recyclables only to have them dumped all together?

The cul-de-sac seemed to be a real challenge.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Recycling at the BART station

Call me a skeptic, but I was surprised there were actually RECYCLABLES in the recycling bin at the Millbrae BART station because the recycling bin was a few feet away from the trash can rather than right next to it. But hey, I was happy to see it! And it was so great to see a recycling bin out in a public area -- traditionally the worst spots in terms of people throwing trash in with the recyclables.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Re-use water station at SFO

I went to the San Francisco Bay Area recently, so you know what that means: I came back with pictures of recycling and waste reduction to share with you. These were taken at San Francisco International Airport. Cool, huh? Empty out your bottle pre-security, then once you're through security you can refill it.

This is my water bottle, which I managed to remember to empty before I got to the airport.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Make-your-own recycled grocery tote

My friend and co-worker Sunny sewed this fabulous reusable bag at the Green Gifts Fair last weekend at Midtown Global Market. The bag is nice and roomy, and a super example of reuse!

Here are the instructions, if you want to make your own.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Organics recycling comes to Hennepin's northern schools

Check out this snazzy sorting station at Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy (CBPA)! The Anoka-Hennepin School District got a Waste Abatement Incentive Fund grant from Hennepin County for its three schools in Hennepin County: CBPA, Jackson Middle School and Oxbow Creek Elementary. The organics programs rolled out at CBPA and Jackson Middle, so John and I went to check them out. The schools' curriculum integrators put in a lot of work to get the programs off to a great start.

They used magnets to display the actual items that go in each bin.

The school uses reusable trays and utensils, which really cuts down on waste.

The set-up in the Jackson cafeteria, which has 2,000 kids going through its doors every day.

We were told that the kids are doing pretty well with sorting. The schools have an environmental focus, so the organics program and waste-reduction messages fit in nicely.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blue Q bags: so cool lookin' and so green

I love Blue Q's designs! Very cool and fun, often irreverent. The bags come in a variety of sizes, and they're made with 95% recycled polypropylene (yogurt-cup plastic). Blue Q sells other funky gifts like breath sprays, magnets, tins and soaps, but I love their bags the best.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Recycle your worn-out soles

What to do with those shoes that can no longer be worn? Take 'em to the REI stores in Bloomington or Maple Grove. They'll be reused if they can be, or recycled into absorbent kits for oil spills. For details, click here and here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What life is like for Mr. Trashbasher

Mr. Trashbasher came home with a smoothie from Jamba Juice, which caught my eye because it comes in a foam cup, which isn't recyclable locally. But I said nothing. Because I didn't need to ...  

Mister: I agonized over this pumpkin smoothie. 

Me: You should've told them you were hesitating to buy it, and you wanted compostable packaging.

Mister: I did, but the space-cadet chick didn't care. And I didn't want to get the straw either, but I didn't know how I'd drink it in the car ...