The environmental benefits of aluminum recycling are enormous, so are the benefits.
The advent of the aluminum beverage can in the 1960’s helped spur the development of community recycling programs. Markets fluctuate over time, but traditionally the high market value of scrap aluminum has generated enough income to allow recycling programs to pay for other, less lucrative recycling services.
Recycling is as valuable to the aluminum industry as aluminum is to the recycling infrastructure. The capital costs for making aluminum from recycled material is far lower than the capital investment needed to derive aluminum from its source-bauxite ore. It takes 12 to 20 times more energy to make aluminum from bauxite than making it from recycled aluminum.
Because most electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, that energy savings translates into further conservation of natural resources and a significant reduction in pollution. The Reynolds Metals Company estimates that producing recycled aluminum produces 95% less pollution than making aluminum from virgin ore.
Transportation, beverage cans and other packaging, and building construction are the top markets for the aluminum industry. Transportation is the
largest market for aluminum in the United States. Almost two-thirds of aluminum is used to make car and light truck components and the vast majority of that material is recycled, up to 90% according to the Aluminum Association. The use of aluminum in car parts also drives other conservation benefits, lightweight’s aluminum body panels and engines for instance, are used to improve the fuel efficiency of some cars.
Building construction is the third biggest market for aluminum; aluminum doors, windows and siding are a major source of recycled aluminum. Recycled aluminum is increasingly used in their production.
Did you know?
- Recycling an aluminum can saves the energy equivalent of six ounces of gasoline.
- The energy saved by one aluminum can is enough to run a television for three hours.
- In three months, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the commercial air fleet.
- Americans threw away half a million tons of aluminum last year, worth nearly $800 million dollars!
The US EPA RAD (Responsible Appliance Disposal) program and the US DOE Energy Star Program encourage proper recycling of refrigerators and freezers.
When purchasing a new or used appliance, check with the store for details on their appliance recycling program. Will they remove the old appliance if the new appliance is delivered? Do they charge a fee?Check with local organizations, churches and scrap metal collectors, most will take a working appliance and recycle it.
Every year in the United States, billions of batteries are bought, used, and thrown out. Call2Recycle, a national battery recycling program has recorded 1,263,796 batteries recycled in just 60 days! The demand for batteries can be traced largely to the technical advances in everything from gaming systems & computers to cell phones & tools.Because many batteries contain toxic constituents such as mercury and cadmium, they pose a potential threat to human health and the environment when improperly disposed. Though batteries generally make up only a tiny portion of municipal solid waste (MSW)—less than 1 percent—they account for a disproportionate amount of the toxic metals in MSW. Many manufacturers are also designing batteries for a longer life. Most automotive shops collect car batteries for a fee and will return these batteries to the vendor or send off-site for recycling.
Locally, Sears and Radio Shack in the Northtowne Mall, Radio Shack in Hicksville and Arps Hardware, all participate in rechargeable battery collection. These batteries must be less than 11 pounds. You may take your rechargeable batteries to any of these stores or call them for further information.
Sears, Northtowne Mall – 419-782-2900
Radio Shack, Northtowne Mall – 419-784-9949
Radio Shack, Hicksville – 419-542-9675
Lowe’s – 419-782-9000
Drop off any cell phone at
Defiance County Environmental Services
500 Court Street, Suite E (2nd Floor)
Defiance, Ohio 43512
or call 419-782-5442
Cell Phones for Soldiers was created by Brittany & Robbie Bergquist of Norwell MA at the ages of 12 and 13. The organization has provided more than 204 million minutes of FREE talk time to our troops and has recycled more than 10.8 million cell phones since 2004!! The cell phones are recycled for cash and the proceeds are used to buy prepaid calling cards for our soldiers serving in the Middle East. For every $5 donated in cash or cell phone value, provides our troops with an average of 2.5 hours of FREE talk time. Cell Phones For Soldiers is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Helping Heroes Home is an initiative of Cell Phones for Soldiers, which provides emergency funds for returning veterans to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships. Their fight overseas may be finished…..but their fight to reconnect back home has just begun.
Cell Phones for Soldiers Buy Back pricing is competitive with most, if not all, trade-in offers. We strive to offer the best value to our donors by providing the highest trade in/buy back prices for iPhones and by offering a tax-deductible charitable donation receipt. Check the website for further information. www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com
A variety of local organizations participate in the annual Costs for Kids campaign. People can ‘recycle’ gently used or outgrown coats by taking them to participating drop off locations. Area dry cleaners clean the coats for free, before dispersing the coats to the public.
Defiance has a local Goodwill and they will accept donations of clothing at their store, located at 1524 North Clinton.
If you are not sure of an organization to donate to, scan the yellow pages or call a local church. Organizations depend on donations of others. Community pregnancy centers are in need of baby clothing and baby items, the PATH organization could use adult clothing as well as young children. The Red Cross supplies clothing to disaster stricken areas as well as serving local needs. Most churches in Defiance County accept clothing donations to aide a troubled family.
From the growing popularity and necessity of computers and rapidly changing computer technologies, comes the growing problem of computer and electronics waste or e-waste. As more new and improved computers are designed and built, older obsolete computers are becoming part of the waste stream. The life expectancy of a computer is getting shorter and shorter with the advancing technology.
There are three primary parts that make up a personal computer. The computer is the large box which contains the disk drive, power supply, and the processor. The monitor is the screen, (also referred to a CRT), older/outdated monitors may resemble an older/outdated television. Newer monitors are large, but slim/narrow. The keyboard is the part which, not surprisingly, looks like a typewriter keyboard.
Virtually an entire computer can be recycled. From the glass in the monitor, to the plastic in the case, to the copper in the power supply, to the precious metals used in the circuitry. Companies are making new innovative products out of old computers. Many computers can be revitalized and donated or sold to schools in economically challenged urban and rural areas. Some vocational schools use old computers to teach electronic repair and analysis techniques. Non-functioning computers may also have salvageable components such as modems or power supplies that could be used to refurbish other computers.
Under Ohio’s provisions, computer CRT’s are not regulated as hazardous waste if the generator has them recycled. Ohio considers discarded integrated circuits from the computer system to be scrap metal. Scrap metal is not regulated as a hazardous waste if reclaimed or recycling.
You can contact Defiance County Environmental & Administrative Services at (419)782-5442 for further computer recycling information or our local Goodwill (419) 782-2577, Salvation Army, Am Vets, local schools, or other organizations where you can donate the computer for resale or refurbishing. The Ohio EPA has a list of companies that recycle computers and electronic components. www.epa.state.oh
Dell and Goodwill Launch Free Computer Recycling for Northwest Ohio Consumers
Dell and Goodwill Industries International continue making it easy for customers to be green, today announcing that an additional 319 donation sites in the U.S. have joined Dell Reconnect. The free program offers an easy, convenient and responsible way for people to recycle end-of- life computer equipment.
- Now more than 2,600 Goodwill drop off locations in the U.S. and Canada
- 6.8 million additional U.S. households can recycle end-of-life electronics free
Expansion expected to divert additional 7.5 million pounds of computer equipment from landfills Reconnect is managed by Dell and Goodwill Industries. The first Reconnect program was started in Austin, Texas in 2004. Today Reconnect is available to consumers in many markets across the U.S. and is continuing to expand.The equipment you donate to Reconnect is managed with highest standards for workplace and environmental safety. You can rest assured that the program is not exporting waste or sending any environmentally sensitive material to landfills. Reconnect has been recognized with a number of awards and accolades from public officials.
Dell Dell Inc.
Dell provides consumers free and convenient recycling options for used computer equipment. The drop-off convenience that Reconnect offers consumers is an important part of the recycling programs Dell offers. For consumers in an area not yet served by Reconnect, Dell may be able to offer you other recycling options, visit the Dell Recycling Web site for details.
Goodwill® generates opportunities for people to achieve economic stability and build strong families and vibrant communities by offering job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges. Goodwill is comprised of 165 independent, community-based Goodwill agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 international affiliates. Goodwill provided employment training, job placement services and other community-based services, such as financial education and youth mentoring, to more than 2.5 million people. Your donations of gently used clothing, household items and electronics to Goodwill help support this important mission. Goodwill’s who are participating in the Reconnect program have donation centers that are an easy place for you to donate used computer equipment. To read more, visit www.goodwill.org.
Northwest Ohio Goodwill stores and donations centers are located in Bowling Green, Bryan, Defiance, Findlay, Napoleon, Northwood, Ottawa, Tiffin and Toledo. Local Stores and Donation Center Locations: Defiance: 1005 N. Clinton Street (419) 782-2577, Bryan: 1210 S. Main Street (419) 633-0039, and Napoleon: 230 Lagrange Street (419)592-0201.
Store and Donation Center Locations:
Defiance: 1005 N. Clinton; 419-782-2577
Bryan: 222 W. High St.; 419-633-0039
Napoleon: 230 Lagrange St.; 419-592-0201
Findlay : 7430 Timberston; 419-422-2796
For an entire Northwest Ohio Listing please visit www.reconnectpartnership.com
The Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) is an information resource on how to recycle gypsum wallboard from the construction and demolition waste stream. This project was funded by US EPA Region 5 and compiled by Dr. Timothy Townsend of the University of Florida.The website www.drywallrecycling.org has a list of known literature and research on the subject and a list of state contracts for gypsum recyclers.
Fluorescent lighting is a long-lasting and energy-efficient choice. Fluorescent tubes or strips provide lighting to most schools, hospitals, office buildings and stores, while the smaller compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are significantly more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs and are becoming popular in many homes.
Disposal of Mercury from CFLs
A small amount of elemental mercury remains an essential component of fluorescent bulbs—less than 5 mg per bulb. While elemental mercury is a hazardous material, there is only a risk of exposure if the fluorescent light bulb breaks. It is also important to consider that fluorescent bulbs are much more energy efficient—they use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
Under federal regulations, commercial and industrial users of fluorescent bulbs are required under federal law to manage mercury-containing light bulbs as a hazardous waste after they burn out. There are many recyclers for fluorescent bulbs, however, they will charge for this service. Households (residential) are generally exempted from these regulations.
Defiance County Environmental Services works annually with Lafarge and John Manville to host a hazardous waste event. This HHW collection will take fluorescent bulbs from RESIDENTIAL residents only, free.
Mercury is probably best known as the silver liquid in thermometers. However, it has over 3000 industrial uses. Mercury and its compounds are widely distributed in the environment as a result of both natural and man-made activities. The utility, and the toxicity, of mercury have been known for centuries. New evidence demonstrates that even low levels of mercury exposure may be hazardous.
Every mercury spill should be reported – large or small. You should contact anyone of the following: Defiance County Environmental & Administrative Services (419-782-5442), Health Department, Ohio EPA, US EPA, Poison Control, or your local emergency management department or fire department.
Mercury clean up, small spills – A small spill is about 0.6 to 3.0 grams or the amount in a thermometer or thermostat. This is defined as small only if the spill is limited to one area and cleaned up promptly. Small spills can be spread by using a vacuum or tracking contamination. The levels in the air can become unsafe, which is why the spill needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible. Larger spills, which is defined as more than 3.0 grams or greater than the amount in a thermostat may require multi-agency response. The United States Mercury Response Guidebook outlines the 6 “R’s” to follow when cleaning a large spill. Local agencies have been trained to follow proper procedures when dealing with mercury.
Mercury Exposure – You can get exposed to mercury through ingestion, absorption and inhalation. Short term symptoms of inhalation exposure include: chest tightness, fever, weakness, nausea, gingivitis. Long term symptoms include: personality changes, decreased vision/hearing, peripheral nerve damage, hypertension, kidney damage and acrodynia (pink’s disease). Severe acute exposure could have possible long term damage to your health or in rare cases, death.
Small amounts of mercury must be sealed in a glass container with the top sealed with electrical tape, then placed in another container such as a zip-lock bag. The container should be stored in a cool protected area to prevent evaporation and breakage. The vapors are hazardous.
For additional information regarding mercury recycling and/or general data, please check out the following sites:
Plastics are everywhere. While you're reading this article, there are probably numerous plastic items within your reach (your computer, your pen, your phone). A plastic is any material that can be shaped or molded into any form -- some are naturally occurring, but most are man-made.
Plastics are made from oil. Oil is a carbon-rich raw material, and plastics are large carbon-containing compounds. They're large molecules called polymers, which are composed of repeating units of shorter carbon-containing compounds called monomers. Chemists combine various types of monomers in many different arrangements to make an almost infinite variety of plastics with different chemical properties. Most plastic is chemically inert and will not react chemically with other substances -- you can store alcohol, soap, water, acid or gasoline in a plastic container without dissolving the container itself. Plastic can be molded into an almost infinite variety of shapes, so you can find it in toys, cups, bottles, utensils, wiring, cars, even in bubble gum. Plastics have revolutionized the world.
Because plastic doesn't react chemically with most other substances, it doesn't decay. Therefore, plastic disposal poses a difficult and significant environmental problem. Plastic hangs around in the environment for centuries, so recycling is the best method of disposal. However, new technologies are being developed to make plastic from biological substances like corn oil. These types of plastics would be biodegradable and better for the environment.
Did you know…
- Five plastic bottles (PET) recycled provides enough fiber to create one sq. ft. of carpet or enough fiber to fill on ski jacket.
- Americans throw away 2.5 MILLION plastic bottles every HOUR.
- Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for one year.
Plastic recycling is easy. Remove and discard tops and rings, rinse well until no liquid residue remains, crush to save space and store until collection time.
Every year, 10 to 12 million scrap tires are generated by Ohio citizens. Many of these tires eventually wind up in large scrap tire stockpiles, abandoned in warehouses, or dumped along roadsides in rural areas. These scrap tires are a serious environmental and public health threat because of the potential for fire and because tires hold water that serves as an ideal breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Did you know that ten tires, when left intact, can occupy more than a cubic yard of space in a landfill? For years, that has been the fate of out of service tires taking up landfill space. Today, however, tires are taking a new spin; giving them use long after their days as tires are gone.
Tires are initially recycled for their rubber content, Processed through a series of commercially available shredders that sequentially reduce them to two-inch or smaller pieces, with the steel magnetically removed to produce an alternative fuel (in lieu of coal) used by pulp and paper producers, cement kilns, and electric utilities. It is also an effective substitute for crushed stone in civil engineering applications such as road beds, landfill construction or septic field construction. Crumb rubber (rubber granules and powder) can be used for playground and athletic surfaces, running tracks, landscaping/groundcover applications, bullet containment systems, or as feedstock to be further modified into specialty materials such as rubberized asphalt or reincorporated back into tires. Tires are also being recycled into heavy-duty roofing shingles, stamped from the tread of scrap
Recycling the steel wire in a tire now allows up to 99 percent of the average passenger car tire be captured for recycling. Recycling steel tire wire is also an environmentally-responsible means of collecting a high quality source of steel scrap and conserving landfill space. The average passenger tire contains approximately 10 percent steel wire by weight, which helps make the tire stronger and more rigid.
Tire wire scrap is used to make new steel. Each year, between 60 and 70 million tons of steel scrap, including old steel cans, broken-down appliances, old automobiles and construction metals, are recycled.
Tires are accepted at the Henry County Landfill.