Different Ways on How to Recycle Batteries

battery

[photo courtesy of: wikipedia.org]

With modern technology comes the need for sources of power which are both portable and has a high capacity. Technology has brought us a long way since the 1800s where humans first took kerosene as fuel for lamps and to aid in portable lighting and cooking. Prior to that, fuel had to be collected and stockpiled in a certain area to lessen the time taken to collect the said fuel and to ensure the most efficient way of using fuel.

Modern times, old problems

Fast-forward to the future, most of the problems human ancestors faced are the same as the ones we face today – we all need a portable/light fuel source to help us to power technology. Kerosene as a fuel and power source have evolved to involve electricity – whether from wet batteries such as those used in cars and boats to dry-cell batteries your everyday Joe is more used to – batteries used in day-to-day devices from remote controls to mobile phones. A portable source of energy enables individuals to travel further and to do more things away from the home – more than any time in history before.

Modern times, modern problems

However, with the advent of unrenewable fuel sources, the problem of waste comes about. Landfills are filling up at an unprecedented rate and governments are struggling to think of ways to handle this. Recycling programmes, including those for battery recycling are becoming more commonplace now – especially in developing countries. Developed countries are taking the lead here however and are paving the way for other countries to follow suit.

Collective Effort

Battery recycling might be considered a small step towards general awareness of the collective waste issue facing the world today but it’s something that every individual can play a role in and something that will lead to greater awareness for recycling and waste management. Here are some ways you can recycle your batteries:

  1. Bring depleted car batteries to your mechanic for proper disposal
  2. Use your local council waste disposal facility to dispose and recycle batteries properly
  3. Visit the local electrical/telecommunications store which often will have battery-recycling campaigns
  4. Invest in rechargeable batteries
  5. Liaise with not for profit waste disposal programs (e.g. CleanUp, Planet Ark, ABRI, etc)

 

Advertisements

Easy Ways to Eliminate Your Organic Waste at Home

Organic waste is a common issue among all homes in Australia. Its proper disposal is important for a healthy community, and while many homes have solutions for it, community understanding of its importance can be improved. Below are the three main questions surrounding organic waste, and how to deal with it.

What is it?

Organic waste is any kind of waste that is unprocessed and can naturally break down in the earth. The greatest volume of organic waste in most households comes from the garden, where waste like lawn clippings, pruned branches, weeds and other plant-based items require disposal.  However, organic waste as a definition also extends to kitchen scraps – offcuts from vegetables and fruits. If it will degrade naturally, it is organic waste.

organic waste

[photo courtesy of: globalrcy.com]

Why is it a problem?

Organic waste is only an issue when it’s improperly disposed of. As stated, it breaks down naturally, so having organic waste in landfill is a big problem. In landfill, it doesn’t biodegrade as it should, taking up unnecessary space. More landfill is bad for the planet, which is why proper disposal is so essential.

How can you dispose of  organicwaste?

The best practices for disposing of organic waste can be found right around the home. Most council waste services around Australia include a ‘green bin’ solution, which is a designated receptacle for all organic waste, particularly that from the garden. This bin should be used fully where possible, as its separation from other waste means organic items can be processed into useful materials once more, like fertiliser and mulch.

Around the home, a compost heap will help generate materials for a healthy garden, as well as provide a means of responsibly disposing of food scraps. A compost heap is certainly not for everyone, but it’s an excellent option to consider.

green-bin

[photo courtesy of: fabbabygear.wordpress.com]

 organic waste1

[photo courtesy of: sita.co.uk]

Ways in Showing Appreciation to Waste Collectors

Garbage collectors are the unsung heroes of waste services. They perform a job many would be too squeamish to undertake, and they improve quality of life for residents of communities around Australia. They work in the early hours of the morning, so they often go unseen by much of the community. To show your local waste collector how much you appreciate the work they do, this article has a few simple tips.

Separate waste correctly

To make life as easy as possible for waste services workers, ensure all waste is appropriately separated for collection. This means no recycling in the general waste bin, and vice versa. This is a practice all should be adopting anyway, but it’s easy at times to relax attitudes and slip.

waste disposal

[photo courtesy of: businessroom.com]

Filling the bins

Overfilling bins is a problem for waste workers because garbage can often fall out as they’re emptying them. To reduce frustration, keep a clean neighbourhood and keep everyone happy, ensure there are no loose bits of waste liable to fall from the bin. Everything should be secured in quality trash bags, with no exceptions.

garbage truck

[photo courtesy of: clearimpression.wordpress.com]

Bin Position

Most waste workers empty bins by using mechanical arms on the specialised trucks they drive. Controlling these arms requires skill, not unlike that of playing an arcade claw machine game. To help workers get in and out as fast as possible, position bins at least a metre apart and close enough to the street, parallel to the kerb. This optimises their collection of the bin’s contents, meaning the job can be done faster.

A token of appreciation.

For once in a while, waste collectors might appreciate something for morning tea, like homemade cookies or muffins. These types of gestures require very little effort on the part of neighbours, but can really make the day of their recipient.

Community Activities in Promoting Proper Waste Disposal

waste disposal1

[photo courtesy of: lusaka.sites.unicnetwork.org]

 The Chullora Recycling Centre in Western Sydney is one of the many waste management facilities around Australia that handle waste for communities. Chullora, like the others, works hard for its local community to be an accessible port for disposal, which in turn prevents waste from ending up in the wrong place. While the management services for waste do great work, they rely on an informed an active community to ensure all waste is being disposed of in the proper fashion. Below are some activities that can be undertaken in communities to help promote proper waste disposal.

Neighbourhood meetings

It’s quite easy to work a simple group discussion into an existing neighbourhood meeting format. When a community is meeting for a general purpose, a few minutes spent discussing locally available waste management services can help disseminate information, as it spreads through word of mouth. People will generally be receptive to this idea, so long as it’s not too dense or uninteresting.

meeting

[photo courtesy of: worldvision.org.ph]

Recycling drives

Organise a street fair with a waste disposal component. For example, provide communal disposal for products like e-waste, which will give neighbours an easy avenue to rid themselves of items, and ensure they don’t end up in landfill. The same can be done for all kinds of waste, like organic or standard recycling of plastics. For this kind of activity, it’s important to consider the message and the ‘marketing’ of it all. People are unlikely to be very excited by the idea of waste management, but will be vastly more interested in a lifestyle concept, like ridding their home of junk. With regards to traditional media, this kind of thing is best promoted through neighbourhood signage. For social media, publishing Facebook posts with relevant information can spread organically through a small community and easily inform all relevant parties.

Love our Environment: Tips on how to Help Fight Problems with Waste

Ever wondered how the little things that can be done immediately can make a big impact in the long run? How can this be the case for waste reduction? What can be done now to improve positive waste disposal and a better environment? There are some simple everyday steps that can be done to effectively handle our waste management.

Reduce Consumption

 How much the general public consume can be minimised drastically and it can start at home with some simple actions. Look to purchase items that are environmentally friendly and buy in bulk. This is not only a cheaper option but means less waste materials will be thrown out.

 

Reuse Certain Products

Reusable products are becoming more common, with everyday household items adopting a green approach to manufacturing. Items such as hand wash and body wash containers are now designed to be reused. Plastic containers from take-away stores are also great for repurposing and packing lunches for the next day. These simple actions can start to make a dent in the growing waste footprint.

image
[Photo courtesy of: homedepot]

 

Recycle Effectively

Everyone knows and understands how to recycle. It has been made easy for everyone; shopping centres, our bins at home as well as complexes have allocated bins for proper recycling. All that needs to be done is placing the right rubbish in the right bin. The easiest way to manage waste is to set bins up inside the house in the same manner. Have a bin for general rubbish as well as a plastics and aluminium bin and bottle bin. This will make the task of separating waste into the larger bins much simpler.

 

These simple actions are waste reduction techniques that any household can look to adopt and begin making a difference. So start today and share it with friends and family, the more people that understand the importance the better for the world we live in.

 

The Risks of Plastic in our Health and in the Environment

Plastic is one of the most ubiquitous materials in society.

In spite of the vehement objections from environmentalists over the world, almost every object an individual comes in contact with in one day will have some plastic component because the benefits of this material are unmatched by any other.

While it’s unnecessary, not to mention burdensome, to completely eliminate plastic consumption in modern society, the impact of plastic on the environment and health is enough to warrant trying to decrease the reliance on plastic composites, and advocate proper recycling.

[Photo courtesy of: envato.com]

 

Firstly, studies in recent years have discovered that the chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by the body and have significant effects on individuals’ health.

Chemicals in plastic like bisphenol A (BPA – used in reusable items water bottles and plastic bottles) and phthalates (used to give plastic its pliability) have been found to disrupt reproductive and hormone functions, respectively. The concern over BPA exposure is such that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently placed a ban on BPA use in infant bottles and other products for babies and toddlers. Not only humans, sea life also ingest the chemicals used in plastics via plastic debris in the ocean.

Globally, around 50% of plastic – approximately 150 million tonnes – is disposed of within one year of purchase. Most of this plastic is incinerated or put in landfill. Incineration releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, while landfill is detrimental to soil, water and other ecosystems. Plastic accounts for approximately 10% of generated waste.

 

[Photo courtesy of: hoax-slayer.com]

There is also the impact on global climate change to consider.

One of the major uses of fossil fuels is the production of plastic, and fossil fuels are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to mitigate the effects that plastic has on the earth and society, it needs to become more sustainable.

Proper Disposal of Your Old Gadgets

E-waste is a growing problem worldwide; a by-product of an ever-connected world that is constantly reaching for new and improved technology. This piece covers the three main questions surrounding e-waste, which are as follows:

What is it?

E-waste refers to any kind of waste that is, or is the product of an electronic device. This includes items like computer monitors, televisions, cell phones and computers, as well as consumable products of them, like batteries and printer cartridges. E-waste as a banner covers all these items and more, and it’s only increasing as new is preferred over old, and planned obsolescence forces consumers to shell out again and again for technology.

Why is it a problem?

Not all pieces of e-waste share the same components, but almost all of them feature finite resources and harmful chemicals, especially in screens and batteries. When these items are improperly disposed of, they end up in landfill, amongst countless other types of waste. The consequences of this are twofold.

One, the harmful components, like lead and mercury, can seep into soil and create significant environmental problems. This is even worse if e-waste is not in landfill, but simply dumped around the community area.

Two: the finite resources inside the devices or products cannot be recycled after disposal. In landfill, they meet the end of their life cycle and cease to be useful.

How can you dispose of e-waste?

There are many options for disposal. For mobile phones, printer cartridges and other small pieces of common e-waste, they can be recycled in specialty shops in most shopping centres. For larger items, it’s best to contact local waste management services and enquire about their e-waste programs. Most will have some kind of program in place to accept e-waste and ensure that recyclable elements are used, and anything else is disposed of in the most secure fashion possible.

 

Image

[photo courtesy of: laprommoving.com]

Benefits of Proper Timber Disposal in the Community

Starting a proper garbage disposal commitment in the community has many perceived benefits. These include things such as timber recycling which has benefits for both the home and the environment. This is one of the many benefits of proper garbage disposal; others include an increase in health and wellbeing.

Recycled Timber for the Home

Recycled timber is a fantastic source of wood for flooring inside the home as well as decks, window frames, cabinets, doors and even staircases. Each of these has the opportunity to be a feature in any home. Timber floors are perfect for family homes and create a stylish and modern finish to any house.

Image

Recycled Timber for the Environment

Recycled timber is perceived as a positive prospect for the environment. It minimises the impact on existing trees and is seen to be an environmentally friendly source of wood. A growth in this will see a decrease in deforestation and harm to the environment.

Health & Wellbeing

Proper garbage disposal also has many positive factors for the communities’ health and wellbeing such as minimising incineration. Incineration of garbage is known to potentially cause health risks, through proper garbage disposal these risks can be minimised for the community.

Other Negative Effects

Poor waste disposal can have some serious negative impacts on the environment. It can cause an increase in air and land pollution as well as contamination of soil and water. Not only does this affect the environment but the economy too. Cities that have poor cleanliness are not going to be seen as neither primary tourist destinations nor areas where locals would wish to visit and drive the communities’ economy.

It’s time to start using a proper garbage disposal plan individually and in the community. The positive impacts for the environment, the economy and most importantly the wellbeing of people and animals is worth the small effort required to recycle properly.

How to Organise a Community E-waste Cleanup Drive

E-waste is a growing problem; a by-product of rampant consumerism and a perceived need to always have the latest and greatest technology. Often, when devices are break, they’re more cost effective to repair than replace. This is great for the owners with new items, but the old ones need a place to go, and that’s usually in the bin. 

Something many people don’t know, however is the local waste services can handle e-waste, taking proper care of the hazardous materials. As this may be seen as a hassle by individuals, community groups can cater to the neighbourhood by organising an e-waste clean-up drive. This will give community members simple means to dispose of their old items in the proper way.

Gauge interest

Checking interest levels in the neighbourhood is a simple, but important way to start. There’s no point organising a clean-up drive if there’s nothing to clean up! Simply go door to door and ask a few brief questions about what kinds of e-waste the residents have – batteries, keyboards, TVs, mobile phones etc. This will not only help gauge interest, but also estimate the level of waste that could be collected.

community-clean-up-drive-e-waste
Image Source: Gabriel Upton (Facebook Account)

This is also a good time to chat to neighbours and help them understand the importance of why the drive is taking place. Let them know it’s all about keeping these items, many of which have components made from finite resources, out of landfill. Parts of them can be repurposed or recycled, and those that can’t are disposed of in the most environmentally sound way possible by local waste services.

Set up collection points

Give advance warning of the clean-up drive’s date. When it comes, set up in a central spot in the neighbourhood with multiple containers for collection of e-waste. Label them clearly, so people will know to separate items like batteries that can be potentially hazardous. Larger items, like televisions and computer monitors may need to be loaded directly onto the truck (a truck will surely be necessary) that will transport them to the tip.

collection-points-e-waste-waste-services
Image Source: Newswire.com