Recycling

Recycling

Joined: July 24th, 2005, 2:05 pm

June 4th, 2012, 3:40 pm #1

Just listening to a radio program on recycling. The expert said that you always have to consider the cost of making an item (in terms of energy use) when deciding which item is the most Earth-friendly. The moderator said his company gave all employees ceramic coffee mugs to use instead of foam or plastic cups. The expert said that you have to use the ceramic mug 1,000 times before you break even on the energy equation, because the ceramic mug used so much energy to make, and the throwaway cups take so little to make. The best choice, the expert said, is when buying something, don't buy a new item (which requires lots of energy to make), buy a good used item, which requires zero new energy to make. Recycling aluminum cans is very successful, because making new aluminum is hugely energy-intensive, and remelting scrap alum is not. Kinda thought-provoking...
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Joined: February 9th, 2001, 1:40 am

June 4th, 2012, 4:11 pm #2

I used to get Scientific American. Here's one article about plastics you might find interesting.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podca ... m-11-06-05

Apparently in the ocean, in the Great Garbage Patch between California and Hawaii there's sort of vortex of schmutz floating around and sinking to the ocean floor. They (scientists) have discovered that plastics are breaking down much more rapidly that previously thought. Releasing something called Bisphemol or something. Anyway, it's not a good thing.

Then there's the stuff they recover from landfills, as the above article states. Maybe the best thing we can do it try to recover the methane. Technology is always improving. I bet we can find a way to resolve these issues.

Harv
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Joined: July 2nd, 2001, 12:16 pm

June 4th, 2012, 6:37 pm #3

Just listening to a radio program on recycling. The expert said that you always have to consider the cost of making an item (in terms of energy use) when deciding which item is the most Earth-friendly. The moderator said his company gave all employees ceramic coffee mugs to use instead of foam or plastic cups. The expert said that you have to use the ceramic mug 1,000 times before you break even on the energy equation, because the ceramic mug used so much energy to make, and the throwaway cups take so little to make. The best choice, the expert said, is when buying something, don't buy a new item (which requires lots of energy to make), buy a good used item, which requires zero new energy to make. Recycling aluminum cans is very successful, because making new aluminum is hugely energy-intensive, and remelting scrap alum is not. Kinda thought-provoking...
...not really a big deal.

This is no reflection on you, but ...

The expert is a nut. He is massaging his "facts" outside of common sense of application.

Figure 3 cups of coffee a day (actual average for US is 3.1 per day). If you use if for water too, that is up to...what....8 uses a day? So 1000 "uses" comes out to a mere 125 days of service or roughly 1/3 of a year.

What is the longest you can re-use a REGULAR paper cup? I have some REGULAR ceramic mugs that I personally bought over 30 years ago. I have REGULAR bone china coffee cups 170 years old and still going strong. Chipped mugs last for many years. A "chipped" paper cup begins to unravel in a few days.

Does anyone believe that the paper cup they throw out is recycled and re-made into another paper cup in the back of the coffee shop? No. That cup travels 1000s of miles before it becomes a cup again. All the mileage uses up gas, oil, rubber tires, lead batteries, blah, blah, blah.

How do you sanitize a paper cup for re-use the next day? Would you be willing to use a paper soup bowl in a restaurant that was first used the week before?

I hate this crap. Just use common sense and you can live a long healthy life that is sustainable.


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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 am

June 4th, 2012, 11:00 pm #4

Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to produce the fuel?
Mine to spent fuel pool..... Unthinkable! All to power a military necessity.
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Joined: January 30th, 2005, 5:50 am

June 5th, 2012, 12:37 am #5

...not really a big deal.

This is no reflection on you, but ...

The expert is a nut. He is massaging his "facts" outside of common sense of application.

Figure 3 cups of coffee a day (actual average for US is 3.1 per day). If you use if for water too, that is up to...what....8 uses a day? So 1000 "uses" comes out to a mere 125 days of service or roughly 1/3 of a year.

What is the longest you can re-use a REGULAR paper cup? I have some REGULAR ceramic mugs that I personally bought over 30 years ago. I have REGULAR bone china coffee cups 170 years old and still going strong. Chipped mugs last for many years. A "chipped" paper cup begins to unravel in a few days.

Does anyone believe that the paper cup they throw out is recycled and re-made into another paper cup in the back of the coffee shop? No. That cup travels 1000s of miles before it becomes a cup again. All the mileage uses up gas, oil, rubber tires, lead batteries, blah, blah, blah.

How do you sanitize a paper cup for re-use the next day? Would you be willing to use a paper soup bowl in a restaurant that was first used the week before?

I hate this crap. Just use common sense and you can live a long healthy life that is sustainable.

I worked at an office that stopped providing disposable styrofoam cups to cut cost and waste. 16 oz foam cups are about .04 each when bought in bulk at Sams Club. Assuming every employee used each cup only once and had 8 beverages a day, that's .32/day/employee. That's probably a fairly high estimate, because I don't think anybody used 8 cups a day.

Now every employee uses a ceramic mug. Assuming they spend 1 minute per day each washing and rinsing the mug at an average $30/hr w/ pay and benefits, that's .50 per employee per day-- not counting the cost of hot water.

The difference is that the cost of cups appeared as a line item on a spreadsheet and powerpoint slide somewhere and the minute that employees take to rinse and wash mugs doesn't. lol

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Joined: January 31st, 2008, 12:28 pm

June 5th, 2012, 4:03 am #6

Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to produce the fuel?
Mine to spent fuel pool..... Unthinkable! All to power a military necessity.
I believe clean coal technology is the way. jmho
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 am

June 5th, 2012, 1:26 pm #7

I worked at an office that stopped providing disposable styrofoam cups to cut cost and waste. 16 oz foam cups are about .04 each when bought in bulk at Sams Club. Assuming every employee used each cup only once and had 8 beverages a day, that's .32/day/employee. That's probably a fairly high estimate, because I don't think anybody used 8 cups a day.

Now every employee uses a ceramic mug. Assuming they spend 1 minute per day each washing and rinsing the mug at an average $30/hr w/ pay and benefits, that's .50 per employee per day-- not counting the cost of hot water.

The difference is that the cost of cups appeared as a line item on a spreadsheet and powerpoint slide somewhere and the minute that employees take to rinse and wash mugs doesn't. lol
Refreshing the employee and contributing to greater productivity once returned to task.

Perspective

Those ceramic cups are ALWAYS half full (or more
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Joined: July 2nd, 2001, 12:16 pm

June 5th, 2012, 5:54 pm #8

I worked at an office that stopped providing disposable styrofoam cups to cut cost and waste. 16 oz foam cups are about .04 each when bought in bulk at Sams Club. Assuming every employee used each cup only once and had 8 beverages a day, that's .32/day/employee. That's probably a fairly high estimate, because I don't think anybody used 8 cups a day.

Now every employee uses a ceramic mug. Assuming they spend 1 minute per day each washing and rinsing the mug at an average $30/hr w/ pay and benefits, that's .50 per employee per day-- not counting the cost of hot water.

The difference is that the cost of cups appeared as a line item on a spreadsheet and powerpoint slide somewhere and the minute that employees take to rinse and wash mugs doesn't. lol
Unless your company takes into account potty breaks, time sharpening pencils, meeting prep time, software installation time, time turning doorknobs, and time between keystrokes.

In which case you really need to find another company.
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