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2017 Zero Waste Resolution Challenge

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Happy New Year! You know what that means…resolution time! Hopefully we’re all thinking of making achievable, positive changes to our lives that won’t be immediately abandoned or forgotten.  The resolution theme this year seems to be “clean living.” Eating whole foods, exercising, and being eco-conscious are the “it” resolutions for 2017 according to targeted ads and friends’ social media posts. We have a slightly different (but still related!) proposition.
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Bioplastics, Compostable plastic, and ASTM D6400 explained

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We’ve previously discussed contamination and how it can be a challenge for organics recycling.  Glass and metal are the most destructive forms but plastics threaten compost piles as well.  Contamination is caused by confusion and lack of convenience in the composting process, so we also know what solutions need to be discovered.  Luckily new compost-friendly products are being crafted all the time! Introducing…bioplastics.

 

 

 

 
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Benefits of Curbside Organics Recycling

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We’re conscious neighbors.  We throw our soda cans and bottles in the recycling bin.  We take our bins to the curb on the right days. We smile and wave at the hardworking collectors out on their routes. Now suddenly, there’s a new green bin in the yard.  This totally throws off our garbage groove.

 

But it doesn’t have to.

 

Within the past few years Austin has been implementing their curbside organics collection pilot in select neighborhoods. Like with most major citywide projects, some education and adjustment is necessary, and it’s important to focus on the positives that come out of these plans. Change brings about new opportunities and incentives, even with the scary and sometimes frustrating transitional phase.  The city’s goal is “to reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90 percent by the year 2040.” Since Austin is a trendy, progressive, eco-conscious place, this goal should definitely be in everyone’s best interest.  So let’s take a look at what makes curbside organics recycling a major plus for our city.

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What Happens in the Compost Pile?

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After reading the Sorting Made Simple blog post we’re now experts in waste sorting.  But why does that matter? It’s not like “well-versed in waste and waste sorting” is a skill commonly listed on resumes, unless you’re in our line of work.  What we all need to realize is that this waste has to go somewhere.  So every time a water bottle or soda can is thrown into the organics bin, it has to eventually be retrieved from the compost pile.  This extra step wastes time and money that could be focused on creating quality product instead.  Even a little piece of glass can render an entire compost pile useless.   1% of any contamination ruins 100% of the compost’s value.
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Sorting Made Simple: What Goes in the Organics Bin?

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Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s discuss the what.

 

Remember that dilemma we described in the first Organics Made Simple post? You know, the tricky waste bins?  We promised to ease that confusion and we’re here to deliver.  This simple flowchart will guide you through the basics then we’ll get down and dirty about what we should be throwing (and not!) in each bin.
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