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WASTE WATCHERS BLOG

Helping businesses improve their waste diversion & recycling efforts, one post at a time!

The Need for a Green, Long-Term EV Battery Solution

The electric vehicle (EV) market is exploding.  Better technology, lower cost to own, soaring gas prices, and pledges to adopt environmentally-friendly goals are all contributing to rapid increases in the EV market. More are on the road than ever before. With all of this comes a major question: what do we do with all of these batteries once they’ve outlived their usefulness?

  The electric vehicle (EV) market is exploding.  Better technology, lower cost to own, soaring gas prices, and pledges to adopt environmentally-friendly goals are all contributing to rapid increases in the EV market. More are on the road than ever before. With all of this comes a major question: what do we do with all of these batteries once they’ve outlived their usefulness? Along with the manufacturing and sale of EVs, the battery recycling industry is also expected to balloon in the next five to ten years.

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Answers to Some Common Recycling Questions

Here at RoadRunner, we know the whole recycling process can be very confusing. That’s why we wanted to simplify it for you and answer some of the more common questions surrounding recycling. 

  Here at RoadRunner, we know the whole recycling process can be very confusing. That’s why we wanted to simplify it for you and answer some of the more common questions surrounding recycling.  Commonly asked questions   What is Recycling? Is it really beneficial for the environment? I've seen headlines that recycling isn't cost-effective. What does that mean? Can recycling help my business? What's the difference between single-stream and clean-stream recycling? What can be recycled? What can NOT be recycled? Why can't I put plastic bags in my recycling bin? What should I do with my pizza box? Are clothes and shoes recyclable? The arrows on a plastic container mean it is recyclable, right? What happens after they collect the items from my recycling bin? What can be made from the stuff in my recycling bin?

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Go Green With Your Lunch Containers

Lunch containers such as pizza boxes, brown paper bags, and compostable containers may or may not be recyclable. How can you decide what to do with them? Here are some tips to understand whether your lunch containers should end up in the trash or in a recycling container.

  “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” - John Muir   There’s a reason many of us choose to escape into nature, if only briefly at times, to find peace, quiet, and support mental health. The clean air, the sounds of the birds, and the tall green trees surrounding us have proven to help slow us down in this fast-paced world.   Your office lunch can play a major role in keeping wild spaces healthy and green. 

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Celebrate Spring Holidays with Eco-Friendly Ideas

From egg hunts, to the massive amounts of candy, to Peter Cottontail hopping around; there’s a lot for many of us to celebrate in the spring season. If we want this yearly celebration of rebirth to continue, then we need to take a hard look at how we’re marking the day, and how we’re cleaning up afterward.

  From egg hunts, to the massive amounts of candy, to Peter Cottontail hopping around; there’s a lot for many of us to celebrate in the spring season. The sunny, warm days are here, and things are greening up everywhere you look. If we want this yearly celebration of rebirth to continue, then we need to take a hard look at how we’re marking the days, and how we’re cleaning up afterward.   First, we need to talk about a major part of any spring celebration: the plastic eggs. Newsflash, there’s an extremely high chance that they can’t be tossed into your local recycling bins. Plastics 1 and 2 are widely accepted in most recycling programs. Items marked 3-7 are not, especially after markets dried up and many foreign countries stopped accepting shipments of the material from the U.S. That’s where the plastic eggs fall, in the plastics 3-7 range. If you’re lucky enough to have a place nearby to take them, that’s great. In many cases, the eggs and their packaging don’t have any markings at all to indicate what type of plastic was used. Sadly, the best advice is to reuse them or toss them in the garbage.    MORE INFO: How to read plastic recycling symbols

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Go Clean and Green This Spring while Keeping an Eye on the Environment

Spring is here. For many of us, that means it's time for a yearly project: spring cleaning. It’s good for your mental health, and your home or office. It can also be good for the environment. Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas to get your space feeling less cluttered and less dusty all while going green.

  Spring is here. For many of us, that means it's time for a yearly project: spring cleaning. It’s good for your mental health, and your home or office. It can also be good for the environment. A recent survey found a whopping 92% of people said they were considering their environmental impact while spring cleaning, with more than half adding they were considering using environmentally friendly cleaning products.   Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas to get your space feeling less cluttered and less dusty all while going green.

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What Is Recycling Contamination?

 Did you know, a single contaminated material can end up sending an entire batch of recyclables to landfill? Contamination is an issue that significantly reduces the value of recyclable materials and renders them non-recyclable. In our latest blog post, we detail which common contaminates to look out for and the best practices for keeping your recyclables clean. Continue reading to learn more.

  Did you know that a single contaminated material can end up sending an entire batch of recyclables to the landfill? Not only that, but your business might incur a contamination fee as a result. Contamination occurs when an item or material makes its way into a recycling container but is difficult, or impossible, to process at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). This can happen by accident or through wishycling, which is when we think a certain material can be salvaged, but unfortunately causes more harm than good when placed in a recycling container. Thankfully, contamination is preventable, and all it takes is a little education and understanding. In this post, we detail which contaminates to look out for and the best practices for keeping your recyclables clean.

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7 Ways to Safely Manage and Recycle E-Waste

Less than a fifth of global e-waste is recycled, leading to higher waste bills, increased energy costs, dwindling natural resources, and concerning effects on the environment. We discuss better ways to manage and recycle your business's e-waste.

This post, first published in August 2020 by Shelby Bell, has been updated. In over 50 years, we’ve moved from 1.44-megabyte floppy disks to 532-gigabyte flash drives smaller than your thumb. The computers that took the United States to the surface of the moon in 1969 are now trivialized by the technology we carry in our pockets—a modern iPhone has 100,000 times the processing power as Apollo 11’s onboard system. Yet, printing from the cloud and the capability to make a Zoom call from practically anywhere on the planet didn’t happen overnight. As technological innovation goes, there are countless iterations that allow us to progress from point A to point B. And the modern business takes advantage of just about all of them.  While we heedlessly move on to faster connections, smaller devices, and the electronics of the future, many of the iterations of the past half-century are still around—underground, overseas, and in the atmosphere.  It’s called e-waste, and our appetites for new tech make it the fastest-growing waste stream (even outpacing plastic) in America today.

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The Growing Waste & Recycling Problems from PPE, Masks, and COVID-19

In this blog post, we dive more into the increased plastic pollution problem as a result of the pandemic, additional areas of impact, and how humanity can recognize and take necessary steps to alleviate the PPE problem before it’s too late.

**This article was originally published October 2020 and has been updated. More than 12 months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, we’re still dependent on those disposable blue “paper” masks. The world uses 129 billion per month, 3 million a minute, or 50,000 every second depending on how you frame it. But what most of the world hasn’t pictured is the convergence of pandemics—because the masks we’ve relied on to dampen transmission aren’t just paper. They’re polypropylene too, the same plastic used for drinking straws and ketchup bottles. As the world grapples with a glut of plastics in its soil, drinking water, and even the tip of Mt. Everest, we’re faced with a new mountain of a problem: trillions of discarded masks with virtually no solution to recycle them. While no one could have predicted a pandemic or its many byproducts, without collective action and innovative thinking, we’ll be fighting personal protective equipment (PPE) long after the novel coronavirus is gone.

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The Complex Nature of an Automotive Business's Waste Stream

Mechanics, car dealers, and collision centers generate various types of hazardous and/or potentially harmful waste materials. When it comes to properly treating and disposing of these materials, businesses must adhere to specific disposal processes and regulations. In this blog post, we’ll take you behind the scenes of what this process looks like for the automotive industry.

  If you are familiar with the automotive industry, you know that mechanics, car dealers, and collision centers generate various types of hazardous and/or potentially harmful waste materials. When it comes to properly treating and disposing of these materials, businesses must adhere to specific disposal processes and regulations. In this blog post, we’ll take you behind the scenes of what this process looks like for the automotive industry, and what can happen when these materials are not handled or disposed of properly. Continue reading to learn more!

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Find out what items cause recyclable contamination issues
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Learn about common waste invoice charges and how to avoid them
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A step-by-step guide to conducting your own waste audit
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