Tag Archives: Facts

Why Eco Hipsters are saying NO to the latest trend in Jeans

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As the fashion forward mavens that we are, we also choose to keep our philosophies on our backs, literally.  We not only tout organic and vintage threads, but we also are aware of the practices that some fashion labels are doing in the name of style.

This season stone wash jeans are in … and they are all the rage!  Little do people know what it takes to create this look.  It is actually quite toxic and energy intensive to produce soft jeans with that accidentally bleached look.

In the production process of manipulating fabrics to attain that distressed look and feel, manufacturers are going to great lengths to keep up with the industry.  Even if it requires compensating with an environmental impact.

There have been reports of environmental poisoning from the toxic run-off from factories that are distressing and stonewashing denim jeans.  This run off is usually laden in blue dye, chemicals such as sulfur, caustic soda and hydrocyanic acid, a close relative of cyanide as well as large quantities of potassium permanganate, a chemical once used to induce abortion.

Using the technique to soften jeans with a washed look takes 5 gallons of water and about the amount of electricity one would use in a day.  Does not sound like too much, but why not take advantage that we have the resources to make products that do not take the integrity of nature for granted.

Conventional cotton, being one of the most pesticide laden crops in the United States, destroys the soil, water quality and bio-diversity.  Consumers purchasing these products are also inadvertently effecting their own health by exposing themselves to these chemicals that are embedded in their clothes.

Support fairtrade and organic cotton when you have the opportunity, or better yet – buy vintage!

Perhaps, we are being a bit ecocentric to take our ethics in the name of fashion.  The fact of the matter is, this is what we are about, truly living within the integrity of everything we do, eat and wear!

Oh, and by the way, stone washed is so 80’s anyways … lets create a new style!

The Energy Trail of a Drinking Straw

So what is wrong with straws, you may ask?straw

The better question, would be … what is great about them.

Aside from the fact that they are made from plastic and are intended for single use consumption … read on, and

find out how next time you are served a drink, you just might be compelled to forgo the straw!

Background

A straw is a prepared tube used to suck a beverage out of a container. Historians theorize the first straws were cut from dried wheat shafts and they were named accordingly. With the advent of industrial age, methods were developed to mass produce straws by rolling elongated sheets of wax-coated paper into a cylindrical, hollow tubes. This was accomplished by coiling paraffin-coated paper around a rod-shaped form and then securing the paper with an adhesive. The entire straw was then coated with wax to further water-proof it. The wax coating was important since the straw was paper and would eventually absorb some of the liquid being sucked up it. Thus, inevitably these paper straws became soggy and useless. In the 1960s, paper was largely replaced by plastic which were becoming less expensive and increasingly more sophisticated. The explosion of plastic technology led to techniques to manufacture plastic straws via extrusion. Today, straws are made in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and functions.

Raw Materials

Straws are made from a formulated blend of plastic resin, colorants, and other additives.

Plastic

Historically, straws have been made from paper but today polypropylene plastic is the material of choice. Polypropylene is a resin made by polymerizing, or stringing together, molecules of a propylene gas. When a very large number of these molecules are chemically hooked together they form this solid plastic material. Polypropylene was first developed in the mid-1950s and has many properties, which make it suitable for use in straw manufacturing. This resin is light-weight, has fair abrasion resistance, good dimensional stability, and good surface hardness. It typically does not experience problems with stress cracking and it offers excellent chemical resistance at higher temperatures. Most importantly for this application, it has good thermoplastic properties. This means it can be melted, formed into various shapes and, upon reheating, can be melted and molded again. Another key attribute of this plastic is that it is safe for contact with food and beverage. Polypropylene is approved for indirect contact with food and, in addition to drinking straws, is used to make many types of food packaging such as margarine and yogurt containers, cellophane-type wrapping, and various bottles and caps.

Colorants

Colorants can be added to the plastic to give the straws an aesthetically pleasing appearance. However, in the United States, the colorants used must be chosen from a list of pigments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for food contact. If the colorants are not food grade, they must be tested to make sure they will not leach out of the plastic and into the food or beverage. These pigments are typically supplied in powdered form, and a very small amount is required to impart bright colors. Through use of multiple colorants, multi-colored straws can be made.

Other additives

Additional materials are added to the plastic formula to control the physical properties of the finished straw. Plasticizers (materials which improve the flexibility of the polypropylene) may be added to keep the resin from cracking. Antioxidants are used to reduce harmful interactions between the plastic and the oxygen in the air. Other stabilizers include ultraviolet light filters, which shield the plastic from the effects of sunlight and prevent the radiation from adversely effecting the plastic. Finally, inert fillers may be added to increase the bulk density of the plastic. All these materials must meet appropriate FDA requirements.

Packaging materials

Straws are typically wrapped in paper sleeves for individual use or bulk packed in plastic pouches or cardboard boxes.

The Manufacturing
Process

Straw manufacturing requires several steps. First, the plastic resin and other components are mixed together; the mixture is then extruded in a tube shape; the straw may under go subsequent specialized operations; and finally the straws are packaged for shipment.

Plastic compounding

  • The polypropylene resin must first be mixed with the plasticizers, colorants, antioxidants, stabilizers, and fillers. These materials, in powder form, are dumped into the hopper of an extrusion compounder that mixes, melts, and forms beads of the blended plastic. This machine can be thought of as a long, heated, motor driven meat grinder. The powders are mixed together and melted as they travel down the barrel of the extruder. Special feeder screws are used to push the powder along its path. The molten plastic mixture is squeezed out through a series of small holes at the other end of the extruder. The holes shape the plastic into thin strands about 0.125 inch (0.3175 cm) in diameter. One compounding method ejects these strands into cooling water where a series of rotating knives cut them into short pellets. The pellet shape is preferred for subsequent molding operations because pellets are easier to move than a fine powder. These pellets are then collected and dried; they may be further blended or coated with other additives before packaging. The finished plastic pellets are stored until they are ready to be molded into straws.

Straw extrusion

  • The pellets are transferred to another extrusion molder. The second extruder is fitted with a different type of die, which produces a hollow tube shape. The pellets are dumped in a hopper on one end of the machine and are forced through a long channel by a screw mechanism. This screw is turned in the barrel with power supplied by a motor operating through a gear reducer. As the screw rotates, it moves the resin down the barrel. As the resin travels down the heated channel, it melts and becomes more flowable. To ensure good movement and heat transfer, the screw fits within the barrel with only few thousands of an inch clearance. It is machined from a solid steel rod, and the surfaces almost touching the barrel are hardened to resist wear. By the time the resin reaches the end of the barrel, it is completely melted and can be easily forced out through the opening in the die.
  • The resin exits the die in a long string in the shape of a straw. It is then moved along by a piece of equipment known as a puller which helps maintain the shape of the straw as it is moved through the rest of the manufacturing process. In some processes, it is necessary to pull the straw through special sizing plates to better control the diameter. These plates are essentially metal sheets with holes drilled in them. Eventually, this elongated tube is directed through a cooling stage—usually a water bath. Some operations run the plastic over a chilled metal rod, called a mandrel, which freezes the internal dimension of the straw to that of the rod. Ultimately, the long tubes are cut to the proper length by a knife assembly.

Special operations

  • Straws with special design requirements may undergo additional processing. For example, so called “crazy” straws, which have a series of loops and turns, may be bent into shape using special molding equipment. Another type of straw with special manufacturing requirements is the “bendable” straw. This type of straw can bend in the middle and is made using a special device that creates a series of grooves that allow the straw to flex. These grooves can be crimped into the straws in a two step process. First, it is first necessary to “pick up” the straw so it can be manipulated. This can be accomplished by spreading the straws across a flat plate, which has slots cut in it. The straws will tend to roll into the slots and remain there. The slots are evenly spaced and are adjacent to a separate metal plate, which has a series of metal pins extending from it. The pins are aligned in a parallel fashion with the slots on the plate. Once the straws have come to rest in the slots, the pins can be easily inserted into the straws. The straws can then be easily lifted up and moved around in any orientation by simply manipulating the plate that holds the pins. The steel pins holding the straws have a series of parallel rings cut into them. As the straws are wrapped around the pin, they are gripped by a pair of semi-circular steel jaws, which have a complementary set of rings. The jaws crimp a series of rings into the straw. The crimp pattern allows the straws to bend without closing off. After these operations, the straws can then by proceed to packaging.

Packaging

  • Straws are typically packaged in individual paper sleeves after manufacturing. This packaging is widely used for applications where each straw must be kept sanitary. One method of packaging involves loading the finished straws into a supply funnel. At the bottom of the hopper is a wheel with straw receiving grooves cut in it around its outer edge. The straws drop out of the hopper and are picked up one at a time by this rotating wheel. As the wheel rotates, it moves the straws along to a second wheel, which has grooves connecting to a vacuum source. Sheets or packaging material (paper wrap) are moved onto this wheel from a supply roller. The vacuum holds the paper in place while the main wheel feeds straws on top of the paper. Another layer of paper is guided over the first and the assembly then passes through a sealing roller. The two layers of paper are then crimped together with the application of pressure or otherwise sealed together. The sealed sheet of straws then travels along the conveyor to a punching region where a die presses down and cuts out individual straws. The die cut pieces then move along a conveyor to a collection area. The individual straws can then be bundled together and packed in boxes or pouches for shipping.

Quality Control

Drinking straw quality is determined at a number of key steps during the compounding and extrusion phases of the manufacturing process as well as after extrusion is complete. During compounding, the mixing process must be monitored to ensure the formula components are blended in the proper ratios. Before beginning the extrusion process, it is a common practice to purge some resin through the extruder. This purging helps clean out the barrel and acts as a check to make sure all molding systems are operating properly. At this stage, sample straws can be checked to make sure they achieve the proper dimensions. These samples can also be used to ensure manufacturing equipment is operating at the proper line speed.

During the extrusion process, it is critical that the resin is be kept at the proper temperature. Depending on the processing temperature (and the molecular weight of the polymer), plastic can flow as slowly as tar or as quickly as corn syrup. If the temperature is too cool, the viscosity increases dramatically, and the resin will not flow through the die. If the temperature is too high, thermal breakdown can occur. Over-heating can cause chemical changes in the resin, weakening the plastic and rendering it unsuitable for use in straw manufacturing. Under certain circumstances, die buildup occurs. When this happens, a glob of plastic gets stuck somewhere in the die. This glob eventually breaks free, becomes attached to the molded straw, and ruins its appearance. Unwanted chemical interactions can also effect the quality of the finished straws during the extrusion process. One problem is oxidation, which results from contact with air. This reaction can negatively impact the plastic. Similarly, the plastic interacts with any moisture that is present; too little moisture can make certain plastic blends too brittle.

After the manufacturing process is complete, it is critical that the extruder be properly cleaned. Thorough cleaning is necessary because different types of different colored plastics can be left behind in the extruder barrel. This residue can cause contamination in the next batch that is made. Die cleaning is done when the machine is still hot and traces of resin can be easily scraped from the metal.

Byproducts/Waste

The major waste product from straw manufacturing is the plastic resin. Resin, which is contaminated, overheated, or otherwise ruined must be discarded. However, straws, which fail for other reasons, can be reworked. This process of reusing plastic is known as regrinding and involves pulverizing the straws and remelting them. This can be done without loss of quality because of the thermoplastic nature of polypropylene.

The Future

There are a number of interesting new developments in straw technology. First, new and improved plastic blends are constantly being evaluated. This is necessary to keep costs down, meet regulatory requirements, and improve quality. In addition, new processing and design methods are being developed. These can expand the straws into new areas. For example, thermoliquid crystals, a special colorant that responds to changes in temperature, can be added to straws to make them change color when they come in contact with hot or cold liquid. Other unique applications include ways of printing straws with the identity of the beverage (e.g., diet, root beer, etc.). The straw can then be used to mark what the drink contains. Other advances include straws made by a blow molding process, which creates faces or other artifacts in the middle of the straw.

Where to Learn More

Books

Richardson, Paul. Introduction to Extrusion. Brookfield Center, CT: Society of Plastic Engineers, 1974.

Other

US patent 5,722,219. Method of Making a Drinking Straw.

[Article by: Randy Schueller]

Creative Citizen on Yahoo Green

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Are you a creative citizen?

By Kastle Waserman

Posted Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:50am PST

The idea of global warming can sometimes be a daunting, overwhelming concept. How can one person help fix this problem that is literally changing the face of the earth? The website Creative Citizen offers a manageable answer — by one action at a time. Based on the idea of social networking, Creative Citizen consists of a community of people who are taking simple measures and have found creative ways to conserve, reuse, and recycle.

Together, they post and share ideas such as: Wash your car with a waterless cleaner, tell your dry cleaner to keep the plastic, have plants in your house as natural air purifiers, and the list goes on. Each solution tracks how much it will save in water, energy, waste, emissions, and dollars. You can search for creative solutions, read information about each idea, see photos, add or read comments, edit and provide more info, and then take an action by sending to a friend or bookmarking it.

By clicking “I’ll do it” you add to your “Greenage” as a Creative Citizen. “Greenage” is a tally of points Creative Citizens earn by participating in the online community. People with the most Greenage points can go on to make the Top Citizens board that lists the biggest contributors. In your Citizen profile, you can keep track of what solutions you’ve adopted and connect with friends and see what actions they’ve taken. It makes you feel like what it would like to live in an ideal green world where everybody cares and shares, and it’s a demonstration of what happens when people take small actions to make a big impact.

Now that’s getting eco-creative!

Check it out, Take a tour

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Did you Know?

  • 1. You can make a huge difference by being aware of your habits?
  • 2. Burning coal produces CO2 – the main contributors to global warming
  • 3. Americans use 170 gallons of water per day – 7x per capita average
  • 4. We are in a severe drought all over the state, and world wide
  • 5. Our water travels as far as 500 miles to get our faucets – its comes from the Sierra’s and the Colorado River
  • 6. 2.5 million bottles of water are tossed every hour in California
  • 7. 3 million bottles end up in landfills daily in California alone
  • 8. Plastic out weighs plankton in our oceans 24:1
  • 9. Glass can be recycled indefinitely
  • 10. Plastic downgrades and after being recycled become inert and ends up in landfills
  • 11. Fish and birds mistake plastic for food, and consume it – this effects our food supply
  • 12. Many popular types of fish are endangered – reference your Seafood Watch card when making your decisions!
  • 13. Garbage thrown on the street in Pasadena will make it to the beaches threw the storm drains – if it is not collected by beach clean up after a storm, it washes into the ocean
  • 14. Plastic does not biodegrade
  • 15. 6-pack rings should always be cut
  • 16. Americans consume 400 – 500 beverage containers annually
  • 17. American use 326 lbs of plastic annually
  • 18. 90% of floating marine litter is plastic
  • 19. Californians use more than 90 billion plastic bags annually – about 552 bags per person
  • 20. In LA county we have: 318 miles of polluted rivers, 250 sq miles of polluted lakes, bays, and wetlands, and 116 miles of polluted beaches and coastline
  • 21. Californians throw away 600 plastic bags per second
  • 22. Tossing cigarette butts into the streets end up on our beaches and in our oceans
  • 23. Even when electronic devices are turned off, but plugged in, they still uses energy – Save over 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $256 per year
  • 24. Can save 300 lbs. of CO2 by changing 3 frequently used bulbs with CFL’s
  • 25. Its illegal to throw away batteries
  • 26. You an save 5 Lbs. of CO2 per ream of paper if used 100% post consumer
  • 27. You can remove your name from receiving junk mail for free?
  • 28. Dimmer save 25% of energy
  • 29. What is considered hazardous waste? Know how to dispose of it locally
  • 30. Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150 per year
  • 31. CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb
  • 32. Keep your water heater thermostat at 120°F and save 550 lbs. of CO2 and $30 per year
  • 33. Move your heater thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer – Save 2000 lbs of CO2 and $98 per year
  • 34. Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows – save 1,700 lbs. of CO2 and $274 per year
  • 35. CFL’s lasts 10x longer and a regular blub and each bulb will keep 1,500 lbs. of CO2 over the lifetime of the bulb
  • 36. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket – You’ll save 1,000 lbs. of CO2 a year
  • 37. You can save 700 lbs. of CO2 when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year, use a clothesline instead of a dryer
  • 38. You can save 2,400 pounds of CO2 a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates
  • 39. That recycled paper products takes 70 – 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide
  • 40. The average fruit or vegetable travels over 1500 miles to get to your store
  • 41. Conventional farming destroys biodiversity, pollutes our water and is responsible for 1/3 loss of top soil
  • 42. That the FDA approved cloned meat in January 2008 – It is not required to be labeled
  • 43. 40% of waste is food waste – organic matter that can be composted and used instead of placed in a landfill
  • 44. By shopping at the farmers market it reduces the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by 1/5
  • 45. Frozen food uses 10 x more energy to produce
  • 46. Almost 60% of food found in conventional supermarkets is genetically modified
  • 47. An estimated 13 chemicals are found on conventional fruits and vegetables
  • 48. FDA only samples a very small percentage of food sold to consumers
  • 49. You can improve gas mileage by more than 3% by checking your tires for proper pressure
  • 50. The average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage during their lifetime
  • 51. We throw 90% of what we buy within 6 months
  • 52. A low flow shower head uses 1 gallon of water less per minute – using the technology of air to distribute the same amount of pressure
  • 53. One ton of recycled paper uses: 64% less energy,50% less water, 74% less air pollution, saves 17 trees and creates 5 times more jobs than one ton of paper products from virgin wood pulp
  • 54. In the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left
  • 55. 40% of waterways in the U.S. have become undrinkable
  • 56. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population but we’re consuming 30% of the world’s resources and creating 30% of the world’s waste
  • 57. 75% of global fisheries now are fished at or beyond capacity
  • 58. 80% of the planet’s original forests are gone
  • 59. In the Amazon alone, we’re losing 2000 trees a minute – that is seven football fields a minute
  • 60. There are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in commerce today
  • 61. Only a handful of chemicals have even been tested for human health impacts and none of them have been tested for synergistic health impacts, that means when they interact with all the other chemicals we’re exposed to every day
  • 62. In the U.S., industry admits to releasing over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals a year
  • 63. The average U.S. person now consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago
  • 64. During WWII we produced 40% of our from our Victory Gardens
  • 65. Our landfill, Puente Hills, has an estimated 5 year maximum capacity
  • 66. In the U.S. we are targeted with more than 3,000 advertisements a day
  • 67. Americans each generate 4.6 lbs. of garbage a day
  • 68. Recycled aluminum saves 95% energy vs. virgin aluminum
  • 69. Recycling of 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours
  • 70. Recycled aluminum reduces pollution by 95%
  • 71. 4 lbs. of bauxite are saved for every pound of aluminum recycled
  • 72. Recycled glass saves 50% energy vs. virgin glass
  • 73. Aluminum can endlessly be recycled
  • 74. Recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours
  • 75. Recycled glass generates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution
  • 76. 1 ton of glass made from 50% recycled materials saves 250 lbs. of mining waste
  • 77. Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year
  • 78. Recycled paper saves 60% energy vs. virgin paper
  • 79. Recycled paper generates 95% less air pollution – each ton saves 60 lbs. of air pollution
  • 80. Recycling of each ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water
  • 81. Every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12′ wall from New York to California
  • 82. If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep 2 billion tons of plastic out of landfills
  • 83. According to the EPA, recycling a pound of PET saves approximately 12,000 BTU’s
  • 84. We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year
  • 85. A ton of recycled paper equals or saves 17 trees in paper production
  • 86. Production of recycled paper uses 80% less water, 65% less energy and produces 95% less air pollution than virgin paper production
  • 87. Global paper use has grown more than six-fold since 1950
  • 88. 1/5 of all wood harvested in the world ends up in paper – it takes 2 to 3.5 tons of trees to make one ton of paper
  • 89. Pulp and paper is the 5th largest industrial consumer of energy in the world, using as much power to produce a ton of product as the iron and steel industry
  • 90. In some countries, including the United States, paper accounts for nearly 40 percent of all municipal solid waste
  • 91. Making paper uses more water per ton than any other product in the world
  • 92. Over a ton of resources is saved for every ton of glass recycled — 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar
  • 93. A ton of glass produced from raw materials creates 384 pounds of mining waste
  • 94. Using 50% recycled glass cuts the waste by 75%
  • 95. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours
  • 96. If every household in the U.S. replaced just 1 bottle of 25 oz. conventional based petroleum based dish liquid with a plant derived natural cleaner we would save 86,000 barrels of oil a year – enough to heat and cool 4,900 homes for 1 year!
  • 97. The average home has 60 toxic chemicals in it
  • 98. LEED buildings use 25% less, on average, than conventional buildings
  • 99.  The average new home off gasses 2600 chemicals

Facts



• 2.5 million bottles of water are tossed each hour and 3 million are placed into landfills in California alone!
• Plastic outweighs plankton in Southern California waters 24:1
• A water drip can waste up to 20 gallons of water a day

• A running toilet can waste up 200

• The EPA estimates that 75% of Americans trash could be recycled
• Only 25% of Americans trash is recycled
• An aluminum can, can generate enough energy for 3 hours

• Every Sunday 500,000 trees could be saved if everyone recycled their newspapers

Buildings of the world consume:

• 40% of the world’s energy & materials
• 25% of the wood harvested
• 17% of our water

The average American house uses:

• 13,127 board feet of lumber
• 6,212 square feet of sheathing
• 2,000 square feet of flooring

In the U.S., buildings account for:

• 36% of total electricity consumption
• 62% of electricity use
30% of greenhouse gas emissions
• 37% of ozone depletion potential

Waste Not, Want Not



first published in the Santa Monica Mirror – April 17 – 23, 2008

With recycling proving to be an annual steady increase over the past 40 years, since the inception of waste management programs, people seem to still be perplexed as to what they can and cannot recycle. Perhaps, this confusion could be linked to the fact that every city and municipality contains its own sets of rules and regulations as to what is accepted. In prevention, most people rather not place items in question.

In a recent tour through our facilities, here in Santa Monica, I was able to dispel many misconceptions that usually linger around the issue of recycling. The reality is we don’t realize all that we can recycle! The fact is, that the more we divert from our waste stream, the less is carted off to our local landfill, and the less energy and fossil fuels are used – ultimately, creating a positive chain of effects for everyone!

It is estimated that Americans generate 4.6 lbs. of garbage a day or more than 1600 lbs. a year – a number that can be drastically reduced implementing the right information to redirect our trash.

In 2006 we, as a nation, produced 251 million tons of municipal solid waste – of which most of it could have been diverted. Currently we are only recycling 32.5% of our trash. This leaves us with a grand opportunity to think twice about what we toss in the garbage, because, it can probably be recycled. Beyond the obvious reasons to recycle, it also generates income to local and national economies employing more than 1 million people nationwide.

So what did I find out in our 46,000 sq. ft facility tour? That you can walk in with trash, and walk out with cash! Many people don’t realize what a lucrative business recycling is – economically, environmentally and logistically. Imagine, recycling one aluminum can, saves enough energy to generate your computer or television for 3 hours!

Some of the many items accepted at this facility, that may raise confusion are: envelops with clear windows, junk mail, magazines/catalogs, aseptic packages (drink boxes or ‘bricks’), all types of plastics #1 – #7 (including food wrappers), empty lipstick tubes, HDPE, any kind of glass (including window panes), bottle caps (plastic and beer, plastic that houses pet food and litter, plastic enclosure that closes bread or muffins, empty nail polish bottles, paper and plastic bags, and metals (which are removed during the glass processing).

To prevent contamination and a reduction in recyclables, empty and rinse all containers removing any food or liquid. Contamination cannot exceed 2%, and moisture will affect the efficiency of this process – which is down to a science! Once we drop our recyclables, everything from our single stream blue bins gets taken to our facility (known as a transfer station). At which point all the contents on the truck get dumped in a pile and then placed on a hopper (a conveyer belt) where everything is separated mechanically and manually – taking out everything but paper. This paper, considered a super mix paper, is then carted to be shipped off to paper mills for reuse. All the items that were taken off the hopper then get separated accordingly, pressed, and shipped to various vendors for another lifecycle.

Some of the many uses that are being discovered for recycled plastic bottles are t-shirts and even carpeting! As you support products that are made from recycled content or post-consumer products you contribute significantly to a larger cause. These items usually use less packaging and fewer toxic materials.

Items prohibited at our recycling center are: e-waste, (which must be disposed of properly – information below), green waste, ceramics, Styrofoam, combination products (i.e. make-up cases w/mirrors), packing peanuts (various locations will accept it for re-use), non specific plastic, non-plastic materials, and dirt.

More over, the facility will accept drop offs of: used motor oil, cd’s, VHS tapes, scrap metal, copper, miscellaneous metals (ferrous and nonferrous metals including aluminum, iron, steel and other metals in goods like appliances).

This is aside from ‘toxic’ materials that are collected at the Hazardous Waste site around the corner from the recycling center. The site is dedicated to Santa Monica residents (proof is required) for materials that should be disposed of properly because of their dangerous make up that could leach to our waterways if combined with municipal waste.

Did you know that throwing away batteries is actually illegal? The good news is that disposable battery collection locations have expanded throughout the city – you will find them everywhere, just look for them!

Santa Monica Community Recycling Center
2411 Delaware Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.453.9677

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday

Santa Monica Refuse Transfer Station
2401 Delaware Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310.829.7323

6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday

Santa Monica: Household Hazardous Waste
2500 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica
Santa Monica, Ca 90404
(310) 458-8255

7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday
Alternate Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* For after hours/weekends leave a message to set an appointment

© Copyright and Property of Astrid Design Studio 2008