Tuesday, November 10, 2015

10 Tips for a Greener Home

There are a variety of little things that we can do to go-green at home. Finding ways to incorporate good, green habits in our homes will help reduce landfill waste, clean the air and preserve natural landscapes.

Here are some ways to get started on your green home this holiday season.

1.       Switch your lightbulbs to CFLs – CFLs produce the same amount of light but only use one-fifth to one-third the electric power. They’re a little more expensive, but they last eight to fifteen times longer.
2.       Turn off lights when you leave a room.
3.       Line dry your laundry when the weather allows.
4.       Donate items you no longer have use for to your local thrift shop.
5.       Fix leaky faucets
6.       Use reusable water bottles (consider giving one as a Christmas gift)
7.       Collect rain water and use it to water your plants
8.       Lower the temperature on your hot water heater
9.       Pay your bills online
10.   Use reusable bags

These are easy things that we can implement in our homes not only during the holiday season, but all year long.

Which of these have you already implemented into your homes? What other go-green tips do you have?


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Asphalt Shingle Recycling

Asphalt shingle recycling is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Recycling shingles results in many benefits including saving landfill space, reducing costs and saving valuable resources. Let’s take a closer look at asphalt shingle recycling. 
Asphalt shingles are one of the major components of the debris generated from construction, demolition, and renovation projects. Approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste is generated each year in the United States. Currently, the most common disposal method for asphalt shingles in the US is landfilling. However, recycling offers an alternative for waste asphalt shingles. 
Shingle recycling is the process of taking asphalt shingles from roof tear-offs and collecting them for reuse into other products. Recycled asphalt shingles are most commonly used in pavement, which offsets the need for new asphalt and aggregate. This process will in turn reduce the costs associated with paving. 
The number one use of recycled shingles is to make roads. Ground-up shingles are typically added to the pavement and surprisingly improve the quality. Making roads isn’t the only use for shingles. Shingles can also be recycled and included in roofing products, road maintenance products as well as producing energy. 
So what are the benefits of shingle recycling? Shingle recycling is economically viable, convenient where available, and saves valuable resources from being sent to a landfill. Shingle recycling also gives homeowners the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. 
As Metro Recycling expands our list of services, shingle recycling is something that we’re looking toward for the future. With our dumpster rental, recycling shingles becomes incredibly simple and convenient. Recycling shingles is almost always cheaper than landfilling and in some cases free. There are multiple resources for finding a shingle recycler. You can check online at www.shinglerecycling.org and www.earth911.com. You can also use local resource, such as Metro Recycling, to see how they can assist. 

For more information on Metro Recycling, our list of acceptable materials, dumpster rental and paper recycling, please visit www.wheredoirecycle.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"In 14 year they are decomposable"

“Red solo cup, I fill you up!” I’m sure you’ve heard the 2012 hit Red Solo Cup from Toby Keith, if not take a moment and enjoy the great tune. Finished? It’s great right? 
Where do you normally spot red solo cups? Just as Keith’s lyrics say, “Now a red solo cup is the best receptacle for barbecues, tailgates, fairs and festivals.” A large gathering is usually where you’ll find them. Why you ask? Well, as Keith says again “a red solo cup is cheap and disposable.” True that, Keith. Cheap, disposable, and the party host has minimal clean up afterwards. 
But wait. What does Keith say after all of this? “In 14 years they are decomposable.” Pause. You’re telling me that when I throw my handy dandy, easy clean up, red solo cups away that they will sit in the landfill for 14 years?! Yes, that is exactly what I’m telling you.
So there has to be other options right? Correct. Back in 2011 TerraCycle and Solo teamed up to create the Solo Cup Brigade, a disposable solution for the millions of single-use cups sold each year. 
Getting involved is incredibly simple. Individuals, schools, offices, non-profits and pretty much anyone signs up on the TerraCycle website. After you’ve collected plastic Solo cups you return them to TerraCycle, who will recycle them into playground equipment, park benches and outdoor furniture. 
And guess what. For every cup received, Solo will donate two cents to Keep America Beautiful or the member’s charity of choice. So you get to help save the environment AND raise profits for a charity. That sounds like a fantastic deal to me. 
Want to get involved and start recycling your Solo cups? Find out more by visiting TerraCycle.com. By taking this step today we’re taking a step toward a better future.  
Although Metro Recycling doesn't currently accept Solo cups, we accept a variety of other materials. Metro's goal is to make recycling easy for every member of the communities we serve. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Where can I recycle my old mattress?

I’ve at a few avid recyclers ask me what they should do when they trade in their old mattress for a new one. Are they recyclable and if so where can you recycle them? This is a great question. Since Metro is primarily a recycler of metals, we do not accept mattresses for recycling, but there has to be an organization or business that does right? With a little research we have some answers for you!
There are two options when it comes to your mattress. Reuse or recycle. Let’s discuss the reuse option first. 
If your mattress is in good condition, it may be easy to find a new owner for you mattress. Start by asking friends and family members if they’re in need of a new mattress or know of anyone looking for one. Another option would be to check with local churches, homeless shelters and community centers within your neighborhood. 
If you’re having trouble with those options, you may be able to give your mattress away on sites such asCraigslist or eBay. Check with the Salvation Army as well and they might even pick up the mattress to save you a trip. 
 If your mattress isn’t in the best shape it’s probably best to opt for the recycling option. The wood, foam, cotton and metal springs that make up most mattresses are all recyclable. The challenging part is finding a place to recycle it. 
When you purchase a new mattress, check to see if the store provides recycling. The manufacturer of your old mattress may offer a take-back recycling program. A quick call or web search should be able to provide you with that information. If you have no luck there check out Earth 911’s recycling directory to find out which recycling centers near you offer mattress recycling programs. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Plastics: Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is one of the most versatile plastics. Plastic can be made rigid, soft, or flexible and can be used for an array of different things from building to healthcare materials. Today, we're going to discuss vinyl siding. 
There is a multitude of benefits to vinyl siding. One being that it is more sustainable than most other types of exterior cladding. In a report done by “Plastic News,” they compare the environmental performance of vinyl siding, insulated siding, cedar siding, stucco, exterior insulation and finishing systems, fiber-cement siding and bricks and mortar. 
The report mainly looked at life-cycle and environmental-impact analysis but along with these also included reports on materials’ costs, toxicity and impact on human health. In most areas, vinyl siding outperformed other cladding. 
Some quick facts about vinyl and its impact in the areas listed above: 
  • Brick had more than four times the environmental impact of vinyl. 
  • Vinyl is cheaper to install, has a long life span, and requires little upkeep.
  • Vinyl’s weight also cuts down on the material’s global warming potential. 
  • Vinyl contributes less carbon dioxide per square foot than any other material excluding cedar siding. 
  • Vinyl and insulated siding scored lowest on the emission of toxins in the environment. 
  • Vinyl ranked lowest in human health impact—both vinyl and insulated have nearly zero impact on human health. 
  • Sustainable product. 
One of the greatest benefits to vinyl is that it can be recycled. A local recycling center, such as Metro Recycling, will pay you to recycle your vinyl siding, tubing and fencing. Recycling vinyl is very easy and the greatest part of it all is it can be converted to electricity and heat for the surrounding community. 
So next time you’re doing a home remodel remember that Metro Recycling will gladly accept and recycle your used vinyl siding as well as your vinyl tubing and fencing. With three convenient locations across the Chicagoland and northwest Indiana area it is not only easy to recycle your vinyl but well worth it. You can walk away with a few extra bucks and feel good because you made a positive impact on the environment. 
For more information on vinyl siding visit:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Metro Recycling Partners with Porter Parks Department

On July 11, 2014, the Town of Porter Parks Department and Metro Recycling partnered together for a town recycling drive. The residents of Porter collected cans, newspaper, cardboard, steel and much more, all which were put toward the Parks Department Summer Camp field trip. 
Metro Recycling was excited to present the Town of Porter Parks Department with a check for $125.00 on August 12, 2014. The items collected by friends, families and members of the community made a great impact not only on the summer camp, but also on the environment. 
In addition to the recycling drive, Metro Recycling also had the opportunity to present the summer camp attendees with a recycling presentation. Metro’s Education Director, LaRae Dykstra, spoke to the students about the importance of recycling as well as what happens to our environment when we choose not recycle. Dykstra also brought along a special friend, Scrappy the Turtle. Scrappy provided an educational packet for each student, which included a recycling activity book, magnet, recycling hero capes and a reusable bag. To close out the morning, students had the opportunity to create their very own recycling turtle. 

As a company, Metro Recycling recognizes the importance of community involvement. Metro Recycling strives to educate the community on the importance of recycling by partnering with community members, non-profits, schools and many more. For more information on Metro, their community outreach programs or how you can get involved, visit their website at www.wheredoirecycle.com.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How Long Does it Take for Glass to Decompose?

Being in the recycling industry, I always find it interesting to hear facts about materials that haven’t been recycled. Sometimes we may think that throwing an aluminum can, plastic jug or glass bottle in the trash isn’t that big of a deal. On the contrary, it’s actually startling to hear how long some of these items take to decompose in a landfill. Today we’re going to take a closer look at glass and how long it’ll sit in the landfill for. Hold on to your seats, you’re in for a shock!
Let’s start with some fast facts about glass. First, glass is 100% recyclable. To top it off, it can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. How neat is that? Glass is made from readily available domestic materials, such as sand, soda ash, limestone and “cullet,” which is just a fancy industry term for furnace ready scrap glass. These materials are mixed, or “batched,” and then heated to a temperature of 2600 to 2800 degrees Fahrenheit. From there glass can be molded into the desired shape. 
So how do we benefit from recycling glass? We benefit from recycling in a variety of ways. First, recycled glass reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials. Second, manufacturers benefit because it extends the life of plant equipment, such as furnaces, and lastly, recycling glass saves energy. 
So the big question. How long will glass sit in a landfill if it’s not recycled? The answer? A million years. As if that isn’t long enough, sometimes glass containers may not even break down at all. That number is mind boggling. The crazy part is that glass doesn’t degrade during the recycling process so essentially your glass pickle jar can be recycled over and over and over again.  

So next time you open your trash bin and think about throwing your glass container in with the trash, think twice. Take the time to put it in the recycling bin.