Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Recycling Gift Cards

‘Tis the season to receive gift cards a plenty! I’m sure many of us during the holiday season give and receive gift cards to their favorite restaurants, stores, gas stations or Movie Theater. What happens when the money on those cards run out? Are they recyclable? 
You may not know that gift cards are actually made out of PVC plastic. You also may be saying “It’s not like one little gift card will make a huge difference.” That’s where you’re wrong. More than 75 million pounds of PVC material from plastic cards enters the waste stream each year. 
One of the neat things about PVC is that it is infinitely recyclable. In reality there are very few curbside programs that will accept this form of plastic. While you can’t put old PVC gift cards in your blue bin, you can check for recycling companies that will accept gift cards as recyclable material. Check out Earth911’s recycling directory to see if there is a drop off point in your neighborhood. 
If you can’t find a recycler near you, Earthworks System accepts all forms of plastic cards through a mail-back recycling program. 

Although Metro Recycling does not accept gift cards for recycling, we do accept PVC tubing, piping and fencing. As stated earlier, PVC is infinitely recyclable. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to recycle your old PVC tubes, pipes and fences. To find out more about Metro Recycling’s acceptable materials, visit Metro’s website www.wheredoirecycle.com




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Metro Recycling Celebrates America Recycles Day

Metro Recycling is partnering with Barnes & Noble to celebrate the 16th annual America Recycles Day. This free event will be held at Barnes & Noble in Valparaiso, IN on November 16th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’re excited to be part of this year’s America Recycles Day,” said LaRae Dykstra, Marketing Coordinator for Metro Recycling. “We believe it is important to educate children and get them excited about recycling and the benefits it has for our planet.”
This special event will feature a reading of “The Lorax” by Mr. Abe, from The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County, a visit from Glen the Garbologist along with Metro Recycling’s Scrappy the Turtle, who will bring Metro Recycling’s recycling trivia. A scavenger hunt will be offered at 1 p.m. followed by arts and crafts projects for the kids including cardboard box projects and newspaper hats from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
America Recycles Day is just another great opportunity to learn how recycling benefits the planet and our community,” said Dykstra.
In addition to America Recycles Day, Metro Recycling focuses on increasing community awareness on the impact of recycling every day with school presentations and yard tours of their recycling facilities in Valparaiso, Griffith and Blue Island, Ill.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Decomposition: Aluminum Foil

Let’s talk about an item that you probably use often but you don’t often think to recycle. Aluminum foil is a common item found in most household kitchens. We use it to wrap, shine and even sharpen. 
Aluminum foil is 100 percent recyclable. Unfortunately, most of the aluminum foil used in the United States ends up in landfills. According to reports, we throw away enough foil each year to build a fleet of aircraft and recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
It may be difficult to find a recycler that accepts aluminum foil. The reason for this being that aluminum foil is generally contaminated with food waste. With that being said, it’s not impossible to find a recycler willing to accept the aluminum foil you’re looking to recycle. Metro Recycling is one recycler that does in fact accept aluminum foil recycling and pays you for it. Websites such as Earth911.com can aslo assist in your search for a recycler.
What is the alternative? The landfill. What happens there? The aluminum foil will sit for literally thousands of years. Next time you unwarp that casserole, think twice before throwing the foil into the garbage can.

 For more information and materials that Metro Recycling accepts and pays for visit our website www.wheredoirecycle.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Decomposition: Cigarette butts


You find them along the road. You find them in the cracks of the sidewalk. You find them in the sand on the beach. Still questioning what you’re finding? Cigarette butts. 
I bet you don’t even think about how often you see cigarette butts lying around. They’re everywhere. We’ve even noticed that if you put a cigarette butt receptacle out, they don’t always even make it into the receptacle. 
As our previous blog post about cigarette butts states, they are in fact recyclable. TerraCycle has a Cigarette Waste Brigade recycling program. This program takes cigarette butts and recycles them into materials such as ashtrays, picnic tables, and plastic palettes. 
Without a program such as TerraCycle cigarette butts would be sitting around for quite some time. It takes anywhere from one to five years for a cigarette filter to biodegrade. 
Next time you consider tossing your cigarette butt out the window or you see someone else do that, think of how many picnic tables could be made from all the cigarette butts lying around. 

Want more information on Terracycle? Check out their website and don’t forget to read our blog post about TerraCycle recycling. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How long does it take for an aluminum can to decompose?


We talk a lot about recycling. The benefits to the environment, items you can recycle, items you can reuse and much more. Although this is important conversation, it’s shocking to hear the how long it takes these items to decompose when you don’t recycle. 
It’s shocking when you hear how long aluminum can will sit in a landfill. It’s shocking to hear how much goes into landfills each year in the United States. There are items thrown into landfills every single day that could be recycled. Often times all it takes is for people to start thinking outside the blue box. 
For the next few posts we’re going to discuss common recyclable items and how long it takes for them to break down when we decide to ditch the blue bin. We’ll start with a well-known item that most probably thinks of first when they hear the word recycle. The Aluminum can. 
You may already know that if recycled, aluminum cans will be back on the shelf within 60 days. You may not know that if not recycled, aluminum cans will sit in a landfill for 500 years before it oxidizes. Imagine if that can had been recycled how many times it could have been used and the amount of virgin resources that could’ve been saved. 
Fast Facts on Aluminum:
  1. It is infinitely recyclable.
  2. It is back on the shelf within 60 days
  3. Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy than using virgin materials
  4. Twenty recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore
  5. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your       television for three hours.
So next time you consider tossing that aluminum can into the trash, consider these facts and think of how much needed landfill space, energy and materials you’ll be saving by taking a few extra steps to recycle.
Metro Recycling is dedicated to providing quality service while helping maintain a sustainable environment. For more information on our locations, hours and other acceptable recyclables visit our website, www.wheredoirecycle.com
Metro Recycling will accept and pay for your aluminum cans. Print off this coupon and bring it on your next visit to one of our facilities for 5 cents more per pound on aluminum cans. Taking care of the environment is everyone's responsibility. Do your part today. 



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Metro Recycling Celebrates 25 Years


In 1988, Metro Recycling opened its doors in Blue Island, Illinois with the goal of providing services that would not only impact the environment, but offer a valuable service to the community. Now twenty-five years later, Metro Recycling is a leader in the scrap metal recycling industry with three locations in Northwest Indiana and Illinois, and a growing presence throughout the state.
"Celebrating 25 years of service is an important milestone for our company," said Neil Samahon, CEO of Metro Recycling. "It's exciting, and we're proud of the accomplishments we've achieved over the years. However, we're even more proud to have been a community partner and a resource for the communities in which we serve."
Today, Metro Recycling has locations in Blue Island, IL., and in Valparaiso and Griffith, IN. The company has grown in terms of what recyclable materials it can accept. Each recycling center has different features and abilities in terms of processing materials; and, all three offer consumers guidelines and tips to follow in terms of recyclable items.
Metro Recycling has been working to lessen local communities' impact on the world by making scrap metal and similar products, easier and profitable for the consumer. The company's commitment goes beyond the confounds of physical locations, as Metro strives to help the community through educational workshops, competitive pricing, scrap theft prevention, and showcasing proper recycling etiquette.
"We believe that taking care of the environment involves the whole community," said LaRae Dykstra, Marketing Coordinator for Metro Recycling. "As a community it is important to be educated on proper recycling and scrap theft prevention, that is why we offer classroom talks and recycling guidelines."
After 25 years, Metro Recycling is still striving to be part of the solution for scrap theft and environmental pollution. Metro's strong commitment to consumers' needs and the environment continues to be evident in every aspect of the business. Supporting Opportunity Enterprises, local events, classroom education and more are just the stepping-stones to a sustainable future and Metro Recycling is proud to be a champion for the environment.
For more information on Metro Recycling, services, guidelines and community outreach opportunities, visit www.wheredoirecycle.com

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Recycling Education Presentations


Metro Recycling recognizes the importance of educating the next generation about recycling and the impact it has on the environment. As the 2013-2014 school year begins, Metro Recycling is offering educational presentations for classrooms of all ages throughout the region to promote recycling for everyone. The presentations are designed to be both a fun and educational learning experience for students. 
“We’re excited to be in a position to work with schools throughout our region,” said LaRae Dykstra, Marketing Coordinator for Metro Recycling. “Each recycling presentation is age specific, and we use interactive games, questions, and photos to engage students. We want them to be excited about recycling and eager to learn.” 
Metro Recycling strives to promote a sustainable community by increasing awareness about what materials can be recycled. The presentations focus on the materials that can be recycled and the impact recycling has on the world around us. Metro Recycling uses educational materials, including the Metro Recycling Children’s Activity book, along with the company mascot, Scrappy the Turtle, to help engage children and make learning exciting. 
Each visit isn’t complete without a visit from Scrappy the Turtle. Scrappy presents the students with their own Metro Recycling Activity book as well as an informational brochure for their parents.  “The best part is seeing the students faces light up when Scrappy walks into the room,” Dykstra said. “He really gets the children excited and engaged.” 
Since 1988 Metro Recycling has been committed to the environment. The three locations in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana believe that taking care of the environment involves the whole community. Metro Recycling presentations are designed to educate all community members on the importance and ease of recycling. 

For more information on Metro Recycling and presentations, 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Recycling Vinyl Siding


Vinyl siding is one of the most versatile plastics. It can be made rigid, soft, or flexible and can be used for an array of different things from building to healthcare materials. 
There is a multitude of benefits to vinyl. 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:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Metro awards three students with college scholarships


All around the county schools are getting ready to close their doors for three months of summer. Although this weather makes us feel like we’re stuck in March, the calendar will continue to remind us otherwise. 
As the school year winds down seniors will prepare to graduate and move on to their next adventure. College is an option for many graduates. With college comes heavy financial stress on most families. This year Metro Recycling was excited to be able to lessen this financial burden for three families in the Blue Island, Griffith and Valparaiso communities.
“We're very excited to be able to offer three students from Blue Island, Griffith and Valparaiso High schools the Metro Recycling Scholarship,” Neil Samahon Stated. “We recognize that the communities that we operate in are a key factor in our success and we feel compelled to give back to the community to express our appreciation.” 
The Metro Recycling Scholarship was sent out to all high schools that fell within the Blue Island, Griffith and Valparaiso city limits. 
The requirements to be awarded the scholarship were: 
1. Interest in Environmental Studies (preferred not required.)
2. Level of need.
3. Scholastic achievement.
4. Involvement in community, school, work. 
5. Evaluation of responses.

After reading through a multitude of applications the scholarship committee decided on one recipient from each town. 

Kathy Rodogiannis (Blue Island), Bailey Swan (Valparaiso High), and Caylee Adams (Griffith High) have all excelled in their classes and have been prominent members in their school and community activities. Each has given of their time and energy to make their high schools and community’s better places. As they continue with their education Metro Recycling wishes them the best. 

We’re excited to give back to our communities in this way and although this is the first year Metro has offered scholarships we’re expecting many more years to come.


Monday, May 13, 2013

DIY Tire Swing


We’ve been talking a lot about recycling and different items that places such as Metro Recycling can accept. But it’s important to also remember there is another word besides recycle that is important as well. That word is reuse. 
Some of the items we use regularly can be reused into something completely different. Let’s take tires for instance. Tires come in multiple sizes, but all can be reused into a staple at your local park or even in your backyard. Creating a tire swing out of an old tire is a great way to reuse it and will also give the kids hours of fun in your very own backyard. 
What does it take to make one of these? It’s pretty simple actually. All you’ll need is a tire, eye-bolts, S-hook, 3 shorter chains and 1 long chain, clip hook, connector links, and a swivel piece. Now, if you’re not a handyman this may sound intimidating, but check out this website with step-by-step directions and you’ll soon realize that any man or woman is capable of making a do-it-yourself tire swing. 
After you create your very own personal tire swing you can feel proud of not only the work you have done, but also that you did a little part in helping the environment. 
Although Metro Recycling does not accept tires we do accept a variety of other materials that you can't necessarily fit inside your blue recycling bin. Check out our list of acceptable materials here.


Friday, April 19, 2013

"In 14 Years 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 up 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 red 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, April 11, 2013

NWI Earth Day

Metro Recycling is excited to be part of the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Event on April 20, 2013. This entertaining, free event will be held at the Porter County Expo Center from 9am – 4pm. Northwest Indiana Earth Day will include family fun and educational activities on ways to live a greener life.
“We’re proud to be a sponsor for the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Event,” said Neil Samahon, CEO of Metro Recycling. “We want to engage the community in the benefits of recycling and provide educational resources on all the various types of materials that can be recycled.”
The 8th Annual Northwest Indiana Earth Day Event is open to the public. Many other organizations, schools, and businesses will all be in attendance and will supply many fun activities for attendees. Metro Recycling will feature coloring stations, recycle organizing, material education, games and more.
“I hope the community members come to enjoy a fun day with us,” said Samahon. “I want to help people understand that recycling can be fun, easy, and is ultimately the best way to preserve the earth.”
Earth Day 2013 will be an event to learn how to reduce your ecological footprint. Metro Recycling and other Earth Day participants want to work with the community to decrease the amount of waste harming the earth.
In addition to Earth Day, Metro Recycling focuses on increasing community awareness on the impact of recycling everyday with school presentations, and yard tours of their recycling facilities in Valparaiso, Griffith, and Blue Island. Metro Recycling helps reduce ecological footprints by accepting a long list of recyclable items, including but not limited to aluminum cans, copper, brass wire, scrap steel, scrap iron, stainless steel, radiators, vinyl and aluminum siding, electric motors, paper, and cardboard.
Since 1988, Metro Recycling has been committed to the environment. The three locations in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana believe that taking care of the environment involves the whole community. Earth Day 2013 is helping them to continue their efforts of educating staff and communities on the importance and ease of recycling.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Recycling Vinyl Siding


Vinyl siding is one of the most versatile plastics. It can be made rigid, soft, or flexible and can be used for an array of different things from building to healthcare materials. 
There is a multitude of benefits to vinyl. 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:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Less Saves Much More.


1,000,000,000. That’s a big number. What if I told you that’s how many pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year. Would you believe me? No? Good, because the actual number is 13,000,000,000. 13 billion pounds of paper towels—every year! That, my friends, is a lot of trees. 
So, why do we use so much? Well, there is an answer as to why. Paper towels don’t contain significant amounts of fiber for recycling when they’re dirty or wet. What happens is they degrade even further and in turn become completely non-recyclable. 
You may be asking yourself what you can do to change that number. First off would be to cut down on the amount of paper towels you use per day. If all Americans used one less paper towel a day, 571,230,000 pounds of paper would be spared over the course of the year. Joe Smith, former District Attorney for Oregon’s Umatilla County and former chair of the Oregon Democratic Party believes there is a way to use only one paper towel at a given time. 
His solution? Wash your hands, Shake excess water off your hands at least 12 times and fold the single sheet of paper towel in half. The one towel soaks up whatever leftover water hasn’t been shaken off and folding it in half makes it more absorbent. 
Next time you need to use paper towels, remember the impact that using one less sheet of paper towel can do for the environment. Take the first step and others will follow your example. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

That's tough to recycle?


If you had to guess, what would you say is one of the toughest items to recycle? Would you guess it’s a relatively small item used daily? I’ll give you a few hints. You use in in the morning and before bed, it helps keep your mouth clean and the dentist gives it to you for free. You guessed it, it’s a toothbrush!
One might be surprised to hear that an item they use daily is difficult to recycle. Why is it that something so small can be so complicated to recycle? Well, toothbrushes are made up of three different components—nylon, metal and plastic. All three of these materials need to be separated before they can be processed, which is where the difficulty arises. 
It’s pretty easy to determine which component is what on the toothbrush. The bristles are nylon and they are attached to the plastic handle by a metal staple. So, all three of these elements need to be separated before they can be processed. 
Once these components are separated, metals are processed through standard recycling, nylon and plastics are shredded, cleaned and pelletized for use in new products, which include picnic tables, benches, playground equipment, bike racks, garden tools and much more. 
So next time you’re sitting on a park bench, eating at a picnic table or even raking the lawn think about how those items might possibly consist of your families previously used toothbrushes. 
**Don't be afraid to wash and reuse toothbrushes for other projects. Throw your old toothbrush in the dishwasher and use it to clean the grout on your kitchen floor. Be creative and you can find many ways to reuse items! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wait, You Can Recycle That?


Cigarette waste can be found on most roadways and is very common in public places such as the beach or park. We have become immune to seeing cigarette butts on the ground and most people probably haven’t thought about recycling as an option for them.
A new partnership with TerraCycle now makes recycling cigarette waste an option. TerraCycle collects discarded cigarettes that people mail to them through their Cigarette Waste Brigade and turns the filters into industrial products such as shipping pallets and plastic lumber. 
Some may question the safety of the products produced with recycled cigarette filters. There is no need to worry. To be on the safe side, TerraCycle never uses recycled cigarette filters in any consumer products that might come into contact with food or other consumables. All filters find their way into new industrial products. 
TerraCycle’s goal is to reduce the amount of cigarette waste we see every day. Recycling this material will make a significant impact when it comes to reducing waste. By creating new products, such as pallets, from cigarette filters reduces both the amount of waste in landfills and the quantity of virgin materials needed to make new products. 
Want to learn more about getting involved? Visit TerraCycle’s Cigarette Waste Brigade webpage