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Greening Steps

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Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month?

 

Whether you've had a friend or family member battle cancer, or gone through the difficult journey yourself, it's a good opportunity to think about the special warriors in our lives, and what we can do to help. 

Midwest Fiber's sister company, C.O.P.S. Paper Shredding is pleased to launch its 4th year of Shred for the Cure to fund cancer research and treatment through a donation to Susan G. Komen, a breast cancer organization that works globally in 30 countries!

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Have you ever wondered what happens at a recycling facility? Let's take a sneak peak of the material separation process!

 

Every hour, 44,000 pounds of mixed recyclables, also known as single-stream, arrive at Midwest Fiber’s material processing facility to be sorted. In 2014 alone, 318,876,000 pounds of material came through our facility before undergoing the next phase of the recycling journey.

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The other day, I was privileged to meet with a group of young students investigating the recycling process. Like any good investigators, they came prepared with a list of questions. We talked about what goes in the recycle bin, and how the material is separated when it gets to a recycling facility. But, like our bodies battle bad bacteria to stay healthy, the recycling process faces contamination on a daily basis. This led the kids to an interesting question.

 

“What’s the most common contaminant that we see at our facility?”

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How much do you know about the origin of Labor Day? Would this be you in the following scenario?

 

Some friends of yours decided to have a trivia night, and everyone is gathered around a table with soda and snacks. The scores are tied with two more questions to go, and it’s your team’s turn to answer. Finishing the last refreshing swig of soda, you throw the can into your friend’s recycle bin. With Labor Day quickly approaching, you can’t help but remember that recycling creates up to 1.1 million U.S. jobs.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Donna says #
    Love the Labor Day humor.

Posted by on in Uncategorized

For some it can’t come soon enough. For others, it encroaches like the outer wall of a storm front. Either way, a new school year is just around the corner!

 

Growing up, one of the most exciting parts of the back-to-school season was shopping for school supplies. Well, it was exciting for some of us. Not necessarily for the one scouring the store for every last item on the supply checklist, while avoiding near cart collisions in the store’s highest traffic area.

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With the hot and humid weather this summer, plastic water and soda bottles are pretty popular!

 

In fact, did you know that Americans use approximately 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour?!

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Are you looking for activities to keep the kids busy during the last few weeks of summer vacation? Especially on those rainy days when everyone is stuck inside?

 

Maybe we can help!

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The 4th of July is almost here! The holiday festivities will likely take you outside for fireworks, gathering with family and friends, and maybe even planning activities.

 

As you prepare for the weekend, how about thinking of ways to incorporate some green with the red, white, and blue?

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A common question in curbside recycling is whether or not bulky metals, such as frying pans, are acceptable in the recycle bin with aluminum and steel cans.

 

This is a good question, since metal pots and pans are certainly recyclable. However, the avenue to recycle these items resides at scrap metal facilities and bulky metal drop-off locations. In other words, the single-stream recycle bin is not the place for bulky metals.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jessie Harrison says #
    My husband used to be a welder and constantly had little projects going on. We decided that this week we are going to get rid of t
  • Midwest Fiber Recycling says #
    Hi Jessie! Thank you for your interest in recycling! Although scrap metal toters can hold quite a bit of material, the size and w
  • Eliza Cranston says #
    Thanks for sharing these options for recycling scrap metal. I have a lot of steel and aluminum scrap in my shed that I need to do

It could be…it might be…it is!! It’s starting to feel a lot like summer folks! And that means it’s time to take out the invention that not only gives kids something to do while they’re out of school, but serves as an ingenious way to cool down on particularly hot days.

 

Have you guessed it? It’s a Slip and Slide! You may be wondering what a Slip and Slide has to do with recycling, and there’s a surprising connection. It just so happens that Slip and Slides and plastic Kiddie Pools are frequent contamination items in curbside recycling during the summer months.

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In today’s environment of busy schedules and numerous school activities, difficulty arises for families to recycle in their homes. For those who live in areas that provide curbside (single-stream) recycling, the routine of mixing all recyclable materials together in one bin becomes significantly easier than separating paper from plastic from metal cans, and well…you get the idea!

 

But even with curbside programs, depending on the layout of your house, recycling can still pose an inconvenience. Although we want to keep materials out of landfills, and be good stewards of natural resources, that doesn’t seem to come into play when you’re sitting on the couch after a long day, and there is some serious muscle aching going on. You finish the last of your soda, and sigh as you look at the plastic bottle in your hand. And then the internal battle begins:

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Did you know that the Plastic Bottle Institute developed a material-identification code system for plastic bottle manufactures (#1-#7) in 1988?

 

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When it comes to the world of recycling, with advancements in technology, and improvements in residential programs, questions naturally arise about what and how to recycle. While residents try to recycle, their questions about the program often remain unanswered, and they aren’t sure where to go for clarification. During Earth Month, 2015, we would like to give you the opportunity to take your recycling questions right to the experts.

 

How?

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When people talk about using less energy, the terms energy conservation and energy efficiency are probably mentioned. While these words are closely related, their meanings differ.

 

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Sustainability…the buzz word of 2006 that’s still buzzing. What is this term that’s come to define everything from reducing water usage to increasing business profit?

 

Look up the word sustainability online, and the descriptions that appear include jargon, hackneyed, misused, overused, and well…I think you get the picture.

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Buying in bulk is a concept that has gained popularity through the years, mostly because it's a great way to save money, but also because it's environmentally friendly.

 

How?

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Our team at Midwest Fiber is pleased to announce that 2014 proved to be a record year for recycling, thanks to the businesses and municipalities throughout the Midwest that desire to divert recyclable materials from the waste stream.

 

As a result of their efforts, they recycled 318,876,000 pounds of commodities, diverting enough material from the landfill to cover 96 football fields...3 feet deep!! As you can imagine, this volume saves a significant amount of natural resources and landfill space.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Marie says #
    I wonder how much space a pound of air takes up? That has to be a huge amount considering air is what it is.

Whether you're reading your favorite book, writing a grocery list, or printing a flyer, you're using something that’s been around for nearly 2,000 years...paper!

 

Every year, Americans use more than 90 million short tons of paper and paperboard. That's an average of 700 pounds of paper products per person each year! Not to mention that the average office worker handles around 10,000 sheets of paper every year.

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As recyclable materials come to our single-stream facility at Midwest Fiber, they enter another phase of the product life-cycle, which involves the collection of raw materials to the destruction or recycling of the final product. With some materials, like glass and aluminum, there is no limit to the number of times they can be recycled!! So, what does a product life-cycle look like? Let's trace the steps of a milk jug, and find out!

 

 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Marie says #
    I love to see the life cycle diagram like this! I hope to see more

Posted by on in Uncategorized

As quickly as it came, Christmas is past, leaving behind good memories of family and fun, and more tangible items, like cardboard boxes and packing material. At my house, it's post-holiday clean-up time! As much as I'd like to adopt a new decorating scheme consisting of empty boxes and tissue paper, the clutter has to go.

 

What can be reused and/or recycled?

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IRA 2014 Proud Member 2

Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.

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