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Although winter days are short, and darkness commandeers most of the evening, neighborhoods are anything but dim this time of year. It's the season for Christmas lights!!

 

Whether clear, colored, indoor, or outdoor, these strands of cheery lights illuminate a holiday wonderland across the country.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rachel Steward says #
    Recycling is a great thing, but we have to try to reuse before that. We should trying to fix the lights before throw them away!
  • Midwest Fiber says #
    That is a great point Rachel! If something can be reused before being recycled, that's always a good way to reduce waste.

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Enjoying time with family, preparing for the holidays, and let's not forget about turkey!! Thanksgiving is a busy time for many people, making it no surprise that it's one of the most travel-heavy times of the year.

 

According to Nationwide.com, 56% of drivers will travel at least 100 miles, with the average long-distance trip length being 214 miles! And approximately 91% of Thanksgiving trips are made by car.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Each day is special for a number of reasons, and November 15th is no exception! Historic events that occurred on November 15th include the release of Batman on video tape in 1989, the first regularly scheduled flight over the North Pole in 1954, and the 68th U.S. manned space mission (Atlantis 7) launching into orbit in 1990.

 

And it gets better!

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Have you ever wanted to make your own Halloween costume, whether in search of a fun craft for the kids or a "green" Halloween? Here are some fun costume ideas that allow you to use materials you might have on hand for a fun night of trick-or-treat!!

 

Halloween and the Old West!  

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

It was a crisp October morning when I pulled into the parking lot at work. After taking my last sip of coffee, I made my way towards the office door. Nearing the sidewalk, I noticed something shiny and partly concealed in a pile of leaves. Smiling to myself, I picked up the object, and placed it in my jacket pocket.

 

"I found a penny," I exclaimed to the secretary as I passed by the front desk. She lowered her reading glasses slightly, and remarked, "That's nice Joy, but I don't see why you're so excited! It's only a penny."

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Did you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. During the month of October, awareness is raised about the importance of early detection and medical research.

 

When an employee's wife from Midwest Fiber's Sister Company, COPS Paper Shredding, was diagnosed with the disease in 2011, COPS felt compelled to lend their genuine support in an effort to contribute and hopefully create a meaningful impact. As a result, Shred for the Cure initiative for Susan G. Komen began.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

If a material is paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, or glass, it is recyclable...right? Fortunately, most of the time this is correct! However, just as the English language is notorious for "exceptions to the rule," there are materials that commonly trip people up when it comes to recyclability.

 

 Items that you don't want in your recycle bin:

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

A day dedicated to celebrating workers and their achievements, Labor Day originated during America's Industrial Revolution. A typical work week consisted of 12-hour days, 7 days a week. On September 5th, 1882, 10,000 workers in New York City took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history! Thankfully, working conditions have improved since then, and Labor Day celebrations continue.

 

As recycling became more prevalent in the United States, it contributed to job creation, like many growing industries. Beginning as a defensive strategy during WWII, recycling nearly disappeared in the late 1950's. The Baby Boomer generation worked to turn this around, and in 1970, with the emergence of Earth Day, 3,000 drop-off centers were started. By the late 1970's, these grew into curbside recycling programs that currently serve nearly every city in the country. As a result of this growing industry, approximately 1.1 million U.S. jobs were created!

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Excitement mounts as the new school year approaches! Store shelves fill with supplies, families pull out their checklists, and kids enjoy their last weeks of freedom. Among other things, this is a great opportunity for applying the 3 R's!

 

Reduce: Do you buy items in bulk? Packaging waste accounts for more than 30% of waste generated each year. Purchasing items in bulk minimizes what you have to throw away, and is more cost effective than buying individually packaged items. It also gives you the added perk of having backup materials on hand. You'll be so on top of things!

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I was recently asked a recycling question that I thought was worth sharing. The culprit: A Pringles can. The inquiry: Can it be recycled even though it's made of different materials? I did some research, and discovered that other bloggers and information sources said no. They gave helpful tips for reusing these canisters instead of throwing them away, but that's another topic for another day. Not to keep you in suspense, but let's keep investigating!

 

Going back to the original question, I would like to propose that Pringles cans are recyclable! Even though they are composed of metal, chipboard, and plastic, all of those materials can be recycled...separately. Yes, that's the key! If different materials can be separated, they can be recycled!

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Corinne says #
    If you step on the cardboard tube, once it's smashed the metal end should come off easily. I checked Kellogg's site and they say i
  • Karen Eide says #
    Does anybody know what number the Pringles lid is?
  • Midwest Fiber Recycling says #
    Hi Karen! Lids of this nature are often made from a combination of plastic grades.

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! It's always fun to celebrate our country's birthday by getting together with family and friends, and need I mention...watching fireworks! If your family likes soda, then you probably found yourself with extra aluminum cans after the festivities. Have you ever wondered what happens to those cans after they're collected with curbside recycling? Well, wonder no more! This metallic tale can be told in 4 easy steps.

 

Step 1- After the cans are collected from curbside bins, they are taken to a recycling facility, like Midwest Fiber, and processed there.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

We see them everywhere! Whether in waiting rooms, break rooms, offices, mail boxes, lobbies, and more, magazines are not scarce. In fact, they have been around since 1663, when the world's first magazine, Edifying Monthly Discussions, was published in Germany. Many popular magazines that we read today have experienced longevity. National Geographic first appeared in 1899, Reader's Digest started publishing in 1922, and the New Yorker arrived in 1925.

 

There is something that ALL of these magazines have in common. Can you guess it? Wait for it...they're all recyclable!

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It's a warm day in June. You've been working in the hot sun for over an hour, and decide to pull out your plastic water bottle for something cool and refreshing. It doesn't take long to empty its contents, and you happen to see a recycle bin a short distance away. What luck!! Tossing the bottle into the bin, you wonder what will happen to it after it's sorted at a recycling facility and taken to the mill. You know that #1 PET is a commonly recycled plastic, so you pull out your phone to research the water bottle's destination.

 

This is what you find:

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When we toss newspaper in the recycle bin, we know that we are saving natural resources, conserving landfill space, and helping the environment. But what does newspaper become after it's separated at a recycling facility and taken to the mill? The following pictures help tell the story. Recycled newspaper can be used to make new products such as egg cartons, berry boxes, kitty litter, countertop, and more! So the next time you throw newspaper in the recycle bin, remember that old news is still good news!!

 

A common question that we get in the recycling industry is what to do with caps and lids on glass and plastic bottles/ jars. The good news is, we have some answers!

 

Before throwing glass bottles and jars in the recycle bin, we ask that you remove the metal or plastic lids first. You can place the lids loosely inside the recyclable container, making eventual separation possible. By removing the lids from glass containers, you are minimizing contamination!

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Reduce, reuse, and recycle. These familiar terms encompass many "green habits" that are environmentally and economically beneficial. By using less of something, using a product again, and converting waste into reusable material, you are reducing your carbon footprint. The question is, are there things that we do in our day-to-day lives that reflect "the 3 R's?" Let's put "greenness" to the test!!

 

Do you ever...

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Have you ever seen a burn pile containing material that could have easily been reused/recycled? Wooden pallets are often discarded after showing wear, but there are creative projects that involve pallets as the main material!!

 

However, before reusing a pallet, it's always good to be aware of its origin. Wood is very porous, making it able to absorb any hazardous chemical that it was exposed to. So keep in mind how the pallet was used before embarking on a refurbishment project.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

For those of you who love to garden, but are pressed for time when it comes to the watering process, sprinklers can be very helpful. And there is a way to make a homemade sprinkler with a plastic bottle!! This gives you a chance to reuse your bottles before recycling them.

 

All you have to do is poke holes in the bottle using a nail, and attach a hose to the nozzle with duct tape. Not only is this a fun way to water the garden; it serves as recreation for kids in the summer.

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Excitement mounts as the spring season approaches. Most of us are counting down the days until warm weather, outdoor activities, green grass, and sunshine.

 

In addition to preparing for warmer temperatures, it's the time of year for spring cleaning!! I don't know about you, but I find myself wondering what to do with all of the t-shirts that are piled in my closet.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

The concept of reusing materials does not always refer to financial, environmental, or economic benefits. Although these are valid reasons to recycle, sometimes reusing materials is done with the purpose of serving others. I don't know about you, but I think that is a wonderful reason!

 

This story comes from my experience working at a nursing home, and the "materials" that I'm referring to are flowers...lots and lots of flowers. Part of my job was to create enjoyable activities for the residents. That is why I was thrilled when a local flower shop donated all the flowers that had reached their "expiration date," and were ready for the dumpster.

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Recycling helps families save money, especially in communities with pay-as-you-throw programs.

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