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Greening Steps

Recycling During the Holidays

Did you know that the month of December holds record high recycling tonnages in curbside programs?

 

As people shop for Christmas gifts, receive packages in the mail, and prepare meals for family gatherings, recyclable packaging becomes abundant in the forms of cardboard boxes, chipboard, plastic bottles, and more!

 

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Recycling at Thanksgiving Dinner

Ah, the excitement of Thanksgiving dinner with the family!

 

Everyone gathered around the table enjoying each other’s company, delicious food, and the cheer of the season. If it’s your turn to host the meal, that can be particularly enjoyable! However, it can also induce moments of stress.

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America Recycles Day Photo Contest

If you're looking for something fun for the kids to do at home, or if you want to encourage recycling education in the workplace, nothing spiffs up a recycling program like an adorable mascot!

 

In honor of America Recycles Day on November 15th, Midwest Fiber Recycling is hosting a Pet Green Hero Photo Contest! 

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How to Start a Recycling Program

Starting a business recycling program is easy, but where do you begin?

 

The phrase, “the devil is in the detail,” came from somewhere.

 

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Consumer Behavior and Recycling

Consumer behavior is commonly defined as the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these processes have on the consumer and society.

 

Whether we realize it or not, biases impact the way we select, use, and dispose of products.

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Recycling Opportunities Expand in Champaign-Urbana

Midwest Fiber Recycling is excited to announce the acquisition of Community Resource Inc. (CRI) in Urbana, IL; a sales agreement combining two companies' capabilities, knowledgeable teams, and customized recycling services.

 

Midwest Fiber was excited to purchase the operation from Matt Snyder, who began CRI with its recycling services to commercial and industrial customers in 1996. Known for its flexible services and knowledgeable staff, CRI uses a combination of company-owned hauling equipment and contracted carriers across the United States to ship approximately 1,500 truckloads of recyclables each year!

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Wishful Recycling

"Wishful Recycling Threatens Single-stream Process." This article posted by NPR from Illinois State University focuses on an increasingly relevant topic in the realm of recycling. Just how much does contamination matter, and how does it affect the recycling process?

 

Similar to the 1989 film drama, Field of Dreams, the idea that “If you build it, they will come” manifests itself as wishful recycling. When presented with hard-to-recycle items, the general thought is “If I put it in the bin, it will get recycled.”

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Cardboard Recycling Tips

For a material that can save 9 cubic yards of landfill space for each ton that's recycled, cardboard is also a highly sought commodity in the scrap market!

 

However, just generating a lot of cardboard doesn't necessarily mean that you're getting the best value for your material. The price that recyclers pay for cardboard will be influenced by the following:

 

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Why a Once-Used Box?

Whether you’re shopping online and having items shipped to you, mailing products to a customer, or moving materials from one location to another, you’re probably going to run across (but hopefully not trip over) a cardboard box!

 

 

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Why a baler?

Does the following scenario sound familiar?

You receive a large package of company supplies in the mail, and now have the task of making sure the cardboard box finds its way to the recycle bin/dumpster. You walk to the dumpster, open the lid, and discover that yours wasn’t the only cardboard box that the business received in the past week.

 

In fact, there isn’t any more room for your rather bulky item, so you flatten it as best you can, and cram it in the largest space available. Your good deed completed for the day, you venture back into the office to tackle the next project.

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2016 Recycling Totals

As Central Illinois’ largest full-service recycler serving areas including Bloomington IL, Champaign IL, Decatur IL, Peoria IL, Springfield IL, and Terre Haute IN, Midwest Fiber Recycling specializes in helping our customers reduce waste costs, increase efficiencies, and maximize dollars earned on recyclable materials.

How much material was recycled at Midwest Fiber in 2016?

Because of the excellent work that businesses and municipalities continue to display with their recycling programs, we are excited to report 325,882,000 pounds of materials recycled in 2016! The commodities were shipped to mills around the world and used to make new products. Plastic water bottles become carpet, milk jugs turn into plastic decking, and fiber is made into a variety of paper products.

 

What would over 300 Million pounds of material look like?

This is an amount of material that could completely cover 100 football fields, and fill an entire football stadium from bottom to dome. Thanks to your recycling initiatives, it was all kept out of the landfill!

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Organizing after the New Year

For many people, beginning the New Year brings the desire to start with a clean slate when it comes to clutter.

 

Somehow, it doesn’t seem right to leave last year’s mess for this year, so commonly pursued resolutions are to clean out, de-clutter, purge, and so on. There’s nothing like starting new projects and tasks with a clean and organized work space!

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Recycling at Christmas

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas as lights illuminate neighborhoods, decorations emerge in store windows, and families make plans for the holidays?

 

Communities surge with activity as people venture out to find the perfect gift for loved ones, prepare for family gatherings, and celebrate the season.

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Tracking a Recycling Program

When a business begins a recycling program, the decision is usually spurred in part by one or more of the following factors:

  1. A relatively large portion of a company’s waste stream is composed of recyclable material that could bring in revenue or reduce waste cost when processed in an efficient manner.
  2. Waste costs are increasing with combined hauling and landfill fees.
  3. A business has green initiatives and wants a recycling program to be the hub of various sustainable goals throughout the workplace.

 

These factors require a call-to-action, and after a recycling company is consulted to help initiate and maintain a customized service, the process begins.

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Halloween Costumes Made from Recyclable Material

Halloween is quickly approaching, and the scamble to find the perfect costume is on!

 

If you're someone who likes to make your own costumes, either to save money or simply enjoy some craft time, we gathered ideas that will hopefully come in handy!

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Shred for the Cure is back!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, C.O.P.S. is launching its 5th “Shred for the Cure” campaign for Susan G. Komen!

 

Midwest Fiber's Sister Company, C.O.P.S. Paper Shredding, is excited to start the next "Shred for the Cure" this October! The initiative has seen increasing levels of participation since it began in 2012, and the last 4 years produced a total donation amount of $17,727.64! This contribution wouldn’t have been possible without the involvement of businesses supporting the initiative by scheduling their shred jobs with C.O.P.S. during the month of October.

 

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Reuse in Action

The 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) are an increasingly common theme today. While all 3 work together to limit waste and promote sustainability, each category has its own unique skill set.

 

For example, when dealing with waste reduction, critical thinking is needed to plan stream-line processes that create the least amount of waste possible. When reusing material, creativity is a vital part of coming up with new purposes for common materials, and recycling takes on an economical and commercial role in waste reduction.

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Recycling Programs Revisited

As a new fiscal year begins for many businesses, reevaluation is in the air! Questions like how many programs are in place, what is the cost to benefit analysis of each program, how can we maximize efficiency, and you can probably complete the subsequent stream of questions that will flood the conference room on this topic.

 

The review and analysis of processes can be daunting, especially when markets are constantly changing, but it’s an important part of any business strategy.

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Getting the kids involved

Earth month generates a lot of activity in the world of recycling, and one of the things I like most about participating in community events is the opportunity to listen to people and hear first-hand what they think is convenient about recycling, what they find confusing, and the terrific ideas they have about keeping the recycling process efficient at home.

 

A couple moms that I spoke with shared wonderful ways that their kids get involved in the family recycling operation. They exclaimed that their children enjoy being in charge of something, and (whether they realize it or not) learn important information along the way.

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Spring Cleaning and Recycling

 

Spring Cleaning

 

As you and your family enjoy the last few days of spring break, are you in the process of the dreaded spring cleaning? Maybe you have a knack for organization, and tackling spring cleaning is easy with a fool proof strategy of unbridled efficiency, or perhaps you don’t let clutter happen in your home.

 

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Well-designed programs save money. Communities have many options available to make their programs more cost-effective, including maximizing their recycling rates, implementing pay-as-you-throw programs, and including incentives in waste management contracts that encourage disposal companies to recycle more and dispose of less.

422 S. White Oak Road  •  Normal, IL 61761  •  (309) 452-0064