Seven Reasons To Recycle

By Robert H Grigg & Benjamin Forcier Thanks to extensive marketing efforts over the years, plenty of people know that recycling is a greatly beneficial act, and many perform it, too. However, besides generic statements of “protecting the environment,” many still do not know what recycling can specifically bring to the table. As detailed by the United States EPA, here are seven of the most noticeable benefits of recycling: Reduces waste sent to landfills and incinerators (less burned materials means less pollutants released into the air)(Link to blog about trash burning?) Conserves natural resources (cut back on harvesting things like wood, water, or fossil fuels) Reduces the need to collect new raw materials (machinery and vehicles are needed to harvest and transport materials, burning fossil fuels in the process) By making recycled materials more common, sustainable goods made out of those materials will become more affordable. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves energy Helps sustain the environment for future generations (saving resources and lowering pollution) Creates jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries (people are needed to work in recycling plant as well as the product plants that use the recycled materials) If you wish to learn more about recycling in general, please visit https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics on the EPA website, or feel free to look up articles on your…

Reduce and Reuse: Cutting out plastic water bottles

By Robert Grigg Plastic water bottles are a fairly popular product, especially in the Americas. It’s understandable why, too: they’re portable, already filled, cold, and often filtered. The convenience they provide is great, however, the environment isn’t so fond of them. These commodities produce a huge amount of waste, with America alone using 50 billion of them yearly. On top of this, the recycle rate is only at 23%, meaning that less than a quarter of these are recycled and repurposed. Of course, you may be a very dedicated recycler and make sure that these bottles end up in the proper facilities, but even then their production still isn’t eco-friendly. America’s consumption of bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil to produce annually, and on top of this, these bottles are much more expensive for the consumer than if they were to just use a reusable bottle and filter. The cheaper plastics in the disposable bottles aren’t meant to be reused without proper treatment either, meaning that their degradation may pose health risks to consumers over longer periods of time. While Vixster prides ourselves on providing a great pickup service for your trash and recyclables, we still promote more sustainable practices in everyday life. For more information on bottled water, feel free to visit https://www.banthebottle.net/bottled-water-facts/ or look up other sources at your…

Out with the Old Electronics

By Robert Grigg & Benjamin Forcier As time flies by, things tend to change, and this is especially true for electronics. Whether it’s broken down, too slow, or simply not satisfying its user’s needs, electronic equipment often needs to be replaced. However, there tends to be a fair amount of confusion regarding what to do with old devices. Things like toasters or hair dryers can relatively easily be gifted or handed down to someone who doesn’t have such devices, but computing electronics like smartphones or laptops are more difficult things to handle. Simply throwing away what was often expensive stuff is a hard task, but at the same time, you can’t keep stockpiling a hoard of out-of-commission devices indefinitely and trying to make sure your stuff is going to the right place becomes a more draining task than it should be. Find a receptacle at nearby universities and supermarkets or ask a local electronics shop if they want it – they will most likely be glad to take it off your hands. Or you can find a certified electronics recycler closest to you on this map at SustainableElectronics.org. While the best option would be to give your devices to a certified, reputable electronics recycling company, for many people, especially those in rural areas, sometimes this is just not possible. Vixster will handle electronics upon request for times when other avenues of disposal are unattainable. Schedule a pickup time and get a free quote on collection by calling our team at 828-263-4276 (extension…

Think of the Animals

By Robert Grigg As trash continues to be collected, it continues to be taken somewhere. Of the 250 million tons of trash discarded by Americans each year, plenty of it unfortunately finds its way into the habitat of wild animals. Not only does poorly discarded garbage attract animals to areas often times far more dangerous to them, but the garbage itself can often times prove to be dangerous to interact with- just think of how birds often get tangled in plastic six pack rings or raccoons getting cut on the sharp edges of aluminum cans. However, there are things you can do to help cut down on injured critters: Recycling plastics and cans instead of throwing them away Retrieve fishing hooks and if you need to cut your line, collect as much of it as possible Secure trash or objects in the back of pick-up trucks, especially at higher speeds Cutting open plastic rings into safer, smaller pieces Secure trash-cans with animal-proof measures – Even if it’s just a rock on top of the lid Compost or throw out less unfinished foodstuffs which attract animals in the first place Discard trash in the proper places – don’t litter! Use a reusable straw or turn down straws at restaurants Smokers, utilize ashtrays and receptacles – Cigarettes are the most littered object on earth Always crush drink cans after rinsing quickly with water Wrap chewing gum in something and always see it into the trash can. Rinse out cans, cups, and jars – Hungry animals will get their heads stuck for a bite Carry reusable shopping bags! Plastic and paper are both very harmful to many animals These are among just a few things that you can do to cut down on animal suffering. Vixster strives to keep your garbage and recycling secure, and we ensure that your waste gets to the proper place without taking shortcuts. Please visit www.humanesociety.org for more information, or feel free to look up your own…

How Are Things Recycled?

By Robert Grigg People are well aware that you should recycle more often than not, but many don’t quite know the process in which their recyclables are repurposed. Let’s explore what happens after we take your paper, glass, and plastic waste to the proper facilities. PAPER and CARDBOARD: Collection and separation of papers Pulping (paper fibers are ground up and gradually cleaned into raw material) De-inking (dissolve the paper in water, aerate it, and bleach it) GLASS: Collection, delivery, and separation of various containers Sorting by color and washing Glass is crushed and melted together into molds to for further use PLASTIC Collection and delivery Sorting by different color and plastic compositions (7 different types of compounds) Ground and shredded to small flakes, then washed Melt flakes into pellets (raw material for production process) Of course, this list is a more simplified and streamlined explanation of the whole processes involved, but hopefully this article provides a better understanding of what repurposing centers actually do with your recyclable waste after companies like Vixster deliver it. Feel free to look up more information about these processes on your…

Paper or Plastic?

By Robert Grigg & Benjamin Forcier For years, this question has plagued the minds of grocery shoppers everywhere. Without a reusable bag, shoppers must choose from one of two evils but the choice isn’t as clear as it seems. First off, both bag types must be manufactured and require transportation, already putting a hefty carbon footprint on them. Looking at the manufacturing side of things, plastic looks much better than paper bags. Manufacturing and shipping Paper bags requires the use of wood, twenty times the amount of water, almost twice as much energy, and seven times as much space than paper bags do while plastic bag production emits much less pollution since the gas used in production is captured, frozen, and stored before burning into the atmosphere. Regarding the use of space, paper is outperformed again by plastic – for every paper bag being shipped in a truck or sitting in a landfill, seven plastic bags could fit in the same space. While uglier during production, the second half of a paper bag’s life is a little more eco-friendly than that of its plastic counterpart. First of all, Paper bags will degrade faster outside of a landfill and pose little threat to wildlife that comes in proximity to it. When a plastic bag ends up outside of a landfill, they will decompose very slowly and – like a rock eventually turns to sand – break apart into Microplastics which have recently been observed in massive quantities in the guts of aquatic creatures. These tiny fragments are extremely pervasive and nearly impossible to clean up without special equipment. While consuming microplastics in small amounts isn’t harmful, As creatures at the bottom of the food chain consume small increments of plastic, Larger predators such as fish, sharks, and whales will accumulate a frighteningly large concentration of plastic in their gut. Considering how easy bags are to recycle, Plastic falls short as special requirements prevent plastic shopping bags from being recycled with other traditional plastics. Paper bags can go in the bin alongside with the usual paper recycling, leading to a higher rate of recycling amongst paper-users Considering all of this, there is no clear consensus for which is best – it depends on where the bags end up. If one plans on putting in the extra effort to recycle them or if they can guaruntee their plastic bags will end up in a landfill, plastic bags are the friendlier choice. If one doesn’t plan on ensuring proper disposal/ recycling or if they live near bodies of water – paper is the best choice. While this post’s sources were pulled from Reason.org, OceanConservancy.org, and The National Ocean Service, one may want to look up the benefits and drawbacks of each to see what better fits your region and lifestyle. However, to avoid this dreaded question entirely, the best option is still to get in the habit of using cloth…