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Taking the Work Out of Recycling

3 Things You Can Make With Old Plastic Soda Bottles

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Can Make With Old Plastic Soda Bottles

Sometimes, recycling means sending everything off to a recycling plant. Other times, it means finding ways to reuse items at home. If you have a few old plastic soda bottles laying around, consider reusing them to make one of these fun and functional items. A Bug Trap Instead of spraying yourself with mosquito repellent, try luring bugs away from your outdoor hangout area with this homemade trap. Take a 2-liter soda bottle, and use a knife to cut the bottom off, leaving it at a final height of about 4 inches. Use a hole punch to punch 4 holes into the “top” of the cut soda bottle. Space them evenly apart. Tie a piece of yarn or twine through each of the holes. Then, tie the four piece of yard together. Prepare a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar to 1 cup water. Hang the soda bottle near your outdoor hangout area, pour in the sugar mixture, and watch the bugs flock to it. Desk Supply Caddy You can store paperclips, rubber bands, and more in this recycled desk caddy. Cut the bottoms off of 6 1-liter soda bottles. Leave only about 2 inches of height on each one. Then, set them out in a 2-bottle by 3-bottle rectangle. Use a hot glue gun to attach them in this manner. The six bottle bottoms should all be connected. Paint the entire caddy with your favorite color of acrylic paint. Use a sponge brush to ensure the paint is distributed evenly. Let it dry, and then start loading it with your desk supplies. Bowling Pins On a rainy day, you and your kids can enjoy some indoor bowling. Add about 1/2 cup of sand to each of six 2-liter soda bottles. This is just enough to hold them upright without making them too hard to knock over. Screw on the lids. Then, use acrylic paint to decorate the bottles however you like. You could paint them like regular bowling pins, or be a bit more creative. You could even give the pins some personality by gluing on googly eyes and smiles with a hot glue gun. When the pins are dry, you can use them to bowl. Choose a gentle ball, like a soft playground ball, and roll it across your living room to knock down the set-up pins. Using a real bowling ball indoors is too dangerous! With these ideas, you don’t have to feel bad about the old soda bottles you have — they’ll be recycled into to good use...

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2 Tips For Exterior Maintenance And Upkeep For Your Business

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Tips For Exterior Maintenance And Upkeep For Your Business

When you own your own business, you need to ensure you have good exterior maintenance and upkeep. The last thing you want to happen is one of your customers to walk up to your door and see a messy and unkempt exterior. Follow the tips below to keep the outside of your business looking great. Trash Removal You can hire a company to remove your trash for you to make sure you keep up with it.  If you have a lot of trash on a daily basis, the trash removal company can provide you with a dumpster to keep it out of sight. You can also get more than one dumpster if you wish to recycle. This way you can put things that cannot be recycled in one dumpster, and things that can be in another. You can recycle things like paper, metal, plastic, and glass. If you have old computers and/or printers, the trash removal company may not take these. If not, you can find recyclers in your area that will take electronics from you. The trash removal company may tell you to use a roll off container. This is brought to your business using a special roll off truck. The truck lowers a hydraulically operated bed, and the container rolls off of it.  When the trash removal company comes to pick up the container, they use a winch and cable system to pull it onto the lowered bed, and then the bed raises into the normal position. If you do not have a lot of trash, they will provide you with garbage cans that you fill up yourself. When they are full, simply roll them out to the curb and the trash removal company will pick them up. You can set up a schedule with them to pick up the garbage cans on certain days and times that are most convenient with you. Visit E.L. Harvey & Sons for more information about trash removal. Concrete Exterior Over time, the concrete exterior of your building, as well as any paths or sidewalks, will become dirty.  Even though concrete is hard, it does require regular maintenance. One of the most important things you can do is to keep it clean. Discarded foliage and debris in the summer, and snow and ice in the winter, can take a toll on it, and damage the surface. Using a power washer to clean the concrete is the easiest and quickest way to do this. Use a mild detergent, or you can find cleaners specifically made to clean the surface of concrete at hardware stores. When you are finished power washing, you should put a sealant on the concrete. This will help keep the concrete clean and keep away stains. Purchase sealant made to be used on concrete. Follow the directions on the packaging on how to use it. If you have a large building, you may want to hire someone to clean and seal your concrete for...

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New to Cooking? Don’t Let Grease Damage Your Pipes

Posted by on Jul 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New to Cooking? Don’t Let Grease Damage Your Pipes

When it comes to cooking, grease is a staple in the kitchen. From keeping your food moist to frying foods, you likely use your fair share of grease when cooking meals for your household. It’s important that you are disposing of your grease properly. A common mistake some homeowners make is to simply toss the grease down the drain, but this seemingly minor action comes along with harsh consequences that won’t just affect your plumbing system today, but for years down the road. The Effects Of Grease On Your Drains The most important thing to remember about grease is that it can take a considerable amount of time to cool. If you pour hot grease down your drain, it can travel a considerable distance before cooling and solidifying. Once grease is cool and in a solid state, it creates an obstruction or clog. According to one study, oil and fat clogs account for 36,000 or 47% of all sewer overflows that happen each year. In addition to clogs, excessively hot grease can also damage pipes. This is especially true for drain pipes that are made from a PVC material. The hot grease can actually melt a hole in the pipe. If you are not immediately aware of this issue, each time water drains through the pipe, water could also be leaking out, causing significant water damage.   Repair Costs If you’re anything like the average person, spending your hard-earned money on a repair because of something you did isn’t exactly your idea of a good time. However, this is exactly the type of situation you will find yourself in if you pour hot grease down the drain. If you are lucky, yes lucky, enough to only have a small amount of grease buildup within your pipes you could be looking at repair cost somewhere between $100 and $200. However, should the grease clog travel deep within the pipes or cause internal damage to the pipes, you could easily spend $1,000 to repair the issue. Avoid these high costs by properly disposing of your grease. Proper Grease Disposal A great way to dispose of your grease is to take it to a grease recycling center, like Ace Grease Service. There are a number of these centers that will accept your oil to recycle and use it for a number of different purposes, such as for compost or fuel. To prepare your grease for recycling, first strain the grease into a metal container. This will allow it to cool and solidify. If you plan to collect a large amount of oil before taking it into the center, store the oil in a cool place away from an open flame. Don’t let your desire to quickly get rid of grease damage your pipes. Make sure you are always disposing of your grease...

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What Hazardous Waste May You Be Disposing Of Improperly?

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Hazardous Waste May You Be Disposing Of Improperly?

When you hear the term “hazardous waste,” you may think of nuclear reactors or heavy-duty chemicals housed in a solid steel barrel. However, your own household likely generates a fair amount of hazardous waste each year, and you may be disposing of this waste improperly. Not only can this harm the environment, it may subject you to fines or other civil penalties. Read on to learn more about some common types of hazardous household waste, as well as how you can properly dispose of this waste. Batteries If you’ve ever thrown a handful of old batteries in the trash, you’ll want to avoid this in the future. All types of batteries — from heavy car batteries to “button” batteries for hearing aids and watches to alkaline and lithium batteries for electronics — are subject to strict regulations when it comes to their disposal. These batteries all contain various types of heavy metals, which can leach into the soil and nearby water when thrown into a landfill. Most communities offer battery recycling at their waste disposal hub, and some private electronics stores offer this service as well. Simply placing your dead batteries in an old shoebox or baggie and dropping them off at the recycling center a few times a year can help avoid further contributing to this issue. Paints and solvents You probably already know that you should never throw oil or latex paints, solvents, and other paint-related products in the trash — but you may be at a loss as to how to dispose of them.  Oil-based paints and solvents (like mineral spirits and turpentine) are classified as hazardous household waste, and must be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility. Your community may offer annual or semi-annual collection days, or you may be able to find a facility near you that accepts this waste by searching on the internet. Latex paints are easier to dispose of, and can be donated or recycled. If there is a community organization in your area that constructs homes or paints murals on public spaces, they may wish to accept your old or unused latex paint. In other situations, you can just leave the paint in a well-ventilated area with its lid off until it dries to a solid state, then throw the can in your household trash for pickup. If the amount of paint you have would make this option infeasible, you can actually paint thick layers onto a surface (like old newspapers or wood), then dispose of these items in your household trash once dry. For additional information about properly disposing of hazardous materials, contact a waste management company, like B-P Trucking Inc....

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Why You Might Want To Consider Professional Document Organization Before Storing Papers

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Might Want To Consider Professional Document Organization Before Storing Papers

If you manage an office, you know how difficult it can be to go fully paperless. Some items just have to be printed out so that you have a hard copy in case your electronic system fails. But that leads to lots of paper files if your business stays around for a long time. Occasionally culling the files and shredding them helps, but items that you need to keep indefinitely often have to go into storage. Before you lock those papers away, have a professional organizer arrange them. You’ll be glad the files follow a consistent system years down the road. A Consistent System It’s very easy to throw files into a box for storage and forget about them, occasionally adding more and more boxes as the years go by. The problem with this is that as managers and employees change in the office, so do filing systems. If you put all of the files through professional organization or records management, then you’ll have everything arranged according to an impartial standard. Document storage facilities often have records management services on offer, or they have associated document organization companies to which they can refer you. Records management and professional organization companies, like Vital Records Control, still allow for some variation and customization, so you’ll have to meet with the organizers to work out exactly what you want. A Time-Saving Measure If you stick with the same organizers for future files, or if the storage company continues to do the organization, see about leaving your company’s filing preferences on file so that you don’t have to explain them each time. Also keep a copy at your company, so future employees know what to expect if they have to access the files. Having consistent filing organization will save your company a lot of time in the future. You won’t have to struggle to understand what previous employees were thinking when they packed away the files. If you need to store documents off-site, talk to the storage company about getting the files professionally organized. Do this before you need to get the files offsite because the organization can take a while, even if professionals are doing the work. It will also be less stressful if no one has to rush and can instead take all the time they need. This is especially crucial if you have a lot of old files that have faded over time and that have become...

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Where Do I Put All These Old Cell Phones?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Where Do I Put All These Old Cell Phones?

Maybe this scenario is familiar to you: You’re trying to clean out your life and you come upon a stash of once highly used but now “old news” cell phones, electronic cords, cameras, and battery chargers. Or maybe you have an old bulky and yellowed computer collecting dust in a corner that should instead be giving your house a bit more feng shui. “What in the world do I do with this?” is a common question. And you’re not alone.   Ever heard of e-waste? That’s the name you can give all of your electronic products that have lost value in your day-to-day life. And unfortunately, it’s becoming a big problem. E-waste is now the fastest growing category of waste in the U.S. and only 12.5% of it is currently being salvaged. What’s more, it’s hazardous and adds up to 70% of the United States’ toxic waste. The good news? There is an answer to your feng shui problem as well as a happy home for all your forlorn electronics. It’s called recycling. Many of your electronic products contain valuable metals and other materials that can be collected and reused. And qualified services that do this are everywhere. Here are a few you can check out: Recycling programs in your city or county that offer services for electronics (such as Arcoa). Major retailers, such as Sears, Best Buy, and True Value hardware stores. Be sure to check which specific products they accept. E-waste recycling events. These are often hosted by non-profit organizations, schools, or private companies. Internet companies that offer mail-in services. Some even pay you. Your device’s manufacturing company. Some offer credit toward other products. Private companies. Business owners will find these particularly helpful as they often come and cart the unwieldy stuff away for you. And sometimes pay you to boot. Nonprofits. They often focus on services that give old products to low-income families and needy schools. So, what are you waiting for? Dust off those electronic has-beens and send them to a corner where they’ll be more appreciated. Then take a step back and admire the extra breathing space in your abode. But don’t overlook the shinier and more environmentally responsible person in the room. Pat yourself on the back. You can look at these facts now with a little more pride (and a little less guilt): One million recycled cell phones can yield 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, 33 lbs of palladium, and a whopping 35,274 lbs of copper. If only one million laptops were recycled, it would save the same amount of energy as the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in one year. The amount of precious metals from electronic items that Americans throw out every year amounts to more than $60 million in gold and silver....

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Teaching Your Children The Importance Of Recycling – Why We Recycle And How They Can Help

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Teaching Your Children The Importance Of Recycling – Why We Recycle And How They Can Help

No matter where you live, you likely have the ability to recycle. Many cities or states in the US require residents to recycle certain items. However, even if not required, it is important that everyone do their part to help reduce waste. As a parent, there are a number of ways to get your children involved in recycling. Recycling Made Simple Children, especially young ones, don’t need a long drawn out explanation about recycling. They should know that items can be reused or recycled to prevent waste and help preserve our earth. Recycling means that a discarded item can be used again. It might be made into the same kind of product, or maybe something else. You may want to tell them that: Recycling helps keep animals safe. Things like the plastic rings that holds soda cans into six-packs can hurt birds, ducks, and other animals if they are irresponsibly released into the environment. Recycling leaves more room in landfills for things that can’t be recycled. Our earth can only hold so much garbage; we have to help keep landfills as low as possible. Recycling saves natural resources such as trees. Paper is made from trees, but paper can also be recycled. These simple concepts give children a good start to understanding a larger environmental situation. Getting Children Involved Once children understand the concept of recycling, they can start making use of what they’ve learned. If you live in an apartment or condominium, there may be recycling dumpsters for all residents to use. If not, there are dumpster rental companies, such as Lakeshore Recycling. Many areas provide homeowners and renters with recycle bins too, and they are often kept outside. Have your children make recycle containers for use in the house. You can buy some waste baskets or containers and let them decorate them in a way that will help identify what type of recyclable it holds. You should have at least three bins, one for paper, one for aluminum, and one for plastic and glass. Plastic is marked with a plastic identification code. Children who are old enough can be taught which codes your area allows to be recycled and how to identify them. The number is stamped on the plastic, usually on the bottom. It is inside the recycle symbol. You may want to make a chart with the identification numbers you are recycling. Teach your children to reuse items. Reusing is recycling within the home, and it not only helps the environment, but saves money. Here are some fun ideas for children to participate in reusing things: Wash and reuse plastic tubs from butter, margarine, cottage cheese, sour cream, and other food things that come in tubs. The containers can be used in the kitchen, but also in children’s rooms to hold small toys and game pieces. Purchase some canvas bags and let your kids decorate them. Use them for your grocery bags. Explain to children how you are reusing bags while preserving the paper or plastic bags the store usually uses. Save individual juice bottles and use them for a bowling game. Use juice boxes as building blocks for young children. Save magazines for making collages. Shred newspaper for use as bedding in pet cages. Once your children know about the importance of recycling, and...

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Everyday Uses For Shredded Tires

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Everyday Uses For Shredded Tires

A tire shredding machine does exactly as the name implies: it shreds tires. While shredding tires is good because small pieces take up less space in a landfill, there are actually other uses for shredded tires. Here are some examples of ways to use shredded tires for home projects: Playgrounds A playground is fun for kids, but it can also be dangerous. If your child falls from the playground, they might get hurt on the hard ground. One of the best ways to protect your little ones is to spread shredded tires around the playground. Build a box around the playground using boards, and then fill it in with shredded tire pieces. When kids fall from the monkey bars, they will land on soft and squishy tires. Garden Mulch Rubber tires are good for gardens. Mix small pieces of shredded tire in with your mulch and use it when you plant your flowers. The nutrients from the mulch will help your plants grow. The rubber won’t absorb water and take it away from the plants much like wood mulch would. The rubber does absorb heat, which keeps the temperature of the soil down. The best thing about rubber mulch is that it prevents weeds from growing, making less work for you. Tire Fuel Using tires as fuel is meant for industrial businesses. If you run a cement kiln for work then you might be interested in using tire derived fuel. It burns hot and is safer than other fossil fuels. It is also readily available, since old tires are everywhere. There are companies that will turn the tires into fuel for you, or you can burn it yourself. It is not recommended to use tire fuel for household use. It burns much to hot. It is great for small businesses that want to save money. Rubberized Cement Asphalt used to make roads is often mixed with tire rubber pieces. The rubber means less asphalt is used, which saves money. It also creates a slightly bouncy pavement that resists cracks and last longer. You can use shredded tires in your cement to achieve the same results. Use shredded tires if you want to pave your driveway or make a basketball court in your backyard. You’ll save money and make a longer lasting project. Once a tire has completed its life on a vehicle, it could end up piled in a landfill. Or, it could be shredded and put to use in one of these...

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3 Creative Fundraiser Ideas

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Creative Fundraiser Ideas

If you are looking to raise money for an event, a trip, or a community service project, you should think outside of the box when it comes to thinking of things and services to sell. People are more willing to donate items they don’t want, or spend money on things they need, instead of overpriced trinkets and candies. Here are a few things you want to consider doing for your fundraiser, to make it easier to get the money you need. Scrap Metal Recycling Go around and collect scrap metal that people don’t want, or advertise a drop off day when people can bring in their items. If someone has an item lying around their house and they don’t want to take it to the scrap yard on there, they probably don’t have a problem letting you take it or dropping it off. This will help you get cash for the items that are dropped off. The cash comes right when you turn in the items, and you are keeping the metal out of landfills in the area. Mulch Delivery Mulch is used to improve landscaping, and many homeowners will purchase this at the beginning of every spring, or once a year to make their home look great on the outside. Offering people a product that they already have to buy is a great way to make money. Find a mulching company that has no problem letting you buy the mulch at cost, and then increase the price per pound to the customers. Many landscaping companies may already have programs like this you can join. Gift Card Sales You can buy gift cards from local retailers and stores, and get people to buy gift cards to stores they were already going to shop at, like grocery stores and gas stations. This is an easy item to sell, because people are going to spend the money at the different locations anyway. People don’t like feeling obligated to buy things that they may not like or will never use, but they don’t mind being charitable or helping to raise money when they are also going to benefit from what they donate or buy. Collecting items for a large garage sale can be ideal as well if you can find a place to locate the event. Think outside the box when coming up with your fundraiser, to do something people will want to contribute...

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Should You Recycle Or Reuse An Old Hard Drive?

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Recycle Or Reuse An Old Hard Drive?

Some people need to change computers with every new year’s releases. Whether you’re interested in the newest device or in dire need of an entire department’s upgrade, you should be sure to look into certain recyclable materials and components that can be reused. As you remove old systems and prepare for upgrades, take a few of the following points into consideration as you remove the hard drive. Hard Drives Are Valuable When Working Or Broken The hard drive is a key point for computer use and recycling. As one of the main components and responsible for storing all of the information you need to run the computer and stay productive, it’s important to be absolutely sure of its working status. Why did the computer stop working? Was it because of an electrical problem, wear and tear or a virus? No matter the reason, the hard drive can be tested and observed for different symptoms before discarding it. Electrical problems can physically destroy computer components, but it isn’t common for all components to be damaged. In an electrical storm or other surge of power, the power supply usually breaks first with maybe a slight electrical burn to the motherboard. The hard drive might still be working. Wear and tear is harder to recover from. If the hard drive seems to be clicking, the platters inside the drive are likely scratched or worn out from constantly being read by the hard drive’s reading needle. A virus is not a physical problem. It may have stopped your computer from working, but a virus is a simple issue of corrupted files. You can format (or erase) the hard drive and start from scratch, or attempt to recover the hard drive with the help of a computer technician. All of these issues can be tested by putting the hard drive into another computer. If the drive is recognized, it’s working. If the hard drive isn’t seen, feel free to scrap the hard drive. Scrapping Hard Drive For Metals And Magnets The hard drive has a few materials that can be useful in the recycling system. Scrap metals such as aluminum and copper can be found in varying amounts, and it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the effort. If you have a growing pile of copper wires, there are a few wires that can be pulled from the circuit board built onto the hard drive. It isn’t much, but every bit counts when trying to meet weight standards at a scrap metal center. The aluminum is more plentiful. The hard drive’s casing and some protective inner walls are made out of aluminum, as well as a few bolts that hold the hard drive together. Since people collect cans for aluminum, a heavier hard drive is certainly worth the effort. There may be more aluminum in the average hard drive than a can of soda or beer, but the weight can be deceptive because of the glass-like platters inside. If you’re breaking open the hard drive, there are some valuable rare earth magnets inside. These magnets are sought after by industries and hobbyists alike, and may have fetch a great value at a scrap metal center. For more information, contact Recycling Center Inc. or a similar...

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