Author Archives: Mark Thompson

Taiwan has one of the highest recycling rates in the world!

“Over the past decade, we have experimented on over 1,200 different waste materials to figure out their mechanical properties,” says Huang as he sips a coffee from a cup made of broken iPhone screens. “Polli-Brick is just one success out of a myriad of trials and errors.” A 40-year-old structural engineer and architect, Huang, the…

China details scrap metal import restrictions for July

China has announced plans to restrict imports of eight different scrap categories – including aluminum, steel and copper – starting July 1. These materials previously were on the “unrestricted” materials list, but will be subject to restrictions and government approval under the new regulations, according to the Bureau of International Recycling. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment indicated that other departments…

Recycling: Where is the plastic waste mountain?

China introduced its ban on “foreign garbage” as part of a move to upgrade its industries 12 months ago. At the time, the UK recycling industry warned that the decision would be a “game-changer” and that it would be a struggle to deal with the country’s waste. Where is that plastic mountain? Well, it hasn’t appeared…

Sweeping single-use plastic ban proposed in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque City Council members have proposed legislation to ban a number of single-use plastics at retail establishments by January 1, 2020. If passed, the “Albuquerque Clean & Green Retail Ordinance” would prohibit the distribution of non-recyclable plastic bags, polystyrene containers and straws. Plastic straws would only be available by request to accommodate customers with disabilities, and paper bags…

China gets tough on US recyclables. How one Maine town is fighting back.

Beijing’s 2018 crackdown on recyclables was widely decried as a disaster for global recycling. Facing rising recycling costs, cities like Sanford, Maine, have found innovative ways to respond. Residents stormed into the office … They demanded to know why the city’s recycling service was suddenly refusing to pick up things they’d always collected – like plastic…

Why 2m kilos of Christmas cheese will end up in the bin!

How to cut back on your household’s waste… For many households the Christmas cheeseboard has become an elaborate affair – often resulting in a vast amount of waste. Now, as a new survey estimates that 2.2m kilograms of cheese from the festive dining table will be chucked in the bin this year, specialists are urging shoppers to…

Regional District encourages a waste reduced holiday season

Some suggestions about how to make holiday memories and not garbage! The Regional District Waste Reduction Office is encouraging residents to reduce waste while celebrating the festive season. “The ‘Make Memories, Not Garbage’ campaign is festive, fun, resource friendly, and provides some great gift and wrapping ideas that people may not have thought of that…

The future of plastics

UPEI engineering students get hands-on lesson in sustainability! First year students at UPEI’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering are getting a hands-on lesson in plastics and sustainability. It’s part of a new first year course called Sustainability in Engineering Design. “The idea is they’re to see how much we consume or don’t even think about…

Recycling costs are rising fast. This is why.

Connecticut recycling operations are struggling to cope with increasing financial pressures involving plunging prices for recycled materials, higher trucking costs, growing difficulties sorting trash and worries about President Donald Trump’s tariff wars. As their profits drop and expenses rise, many recycling operators are beginning to pass those costs on to municipalities and consumers. To read…

Young people say not recycling is a dealbreaker

Is “green” the new sexy? According to new research, 62 percent of Americans consider it a turn-off if somebody doesn’t recycle! The statistic emerged in a new study of 2,000 Americans examining the country’s relationship with recycling and found that you may want to add “I recycle” to your dating profile bio. It seems to…