Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category

Making Trash Mean Something

Artists are usually ahead of the curve when it comes to being green.


From: Non-Trashy Recycled and Trash Art

Read and see more, lots more.

London’s cooking waste to fuel power station

Thames Water and 2OC in deal worth £200m over 20 years to turn ‘fatbergs’ clogging capital’s sewers into energy for sewage works and homes

Chips in a deep fat fryer. Thirty tonnes a day of ‘fat’ waste will be collected from leftover cooking oil supplies at eateries and manufacturers, fat traps in kitchens and pinchpoints in sewers to fuel the power plant. Photograph: Antonio Olmos for the Guardian

Cooking waste from thousands of London restaurants and food companies is to help run what is claimed to be the world’s biggest fat-fuelled power station.

The energy generated from the grease, oil and fat that clogs the capital’s sewers will also be channelled to help run a major sewage works and a desalination plant, as well as supplying the National Grid, under plans announced by Thames Water and utility company 2OC.

The prospect of easing the financial and logistical problems of pouring £1m a month into clearing the drains of 40,000 fat-caused blockages a year is being hailed by the companies as a “win-win” project. Thirty tonnes a day of waste will be collected from leftover cooking oil supplies at eateries and manufacturers, fat traps in kitchens and pinchpoints in the sewers – enough to provide more than half the fuel the power plant will need to run. The rest of its fuel will come from waste vegetable oil and tallow (animal fats).

The deal, worth more than £200m over 20 years, has made possible the building of the £70m plant at Beckton, east London, which is financed by a consortium led by iCON Infrastructure. It is due to be operational in early 2015. No virgin oils from field or plantation crops will be used to power it, says 2OC.

The plant will produce 130 Gigawatt hours (GWh) a year of renewable electricity – enough to run just under 40,000 average-sized homes, say the planners.


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Got some old T-Shirts

Want to recycle them?

T-shirt scarves – image: Crafternoon

Want to know how?

Visit Crafternoon and find out

Ecover to turn sea plastic into bottles in pioneering recycling scheme

Green cleaning brand claims plastic trawled from the sea can be used to create fully sustainable and recyclable packaging

Ecover will use plastic waster trawled from the sea to deliver what it claims will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic. Photograph: Joshua Mark Dalupang/EPA

Ecover, the green cleaning brand, said on Thursday it will use plastic waste retrieved from the sea to create an entirely new type of sustainable and recyclable plastic bottle.

The Belgian company is working with plastic manufacturer Logoplaste to combine plastic trawled from the sea with a plastic made from sugar cane (‘Plant-astic’), in what it is calling a world-first for packaging. Products made from the packaging will go on sale next year.

But the company was unable to give details of how much plastic would be retrieved or what percentage of “sea plastic” would be used in the packaging.

Ecover chief executive, Philip Malmberg, said: “We won’t have a definitive figure on the amount we will retrieve we are just hoping to get as much as is possible and give fishermen an incentive to join the initiative and help clean the seas. We want to get the sea waste in as much of our packaging as possible – it will always depend on the amount and quality of the plastic they have managed to fish.”

According to the Marine Conservation Society, plastic debris accounts for almost 60% of all litter found on UK beaches, while much of it ends up in the sea. The scale of the problem was highlighted in a recent study by scientists who found a sperm whale that died off the coast of Spain last year had a stomach full of flowerpots, hosepipe and nearly 30 square metres of plastic greenhouse covers.

Ecover was set up in 1981 and the UK is now one of its biggest markets, generating some 40% of sales. The company said it would work with the industry-led Waste Free Oceans initiative and the UK recycling plant Closed Loop to recruit fishing communities working in the British waters off the North Sea to collect plastic.

Boats outfitted with special equipment will be able to collect between two and eight tonnes of waste per trawl for cleaning and recycling, while other fishermen will collect plastic debris mixed with by-catch and deposit it at special collection points. The sorted waste will then be sent to Closed Loop Recycling’s plant in Dagenham, east London, where it will be processed and turned into the plastic for the new bottles.

Trials have already begun on the exact mix of the three plastics that will allow the brand to deliver what it claims will be the first ever fully sustainable and recyclable plastic.

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Got an Old Piano?

Well have you?

Can’t sell it, nobody wants pianos these days.

And you don’t know what to do with it…

Think outside the box:


Some Countries are Trying

Ghana leaves secondhand fridges out in the cold in bid to save energy

Despite a government incentive scheme, many Ghanaians are unhappy about the introduction of a ban on used fridges

A secondhand fridges shop at City Waste in a suburb of Ghana’s capital Accra. Photograph: Afua Hirsch

Behind a once mint-coloured concrete wall – now stained by red dust – in a hilly suburb of Ghana’s capital, Accra, a large machine is making history as it chugs and whirrs away.

It is a mobile fridge degassing unit – the first of its kind on the entire African continent, its owners say – and it is sucking poisonous gases out of hundreds of Ghana’s discarded secondhand fridges. The machine was imported from Germany by City Waste Management, a company specialising in the safe disposal of electronic waste.

“We take out the poisonous gases and we separate the oils,” says Vivian Atiaybor, 41, the field co-ordinator and public relations manager for City Waste. “Since October, we have processed 450 fridges here, and there are another 600 already waiting for us to collect. Many of these fridges are so old that even within our households they are already letting off poisonous gases.”

City Waste is separating and scrapping old fridges under a rebate scheme that incentivises Ghanaians to replace them with new ones in exchange for a subsidy of 200 cedis (about £70). Others have been confiscated from the port. Secondhand fridges have been banned in Ghana since 1 January, when a new law – passed in 2008 but delayed so that importers and dealers could adjust – came into force.

Officials say there are a number of reasons for banning the devices, including the use of toxic and ozone-unfriendly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – banned under the Montreal protocol – in fridges more than 10 years old. But the main reason was to reduce the energy burden on Ghana’s already overstretched national grid, says deputy director of the Energy Commission, Kofi Agyarko.

“Ghana has a lot of used refrigerators – we conducted a study which revealed that we had in excess of 2m, and that on average they were consuming 1,200kW hours of energy in a year,” Agyarko says. “That compares with energy-efficient refrigerators in Europe and America which consume 250kW hours in the whole year. That tells you the way we were wantonly dissipating our energy resources.”

Ghana is not the first African country to ban secondhand fridges; neighbouring Ivory Coast and nearby Nigeria have both introduced legal prohibitions on the devices in recent years. But Ghana is the first African country to use public funds to subsidise the process of replacing old fridges with new ones, having allocated 3m cedis for the scheme.

“We are leading the way on the African continent because we are not just banning the importation of used refrigerators. We have also put in place an arrangement to ensure that people who cannot afford to buy new refrigerators are cushioned,” Agyarko says.

City Waste – the sole scrapyard manager for the government rebate scheme to dispose of old fridges – earns its income by selling plastics to Ghanaian companies, which recycle them to make flip-flops and plastic containers. The company also sells metals, foam and other, more hazardous, materials extracted from the fridges to recycling plants in Europe.

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Think, Recycle… anything


Old Books

Normally books can be read and reread, but there comes a time when there’s just too many, or they’re not popular anymore.

How do you get rid of them?

Can they be recycled, reused?

There’s an idea, and that can lead to other ideas…

Homemade Biodiesel

First up, what is biodiesel?

Biodiesel is normally made from crops

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel formulated exclusively for diesel engines; it’s made from vegetable oil or animal fats.

There are a number of pros and cons and they can be found here along with more information.

But what about this ‘homemade’ bit?

When one thinks of fuels, one automatically thinks, service (gas) stations, big petroleum companies, high finance, need to drill for oil.

But that’s not strictly true.

For a modest investment you can refine biodiesel in your garage. Now I haven’t looked seriously at the cost factor or producing biodiesel at home compared with what you can get at the service station, if you can get it. But one report on Popular Mechanics estimates 50c a gallon.

For the person who can’t get it, i.e. it’s not available in your area, then you have an alternative.

From this to your car/truck/tractor tank

Biodiesel is normally made from oil producing crops by big companies. But there is a source of vegetable oils that can be used. Vegetable oils that have been used by the food industry are just begging to be recycled.

Commercial units are available, but you can do the same thing with plastic buckets and a paint stirrer.

Restaurants, fast food outlets, etc use a lot of vegetable oil. If you can find such a source that has yet to be tapped you can take their oil for the price of collecting it, or maybe a small fee. Most outlets are just pleased that they don’t have to bear the cost of disposal.

Once you have the vegetable oil, it is a simple process that takes a few days and you have biodiesel at home to add to your fuel.

So for a person looking at cutting costs and being a serious recycler, this is worth investigating.

You can find many sources on the web about making homemade biodiesel, but this one at has two links that give you the step by step details.

Learn the Biodiesel Making Process Step by Step – Part 1

Learn the Biodiesel Making Process Step by Step – Part 2




Old PC & Imagination

Do you have an old PC lying around? Most of us have.  The world is full of dead and dying PCs.

They can be recycled…

But then, they can be recycled…

using a little imagination.

A hamster cage, or…

A mailbox, or…

Something arty, or…

A grind wheel, or…

A clock, or…

Another clock, or…

Earrings, or…

A keychain, or…

A box for, well, things, or if all else fails…

A grill!

You see, just a little imagination…

Recycle your old PC

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