What are the Best Apps for Recycling?

These days, mobile phones are good for so much more than keeping in contact with others. Since the advent of mobile applications, individuals can use their devices learn about new topics, play games, and engage in other activities. In recent years, there has even been in influx of apps that help make it easier to live sustainably.

One particular area of focus has been recycling. Numerous companies and municipalities have released apps that help connect individuals to the resources that they need to enhance their recycling capabilities.

Here are a few of the best recycling apps available today:

iRecycle

I RecycleEarth911 developed its iRecycle app to teach United States users about how and where to recycle in their local area. Available for both iOS and Android devices, the app makes recycling more convenient than ever by providing more than 1.5 million ways for consumers to recycle or repurpose hundreds of materials.

Additionally, users can employ iRecycle’s search feature to find recycling centers or initiatives that are close to their current locations. In addition to these services, the app has also incorporated a section for articles that keep consumers up-to-date with the latest recycling information.

Happen

happn logoAvailable to the residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, Happen is creating a more sustainable community by providing the resources that locals need to conserve resources and recycle. To help “make good things happen,” the app connects individuals with various green actions and events that they can join.

Through Happen, locals can also network with one another and participate in challenges to benefit the environment. Those who participate in green activities with Happen will receive rewards for their efforts. Users can also share their progress to their social media accounts.

RecycleNation

recyclenation logoPreviously known as 1800Recycling, RecycleNation helps make connections between individuals and the recycling centers that take their various materials. The app has combined all of the most common recyclables into more than a dozen umbrella categories, which makes searching for various items a breeze. With this feature, users can create recycling lists and learn how they can safely dispose of each recyclable.

RecycleNation also employs location services to help individuals find all the drop-off locations that are near them or search for specific facilities. Using all of these features, the app hopes to simplify recycling so as to encourage more individuals to participate.

Trash Chaos

trashchaosapplogoThose who wish to teach their children about the importance of living sustainably should look no further than Trash Chaos. Available only for iOS devices, this “edutainment” app allows children ages 7 and older to enjoy 24 levels of gameplay that are interwoven with information about recycling and waste management.

During the game, children play as part of a group called the Yogome Squad, which must defeat Evil Queen Ignorantia. She and her army of Ignarus are attempting to pollute the planet with trash, but the player can overcome them by separating paper, plastic, and organic items into their designated recycling containers as they fly across the screen. At the end of every level, Trash Chaos displays a slide that supplies players with interesting recycling facts.

Recyclebank

recyclebanklogoWith more than 10,000 installs, the iOS and Android-enabled Recyclebank has become the go-to app for those who are looking to make recycling more exciting. Through this outlet, users can easily schedule and create reminders for basic recycling activities such as bulk collection, drop offs, and weekly pickup days.

However, the most beneficial aspect of Recyclebank lies in its rewards program. In order to incentivize the recycling process, the app allows its users to accumulate points for each time they recycle. Recyclebank has even established a number of “rewards milestones” that users can work towards. As they build up points, they can see exactly how many they have and determine which rewards they obtain. With their Recyclebank points, users can cash them out for gift cards and discounts at various eateries, supermarkets, and other merchants.

Gimme 5

gimme5logoSince its debut in 2014, the Gimme 5 app has assisted those who are looking to recycle any of the number 5 plastics, or polypropylenes. The app provides users with a detailed list of number 5 plastics, so they can determine which items belong in this group and which do not. Moreover, Gimme 5 can also guide its users to local recycling locations that accept number 5 plastics.

As they recycle, individuals can monitor their progress and see how they are doing in comparison to others in their community. They can also earn rewards points that they can later redeem through Recyclebank.

Recycling Track Systems

RTSlogoFor those living in New York, local waste management technology firm Recycling Track Systems has developed an innovative application that eases the process of recycling and waste removal. Designed specifically for businesses, the app allows users to arrange for on-demand pickup by completing a few simple steps.

After inputting the pickup location, businesses can select from a list of various items, including industrial appliances and furniture. As they add different items to their pickup list, businesses can upload photographs and other information that assist during collection. Otherwise, users can choose the “Just Take It All” option and have Recycling Track Systems retrieve any item that they need to dispose of. With these steps complete, they need only select a retrieval date and time. Each pickup order comes with clear-cut pricing and invoices to help users keep track of recycling expenses.

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7 Major Companies with the Most Innovative Recycling Programs

There is no doubt that recycling is a team effort. While individuals are taking extra steps to reduce, reuse, and recycle the products they use every day, businesses must do the same. A number of major international companies are already doing their part with recycling initiatives that allow them to both recycle their own products and keep other items out of the waste stream. From electronics giants to famous apparel brands, here are seven of the most notable companies with innovative recycling programs:

  1. Dell

Dell logoLooking to target the issue of e-waste, Dell has created a policy that enables its customers to dispose of their old electronics in a safe, environmentally friendly way. The company will accept and recycle any of its branded items. Those who have non-Dell electronics may also submit them for recycling, but only if they then purchase one of the company’s branded products. Consumers may drop off their items at affiliate Goodwill locations or mail them to the company with a free shipping label.

Dell’s unique e-waste recycling initiatives do not stop there, however. Through a partnership with the National Cristina Foundation, the company connects customers with charities and schools that could benefit from used electronics. Dell also operates a printer supplies recycling program that allows individuals to bring old printer cartridges to Dell Reconnect sites or Staples office supply stores for safe disposal.

  1. Method

Though known primarily for its line of cleaning products, Method has made a new name for itself in the realm of recycling. The company is looking to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean by working with groups who remove plastic from Hawaii’s shores and recycling these materials into eco-friendly bottles. In collaboration with Envision Plastics, Method has developed its innovative Ocean Plastic 2-in-1 Dish + Hand Soap bottle, which uses both ocean plastic and other post-consumer materials. These biodegradable bottles are the first of their kind to use ocean plastic as their main component.

  1. Crayola

crayola logoSince initiating the ColorCycle program, Crayola has worked to reuse old art supplies and teach children about the importance of recycling. Any K-12 school may take part in the initiative, which invites students to collect old Crayola markers and send them back to the company. Crayola provides prepaid, printable shipping labels, so schools can participate in the initiative for free. The company uses the returned markers to make a clean-burning fuel. Educators can also use Crayola’s specially designed lesson plans to teach their students about recycling and environmental sustainability.

  1. Nike

Nike is shrinking its environmental impact by transforming old sneakers into a new material called Nike Grind. Made of recycled polyester and other reused substances, this new, sustainable material is now used in nearly three-quarters of all Nike products. In addition, the company uses Nike Grind to create durable running tracks, tennis courts, and other surface coverings. Those looking to support Nike in their sustainability efforts may participate by donating their old, worn-out shoes through the company’s Reuse-A-Shoe program.

  1. Levi’s

Levi's LogoFamed retailer Levi’s is working with clothing collection firm I:CO to offer a one-of-a-kind recycling garment program. People who wish to dispose of their old clothing and footwear—whether Levi’s brand or not—may take their unwanted items to any of the company’s U.S. stores. In return for their donation, they receive a coupon that awards them 20 percent off their next Levi’s store purchase. I:CO then collects the used clothing and shoes and prepares them for recycling if they cannot be reused.

  1. Adidas

Another company that is tackling ocean plastic pollution is Adidas. The company has made a huge recycling impact thanks to a partnership with Parley for the Oceans, which recovers plastic from the sea. With the help of the organization, Adidas has developed a line of sustainable footwear called the Parley series. As of May 2017, the line includes three versions of the company’s UltraBoost shoe, which is made of reclaimed ocean plastic. By the end of the year, Adidas hopes to manufacture one million of these shoes. With each UltraBoost shoe requiring 11 bottles to make, this would help remove 11 million bottles from the ocean.

The Parley series is far from Adidas’ first sustainable venture. In the past, the company has created smaller, limited product lines made of recycled polyester. Adidas also previously used recovered ocean plastic in their soccer uniforms.

  1. Brita

In collaboration with Haws and TerraCycle, Brita has made it easier than ever for its customers to recycle their used water bottles and filters. Once they’ve collected five pounds of old Brita products, people can pack them in a box, print out a complimentary shipping label, and mail them to TerraCycle for safe recycling. The company recycles the Brita products into new plastic items, such as outdoor seating and watering cans. The materials in the Brita filters are converted into energy.

What You Need to Know about Composting

In recent years, composting has become an increasingly popular method of diverting organic materials from landfills and recycling them into nutrients for gardens. If you are looking to start composting at your home, then you will need to understand how it works, how to start, and how to successfully maintain your pile. You can compost with ease by adhering to the following tips:

Know where and how to start.

In order to make the most out of your compost pile, you will need to know how to start one and where to put it. The optimal location for a compost pile is outside on the ground, preferably in a flat spot that contains ample drainage. This will enable organisms such as worms to enter the pile and begin breaking down the materials contained within them.

compost-419261_1280

Once you select a location, you will need to determine how you will begin building your compost pile. To expedite the process of biodegradation, you should aim for a pile that is 3 feet in depth, height, and width. You can build your own basic compost container out of materials such as wood pallets, trash receptacles, and cinderblocks. Otherwise, you should consider purchasing one of the numerous styles of ready-made bins available on the market. They are typically available in one of two styles: stationary and tumbler. Simply do some research to see which type of bin will best suit your composting needs.

Add the right materials.

Once you have a compost bin set up, you will need to begin filling it. As such, you must understand the various do’s and don’ts of what to add to your compost pile. You can put all manner of kitchen scraps and yard trimmings into your pile. “Greens” such as peels from produce, plant trimmings, and tea bags all make great additions to a compost bin because they degrade quickly and add a good amount of nitrogen to the pile. You will also need to add carbon-filled “browns” to your compost pile. This category includes everything from eggshells and animal fur to dried leaves and paper. You can also add waste from farmyard animals to your compost pile to incorporate even more nutrients.

When building your compost pile, you should also remain mindful of those items and materials that you should never add. You should keep anything from the meat and dairy categories out of the compost bin and put it in the trash can. Although you can incorporate some plants and trimmings, you should not add any type of weeds to your pile. Moreover, you should never add pet waste, as this can invite pests into your compost bin.

Shred what you plan to compost.

composte

It’s not enough to simply pack all of your compost into a large pile. In order to help the materials break down more quickly, you will need to make sure that your bin has proper aeration. To this end, you will need to shred or cut most of the materials that you plan to compost. This is a particularly important step to take when you are adding brown materials such as paper, cardboard, and leaves to your pile. These items are inherently more difficult to break down, so cutting them into smaller pieces will hasten the composting process. When in doubt, remember that smaller is better. Make sure that all items are 2 inches or shorter before putting them into your compost pile.

Maintain the right balance.

When looking to create the best-quality compost, you will need to create a perfect balance of green and brown materials. If you add too much of one type of material, then your entire pile may fail to degrade. In order to provide the best environment for composting, you should create an almost equal ratio of materials throughout the pile.

When you initially build your pile, you should add greens and browns in thin layers to ensure a proper balance. As your compost pile continues to grow, you should incorporate these two types of material together. This will help maintain the balance of moisture and allow for more airflow.

Monitor the moisture.

Moisture plays a large role in the decomposition of your compost. As such, you will need to closely monitor the consistency of your mixture to determine whether it is too wet or too dry. A proper balance of green and brown materials will help your compost remain moist, but you may also need to add water to it on a regular basis. In general, you should aim for a moisture composition of between 50 and 60 percent.

Turn it frequently.

As your compost breaks down, you will need to regularly turn it to keep it aerated, moist, and well mixed. Some use a compost tumbler to make this process easier, but you can also use garden tools such as shovels or pitchforks. You should turn your compost every one to two weeks. However, you can better judge when it is the right time to turn your compost by monitoring its internal temperature. As the microorganisms within work to decompose the materials, the compost will reach temperatures of between 140 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. At this time, you should turn the materials to help the entire pile decompose more quickly

What You Need to Know about the Most Common Non-Recyclable Items

When you are looking to become more effective at recycling, knowing exactly what you can recycle is half the battle. It is equally as important, however, that you understand what you should not place into your recycling bin each week. If you try to recycle items that you shouldn’t, then you can cause entire batches of recyclable goods to end up in landfills. As such, you will need to brush up on the most common non-recyclable items if you wish to lead a more environmentally friendly life. Read on to explore several of the products that you should never recycle:

Plastic grocery bags

plastic bagJust because an item is made of plastic does not always mean that it is recyclable. One of the most common examples of this is the plastic grocery bag, which you should never include with your regular recycling. The flimsy nature of these products often causes them to become entangled in recycling equipment. They can even cause damage to entire sorting machines.

Therefore, you will need to pursue alternate recycling methods for your plastic bags. For example, you can save your plastic grocery bags and take them to your local store for specially marked recycling bins. Alternatively, you should consider saving your plastic bags and reusing them at home.

Various paper products

Contrary to what you may think, recycling companies will not accept every type of paper product. Any paper that is dyed a bright color is typically unfit for recycling. If recycling facilities try to process even one sheet of colorful paper, then it can contaminate an entire load of otherwise recyclable papers. During the process of heat treatment, dyed papers usually bleed into the white papers and color the entire batch. A good rule of thumb is to never recycle sheets of paper that are darker than pastel.

You should also refrain from recycling your shredded paper. Whole sheets of paper can generally undergo the recycling process up to eight times, but shredded paper may not be eligible for recycling at all. By breaking sheets down into smaller pieces, you both reduce the value of these materials and make it more difficult for recyclers to sort and process them. Shredded paper is also more liable to cause jams in recycling machines. For these reasons, you should compost these materials rather than recycle them.

Plastic bottle caps

bottlecapThe majority of plastic bottle caps are composed of a unique type of plastic known as polypropylene. Designated by their No. 5 label, these materials are not as easily recyclable as the standard No. 1 and No. 2 plastics that are used to make bottles. As such, many recycling entities will not accept plastic caps along with your regular recycling. This means that you should remove and separate any soda bottle lids or laundry detergent caps from other recyclables.

In recent years, however, some recycling facilities have adopted machinery that enables them to process polypropylene along with other plastics. When in doubt, you should call your local recycler to see if they are able to accept plastic bottle caps.

Certain household items

Some of your household items require special recycling and cannot be included along with your regular weekly recyclables. For example, you can almost never recycle aerosol cans. You might think that you could recycle these cans along with other steel and aluminum items from around the house, but aerosol cans are known as hazardous items because their contents are highly flammable and can emit harmful chemicals. You should, therefore, ensure that these items are empty of all product before you try to recycle them. Some cities won’t accept aerosol containers at all, even when they are empty. If your city does not take these items, then you will need to dispose of them in the trash.

You should also pay attention to the types of household glass that you recycle. Though recycling entities will always accept some glass items such as bottles and jars, they will not accept a number of other common products. Large glass items such as old mirrors and windows are never eligible for recycling. In addition, you should never place any household dishes into your recycling bin, particularly if they are made of ceramic.

Styrofoam

Sometimes called expanded polystyrene, Styrofoam is a product that you can never recycle, regardless of the form it comes in. Styrofoam products such as cups and packing materials often bear the No. 5 or No. 6 labels, which can fool you into thinking that you can recycle it with similar materials. However, Styrofoam is a petroleum-based material that is easily combustible. As such, it poses a great risk to recycling facilities. In addition, the recycling process leaves it with very few leftover materials, which makes it unsuitable for reuse in new products.

Medication

medicationsIt is crucial that you take extra caution when disposing of medications, whether they are old prescriptions or expired over-the-counter medicine. Never opt to simply throw medications away where children and pets can easily access them. Many people even use their household drains as an alternate disposal method, but this can cause medicine to wash into the local water supply. You may consider recycling as a third option for disposal, but recycling entities will only accept your plastic medication containers.

Instead of recycling, look into which companies will accept your old medications. Some entities allow you to send them pills and other unsafe products, which they will then destroy through the process of incineration.

7 of the Most Common Recyclable Materials

Whether you have just caught the recycling bug or you’ve been sorting your trash from your recyclables for years, you’ll often find yourself asking one question: can I recycle this? What you can and cannot put into your recycling bin differs depending on where you reside, but there are a handful of materials that most recycling facilities will accept. Here are a few of the most common:

Paper

paper lettersPaper products are some of the most common items in the waste stream, contributing to more than 27 percent of all municipal solid waste in the United States alone. However, many paper products can be recycled. One of the most common of these is mail, including newspapers, magazines, and “junk mail” advertisements. Paperboard—the material used to make breakfast cereal boxes and some frozen food containers—is also recyclable. You can even recycle many types of envelopes, including those that include see-through plastic windows. Some cities also allow you to recycle old phone books, but you should check to see if you can put them out with curbside recycling, or if you need to bring them to a special facility.

At the office, you can recycle much of the paper that you use. Many companies recycle both high- and low-grade paper, ranging from standard printer paper to newsprint.

Metals

You can also recycle the majority of the metal containers that you use on a daily basis. Aluminum cans are unique in that they are completely recyclable. When recycled, these materials undergo a process of sorting, shredding, and melting that allows them to re-enter the production cycle as brand new cans. Within two months after you place them in your recycle bin, aluminum cans can be back on store shelves as new products like soda cans or aluminum foil.

Steel cans are also easy to recycle. Whether you have empty soup cans or metal coffee containers, you can recycle them along with their lids and paper labels. Other common metal recyclables include empty pie tins. Before you recycle any metal products, however, you should make sure to clean them of any food residue.

Plastics

waterMost municipalities will accept any plastic items stamped with the 1-7 codes as well as the HDPE 2 and PETE 1 labels. Another way to tell which plastics are recyclable is to look at their shape. Anything in the shape of a bottle or jug—like a two-liter soda bottle or a one-gallon milk jug—is typically suitable for recycling. Always remember to rinse your plastics and remove their lids before bringing them out to the recycling bin. Taking these steps will help the people who work at recycling facilities, and ensure that these materials can be reused to make new plastic containers and other items such as polyester.

Cardboard

Recycling companies usually accept most types of cardboard. For example, you should always save and recycle corrugated cardboard materials such as shipping boxes. Through the recycling process, these materials can become a wide array of new, useful products. In fact, some paper towels and sheets of paper that you use every day may have been corrugated cardboard at one time. Some recycling programs will not accept certain types of cardboard, however. You may need to throw away cardboard that has plastic lining or wax covering—check with your local recycling facility to be sure. It’s also important that you remember to break down all boxes before placing them in your recycling bin.

Grey water

In prominent countries such as the United States, each person will use an average of 101 gallons of water every day. We use water in all aspects of daily life, including showering and washing dishes and clothes. The result of this water usage is grey water—the waste water from sinks, showers, and washing machines. There may be bits of food or soap in the water, but not sewage—grey water does not include wastewater from the toilet.

It takes a bit more effort than tossing your recyclables in a bin, but it’s possible to recycle grey water, too. You can start by simply placing a bucket in the shower to catch the spray, and using this to water your plants. (You will have to avoid using any harsh soaps or shampoos that could harm your plants, however.) More elaborate grey water recycling systems are also possible—like those that pipe the water used by your washing machine into your garden outside. Find more information at greywateraction.org, and always be sure to check with your city to see if recycling grey water is allowed in your area.

Electronics

e-wasteSometimes called “e-waste,” electronics make up another category of products that you can recycle. As gadgets such as computers, stereos, and cell phones reach the end of their lives, do a little research to determine which local facilities will accept and recycle them. This is especially important if you’re looking to dispose of certain electronics such as old televisions, which can contain chemicals and metals that can be hazardous if they’re thrown into a landfill. Thankfully, there are several electronics companies, municipal recycling programs, and non-profits that accept e-waste for recycling, or at least safe disposal.

Glass

Take extra care when recycling glass bottles and containers, as some recycling centers will only accept certain colors of glass. Clear, uncolored glass is almost always recyclable. Another type of recyclable glass is brown (or amber) glass, which is typically used to create beer bottles. You can usually recycle any green glass bottles that you collect as well. Be sure to wash the bottles to ensure that you’ve removed all food debris before recycling.

5 of the Best Ways to Upcycle Your Old Plastic Bottles

Most of us know the “three R’s” of waste management: reduce, reuse, and recycle. While we find it easy to reduce the amount of waste that we produce and recycle items that we no longer have any use for, it is often more difficult for us to imagine the various ways in which we can reuse our waste. However, with a little imagination, anyone can upcycle and breathe new life into items that they would normally dispose of.

Some of the most versatile items that you can reuse are  plastic bottles. Capable of becoming everything from useful garden tools to beautiful decorations, these items will enable you to protect the environment while engaging in fun DIY projects. Read on to explore some of the best ways that you can upcycle your old plastic bottles.

  1. Bird feeder

bottle bird feeder
Image by Tony Alter | Flickr

You can easily turn old, plastic bottles into simple bird feeders for your backyard. With this upcycling project, you will have the opportunity to both protect the environment and support your local ecosystem.

To make a bird feeder, take a used soda or water bottle and drill a few pairs of holes through the sides. These holes will allow you to incorporate perches into your feeder that birds can sit on while eating. Wooden spoons make particularly effective resting places because they can also hold the seeds from the feeder. As such, you should make the holes large enough for the seeds to fall through and land in the well of the spoon. To hang the feeder, you need only drill a hook into the bottle cap and tie it up with string.

  1. Organizers

The natural shape of plastic bottles makes them excellent materials to use as organizers. If you have empty soda bottles lying around the house, then you can turn them into cute-yet-practical containers to help you tidy up your work area. Simply cut the bottoms off of the bottles and paint them in your desired color. To add an extra decorative flair and protect against any jagged pieces of plastic, you should line the cut edges with colorful felt. Once completed, these upcycled bottle ends can hold all your desk necessities, from rubber bands to paper clips.

Using a similar method, you can turn old soda bottles into a unique jewelry organizer. Begin by removing the bottoms from several bottles and drilling small holes in the middle of them so that you can thread a 12-inch rod through them. During assembly, invert one of the bottle pieces and attach it to the rod so that you will have a firm base for your organizer. Then, you simply attach each of the other bottle bases to the rod using nuts and washers. This will create an elegant floating stand for all your earrings, rings, and necklaces.

  1. Jewelry

plastic jewelry
Image by Mary Anne Enriquez | Flickr

You can even upcycle used plastic bottles into pieces of jewelry. To do so, use a pair of scissors to cut thin rings out of the body of the bottle. These pieces may have jagged edges, so you should smooth them down by carefully rubbing them against an iron set to medium heat. Once prepped, your DIY bracelets will be ready for decorating. One of the easiest ways to spruce them up is with colorful nail polish.

Another clever way to reuse your plastic bottles is to transform them into beads. You start by cutting your bottle into several thin strips and coloring each one in different shades of permanent marker. Then, using needle-nosed pliers, wrap the strips into small coils and hold them in place while you warm them using a heat gun. This will shrink the plastic and make it hold its cylindrical shape, creating beautiful beads that you can use to make all different kinds of jewelry.

  1. Curtains

One of the most artistic ways to upcycle empty plastic bottles is to turn them into curtains. This is the perfect project if you have many bottles to reuse.

To start, you’ll need to cut out the delicate flower-like shapes on the bottom of the bottles. You’ll then connect all the bottle bases together with thin pieces of string. Be sure to leave an inch or two of space around each bottle piece to make the flowers appear to be suspended in midair once you hang them.

Depending on your own style, you can hang them in any pattern you wish and even incorporate decorative elements such as beads into your design. Your completed curtains can also serve as a beautiful, sustainable room divider or decorative screen.

  1. Vertical garden

Though it is already a green activity, gardening can reach a whole new level of sustainability when you use upcycled plastic bottles as plant holders. Simply place a bottle on its side and cut out a panel of the plastic so you can fit soil inside and provide your seeds with enough space to grow. You can easily string together a series of these planters and create a vertical, hanging garden.

You can also stack bottle planters vertically and interlock them by cutting holes in their bases. If you hang the bottles so that their tops face downward, you can create holes in the caps to encourage better soil drainage.

What You Need to Know About the World’s Top Recycling Companies

Recycling has become an integral part of communities across the globe thanks to the work of the companies that encourage individuals and businesses to take part in the trend. Though there are many effective recycling entities in the world, a few standout due to their unique waste management services and impressive global reach. Read on to explore a few of the top recycling companies:

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, Arizona)

republicserviceslogoSince its inception in 1996, Republic Services has become one of the most prominent entities in the United States non-hazardous solid waste sector. The firm offers its waste management services and programs to more than 40 states by operating numerous treatment centers and 340 collection systems.

Perhaps the company’s most impressive endeavor is its ongoing dedication to recycling. Over the years, it has opened 67 material recovery facilities (MRFs) across the US that support its vision of a more sustainable future.

In 2012, the company unveiled a new Milpitas, California-based “multiple waste stream” center capable of sorting 110 tons of commercial and residential waste each hour. With both recycling and composting services available, this facility is able to divert in excess of 80 percent of waste from landfills.

Kuusakoski Recycling (Espoo, Finland)

kuusakoskilogoA certified e-Steward and SAI Global Health and Safety firm, Kuusakoski Recycling provides sustainable waste management services to communities in 11 countries across the globe. For more than a century, the firm has revolutionized the recycling industry with innovative research and technology.

With the help of research partners from across Europe, Kuusakoski has led development projects in such areas as sink-float separation techniques and cathode ray tube (CRT) recycling. By consistently updating its recycling techniques, the firm is able to elevate traditional waste management to involve more efficient and cost-effective processes.

Novelis (Atlanta, Georgia)

novelislogoOver the course of 12 years, Novelis has made a name for itself as one of the most dominant players in the global aluminum industry. From its Atlanta headquarters, the firm directs operations at countless R&D and production facilities in more than 10 countries. Though it specializes in the creation of aluminum rolling products, Novelis also focuses much of its attention on recycling.

In fact, the company has become the top aluminum recycler in the world, salvaging around 50 billion cans every year. Novelis is able to make such a significant impact by both collecting aluminum recyclables and re-using them during the manufacturing process. One of the company’s most significant endeavors was the opening of an aluminum recycling facility in Nacherstedt, Germany. The center, which is the largest of its kind, can sort about 400,000 tonnes of scrap each year.

Genan (Viborg, Denmark)

genanlogoFor more than two decades, Genan has worked towards a vision of a more sustainable world by innovating scrap tire recycling. As the largest entity in its industry, the company is leveraging its knowledge to make the process of recycling tires easier and more affordable.

Genan’s first plant started with a total capacity of 35,000 tonnes of scrap per year, but it has since doubled its volume. In addition, the firm has opened plants in several locations across Europe and the United States. The largest Genan facility, which is based in Houston, Texas, can accommodate up to 100,000 tonnes of scrap tires annually.

Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, California)

HPlogoThough it is primarily known for its computers, printers, and other technological accessories, Hewlett-Packard has also become renowned for its global recycling initiatives. Over the last 30 years, the firm has taken in nearly 3 billion pounds of recycled materials in an effort to prevent electronics from ending up in waste disposal sites.

Now serving more than 70 countries, Hewlett-Packard provides a number of outlets through which its customers can give new life to their used computers. Whether via mail or at one of the company’s 32,000 drop-off sites, individuals can trade their electronics in, submit them for refurbishment, or exchange them for cash. If Hewlitt-Packard can revitalize the used materials it receives, then it will remanufacture them for new use. If not, then it will safely recycle them.

Eurokey Recycling (Leicester, England)

eurokeylogoSince its humble beginnings as a cardboard salvaging firm, Eurokey Recycling has emerged as a prominent industry player that collects all manner of recyclables. The firm has invested in technologies that will make it easier to sort and recycle everything from polythene film to plastics.

This enables Eurokey Recycling to provide manufacturers with the recyclables that they need for product manufacturing. Perhaps the firm’s most groundbreaking service is its revenue-sharing initiative. This program allows its client businesses to earn money each time they recycle.

KW Plastics Recycling (Troy, Alabama)

kwrecyclinglogoAs the world leader in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics recycling, KW Plastics can process more than 1 billion pounds of materials each year. It is fully accredited in the area of HDPE air management and is the only recycling entity to maintain certification from UL.

KW Plastics purchases scrap plastics by the bale, reprocessing each material into usable HDPE and PP resins that it then sells to clients for new use. These post-consumer resins (PCRs) thus encourage sustainability across numerous industries, including paint, construction, and agriculture.