- 10:00 am - Mon, Sep 29, 2014
- 76 notes
David Taylor has launched SLAG, a new collection of candlesticks made from, well, slag, a waste product found around in the forest surrounding the now-closed iron foundry in Hälleförsnäs.
The foundry has been around the village for the last 600 years or so and using the material just about like it was found pays homage to the history.
More: SLAG: Tabletop Objects by David Taylor - Design Milk
- 12:20 pm - Wed, Sep 24, 2014
- 69 notes
Some more nice press for our friends over at TerraCycle:
According to New Jersey-based Terracycle, a business that makes consumer products from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, 99% of the total material flow in the US becomes garbage within six months. Founder Tom Szaky says it is important to note that from a strictly material or scientific standpoint, everything can be recycled. The only barrier to something being considered “recyclable” in our society is economics. “For-profit waste management companies are allowed to define what is recyclable based on what is profitable for them to collect. That is why our recycling system is broken,” says Szaky.
Cigarettes, baby diapers, cheese wrappers and more find a second life through TerraCycle by people simply taking the time to get rid of waste they create on a regular basis. Enlisting in-house teams to separate cigarette waste into its most basic components, the organic waste (ash, tobacco and paper) can be used in tobacco-specific compost, while the plastic (the filter) can be re-heated, extruded, and turned back into plastic pellets. Recycled plastic pellets like these mitigate the need for virgin plastics, and can be used to make ashtrays or industrial products such as shipping pallets.
(via Chicken feathers and cigarette butts put to use in circular economy | Guardian Sustainable Business | Guardian Professional)
- 3:40 pm - Tue, Sep 23, 2014
- 269 notes
Remember video cassettes, those big black boxes that played pictures? Rendered useless by DVDs, they’ve found a new purpose. Some 4,000 of them have built a house, along with two tonnes of denim jeans, 2,000 used carpet tiles and 20,000 toothbrushes.
The result is Britain’s first house made almost entirely from rubbish. Based at the University of Brighton, the house opened its doors in June and is a live research project, acting as a test-bed for new windows, solar panels, insulation and construction materials.
More: The house made from 4,000 video cassettes and two tonnes of jeans | Guardian Sustainable Business | Guardian Professional
- 12:20 pm
- 89 notes
Earlier this year, Canadian engineer Aidin Delnavaz placed a pair of industrial earmuffs on his head, adjusted a special strap beneath his chin, and waited for the material to start harvesting energy while he chewed gum for two minutes.
He only generated a small amount of wattage, but it was enough for the researchers to conclude that wearing the chin strap for the duration of a meal could power a small hearing aid for two hours.
More: These Canadians Invented A Chin Strap That Generates Energy When You Chew | Co.Exist | ideas impact
- 3:40 pm - Mon, Sep 22, 2014
- 243 notes
We can’t really endorse this — but it’s something!
This video of an anonymous Russian girl on a motorbike returning people’s trash to them in the messiest way possible. We’ve got two potentials here: either YouTubers start mimicking her actions to effect a global change or this channel goes HUGE and she becomes a star YouTuber.
More: Will Punishing Litterbugs Be The New YouTube Revenge Trend?
- 12:20 pm
- 637 notes
No cardboard, no cellophane, no throwaway plastic trays, and no brands: Berlin’s newest supermarket is certainly a step away from the usual neighborhood grocery store.
Opened last Saturday, Original Unverpackt (the name translates to “Original Unpackaged”) is a novel shop in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood that has dispensed entirely with disposable packaging. Granted, the term “supermarket” might be a little grandiose for this small but tightly packed store, but the concept’s legs are as long as the store’s frontage is narrow.
Not only is a minimum-waste grocery store a canny business idea in a country that’s packed with green-conscious consumers, it’s also an interesting pilot project relevant to any city trying to cut their landfill and recycling burden.
(via The Supermarket of the Future Has No Packaging - CityLab)
- 3:40 pm - Sun, Sep 21, 2014
- 279 notes
UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has now created the first outlet in the country to be powered solely through food waste.
Collaborating with waste recycling company Biffa, the company has developed a facility close to its Cannock, West Midlands store that has enabled it to leave the grid completely. Like many other supermarkets, the outlet marks down any fruit and vegetable products at the end of the day if they’re no longer good to sell.
However, if they’re still not sold they’re handed over to charitable organizations that can still use it, or used to create animal feed. If it’s not suitable for any of that, the food waste is picked up from a nearby Sainsbury’s depot by Biffa, which uses its anaerobic digestion facility to turn the waste into electricity. A 1.5km cable is then used to send the energy — enough to power day-to-day operation of a store — back to the Cannock outlet.
(via Supermarket store is entirely powered by food waste | Springwise)
- 12:20 pm
- 121 notes
Glass is the material most affected by the amount of breakage in each type of collection system. In single-stream programs, it is virtually impossible to prevent glass from breaking as it goes to the curb, is dumped in the truck, gets compacted, gets dumped on the tipping floor of the MRF, is repeatedly driven over by forklifts, and is dumped on conveyor belts to be processed by the MRF.
All of this broken glass means that not as much gets recycled—and that sometimes it contaminates other recyclables, like bales of papers. One of the main criticisms of single-stream recycling is that it’s led to a decrease in quality of the materials recovered (which matters for the people who buy bales of recycled material and turn it into new products).
The rest is here: Single-Stream Recycling Is Easier for Consumers, But Is It Better? - The Atlantic
- 3:40 pm - Sat, Sep 20, 2014
- 28 notes
Interesting account of discarding an old computer, by an Economist columnist. Here’s how it starts:
LIKE many others, Babbage is reluctant to throw out old computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, phones and other digital paraphernalia. Where possible, he guts them of useful parts, and leaves the carcasses in a cupboard in case other bits and pieces may one day also come in handy. For instance, the last computer he built, Bitza-7, was assembled almost exclusively from salvaged components (see “Say farewell to XP”, September 6th 2013). Recently, though, he decided a clear-out was overdue, and hauled the accumulated e-waste off to the local toxic dump.
Putting anything containing even a printed circuit board in the rubbish bin for municipal collection is out of the question. Not counting all the other nasty materials used in electronic products, the lead in the soldered joints alone requires such items to be treated as toxic waste. At least, that is the case in California.
Babbage’s nearest recycling centre is no backstreet scrapyard, belching fumes from makeshift incinerators and open baths of bubbling acid—like several he has seen in the third world. Open to the public several days a week, the toxic dump in question is part of the University of California, Los Angeles, set up to handle waste from the institution’s medical centre and numerous laboratories. Visitors are greeted by staff in hazmat overalls and rubber gloves, who carefully sort the offerings into different bins. The overall impression is that the waste is in safe hands.
Or so one hopes.
Read the rest here.
- 12:20 pm
- 98 notes
This beautiful home in Croatia by DVA Arhitekta features recycled red brick that was actually waste from another renovation. Using this material allowed the architect to blend the modern blueprint better with its surroundings.
Big window panels allow lots of natural light inside and smart use of materials, gives the interior an upscale look. It’s not every day you see a modern building such as this made from brick — it feels like a slightly warmer option than concrete or stone.
(via Podfuscak Residence in Croatia by DVA Arhitekta - Design Milk)