Recycling... the plastic has been pulled over our eyes for years

Broadway, Virginia, had a recycling program for 22 years, but recently suspended it after Waste Management told the town prices would increase by 63%, and then stopped offering recycling pickup as a service. “It almost feels illegal, to throw plastic bottles away,” the town manager, Kyle O’Brien, told me.

Without a market for mixed paper, bales of the stuff started to pile up in Blaine County, Idaho; the county eventually stopped collecting it and took the 35 bales it had hoped to recycle to a landfill.The town of Fort Edward, in New York, suspended its recycling program in July, and admitted it had actually been taking recycling to an incinerator for months. Determined to hold out until the market turns around, the nonprofit Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful has collected 400,000 tons of plastic. But for now, it is piling the bales behind the facility where it collects plastic.

 
Much of it winds up in the ocean. There are absolutely huge masses of plastic floating in the Pacific. Google it. Estimates range from twice the size of Texas to the size of Europe. Article I saw recently talked about how recycling plastic doesn't really recycle anything, it just gets moved around.

I've tried to lessen my plastic footprint, but everything, literally everything purchased commercially is involved with plastic at some point in it's life. I still separate my "recyclables" and put it in the proper bins at the convenience center, but it kills me to know it really is fruitless.

Even more frustrating when you remember that plastic is made from oil How many billions of barrels of oil are tied up in plastic? There were some very creative people that made small scale devices to convert plastic back into oil. Haven't heard much about that or any effort to go large scale.
 

Yooper

Up. Identified. Lase. Fire. On the way.
PREMO Member
Warning: random musing follows....

I'm sure some of the folks here on the forum remember back in the 1970s when we HAD TO USE PLASTIC BECAUSE WE ARE DEFORESTING THE PLANET! Sounded dubious then, seems to be proven so today. More or less. (Glass was bad, too, but I don't recall if the reasons for it being so - other than sharpness - were ever that clear. At least to me.)

I say "more or less" because we all know we do have the ability to produce biodegradable (land-fill friendly) plastic products. We may actually be doing so in enough quantity to be affecting a change. The plastic ocean continent may look bad, but like the smog, litter, and horse manure problems that proceeded this crisis we may be past the worst. I certainly hope so.

--- End of line (MCP)
 
I've tried to lessen my plastic footprint, but everything, literally everything purchased commercially is involved with plastic at some point in it's life. I still separate my "recyclables" and put it in the proper bins at the convenience center, but it kills me to know it really is fruitless.
Well, another shot in the back. Right next to the recycle compactors at the St Andrews Convenience Center is a large garbage bin just for plastic bags. The recycle machines can't deal with plastic bags, so they have to be pulled from the rest of the recycle stuff. I always separated out any plastic bags from my garbage/recycle and deposited them in these bins thinking they were being recycled. Until today, when as I pulled in, I saw the attendant wheeling the bin back from the large trash dumpster. I asked him. They just dump the plastic bags in the trash.

Crap.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
My pet peeve is packaging. I'd prefer it if everything was in a bin like at the hippie stores, and you could buy just the amount you want and put it in a small container instead of having to deal with copious amounts of packaging. Some things I buy have more packaging than product.

I always thought that plastic or glass or cans got taken to a facility that ground them up and made new containers out of them, so I recycled fairly religiously. Then I found out that that's not what happens, so I no longer bother. Now I focus on reducing my trash and reusing/repurposing stuff.

Just another instance where we've been lied to by our government and pop culture. Ho hum.
 

John Z

if you will
Well, another shot in the back. Right next to the recycle compactors at the St Andrews Convenience Center is a large garbage bin just for plastic bags. The recycle machines can't deal with plastic bags, so they have to be pulled from the rest of the recycle stuff. I always separated out any plastic bags from my garbage/recycle and deposited them in these bins thinking they were being recycled. Until today, when as I pulled in, I saw the attendant wheeling the bin back from the large trash dumpster. I asked him. They just dump the plastic bags in the trash.

Crap.
I had nearly the exact same experience at the Charles County Landfill. I was idiotically bringing ALL my plastic bags along with me to the recycle center. For years I was placing them into the little bin next to the mixed-recycling compactor. One day I was chatting with the staff, and they said basically "Oh, no, we throw those bags out. That is just a convenient trash can for the plastic bags you may have been using to transport other recyclables." They must have been shaking their head at me for years.

My new stupid practice is to place them into the plastic bag recycling bin inside WalMart. I'm guessing they also chuck 'em into the garbage weekly. :-(
 
My new stupid practice is to place them into the plastic bag recycling bin inside WalMart. I'm guessing they also chuck 'em into the garbage weekly. :-(
I was going to do the same at Giant, but also wondered if they just throw them in the trash while no one is looking...
Problem is, it's not just the shopping bags. I was (attempting) to recycle zip locs and the bags from my wood pellets. The bags are labeled as recyclable, so that's what I was doing.
 

John Z

if you will
I was going to do the same at Giant, but also wondered if they just throw them in the trash while no one is looking...
Problem is, it's not just the shopping bags. I was (attempting) to recycle zip locs and the bags from my wood pellets. The bags are labeled as recyclable, so that's what I was doing.
And that is what is frustrating. I try to do my part, and feel others should too. But I know reports like we see above will make some of us say "I knew it!!!" and start chucking everything over their shoulder and stop trying to recycle at all.
 
Forget AOC's rants about methane and CO2. We're gonna be buried under plastic long before that.

I keep seeing the movie "Wall-E" in my head.
 

RoseRed

American Beauty
PREMO Member
Well, another shot in the back. Right next to the recycle compactors at the St Andrews Convenience Center is a large garbage bin just for plastic bags. The recycle machines can't deal with plastic bags, so they have to be pulled from the rest of the recycle stuff. I always separated out any plastic bags from my garbage/recycle and deposited them in these bins thinking they were being recycled. Until today, when as I pulled in, I saw the attendant wheeling the bin back from the large trash dumpster. I asked him. They just dump the plastic bags in the trash.

Crap.
I had no idea. All of my recyclables' are in a plastic bin so I can dump and run. One trash bag a week for the other trash. I try and remember to bring my own bags when I go shopping. They hold more. :lol:
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
that has been the LIE for decades .. mostly there is NO Market for the materials
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I noticed years ago that our cleaning crew will take the bins out from each of the recyclable stations - and throw them all together in one giant mobile hopper. What they do after that is anyone's business. If they actually re-sort them, they can do that, but I'm not going to split up my waste just so they can throw it together anyway.

Occasionally I will see products where it's clear it's made out of recycled material, but - it's rare. If we're recycling so much, where is it reappearing?
 

PeoplesElbow

Well-Known Member
Much of it winds up in the ocean. There are absolutely huge masses of plastic floating in the Pacific. Google it. Estimates range from twice the size of Texas to the size of Europe. Article I saw recently talked about how recycling plastic doesn't really recycle anything, it just gets moved around.

I've tried to lessen my plastic footprint, but everything, literally everything purchased commercially is involved with plastic at some point in it's life. I still separate my "recyclables" and put it in the proper bins at the convenience center, but it kills me to know it really is fruitless.

Even more frustrating when you remember that plastic is made from oil How many billions of barrels of oil are tied up in plastic? There were some very creative people that made small scale devices to convert plastic back into oil. Haven't heard much about that or any effort to go large scale.
I would wager that 99% of that comes from SE Asia and India, if they are near the ocean they get rid of their trash by dumping it in the ocean. Their thought is that if they dump it in then it was wash away to somewhere else.
 

black dog

Free America
PREMO Member
Lots of plastic injection plants that make products that are not high spec products use regrind plastic from recycling. Things like home nic-nacks, patio furniture and other products that have specs that aren't stringent on what materials are used.
 
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