Posts tagged “environment

Are you still not convinced recycling is essential?

By Caroline Ask, Environmental Compliance & Recycling Manager

People typically think of recycling as tossing cardboard boxes or plastic bottles in their blue collection bin and calling it a day. But recycling is much more complicated than that.

Recycling is a critical link in the manufacturing supply chain and a vital component of our economy. The recycling sector has an annual economic impact of $110 billion and directly employs more than 164,000 people while diverting 194.1 billion pounds of materials from landfills.

Are you still not convinced recycling is essential?

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the U.S. steel industry relies on scrap metal as its largest raw material input. About 70% of steel and stainless steel produced in the U.S. is made from ferrous and stainless scrap supplied by recyclers.

More than 75% of American paper mills depend on recovered fiber from recycling operations for their daily production needs. About 58% of tissue mill feedstock is recovered from recycling.

Before we place aluminum cans in our garbage bin instead of recycling them, we should recognize that more than 50% of our aluminum comes from recycled materials, including the aluminum placed in single-stream containers.

Here’s how you can become a recycling expert instead of a wish-cycler:

  • Research approved, recyclable commodities for your area by consulting and downloading the City of College Station’s Household Waste and Recycling Guide.
  • Remember that quality is just as important as quantity, so make sure the materials you place in your bin are empty, unbagged, and clean.
  • The recycling symbol and resin number do NOT mean the item is always recyclable — it corresponds to the item’s material. Our recycling program only accepts plastics types 1 and 2.

The 2015 Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling estimated that 43% of the total tons generated and disposed of in Texas could’ve been recycled. Material disposal versus recycling may not be practical due to a lack of recycling infrastructure, contamination, access to end markets, or a need for additional public education and outreach.

Here’s how you can bin less and recycle more:

  • Reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials in our recycling stream by placing only accepted items in your bin.
  • Take your single-use grocery bags to the recycling kiosks at your grocery store.
  • Avoid purchasing items with excessive packaging or purchase items approved in our recycling program.
  • Donate gently used clothing, children’s toys, extra paint, and other reusable commodities to local non-profit organizations.
  • In general, try to limit your consumption of single-use materials.

For more information on your local recycling program or for specific recycling and disposal questions, visit cstx.gov/recycle or call 979-764-3690.

 


About the Blogger 

Carolina Ask is in her third year with the city and her first as the environmental compliance and recycling manager. She previously served as an engineering program specialist and environmental inspector. Caroline previously held environmental health positions at Texas A&M and Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Bioenvironmental Sciences from A&M in 2012.


 

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Be sure to Scoop the Poop when walking your pet

By Caroline Ask, Environmental Compliance & Recycling Manager

With residents sheltered at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, many find welcome relief by walking their dogs and enjoying the spring sunshine. Unfortunately, reports of pet waste left in our streets, roadways, and parks have increased significantly.

One pile of pet waste might not seem like much, but more than 29,000 domestic pets live in College Station. Our furry friends generate hundreds of pounds of waste every day. If the waste isn’t disposed of properly (it takes a year to fully break down), storm runoff can wash it into local waterways and discharge it directly into creeks.

The contaminated runoff affects our water quality and creates genuine health risks as a source of E. coli and nutrient pollution. Fecal matter from dogs and other urban animals can also cause GiardiaParvoroundwormsSalmonella, and other viruses and parasites.

So what should you do when walking your pet? 

Carry a scooper and use the baggie as a glove. Scoop the poop, invert and seal the bag, then toss it in the trash. If you allow your animal to defecate on someone else’s property or in public areas without removing it, you’re breaking the law.

Be a responsible, courteous, and law-abiding pet owner — always Scoop the Poop.

 


About the Blogger

Carolina Ask is in her third year with the city and her first as the environmental compliance and recycling manager. She previously served as an engineering program specialist and environmental inspector. Caroline previously held environmental health positions at Texas A&M and Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Bioenvironmental Sciences from A&M in 2012.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Earth Day scholarship program promotes stewardship

By Heather Woolwine, Recycling & Environmental Compliance Manager

Copyright: auremar / 123RF Stock PhotoMany academic scholarship programs are based on written essays that express an applicant’s ideas about a certain topic. But when the Brazos Valley Earth Day committee decided to develop a scholarship program promoting environmental stewardship, we knew it called for something more substantial.

Words are nice, but a hands-on contribution to local communities is even nicer.

That’s why the scholarship program – which is in its first year – is based on actual projects that have a positive environmental impact in the Brazos Valley. The only requirements are for applicants to be residents of Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson or Washington counties, and be attending or planning to attend a technical school, college or university next fall.

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