Global Recycling Day

The countdown has started for a new international awareness day taking place March 18, 2018, that is dedicated to securing the future of the planet through recycling. The initiative was kicked off at the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling’s (BIR’s) 2017 World Recycling Convention in New Delhi Oct. 16, 2017, with the launch of the Global Recycling Day website, www.globalrecyclingday.com, and of social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn by Ranjit Baxi, president of the BIR.

The first Global Recycling Day will highlight the need to conserve water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals and celebrate the power of the newly termed “seventh resource,” the goods we recycle every day.

The new initiative is the brainchild of Baxi, who announced his vision for a day dedicated to recycling at the inauguration of his presidency at the BIR’s 2015 Dubai, United Arab Emirates, convention. The day encourages people to think again about what is thrown away, seeing not waste but opportunity.

Willing to work

A West Virginia nonprofit organization is making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities while benefitting the environment at the same time. The Jackson County Developmental Center (JCDC) of Millwood, West Virginia, has announced a partnership with RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional to provide employment for people who have disabilities.

The JCDC employees remove zippers and other metal parts from garments so the apparel can be recycled through the RightCycle program, the first large-scale recycling program for nonhazardous lab, cleanroom and industrial waste. The employees include people who have survived brain injuries or have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and other conditions.

Plastic concrete

Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers to buildings and bridges, according to a new study.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) undergraduate students have found that by exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation, then pulverizing the flakes into a fine powder, they can mix the plastic with cement paste to produce a stronger concrete.

“There is a huge amount of plastic that is landfilled every year,” says Michael Short, an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. “Our technology takes plastic out of the landfill, locks it up in concrete, and also uses less cement to make the concrete, which makes fewer carbon dioxide emissions. This has the potential to pull plastic landfill waste out of the landfill and into buildings, where it could actually help to make them stronger.”

Do you have a unique recycling-focused story that you would like to share? Please send a press release to Megan Workman at mworkman@gie.net.