Soap Cycling

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China is home not only to approximately 7.3 million full-time residents but also to a steady stream of business travelers, tourists and other hotel guests.

The continual procession of lodgers results in an ongoing flow of barely used bars and bottles of soap—products that can play a valuable hygiene role in local households or in parts of the world where soap is difficult to afford.

Hong Kong-based Soap Cycling is a nonprofit organization established in 2012 to collect, sanitize and redistribute the considerable volumes of barely used soap generated in Hong Kong’s hundreds of hotels.

The solid bar processing involves the use of a small grinding machine, a mixing process and a compressing/extrusion process to create new bars. Although Soap Cycling has concentrated on solid soap bars, which Patrick Davis, general manager of Soap Cycling, says are the mainstay of soap used at upscale hotels in particular, the group also has developed a process to recycle leftover liquid soap.

14 teams–seven men’s and seven women’s–participated in the tournament

Play for peace

A New York recycler is helping to bring its community together.

Medford, New York-based Gershow Recycling sponsored and donated $2,000 to help defray the costs of the ninth-annual Play for Peace/Jugando Por La Paz Soccer Tournament this August at the Patchogue-Medford Youth Soccer Complex in Medford.

Play for Peace seeks to bring together diverse nationalities within the community for a day of World Cup-style soccer, using sports to find common ground, according to a news release from Gershow Recycling.

The office of Suffolk County (New York) Legislator Robert Calarco organizes the tournament.

Put to bed

Sleep on this: Ikea U.S., Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, has introduced a national mattress recycling program. The Swedish home furnishing company says the new program is keeping with its sustainability strategy of “turning waste into resources.” Ikea launched its People and Planet Positive Sustainability strategy in October 2012, outlining moves the company plans to make to reach certain sustainability goals by 2020, including using 100 percent renewable energy.

The mattress recycling program includes old mattresses of any brand that are picked up when new Ikea mattresses are delivered, as well as all mattresses returned to Ikea stores.

“The goal is zero waste to landfill with as much recycling as possible,” according to the company.

At a minimum, 80 percent of a mattress can be recycled, Ikea says. The fabric and foam can be turned into carpet underlay, and the felt and cotton can be recycled into new felt and insulation. The wood is used as biofuel or in recycled wood products. The plastic and steel also are recycled.

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.