1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

June 7, 2008

:159 Bug Disposal

Filed under: :159 Bug Disposal — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:57 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home environment and planet.

1:5:10:159 EcoTip: After squashing bugs throw them outside or in the trash or compost pile. Save water by not flushing them down the toilet.

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 Additional Information:

I am our families official “bug squisher” – and I confess – I was in the habit of wasting water by flushing them down the toilet.

There is another important point for this tip. It is easy to get into bad, or absent-minded habits. I suspect that most people have habits that are in some way wastefull, but easily changed once they are recognized.

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April 29, 2008

:120 Safe Med Disposal

Filed under: :120 Safe Med Disposal — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:120 Tip: Today’s 1:5:10:365 EcoTip deals with the safe disposal of old or unneeded medications and comes from The Green Theme Blog in Canada:

Bottle of pills

One of the major chemical pollution factors besides pesticides and herbicides are medication. In 2000, the problem was deemed so serious that the American Environmental Protection Agency decided to take a closer look at pharmaceuticals and active ingredients in personal care products known as PPCPs. What they found was that while agri chemicals have undergone tests for their environmental effects on aquatic and marine life, PPCPs have not. Exposure to PPCPs in the environment can be more lethal for fish and marine animals because they often affect their immune systems. Unfortunately, nobody has figured out a way to get this out of drinking water. What’s a person to do?

If you have any old lozenges, expired prescription drugs or vitamins, check out www.medicationsreturn.ca and there is a list of places such as Pharmasave that will take all your old stuff and destroy it safely.

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 Additional Information

Michelle’s Tip is an important one, but at this time I have been unable to find a source for safe disposal of medications in the United States. I called around some of my local pharmacies and was told to flush the meds down the toilet. This is what most people are probably doing, but these drugs are hazardous waste pollutants that don’t break down at the waste water treatment plant. One major concern is that antibiotics in the environment will promote the development of more resistant strains of bacteria.

Seems to me like this would be a good topic for writting a letter of concern our legal representatives. What do you think – Should pharmacies be required by law to take back old meds for proper disposal? 

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March 27, 2008

:087 Electronic Waste

Filed under: :087 Electronic Waste — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

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Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:088 Tip: Electronics frequently have a number of heavy metals like lead and cadmium. Many electronics manufacturers are setting up programs to take back their devices when they need to be disposed and some manufacturer’s will take other companies equipment when you buy a new one of theirs.

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Additional Information

A listing of manufacturer’s electronic recycling programs as well as community options is available at www.mygreenelectronics.com

They also provide information about less toxic electronic options.

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March 26, 2008

:086 HazMat Disposal

Suggested Review – :029, :056

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:086 Tip: Every county in the U.S. is required to have a plan for household hazardous waste disposal. It may not cover every type of hazard, but most of them are addressed. So if you’ve decided to clean out that pile of unused – whatever, give your county a call first to find out what arrangements they have for disposing of it safely.

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Additional Information

Left over pesticides, herbicides, unused paints and sealants, cleaning products, auto maintenance materials and many other chemicals may be considered hazardous wastes. The label will generally tell you how they must be disposed, but not always. Appliances and electronics contain amazing amounts of hazardous waste materials. Each computer or television contains about 5 pounds of lead. Our appliances also frequently contain mercury switches or thermocouples. Some older fluorescent ballasts and appliances capacitors contain PCBs, fluorescent tubes have mercury, batteries may have lead, mercury and other toxic or hazardous chemicals.

Once you know what options your county has check in on-line at www.earth911.org and entering the item you want to get rid of and your zip code. They provide great information on how to recycle and dispose of just about every type of household hazardous waste product.

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March 23, 2008

:083 Kitchen Waste

Filed under: :083 Kitchen Waste — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

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Suggested Review – :006, :069, :081, :082

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:083 Tip: If you don’t compost, you can still recycle a lot of kitchen wastes by disposing of them as yard waste. Basically if its plant based it can be placed in the curbside yard waste can instead of the trash or down the garbage disposal.

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Additional Information

Vegetable clippings, carrot tops, outer leaves that don’t go into the soup pot can still be recycled. The first choice is composting them yourself, but if you aren’t into composting they will blend in nicely with the curbside yard wastes.

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January 29, 2008

:029 CFL Safe Disposal

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:029 Tip: Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) contain an average of 5 milligrams of mercury (older ones may have up to 20 milligrams). They should be recycled to remove and reclaim the mercury to prevent it from contaminating landfills with the hazardous waste. 

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Tomorrow I will talk about what to do if a fluorescent tube breaks.

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Additional Information

href=”https://1510365blog.wordpress.com/2008/01/29/029-cfl-safe-disposal/attachment/108/”>Suggested Review – :028

Every county in the United States is supposed to have a hazardous waste disposal program, but most don’t accept fluorescent bulbs and tubes.

IKEA stores have added mercury recycle/disposal station in its customer service area where they accept used CFLs and batteries at no charge.

Sylvainia corporation has set up a disposal program using the RecyclePac shown above. The pack contains padding material in a shipping box which is sent by to the recyclers. The cost of disposal works out to a little over a dollar a bulb.

Check with www.earth911.org to find other disposal options by entering your zip-code (or call 1-877-EARTH911).

According to the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers: 

“70.8% of the mercury-lamps used by business and 98% of the lamps used in homes are not being recycled.”

You can obtain a copy of their annual report and additional information at www.lamprecycle.org.

EPA has the following website to help you: Find fluorescent light bulb recycling programs in your area

Finally you should check directly with your local waste management agency for recycling options if they don’t have an easy recycling/disposal process in place in your community, you may choose to lobby them and your local community government to set something up.

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