Questions tagged [waste]

materials which the initial user wants to dispose. For questions about [reuse] or [recycling] waste use those tags.

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2answers
44 views

Can I recycle greasy metal in the US?

In the United States, I know that paper and plastic are often not recyclable if they are greasy. Can I recycle metal that has vegetable grease on it surface? I'm thinking of canisters that once ...
6
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2answers
94 views

How do I dispose trash without using plastic bags?

Everyday, we dispose of our trash using plastic bags. This prevents the trash (especially liquids) from leaking out and contaminating our garbage disposal systems. Obviously, things such as paper bags ...
5
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2answers
74 views

Are composting toilets better than septic systems?

As a sustainability advocate I've always assumed that composting toilets were "better" than septic systems in almost any application. However I've been reading up a bit on both system types (see ...
4
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1answer
41 views

Which materials dumped into landfills are the largest sources of methane?

Recent research has shown that landfills (garbage dumps) can be major emitters of methane. The largest methane emitters in California are a subset of landfills, which exhibit persistent anomalous ...
3
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0answers
48 views

Is Tawashi really suitable for dishwashing?

As a step to reduce my waste I planned to make a tawashi to replace artificial dishwashing sponges. I had a t-shirt not suitable to be donated, waiting to be upcycled, so I made t-shirt yarn out of it ...
5
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3answers
119 views

Is putting plastic in the garbage better than putting it in the recycling bin?

It has been two years since China has cracked down on importing recyclables, and it appears the U.S. has had to stockpile, incinerate, landfill, or divert most of its recyclables stream to other, less-...
3
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2answers
93 views

What are the ecological effects of buying “imperfect produce”?

I have seen a few sites such as imperfectproduce.com, fullharvest.com, and hungryharvest.com. They sell food that they claim would otherwise go to waste because it would be hard to sell through ...
4
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1answer
68 views

Plastic incineration vs discarding considerations

Firstly, let me say, I am not pro-either. I just hear about people trying to save the environment (and putting an end to bad municipal 'dump site' behaviour) by rather burning their trash. This is ...
6
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3answers
283 views

Laptops vs desktops

I've often wondered whether it's more environmentally friendly to use a desktop or a laptop. To compare purely the electricity usage, I can of course calculate how long I leave my computer turned on, ...
5
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1answer
74 views

How to encourage people to sort waste properly

We have put a fair amount of effort into reducing the impact of our staff canteen in our office. One part of this is introducing separate food waste and recyclables bins. However many canteen users ...
5
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6answers
153 views

Best Uses for Scrap Aluminum

Much to my dismay, my apartment building recently canceled their recycling program. My household generates a fair amount of waste aluminum cans that we were previously sending to the local recycling ...
2
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2answers
153 views

What's the best way to dispose of scrap lumber?

I recently purchased a home in Wisconsin, USA, and in the process of making repairs and upgrades I find I'm generating a fair amount of scrap lumber each month. I keep whatever I think I'll be able to ...
4
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1answer
122 views

How many times do you need to re-use cloth napkins to offset their impact?

My local municipality has a "Waste Watchers" program that provides resources for reducing the quantity of waste sent to landfills. One of their tips is to use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. ...
3
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3answers
145 views

What's the impact of throwing plastic in the bin?

There's a lot of fuss about reducing plastic usage, and one of the main reasons seems to be that otherwise it will end up in the environment, particularly the ocean. But if I dispose of the plastic ...
2
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1answer
48 views

What are the uses of bones from the different animals bred industrially?

The food industry grows animals for meat, but some parts cannot be sold. What is the final use of bones from the different animals grown industrially? pigs, beef, poultry.
3
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0answers
45 views

Is burning PVC with municipal waste 'acceptable' nowadays?

I started to write a comment under the question Is there an efficient way to dispose of credit cards? about the dangers of burning PVC, because this can lead to dangerous chlorine compounds in the ...
11
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3answers
168 views

Is it better to put something potentially unrecyclable in the recycling bin or to put something recyclable in the waste bin?

This may sound like a weird question, but the other night I was about to throw away a plastic package which didn't have any recycling information on it, and I hesitated before throwing it in the waste ...
7
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3answers
2k views

How can ceramics be recycled?

How can ceramics be recycled? Does the answer vary greatly depending on glaze or other factors, and if so, how can those factors be determined (i.e. how can I tell if a glaze contains lead or not)? ...
4
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1answer
44 views

What can be used to power an incinerator that produces electricity?

What can and cannot be sent to an incinerator plant (Virginia) for producing electricity from heat? Can there be anything other than plastics, metals, and paper products in the bin?
5
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1answer
126 views

Why do island nations generate so much garbage?

THelper's excellent answer to the question "What is current best practice for setting up recycling?" includes a chart showing that New Zealand sends nearly 100% of its garbage to landfills. In a ...
3
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1answer
69 views

How do I setup a relevant waste biodegradation experiment?

Every here and there I hear sayings like "plastic is bad, because it only degrades in hundreds/thousands/gazillion years, while paper is much better because it degrades fast" which are followed by ...
3
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2answers
85 views

Rough cost-benefit of stopping car to recycle batteries

I use up batteries (both recyclable and not) at an exceedingly slow rate. Stockpiling batteries for proper disposal is not realistic as I will do so for years, if not decades. All the more so, since I ...
3
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2answers
113 views

How do I get rid of numerous small pieces of charcoal?

There's a small piece of land used for burning tree branches on bonfire (because that's the easiest way to get rid of them). Most of the material gets burnt to ashes but some of it only turns into ...
0
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1answer
72 views

Will garden giant mushrooms survive in a normal septic tank?

I've heard that garden giant mushrooms will breakdown fecal matter, and was wondering if it would be a good idea to put some inside the septic tank to have it break down fecal matter to make it less ...
5
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1answer
166 views

What are the Energy Return on Investment (EROI) values like for biogas?

Biogas seems to be a really great idea but I'm wondering how much energy you get out vs. what you need to put in. I know natural gas is around 10.0 and I was wondering how biogas stacks up by this ...
2
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4answers
193 views

What isn't recyclable or compostable?

My community has single-bin recycling. Most consumer-level metal, plastic, and paper can go in there to be sorted at a recycling center. They don't take plastic grocery bags, cellophane, paper towels, ...
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2answers
58 views

Dealing with waste in countries without waste management infrastructure

In previously sustainable countries, westernization brings unmanageable waste: We get flooded with plastic but don't even have garbage collection. Apparently the result is that 40% of the world's ...
3
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2answers
110 views

Is there any useful recycling of fibreglass boats or other products made of it?

Lifetime is running out for a large number of fibreglass boats produced about 50 years ago. Many shipyards where they have been produced do no longer exist and last users frequently do not have the ...
15
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1answer
171 views

Does transporting plastic offset the benefits of recycling it?

Apparently China has been processing about half the world's waste until this year, and most of that waste is transported over the ocean in large container ships. Recycling plastic uses less energy and ...
5
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2answers
772 views

What are the consequences of wasting water in a water-rich country?

I live in Hungary where everyone has access to loads of clean water. Still, common knowledge says that one shouldn't waste water. Apart from the economic factors, like cleaning the water, why ...
5
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2answers
117 views

Is flushing dog faeces down the lavatory better than bagging and binning them?

I have taken to collecting our dog’s fæces in lavatory paper and flushing them rather than using the little plastic bags one can buy for the purpose and putting those in the (non-recycling) rubbish ...
11
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2answers
156 views

How do plastic bags and other waste end up in the ocean?

There are many photos of the ocean, which in some parts is littered with all sorts of waste, often plastic bags, containers etc. I just wonder - how do such large amounts of plastic land in the ocean/...
3
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1answer
2k views

Recycling soda stream cannisters in Australia?

My wife and I have a bunch of random broken things from our previous lives that we're trying to get rid of correctly. One of them is a few left over soda stream canisters. Many recycling centers in ...
11
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2answers
149 views

Is using a menstrual cup better for the environment than using pads or tampons?

Menstrual cups can last between 5 to 10 years depending on the brand and care in use. There are many different brands and designs. E.g. Diva cups only last about the average of 5 years, while Mooncup ...
3
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1answer
108 views

How can we all together clean up the vast plastic carpets in our oceans? [closed]

It is mind-boggling to me that there is still so much plastic out in our oceans, floating around for years and ever growing and nothing is being done about it. Governments should work together, ...
1
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0answers
68 views

When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version? [duplicate]

When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version? The existing product works okay for its primary use case so I don't want to throw it away or recycle it and then spend ...
5
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1answer
163 views

Research on consumer behavior and waste management

I am teaching a class on waste management to students who are primarily environmental management masters students. For one of the sessions I plan to discuss the role of consumer/waste generator ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What is this candy wrapper made of? Solely plastic or mixed with something else?

I am an avid recycler - whenever I get the chance to recycle, I do it. The only problem is, I can't mix materials when recycling. I want to recycle the following: It's wrapping for candy - in this ...
5
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5answers
208 views

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

I have recently wondered what I should be doing with my used kitchen oils having seen a news article about an enormous fatberg clogging the sewer in London. Obviously putting it down the sink really ...
10
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2answers
213 views

Can solid dog waste be safely added to a backyard composting heap?

My dog poops in my backyard and the poop is either a) forgotten or b) picked up in a biodegradable bag and thrown in the trash which is ultimately incinerated for electricity by my municipality. Both ...
5
votes
2answers
204 views

What the best plant to grow on human waste and fix CO2?

My goal is to convert human waste into (less disgusting and more useful) plant mass while decreasing CO2 (for the sake of it) and I want to find seriously the most proper plant for that (I would think ...
11
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5answers
13k views

Are used “blister packs” recyclable?

Now, in management of recurring everyday waste, this is something totally unavoidable. Are tablet strips (what they call blister pack strips), after use, recyclable? Can they be dumped with dry ...
6
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2answers
257 views

Is there any eco-friendly option for condom?

I am from India and there is no availability of vegan condom. I am a hardcore practitioner of sustainable living and don't wanted to create waste with single-use condom which is definitely resulting ...
4
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4answers
305 views

What's the most sustainable way to re-use or dispose of meat scraps?

Given that you shouldn't put leftovers of meals that has touched meat in compost bins due to the risk of attracting vermin, what is the most sustainable way to deal with these scraps?
2
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2answers
251 views

In search for a video on removing trash cans from the office

I recently saw a video (almost certain it was on youtube) about a university department where they had installed some measures to improve their waste management. One of the measures was to no longer ...
7
votes
1answer
293 views

Sustainability of waste incineration vs biofuel/biogas?

Should I encourage my neighbors to send their food waste to a biogas plant instead of the current incineration facility? I have Googled around and it does not seem like it is clear that it is better ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Can I compost vegetable oil?

I have a quart (0.9 liter) of vegetable oil, and was wanting to get rid of it. I know you're not supposed to pour it down the drain, and was thinking that if I put it in the compost bin I would be ...
7
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3answers
159 views

Is it better to dispose of food scraps with a garbage disposal unit or into the garbage?

Obviously it is best to compost food scraps, but that is not always an option. A recent ABC news article claimed that food scraps were contributing to 'fatbergs' in Brisbane's sewage system. I've ...