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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26 views

Could glomalin-enriched soil be useful for emissions reduction in garbage landfills?

Emissions from landfills, mostly CO2 and CH4, are significant. Could layers of glomalin-enriched soil placed over the heap help contain part of these emissions? Landfill Emissions https://www....
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1answer
54 views

What is the climate impact of discarding natural apparel in landfills?

What with fast fashion, loads of clothes are dumped in landfills, especially, I guess, in the US, given its humongous consumption of fiber goods. They are organic matter and therefore supposed to emit ...
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2answers
48 views

How long does it take for different types of textiles to decompose in a landfill?

I've looked through the first five pages of Scholar search results to my request "landfill decomposition of textiles cotton" and found zero useful information. Is there any scientific ...
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1answer
52 views

How long does it take for a cotton piece of clothing to decompose under landfill conditions? [duplicate]

How long does it take for a cotton piece of clothing to decompose under landfill conditions? I skimmed through the first five pages to my Google Scholar query "cotton degradation decomposition ...
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3answers
59 views

Is there such a thing as safe and green incinerators?

Is there such a thing as safe and green incinerators? Do those cutting-edge incinerators in developed countries like Sweden emit pollutants in quantities that can negatively affect human health and ...
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1answer
63 views

What is the recommended way to dispose of a used water filter?

I have just replaced water filters for the water filtration system recently. There are a total 5 filters. 1 of them is ceramic, the other 4 are made of other materials which could probably be opened ...
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1answer
57 views

Why is reducing the consumption of recyclables is better than recycling recyclables?

Why is reducing the consumption of recyclables is better than recycling recyclables? Some recyclables can be recycled only a limited number of times (plastics) so I partially understand it. But other ...
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0answers
24 views

Is thermal heating of soil contaminated by coal gasification plant safe in a built-up zone?

Where I stay, theres a site (see intro here) nearby that used to be a coal gasification plant (produces coal gas for lightning etc.). The plant contaminated the soil with PAHs and heavy metals with ...
4
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1answer
67 views

Does plastic really degrade in a landfill?

There seems to be a lot of debate about whether, and how, plastic degrades in a landfill. There are many different types of plastic, from polypropylene to polystyrene. With this variety, it seems ...
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1answer
99 views

How to dispose ultra-processed food?

A friend of mine just recently started avoiding any ultra-processed food because of health concerns. However he already had some in his storage room and some have passed their expiration date.This ...
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3answers
100 views

Is manual sorting of household waste more effective than mechanical separation?

In theory people can separate waste much better than a machine, since they have more knowledge about the waste itself. In practice, with all my good will, I find that following the directions for ...
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2answers
68 views

Are there any insect-based waste-separation techniques?

I'm learning about how black soldier flies and insects in general are used to turn organic waste into more insects, which are then harvested for protein-heavy feed for poultry and fish. A lot of ...
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1answer
53 views

How to reduce the environmental impact of drinks containers

I would like to help the owners of a pub (based in Milan, Italy) to decrease the environmental impact of the waste they produce. My intent is to make them buy the same food content (especially drinks)...
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1answer
56 views

Did any country, city, or village implement a coffee separate collection with success?

Coffee is a wide produced and consumed drinking all around the world. After the use, exhausted coffee filters (wet coffee powder) are a very nutrient fertilizer. This brought some people to collect ...
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1answer
67 views

How much land needed to dispose of blades from wind turbines?

I saw a news article saying that Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills. This is definitely unfavourable, but I really want to get a better sense of the scale of the ...
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3answers
130 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 ...
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2answers
257 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 ...
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2answers
136 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 ...
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1answer
113 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 ...
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69 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 ...
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3answers
139 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-...
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2answers
147 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 ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it more environmentally friendly to use laptops or desktop PCs?

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, ...
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1answer
83 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 ...
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6answers
191 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

How should I dispose of scrap lumber from renovating?

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 ...
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2answers
248 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. ...
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3answers
156 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 ...
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1answer
86 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 for human consumption. What is the final use of bones from the different animals grown industrially? pigs, beef, poultry etc.
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0answers
63 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 ...
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3answers
189 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 ...
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6answers
7k 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)? ...
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1answer
52 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?
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1answer
139 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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2answers
89 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 ...
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2answers
132 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 ...
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1answer
118 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 ...
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1answer
265 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 ...
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4answers
221 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
64 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 ...
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2answers
376 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 ...
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1answer
206 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
129 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 ...
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2answers
182 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/...
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2answers
3k views

Recycling soda stream canisters 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 SodaStream canisters. Many recycling centres (in ...
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2answers
169 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 ...
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1answer
118 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, ...