12

I see two main aspects to the answer. First, for a disposable object it's better to use a biodegradable plastic than one that is effectively permanent so that after the disposable object is used it doesn't stick around. That's true even if the biodegradable plastic is made from equally unsustainable materials. Our seas are already full of disposable ...


11

Most non-biodegradable plastic bags are made of Polyethylene (PE) and often have a marking or logo like this: There may also be a marking that say 'PE', 'PE-HD', 'LDPE' or 'PE-LD' Bags that are biodegradable usually have a logo on it containing the words 'biodegradable' and/or 'compostable', e.g. something like this: Note that there is 1 controversial ...


8

Unless the plastic bags are labelled with a recycling symbol, there is no easy way to know if the plastic is even recyclable. Good biodegradable plastic bags are made from decomposable materials, which contain no pollutants or toxins. The fact that your plastic bags have disintegrated doesn't mean they are biodegradable. The safest thing for the recycling ...


6

It depends a bit how your waste processing facility handles the 'mixed waste' stream. In the best case scenario they sort out everything and your biodegradable waste ends up where it belongs after all; on a compost heap or in a biodigester where it is turned into compost and/or biogas. However this is very unlikely and chances are that the mixed waste is ...


6

Truly biodegradable plastics exist, where the actual plastic molecule or long chain is engineered to have weak spots which are broken so the plastic material ceases to exist in its original form. What it becomes depends on the design of the material. Many so-called biodegradable plastics, perhaps the majority, are essentially no more so longer term than are ...


6

The general rule of thumb that I have heard is no. I can't seem to find a good resource at this time that breaks it out conclusively, but the logic that I have heard goes as follows. Composting happens at different speeds and different heat levels. Your typical worm bin tends to operate at a low temperature (otherwise the worms would bake!). This would be ...


4

I think it would be milk paint. http://www.milkpaint.com/ Milk Paint receives USDA Biobased Certification Safe for MCS, Hospitals, Children's things and the Environment


3

Yes, plant leaves, like pretty much all other organic matter, can be digested by the right bacteria to produce methane, and a nutrient-rich byproduct which can be reused in agriculture as fertiliser. The standard method is to used anaerobic digestion in a closed unit. When done well, this cuts out the risk of fugitive methane emissions, and that's very ...


3

Carbon dioxide release occurs when compounds containing carbon are oxidised. In conventional aerobic decomposition, this process is relatively direct and carried out by a range of organisms. In a biogas digester, whilst there is no initial release of carbon dioxide, it is released when the resulting methane is burnt. At the end of both processes, you are ...


3

While some sewer gas is present most of the time in the pipes, the time it takes crap to get from the house to the sewage processing plant is short relative to the amount of gas given off. It would make more sense to limit your operations to the sewage treatment plant. Secondly. Two major components of sewer gas are methane, and hydrogen sulfide. H2S is ...


3

Flushing down the toilet is a lot better than have it end up in a city dump where it will remain as long as the bag that contains it lasts. You can purchase dedicated pet waste composting units or make your own. I have a bucket with lots of holes drilled in the bottom and have it half buried in the ground on the verge so that I can open it up, and drop the ...


3

It doesn't appear that there are any specific studies comparing the environmental impact of dog waste disposed of in biodegradable vs non-biodegradable bags, however there's quite a bit of work that's been done to compare these two types of plastic, considering production, use, and disposal. Bio-based and petrol-based plastic production comparison One of ...


3

Life cycle assessment has been done on this! This report is by InSinkErator, so they obviously have some commercial interest. Here's the summary, which (to me) seems sound: http://www.insinkerator.com/en-us/Documents/Disposer/ISE-Life-Cycle-Summary.pdf I will search out the original study report, which will define more of the assumptions they're making and ...


2

Actually, it's quite a good idea to utilize the gas potential of sewage. As mentioned in Sherwood's answer, this will happen at the treatment plant, not in the sewer. The ways to do this are not trivial, but doable. Look at the wikipedia page for anaerobic digestion for an overview. The biggest challenge in AD of sewage is that sewage is highly diluted, ...


2

Consider this answer a draft till I found some numbers. Additional waste in wastewater will generate energy costs in two ways: additional aeration: Biomass is degraded by pumping air into the wastewater, thus providing aerobic bacteria with the oxygen to digest the waste. The pumping of air is energy intensive additional sludge: The aerobic digestion ...


2

I can only answer regarding the actual plant. If food wastes need to be trucked all around Sweden when the incinerator is down the road, the picture may be different. Biogasification of food wastes, market wastes and similar stuff is certainly better, for the reason you describe in your last paragraph: Kitchen wastes are typically 70-80% moisture. ...


2

If you find that certain foods are contributing to a lot of "scraps," try googling that specific item to find if there is an alternate use for them. If there is none, and you can't find a creative way to reuse or reduce the production of the scrap (see more on this below), then you can consider garbage vs. disposal. In regards to those options, you could ...


2

I assume you are already putting some or all of the egg shell in with your plants. I looked around and using egg yolk as a fertilizer has several issues. If you have an outdoor compost pile you could add them to that, but mixing large amounts of animal protein in a compost pile can be problematic, so I would use caution depending on how much plant organics ...


1

While reading your question I get the feeling there are some misconceptions here, so let me start by clarifying a few things: Paper cups are not solely made of paper but have a plastic or wax lining. It's to prevent the cup from failing apart when it gets wet, but it also prevents or slows down (bio)degradation. Plastic degrades into increasingly smaller ...


1

Well, dogs excrements seem to be something special. First of all, they will not cause any problem to sewage-treatment facilities, as long as they do not come together with bags. It might rather be a problem to bring the excrements to the toilets because of the stench it may emit during its transport in the house. To take up the excrements bags should be ...


1

There are a lot of alternatives to make your own shampoo at home and many of them use castile soap (because it doesn't involve any kind of animal fat in the production process). You have a few examples here and here. The idea behind all of them is pretty similar, mixing castile soap (I am pretty sure that other kinds of soap can be used but this is the one ...


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