Why don’t we recycle more?

Kirk Heinze at Mlive.com:

National studies suggest that even when people have ready access to recycling—either curbside or at a nearby center—most still don’t get into the habit. According to Tom Emmerich, President of Kalamazoo-based Schupan Recycling, the key is not necessarily convenience; rather, it is education. Education is one of Emmerich’s “Four E’s” of successful recycling. The others are efficient handling and operations, economically viable markets and ease for the consumer. While each is clearly important, Emmerich believes that changes in our behavior must begin with the knowledge and understanding of why the new activities, including recycling, are beneficial.

Listen also to Heinze’s conversation with Emmerich at the bottom of the article.

How to opt out of the Yellow Pages

phone book picture

Your phone experience probably goes something like this: you come home to an orange plastic bag with a thick book inside, sitting on your doorstep. You bring in the bag, unwrap the book, and promptly recycle it.

The phone book isn’t anything you ask for – it just kind of appears.

The National Yellow Pages Consumer Choice & Opt-Out Site can put a stop to those automatic phone book deliveries. I type in my own ZIP code and found that I’m eligible for four phone books, which is four too many. By signing up with the Opt-Out Site, you can say “no thanks.”

The site’s how to recycle section is a little anemic. We would’ve liked to see more information on what type of paper phone books use, and which recycling bin makes the most sense. But the association released a sustainability report that outlines more of their environmental philosophy.

Post-holiday recycling

Get a nifty gadget under your Christmas tree?

It’s a good idea to recycle the old version. Recycling Jackson will be open on Saturday, Jan. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We’ll be taking the usual recyclable materials, as well as e-waste – which means you can recycle that old not-so-flatscreen TV. And now we’re offering lower prices on recycling.

Our site will be closed through February and will re-open the first Saturday in March.

President’s Column: Hope Still Abounds

For those of us that are avid recyclers there was a glimmer of hope this fall that we will have the opportunity to bring others into the recycling fold. If you happened to miss the headlines a couple weeks ago, the Department of Correction put Jackson County on notice that they were going to no longer buy steam from the Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) or the incinerator.  With that news the county announced that it would close the incinerator at the end of October.  With that announcement we had a glimmer of hope that the county might consider expanding recycling opportunities in the county.

To voice our support to the county leaders about expanding recycling, Recycling Jackson, other environmentally focused organizations and individuals attended a County Commission meeting to outline how the county could pay off the bonds for the incinerator while they expanded recycling in our community.  We offered our support not only with implementing expanded recycling, but also with educating the community about the benefits of recycling.

Well, within a couple weeks there was another announcement that the state and the county had come to an agreement to allow the prison to continue to purchase steam generated by the RRF. With that announcement the county stated that the RRF would stay open.

While that announcement does give us pause, all is not lost.  There is still work going on behind the scenes to address some issues that have somewhat been ignored in the past.  If you feel strongly about the county expanding the opportunity for recycling in our community we encourage you to contact your State legislator and your county commissioner to voice your support of adopting a more environmentally friendly way to deal with our trash.

In other good news, RJ’s recycling drop off site will be open next year. Our hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  In January we will be open on the second Saturday of the month due to New Years day being the first Saturday of the month.  We will not be open in February as that is our slowest month of the year due to the weather.  The rest of the year we will be open the first Saturday of the month.

We have dropped our ewaste prices benefiting from the Michigan electronic collection law that went into effect in April of 2010.  We will also have two community e-waste drives next year and have committed to have another ewaste drive in Hillsdale with the support of Alsons’ corporation.

As you can tell we have a busy year in front of us and we really need your continued financial support.  We encourage you to support our operations with a tax deductible financial contribution.  We have made it easy to donate by clicking on the link on our website or you can just mail us your donation.

Thank you for your ongoing support and your interest in recycling and Recycling Jackson.

Happy Holidays!

Steve Noble
Recycling Jackson president

Guilt, not information, works for recycling

How about that.  The Wall Street Journal found that guilt and social norms, not information, is more effective at changing behavior:

Studies dating back at least three decades clearly show the power of social norms. We tend to ascribe our actions to more high-minded motives, or to practical concerns about money. But at its core, our behavior often boils down to that old mantra: Monkey see, monkey do.

Researchers are now learning how to harness that instinct to nudge us to go green.

The article spells out that peer pressure – the guilt at seeing others going green when we don’t – works better than other incentives.  The feeling that your neighbors are greener than you are is more motivational than just about anything, the WSJ finds.

Summer e-waste drive totals

E-waste 2010 -  TVs

We had a great turnout for our summer e-waste drive as a part of the Jackson Community Recycling Day.

All-told, we collected 18,595 lbs. of electronics, including 11,800 lbs. of TVs; 2,500 lbs. of PC monitors; 2,500 lbs. of PCs; 1,700 lbs. of miscellaneous materials. That’s more than nine tons of e-waste that won’t go into the landfill, burned down for scrap, or sent overseas to make someone sick.

Look for details on our fall e-waste drive!

Where to recycle books in Jackson

We got this note from Jim Rossman at Commonwealth Associates:

Northwest Refuse accepts books. They were very accommodating when I showed up with a pickup truck full. They helped me load the boxes of books onto a pallet set atop a fork lift truck.

I also contacted Recycle Ann Arbor. They have two methods of recycling books. Books to be recycled into pulp product are to be taken to their South Industrial Rd. site (734-662-6288; Mon-Sat 9-5; Sunday 10-2). Books (no encyclopedias) suitable for re-use may be dropped off at their 2950 E. Ellsworth Rd. facility (Mon-Sat 9-5). I was told that there is a drop-off charge of $3 at the E. Ellsworth Rd. facility. I believe there is a charge levied at the S. Industrial Dr. station, as well.

Thanks for the tip, Jim!

Help us recycle your batteries

Battery recycling

Recycling Jackson continues to receive large quantities of alkaline batteries. They are expensive to recycle because of their weight and small size.

We believe we are the only location in town that actually recycles the batteries that you drop off. If you are using another location for this service, inquire as to what they do with the batteries that you drop off.

While some of you are donating, it is not keeping pace with the volume of materials we are taking in. While we are happy to provide this service we cannot do so out of the goodness of our heart. It is important that we cover our costs for this service. We do request $1 per pound to recycle your batteries. It is a internally subsidized price and not strictly enforced. Since our actual recycling cost is much higher than what we charge, in July 2010 we will no longer accept alkaline batteries without a donation.

Sometimes doing the right thing environmentally is a more expensive alternative. Since many of the handheld devices in our lives are battery powered, please consider switching to rechargeable or lithium batteries. We do not charge to recycle those types of batteries once they are expired as the cost is fully subsidized by the manufacturers.

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