Sunday, April 15, 2007

Recycling contributed by James Woodruff

*From England*

"The Value of Recycling"

Reusing things not worn out, repairing things if possible, recycling materials into other uses, all reduce volume of waste to be carted and buried or burnt. They also reduce the energy and raw materials needed to make new things. They usually save money although at the cost of some time. Most people get satisfaction from avoiding waste.

"Reuse in Cairns"
Reuse in Cairns fluorishes, as a glance at the Yellow Pages under 'Secondhand' will show. Many people are exchanging or giving away goods they no longer need rather than putting them into a waste bin. Many people are checking out used goods not only to save money, but to get things no longer available new, and to reduce waste. Vehicles, clothes, books, furniture and building materials are particularly reused. In recent years reuse of articles taken to the Portsmith dump hasa been officially organised, partly from shame at waste and partly to remove the danger of scavenging. In recent yeaars also vegetation prunings are being shredded and chipped by the council, by pr ivate contractors, and by the electricity supply service as the benefits of mulch on tropical soil and of saving dump space are more widely appreciated.

"Recycling in Cairns"
Recycling in Cairns depends on a market for the raw material concerned that will at least pay for collection and transport to distant places.Metals have long been in demand. C opper, brass, lead, aluminum, iron and steel are all wanted by at least three firms. Most collection is from industry but cages for aluminum cans are widespread. Collection points for glass bottles are common. N.Q. Recyclers dispatches over 20 tonnes per week. Since the opening of a Visyboard factory in Brisbane N.Q. Recyclers collects 80-90 tonnes of cardboard per week from commercial premises, and has competition from Cairns Cardboard. Blue wheelie bins for white office paper (8 tonnes per week) are placed inside offices willing to exclude colour, plastic and cardboard. Paper and coardboard must be seperated at source because any contact with glass which breaks embeds invisible shards which damage machinery. Doubt can condemn a wagon load. Unsold newspapers are shredded for fruit packing. Household newspring is not wanted, but is useful in the garden to smother weeds underneath mulch, or it can be placed with prunings for shredding. Plastic bottles are extracted from domestic recycling bins, baled (over 2 tonnes per week), and sent to be melted to make crates and garden furniture.

Sadly, at least up to writing in 2000, the collection from domestic yellow top bins cost far more than the materials are worth, even allowing for some saving of dump space. The inner city contracter delivers to N.Q. Recyclers, who are paid to sort and in addition keep what they recover. They pay to dump rejected material and may refuse a contaminated load, which the co llecter then pays to dump. The outer city contract has a different history. One firm collects, sorts, and umps rejected material free. Contaminated loads are accepted at curbside and only a small proportion is picked off the sorting belt.

Car batteries are usually returned to the retailer and colected by a metal merchant. Tires are no longer accepted for landfill. The nearest processor is at Townsville. Some are shredded and added to paving mixes: some are used as fuel where a furnace has high temperature and emission control (e.g. the Gladstone cement works). Car bodies are likewise not accepted but stockpiled, crushed by a traveling plant, and sent to a smelter. Lubricating oil is collected from service stations by N.Q. Resource Recovery. Used Cooking oil is collected from kitchens by Harmony Village. The oils are processed and used for fuel.

Buy secondhand; save unwanted goods for charities and fundraising sales.
Buy products that are reliable, repairable, refillable, reusable, recyclable. Avoid plastics, pressure packs, plastic shopping bags, excess packaging.
Buy local produce to cut transport.
Use the seven basic cleaning ingredients:
-bicarb soda
-block soap
-washing soda
-lemon juice
-cloudy ammonia

Read the Green Cleaner, the Green Consumers Guide and Blueprint for a Green Planet.Kitchen waste and garden clippings and prunings commonly form half of household's rubbish. It can be composted, reducing the load on the municipal garbabge service and benefitting your garden (or a friend's)Save glass jars as storage bottles. Find an opportunity shop for the surplus.Note convenient places where recyclables are being collected. Add your own aluminum cans, glass, white paper, cardboard, engine oil, steel cans.[Original words by Michael Bryan. Reproduced for Penn State by James Woodruff]

Hybrid Cars contributed by James Woodruff

One of our main attractions at the Earth Day celebration is Toyota bringing a Prius, one of their hybrid cars, for display.

"What's a Hybrid Car?"
Hybrid cars run off of a rechargeaable battery and gasoline, rathern than just gasoline.

"How Hybrids Save Energy and Gasoline:"
-Hybrid engines are much smaller than those on conventional cars. A hybrid car engine is built small to accommodate the 99% of driving time when a car is not going up hills or accelerating quickly. When extra aacceleration power is needed, it rlies on the battery to provide additional force.

-Hybrid gasoline motors can shut off when the car is stopped and run off their electric motor and battery.

-Hybrid cars are lighter, which their tires create half the drag of conventional cars because they are stiffer and inflated to a higher pressure.

-Hybrid cars often recover braking energy. Electric hybrid motors take the kintetic energy lost in braking and use it to charge the battery.

-Hybrid cars are often more aerodynamic, reducing wind resistance.

"Why Do Hybrid Cars Help the Environment?"
A well designed hybrid can reduce smog pollution by 90% or more compared with the cleanest conventional vehicles on the road today. Hybrids burn less gasoline per mile, so they release much less pollution and fewer greenhouse gases. A typical hybrid might travel 50-60 miles per gallon of gasoline in the city, while a typical SUV might travel 15-20 miles per gallon, or use three times as much gas for the same distance!

"Why Hybrid and Not All-Electric?"
Most electric cars cannot go faster than 50-60 mph, and need to be recharged every 50-100 miles. Hybrids bridge the gap between electric and gasoline-powered cars by traveling further and driving faster.

"Hybrids on the Market"
The Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid (2003), and the Toyota Prius are some of the main hybrid cars on the market today.

[Article reproduced by James Woodruff]

Friday, April 13, 2007

My Encouragment

I would like to encourage everyone in our Environmental Philosophy class to have a part of their final project that can be shown at the Earth Day event. The more visual material we have, the better!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Earth Day Celebration

Welcome Everyone!

This page has been created to inform students, faculty and staff, of PSU Delco's Earth Day Celebration on April 23rd, 2007! It will begin at 12:00 and last through 1:30 outside on the front lawn between the Gazebo and the Commons Building.
If you have any questions or would like to contribute in some way, feel free to contact me, Raquel, at
Hope to see you there!