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There's a Massive Recycling Loophole in California...and It's Draining the ... - TheBlaze.com

There's a Massive Recycling Loophole in California...and It's Draining the ... - TheBlaze.com | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
There's a Massive Recycling Loophole in California...and It's Draining the ...TheBlaze.comUnder the state's 25-year-old recycling law, California charges consumers a deposit on most beverage containers sold within its borders.

Under the state’s 25-year-old recycling law, California charges consumers a deposit on most beverage containers sold within its borders. Anyone who brings empty containers back to one of about 2,300 privately run recycling centers can collect 5 cents for most cans and bottles and 10 cents for larger containers.
Only products sold in California are eligible. But a can is a can — and many recycling centers in California aren’t that interested in where they come from.
Hence the influx from out of state. Last summer, the state Department of Food and Agriculture counted all vehicles driving into the state with used beverage containers through 16 border stations. The three-month tally was 3,500, including 505 rental trucks filled to capacity with cans.

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Global Recycling Movement
Big and small efforts worldwide to manage waste
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DIY - Make Your Own Bath Mat with Recycled Wine Corks ("tell your bartender to collect them for you")

DIY - Make Your Own Bath Mat with Recycled Wine Corks ("tell your bartender to collect them for you") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Ready to uncork your creativity? Make your own natural bath mat with recycled wine corks with these easy DIY project steps. Step onto natural creativity.

Enjoy a glass of wine with a bath? Why not indulge your passion for fine wine by recycling all of those corks you’ve been collecting and creating a stylish eco-chic recycled wine cork bath mat? 

Wait, what? How could you possibly consider putting wine corks in a bathroom of all places? Think about it. Cork is the preferred method to sealing wine bottles, known for its ability to lock out liquid, and keep vino fresh. If it’s good enough to preserve your favorite bottles of wine, shouldn’t it be durable enough to craft with?

Cork has amazing properties that are highly desired in bathroom décor, too. Cork is inherently antimicrobial, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and resists mildew. You know, all of the benefits that companies try to impart on their products with the use of chemical additives to non-natural fibers and materials. Yet cork offers them up naturally, in a material that comes from the bark of a tree and is a more sustainable choice.

Now go uncork your creative side – and that favorite bottle of wine!

Bert Guevara's insight:
Wine lovers, check this out! Tell your favorite bartender not to throw those cork seals away. You will be amazed at cork's properties.

"Cork has amazing properties that are highly desired in bathroom décor, too. Cork is inherently antimicrobial, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and resists mildew. You know, all of the benefits that companies try to impart on their products with the use of chemical additives to non-natural fibers and materials. Yet cork offers them up naturally, in a material that comes from the bark of a tree and is a more sustainable choice."
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Surprising Ways Today’s Trends Affect Paper Recyclers - Earth911.com ("the industry has to adapt")

Surprising Ways Today’s Trends Affect Paper Recyclers - Earth911.com ("the industry has to adapt") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

How has the Internet, the downfall of newspapers, and advancing technology in product design changed the way paper recyclers do business?

Let’s start with what is arguably the most transformative invention of our time: the Internet. As we consume more media online, that’s led to a decline in reading printed materials. “You can imagine that newspapers over the last two decades have dropped significantly in terms of readership, thickness of the newspaper, number of pages in newspaper, and in some markets number of days it’s published,” says Myles Cohen, president of Pratt Recycling, a division of Pratt Industries, one of the world’s largest packaging and recycling companies. “The amount of newspaper in the residential stream is down 60 to 80 percent over the past 15 years.”

That drop-off goes for magazines, too. And while you may feel like you get a lot of junk mail, it’s nothing compared to what it used to be — unsolicited catalogs and brochures have declined significantly.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, this makes a difference when it comes to recycling. But fortunately for those who deal with the paper stream, there’s been something to replace all that lost newsprint: cardboard.

Now, you can buy things online with just the click of a button, and in some cases, have it delivered to your door in mere minutes. That’s led to far more cardboard in the residential recycling stream than ever before. In many ways, this is good for recyclers. “Corrugated cardboard is quite a valuable scrap paper product,” says Bernie Lee, a research analyst at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). “The strength of fibers is highly valued in the secondary market.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
No one can predict exactly what innovations are on the horizon, but as these developments unfold, paper recyclers will continue to adapt, as they always have, in an effort to most efficiently take the paper we already have and turn it into something new.

"What does this all mean for paper recyclers? The majority of their business still comes from the commercial stream, and that has changed much less than the residential stream. Still, they must prepare for what’s on the horizon. Cohen thinks cardboard will only grow. “There’s going to be a demand for more and more paper,” he says. “Now instead of a manufacturer putting 24 of its products in one box and shipping that box to a store, they’re shipping that box to a distribution center and now there are 24 boxes that get shipped again to people’s homes.”
"Lee also points out that there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market right now, given that China has announced it plans to stop importing select scrap and waste materials, including unsorted scrap paper, by the end of the year."
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Finally, a sandwich bag that's endlessly reusable ("going reusable is best with right materials")

Finally, a sandwich bag that's endlessly reusable ("going reusable is best with right materials") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

These flexible, airtight, watertight "bbagz" are made of platinum silicone, are multipurpose, and will last indefinitely. Going Zero Waste just got a whole lot easier.

It’s time to say goodbye to plastic Ziploc bags forever! A cool new product called bbagz has just been launched, and it does everything a plastic sandwich bag can do – and much more. These bags are made from 100 platinum silicone. They are boilable, bakeable, sterilizable, dishwasher-safe, airtight and watertight, not to mention multipurpose and endlessly reusable. 

Launched by a Canadian entrepreneur named Andrew Stromotich from British Columbia, bbagz are a solution to the huge problem of single-use plastics that are currently suffocating our planet. An estimated 1 trillion plastic bags and $124 billion-worth of disposable food containers are used annually. That adds up to a horrifying 84 pounds of plastic bags per American citizen. These bags end up in waterways and oceans, where it’s estimated the amount of plastic will exceed marine life by 2050. 

It becomes easy to ditch single-use plastics when there’s a good alternative out there. Enter bbagz, which are flexible like plastic, quick and easy to seal, lightweight, and unbreakable. They are free from bisphenol-A, bisphenol-S (a common substitute for BPA that has its own share of health concerns), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and phthalates, and can be paired with an anodized aluminum clasp for a watertight seal.

Bert Guevara's insight:
I am always in favor of REUSING packaging materials, so long as they make more sense. The price is always a major factor though, which determines whether you can make the switch right away.

"The silicone with which these bags are made has a pure platinum catalyst (rather than the typical tin catalyst); platinum is usually reserved for medical use but is now gaining traction in the food industry. It is clean and inert, which means that the material has an indefinite lifespan; it will not degrade and is infinitely re-purposable, meaning it will not end up in a landfill in a couple years’ time."
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Makati's 2016 garbage hauling costs lowest since 2007 – COA ("doesn't this mean that law is doable?")

Makati's 2016 garbage hauling costs lowest since 2007 – COA ("doesn't this mean that law is doable?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

The drop in expenses is attributed to the local government's environmental programs, according to the Commission on Audit.

According to state auditors, Makati City's intensive pro-environment programs such as the Urban Greening, Waste Reduction, and Diversification Program, and the enforcement of the Solid Waste Management Code based on the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, helped the government save money. 

Enacted under Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act orders all local government units to decentralize garbage collection. Barangays are tasked to teach residents how to segregate trash properly.

The COA report noted that the partnership between barangays and the Makati Environment Cooperative has been "instrumental in the sustained implementation of the barangay waste segregation and waste recovery program." Projects such as color-coded pushcarts, for instance, help monitor collection activities.

COA also lauded "Basura'y Bawasan, Balik-gamitin at Baguhin ang Anyo sa Pasko" (3B sa Pasko), a program that gives incentives to residents making creative use of recycled products.

"The [3B sa Pasko] program is among the many notable projects of Makati that aim to effectively reduce the volume of waste generated in the city," state auditors said. "The anti-smoke belching campaign and the anti-smoking ordinances are also continuously implemented."

Bert Guevara's insight:
The Makati CENRO is serious with their task of implementing R.A. 9003. Now the fruits of their labor are being acknowledged.

"The COA report noted that the partnership between barangays and the Makati Environment Cooperative has been "instrumental in the sustained implementation of the barangay waste segregation and waste recovery program." Projects such as color-coded pushcarts, for instance, help monitor collection activities."
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Perk Up Your Workout with a Recycled Coffee Grounds Sports Bra ("wear your plastic & coffee!")

Perk Up Your Workout with a Recycled Coffee Grounds Sports Bra ("wear your plastic & coffee!") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Using recycled coffee grounds in clothing provides some surprising benefits, including UV protection, odor control and fast-drying abilities.

The study revealed that of the 9.1 billion tons of plastic produced since 1950, only 9 percent has been recycled. We can — and must — do better. 

One such brand leading the way is Rumi X. Named after the 13th-century mystic and poet, Rumi X is turning plastic bottle and recycled coffee ground waste into eco-conscious activewear, one sports bra, pair of leggings and headband at a time.

After plastic bottles are sent for recycling and cleaned, they’re then shredded into tiny flakes that are pulled into yarn. Next, this yarn is spun into fabric, which is how Rumi X’s signature fabric is constructed. In case a four-way stretch fabric isn’t enough, this material is also soft, quick-drying and breathable. Oh, did I mention sustainable? Yep, that too.

If spinning or down-dogging in plastic bottle fabric doesn’t perk up your workout routine, then perhaps wearing recycled coffee grounds will.

Did you know that coffee-grounds-infused fabric has three times the odor-absorbing abilities of polyester? 

And, while coffee doesn’t like to brag, it can’t help itself. This S. Café fabric even boasts a 50 percent higher moisture-wicking ability than cotton. This material is great outdoors since it also offers a staggering five times’ greater UV protection than cotton.

Eco efforts include using recycled plastic bottles, upcycled coffee grounds and water-based ink dyes. What would normally be heading to a landfill is being transformed into something useful, beautiful and practical.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Up-cycling plastic bottles and coffee grounds into sports wear can be a sustainable endeavor. Check this out!

"After plastic bottles are sent for recycling and cleaned, they’re then shredded into tiny flakes that are pulled into yarn. Next, this yarn is spun into fabric, which is how Rumi X’s signature fabric is constructed. In case a four-way stretch fabric isn’t enough, this material is also soft, quick-drying and breathable. Oh, did I mention sustainable? Yep, that too. 
"If spinning or down-dogging in plastic bottle fabric doesn’t perk up your workout routine, then perhaps wearing recycled coffee grounds will."
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Waste-free living: gadgets that list themselves on eBay to lidless bottles ("more new ideas needed")

Waste-free living: gadgets that list themselves on eBay to lidless bottles ("more new ideas needed") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Our throwaway habits are wreaking havoc on the planet. Here are six ideas from designers working to reduce waste in our everyday lives

1) Use Me/Lose Me

The Use Me/Lose Me service would monitor your appliances via web-connected chips and if anything went unused for too long, ping you a text with its likely market value.

2) Bottles without lids

Instead of a cap, the bottle’s flexible, slender spout plugs into a cavity on the side, sealing the container when it’s not in use. Nepenthes, which is currently just a prototype, also unplugs at the bottom, making it easy to clean and reuse, says Valente.

3) DIY plastics recycling

His open-source Precious Plastic device is designed to give ordinary people around the world the tools to turn plastics lying around their neighbourhoods into useful and valuable items, from clipboards to bowls.

4) Tabletop composting

Its indoor, table-top ecosystem uses earthworms to turn food waste into soil, which is then used as a bed for plants, or can be removed for use in other plant pots.

5) Fruit-protecting plasma

California-based Apeel Sciences is touting an “invisible, tasteless and edible” substance made from waste farm produce such as banana peel and broccoli stalks, which it says can roughly double the life of avocados, mangos and citrus fruits by providing a protective layer against oxidation and transpiration.

6) Single-use shampoo pods

The latest version is a shampoo pod, encased in a film made from water-soluble polymer PVOH.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The search for creative solutions to reduce or minimize waste goes on and it is good to let people know about it. I am sure there are many other ideas out there that only need to be promoted.
Using social media effectively is a good way to spread good ideas.
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The race to destroy space garbage - BBC News ("the throw-away mentality is dangerous in space")

The race to destroy space garbage - BBC News ("the throw-away mentality is dangerous in space") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Millions of pieces of man-made trash are orbiting the Earth. Some are tiny, but all pose a risk.

Some 23,000 pieces of space junk are large enough to be tracked by the US Space Surveillance Network. But most objects are under 10cm (4in) in diameter and can't be monitored. Even something the size of a paper clip can cause catastrophic damage.

"And that's important because something as small as a centimetre can cause problems if it runs into a satellite." 

Collisions are rare, but half of all near-misses today are caused by debris from just two incidents. In 2007, China destroyed one of its own satellites with a ballistic missile. In 2009 an American commercial communications satellite collided with a defunct Russian weather satellite. 

As recently as 2015, the debris from that collision forced the crew of the International Space Station to evacuate to the Soyuz capsule. No-one was harmed, but the debris will likely remain in the Earth's orbit for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Scientists are experimenting with ways to clean up space. So far, there is no space vacuum. And debris have a nasty habit of creating more debris that get exponentially smaller and harder to spot. 

More than 7,000 satellites have been put into space but only 1,500 are currently functioning. And within the next decade the number could increase to 18,000 with the planned launch of mega-constellations - large groups of satellites aimed at improving global internet coverage.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The throw-away culture of man has been exported to outer space. Didn't these space engineers foresee that outer space is not unlimited. Now they have a bigger problem of avoiding space disasters because of scattered debris.
How does this affect us? Your internet speed and TV programs may be affected.

"More than 7,000 satellites have been put into space but only 1,500 are currently functioning. And within the next decade the number could increase to 18,000 with the planned launch of mega-constellations - large groups of satellites aimed at improving global internet coverage."
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7 unrecyclable items that really can be recycled ("it only takes determination and creative thinking")

7 unrecyclable items that really can be recycled ("it only takes determination and creative thinking") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Breathe new life into hard-to-recycle junk with these innovative solutions.

But just because something’s on the no-no list, doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled — somewhere. You might have to forgo the convenience of weekly pickup, but plenty of companies and organizations are devising new ways to keep more “unrecyclables,” like the seven below, out of landfills and in circulation for use in new products.

1. Plastic grocery bags and product packaging

Solution: Fortunately, this kind of plastic is recyclable and can be transformed into many products, including composite lumber, pipes and even new bags.

2. Wine corks

There are a couple of ways to make sure your corks remain in use. One is to bring them to a Recork.org drop-off location or ship them to the organization for recycling.

3. Clothing and textiles

While it’s difficult to turn used fabric into new fabric, there are more and more ways (besides donating worn clothing to charities) to keep old outfits out of the trash heap and extend their useful life.

4. Cardboard pizza boxes

North Carolina State University has developed an eco-friendly way to deal with this problem: a pizza box composting program.

5. Yogurt containers, margarine tubs and other #5 plastic products

6. Porcelain tiles

Crossville Inc., a Tennessee tile manufacturer, has created a way to turn fired porcelain tile back into raw material for creating new tiles.

7. Wire hangers

Solution: Try returning hangers where you got them: at your local dry cleaner.

Bert Guevara's insight:
We have not yet done enough to exhaust recycling possibilities. Very few people love the environment enough to do it without putting profit as a motive.

"But just because something’s on the no-no list, doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled — somewhere. You might have to forgo the convenience of weekly pickup, but plenty of companies and organizations are devising new ways to keep more “unrecyclables,” like the seven below, out of landfills and in circulation for use in new products."
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Creative Ideas for All of Your Leftover Wine Corks

Creative Ideas for All of Your Leftover Wine Corks | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

If you're known to savor your nightly bottle of wine down to the last drop, why not take things one step further by upcycling some of the packaging? It almost seems a pity to dispose of the corks that seal your favorite liquid (what did they ever do to you?), so we've gathered a handful of practical ideas to turn something seemingly useless into booze-inspired works of art. Cheers!

1. Vases

2. A Bathmat

3. Key chains

4. Plant Markers

5. Cord Ties

6. Necklace

7. Jewelry Hooks

8. Succulent Planters

9. Cork Board

Bert Guevara's insight:
DIY up-cycling ideas for wine corks.
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Unilever's Commitment to the Circular Economy is Going Straight Ahead - Environmental Leader

Unilever's Commitment to the Circular Economy is Going Straight Ahead - Environmental Leader | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Unilever commitment to the circular economy is going straight ahead: By 2025, it says that all of its plastic packaging will be either reusable, recyclable or compostable.

“Our plastic packaging plays a critical role in making our products appealing, safe and enjoyable for our consumers. Yet it is clear that if we want to continue to reap the benefits of this versatile material, we need to do much more as an industry to help ensure it is managed responsibly and efficiently post consumer-use,” says Paul Polman, Unilever CEO. 

“To address the challenge of ocean plastic waste we need to work on systemic solutions – ones which stop plastics entering our waterways in the first place,” he adds. “We hope these commitments will encourage others in the industry to make collective progress towards ensuring that all of our plastic packaging is fully recyclable and recycled. 

Besides committing to the circular economy, it is also renewing its membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for another three years and endorsing and supporting their New Plastics Economy initiative. As part of this, it will publish the full “palette” of plastics materials used in its packaging by 2020 to help create a plastics protocol for the industry, it says. 

Meantime, it wants to share proven technologies with the industry to prevent plastics from leaking into the ocean.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This company has chosen its long-term path wisely. By recognizing its environmental responsibility, it it has reconciled its profit motive, consumer edge and environmental impact. 

"Unilever commitment to the circular economy is going straight ahead: By 2025, it says that all of its plastic packaging will be either reusable, recyclable or compostable."
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Green campaigners welcome Coca-Cola U-turn on bottle and can recycling scheme ("better than banning!")

Green campaigners welcome Coca-Cola U-turn on bottle and can recycling scheme ("better than banning!") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Environmentalists hail ‘landmark moment’ as world’s biggest soft drinks company agrees to set up pilot scheme in Scotland

Coca-Cola has announced it supports testing a deposit return service for drinks cans and bottles, in a major coup for environment and anti-waste campaigners. 

Executives told an event in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening they agreed with campaigners who were pressing the Scottish government to set up a bottle-return pilot scheme to cut waste and pollution and boost recycling. 

They told the event, organised by Holyrood magazine, that the company had been examining the merits of a bottle and can deposit scheme, where consumers pay a small surcharge of about 10p per item, which is repaid when an empty can or bottle is returned to a retailer.

“The time is right to trial new interventions such as a well-designed deposit scheme for drinks containers, starting in Scotland where conversations are under way,” he said.

“The momentum is now with the campaign,” Mayhew said. “The crucial next step is for ministers to design a system that works well for the public, for local authorities, and for small Scottish businesses, including retailers as well as producers. We know it can be done, and we will continue to argue for a deposit system which takes account of their needs.”

Political parties in Wales have also floated a deposit return scheme, with a suggested deposit of 10p a bottle. The Marine Conservation Society has said up to 17% of the rubbish found on beaches is drinks containers.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This idea of bottle/can redemption is actually as old as I am!!! Maybe the new guys weren't old enough to remember it.
Moving forward, why can it not be done with other packaging? Waste recovery through incentives is actually the heart of the campaign of PARMS (Phil. Alliance for Recycling & Materials Sustainability).

“The time is right to trial new interventions such as a well-designed deposit scheme for drinks containers, starting in Scotland where conversations are under way,” he said.
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Adidas Teams with Nonprofit to Turn Plastic Pollution into Shoes ("business of upcycling sea plastic")

Adidas Teams with Nonprofit to Turn Plastic Pollution into Shoes ("business of upcycling sea plastic") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Sportswear made from the trash you see floating in the ocean may seem a strange concept, but Adidas and Parley are making beautiful plastic pollution shoes.

That’s all pretty great, but Parley has taken its advocacy a step further by taking those reclaimed materials and teaming up with Adidas to make performance fabrics for some truly awesome kicks. In 2015, the two organizations collaborated on a 3-D printed shoe constructed of upcycled marine plastic. The prototype, while amazing, was only distributed to a handful of people in social media giveaways. However, in 2016, they expanded by manufacturing 7,000 pairs of the shoe they christened the UltraBoost Uncaged Parley — and made it available for purchase.

Based on Adidas’s popular UltraBoost Uncaged design, the Parley has an “upper” composed of 95 percent ocean plastic recovered from near the Maldives. The rest of the shoe — shoelaces, heel cap, heel webbing and sock liner — is also made from recycled materials retrieved by Parley during coastal operations. The sleek design is reminiscent of ocean waves and serves as a sweet reminder of what happens when conservation meets fashion.

But Adidas and Parley aren’t stopping there. They have plans to produce at least a million pairs of the shoes using ocean plastic by the end of 2017. For Adidas, the shoe embodies a real change for the brand. Not only have they vowed to eliminate virgin plastic from their supply chain altogether, they’ve also ousted all plastic from their headquarters and ridded their retail stores of plastic shopping bags.

Additionally, the pair joined forces to create jerseys for two of the biggest football clubs in the world — Bayern Munich (Germany) and Real Madrid (Spain). The teams wore their environmentally friendly kit — made from recycled ocean plastic and water-based prints — during matches in November 2016. Like the UltraBoost Uncaged Parley, the jerseys are available for purchase.

Bert Guevara's insight:
If there is really that much plastic in the oceans, then recovering them and up-cycling these into quality products is the way to go!

"It’s incredibly heartening to see conservation practices resulting in consumer products, as it gives citizens around the world something to advocate for. Not only does it allow consumers to demonstrate their support for the oceans, it may prompt other companies to view ocean waste as a potential raw material. If we were to create a circuitous, self-sustaining supply chain, we could, without a doubt, protect and preserve the environment. Here’s to hoping that this is just the beginning of a beautiful trend, and that more companies will jump on this bandwagon and create environmentally friendly, recycled products."
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How to Finally Go Paperless in the Office ("not easy but can be done with a lot of planning")

How to Finally Go Paperless in the Office ("not easy but can be done with a lot of planning") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Going paperless saves time, money, manpower and space, but it isn't easy. This guide walks you through how to go paperless once and for all.

There are a number of reasons why businesses should go paperless. It saves time, money, manpower and space. It keeps files more secure, yet makes them easier to access when they’re needed. And the clincher? We could save entire forests. With more than 60 percent of timber harvested worldwide going into making paper — and the United States consuming more than 80 million tons of paper annually, you’d think the positive impact it would have on the planet would be enough. 

But it’s not. Many business owners complain that going paperless just isn’t feasible, and that there are too many hurdles to overcome.

Look, we know it isn’t easy. The majority of U.S.-based offices use paper in almost every aspect of their day-to-day operations. But just because it’s the way things have always been done doesn’t mean it’s the way things should always be done. It’s time for a change, and change often involves certain aches and pains. Let’s take a look at some of the barriers that keep companies from going paperless, and how to break them down.

Going paperless isn’t easy, nor will it happen overnight. Though a full transition may take months or even years to complete, the benefits you see as a result will make your hard work and planning well worth it. Think of all the trees you’ll save!

Bert Guevara's insight:
There are practical uses of paper and there are times when going paperless is better. Times are changing and we have to move on.

"Going paperless isn’t easy, nor will it happen overnight. Though a full transition may take months or even years to complete, the benefits you see as a result will make your hard work and planning well worth it. Think of all the trees you’ll save!"
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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, April 6, 5:37 AM
How to Finally Go Paperless in the Office
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Repurposed Furniture Ideas You Have to See - Earth911.com ("never ending stream of ideas")

Repurposed Furniture Ideas You Have to See - Earth911.com ("never ending stream of ideas") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

If you're looking for repurposed furniture ideas, turn skateboards into shelves and radiators into desks, or just try a piece of furniture in another room.

When a passion for repurposing is focused on furniture, the opportunities are limitless. Discarded street signs and broken skateboards provide vibrant patterns for tables and seats. A vintage radiator is a showpiece as the base on a desk. Empty toilets evoke smiles as a whimsical way to display potted plants. 

Whether shopping for upcycled products, embellishing pieces you already own or embarking on a unique DIY design, repurposing is exciting, economical and satisfying. Sometimes it’s also delightfully outrageous. Ideally, it’s kind to the planet. 

For repurposing and repurposed furniture ideas, we tapped into the wisdom of innovative artisans, shop owners and DIYers.


Bert Guevara's insight:
Check out the site for new ideas on up-cycling.
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Reducing food loss is key to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025 ("food waste argument is strong")

Reducing food loss is key to end hunger and undernutrition by 2025 ("food waste argument is strong") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
To end hunger and undernutrition by 2025—the goal of IFPRI-led Compact2025—reducing food waste and loss must be part of the solution. Globally, about a third of all food is lost or wasted every year—accounting for a quarter of the calories that would have been available for human consumption. In a world where 1 in 9 people go hungry, food loss and waste are urgent issues for hunger reduction.
Food loss also implies losses in nutrition, due to the loss of nutritious crops or deteriorating quality. Nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables have the highest loss and wastage rates of any food products. Further, while there is limited information on micronutrient losses in food value chains, studies have estimated Vitamin A losses occur from food loss and waste. Considering the micronutrient deficiencies worldwide, nutrient losses could have significant impacts on efforts to reduce hidden hunger and undernutrition.
Food safety concerns also lead to quality losses and can have devastating impacts on nutrition and health. For example, aflatoxin contamination in Africa is a significant concern due to health risks from exposure as well as the lack of market incentives to improve safety standards. Without improvements along the product value chain, this hinders consumers as well as smallholder farmers from fully benefiting from high-quality, nutritious foods.
Moreover, about $940 billion worth of food is lost or wasted each year throughout the entire food supply chain. In developing countries, food losses have significant implications on the income of smallholder farmers, who dominate food production and account for a large proportion of the poor and undernourished populations. On-farm losses reduce the quantity of crops to be sold, thereby reducing the income of farmers, especially smallholders.
Bert Guevara's insight:
The time has come to treat food wastage as an economic issue. Practical thinking points us to the need for innovation in the recovery program.

"In order to address food loss in developing countries, a whole value-chain approach is necessary. Solutions should not only benefit consumers with lower prices and greater nutrition value, but also support smallholder farmers. While many interventions target storage, conclusions from various studies suggest that targeting other points along the value chain is worthwhile. Furthermore, innovative policy solutions for smallholders could have great impact. It will be critical for policy makers and actors along the food value chain to use these insights to take action. Compact2025 can play a key role in bringing together stakeholders to engage at the country level, stimulate innovation, and support learning and partnerships."
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7 Strategies for a Zero-Waste Lunch - Earth911.com ("developing the right habits is easy")

7 Strategies for a Zero-Waste Lunch - Earth911.com ("developing the right habits is easy") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Zero-waste lunches are both a good way to save natural resources and money. Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way toward lunchtime waste reduction. 

1. Pack a Lunch from Home for Work or School

Bringing a lunch from home is also a helpful way to have more control of the quality of your food, ideally using organic and locally sourced ingredients (and fewer processed snacks).

2. Use Reusable Food Containers

Use reusable containers and bags for sandwiches, soups, yogurt, salads and entrees. To avoid a messy situation, store liquids in leak-free containers such as mason jars.

3. Source Locally Produced Foods

To save energy and to support local farmers, source as much food from local farms as possible. Frequent your farmers market, join a CSA farm, start a backyard garden and look for locally grown foods at the grocery store.

4. Make Your Own Snacks and Condiments

Back in the old days, people made virtually everything themselves from scratch.

5. Prevent Food Waste

Pack realistic quantities, especially if you cannot refrigerate perishable items. You can always pack less-perishable snack foods such as nuts or an apple to round out a meal.

6. Avoid Getting Carryout Food with Excessive Packaging

If possible, skip the disposable silverware, bag and napkins by using your own reusable ones, and forgo the condiment packets if you won’t use them. Keep in mind that some food packaging is recyclable if you remove the food waste.

7. Find a Recycling and Compost Bin

Bert Guevara's insight:
A guilt-free lunch is not only avoiding the excess carbs, calories and cholesterol. It is also avoiding waste.

"A glimpse inside a break room garbage can at work likely reveals an astonishing amount of waste from snacks and lunches. In fact, nearly half of the solid waste stream is comprised of packaging and paper goods, according to As You Sow, and food packaging is a primary culprit."
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Editorial: Worrisome garbage disposal setup ("it's all window dressing that will become a disaster")

Editorial: Worrisome garbage disposal setup ("it's all window dressing that will become a disaster") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

IT’S good that an official of EVO Enviro Solutions Inc., the owner of the private transfer station in Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City has aired its side about the area becoming more of a dumpsite than what it is permitted to do. In the hierarchy of blame, we now know whom to place at the top.

Alan Roy Rodriguez, EVO operations manager, pointed to the failure of the firm’s biggest client, the Cebu City Government, to collect some 11,000 tons of garbage it deposited in the transfer station since May. That’s around three months ago. Within that span, several reminders were sent to City Hall, which used as reason for the lapse the delay in the awarding of the garbage hauling contract, which was eventually given to Pasajero Motors Corp. (Pamocor). 

“We understood the City’s position and relied on their commitment. Thus, for 17 days last May 2017, waste was brought to our facility by the City’s garbage trucks, but nothing was being hauled out as no hauler had yet been awarded the contract. Good thing our 7,000-square meter facility was big enough to accommodate such quantities for emergencies. This was a huge assistance we extended to the City,” he said. 

Yet when Pamocor started hauling the garbage brought by the City to the transfer station to the private landfill in Consolacion, only the newly deposited ones were hauled, according to EVO. This wasn’t denied by Department of Public Services (DPS) Chief Roberto Cabarrubias. “That’s our backlog but we assure that we will haul everything,” he said. 

EVO’s statement has given us a picture of the Cebu City Government’s solid waste management setup. It is one wherein a few weeks delay in the awarding of hauling contract and without the goodwill of the private transfer station’s owner a garbage crisis could already be sparked. Yet even without a “garbage crisis,” 11,000 tons of garbage staying in the private transfer station for three months is already objectionable and a violation of the law. In the midst of all these, there seems to be no effort by the Cebu City Government in general and the DPS in particular to conceive a better solid waste management setup than the sorry one that is currently in place. 

Bert Guevara's insight:
The current garbage situation in Cebu City, as described in this article, only shows the absence of political will to solve the problem. The short term "window dressing" will soon become another historic disaster - only in the Philippines! 

"In the midst of all these, there seems to be no effort by the Cebu City Government in general and the DPS in particular to conceive a better solid waste management setup than the sorry one that is currently in place."
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Rethinking Recycling as China Doubles Down on Consumerism ("we have a lot of room to improve")

Rethinking Recycling as China Doubles Down on Consumerism ("we have a lot of room to improve") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Environmental entrepreneur Tom Szaky on the quest to clean up China’s recycling industry.

With 500,000 tons of household waste generated every day, China is under immense pressure to deal with its mounting garbage problem. Alongside initiatives to increase incineration rates and enforce trash sorting, the nation has worked to improve its substandard recycling system. Currently, professional recycling services only account for 10 to 20 percent of total waste recovery in China, while the bulk of recycling efforts rely on waste pickers who comb the streets salvaging other people’s trash.

Waste disposal expert Tom Szaky aims to help China clean up its garbage game. Szaky is the CEO of U.S.-based recycling company TerraCycle, which established its first China branch in Shanghai in late 2016. The company works with individuals and businesses around the globe to collect hard-to-recycle items — everything from office supplies and plastic bags to children’s toys and automotive parts — preventing over 2 million kilograms of waste from ending up in landfills and incinerators each month.

“The garbage is already coming in, but the question is: Two years from now, how big will it be, and do we have the right motivations?” Szaky said, referring to the company’s efforts in China. “How do we get people to [recycle] when the only benefit is environmental and social, but no direct payment? That is the key question.”

The company’s current programs in the nation focus on plastic bottles, dental products, and hair care product packaging. In addition to funding recycling initiatives, TerraCycle encourages people to deposit used items for “upcycling” — transforming waste materials into new products — in return for credit that can be converted into charitable cash donations. The repurposed materials themselves have a social impact, too: One TerraCycle program pledged to donate desks and chairs made from recycled plastic packaging to a Beijing school for homeless youth and children of migrant workers.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Like many waste managers who believe in the behavioral component of the waste management solution, the key question is the motivational component that needs to be set up.
My friends in PARMS are pursuing this same path, because we believe that the unilateral banning of packaging materials is an admission to the FAILURE of recycling!

“The garbage is already coming in, but the question is: Two years from now, how big will it be, and do we have the right motivations?” Szaky said, referring to the company’s efforts in China. “How do we get people to [recycle] when the only benefit is environmental and social, but no direct payment? That is the key question.”
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These hotels are fighting food waste, one guest at a time ("small steps to lick a big problem")

These hotels are fighting food waste, one guest at a time ("small steps to lick a big problem") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental and Marriott are participating in a 12-week pilot aimed at prioritizing prevention.

The program is part of the Rockefeller Foundation's YieldWise Initiative, which aims to reduce post-harvest food loss and halve the world's food waste by 2030. According to the group, currently around 40 percent of U.S. food waste occurs throughout the supply chain, with the hospitality and food services industry being a prime culprit. 

"With its substantial food service volume and broad reach with consumers, the hospitality industry is an ideal catalyst for accelerating change," said Pete Pearson, director of food waste at WWF. "Imagine every hotel breakfast buffet or conference luncheon eliminating food waste. While businesses should make food donation and landfill diversion a priority, these pilot projects will focus on food waste prevention, which is ultimately better for business and the environment."

"The industry has a unique opportunity to raise awareness and design the guidelines, tools and resources needed to make a difference — the participation of some of America's largest brands in these pilot programs underscores the industry's long-term sustainability commitments," she said. "Through these programs … we look forward to being a part of a worldwide solution to food waste."

"We've already seen that hotel guests are more than willing to conserve water and energy, simply by placing a card on their pillows or hanging their towels," she said. "Our hunch is that they'll also take action to be part of the fight to cut food waste. Our support of WWF — part of our $130 million, seven-year YieldWise initiative — seeks to find the simple steps they can take to be part of the solution, one breakfast buffet plate and one room service tray at a time. And once we've succeeded in cutting hospitality food waste, we can take those learnings to other sectors like restaurants and retail."

Bert Guevara's insight:
Food waste is a big problem that can be tackled one step at a time. Are you doing your part?

"We've already seen that hotel guests are more than willing to conserve water and energy, simply by placing a card on their pillows or hanging their towels," she said. "Our hunch is that they'll also take action to be part of the fight to cut food waste. Our support of WWF — part of our $130 million, seven-year YieldWise initiative — seeks to find the simple steps they can take to be part of the solution, one breakfast buffet plate and one room service tray at a time. And once we've succeeded in cutting hospitality food waste, we can take those learnings to other sectors like restaurants and retail."
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A Massive Garbage Dump Landslide in Ethiopia Kills Dozens ("the urgency to manage waste is clear")

A Massive Garbage Dump Landslide in Ethiopia Kills Dozens ("the urgency to manage waste is clear") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

A mountain of trash gave way in a massive garbage dump just outside Ethiopia's capital, killing at least 46 and leaving dozens missing

Addis Ababa city spokeswoman Dagmawit Moges said most of the 46 dead were women and children, and more bodies were expected to be found in the coming hours. 

It was not immediately clear what caused Saturday night's collapse at the Koshe Garbage Landfill, which buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings. The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital's garbage for more than 50 years. 

About 150 people were there when the landslide occurred, resident Assefa Teklemahimanot told The Associated Press. Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment. Dagmawit said two had serious injuries.

The resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months likely caused the landslide, Assefa said. The dumping had stopped in recent years, but it resumed after farmers in a nearby restive region where a new garbage landfill complex was being built blocked dumping in their area.

Around 500 waste-pickers are believed to work at the landfill every day, sorting through the debris from the capital's estimated 4 million residents. City officials say close to 300,000 tons of waste are collected each year from the capital, most of it dumped at the landfill.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Remember Payatas? That one claimed more lives, many of whom were not recovered.

"Around 500 waste-pickers are believed to work at the landfill every day, sorting through the debris from the capital's estimated 4 million residents. City officials say close to 300,000 tons of waste are collected each year from the capital, most of it dumped at the landfill."
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Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest? ("taking it one at a time")

Only 14% of plastics are recycled – can tech innovation tackle the rest? ("taking it one at a time") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

A new group of companies is innovating on the problem of plastics recycling by tackling everything from styrofoam to Ziploc bags ...

Recycling the remaining 86% of used plastics could create $80bn-$120bn in revenues, says a recent report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. But those revenues will never be fully achieved without designing new ways to breakdown and reuse 30% (by weight) of the plastic packaging that isn’t recycled because the material is contaminated or too small for easy collection, has very low economic value or contains multiple materials that cannot be easily separated. Think of candy wrappers, take-out containers, single-serving coffee capsules and foil-lined boxes for soup and soymilk.

Large companies have developed plant-based alternatives to conventional, petroleum-based plastic so that they can break down without contaminating the soil and water. The market opportunity has attracted small, young companies that focus on developing recycling technology to tackle that troublesome 30% of plastic packaging that is headed to landfills at best, and, at worst, to our rivers, lakes and oceans.


Agylix 

The target: Polystyrene. It’s commonly made into products such as styrofoam cups, packing peanuts and rigid red picnic cups.


BioCellection 

The target: Low-density polyethylene (LDPE).


Cadel Deinking 

The target: Low-density polyethylene (LDPE).


Saperatec 

The target: Mixed-material packaging.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The challenges of plastics recycling keep our creative engineers and scientists busy. From this article, it is obvious that each type of plastic has to be handled separately.
This means that SEGREGATION AT SOURCE is still a prerequisite to completing the recycling loop. R.A. 9003 at this point is still relevant.
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Nicky Ren's curator insight, March 10, 11:03 AM

The challenges of plastics recycling keep our creative engineers and scientists busy. From this article, it is obvious that each type of plastic has to be handled separately.

This means that segregation at source is still a prerequisite to completing the recycling loop. R.A. 9003 at this point is still relevant.
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Samsung and Greenpeace: what you need to know about e-waste ("how do you solve a problem like NOTE7?")

Samsung and Greenpeace: what you need to know about e-waste ("how do you solve a problem like NOTE7?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Greenpeace claims Samsung has 4.3m smartphones to dispose of after its Galaxy Note 7 recall. What’s the responsible way to recycle them?

On Sunday, Greenpeace interrupted a Samsung press conference to protest the company’s failure to produce a recycling plan for the defective Galaxy Note 7, recalled last year due to fire risk. The campaign group claims Samsung has 4.3m handsets to get rid of.

A Samsung spokesperson has since said the company is working “to ensure a responsible disposal plan” for its defunct phones, and prioritising safety and environment. But if the piled up Galaxy Note 7s go the same way as the rest of our old smartphones, computers and tablets, where might they end up?

“Our recycling rates for electronics are abysmal,” says Jim Puckett, executive director and founder of the Basel Action Network (BAN), an NGO. He estimates that 5% of metals used in electronics are recycled, at most.

“We sweep everything to developing countries where they have the least infrastructure and efficient recycling,” says Puckett.

This kind of unregulated processing of e-waste carries severe consequences for environment and human health, including air pollution when circuit boards are heated to access the metals, soil pollution as chemicals seep into the earth, and water pollution as toxic materials get into groundwater and other supplies.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The problem that won't go away ... what do you do with 4.3M defective recalled Samsung Note 7 phones? -- SECRET!!!!

“Our recycling rates for electronics are abysmal,” says Jim Puckett, executive director and founder of the Basel Action Network (BAN), an NGO. He estimates that 5% of metals used in electronics are recycled, at most.
“We sweep everything to developing countries where they have the least infrastructure and efficient recycling,” says Puckett.
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The First 100% Recyclable Carpets Are Here ("when there's a will, there's a way to recycling")

The First 100% Recyclable Carpets Are Here ("when there's a will, there's a way to recycling") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Traditional carpets take up the second-largest amount of U.S. landfill space. Now a full reinvention of how carpets are constructed means they can be a circular economy.

But until now, no one has made a dent in the problem of household carpeting. Second only to diapers when it comes to taking up landfill space, around 3.5 billion pounds of carpet are tossed each year in the U.S. Because carpets are made up of such a complex array of chemicals, like latex and PVC, they’re next to impossible to recycle.

But Mohawk, the second-largest carpet distributor in the U.S., wanted to address this challenge for the industry. "We have a track record of innovation at Mohawk," says Tom Lape, the president of Mohawk's residential division. Mohawk partnered with the Dutch manufacturing company DSM, who along with the tech startup Niaga ("again" spelled backwards), had devised a way to manufacture fully recyclable carpets using just one material—polyester. Mohawk adapted that technology into its new line of Airo carpets, which launched in January at the International Surface Event in Las Vegas, where it won awards in product design and innovation. The carpets will hit the consumer market later this year.

Mohawk and DSM-Niaga looked at this issue, and decided that the industry was looking at carpet recycling all wrong. It wasn’t enough to apply the same process to a faulty product; the product itself would have to be reinvented. By manipulating pure polyester to form every element of the carpet, from base to tufts, the flooring, when discarded, can be returned to the manufacturer, ground up, and repurposed as yet another carpet. The "closed loop" nature of the production cycle, Petrovick says, will also stabilize prices.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Products should not be content in just rotting in landfills after use. There is still a lot of room for creativity to approach total recyclability, leading to sustainability. Here is one example.

"The new carpet construction process creates a more sustainable soft floor covering," Lape says; every Airo carpet, upon being discarded, can be recycled into a new carpet of a different style.
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British supermarket chain launches trucks powered by food waste ("recycling level raised one notch")

British supermarket chain launches trucks powered by food waste ("recycling level raised one notch") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

U.K. grocery chain Waitrose announced this week that it’ll be running its delivery trucks entirely on biomethane gas generated from food waste, becoming the first company in Europe to do so.

Food waste is a looming concern in the United Kingdom. At a time when 8.4 million U.K. families struggle to feed themselves daily, the volume of household food waste continues to soar, amounting to an estimated 7.3 million metric tons in 2015. 

Waitrose, according to the Times, is partnering with CNG Fuels to juice up 10 of its trucks with 100 percent renewable biomethane. The trucks can run up to 500 miles—almost twice the current average—on what is essentially rotting food. 

“We will be able to make deliveries to our stores without having to refuel away from base,” Justin Laney of the John Lewis Partnership, which operates Waitrose, said in a statement on Thursday.

Because its biomethane costs 40 percent less than diesel, any upgrades will pay for themselves in two to three years, CNG Fuels said. 

“Renewable biomethane is far cheaper and cleaner than diesel, and, with a range of up to 500 miles, it is a game-changer for road transport operators,” CNG Fuels CEO Philip Fjeld said. 

Another plus? The alternative fuel emits 70 percent less carbon dioxide, which would give a much needed boost to the European Union’s pledge to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Here is one food company that is making smart use of its food waste. Simply amazing foresight!

"The supermarket just announced that it’ll be running its delivery trucks entirely on biomethane gas generated from food waste, becoming the first company in Europe to do so.
"Waitrose, according to the Times, is partnering with CNG Fuels to juice up 10 of its trucks with 100 percent renewable biomethane. The trucks can run up to 500 miles—almost twice the current average—on what is essentially rotting food.
"Because its biomethane costs 40 percent less than diesel, any upgrades will pay for themselves in two to three years, CNG Fuels said."
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Pagtatambak ng basura sa Payatas, ipatitigil sa loob ng 3 taon ("panahon na para gawin ang nararapat")

Pagtatambak ng basura sa Payatas, ipatitigil sa loob ng 3 taon ("panahon na para gawin ang nararapat") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Nagbabala ang DENR sa mga local government units na maghanap na ng mga alternatibong tatapunan ng basura.

Nagbabala ang DENR sa mga local government units na maghanap na ng mga alternatibong tatapunan ng basura. Ito'y dahil ipagbabawal na nila ang pagtambak ng basura malapit sa mga may tubig na lugar gaya ng Payatas dumpsite sa Quezon City. Bandila, January 18, 2017, Miyerkules

Bert Guevara's insight:
Hindi na pwede ang puro HAKOT/TAMBAK; lalo na kung watershed ang pook ng tambakan. Eh, buong Metro Manila yata watershed. Paano na?
May solusyon naman kung makikinig, pero hindi pwede INSTANT SOLUTION. Huwag hintayin maubos ang 3 taon palugit. Ngayon na!

"Nagbabala ang DENR sa mga local government units na maghanap na ng mga alternatibong tatapunan ng basura. Ito'y dahil ipagbabawal na nila ang pagtambak ng basura malapit sa mga may tubig na lugar gaya ng Payatas dumpsite sa Quezon City. Bandila, January 18, 2017, Miyerkules."
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