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Turning Discarded Textile Waste into Fashion

How some startups are turning discarded textile waste into fashion

When your closet develops a pile of clothing you never plan to wear again, your first thought is likely to donate that clothing to a second hand store. Unfortunately, some people toss their old clothes in the trash, and the ones who do choose to donate them may have their old shirts, pants, and shoes end up on the top of the waste pile at the dump. This is an issue when around 12 billion kilograms of clothing are thrown away annually.

We follow the “out with the old, in with the new” principle a little too loyally in the 21st century, buying four times as much clothing as consumers did in 1980. The constant price slashing at popular widespread clothing stores and the rise of social media advertising are only contributing to the massive consumption problem North American shoppers have, not to mention the expectation that Instagram personalities never wear the same outfit twice.

The good news is, many startups have been created to divert textile waste and from landfills, save money, think up innovative waste collection methods and provide their customers with quality clothing anyone would be happy to wear. In this article, we’ll look at three impactful earth- and people-friendly clothing companies.

Read more: Turning Discarded Textile Waste into Fashion

Sustainable Waste Management Strategies used by Innovative Companies

Sustainable waste management strategies from innovative companies

While sustainable waste management helps companies in many different ways, the benefits related to business reputation and finances are among the most important results of the practice. Large corporations are beginning to pay attention to how they dispose of their waste because of it, helping the environment in the process.

New rules about the types of garbage that can and can’t be put into landfills have come into play, and within a decade, these rules could result in bans. This is especially true for South Africa, where the problem has worsened very quickly. By 2019, liquid waste will be kept out of landfills, and by 2021, batteries will also be disposed of elsewhere. Additionally, organic waste in landfills is expected to see a 50% decrease by 2023.

Waste streams have become more popular with the influx of disposal fees and landfill waste bans, and have in turn made garbage collection and treatment cheaper and easier. Discarded fluorescent light bulbs in particular have started to go to Reclite and E-Waste Africa for proper disposal after the bulb ban in August 2016. These new companies have helped keep fluorescent light bulbs out of landfills and generated income in the process.

Read more: Sustainable Waste Management Strategies used by Innovative Companies

Garbage Collection Truck Drivers Maintain Personal Connection with Kirkland

Garbage collection specialists maintain a personal connection to Kirkland

To the relief of two waste management truck drivers in Kirkland who have been in the business for years, the city recently chose to add more time to their contract with Waste Management.

For over twenty years, Richard Salts and Steve Wegener have worked for the waste collection company as garbage truck drivers. Having developed a strong relationship with their communities, they restlessly waited to hear whether the contract would be extended or kept the way it was. The workers admitted that if Kirkland had forgone the extension, they would have felt personally insulted due to their deep personal ties to the city.

The new expiration date for the contract between Waste Management and Kirkland is June 30th 2020, up from the same day of 2018. If necessary, the city can choose to extend the contract for another two years prior to the passing of the new expiration date. This will likely be the case if everything runs smoothly for the extra two years.

Read more: Garbage Collection Truck Drivers Maintain Personal Connection with Kirkland

How to Tell which Type of Garbage Disposal Your Home Needs

How to tell which garbage disposal is right for your home

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you probably don’t think about when you’ll need to replace it. High-end garbage disposals last a long time, but they don’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll need to buy a new one, and here’s how you’ll know when the time has arrived.

With proper use, garbage disposals are meant to run smoothly with very few issues. If your system frequently plugs up with food, releases an unpleasant odour, leaks water or waste, or has to be reset, you likely need a new one. It’s up to you whether you opt for the same system you originally had, or if you choose a newer, potentially better one.

The two main categories of garbage disposal are the batch feed and continuous feed types, both of which are fairly self-explanatory. Due to their open food reservoirs, continuous feeds only require users to turn on a switch to grind up the food deposited into them. In most cases, this is easy and useful, but if you’re prone to dropping non-food items into your garbage disposal by accident, a batch feed system might be a better option for you. Batch feeds work when users put their food waste into the container within them and seal it with the lid it comes with, which starts up the grinder blades.

Read more: How to Tell which Type of Garbage Disposal Your Home Needs

Calgary Launches Landfill Reduction Efforts with new Green Waste Bins

Calgary launches its landfill reduction efforts with new green waste bins
cbc.ca

In an attempt to reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in Calgary’s landfills by at least 50%, the city has distributed green bins to a portion of its homeowners for the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of organic food waste.

As workers make their rounds to each region of the city, they’ll have soon distributed the 320,000 green waste bins they sought to provide homeowners with, up from the current 80,000 that are already being used. The pilot program that preceded the waste management change cut the amount of garbage bin waste in half. All of Calgary will likely see the same result when all residents have green bins.

Part of the push to implement this new system was the steep cost to find, create, and run a new landfill space - up to $1.5 billion over the course of 25 years if Calgary’s current landfill reaches maximum capacity. The easiest way to divert waste from the landfill was to compost organic waste.

The food waste collection by the green bins will be sent to the city’s industrial composting factory, where in two months, it will become soil with the optimal amount of nutrition for growing plants. The large scale of this factory helps the city compost far more material than commercial composters can. Most of the resulting soil will be sold, but a small fraction of it will be kept for things like residential and community garden donations, something the city hopes to begin some time next year.

Read more: Calgary Launches Landfill Reduction Efforts with new Green Waste Bins

Finding the Right Waste Removal Company for You

How to know which waste removal company is right for you

If you’re considering hiring a waste removal company to properly dispose of your curbside junk, you may think choosing one of the many companies available in your area is easy. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case; every industry has scams, and waste removal is no exception. Before you jump right to hiring the first waste removal company you find, read over our tricks for selecting a waste removal business that’s credible, efficient, and well-priced.

Unless you’ve kept your phonebook around in the age of the internet, you’ll start by looking up waste removal companies with your search engine. It’s usually enough to type in the type of service you’re looking followed by the region you live in, as it turns up a good amount of results, and most of the businesses shown are legitimate. We have to emphasize the “most” in that phrase, however, because unreliable or downright fabricated companies could be lurking among the real ones, and it’s up to you to tell them apart.

Read more: Finding the Right Waste Removal Company for You

How Thunder Bay’s Waste Collection Issues Are Disappearing

Here's how Thunder Bay is taking care of their waste collection issues

Upon the many changes made to Thunder Bay’s waste collection system this month, the residents and waste industry of the area encountered some new problems. The city is now taking action to combat those problems, and it’s becoming successful in its endeavour.

Of the original nine trucks that were designated for curbside waste pickup, one was retired, leaving only eight to do the job. This reduction urged the industry to allow each household to place two garbage containers to the curb rather than the regular three. The trucks were also given a more efficient route to follow so the task could be done just as quickly as before.

As expected, the first week with the new system in place was a bit rough. A few residents reported not having their garbage picked up at all on the expected day. After getting used to a particular pattern with years of repetition, these residents weren’t happy. Fortunately, the second round of garbage collection will soon begin.

Read more: How Thunder Bay’s Waste Collection Issues Are Disappearing

Calgary Homeowners using Green Waste Bins Startled by Maggots

This is why Calgary residents are seeing maggots in their green waste bins:

Many of the citizens of Calgary were looking forward to finally using green bins to properly dispose of their organic material. Unfortunately, most of them weren’t expecting to find that those short, stubby, wriggling white maggots we love to hate had found a home in their partially-filled bins.

Maggots often flock to green waste bins that contain a large amount of animal waste products, like chicken bones, meat scraps, egg shells, and bacon grease to feast on the nourishment they provide to small insects. The group often starts off small and grows either when the animal material sits there for a long period of time or when more animal material is added.

Another component of an ideal maggot breeding ground is warm weather, and Calgary recently had a short but intense heat wave, making the green bin maggot problem more common in the area. Though most residents still approve of the use of green bins, many agree that finding a safe way to keep their bins free of maggots is worth the effort.

Read more: Calgary Homeowners using Green Waste Bins Startled by Maggots

Toronto Begins Efforts to keep Waste out of Recycling Bins

Toronto begins waste management efforts to keep waste out of recycling bins

Everything from dead animals to black plastic has been ending up in Toronto’s recycling bins, and it costs the city several million dollars each year to separate the waste from the reusable items. Recycle Right, Toronto’s new cleanup program, aims to minimize the problem.

Over the next six months, the city will have staff tag recycling bins that contain at least 25% waste material and leave them there next to a recycling pamphlet so homeowners get a refresher on what can and can’t be recycled. Two weeks later, the mini bins will be rechecked to see if the homeowners got the message. If this program doesn’t work, fines could be given to those who fail to follow recycling guidelines.

The contents of every blue bin is dumped into a waste collection truck, which transfers its materials to a filtering location that puts all recyclable items on a tractor trailer to be driven to Canada Fibers Limited. Among the 1,000 tonnes those trailers carry, workers have found stuffed animals, used car parts, old toys, and much more.

Read more: Toronto Begins Efforts to keep Waste out of Recycling Bins

Abolishing Waste was Ontario’s Focus at June Event

Abolishing Waste was Ontario’s Focus at June Event

The Orillia waste reduction event that spanned the course of two days this June was a big deal for Ontario, seeing as the province’s environment and climate change minister was the event’s keynote speaker.

The minister’s speech commenced the Zero Waste Conference, which was held at the Orillia campus of Lakehead University, and served as the starting point for the many speakers that presented after him. Having been appointed to a position in Ontario’s governing system in 2010, he formerly served as the mayor of Winnipeg.

Passion and determination were certainly the focus of the event. The conference’s organizers are optimistic that the environmental awareness brought to light by the speakers and the spirit of the event will become the final push that leads to an environmentally-friendly economic system. It forced many leaders to think critically about new waste disposal methods, what waste is doing to the earth, and how the burden we’ve placed on it can be lessened.

Read more: Abolishing Waste was Ontario’s Focus at June Event

Here’s Why Ontario has a Serious Waste Disposal and Food Waste Problem

Liquid Waste Leakage Could Pollute Jackson County’s Potable Water

Every week, food retailers throw away kilos upon kilos of expired food, and as the world’s population increases, the organic waste issue is only worsening. In fact, global food waste gives off almost as many greenhouse gases as China, which ranks second worldwide. To minimize Ontario’s contribution to this waste disposal problem, the provincial government and private sector are both taking action.

Flashfood, an app that notifies users of reduced-price supermarket food that’s near its expiration date, was recently introduced to smartphones to combat food waste. This new app helps cut down on the potential $4,000 of food thrown away every day by each store in Canada, most of which is simply added to our already towering landfill piles.

The mishmash of garbage disposal in our landfills begin to emit the deadly gas known as methane. Not only is this dumping of organic material harmful to the environment, but it’s also expensive for food retailers. The food sales they fail to make cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars each month, and they spend more money on having the discarded food picked up by waste collection companies.

Read more: Here’s Why Ontario has a Serious Waste Disposal and Food Waste Problem

The Ridiculous Rates Residents are Charged for Improperly Discarding Waste in Ireland

Liquid Waste Leakage Could Pollute Jackson County’s Potable Water

Residents of the Dublin region will soon have to be careful which items they put in each of their waste bins, as it could cost them the equivalent of almost $37 if a single item is out of place.

Some have claimed that the government has not yet addressed the area’s waste collection issues, and although this new rule is a step in the right direction, many citizens haven’t yet heard about it and will soon be unknowingly charged for making waste disposal mistakes. The Dublin West constituency has begun to worry about the implications of the policy.

One waste collector in particular, called Panda, has started to put fees into place on their own, creating a set of conditions that will charge residents no less than $14 for placing an item into the incorrect container. Even the smallest of errors will be penalized according to these new conditions, and city officials aren’t happy.

The government is reportedly failing to take action and enabling companies like Panda to act completely independently of any other entity. Unfortunately, this means ridiculously high and unexpected charges for customers who don’t abide by waste management rules, and unnecessary extra revenue for waste collectors.

Read more: The Ridiculous Rates Residents are Charged for Improperly Discarding Waste in Ireland

Liquid Waste Leakage Could Pollute Jackson County’s Potable Water

Liquid Waste Leakage Could Pollute Jackson County’s Potable Water
www.springhilldiw.com

The foul-smelling garbage syrup that pools beneath landfill piles drains into a 1280-metre-deep hole to keep the area as safe and sanitary as possible. However, this liquid, officially called leachate, could be threatening the potable water of Jackson County. Many citizens and large organizations agree that leachate is more dangerous than once thought to be and waste disposal methods need to be reevaluated.

It seems to most that the Department of Environmental Protection’s allowance of the drainage well is there mainly for the benefit of profiting companies, valuing jobs over eco-friendly waste management solutions. Furthermore, the Department assigns companies to independently monitor their own wells to keep them up to snuff. Typically, the company hires someone else to do it, and results are sent to the Department for safekeeping.

Read more: Liquid Waste Leakage Could Pollute Jackson County’s Potable Water

Lebanon’s Waste Management Issue - Pollution is entering its Ocean

Waste from Landfills Carried to Water by Bird Excrement

With the worsening of the pollution problem in Lebanon, it isn’t just affecting the state of the nation: it’s also affecting the Mediterranean Sea’s health. Considering that all water systems around the world are connected and collectively cover more than two-thirds of the globe’s surface area, this waste management issue has become even more serious than before.

The pile of waste, located in Bourj Hammoud, is getting increasingly bigger, and current plans have this waste ending up in the ocean. This strategy is having a far greater impact on the area than keeping the waste on land has. Customers visiting a nearby shopping centre, City Mall, have reportedly been experiencing unpleasant smells from the garbage while inside the building.

Not only are consumers beginning to encounter the resulting issues of dumping waste into the Mediterranean Sea, but fishermen have also taken a blow. The ocean’s waters are full of garbage, and this garbage has managed to kill millions of fish. Continuing this trend will lead to the extinction of fishing jobs and the eventual death of the ocean’s ecosystem.

Read more: Lebanon’s Waste Management Issue - Pollution is entering its Ocean

Waste from Landfills Carried to Water by Bird Excrement

Waste from Landfills Carried to Water by Bird Excrement

According to a recent report by Water Research, tonnes of discarded waste from landfills is being transferred to the world’s freshwater systems through the excrement of seagulls eating that waste. Not only is this realization naturally repulsive, it’s also extremely toxic.

Most people concern themselves with their household waste and garbage collection only when it’s present or causes a direct problem. As expected, once it’s out of sight, it’s also out of mind. Because waste management doesn’t have the ability to make it disappear completely, the new waste is added to an already gigantic pile of latent garbage where it will wait thousands of years to decompose. In some cases, discarded items don’t get a chance to decompose; instead, they’re consumed by passing animals. When these animals process and eject the chemical-infused waste they’ve eaten, much of it finds its way into bodies of water.

Read more: Waste from Landfills Carried to Water by Bird Excrement

Waste management - Torontonians will know what to Recycle with new Program

Waste management

Toronto’s waste management employees don’t appear every recycling day just to collect the contents of each laid out mini bin - some of them are there to thoroughly check those waste bins. With the rising plague of waste mixed into recyclable materials, collectors slap notice stickers onto the offending bins to notify the homeowners and only collect them when the problem has been fixed.

For at least the next six months, this process, alongside a recycling education program for residents, will be consistently ongoing in hopes of teaching residents exactly what can and can’t be recycled. Currently, very few of them know all the rules.

Toronto implemented this system after officials realized just how much it was costing the city to sort through disorganized waste. A whopping $6 million each year was spent on separating trash from recyclable materials, whether it was done by hand or with a machine. The extracted waste makes up more than a quarter of what’s put into recycling bins.

Read more: Waste management - Torontonians will know what to Recycle with new Program

Toronto Waste Removal and Water Prices Continue to Rise

Toronto Waste Removal and Water Prices Continue to Rise

If you thought Toronto was an expensive place to live last year, you’ll be shocked to learn that it’s increased by quite a bit in 2017.

Citizen costs associated with water and waste have been increased upon reviewed city staff recommendations, upping the water cost rate by 5% and tacking more money onto waste bin charges. It isn’t all for nothing, however: these extra funds will go towards repairing older buildings and long-running services within the city.

These new budget-tackling regulations have their benefits and their downfalls, of course. Because these costs are connected to essential services like Solid Waste, Toronto Water, and Toronto Parking, city officials will work hard to maintain a balance between efficiency and affordability for the city’s residents.

Read more: Toronto Waste Removal and Water Prices Continue to Rise

Toronto Urges Citizens to Refrain from Dumping Waste into Recycling Bins

 Dumping Waste into Recycling Bins

It’s not always clear which discarded materials should go into garbage bins and which should go into recycling bins, and many Toronto citizens have begun to guess without doing any research. Unfortunately, this guessing saps the city of millions of dollars annually - a cost too great to ignore the problem any longer.

Toronto is now trying to remedy the situation by having employees sort through the recycling bins of suburban homes for the next six months in search of waste unsuitable for recycling. Surprisingly, more than 25% of the materials that homeowners put into their recycling bins should be discarded elsewhere, which is exactly why the recycling sorting team is necessary.

During inspection, employees lift up the lids of large recycling or mini bins and peer inside in search of waste. If they find any waste, the bin is left with a sticker on it to notify the homeowners of their error. It is then their responsibility to take the waste out of their recycling bin and dispose of it properly.

Read more: Toronto Urges Citizens to Refrain from Dumping Waste into Recycling Bins

The Lake Huron Waste Disposal Debate

The Lake Huron Waste Disposal Debate
The Star.com

Ontario Power Generation has been pushing for burying nuclear waste near Lake Huron for over a decade now, despite encouragement to consider other Ontario waste removal services.

Nuclear plants produce a great deal of waste, and currently, they keep it above ground. To aid with waste disposal, Ontario Power Generation decided to make Kincardine the designated burial site, since it has its own nuclear plant already, and chose a spot just over a kilometre away from Lake Huron. This could potentially mean more jobs and employment opportunities for the town’s residents.

As long as the nuclear waste doesn’t spill into Lake Huron’s waters, many advocate that Kincardine is an ideal burial location. But now that the dump’s size may be two times bigger than what it was originally planned to be, the dump is being put into question. Certain discarded pieces will need to be put elsewhere due to their severe radioactivity. People are worried that the hazardous nature of the discarded pieces will have dire consequences.

Read more: The Lake Huron Waste Disposal Debate

Clothing Disposal Program helps Markham Residents clean up Landfills

Waste disposal program helps Markham residents clean up landfills

The city of Markham, Ontario has developed an efficient way of discarding old or worn out garments that can’t be donated, and this program has prevented 1.4 million kilograms of textile waste from making its way into the city’s landfills over the past several months. What an incredible way for clothing to be donated for a great cause while helping the environment at the same time!

Now that the system is in place, throwing away scrap clothing in any other way is restricted. Scrap clothing must be inserted into the labeled containers or bins in shared or public places like fire stations and communal buildings. These containers and mini bins come with sensors to determine fullness and solar-powered security cameras to pick up any unlawful activity that may occur.

Markham ranks above Toronto garbage removal for its 81% diversion rate through recycling materials, while the capital of Ontario is struggling to reach a 70% diversion rate. Markham’s success was partially driven by its switch to transparent garbage bags, with which residents can see what and how much they’re throwing away. Getting textiles out of landfills was their next test, and they passed with flying colours. The city of Markham is clearly taking garbage disposal to a whole new level.

Read more: Clothing Disposal Program helps Markham Residents clean up Landfills

Weather Conditions force Researchers to Cancel Climate Change Study

Weather-Conditions.jpg

Talk about irony! The first stage of the CCGS Amundsen’s Hudson Bay System study had to be abandoned when the research team discovered ice from the Arctic moving with the ocean at a dangerous pace. Ironically, this unusual ice migration is a result of climate change.

Unable to proceed with phase one, the climate change research project has been put on hold despite its expected four-year duration and hefty $17 million cost. The ship carrying the forty researchers from five different Canadian universities would have arrived past the peak time for observing climate-related events relevant to the study.

Fortunately, the study participants were able to determine with their tools and data where the ice had come from, taking with them information about the water, ice, and weather at the site.

Read more: Weather Conditions force Researchers to Cancel Climate Change Study

Taiwan Students create Polluted Popsicles in the name of Environmental Awareness

Polluted-Popsicles
Demilked.com

To showcase the seriousness of our world’s water pollution problem, three Taiwanese students went to one hundred spots with polluted water and used a bit of each to create unappealing but fascinating popsicles. It was fittingly deemed the “Polluted Water Popsicles” project.

Each mock-popsicle was made to scale, and the fact that these not-so-sweet treats are visually intriguing but orally harmful reinforces the message of overcoming our pollution ignorance. The exhibit has won awards and is only growing in popularity, becoming the new displayed item in museums and even warranting news interviews.

Read more: Taiwan Students create Polluted Popsicles in the name of Environmental Awareness

Supermarket Gets Rid of Cardboard Sleeves to Reduce Waste

Reduce-Waste
Konbini.com

The British supermarket Morrison’s has begun to sell ready-made dips, including salsa and hummus, without the extra cardboard packaging they previously came with to do their part for the environment. We’ve no doubt all thought the same thing when it comes to certain products’ excessive packaging – so much waste for no reason!

By removing the unnecessary sleeves from their dips, Morrison’s hopes to reduce overall waste, even if it only affects their own customers. Many Facebook users caught sight of this initiative and applauded the store’s decision. Many noted that it takes small steps like this one in order to make a big impact.

Although some assume that this is simply a way for the business to become more respected and trusted, others point out that the intention behind the action doesn’t change the fact that less waste is being created.

Read more: Supermarket Gets Rid of Cardboard Sleeves to Reduce Waste

Canada Stands its Ground while U.S. leaves Paris Agreement

Canada-Stands

Despite US President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Agreement in search of a better deal, Canada remains committed to the cause. However, America’s northern neighbour still has a lot to accomplish to meet the agreement’s proposed goals.

Although Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau has expressed disappointment in Trump’s decision and claims that Canada will do whatever it can to minimize climate change, the country’s environmental actions don’t reflect its dedication to the earth. A 2015 report card from The Columbia Institute evaluating the environmental protection efforts of 61 countries showed that Canada ranked 58th.

Of course, Canada hasn’t been sitting idle in this category. The country’s government put a carbon tax into place to discourage companies that emit great amounts of greenhouse gases. It will need to work on removing fossil fuel subsidies and implementing more renewable energy to meet its goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, however. Creating a legal carbon reduction framework the way the UK, Mexico, Denmark, and Finland have is an important next step for Canada.

Read more: Canada Stands its Ground while U.S. leaves Paris Agreement

Avoid Putting these things in your Food Disposer

Avoid-Putting-these-things-in-your-Food-Disposer

Ever since the early forties, food disposers have been built into household sinks, and restrictions on them have been put into place to avoid too much difficult-to-break-down food waste from entering sewage systems. Today, the restrictions that have been maintained relate only to what kind of food shouldn’t go through these devices, and it’s important to review that list.

Animal bones and the grease that results from cooking meat should never be put in a food disposer. The grease will harden and build up until your drain is clogged, and the bones will shatter into large chunks that can’t fit through the device’s openings, jamming up the system.

Read more: Avoid Putting these things in your Food Disposer

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When ordering a disposal or mini bin there are a few questions to ask yourself.

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  4.     What am I going to fill the bin with?
  5.     How long am I going to need the bin for?

When our clientele orders a bin this is what we think of:

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