Monthly Archives: February 2012

How to Recycle Office, Fax and Copy Machines

4 Handy Ways to Recycle Office Equipment

Copier Tech

Creative Commons License photo credit: Yo Spiff

Recycling bulky office equipment can be a challenge! RecycleScene is here to help you with quick and easy options for stuff like photo copiers and fax machines. Let’s start with the easiest first.
Go to the manufacturer’s website to see if they have a recycling tab or information. Toshiba, for example, announced the expansion of its e-waste takeback program to include copiers and “imaging consumables,” including toner cartridges. You might be in luck if the company you purchased your machine from will either repair it or haul the machine away for you.

List your item on Craigslist or the Freecycle Network if your equipment is still working. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can get a response. Listing is free and relatively painless, although sometimes people will express interest and then flake out. It’s worth it to get stuff off your hands, for anything from couches to office equipment and machines.

Contact your local thrift store such as a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Salvation Army’s number to arrange a free pickup is 1800-SA-TRUCK. They’ll come directly to your location and haul the machine away for you. Keep in mind that items they accept are up to the discretion of the driver once they see what shape your stuff is in. Give it a try!

TIP: Remember data security. Clear out, remove and delete any personal information and passwords, etc before giving any electronic equipment away.

Give a call to your local school, place of worship, non-profit or other organization. A working copy machine could come in really handy for a local place near you that can use it. Ask around to see if they can get some use out of it. It should be easy to find someone with a truck to transport the machine if you don’t have one, and you could always try one of those rent-a-vehicle for a short period of time services, such as Zipcar.

If Office Equipment is Broken

In addition to computers, televisions and monitors, other office equipment and electronics should not be thrown in the garbage.

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

Sip Through This: Reusable Straws

reusable straws

Stainless steel straws are one solution to single-use disposables.

Sipping a milkshake, soda or refreshing iced tea or coffee through a straw is the best, but millions of straws are thrown away each day in the U.S., adding up to billions over the course of a year. You don’t have to give up straws altogether to be less wasteful. Instead of single-use, disposable plastic straws, check out glass and stainless steel straws that are stylish, dishwasher safe and are meant be reused over and over again.

According to a study conducted by Restaurants & Institutions magazine, nearly 83% of consumers surveyed said that environmentally friendly takeout packaging is either very important or somewhat important. More than 71% said that using environmentally friendly plates, to-go containers and utensils is also important.
Plastic straws proliferate in drawers in houses and offices alike, so many agree it’s time to change this one-use habit.

You may have read about the health concerns associated with plastic, particularly with items containing a host of toxins such as phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead. Going plastic-free and choosing BPA free food containers has become a lot more popular as questions about food safety were raised by the Center for Environmental Health and other groups.

Both glass and steel food straws help avoid plastics that may leach weird stuff into your drink and have their advantages respectively, so to help add a little clarity, here’s a few tips about each.

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

Flipping Out Over Recycling

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

Wad It Up Real Tight! Newspaper Recycling at its Finest

10 Ways Newspaper is Recycled

Le Chien et le Chat

Creative Commons License photo credit: Geoff Livingston

Ever hear how the most popular sections of the newspaper are weather and sports, but what about the most interesting newspaper crafts and products? Newspapers are very easy to recycle, as most cities accept them directly in a curbside bin. Newspaper makes for excellent kindling, and many people use it to line bird cages and protect floors from puppy housebreaking or fingerpainting, but those are but a paltry few of the ways that newspaper can be recycled. Stop wrapping fish and read about these other cool items made from recycled newspaper.

According to the TAPPI.org, more than 24 billion newspapers are published each year in the U.S. With newspapers so free and plentiful, it’s great to see people take recycling newspaper to the next level and beyond.

  • Besides egg cartons and cereal boxes, Step One of newspaper recycling is to make yourself or your pet a hat! There’s tons of sites out there that instruct you how to fold newspaper into pirate or sailor hat. Choose one and have fun.

recycled newspaper bagsYou’ll never be bored while waiting again if you always have something to read. This tote is made of recycled newspaper made more durable by a water resistant laminate. Perfect as a large purse, magazine bag or carry-on, this unique bag is sure to receive a good write-up. Each is handmade in Los Angeles, one-of-a-kind and will vary.Recycled newspaper pens

We’ve blogged about Smencils before, with all their recycled scented goodness. They also have pens! Also made from 100% recycled newspapers, each pen comes in a storage tube made from recyclable plastic. A good part is that the scent is guaranteed to last for two years. Now you can take a break from your essay writing and breathe in the scent of tropical fruits. Breathe out a whimsical sigh while journaling to the scent of lemonade, for example.

recycled newspaper dog

So is your dog paper trained? Even better- he never barks and is entirely made from woven recycled newspaper. Think of other conversations to strike about a paper pooch.

recycled newspaper mirror

The frame on this durable mirror is made of recycled paper, along with this entire 6-foot tall room divider! Can you imagine hand-crafting that by weaving newspapers into panels? Pretty amazing!

Is it ironic to store newspapers in a basket made from newspapers? The basket below is made from recycled newspaper and is ideal for storing just about anything around the house:recycled newspaper basket

  • See the way designer Enrique Romero’ crafts his unique PulpLamps made from 100% recycled newspapers.
  • For a sweet table or home decor idea, check out how to make flowers from old newspaper.

It’s true that paper cannot be recycled over and over indefinitely, like aluminum cans or other metal such as steel. Every time paper is recycled, the fibers get shorter. It’s only got 5-7 times before the fibers become too short to bond into new paper. So remember, after you are finished reading your newspaper, give it a second, third, or even fourth life. Then celebrate by throwing a party and using a recycled paper mache piñata!

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

The Record-breaking Recycled Art of Stephán Wanger

World’s Largest Mosaic Made from Mardi Gras Beads

Thousands of tons of discarded Mardi Gras beads would be headed to a landfill after Mardi Gras season, but artist Stephán Wanger has a better use for them: the World’s largest mosaic. The artwork is entitled Sanctuary of Alegria – Home of Happiness and presents a view across the Mississippi River towards downtown New Orleans, Wanger’s hometown.

Wanger began collecting beads hoping to increase tourism in New Orleans and awareness to recycle Mardi Gras beads. The colorful mosaic was on display in New Orleans until March 2012 when it will be auctioned off by the Make It Right Foundation to raise funds for the lower ninth ward, a neighborhood in New Orleans that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Sanctuary of Alegria is an 8 feet tall by 30 feet wide mosaic made entirely out of recycled Mardi Gras beads.

The record-breaking mosaic is part of the “A Million Greetings from New Orleans” exhibit that Wanger has been working on since 2006, and measures 8 feet tall by 30 feet wide, beating the current world record established in June 2010 by a grade school class in Ireland.

Recycling is a Way of Life

Part of Wanger’s goal is using recycled materials for his pieces. As he explains, “Looking at the global consumption of goods in general and add to it the ever-increasing amount of the world’s population, I cannot stop thinking about recycling. There is a limit to the amount of land that humanity has available for landfills, there is a limit to the amount of land that humanity has available to grow its cities, and there is a limit of resources that humanity has available to produce goods. Recycling has become my way of life – it is ingrained within me like brushing my teeth twice a day.”

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!