Reduce, Reuse,...
April 25, 2006 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Where do your recycleables go? Minneapolis' Star Tribune has created a very interesting, informative, interactive feature, describing where your recycling goes after it is picked up from your curb. An educational way to spend your afternoon!
posted by santiagogo (14 comments total)
I thought retarded people sifted through it at the basement of the Mall of America.

I'm not sure what happened to it from that point on ...
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:24 AM on April 25, 2006

Wrong... Sorting recycleables requires a doctorate in Sortology.
posted by santiagogo at 11:42 AM on April 25, 2006

The picture lacks an important element: the homeless guys picking up stuff to collect the deposits. Without them, imagine how many more bottles and cans you would see all over.
posted by pracowity at 12:04 PM on April 25, 2006

In Germany they've been stashing them in an abandoned open pit mine because there's no market demand for the recycled materials. Pretty soon they're going to run out of space there, and then no one knows what they'll do with all of it.

But they have to keep collecting them and separating them, because of EU regulations.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:07 PM on April 25, 2006

Wow -- I was just wondering about this yesterday (my pickup day). We'd once had box-based recycling where one would do one's own separation and wondered what magic they had to deheterogenize the mass left in my new, larger bin.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:19 PM on April 25, 2006

when we recycle we deprive future generations of valuable resources to be gained by mining 10,000 year old landfills.
posted by Megafly at 12:27 PM on April 25, 2006

I grew up in Minnesota but moved away a few years ago. The constant references to pop (as opposed to soda) in the aluminum section make me feel right back at home.
posted by lucasks at 12:43 PM on April 25, 2006

You can read this if you feel like developing a nuanced understanding of Germany's very complex recycling situation. Also I believe that Germany's national laws are generally driving their waste management issues, not EU regulations, but it's possible I'm wrong.

If you look at particularly the section on plastics in the posts top link from the Star Tribune, there is some insteresting discussion of how the increasing price of oil has been rapidly increasing the market for recyclable plastic waste. It will be interesting to see if resin choices move increasingly towards recyclable resins (this has already happened to a large degree with packaging being more and more predominantly made of LDPE HDPE and PET.
posted by nanojath at 1:07 PM on April 25, 2006

"Hey, check me out -- I'm thin!!"

I just carted my recyclables (mostly beer bottles, heh) to the recycle center two hours ago. Damn city won't provide recycle pickup unless they provide trash pickup, which my apt building doesn't have. Grrrr....
posted by LordSludge at 1:10 PM on April 25, 2006

That is so bizarre...I just put my old, dead computer on the curb here in Minneapolis just this morning after about a year of scratching my head wondering how the heck I recycle electronics.

Finally I looked up the info on the City of Minneapolis' website and was vaguely reassured that if I stuck it on the curb on my trash day with a sign that said 'please take', it would be picked up the following day by solid waste recycling. But then the trash truck picked it up and now it's heading to a landfill. Good cripes! This start trib article says nary a word about electronics recycling, and it's a big issue.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:17 PM on April 25, 2006

In Germany they've been stashing them in an abandoned open pit mine because there's no market demand for the recycled materials.

Do you have a news source for this? I'd like to read it.
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:06 PM on April 25, 2006

No kidding, pracowity. In Los Angeles, the quickest, most efficient way to recycle is to simply throw the item out onto the sidewalk. It's usually gone within 15 minutes - even from seemingly unlikely places.
posted by redteam at 4:42 PM on April 25, 2006

I'm pretty sure a lot of the recycleables here in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada are also not actually recycled. They're getting a lot better, but it used to be that the alcoholic bottles were taken, crushed, and brought to the dump.

I keep meaning to find out exactly what is and is not recycled these days.
posted by ODiV at 7:19 PM on April 25, 2006

Do you have a news source for this? I'd like to read it.

I'd like to read it too, but I'm not holding my breath. Steven plays fast and loose with the facts. He's basically just one of those right-wing propaganda repeaters.

My guess is that he heard the story on right-wing AM radio.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:01 PM on April 28, 2006

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