From Berries to Barbecues – Recycle Smart Tips for Memorial Day

Recycle Smart Partners-

Exciting news! Recycle Smart MA won not one, but TWO Gold Communicator Awards of Excellence this year! Competing against many large national brands and campaigns (Tide, Kohler, etc.) – Recycle Smart won awards in the website and integrated campaign categories.

That’s not all – word of Recycle Smart is spreading.  People are clearly looking for answers to their pressing recycling questions as evident from the 5,600 individuals who visited RecycleSmartMA.org last month and our 11,170 followers across our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).  We appreciate everything you have done to make this success possible.  Keep up the good work!

Get Ready for Berry Season

Based on user feedback, in April we added a new entry for Berry Baskets (Paper) to the Recyclopedia. These paper berry baskets (any color) are recyclable. (P.S. – The clear plastic fruit containers are recyclable too). Great news as we gear up for berry picking season and trips to the farmers market. 

Share this Memorial Day Content

If you haven’t shared a social post from our previous newsletters yet, now is the perfect time!  Not on social media?  Just copy the content below into your e-newsletter.

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  • Hosting a Memorial Day BBQ?  Remember to #RecycleSmart by providing a clearly marked recycling container so cans and bottles don’t go into the trash.  Recycling (or returning for a deposit) just 3 cans saves enough energy to charge a smartphone 30+ times – how cool is that? Check out this video from Recycle by City https://www.facebook.com/recyclebycity/videos/339490206687966/ and visit the Recycle Smart MA website for more helpful tips: RecycleSmartMA.org

From Cans to Cars...Alumnium and Steel are Infinitely Recyclable

Metal food and beverage cans are probably the most readily recyclable items in our homes and workplaces.  But not everyone knows the difference between these two kinds of metals or what happens to them once they’re collected.
“Tin cans” (think soup or canned vegetables) are actually made of steel with a thin coating of tin and were collected during World War II scrap drives to literally help build ships and tanks.  The aluminum beverage can made its debut in 1959 as a beer can.  Both steel and aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable and most of them are converted into new uses right here in the United States. 

Here are a few fun facts:

  • Because steel and aluminum retain their physical properties indefinitely and don’t lose strength during the recycling process, they can be recycled over and over in a true “closed loop”. 
  • Aluminum cans (non-ferrous metal) are separated at the MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) with an eddy-current separator which creates an electrical field to repel aluminum from other containers; steel cans (ferrous metal) are separated with a magnet.
  • Most steel cans go to recycling mills in the U.S. where they are converted into new steel for production of cars, bridge beams or new steel cans.
  • U.S. companies like Novelis and Alcoa turn aluminum cans into “can sheet” to make new cans, or auto-body sheet for new cars.
  • Nearly 75% of all aluminum produced in the U.S. is still in use today.
  • Aluminum use is on the rise in the craft beer industry; nearly 500 craft brewers use it to can more than 1,700 beers.
  • Making aluminum cans from recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy than making it with raw (virgin) aluminum.
  • It takes 75% less energy to make recycled steel than steel produced from raw materials

 (Sources: Can Manufacturers InstituteSteel Recycling Institute).

 

Partner Spotlight: ecoimagine

ecoimagine, a Recycle Smart Partner and online retailer of recycled and upcycled goods, is the first retail business that has embedded the Recycle Smart Recyclopedia tool into its website.  What a smart business model, ecoimagine – way to go!  We met ecoimagine at MassRecycle’s annual statewide conference in March.  Owner Lisa Cassidy was excited to learn about the Partner program and the tools Recycle Smart provides to take the guesswork out of recycling. In addition to the “Where Do I Recycle This?” tool, ecoimagine’s website shares the Top 5 items to keep out of the recycling bin plus practical tips to integrate recycling into day-to-day activities. 

Take a look here to see how ecoimagine has taken advantage of the free Partner resources Recycle Smart has to offer.

Get out there and enjoy the grilling and chilling this Memorial Day.

Thanks for recycling smart with us,

The Recycle Smart Team at MassDEP