Posts tagged ‘Recycle’

USF Bookstore wont buy your books back? Donate Them!

Use the new bin we built from cardboard and paper

Don’t burn your books for warmth!

or some sort of weird pleasure.



December 11, 2009 at 2:51 PM Leave a comment

The Plastic Waste Problem

Plastics Have Revolutionized Our World

Today, plastic touches every aspect of our daily lives in some way. It keeps the foods we eat fresh, the medicines we take secure, and the homes we live in safe. As a result of our dependence on plastic, consumption is increasing at a rapid pace. In fact, the global culture of consumerism relies upon plastic for its very existence. The overall plastic market is growing at a rate of more than 7% per year. In 2005, over 230 million metric tons (over 500 billion pounds) of plastic was produced  globally.

What Do We Do With All This Plastic Afgter Its Useful Life?

There are currently four major options for the disposal of waste plastic:
recycling, landfill, incineration, and dumping. We have come to the sobering realization that all four methods are fraught with severe drawbacks and limitations. Current disposal methods no longer fit our needs. Incineration, landfill, and dumping present harmful environmental impacts and recycling has proven to be both expensive and inefficient. We are running out of options and the world needs a new solution.

Extracting Oil for Plastics

In 2008, more than 85 million barrels of crude oil were extracted daily worldwide. After extraction, refineries process crude oil into different refined petroleum products including liquefied petroleum gas, gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, jet fuel, lubricants, petrochemical feedstock, petroleum coke, and asphalt. Plastic production uses 8% of the world’s oil production, with 4% used as feedstock and 4% providing the energy required for plastic production.

Since plastic is a derivative of petroleum, plastic possesses a commensurately high level of stored energy content. The energy density of polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), and polypropylene (PP) is comparable to that of gasoline and is approximately 51% higher than that of coal. Unfortunately, this high level of energy literally “goes to waste” when plastic waste products are discarded. In 2007 the United States produced 58 million tons of plastic, from which 48 million tons of plastic waste entered the nation’s waste stream.

November 18, 2009 at 12:52 PM Leave a comment

The Next Generation for Recycled Plastics

It has always been hoped that as more products were developed using recycled plastics, more demand would be created for recycled plastic material thus increasing its value and, in the end, increasing collection and recycling efforts.

So far plastic appears to be one of the least recycled materials. Perhaps that’s ready to change.

One example of a new use of recycled plastic comes from Axion International Holdings of New Providence, New Jersey. That company has won a $957,000 contract from the U.S. Army for the construction of two railroad bridges designed from nearly 100 percent recycled plastics. The main structural components of the bridges to be built at Fort Eustis, Virginia,home of the US Army Transportation Corps, will be made from recycled consumer and industrial plastics using Axion’s proprietary immiscible blending. Axion calls its products Recycled Structural Composites (RSC).

With load rating capacities of 130 tons, these bridges will reach a new milestone in thermoplastic load bearing capacity, surpassing the current record held by Axion’s bridges at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Those bridges are able to support loads more than 73 tons for tracked vehicles and 88 tons for wheeled vehicles. The new short span bridges at Fort Eustis will extend approximately 40 feet and 80 feet respectively and will use two of the company’s core infrastructure products – bridges and railroad cross ties.


Axion’s tank and truck carrying recycled plastic bridge.

Lots of infrastructure projects using high volume of maintenance-free recycled plastic would certainly create more demand for ready-for-manufacture recycled material. Another possibility is for the process of plastic recycling to become more technically sophisticated to the point where raw recycled plastic material can compete with virgin plastics: that is become a new material in itself.

Full Story Click HERE

November 17, 2009 at 12:46 PM Leave a comment

University of San Francisco: unplugged

USFUNPLUGGED is brought to you by the Environmental Safety Community Outreach Liaison’s of USF. Here to educate, assist and encourage, we want you to get involved with the GREEN movement taking place on campus!

Unplugged Rewind