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Industry Insight

What to Teach Your Kids About Recycling

1. Not knowing is okay!

Don’t be afraid to tell your kids you are unsure. Just because you are unsure about an item, doesn’t mean you are at a loss. We have knowledge at our fingertips— literally at our fingertips. A quick internet search can keep you educated. Teaching your kids to stay educated is huge for the sustainability movement. Whether you’re unsure about the recyclability of certain materials, laws in place, and new sustainable technology, it is always good to do your research and show your kids how to too. Another resource is calling your waste management company directly. What’s important is that you sort items correctly and doing 5 minutes worth of research can save hours of sorting in the future.

2. No plastic bags...EVER

Plastic bags can’t and will never be recyclable. Maybe that’s why every household has a stash of plastic bags inside other plastic bags hiding somewhere in a drawer or closet. This also means that anything inside a plastic bag meant for recycling, has to also be thrown out when it gets to the facility. So put your recyclables loose in a bin and toss those plastic bags into the trash (or in your stash).

3. Don’t recycle anything smaller than a dollar bill

Any recyclable item that is smaller than a dollar bill becomes too small to be sorted correctly at the waste management facility. This includes straws, bottle caps, k-cups, paper clips, etc. Especially something like a bottle cap, it can stop and start the sorting process a few times a day! If the bottle cap is put back on the bottle, it can be sorted with the bottle. It is important to note that all waste management companies are different and have different processes in place so double check before recycling something new.

4. Empty, Clean, Dry

Before tossing something into the recycling bin, make sure it is empty, clean, and dry. If you want to recycle a pizza box, make sure all the leftovers are out of it and there are no grease stains. How clean does it have to be? Clean enough where you would feel comfortable using it again for something else. For example, if you are cleaning out a peanut butter jar that is made out of recyclable material, make sure it is clean enough to where you feel comfortable putting something besides peanut butter in it next time.

4. It doesn’t end with recycling!

Recycling is only the beginning when it comes to sustainability. There are so many other things to be aware of and to teach your kids. Recycling is only the tip of the iceberg, so when you are teaching the next generation how to properly recycle, you don’t stop there.

For more information on how to properly recycle head to www.waste360.com or give us a call at (603)-623-7933.

Download Our What-Is-What Trash Recycling Quick Sheet

Industry Insight

Wish-cycling Won’t Come True

What is “Wish-cycling”?
“Wish-cycling is the process of placing items into the recycling bin even when there’s little to no chance for their recovery” (https://discardstudies.com). Some common wish-cycled products include soiled pizza boxes, waxed milk cartons, and mixed plastics.

Why do people do this?
People ‘wish-cycle’ when they’re unsure how to properly dispose of a product in the hopes it will be recycled. Throwing something in the trash or in a recycling bin helps individuals relieve guilt they feel when using tossable products. People often think that recycling is immediately better than putting something in the trash. But, contaminating a recycling bin is irresponsible.

Why is this a problem?
When you incorrectly recycle, you disrupt or stop the whole recycling process. This disrupts and slows down the recycling process because a human has to sift through the waste. When a pickup is contaminated, it completely stops the process until sifted properly.

How to avoid this

Recycling can be easy! Don’t be afraid to use resources to check to ensure you are properly recycling including:

  • Call your local waste management company: (603) 623-7933 in the New Hampshire, Southern Maine, and Northern Mass areas
  • In your home, print out signs and tape them above recycling bins for a friendly reminder
  • Distribute pamphlets in your local area to educate community on how to properly dispose of each item

Download Our What-Is-What Trash Recycling Quick Sheet

Industry Insight

Less Is More

Ordering online is a fast and efficient way to get necessities sent directly to your doorstep, but it comes with a price. It negatively impacts the environment due to the use of plastic, excess cardboard, and styrofoam. We’ve all been there – you order online and the product comes in a box 4x the size, filled to the top with bubble wrap and packing peanuts. You spend minutes digging through the box, only to spend more time forcing the packaging to open.

One way to reduce your carbon footprint is to consciously purchase products online that have a more sustainable packaging approach. Companies can make their packaging more sustainable by doing the following:

  1. Make their packaging out of recyclable material
  2. Biodegradable packaging
  3. Allow consumers to opt out of packaging

Recycled & Recyclable

Although the product may need to be packaged to get to you, leveraging recycled materials can make a huge impact. If packaging material was made out of recycled material, companies would save money by eliminating excess packaging. Once large corporations take the step to become more conscious with their packaging, there will be a proactive shift in the sustainability movement.

One company making strides in their sustainability initiative is Gillette and Gillette Venus. Procter & Gamble (P&G) has set a goal of making their company more sustainable by 2030, initiated by making their packaging out of recycled cardboard and plastic. According to P&G, this pivot alone will save over 545 tons of plastic each year.

Biodegradable

One large development made in the last few years was the substitution of biodegradable packing peanuts for styrofoam. Styrofoam takes years to degrade, which makes it a material that lasts longest in landfills. Packing peanuts efficiently protects packages while having less of an impact on the environment– it’s a win-win.

Another biodegradable alternative is cornstarch. This has become a great alternative to plastic packaging because it is compostable. When cornstarch was first introduced, it was more expensive, but nowadays its price is comparable to plastic. From a cost perspective, this is an incentive for larger corporations to make the switch. Cutting costs while also working to improve a company’s corporate responsibility– it’s another win-win.

Minimal Packaging

Some companies, when you are checking out of their website, will allow you to opt into a minimal packaging option. For example, Glossier has an option for customers to select ‘less packaging’ during checkout. By clicking this box, you’ll receive fewer promotional products that typically clutter the order, making the product more sustainable.

Packaging is an easy way for companies to start becoming more sustainable. In 2021, sustainability is in. Companies making conscious efforts to eliminate waste are attracting an eco-conscious customer base.

As sustainability becomes more important to the average individual, companies either need to catch up or quit while they are ahead. With online ordering the primary Gen-Z consumers shop, practicing sustainable packaging will make or break a company moving forward. Get ahead of the curve and use more recyclable packaging.

Industry Insight

Are Landfills Good or Bad?

Well it depends.

It depends on a few factors:
The types of waste being dumped in landfills
How good the containment technology is at that landfill
Whether the landfill uses eco-friendly waste to energy technology

There are good and bad landfills just like how anything, when done incorrectly, can be harmful.


Type of Waste

The type of waste put in landfills matters. If organic material is buried in a landfill, the process to break it down is called anaerobic digestion. It is important to keep organic matter out of trash and landfills. This is because as organic matter decomposes, it releases greenhouses gases like methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These gases are not contained and are instead released into the atmosphere, warming our planet and adding to climate change.


Containment Technology

Landfills need to be well contained to prevent contamination. Landfills have liners around them to contain gases and liquids from leaving the landfill area. Think of it as a giant trash bag under ground that keeps everything in one place. If the lining isn’t installed properly or even malfunctions, it can be devastating to surrounding communities.

When rain mixes with chemicals in landfill waste, it creates a toxic substance called leachate. This substance can penetrate the landfill lining and contaminates nearby water sources and soil. To ensure surrounding wildlife and society is unaffected, it is imperative to build landfills with correct containment technology.


Waste to Energy Technology

When trash is incinerated it creates greenhouse gases as well. Instead of being released into the atmosphere, landfill companies can harness these gases and turn it into energy. To do this safely, the incineration must be done in a combustion chamber so the gas released from it can be contained. Then the gas and heat released is sent to a turbine generator for electricity. To prevent further contamination, the ash that is left over is dampened to reduce dust and hauled off in trucks. The trucks take the ash to a landfill suited for ash that prevents water contamination.

Depending on these factors, are landfills good or bad? There are still other contextual factors needed to determine the right answer.

Like:

  • What is the economic position of the country?
  • What surrounds the landfill?
  • What other sustainable measures are being taken?
  • What would be done if landfills didn’t exist?

There will always be pros and cons for waste removal. What you can do is ask questions, question authority, and remember sustainability starts in your home.

Industry Insight

Can You Recycle Broken Glass?

Things happen, glasses break, plates shatter, but the most important thing you can do is  dispose of it properly.

It may make sense that because you can recycle glass jars and containers that you would be able to recycle broken glass, but you cannot.

Broken glass cannot be recycled for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is unsafe. It can be harmful to whoever is handling your recycling, whether it be you, a partner, a waste collector, or a worker at the recycling center. Disposing of broken glass correctly is essential in keeping everyone around you safe.

Overall, broken glass can be damaging to the whole recycling operation. Most recycling centers are not equipped with machinery that can pick out the small pieces of glass so there is no way to remove tiny shards of glass from other recyclables. In addition, larger shards of broken glass can poke holes in the operation… literally. They are sharp and can cause harm to the items that we are able to recycle.

To keep everyone safe and maintain an effective recycling operation, let’s keep broken glass out of our recycling centers!


How you should dispose of broken glass:

Step 1: You should avoid picking up the pieces with your bare hands and make sure to wear shoes when cleaning up the glass.

Step 2: Sweep all of the broken glass into a container. This can be a brown paper bag or anything that the glass will not rip through easily.

Step 3: Seal the bag or container with tape or staples so the small glass shards cannot escape.

Step 4: Label the bag or container with the words “BROKEN GLASS” so whoever handles it next will be aware of the potentially harmful items inside.

Step 5: Place the container in the trash.

Other alternatives to just throwing out your broken glass includes contacting your local bottle bank and seeing if they will accept it. You would have to do your research, but they might dispose of broken glass for you. If you are unsure of how to dispose of something, contact us at (603) 623-7933 or refer to the residential recycling page on our website. 

Industry Insight

When Recycling Isn’t Enough

Many people believe that when they take small steps toward sustainability, whether they recycle or dabble in shopping second-hand, that their sustainability journey is done there. But that shouldn’t be the case. According to the EPA, one person, on average, creates 4.9 lbs of waste a day (EPA.gov).

The EPA also states that in 2018, Americans created 292.4 million tons of solid waste. Out of all the solid waste, around 69 million tons were recycled, 25 million tons were composted, totaling almost 94 million tons of solid waste either recycled or composted. This resulted in only a 32.1% recycling and composting rate. It is estimated that around 17.7 million tons of food were managed by other methods, resulting in 146 million tons of solid waste landfilled (https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/national-overview-facts-and-figures-materials#NationalPicture). If a handful of households made conscious decisions to decrease their solid waste millions of tons of solid waste would not end up in landfills.

Making small conscious decisions about your waste output is  a step in the right direction, but there is always more to be done. However,  the blame should not be on the average individual. Big corporations make up a substantial amount of the waste on our planet, and they should be held accountable. Although there are  regulations and laws being passed, there are also actions  the average individual can take to do their part.

There are many things that can be done to eliminate millions of tons of waste. Recycling is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being more sustainable.

In the Waste Management Hierarchy, the most preferred section begins with source reductions and reuse, then recycling/composting, then goes toward the least preferred section with energy recovery, and treatment & disposal.

Source reduction & reuse is a preventative method which limits what you bring into the waste stream. This includes shopping second-hand to reduce the intake of new items that will ultimately end up in a landfill. This could be anything from buying used appliances from Goodwill to taking old t-shirts and making a quilt out of it.

Recycling or Composting is next on the Waste Management Hierarchy. A lot of people recognize the act of recycling as a main goal in becoming a more sustainable person, but really that should be the bare minimum. Everyone should recycle (and recycle properly) and go up from there. Please refer to our resources (https://www.pinardwaste.com/residential-2/recycling/) to recycle properly with us or refer to waste360 (https://www.waste360.com/recycling).

Composting, on the other hand, is another practice that needs to be done properly for it to be effective. Resources to learn how to compost are also on waste360 (https://www.waste360.com/organics/composting). Mixing food in your trash is harmful for landfills and the environment. Roughly ⅓ of all the food we have never gets eaten and ends up thrown away (https://innovate-eco.com/what-happens-to-food-waste-in-landfills-the-full-environmental-impact). All that food then gets buried in landfills and the organic material is broken down without oxygen which is called anaerobic digestion. This creates greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere which adds to global warming. When composted in a proper circumstance, the food is broken down with oxygen in a process called aerobic digestion, which helps to avoid creating a by-product of greenhouse gases. When done properly, compost gets processed into natural fertilizer that can enrich the soil and environment.

Energy recovery is the conversion of non-recyclable waste into usable heat, electricity, or fuel, through the processes of combustion, gasification, pyrolization, and landfill gas recovery. This takes the greenhouse gases (mentioned above) and turns it into something useful instead of releasing them into the atmosphere. This process is out of an average individual’s hands, and puts the responsibility in the hands of corporations and landfill companies. If waste is reduced by a significant amount with the first two management techniques above, then energy recovery would be one of the last steps to make sure what waste does end up in a landfill is turned into something useful.

Lastly, Treatment & Disposal is the least preferred method of waste management. This refers to the end-of-life stage at landfills. Because the landfills are the last stop for any materials that are thrown out, they need to be treated as such. When organic materials are separated out of trash in the household, landfills run more smoothly. After the recovery of energy, landfills are then covered up and turned into parks and golf courses.

Being more sustainable with your waste starts at the top. You can stop your waste intake at the source by simply not buying new items that will ultimately end up in a landfill. Going down the Waste Management Hierarchy, you can recycle or compost all the waste that is eligible for either. If you need to throw things away, the landfills in which your waste ends up should be recovering all the energy it can to turn it into electricity or fuel we would normally be getting from someone else. And lastly, if you’ve done all you can, let’s make sure the treatment of a landfill is done properly and turned into something productive.

Industry Insight

Our Tips On Disposing PPE Properly

PPE or personal protective equipment has been a barrier between the Covid-19 virus and the general public for the last 12 months (and counting). Healthcare workers are not the only ones who use PPE or other sanitizing equipment. Over the last year, with the majority of the public using PPE, items have been disposed of improperly at an exorbitant number.

A majority of PPE and sanitizing equipment is single-use, which creates an overwhelming and uncharted amount of trash. Common PPE found littered or disposed of improperly includes gloves and face masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, and tissues.

As the pandemic approaches the one year mark, the damage to the environment as a result of PPE disposal continues to increase. By disposing of this waste properly and making substitutions when we can, we can mitigate this overflow of waste.

A majority of PPE and sanitizing equipment is single-use, which creates an overwhelming and uncharted amount of trash. Common PPE found littered or disposed of improperly includes gloves and face masks, bottles of hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, and tissues.

As the pandemic approaches the one year mark, the damage to the environment as a result of PPE disposal continues to increase. By disposing of this waste properly and making substitutions when we can, we can mitigate this overflow of waste.

  • Single-use face masks
    NOT recyclable and need to be put in the trash. Before throwing them away, cut the strings that go around your ears so they don’t cause harm to wildlife.
  • Gloves
    NOT recyclable and need to be thrown out.
  • Plastic hand sanitizer bottles
    ARE recyclable (as long as they are bigger than the travel size). Just make sure they are empty before recycling.
  • Sanitizing wipes and tissues
    NOT recyclable and need to be thrown out.

When throwing out any PPE or sanitizing equipment, make sure they go in a trash bag that is tied at top to stop the spread of germs.

Some substitutions we recommend to reduce waste:

  • Buy reusable (and washable) face masks. Have a few handy that can be rotated every other day to be washed.
  • Buy hand sanitizer in bulk. This allows you to use less plastic and recycle the bigger bottles more easily.
  • Switch to a rag and spray sanitizer for inside your home so you can wash the rag and reduce waste.
  • Reduce your glove wearing, unless absolutely necessary, by washing your hands more often.

When in doubt, throw it out! Being unsure is okay, so do your research and be a part of the conversation. That is a great first step to taking care of each other and the environment around us. Once again, stay safe!

If you have any questions on how to dispose of waste properly, Pinard Waste Systems is always at your disposal! You can use the resources on our website or the resources at RecycleSmartNH.org.

Company Articles

Employee Spotlight: Ben Goldstein

Here at Pinard Waste Systems we attribute our success and continued growth to the loyalty and professionalism our employees pour into their roles here as a part of the extended family. There’s a reason we’re one of the largest, most trusted waste removal and recycling partners in New Hampshire, and, really, in the Northeast. From our start as a one truck operation back in 1963, to the full-fledged fleet we operate daily today, all the thanks goes to our dedicated team of drivers, administrative staff, and customer support representatives. At the end of the day, we strive to offer exemplary service, and timely remediation of all your waste and recycling removal needs.

With that said, we’d like to take a moment to place the spotlight on one of our team members, in what will be an ongoing series so you can get to know our family a little more!

Today’s spotlight:

Ben Goldstein – Residential Dispatcher

How long have you been working at Pinard Waste Systems, and what brought 
you here initially?

I have been working at Pinard for three years. I was moving back to New Hampshire and had seen a job posting from Pinard and thought I would apply because of my previous experience and love for the waste management industry.

What is your favorite thing about working at Pinard? What keeps you 
getting up and punching into work every morning?

My favorite thing about working at Pinard is my coworkers – office personnel and the drivers. What keeps me punching in every morning is my kids, and making sure customers are satisfied with our service.

What is one thing you want your current customers / potential customers to know about you? What makes you, you?

I always put myself in both the driver and customer’s shoes so I can always help them out the best I can. I want to make sure they get off the phone happy. I am always on their side.

What is one thing you want your current customers / potential customers
 to know about waste management and your work at Pinard Waste Systems?

It’s very important to know what products we take and how to dispose of them properly. They can always call with questions or concerns.

What makes waste management an essential service and what makes you
 proud to serve your customers’ waste remediation needs?

It helps keep the environment and earth clean; helps keep cities and towns clean which will aide in eliminating the chances of illness and some of the airborne viruses.

In your opinion, what is one thing we can all do to make the earth a cleaner, healthier place?

Recycle.

As a full-service company, Pinard Waste Systems offers solutions for commercial, industrial, residential, and municipal needs. Whether you need curbside collection, a dumpster for your business or home, a roll-off container for a construction job, a compactor, or a comprehensive recycling program, contact us and experience the difference a locally-owned, NH-based company can make. Our team will take great care of all your waste removal and recycling needs.

Company Articles

Employee Spotlight: Jeff Dunn

Here at Pinard Waste Systems we attribute our success and continued growth to the loyalty and professionalism our employees pour into their roles here as a part of the extended family. There’s a reason we’re one of the largest, most trusted waste removal and recycling partners in New Hampshire, and, really, in the Northeast. From our start as a one truck operation back in 1963, to the full-fledged fleet we operate daily today, all the thanks goes to our dedicated team of drivers, administrative staff, and customer support representatives. At the end of the day, we strive to offer exemplary service, and timely remediation of all your waste and recycling removal needs.

With that said, we’d like to take a moment to place the spotlight on one of our team members, in what will be an ongoing series so you can get to know our family a little more!

Today’s spotlight:

Jeff Dunn – Sales Representative

How long have you been working at Pinard Waste Systems, and what brought 
you here initially?

I came to Pinard Waste Systems six years ago because I was in need of a career change and Pinard offered me a change of pace and an interesting opportunity. So here we are, six years later…

What is your favorite thing about working at Pinard? What keeps you 
getting up and punching into work every morning?

I really enjoy the great group of people I work with. They are like family to me.

What is one thing you want your current customers / potential customers to know about you? What makes you, you?

I appreciate all the opportunities I get to speak with our customers. I do what I can to make the sale of our service memorable for the customer in hopes of keeping great retention rates and earning their recommendation for further new business leads. I want us to be their first though when they need our waste removal service and recycling management.

What is one thing you want your current customers / potential customers
 to know about waste management and your work at Pinard Waste Systems?

We all take a lot of pride in the service we provide to each and every one of our customers, whether you’ve been with us for a week, or a decade, or more (and everything in-between…)

What makes waste management an essential service and what makes you
 proud to serve your customers’ waste remediation needs?

Everybody has a waste and or recycling removal need. We are the people that can help with that need. And we take our work very seriously.

In your opinion, what is one thing we can all do to make the earth a cleaner, healthier place?

I hate to be a downer, but I don’t know what we can do at this point to reverse the damage we’ve already done. But, if we’re cognizant of our consumption habits and how we deal with the waste that comes from that, maybe we can help the environment in some way.

As a full-service company, Pinard Waste Systems offers solutions for commercial, industrial, residential, and municipal needs. Whether you need curbside collection, a dumpster for your business or home, a roll-off container for a construction job, a compactor, or a comprehensive recycling program, contact us and experience the difference a locally-owned, NH-based company can make. Our team will take great care of all your waste removal and recycling needs.

Company Articles

Employee Spotlight: Barry Berg

Here at Pinard Waste Systems we attribute our success and continued growth to the loyalty and professionalism our employees pour into their roles here as a part of the extended family. There’s a reason we’re one of the largest, most trusted waste removal and recycling partners in New Hampshire, and, really, in the Northeast. From our start as a one truck operation back in 1963, to the full-fledged fleet we operate daily today, all the thanks goes to our dedicated team of drivers, administrative staff, and customer support representatives. At the end of the day, we strive to offer exemplary service, and timely remediation of all your waste and recycling removal needs.

With that said, we’d like to take a moment to place the spotlight on one of our team members, in what will be an ongoing series so you can get to know our family a little more!

Today’s spotlight:

Barry Berg – Head Dispatcher

How long have you been working at Pinard Waste Systems, and what brought 
you here initially?

I’ve been here for two years and four months now. I came to Pinard originally due to the size of the company and the potential for growth.

What is your favorite thing about working at Pinard? What keeps you 
getting up and punching into work every morning?

My favorite things about coming to work every day are the customers and helping them with their needs, and my fellow employees.

What is one thing you want your current customers / potential customers to know about you? What makes you, you?

I truly care about the customers’ rubbish needs. That may sound strange, but it is 100% true. I will go above and beyond to meet customer expectations. When they’re satisfied, I’m satisfied.

What is one thing you want your current customers / potential customers
 to know about waste management and your work at Pinard Waste Systems?

Again, it’s first and foremost the idea that we care about the customer and making sure they’re needs have been met. The customer is not just a number here at Pinard, they’re our business and we care about each and every one of them. Without our customers there is no us. That’s the reality of this whole operation…

What makes waste management an essential service and what makes you
 proud to serve your customers’ waste remediation needs?

Well, I think the root of it for me is the idea that without waste management removal there would be health issues and rodent problems (which can lead to further health issues). Both would be out of control if not for our remediation services (and that of the industry as a whole).

In your opinion, what is one thing we can all do to make the earth a cleaner, healthier place?

Recycle. It would be nice if there were more outlets to recycle more products. We ought to work on that!

As a full-service company, Pinard Waste Systems offers solutions for commercial, industrial, residential, and municipal needs. Whether you need curbside collection, a dumpster for your business or home, a roll-off container for a construction job, a compactor, or a comprehensive recycling program, contact us and experience the difference a locally-owned, NH-based company can make. Our team will take great care of all your waste removal and recycling needs.