Recycling Archives

WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Read Any Good Vases Lately?

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A London-based graduate student has collected offcast books and turned them into pieces of furniture with an unusual sense of beauty and purpose. She has also discovered a creative way to reuse secondhand books that are typically unacceptable in the recycling process due to their glue content.

WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Off The Cuff Off Cuts Made Into Furniture

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In the ongoing quest to reduce, reuse, and recycle, one aspiring furniture designer is expressing her artistic talent in the form of furniture made from factory waste—and nothing else. No screws, bolts—just wood waste. Amy Hunting, a London, UK-based designer and illustrator, has introduced The Patchwork Collection—lamps, chairs, and storage/book boxes made out of wood waste and off cuts produced in the Danish factories. These descriptions and images come from the artist’s Web site:The magazine box (picture, left) can be moved around and reconfigured for multiple uses and appearances. These lamps (pictured below, right) were cut out of a large solid block of wood, made up of small off cuts. The pendant lamps were then cut out of the block until 12 lamps revealed themselves and all the wood had been cut out. The 12 lamps can be stacked inside each other for easy transport. They require no fitting and can be hung on any bare lamp bulb through the top.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Recycling Fluorescent Lamps

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Recycling Fluorescent Lamps Posted on:

This Web Exclusive comes from Mark A. Ceaser of OMNI/ajax Absolute Sorbent Technologies, Inc. Throughout the country, we have seen bans and regulatory control over the exposure of the public to hazardous risks. However, one of the most overlooked dangers surrounds each of us every day. It contains potentially dangerous amounts of mercury and can be found above your desk at work, in the lamp on your child’s nightstand, and even at your local supermarket. It is known to all of us as a fluorescent light bulb. An analysis of the lighting industry shows a trend shifting from the usage of incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs. The transition is mentioned in our daily papers and on television. Usage of fluorescent bulbs, however, is not entirely without risk. These bulbs contain mercury, an element that can have debilitating effects on humans upon prolonged exposure. According to 40 CFR 261.24 of the Environmental Protection Agency, most of these lamps contain enough mercury to warrant them as hazardous. The risks associated with disposing mercury in landfill are far reaching, since the substance can eventually reach both the air and groundwater. In order to establish the necessity for a national fluorescent bulb recycling law, three key components must be addressed. First, the hazards and commonality of mercury exposure; second, the safest and most effective disposal of mercury via recycling; and finally, the need to update current guidelines. Furthermore, a national fluorescent bulb recycling law would not only help the environment, but it would also promote new business growth and job opportunities, as well. The citations of the hazards of mercury exposure are well documented and compelling. Mercury poisoning has been linked to autism and proven to cause neurological damage and death. Mercury alternatives are being researched and tested, but its use is still found primarily in precise measuring devices, such as thermometers, sphygmomanometer and barometers, dental amalgams, mercury switches and, most commonly, fluorescent bulbs (including compact fluorescent bulbs or CFLs). Because of its unique properties, the most effective way to dispose of mercury bearing wastes is through recycling. This process requires the separation of the mercury waste from other compounds by a process called “retorting.” When recycling fluorescent bulbs, the entire bulb is crushed, the glass and metal end caps are removed from the waste, and the resulting residue is then processed by a series of heating cycles to produce elemental mercury with a purity of 99.99%. Unfortunately, the illegal disposal of mercury wastes continues, resulting in unnecessary exposure to people and the planet…. …Read More…