Five New Recycling Methods That Could Rock 2013
Spring is hitting its prime, allowing many across the country to emerge from their winter hideaway and enjoy what nature has to offer. Unfortunately, that also means putting up with trash in the most pristine of places. But it doesn’t have to be that way: new startups and recycling techniques can help to make recycling more common, fun, and beneficial. Read on to discover five techniques recycling startups are using to make recycling commonplace.
1) The Upcycle Technique
The upcycle technique is a simple technique: collect trash, then make something new. There are a variety of programs that do this, and many, like TerraCycle, ask participants to collect and send junk for companies to remake into items like tables, chairs, backpacks and radios. Some, like Elvis & Kresse Organization, even take industrial waste to craft new luxury items.
2) The Simple Electronics Technique
New recycling methods involve far more than just setting up a few bottle banks at the end of the block….
Electronics are particularly nasty when it comes to recycling. They’re complex, contain a lot of nasty chemicals, and are far cheaper to throw away than to recycle. Most avid environmentalists would ask you to hang onto your phone from the early 2000s for the sake of the planet. While the sentiment is great, sometimes it’s not wholly realistic option.
But laptops and electronics, which can easily be broken down, for example, are a great way to cut the environmental baggage which comes with digital life. Bloom laptops do exactly that by making simple computers recyclers can quickly tear down for efficient processing. Such standards could drive the cost of recycling computer equipment down and make the process far more profitable.
3) The Social Networking Technique
At its heart, the environmental movement has always been a social phenomenon. Many learn of new techniques and basic environmentally friendly practices through word-of-mouth. And now there’s a hashtag for that.
Enter #litterati, a movement based on litter-awareness. The idea is simple: take a photo of litter with Instagram, tag it with the hashtag #litterati, and then compost, recycle, or throw the trash away. While it doesn’t require recycling, it does help to map out and realize the scale of waste. Litterati accomplishes this by using Instagram’s geolocation data, which is then filtered into litterati’s digital landfill map. The trash, depending on the hashtags associated with the submission, is then mapped and sorted by brand.
4) The Gamification Technique
Studies have shown that gamification can help to make workers more productive. But how can it affect recycling? A few companies are finding out.
For example, Greenbean Recycle, is marrying tech software and gamification to promote recycling. The program will have recyclers punch in their phone number on a Greenbean machine. These machines work like any normal bottle recycling machine, but after the bottles and cans are counted the machine also connects to the Internet in order to upload stats on a given participant. Those participants, in addition to receiving a refund through PayPal, can post how much energy they’ve saved by recycling and compete with fellow recyclers.
5) The Green Bank Technique
New Recycling methods are starting to involve all aspects of our life so that we can choose to make green conscience decisions…
If banks and car insurance companies can offer you benefits for making smart decisions, why can’t recycling? A least, that appears to be the premise behind RecycleBank, which gives locals special deals and offers for making green conscience decisions.
Recyclebank offers discounts and deals to green conscious from over 3,000 local and national businesses. To do this, the company uses its online platform and partnerships to incentivize consumers with points, which can be redeemed at participating businesses.
RecycleBank is limited to a few communities for now, but if it takes off it could offer promising incentives for many to finally adopt greener lifestyles.
New Recycling Methods
Angie Picardo is a writer at NerdWallet, a financial literacy site where you can find advice on how to save money by going green and how to start planning for retirement.
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