How did you spend the Fourth of July?

I worked the recycling booth at the Eno River Festival on the 4th. I like getting out and meeting folks. Sometimes the questions are easy to answer and sometimes they aren’t.

One common question I receive is, “I see all my recyclables being put into the same truck at the curb or in the same container at my drop-off site. How can I guarantee they are being recycled since they are all mixed up?” Rest assured!

This is called commingled recycling. Many communities are converting to this method by taking their material to MRF’s – Material Recover Facilities. The metal cans are separated by a magnet and the aluminum is taken out by an eddy current. The plastic has different densities so it can be separated out by puffs of air. The different colored glass can be separated using optics. Light that shines through the clear glass goes off in a different direction than the colored glass. Paper is separated by sticky conveyor belts. It is all very high tech now. These materials have value and should not be thrown away!

Guest Blogger - Ellen

I went to the beach over the weekend. It is, as it always has been I'm sure, a truly beautiful place. The waves in the ocean, the vast expanse of sand, it never fails to enchant me.

Now there is a law on the beach that you can't drink alcoholic beverages. Why? Because last Fourth of July the beach was so crowded and cluttered with remnant trash from the day of celebrating, that the officials threw in the towel and said enough is enough.

Is that really how we celebrate independence and freedom? By acting destructively toward our home? If freedom is your niche, then think about the things you do with your life that may go against that which defines being free. Beyond that, we ought to all think consistently about whether our own independence is coming at the cost of another, in any regard. To me, that doesn't seem all that free.

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