Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day Schedule

Our Administrative offices will be closed Monday, September 7, but the Tuscarora Landfill, Newport Transfer Station and Grantsboro Transfer Station will operate on their regular schedules.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How Much Trash?

Cover Photo

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

35 Years of Trash Turned Into Ocean Garbage Patches

NASA Video Reveals How 35 Years of Trash Turned Into Ocean Garbage Patches

The Scientific Visualization Team used computer models to show how plastic and other refuse collects in five spots.

It’s no secret that when all the cigarette butts, food wrappers, Styrofoam coffee cups, plastic bottles, and other trash that gets tossed on the ground washes down storm drains, it ends up in the world’s waterways. Hello, dirty beaches, sick marine life, and ocean garbage patches.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the most well known, but there are five gigantic clumps of trash in the world’s oceans. Now, a visualization by NASA shows how all the litter people around world carelessly toss onto streets and sidewalks travels on ocean currents and settles into those five gross globs of drifting detritus. The journey a single-use plastic bottle of water takes as it floats on the waves can’t be tracked with a satellite, so NASA visualized how discarded rubbish moves with the next best thing: buoys.
“We start with data from floating, scientific buoys that NOAA has been distributing in the oceans for the last 35 years, represented here as white dots. Let’s speed up time to see where the buoys go,” NASA data analyst Greg Shirah explains in the video above. To move the buoys accurately, NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio uses a computational model, ECCO2, which estimates the circulation and climate of the ocean—sure enough, the buoys end up congregating where there are garbage patches. 
Shirah and the rest of his team then add particles—think of those as plastic bags or soda bottle caps—to the visualization. “We release particles evenly around the world and let the modeled currents carry the particles,” he says. “The particles from the model also migrate to the garbage patches.”
Last week, the Ocean Cleanup Project, an enormous floating structure that is designed to clean the trash from the world’s waterways, completed a monthlong expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. “The vast majority of the plastic in the garbage patch is currently locked up in large pieces of debris, but UV light is breaking it down into much more dangerous microplastics, vastly increasing the amount of microplastics over the next few decades if we don’t clean it up,” the structure’s inventor, 21-year-old Boyan Slat, said at a press conference. “It really is a ticking time bomb.”
Plastic waste causes approximately $13 billion in destruction to beaches and ocean habitats, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. Add the billions of microbeads being washed down the world’s drains every day to what’s already floating in these five gyres of garbage, and the impact on the food chain could prove to be even more disastrous

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sunglasses Made From Recycled Fishing Nets

Bureo Launches First Sunglasses Made From Recycled Fishing Nets


‘Ocean Collection’ Kickstarter Now Live

REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA – 11 August 2015 – Buero Inc, an emerging venture focused on developing solutions to prevent ocean plastic pollution through innovative product applications, has collaborated with a progressive Chilean eyewear company, Karün. Introducing the ‘Ocean Collection,’ first ever sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets.
Seeking an innovative solution to prevent one of the most harmful forms of ocean plastic, the Ocean Collection upcycles discarded fishing nets into premium eyewear. Featuring frames made from 100% recycled fishing nets, premium Carl Zeiss polarized lenses, and unique designs inspired by the ocean environment. Combining modern innovation with classic style, the Ocean Collection enters new waters for the eyewear industry.
For every pair of glasses purchased, Bureo will be able to further expand their community-based fishnet collection and recycling program, ‘Net+Positiva’, while generating funds for programs that empower coastal communities most affected by plastic pollution.
Every year an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution enters our oceans. Fishing nets are one of the most harmful forms of this destructive waste. Bureo’s Net+Positiva program works to prevent fishing net pollution by creating value in the discarded material and incentivizing coastal communities across the coast of Chile. The program installs net collection points and provides funds to local communities for every kilogram of fishing net collected. Provided funds are then administered by local NGO’s alongside the leaders of local fishing syndicates, and focused towards education and waste management programs working in collaboration to prevent various forms of ocean plastic.
The Ocean Collection offers three models made entirely from Bureo’s Net+Positiva fishing net plastic, an incredibly unique, fully traceable, 100% recycled and recyclable fishing net material. The experience and philosophy behind Karün is reflected in the glasses, making sure that the frames durability and quality is within the highest standards in the market. Each model has been inspired by the natural environments, with designs reflecting native whales’ coexistence with their natural habitat off the coast of Patagonia, Chile. The unique eyewear collection is set to launch during the second week of August.
Karün and Boreo will be launching a Kickstarter campaign on August 11 to raise funds for their first production run. For donations of $99 or more, backers of the campaign will be awarded with a pair(s) of sunglasses from the first production run planned for late summer.
About Karün
Karün is an eyewear company based in Chile formed by people sharing values about life and the natural environment. Focused on creating the highest quality eyewear based on beauty and respect for the planet and its inhabitants, Karün is building deep connections with local communities and surrounding environments. Unique eyewear made with timeless craft using noble, natural and recycled materials from the Pacific coast, the desert and the deep native forests of Patagonia.
About Bureo
Bureo is a ventured based in the US and Chile, focused on finding solutions for the growing issue of plastic pollution in our oceans and initiating social change. Bureo’s Net+Positiva program provides fisherman with environmentally sound disposal points, while Bureo receives highly recyclable and durable raw materials. Headquartered in California, Bureo is a participating venture of Patagonia’s $20Million and Change Fund, an internal fund supporting likeminded start-up companies having a positive impact on the environment


Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Creative Upcycles for Tools

5 Creative Upcycles for Tools

Have an old tool that's languishing in the back of a shed somewhere? Give it the rustic treatment and upcycle it to create a cool piece for your home.
The rustic/vintage décor craze is still running strong; people are turning old planks of wood and antiques into gorgeous home accents that look like a million bucks - but probably cost mere pennies. One group of items that are being upcycled more and more are old tools - think shovels, screwdrivers - you get the drill (no pun intended). While these tools may have been handed down to you or found at the local Savers, there are plenty of ways to give them a whole new life. Try one of these creative upcycles for old tools and add a touch of old-school craftsmanship to your home.

Screwdriver picture frame holder

Older screwdrivers had wooden handles - not the plastic we are used to today. It just so happens that those wood handles and long tarnished metal stems make perfect picture holders. This blogger attached the bottom of the screwdriver to a heavy base, hanging framed pictures off of the flathead at the top. She points out that this project could also double as a paper-towel holder for your rustic kitchen space.

Shovel address sign

People who love to garden will definitely want to create this address sign made out of an old shovel. Cut the wood handle down, leaving a few inches for a stump. Use a rubber mallet to flatten the shovel down a bit - you can then spray your house numbers on or attach them via screws. Place the sign near your front door in the grass - don’t be surprised if you see similar shovel signs pop up in the neighborhood after!

Rake kitchen utensils holder

That old metal rake taking up space in your garage can make a new home in the kitchen as a hanging utensil holder. Remove the metal rake from the wooden base using a saw, and ensure it’s clean. Then, hang the rake, spokes out, above your stove or elsewhere in the kitchen. Spatulas, whisks and all the other kitchen essentials can be hung from each spoke - see how one blogger did it here! This same project can be used to display wine glasses too!

C-Clamp bookends

Have some vintage C-clamps collecting dust in the basement? Add them to a display ledge to make bookends that no one would expect. Remember to whisk away any loose rust with steel wool - you wouldn’t want those nice books getting an orange stain. Twist the clamps in place tightly enough to support the books but not too tight - you don’t want to damage the shelf. Check out this site for more information on this interesting upcycle.

Ladder bookshelf

This project is so incredibly smart and simple, it’s hard not to do it. Take an old wooden ladder and form it into a L-shape, creating a perfect 90-degree angle at the hinges. Mount to a corner in your living room or office and voila! You have a rustic-looking bookshelf! Mix in other wood shelving with the C-clamp book ends and your vintage tool-themed room will be complete.

About the author

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer and life enthusiast. She enjoys writing on subjects that relate to social justice, personal finance and wellness. When not writing, Rachelle likes playing with her dog Fonzie and collecting LEGO sets. Read more from Rachelle here:
- See more at:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

5 DIY School Materials for Educators

5 DIY School Materials for Educators

Teachers can stretch their budget with these DIY games and supplies.
Due to small supply budgets, most teachers in the United States have to pay for their own supplies - this being despite the fact that teachers make a fairly small wage when compared with other professionals. As a result, teachers to seek out innovative resources to create their own educational games and materials. Check out some of these easy to make teaching supplies - (which can be made by teachers or parents) and keep your hard-earned money where it belongs.

1. File folder games

Teachers understand the value of a plain manila file folder as being worth far more than the pennies it costs to buy one. There are so many different games you can make using a file folder to target a variety of topics, from memory to math. There are thousands of websites with free printable games - all you have to do is print, cut and paste onto your file folder. Place games pieces in a plain envelope glued to the outside of the folder - bonus points if you have access to a laminator. You can also draw your own games, of course, and save even more on printing and paper costs. Check this website out to see different file folder games - from preschool all the way up to fifth grade.

2. Plastic bottle sensory bottles

Plastic bottles are so useful for teachers, as they can be turned into a zillion different things. Some early childhood teachers will fill clear plastic bottles with different materials and glitter for children to shake and watch. When teaching the weather, it’s easy to make bottles that represent snowy, sunny, cloudy and windy (see how here). And let’s not forget how much fun it was creating a tornado out of two-liter bottles when we were young. Keep the tradition alive and learn how to make them here.

3. Finger puppet gloves

A simple five-fingered winter glove can be a great accessory when singing traditional songs, such as “Five Little Monkeys” or “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” Gloves can also be used to tell stories or poems. Simply take a glove and attach little pieces of Velcro to the tip of each finger and the thumb. Then create the story characters out of felt (which will still to the Velcro automatically) or adhere Velcro to other items for the same purpose. Keep the story pieces together in a Ziploc bag with labels so that you can easily grab them when it’s circle time. This website has lots of different ideas on how to use the finger puppet glove - check it out!

4. Cookie Sheet Magnet Games

Another insanely cheap and versatile item, baking sheets are a big win with teachers. Paint the baking sheets (you can pick them up at a thrift or dollar store) and then create your game. You can download tons of different templates on this website, which has lots of different developmentally appropriate games that be interchanged. Grab a set of alphabet and number magnets, place them in a bag that can go with each lesson, and voila! A whole new world of cheap and easy education games!

5. LEGO Word Family Sorting

Interchangeable blocks like LEGO and Megablocks are great in the classroom, especially since children already like to play with them at home. You can easily find bags of random pieces at yard sales or secondhand stores, which can then be used in a variety of educational activities. One is the Word Family Sorting game, where children must stack blocks on top of one another that have similar words on them (think rhyming words or nouns, depending on your grade level). You can also utilize LEGOs to teach addition and subtraction, spelling and colors. Who said blocks were just for building spaceships?

About the author

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer and life enthusiast. She enjoys writing on subjects that relate to social justice, personal finance and wellness. When not writing, Rachelle likes playing with her dog Fonzie and collecting LEGO sets. Read more from Rachelle here:
- See more at:

Home Electronics Disposal

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