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Fun with Waste: Turning waste spectacle lenses into art

London designer and entrepreneur, Yair Neuman, transforms waste spectacle lenses into works of art. “The idea started as an emotional reaction to seeing the waste”, said the Neuman in an interview with Optometry Today.

Giant ‘vacuum cleaner’ leaves beaches microplastic-free

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Conservationist group #SeaTheBiggerPicture Ocean Initiative (#STBP) and engineers from Matriarch Generic Engineering have developed a giant vacuum cleaner that picks up trash and sieves out microplastics from the beaches of Cape Town in South Africa.

Called the Enviro Buggy, it sieve out microplastics, pieces of plastic that have broken down and now are smaller than 5mm, from ordinary beach sand. It would take humans days to do the same using manual methods.

“The Enviro Buggy was born out of a necessity. We were fed up with trying to pick up so many tiny degraded particles of plastic. It was near impossible by hand, even with a large-scale crew,” said Tash Krauss, a conservationist at STBP.

Fun with Waste: Using Tik Tok for Waste Management Messaging

The Town of Bromsgrove in England has used TikTok to help get the message out on waste pick up days.  The father and daughter duo of Paul and Kim provide the entertain and information on the brown bin collection schedule in the town.

Click here to watch the video.

Fun with Waste: Transforming e-waste into post-apocalyptic landscapes

Photographer Benjamin Von Wong uses his photography as a way to make a positive social impact. Thought-provoking as they are beautiful, Von Wong’s high-concept series are innovative in their use of materials.

For his e-waste landscapes project, Von Wong used 1,800 kg of e-waste to create post apocalyptic landscapes.  The significance of the 1,800 kg explained Von Wong in an interview in My Modern Met, it that it equals the approximate amount of e-waste an American might use over their lifetime.

Fun with Waste: Bin Art

The City of Kamloops recently added to its collection of  painted garbage bins.

“I wanted to create something unique and eye catching with vibrant colours, depth, and cohesion that athletes, fans, families, coaches, and passersby will enjoy,” stated the artist, Kristen Gardner, who painted the works in a press release. “I hope that my work makes people smile and brings some happiness and vibrancy to the concrete setting.”

The project is aimed at increasing vibrancy and decreasing vandalism; each bin is given an anti-graffiti coating. Last year a couple dozen bins were painted over.

Fun with Waste: Milk Waste to T-shirts

Mi Terro, a Los Angeles-based cleantech startup recently began manufacturing T-shirts using spoiled using fibers manufactured from spoiled milk.  The company uses biotechnology to re-engineer milk proteins into sustainable fibers.  The fibers can replace plastic in fashion, medical, and packaging industries.  The fibers can also be used to make t-shirts using 60% less water than required for an organic cotton shirt.

The fiber-from-milk method was invented in just three months by co-founders Robert Luo and Daniel Zhuang. After visiting his uncle’s dairy farm in China in 2018, Luo saw just how much milk product gets dumped first-hand, and after some research, he found that the issue was one of a massive global scale.

Mi Terro is make up of a team of Ph.D material scientists and chemists. The company aims to redefine circular economy in which everything begins with food waste and ends as recyclable or biodegradable.

 

 

Fun with Waste: Upcycling old clothes

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In a recent article in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, describes the upcycling efforts of Jess Gillis who is creating new redesigns of old clothes.  could be a fun way to upcycle some of her older pieces.  In the article, she is quoted, “Thrifting and upcycling is so useful when you’re looking for a unique piece for your wardrobe. Plus, you’re helping to reduce the waste that is produced by the fashion industry.”

In Canada, each household throws away approximately 100 pounds of clothing per year, contributing to the rapid filling of  landfills with textiles.  Many of textiles could have been repurposed.

“I am trying to do my part to be a more environmentally conscious person and the fashion industry is a major contributor to pollution,” she says. “It’s important to understand the environmental impact we cause with each decision we make as consumers. So, upcycling is a great way to be more sustainable and express yourself.”

 

 

 

Fun with Waste: Wetsuit Wrangle turns trash into Yoga Mats

What do old wetsuits, delicious beer and chic yoga mats have in common? The Wetsuit Wrangle.

On Sunday, July 5, from 3 to 7 p.m., Islamorada-based Key Dives will host the third annual upcycling event in the Florida Keys Brewing Co’s beer garden. Scuba divers do good for the oceans by bringing in old wetsuits for recycling into cool yoga mats and other sustainable items.

“Wetsuits are awesome. They allow us to dive comfortably in waters we otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” said Cortney Benson, Key Dives’ marine conservation coordinator. “But, they definitely produce a lot of waste.”

Benson, the mastermind behind much of the dive shop’s conservation efforts, came up with the idea for the “Wetsuit Wrangle” three years ago as a way to reduce some of the waste from the sport she loves.

“The idea behind the Wetsuit Wrangle is to make a big effort annually to recycle all old, unusable wetsuits in the Upper Keys,” she said, “and, we are going to reward you for recycling with free beer and great prizes from some of our favorite eco-conscious companies!”

In 2019, the Wrangle collected 185 wetsuits from around the Upper Keys. Key Dives worked with other local shops to collect the old wetsuits before the event, and then capstoned it with a fun afternoon at the brewery, full of music, eco-conscious products, art and, of course, beer.

Benson noted that coronavirus would likely result in fewer wetsuits this year, but she still hopes to surpass 100.

The wetsuits will be sent to New Jersey-based Lava Rubber, a company upcycling wetsuits and other “hard to manage scrap goods” like gaskets, weather stripping, compression sleeves, aluminum juice pouches and yoga pants into durable, upcycled yoga mats and other guilt-free goodies.

Each mat saves valuable “waste” from entering a landfill, Lava Rubber boasts.

For Benson, the business and fun of conservation is a part of everything she does.

Each wetsuit brought in for recycling at the Wrangle is good for one beer (limit one per person) and one raffle ticket (no limit). Raffle prizes include sustainable items from Sand Cloud, Stream2Sea, Lava Rubber and Key Dives.

“There’s a lot to love about this event,” Benson said. “We couldn’t do it without the Florida Keys Brewing Co. being so supportive of our conservation efforts. Together, we are helping to protect the environment while drinking delicious beer and supporting our local economy.”

Fun with Waste: Virtual Safari fundraiser for waste collection in low income countries

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WasteAid has created a Virtual Safari into the Kenyan wilderness, an immersive experience with science, culture, art, cookery and lots of wildlife to help lift spirits, and to raise money for waste collectors in low-income countries.

The safari route is around Lake Naivasha in Kenya, where WasteAid is working with local partners to improve waste collection and recycling. It says the entire 75-kilometre route is equivalent to 100,000 steps or 1,000 minutes exercise.

WasteAid is an independent, non-profit United Kingdom charity set up by waste management professionals to share practical and low-cost waste management know-how with communities in low-income countries.

Zoë Lenkiewicz, Head of Programmes and Engagement at WasteAid, said: “We wanted to create something for people to escape into and enjoy, while raising money for our urgent appeal ‘Waste Collectors Rock!’

“The communities around Lake Naivasha, especially those working with waste, are in poverty and vulnerable to disease – yet at the same time, they are surrounded by all this incredible wildlife. We thought it would be fun to support waste collectors in places like this, by sharing the beauty and wonder of the environment they work so hard to protect.”

Fun with Waste: Recycling Quizzes

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There are a number websites that have offer recycling quizzes to test your knowledge.  If you score 100% on the quizzes below, you are a true waste management professional and should be proud of yourself.