Moseley Architects is expanding our recycling efforts to include non-standard items that are not collected by TFC, our recycling service provider. As a quick reminder, here are the items that can be recycled in our standard bins located throughout the office:
- Plastic bottles (#1 and #2 plastics) with caps removed
- Glass bottles and jars
- Aluminum or steel cans
- Office paper, cardboard, newspaper, magazines
In our efforts to be good stewards of the environment and reduce, reuse, and recycle as many materials as possible, the Seeds of Green members have been thinking outside the bin! As a result, the following items can now be recycled at our Richmond office:
1. Plastic Bags – Plastic bags are everywhere, and are not usually accepted by standard recycling services. However, stores such as Ukrops, Walmart, Food Lion, Kroger, and Whole Foods all accept plastic bags for recycling. A special blue recycling bin will be placed in the central kitchen for plastic bag recycling. What plastic bags are included, you ask?
- plastic grocery bags
- newspaper or plotter paper plastic bags
- dry cleaning bags
- bread bags
- produce bags
- toilet paper, napkin, and paper towel wraps
- furniture wrap
- electronic wrap
- plotter paper wrap
- plastic retail bags (hard plastic and string handles removed)
- zip lock bags (remove hard components)
- plastic cereal box liners (if it tears like paper do not include)
- diaper wrap (packaging)
- plastic shipping envelopes (no bubble wrap/remove labels)
- case wrap (e.g., snacks, water bottles)
- All clean, dry bags labeled #2 or #4.
There are some types of plastic bags that should NOT be included. The following are considered contaminants and could jeopardize recycling programs:
- NO food or cling wrap
- NO prepackaged food bags including frozen food bags (e.g., prewashed salad bags)
- NO film that has been painted or has excessive glue
- NO other bags or films
- NO bio-based or compostable plastic bags
Please only place these items in the plastic bag recycling bin, and not in the standard recycling bins. A Seeds of Green member will take the bags to an appropriate recycling center on an as-needed basis.
2. #5 Plastic – #5 plastic containers, caps, and lids are not recyclable through most standard recycling services. This category includes the caps from water and other drink bottles, plastic straws and coffee stirrers, as well as containers such as margarine, cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt tubs. Other likely candidates are ketchup and shampoo bottle tops. Look for the #5 label on these items. Blue recycling bins will be placed in each kitchen for their collection. A Seeds of Green member will take these items to Whole Foods for recycling on an as-needed basis. Whole Foods participates in Preserve’s “Gimme 5” program. The #5 plastic is used to make toothbrushes, razor handles, and a variety of kitchen products.
3. Tyvek Envelopes – DuPont™ Tyvek® envelopes are made of high density polyethylene which is 100% recyclable. DuPont manages a nationwide recycling program that collects used Tyvek envelopes – even those that have been printed on – and recycles them into other useful materials that provide sound alternatives to the use of wood, such as park benches, playground equipment, etc. A DuPont used Tyvek envelope collection pouch is located in our office supply area (on the bottom shelf below the pens and pencils). Seeds of Green members will ship the envelopes back to Dupont when enough have been collected.
4. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) – CFLs have received plenty of positive attention over the last several years since they use a fraction of the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs, and have a lifespan of about 10 times longer. However, burnt out or broken CFLs do need to be properly disposed of since they contain a small amount of mercury. Moseley has a fluorescent lamp collection and recycling program for office lamps, and used CFLs or other fluorescent lamps from home can be included. Burnt out or broken CFLs that you bring from home can be given to Dusty Sims in a sealed plastic bag, and he will add them to our office fluorescent lamp recycling bin.
Note – It is important to handle broken CFLs carefully to avoid exposure to mercury. The EPA recommends carefully sweeping the broken bulb pieces into a sealed plastic bag, and picking up any small residual pieces with sticky tape or a damp paper towel. Vacuuming is not recommended. See the link below for further information on mercury in CFLs.
Don’t forget about our existing battery recycling container that is kept in the administration suite. Keep an eye out for more exciting special recycling efforts in the future!