Moseley Richmond Special Recycling

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!

Phones for Haiti – Recycling for a Good Cause

Do you have old cell phones, chargers, or phone batteries lying around your house?  Moseley Architects’ Seeds of Green members would like to put those phones toward a good cause.  Bring in your old phone equipment, whether it works or not, and we will collect them and arrange for their shipment to ReCellular using their prepaid labels.  If you don’t feel like removing your personal data from your old phone, don’t worry, they will do it for you.  Collection boxes will be located in each office.  Here in Richmond the collection box is located in the Green Pod on the desk between Gillian and Bryna.  Check with your Seeds of Green liaison for the box location in your office. 

Read more about the program at, and in the brief article below.

Thank you in advance for your contribution!


Used Phone Purchases to Benefit American Red Cross

ANN ARBOR, Mich., January 14, 2010– ReCellular today announced a new way for Americans to provide support to the millions of victims of the January 12th earthquake in Haiti. Used cell phones can be sent in by downloading a prepaid mailing label at, with the proceeds going to the American Red Cross’ charitable efforts.

“The devastation in Haiti is slowly becoming all too clear,” said Steve Manning, ReCellular CEO. “Sending in your used phone is a simple and effective way to help with the rescue and rebuilding efforts already underway.”

There are an estimated 130 million phones retired in the United States every year. If even a small percentage of them are sent to Phones for Haiti, it would contribute millions of dollars towards relief from the devastating earthquake. ReCellular will give 100% of the phone value as a contribution to the American Red Cross; charities have already earned more than $20 million dollars in contributions through their partnerships with ReCellular.

With rescue and repair missions already underway, it is critical that funds get to the region quickly. By using the postage paid label, supporters can have their used phones to ReCellular within just a few days, allowing for the rapid distribution of funds. All phones are accepted, though newer phones will provide the most value to the charity – in some cases $100 or more.

“The overwhelming response from all Americans to the crisis in Haiti reflects the depth of generosity of the American people,” said Manning. “We are proud to be able to coordinate this opportunity when the need is so great.”

Richmond’s Dish Drive

The call for your unwanted dishes, cups, and flatware was answered!  In our Richmond office dish drive, we collected numerous glasses, cups, mugs, plates, bowls, and spoons, which are available for your use in the three office kitchens.  We could still use bowls, plates, forks, and knives, so check your cupboards at home and see if you have some of these items that you wouldn’t mind donating.  Hopefully the availability of these items will encourage folks to use them instead of their disposable counterparts.  Remember to check the cupboards for a reusable item before you grab that paper cup or plate.  When you’re finished, just set it in the dishwasher.  A Seeds of Green member will make sure the washers are run when full, and emptied when clean.

Certified Automotive Recycler

While I know most of us are working hard at making our buildings kinder to the environment, my husband works hard to take care of another big piece of the environmental picture.

He works for Brooks Auto Sales which is a small business in Oilville, Va.  As you drive by, you may quickly think.. oh boy.. he works at a car junkyard.  What most people don’t know is that he is an automotive recycler.  All those unwanted, broken, wrecked, no longer nice looking vehicles come to him.  When you take a vehicle to be disposed,  you need to look for a CAR certified facility.  CAR is a Certified Automotive Recycler.

When a vehicle comes in it is carefully cataloged and  given a number.  It is dismantled with all useable parts reserved for refurbishment  and resale. They accept all vehicles regardless of condition as long as you have a clear title to surrender with the vehicle.  The unique number is marked on every part for resale and serves as a tracking system. (Helps police distinguish them from stolen parts!)   His yard is networked with other recyclers and they trade/sell parts all over the state to places that need them.  Many parts are collected for core buyers that will refurbish parts no longer working.  Batteries are recharged and resold or sent to a recycler that will refurbish them.   All fluids are drained and captured.  Anti-freeze and Freon is gathered to be recycled and resold.   Oil, transmission fluids, brake fluids are poured into a holding tank on site.  They are then reused in a clean burning heating system that heats my husband’s shop during the winter months.   All metals are dismantled and sorted to sell to those companies that will melt it down for reuse.  Mercury switches are also sent to a company that handles the proper disposal of these items.  Tires are sent to a recycler that will chop them up and create new items for our use. 

Before rushing to the car parts store… think if you could use something recycled.   It is usually cheaper and once again, we are working on helping this environment we live in!!

Consume Responsibly

Have you ever gone to a store and selected a product only to discover that the product was not what you thought it would be? Throughout the environmental community there is a growing concern about the authenticity of products labeled as “organic” and “all natural.” Within the architecture profession it is our responsibility to challenge manufacturers’ products because a manufacturer is only as good as the products it stands behind. In a sense this is a contract of trust and faith between the company and its consumers (the public). This is a sacred bond which should not be muddled or broken.consume resp

The industrial age altered every aspect of our daily living creating mass production, new technologies, and a need for more resource consumption. Unfortunately, this revolution brought with it the burden of increased pollution which has been passed on to future generations. Due to these challenges, which we must face today we are encouraged to take an environmentally conscious role in the world in which we produce, consume, and live. A facet which had garnered more attention is to examine the manufacturing process of recycled products. In some cases more toxins, dyes, and chemicals are being used for “recycled” products thus having an adverse effect on the environment.

There are many resources available which can help our community embrace the role of a well-versed member of a “green” world.  Daniel Goleman’s recently released book, Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything is one such resource.  Goleman takes his readers on a journey into the world of consumerism and the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of products.  Goleman’s book offers a detailed look at industrial ecology; which examines the impact of our every decision on the world and encompasses both businesses and “green” activists.  A good product awareness resource can be found on which is a growing website that provides information on consumer products, up to date news articles, and the latest recall items.  The website and Moseley’s Green Team and Craig Crawford are also reputable sources with up-to-date information on manufacturers. 

There are many questions which will continue to be raised, such as, how “green” is “green”?  So how can we challenge companies to stand by their “organic” or “all natural” or recycled product and encourage the branching out of all parties involved in producing a product?  It is the consumers’ responsibility to learn from the past, question and challenge, and to share this knowledge with others.

Warrenton Office

           On the anniversary of Earth Day we continue to remember the commitment our company shows towards Green technologies and energy conscious design. Stemming from that mission we have entered into a new phase of being good stewards of our finite resources.

           Recently, the second largest school district in Virginia, Prince William County Schools, committed to retrofitting existing properties through a combined process of energy education and Performance Contracting with Moseley Architects leading the charge. Through the auditing of energy usage in existing schools we will be identifying energy conservation measures associated with system improvement and equipment replacement. Engineering data will help us quantify lower levels of fuel(electric, natural gas etc) consumption through equipment replacement or operational streamlining. In turn this will reduce annual utility costs. Those savings provide a source of available funds for the improvement costs themselves.


In addition to Performance Contracting, a curriculum will be introduced throughout the county to begin enabling the end users; teachers, students and school personnel to contribute additional reductions in consumption through conservation.


Many clients are looking for unique ways to address ongoing maintainability and sustainability issues. Please contact Brian Gorham if you feel you may have a customer interested in Performance Contracting, maintainability and energy conscious facility operation.


Go Green!!

Charlotte Office

Sometimes when my kids make a mistake, they will say, “I didn’t mean to.” And I say, “I believe you, but did you mean not to?” And that question always gets them thinking a little bit harder about what they can do to avoid making the same mistake again.  I think that’s how I “eco”, as well. It’s not good enough to say we didn’t mean to pollute the Earth. What we need to ask is…did we mean not to? And if we “mean not to” then we can be purposeful, thoughtful and determined in each decision we make.

Jill Buck – Founder of the Go Green Initiative


In the Charlotte office, we are trying to be purposeful and deliberate with our own Green Initiatives.  We have continued the many practices started upon our early induction of our Green Team, but have placed an additional spin on our efforts in 2009.  This year we are focusing on our clients, colleagues, and communities through the opportunities of education. 


Some of these opportunities include helping to bring awareness and integration of the Go Green Initiative to our K-12 School Clients.  The Go Green Initiative is a comprehensive environmental education program for schools which has been widely adopted in the western portion of United States but has remained undetected by a good portion of our clients in the South East.  We are working with the GGI to find out how we, as architects, can best serve our clients and help them to tap into the many resources and programs available through the GGI. 


Also, we are working on both an elementary school and middle/high school program helping to introduce sustainable practices to children in their daily lives at school as well as to start them thinking about how their actions now will affect their lives tomorrow.  Indian Land Schools, part of the Lancaster County School District in South Carolina, is already on board with the importance of bringing sustainable awareness to their schools through their self started ECO program.  Indian Land Elementary and High School will be our pilot schools for these programs. 


Lastly, Our Green Team also hopes to one day be able to bring a LEED exam prep class to UNC Charlotte School of Architecture.  We are still working with school administrators and our Richmond team of environmental analysts to find the best media and format in which to present such a class and hope that this can become a reality when the new testing format is established.