Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Gift of Recycling

Today's gift card originated years ago from something called a voucher and has only gained momentum in sales and popularity. "In 2014, retail purchases made with prepaid cards will top U.S. $200 billion dollars, equaling five percent of all retail spending in the U.S.

"It's estimated that up to 28 to 30 percent of the United States population holds a prepaid card of some type and that two out of every three people in the United States have bought a gift card of some kind.

Recycling Food? It’s Not as Unusual as You Think

As stated in previous articles, when we discuss recycling we often think of plastics, aluminum, glass, paper, cardboard, and similar commodities. What about another item commonly thrown away? Food. 

“Recycling” food seems a little unsettling, but composting is a recycling of sorts. Composting is mixing various organic substances, such as dead leaves, food scraps, grass clippings, allowing them to decay, and using the new material for fertilizing soil. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I Prefer to Look At It As, "The Bag's Half Full"

If you’ve ever opened a brand new bag of potato chips only to find the bag half, or even a third full, you are not alone. This disappointing phenomenon is called over-packaging and greatly adds to our landfill problems in the United States. 

Potato chips aren’t the only culprit. Cereal, cookies, over-the-counter medicines, candy, toys....the list goes on and on. As The National, an online publication, reported recently, “over-wrapped food items are a principal source of the mounds of unnecessary waste that wind up in the nation's landfills. It is common to see food packaged inside cling wrap, inside a plastic container, inside a box, inside a bag. 

'Tis the Season

The holidays are a magical time of caring, sharing, family, friends, and.....trash? Around the holidays, many more families get together to share meals and exchange gifts.

Along with the wonderful time spent with special people comes a lot of trash.....to the tune of about 1 million tons per week between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an estimated increase in household trash of about 25 percent.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle....and Rethink

Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports and promotes the 3 Rs, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, their focus has also included a fourth “R”….Rethink.

A program developed by the EPA called the Sustainable Materials Management Program (SMM) encourages consumers to “Think Beyond Waste”. This philosophy doesn’t just mean making good decisions after the usefulness of a product has been exhausted, which is said to be the end of the product’s life cycle. Options at this time include recycling, composting, energy recovery, and landfilling.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Food Surplus and....Hunger?

As we set our tables each day with nutritious meals and plenty to go around, it's hard to remember or believe that millions of people don't have enough to eat....and that's just here in the United States. USA Today estimates that an astonishing 1 in 7 rely on food banks and/or meal programs.

Within the Feeding America network, Hunger in America is a series of studies that focus on collecting demographic information about those seeking food assistance in the United States.

The 2014 study reveals that each year, the Feeding America network of food banks provides service to 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.

Do Trash Incinerators Do More Harm Than Good?

As we discussed in a previous article titled, Waste To Energy...Turning Landfills To Goldmines, burning waste extracted from a landfill can prove to be not only green and responsible, but a great source of potential energy.

At what expense, however, do the benefits come? Many argue that incinerators create health issues, will have a negative impact on the environment, and prove to be very costly.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Everything is Coming Up 7s

to understand what these different plastics consist of and if they are able to be recycled. Toys, packaging, electronics, and even cars almost always have some type of plastic in them. Are they all recyclable? Unfortunately, no.

The most popular and most abundant types of plastic are #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) and #2, high density polyethylene (HDPE). Water bottles and soda bottles are the most used and most recycled among #1 plastics. Gallon milk jugs, some shampoo and lotion bottles, bleach containers, juice bottles, butter and yogurt containers make up the majority of #2 plastics.

Biomass As An Alternative Energy Source

Biomass is a term referring to all organic matter that has stored energy through the process of photosynthesis, the process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organism’s activities and functions.

Since plants live and grow they are, by definition, a renewable resource. Biomass is one of the most plentiful sources of renewable energy in the world. In the past two decades it has been second only to the use of hydropower in the generation of electricity.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Garbage Disposal Controversy

While remodeling your kitchen, you install a $200 under-the-sink garbage disposal. Finally, the last twist of the wrench. A big job but well worth it….it’s done. You turn it on to make sure it works and doesn’t leak. Perfect. Now you’re ready…..to not use it. Not use it? What? 

The controversy spiraling around the use of garbage disposals for food scraps vs throwing it in the trash to be buried in the landfill has many facets and can get pretty heated.

Food Recycling, Revisited

With a stocked, or semi-stocked, pantry in your home, you probably have a handful of items that you just keep pushing out of the way to get to the cans or boxes that you want. Maybe these items were supposed to go into a recipe that you never made, or perhaps you bought too many and ended up with some you weren’t going to use.

Many of us have extra non-perishable food items in our homes that we could easily part with and don’t think much of it, but with a 16% hunger rate in Northern Indiana alone, we hold a veritable goldmine!

Food donation centers and events have been around for as many years as any of us can remember. We don’t seem to be closing the gap, however, on hunger. In fact, the hunger rate is actually rising.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What Does It Mean To Be Sustainable?

In a world more specifically focused on conservation, preservation, and recycling, the term "sustainability" usually comes up in conversation.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.

Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Grasping at Straws

When deciding how to dispose of things into the trash or as recycling, we usually turn things over and all around to find the triangle with a number inside of it denoting a recyclable item. But does everything that is recyclable have the number in a triangle? I used to think so. Which probably means that many more people probably think so too.

You’ll rarely, if ever, find a recycling symbol on plastic utensils or a drinking straw, but “plastic utensils are usually made of polyethylene terephthalate (plastic No. 1) or polystyrene (plastic No. 6). Drinking straws are usually made from polypropylene (plastic No. 5).”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What Job Could Be More Dangerous…..?

According to TIME magazine, Refuse and Recyclable Material Collector ranks #6 on the 2012 Top 10 most Dangerous Jobs list. This is actually an improvement over previous years, where it held as high as the #4 position in the list of Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs.

List25.com ranked Sanitation Workers as the #7 most dangerous in the world and listed it before such jobs as Search & Rescue, Linemen & Power Workers, Firefighters, Police Officers, and Roofers.

Think these rankings can’t possibly be true? Statistically, waste collection ranks high on these lists due to caustic chemicals; inhaling dust, smoke and fumes; broken glass; medical waste; objects falling from an overloaded container; and, most dangerous of all, traffic accidents involving drivers who have left their trucks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Developing On A Closed Landfill

What becomes of landfills after their use as a landfill is exhausted? 
In terms of land development, greenfields are areas that haven't been previously developed, like farmland. 

Brownfields are usually areas that have been contaminated to some degree by industrial activity and aren't necessarily suitable for residential or agricultural use, but can be redeveloped for commercial or industrial use.

By redeveloping old landfill sites, and any other brownfield site, greenfields are saved. On a local level this sometimes does not seem to be an issue, but not using this space means using greenfields for development of residential and industrial areas and losing several acres of nature. 

Trust Me....I’m a Recycling Company

Have you found yourself wondering, “If I recycle a plastic bottle...does it go to make new plastic bottles?” or “What could possibly be made from recycled glass?” You are not alone. Recycling is one of those “blind processes” that we know happens, but it happens behind the scenes.

Let me reassure you, however, that the vast majority of your clean recyclables taken or sent to Recycling Works are processed and sent to the world market for reuse...sometimes as other things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rain Barrels......Sustainable, Drainable, Attainable. Don’t Just Watch Your Money Go Down the Drain!

It wouldn’t be as beneficial to talk about recycling if we didn’t add in information and discussion on topics that round out the concept of recycling. Conservation and preservation of our natural resources remains of equal importance. For our purposes today, and along the lines of conservation, I’d like to discuss water conservation.

Even though we are a recycling company, we don’t only recycle. Our main goal is to conserve and preserve all of our natural resources while continuing to reduce the amount of waste in the landfill, reuse the items and materials that we can, and recycle the ones we can’t. Sound familiar? It may be a little cliche, but certainly right on the money.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wood You Believe.....?

The term “recycling” conjures up thoughts of aluminum, plastic, glass, and paper. A recyclable commodity that may get overlooked is wood.

Wood recycling, consisting both of raw wood and used wood products, as well as paper, and has become more of a focus in the past decade. We don’t normally think of recycling a natural, renewable resource, but considering the staggering statistics, it is more than necessary.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Landfills In Developing Countries

Management of solid waste in one way or another is one of the major challenges in the world. Inadequate collection, recycling or treatment processes and uncontrolled disposal of waste in dumps lead to hazards such as health risks and environmental pollution. 

This situation is especially serious in Developing Countries where inadequate waste disposal can be very dangerous for environment and human health. Sanitary landfills are not popular in third world countries even though more than 80% of the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated is dumped into open dump yards. In some Third World or Developing countries, as much as half of the MSW generated isn't disposed of properly or collected at all. Instead, it is often left in yards or on streets.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WasteNot....The Most Basic Concept for One of the Most Troublesome Concerns

Historically, the phrase “The 3 Rs” meant Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. The basis on which all other schoolwork, and life for that matter, was going to be based.

In more recent years the 3 Rs became the 4 Rs as awareness and emphasis on recycling, preservation, and conservation grew. Not to say, however that the original basis doesn’t still hold some validity. Reading, writing, and math are still stressed in school systems, as well they should be.

As the 4Rs make their debut in the everyday language of Americans, “they are commonly summarized as... reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Solar Power As a Renewable Energy Source

Solar energy is a vital part of life. It was the first source of energy in the world; used even before humans knew how to start a fire. It lights the Earth, provides heat, helps to grow crops, influences weather patterns, and is used to produce solar electricity. Without solar energy, life could not be supported on Earth; on land or at sea.

Solar is the first energy source in the world. It was in use much earlier before humans even learn how to light a fire.

Solar electricity differs from solar energy in that solar electricity has to be harnessed and converted into energy by relying on man-made devices, such as solar panels or solar cells in order to provide the clean, harmless, low-cost, renewable energy that is available to us every single day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Water As A Renewable Energy Source

Water as a source of power and energy it not a new concept. The use of water current to accomplish such tasks as grinding grain at a mill dates back hundreds of years.

Power from water, called hydro power or hydroelectric power, is yet another renewable source of energy. Since water is about 800 times denser than air, even a slow flowing stream of water can yield considerable amounts of energy. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Container Deposit Laws

Container deposit laws, also popularly termed "Bottle Bills", were created by the beverage industry as a means of guaranteeing the return of their containers to be processed, refilled and resold. The deposit-refund system is a proven, sustainable method of capturing beverage bottles and cans for recycling and is a very simple process.

When a retailer buys beverages from a distributor, a deposit is paid for each can or bottle purchased. The consumer then pays the deposit to the retailer when they buy the beverage. When the consumer returns the empty beverage container to the retail store, a redemption center, or to a reverse vending machine, the deposit is refunded. The retailer recoups the deposit from the distributor, plus an additional handling fee generally ranging from $0.01 to $0.03 to cover costs incurred by the retailer.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


As our discussion of Recycling continues, again we would be remiss for leaving out a concurrent discussion on Conservation and Preservation.

These two terms are often interchanged and mistaken for being the same thing. They are different, however, while having many of the same goals and philosophies. Here we will focus on Conservation, while part 2 of this article will be dedicated to Preservation.

Conservation is considered a "hands-on" approach to the use of natural resources (such as trees, oil, etc.) to prevent them from being lost or wasted. Conservationists, people who advocate for, or work to protect, animals, plants, and natural resources, or to prevent the loss or waste of natural resources. They accept that change and progression are necessary for a better future, but only when the changes take place in ways that are not wasteful.

Running Out Of Space For Landfills?

Americans' use of landfills peaked in the 1980s when we threw nearly 150 million tons of trash each year into landfills. Even today, we throw away more than 100 million tons of garbage yearly. That translates into landfill space possibly being scarce.

In the United States recycling efforts have the ability to divert more than 60 million tons of waste away from landfills yearly, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That amounts to about 32 percent of all of our garbage. As for the remaining trash, where will we continue to put it?

There is a debate between experts as to whether or not we are running out of usable landfill space. Some pay that with the increased number of closed landfills and the increased recycling efforts, we will continue to have ample space for new landfills. Others claim that with the increased population and commercial and residential growth, that we will end up in a space crunch before long.

Waste To Energy...Turning Landfills To Goldmines

With the habits of modern lifestyles causing an increased worldwide waste problem, finding innovative ways to deal with the excessive waste can be a challenge.

Local landfill capacities are being met or exceeded and many first world nations are beginning to export their refuse to third world countries. This practice is having a devastating impact on ecosystems and cultures throughout the world.

Our Customer Support Rules .....and Suggestions for the Ultimate Customer Service Experience

On a day like any other day in Customer Support, a co-worker took a call from a potential customer who eventually signed up for new residential trash service with Borden Waste-Away. She ultimately called three times that day; once to ask questions and inquire about service options, once to tell us of her decision to sign up for service, and a final time to ask a couple forgotten questions about the service she had chosen. 

During the third conversation with one of our Customer Support Representatives (CSR), she asked, “Do you know why I went with your service”? The CSR paused for a moment and she plainly stated...”Because I made 9 phone calls to different companies today and you are the only one who answered the phone. I called you 3 times, and every time someone answered the phone”. Our CSR went on to explain that, as long as it is during our business hours, you will always reach a live person.

Wind as a Renewable Energy Source

Renewable energy resources are generally defined as energy that comes from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale such as wind, sunlight, geothermal heat, and water in the form of rain, and tides, waves.

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to produce electrical power, windmills for mechanical power. Wind has been recognized as a source of energy, in some capacity, for several hundred years. People used wind as the sole power source for boats, to pump water, or grind grain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Glass Recycling Made Clear

Glass waste is recycled into new products every day. Such products as kitchen and bathroom countertops are made from used glass that has been put through a specific recycling process. 

Color and chemical composition are some ways different glass jars and bottles must be sorted before the recycling process can begin. Since glass retains its color after recycling, many recycling centers insist that different colors of glass be separated before the recycling process; the most common colors being clear, green, and brown (amber).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Electronics and E-Waste Recycling

Electronic waste, or more well-known as e-waste, is a popular and fairly informal name for electronic
products that are near the end of their useful life. Every day non-working or unwanted electronics end up in the landfill. The detriment to our environment with respect to the air, soil, and drinking water was not known or understood until more recently.  The definition of Electronic Waste was not specifically understood either.

Generally, the agreed-upon definition of e-waste is usually more of a theory and a list of examples rather than a hard and fast specific definition.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Borden Waste-Away Service, Inc. Boasts About Recycling Process In The Elkhart Truth

Cross Belt Magnet
Borden Waste-Away Service, Inc. was recently featured in the Elkhart Truth in an effort to answer a weekly "Ask The Truth" question.  

The question posed by readers was, in a sense, two-fold. "Do trash collectors separate trash from recycling inside the truck as they are collecting it?" and "Why are all recycling containers, both residentially and at drop-off centers, serviced by the same truck?" Both excellent questions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Greenest Of The Green

We recycle what we can...or at least what we remember to. That is, if there is a recycling bin around...close...nearby.  Ok, if we don't see one, we throw it into the trash.  It's easier than carrying it around in the car and remembering to get it out when we get to a recycling bin, if we remember to look for one. In our fast-pace, busy lives, the last thing we need is to try to remember one more thing. What we are looking for is ease and convenience.

Are We Throwing Away A Renewable Resource?

Deep inside a landfill among the trash and debris lie airless pockets filled with the by-product of decomposing waste; a gas rich in methane. Some areas in landfills, or entire landfills themselves, may be a poor source of methane due to the type of waste buried there. Construction debris, for example, is dry and will not rot, whereas yard waste and food scraps will be consumed by bacteria and decompose in such a way that produces a plethora of methane gas.  When bacteria overtake the rotting waste this gas is given off and, when harnessed, can be a valuable source of energy for things such as heat and electricity. This certainly spurs on this side of the landfill vs garbage disposal debate discussed in a previous article aptly titled, “The Garbage Disposal Debate”.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

For Third Consecutive Year, Borden Waste-Away Service, Inc. Presents A Check to the IU Health Goshen Center For Cancer Care To Aid In Research Efforts.

Outpouring of Support by Borden Waste-Away Customers Makes Astonishing Impact

Elkhart, IN - August 13, 2014. 

Click for Larger Picture
Borden Waste-Away began offering a Pink Cart to its customers over three years ago as part of the “Trash Cancer” campaign. In addition to having a Pink trash cart, Borden customers can also elect to be a part of the Trash Cancer Matching Fund.  In this exclusive program, interested customers can add $1.00 per month to their billing. Borden will match the total paid customer donations dollar for dollar, which are donated to the clinical cancer research program at IU Health Goshen Center For Cancer Care.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Do I Dispose Of Unwanted Medication?

It seems that there's a medication for everything nowadays. Allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, depression. The list goes on and on. But what happens if this medication is out of date, unwanted, no longer needed or ? You could do what thousands, if not millions, of people think is best....flush it. 

Disposal of Hazardous Hospital Waste

Medical waste comes in many forms and from many sources. Doctors offices and hospitals are only the beginning. Dental offices, blood banks, and vet clinics also produce medical waste. Medical waste can be liquids, solids, semi-solids, or contained gases. They can be manufacturing process byproducts, sludges or spent materials, or simply discarded products. Whatever their form, proper management is essential to protect human health and the environment.

Certified vs Secure Shredding Services

Just what makes a company qualified to accept, handle, and shred important, sensitive documents? The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) has a certification program that was developed by information security professionals and recognized by thousands of private and governmental organizations around the world.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Water, Water Everywhere But Not a Drop to......Recycle?

 When I say the word recycling, what types of materials come to mind? Plastic? Aluminum? Paper? Water?.........Really, water? Water recycling is becoming more and more prevalent among recycling enthusiasts.

Getting people to buy in to the concept of water recycling is more difficult than it should be since we have literally been drinking and showering in recycled water for decades. Water is actually one of, if not the most, wasted natural resource, on the planet due to its abundance.

Water recycling is usually broken down into 3 or more categories: Simple Water, Greywater, and Treated Water recycling, among others. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Importance of Sustainability

The term "sustainability" refers to the basic premise that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have, protect, and continue to have resources available to us for the protection of human health and our environment.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ecovillages Becoming Trendy

Ecovillages are among the new trends in the United States for individuals who wish to truly live off of the land and practice sustainability. Ecovillagers, as they are referred to, are united by shared ecological, social-economic and cultural-spiritual values. Their main goal is to become more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable, or able to involve methods in their lives that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources.

Trash...Burn It Or Bury It?

In order to create a sustainable world for future generations, such issues as economic growth, food sources, population, and the management of waste must be addressed. Considering that the estimation of trash being generated by Americans each year reaches over 390 million tons, managing waste ranks toward the top of the list of environmental concerns. In the United States we recycle and compost about 94 million tons of that waste, or roughly 24 percent, but much more could be done.


Preservation as it pertains to recycling, conservation, and every day living is essentially a "hands-off" approach to allowing nature and natural resources to thrive without much intervention. We have already discussed recycling water, pollution, and littering as it relates to recycling efforts.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Elkhart Truck Driver Awarded Title Of “Driver of The Year”

Dave Rogenski, one of Borden Waste-Away’s most veteran drivers, was honored with the title of “2014 Driver of The Year” by the Environmental Industries Association.

Dave was presented with this prestigious award at a ceremony in Atlanta, GA on April 29th. His excellent service and exemplary safety record over the past 18 years that he has dedicated to Borden Waste-Away speaks for itself as to the deserving nature of this award. He has been praised many times over the years by customers for going above and beyond their expectations.

2014 Driver Of The Year Press Release

April 29, 2014 
Contacts: Thom Metzger, (202) 364-3751 or tmetzger@wasterecycling.org

Elkhart Trash Truck Driver Named Driver of the Year by Waste Industry

ATLANTA (April 29, 2014) — An Elkhart, Indiana, trash truck driver was named Driver of the Year by the national waste and recycling industry’s trade group at an awards ceremony today in Atlanta.

As part of the 46th annual WasteExpo Conference and Exhibition, the National Waste & Recycling Association (Waste & Recycling) honored David Rogenski of Borden Waste-Away Service, Inc., as its Driver of the Year for the Small Company Category.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Landfill Mining Brought To The Surface

When the word "mining" comes to mind, it is usually paired with a commodity like gold, silver, or
coal. Trash and recycling probably do not make your short list of popular items to be mined, but Landfill Mining and Reclamation (LFMR) has become a more popular process. It was first described and documented in 1953 but the process was not applied again until the 1980s. Several developments and process upgrades occurred between these dates making LFMR a more efficient and effective technological breakthrough.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unmanaged Landfills Can Pollute Groundwater

Water, the most abundant compound in the universe, is also the most widely recognized and used. We rely on this precious commodity for several different things including transportation, washing, cooking, helping things grow and, of course, drinking. Basically speaking, if we ran out of water, all living things on Earth would eventually die.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Case Of Mistaken Identity...Or Taken Identity?

As you would expect, your social security number, driver's license number, bank account numbers, PINs, online usernames and passwords are some of the most important pieces of information to protect as far as identity theft goes.  Did you realize, however, that there are at least 8-10 more key pieces of information that these thieves crave?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Detrimental Effects Of Litter

It may seem, on the surface, that litter helps wildlife rather than being harmful.  Some food litter can help feed animals or give them a place to seek shelter from heat or rain. To the contrary, litter and landfill waste is actually more harmful than beneficial to animals and wildlife.

Pros Of Using A Shredding Service, Part 1

Check stubs, bank statements, account numbers, and actually any documents with personal information such as social security numbers on them.  What do these have in common? Every one of them could be used by identity thieves and should be disposed of by shredding.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Trickle-Down Effects of Disposable Water Bottles Run Deep

“Recycling one plastic bottle can save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours”.* Imagine how much energy Americans could save if every one of the estimated 30 to 50 billion water bottles that are thrown away each year were recycled! Although it seems impractical to think that every one of them would be recycled, if even half of them wound up in the recycling bin instead of the landfill, it would impact the United States greatly.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Recycling Works.....if you know the ins and outs

What goes in...or gets left out...of the recycling bin, that is! 

Recycling Reviewed, part 2

Can you spot the recycling in this trash container?   Well, not only is it in there, but it’s staying in there. I mean, is it possible that a trash truck can compact several hundred pounds of waste material, dump it at a transfer station, take perfectly clean, untorn recycling bags out of it, and send it to a materials recycling facility (MRF) for use in manufacturing other products?  It’s possible...but not very probable.  Statistics show that this method of taking recycling materials mixed with trash to a dirty MRF for separation and eventual processing at a  recycling facility can have very poor results.