A Word About Recycling with Ollie Maier

Here are a few recycling items we enjoyed seeing, all taken from a recent Waste Today eNewsletter.

The first didn’t totally surprise us but is great news nevertheless. It mentioned a recent study showed lead batteries (like those used in our vehicles) have almost a 100% recycled rate.

The article stated “lead batteries have a recycling rate of 99.3 percent, making them the No. 1 recycled consumer product in the U.S.”

It continued with “the near-perfect rate of recycling is attributed to industry investment in a closed loop collection and recycling system that keeps 1.7 million tons of batteries out of landfills annually.”

A closed loop is normally when you buy a new battery, you turn in the old one to replace it or to get it charged.

A spokesperson for the industry commented, “Our goal for the lead battery manufacturing process is to collect and recycle and reuse lead batteries and their components. In essence to create a ‘closed loop industry’ that significantly reduces the demand on global resources.”

He further explained the benefits of this of this high recycling rate , “On average, a new lead battery is comprised of more than 80 percent recycled lead battery material. Every part of the battery, from lead and plastic to sulfuric acid, is recyclable and reusable in manufacturing new batteries. This reduces the need for new lead mining, reduces waste and helps keep lead out of landfills.”

The article compared this top recycling rate to that of other materials. This almost 99 percent rate of lead battery recovery is “the highest recycling rate among other more well-known recycled products, such as newspapers (63 percent), aluminum cans (55.1 percent), tires

(40.5 percent), glass containers (32.5 percent) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (32.2 percent), the groups note.

The spokesperson added, “We are proud of this record and the fact that lead batteries provide essential energy storage to power millions of cars, buses, airplanes, trains and logistic networks as well as backup recovery systems that protect life, investments and data in emergency situations.”

Switching subjects, since football is in the air and now the play-offs, national championship and the Super Bowl are coming, a couple of nice items from the same newsletter. The first involves a compostable peanut bag.

Starting with the Nov. 26 game, the vendors of the Kansas City Chiefs will start using it. As a spokesperson emphasized, “The compostable peanut bag is part of the Chiefs’ environmental initiative called Extra Yard for the Environment, which is designed to devise and implement new green policies for the Chiefs and raise awareness for sustainability efforts at Arrowhead Stadium.”

More than 15,000 bags of peanuts are sold in concessions at Arrowhead Stadium each year. Peanuts are among the best-selling snack foods at sports events.

The second involves a NFL cap made from recycled plastic material. The headline for this article read: “Denver Broncos debut first official NFL cap made with Repreve fabric.” We find that each hat is made with four recycled plastic water bottles.

The caps started selling on Nov. 12, before the Broncos game. The caps come in various styles and sizes. However, they are not cheap. But as a true fan, who cares, they are running from $24.99 to $34.99. Let’s hope these caps become available to represent other NFL teams such as the Texans, the Cowboys, the Vikes, not to mention college teams.

Till next week, do have a great one...

Ollie is a local citizen concerned with the environment and helping others. A retired Air Force fighter and instructor pilot, he is a graduate of Leadership San Marcos and received his degrees at Texas State University where he worked on staff before totally retiring. For questions or comments, he invites you to call him at 512-353-7432 or e-mail omaier@txstate.edu

San Marcos Daily Record

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