U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-22-2014, 09:01 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,835,592 times
Reputation: 11419

Advertisements

The haste of creating composable plastics has come full circle. Many waste processing facilities are asking residential customer to reconsider purchasing products that use compostable plastics as containers.

It seems compostable plastics can't be recycled because when mixed with recyclable plastics, they contaminate those plastics and render them unusable for recycling. The problem is that not all compostable plastics decompose at the same rate and not all waste facilities that have composting processes harvest the compost at the same time.

The different composting times for those plastics interfere with the harvest of compost because the facilities can't use the compost where the materials in it haven't been properly composted. Since there is no way to determine the length of time it takes for the plastic to compost, the facilities are dealing with many different composting times which often exceed the rate at which they need to harvest the compost.

The end result? All plastics at various waste management facilities are being sent to the landfill. While the compostable plastics eventually do compost, the recycleable plastics just remain in the landfill.

With the volume of waste materials to sort, it is impractical to distinguish between recycleable plastics and compostable plastics and since they can't be mixed for their intended purpose in the process, all plastics get sent to the landfill.

So if you buy products contained in compostable plastics, think about what the best of intentions are really doing. If your waste processing facility is one of those which can extend its composting times to account for the longest probable time it takes for all compostable plastics to complete their cycle they are contaminating their compost, contaminating their recycled plastics or just dumping all plastic into the landfill. Check with your waste disposal company and ask about their process because most such facilities aren't actively informing their customers, its just a dirty little secret.

In the rush to green, in this case haste did little more than create yet another problem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-22-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
The end result? All plastics at various waste management facilities are being sent to the landfill. While the compostable plastics eventually do compost, the recycleable plastics just remain in the landfill.

With the volume of waste materials to sort, it is impractical to distinguish between recycleable plastics and compostable plastics and since they can't be mixed for their intended purpose in the process, all plastics get sent to the landfill.
Without references to reliable sources for the information, this is a meaningless claim.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 02:54 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,835,592 times
Reputation: 11419
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Without references to reliable sources for the information, this is a meaningless claim.
Told you how to find the info. If you are unable or just don't want to , not my problem.

Some advice for others to consider and how to find out if it applies to them. You can chose not to participate. Thanks

Last edited by Mack Knife; 12-22-2014 at 03:05 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 03:33 PM
 
2,004 posts, read 1,200,531 times
Reputation: 2909
In trying to find published standards it seems they are all over the place, some say within a certain number of days, others say different. If there was some agreed upon standard that would seem to solve the problem no?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 04:49 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,835,592 times
Reputation: 11419
That wouldn't fix it. For example, lets say the standard was 180 days maximum to decomposition. Good so far, all compostable plastics get made to that standard.

Unfortunately not all or even most composting facilities in the US use the same length of time to compost before cycling it. Very busy centers might not have the luxury of longer timeframes while others might have the time.

You could say it doesn't matter because the plastics would continue to compost one cycled but it doesn't work that way. While the plastics would continue to decompose slowly they would already be in the environment where they pose a threat to wildlife and the intended uses.

There aren't a single set of standards so it makes some sense to avoid decompostable plastics or if you need to use them, throw them away along with regular trash, not in the recycle waste.

It is just a good idea that didn't get the benefit of thinking it through. The result is that a lot of recyclable plastics are going to landfill because the sorting facilities that also compost can't distinguish between compostable and recyclable plastics, it is too labor intensive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Told you how to find the info. If you are unable or just don't want to , not my problem.Some advice for others to consider and how to find out if it applies to them. You can chose not to participate. Thanks
Nope. This is just empty rhetoric. If you are going to make a claim like this, especially when making an outrageous claim like this, it is up to you to provide proof of your claim.

This is such a basic ground level principle of debate, and of logical thinking... I learned all this stuff by Freshman year of high school, and the principles of logic had been worked out by the Greeks thousands of years ago... that it is not even worthy of argument.

You made the claim that Waste Reclamation facilities are not really recycling plastics, while providing absolutely no evidence that this claim is the truth. And my straightforward challenge to you is... PROVE IT!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 05:43 PM
 
2,004 posts, read 1,200,531 times
Reputation: 2909
I found this one if it helps. NYCWasteLess: Bioplastics
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,542,360 times
Reputation: 10573
Here's the big claim, which I challenged the OP to prove. ALL plastics get sent to the landfill?

Quote:
The end result? All plastics at various waste management facilities are being sent to the landfill. While the compostable plastics eventually do compost, the recycleable plastics just remain in the landfill.

With the volume of waste materials to sort, it is impractical to distinguish between recycleable plastics and compostable plastics and since they can't be mixed for their intended purpose in the process, all plastics get sent to the landfill.
ALL plastics? Really? ALL plastics? Sorry, not in my community!

Last edited by OpenD; 12-22-2014 at 06:10 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 06:20 PM
 
2,004 posts, read 1,200,531 times
Reputation: 2909
Sorry OpenD, I read it as at various places just like you highlighted. I didn't take that as all places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2014, 06:33 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,186,249 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Here's the big claim, which I challenged the OP to prove. ALL plastics get sent to the landfill?



ALL plastics? Really? ALL plastics? Sorry, not in my community!
Hate to be the obvious a**hole here, but do you have a link to that?
Because without references to reliable sources for the information, this is a meaningless claim.
And I believe the original quote was "all plastic at various waste management facilities"..
Not all plastic at all facilities.

Sorry but the constant bickering gets old.
Having to provide a link or proof of every statement made just reduces the conversation.

I worked in the recycling industry years ago and was surprised how often a whole truckload had to be sent to the landfill because of contamination. It is just too labor intensive to sort out and clean up.
And, no I can not provide a link to prove that.

For me, the point of this thread is that something that should be an environmental plus has turned into a negative and what can be done to resolve that issue.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:30 AM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top