Once the nation learned that the water supply in Flint, Michigan, was tainted with lead, help started to pour in. In addition to the hundreds of volunteers who arrived in the city, thousands and thousands of plastic bottles of water also were distributed.
To aid in recycling efforts, a partnership among Schupan Recycling, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Republic Services, Phoenix; the Michigan Community Service Commission; and student athletes from Michigan State University helped to collect plastic bottles for recycling in addition to distributing water to residents.
Schupan is in charge of recycling the plastic, while Republic is encouraging residents to sign up for free curbside recycling.
As urban populations grow, cities around the world are changing with the goal of realizing a greener future. Which cities are trying the hardest? The Green City Index, completed by Siemens, a global leader in engineering and technology services, ranks the world’s cities that have achieved standout accomplishments toward a more sustainable future.
The index details the efforts of Copenhagen, Denmark; Curitiba, Brazil; Oslo, Norway; San Francisco; Stockholm; Singapore; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Vienna. From Oslo embracing renewable energy to Singapore incorporating green building requirements into legislation, these cities are ahead of the curve.
The index measures 30 individual indicators covering a wide range of environmental areas, from waste management and greenhouse gas emissions to water consumption and public transport.
Wear it out
Old clothes and shoes might make up a healthy portion of your closet, but nearly 5 percent of America’s municipal solid waste (MSW) stream consists of used shoes, clothing and other nondurable textiles. Thanks to the efforts of national clothing recycler USAgain (pronounced “use again”), 50.7 million pounds of unwanted clothing and shoes were given a second life in 2015.
USAgain maintains more than 10,000 collection bins in 16 states. The company says it partners with municipalities, businesses, schools and nonprofits to host drives and raise awareness of the positive environmental impacts of recycling textiles.
“Above all, our goal is to make textile recycling as convenient as possible so people will come to view it the same way they view glass, paper and plastic recycling: as a necessary task,” USAgain’s Rasham Grewal tells Recycling Today.