Collection corner

Departments - Collection Corner

September 2, 2014

Stem first

Peoria, Illinois-based Dust Control Technology (DCT) has announced its support of a team of high school students dedicated to building working robots in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition. The equipment manufacturer says it is proud to support team Icarus 2081, a group of 20 students from Notre Dame High School and Quest Charter Academy, both in Peoria.

“We’re proud to contribute to the emerging generation of scientists and engineers who will be working to solve some of the world’s toughest problems,” says DCT CEO Edwin Peterson.

Inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 as a nonprofit to inspire young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The organization has raised more than $19 million for nearly 900 college scholarships to be rewarded in 2014.

Did you know?
The ISRI-Jason Learning partnership helps teachers and students understand the importance of recycling and STEM subject applications in the industry. To learn more about this initiative, read Recycling Today’s March 2014 feature, “The science of scrap,” at


Fan footprint

While most Americans who attend games or concerts at stadiums are there to enjoy the live entertainment, a recent study says more people would be likely to visit a stadium if all of the waste left behind was recycled or composted.

One in five also would buy more concessions if a stadium recycled, according to the Dallas-based Shelton Group survey. Fans care about the environment and the numbers speak, says Suzanne Shelton, founder and CEO of Shelton Group.

She adds, “With more than 200 million Americans going to sports events every year—and some 50 million attending concerts—this has major implications.”

According to Shelton Group, sports fans and concertgoers leave an estimated 16 million cubic feet of waste behind yearly, enough to fill Yankee Stadium and leave 2 million cubic feet of waste on the streets.


Butt out

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, and the city of New Orleans has taken action to collect the incessant waste. The international recycling and upcycling company TerraCycle, Trenton, New Jersey, launched its first citywide cigarette butt recycling receptacles program in British Columbia, making New Orleans the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort, according to TerraCycle.

In a July 21, 2014, article, TerraCycle company spokesman Albe Zakes tells The Associated Press (AP) the program has collected 25 million butts globally since November 2012. TerraCycle says New Orleans will be paid $4 for each pound of cigarette waste collected in each of the 50 new containers around the city. The organic materials—tobacco and paper—are composted, while cigarette filters—made of cellulose acetate, a plastic—are collected and shredded. Biotoxins are then removed using gamma radiation, Zakes explained to the AP. The filters are melted into pellets and used to manufacture products such as plastic lumber and shipping pallets in the same way a plastic bottle would be recycled, he says.


Do you have a unique recycling-focused story? Please send a press release to Megan Workman at