Survey: Most Americans are proud to recycle.

Filling recycling bins fills makes most Americans feel proud, and we feel guilty when we toss something recyclable into the trash.

That’s what the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) found when they looked at the results of the online survey that Harris Interactive conducted for them last month.

  • More than 80% feel proud when they recycle.
  • More than 60% feel guilty when they throw a recyclable into the trash instead of recycling it.
  • More than half are often successful recycling at work, but fewer than 25% are able to recycle when traveling or dining out.

A major take-away from the survey is that, for Americans to recycle away from home or work, recycling bins need to be available. According to Anne Germain, EIA’s waste and recycling technology director, “wherever there is a public trash can, there also should be a recycling bin within sight. People think about recycling and inherently want to, but they need readily available recycling options for the habit to be a no-brainer.”

Public Recycle Bin

Wherever you see a trash bin, you should see one of these. (photo: © Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3. 0)

Detailed survey results are available on the Environmental Industry Associations website, and complete survey methodology is available here.

The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) is the trade association that represents the private sector solid waste and recycling services industry through its two sub-associations, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC).

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my page.


A One-Cup Coffeemaker — Without the Pod

Pod-type coffeemakers — Keurig and its more elaborate cousins — may represent the ultimate in convenience and style, but they rank pretty low on the environmental-friendliness scale. In fact, the disposable pods have been called “one of the most wasteful products to hit the market since bottled water.”

According to a 2013 study from the National Coffee Association, roughly 13% of the U.S. adult population enjoys a daily dose of coffee made in a single-cup brewer.

When our 12-cup under-cabinet coffeemaker died last May, a little research provided me with an alternative to the pod-type device: the award-winning Hamilton Beach Scoop single-cup coffeemaker. (As far as I know, Hamilton Beach is the only manufacturer that makes a scoop-type coffeemaker.)


The Hamilton Beach Single-Cup Scoop Coffeemaker (photo: Lenore Collins)

Much simpler than the pod style, this coffeemaker uses a metal scoop to hold the coffee grounds. The process couldn’t be simpler:

  • Fill your cup with cold water and pour it into the reservoir.
  • Scoop the grounds from your coffee canister and place the scoop into the machine. (You can also use the scoop to hold a teabag or loose tea leaves.)
  • When the coffee’s brewed, take the scoop out of the machine, dispose of the grounds (into the compost bin, of course), rinse and replace the scoop, and you’re done.

The Hamilton Beach Single-Cup Scoop coffeemaker, in use (Photo: Lenore Collins)

I see a lot of advantages here:

  • You’re saving money, both on the hardware (the scoop-type coffeemaker is significantly less expensive than the pod type) and on the coffee.
  • You’re reducing waste: no disposable pods to throw out or send to a recycler.
  • If you’ve been using refillable pods, you’re avoiding a mess: the scoop is simple to fill and to clean, unlike most refillable pods, and it has a handle, making it easy to remove, even while it’s hot.
  • You’re using fresher water: it hasn’t been sitting in a reservoir.
  • You’re not limited to the kinds of coffee the pod manufacturers want you to buy.
  • If you unplug the coffeemaker when you’re finished using it, you’re saving even more money.
  • Replacement parts are readily available, reasonably priced, and simple to install.

The pod-type coffeemaker has its place, especially if a lot of people are brewing coffee for themselves. But the coffeemakers are expensive, the disposable pods are expensive, and the pods end up in the landfill (although a California-based company is producing a 97% biodegradable pod and is working to make it 100% biodegradable).

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my page.

Painesville Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Closed

Shopping recycled in Lake County just got a little harder: the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Painesville has closed.

Painesville Armory, formerly the Lake County Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Painesville Armory, formerly the Lake County Habitat for Humanity ReStore (photo: Lenore Collins)

I found the store, formerly located in the old Painesville Armory at the corner of Fairgrounds Road and Mentor Avenue, empty and vacant when I stopped there on October 5. As I got back into my car, after looking through the front door and seeing nothing but a merchandise rack at the rear of an otherwise empty space, two more cars drove into the parking lot.

We expressed our disappointment at losing a shop-recycled resource, shared accounts of successful purchases (including my $30 end table and $25 brass-and-beveled-glass light fixture), and talked about other Habitat for Humanity ReStores in the area, notably the ReStore in Cleveland on W. 110 Street, north of Lorain Avenue (map).

Attempts to obtain information about the Painesville ReStore came up just about dry:

  • Online search results for the Lake County Habitat for Humanity affiliate listed only nearby affiliates in Newbury, Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Ravenna.
  • Although the search results also showed a phone number and email link for the Painesville ReStore itself, a phone call reached a disconnect report, and an email received no response.
  • Habitat for Humanity International responded to an October 29 email inquiry with the news that “Habitat for Humanity of Lake County is currently winding down its operations.”

Shop-recycled enthusiasts should still keep Habitat for Humanity ReStore on their lists, however. Although the Painesville store has closed, Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations in Cleveland, Lorain, Medina, and Newbury (Geauga County) will welcome Lake County shoppers, as will any of the Ohio Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations.

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my page.

No Paper Towels to Clean Up Martha Stewart’s Kitchen

Debbie Snook quoted Martha Stewart in her Fabulous Food Show article in Wednesday’s Plain Dealer. On cleaning up in the kitchen, Martha had this to say: “I don’t use paper towels. I buy one of those big packages of terry bar cloths, rinsing them out and washing as I go.”

Martha, girl, you rock! Keep those paper towels out of the landfill!

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my page.

Shopping Recycled: How I Replaced My Jenn-Air Range at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Saved Over $2,000

For several months, I’ve been pricing replacements for our elderly, failing, nightmare-to-clean Jenn-Air range. Few retailers carry what I wanted — a 30-inch range with a downdraft vent — and it was going to make a big hole in my budget: the lowest price I found was $1,899.00, and a model comparable to the one I was replacing would cost me, before sales tax, $2,368.00.

About six weeks ago, I had occasion to visit the Cleveland Habitat for Humanity ReStore on West 110 Street (map), and I wandered into their major appliances department. There it was: a Jenn-Air range, slightly newer than ours, sparkling clean, missing only the oven control knobs and the knob for setting the clock, and priced at $350.00.

The store was about to close and the event that had brought me there was about to begin, so I swallowed hard and walked away from my delightful find. Conversation with an employee during the event assured me that their appliances are in working order and that they could be returned for a refund if they fail to perform as advertised.

Jenn-Air range

Our Jenn-Air range, installed and ready to cook (photo credit: Lenore Collins)

The following day, my husband and I went to the store, where I purchased the range (for $378, including tax) — only to find that it wouldn’t fit into the trunk of my husband’s car. But ReStore would hold it for me for two days, and our son-in-law offered us the use of his Pontiac Torrent and its 35.2 cubic feet of cargo space. Two days later, we were back at the ReStore, where a group of employees jockeyed the stove into the Torrent and sent us on our happy way.

Over the following weekend, my husband and his son disconnected the old range, moved it to the Torrent, adjusted the vent system to fit the new range, hooked it up, and plugged everything in.

From the old range, I saved the oven racks and the grates that had covered the grill unit (these make great cooling racks). On Monday we took the remains to a scrap dealer, who calculated the scrap value and handed me cash that just covered a celebratory breakfast and a respectable tip for the waitress.

New knobs for the oven controls and the clock (available from Sears Parts Direct) added $66.03 to the price of the range, and the stovetop enjoyed a little detailed cleaning. When I was finished, we had an almost-new Jenn-Air range with downdraft vent and 21-inch oven for about 18% of what a new one would have cost us.

Habitat for Humanity and I saved a perfectly good appliance from the landfill, the materials in our old range will be recycled, I saved $2,113.41, and we now enjoy cooking on a stove on which everything works and which cleans up easily.

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page, or subscribe to my page.