A NUVO guide to loving the earth As we recognize Earth Day this Friday (and the weekend; see our Calendar for information on Earth Day activities), take a few seconds to look at your trash can. More than likely, plastic, aluminum containers and paper could be recycled. According to the most recent survey done by the Environmental Protection Agency (2001), Americans produced more than 229 million tons of municipal solid waste. That’s about 4 pounds of waste from one person per day. Recycling kept 68 million tons of that waste from reaching landfills and incinerators. If you wonder how a newspaper can justify a guide to recycling, consider this as our partial payback to the trees. Also note that NUVO, winner of the Hoosier Environmental Council’s Green Business Award last year, prints on 80 percent recycled paper. See our Table of Contents, page 3, for more information on our impact on the Earth. Here, then, is our guide to recycling: Let us know what outlets you know about that we may have missed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is an organization dedicated to pushing the community in a healthier, environmentally-friendly direction. The non-profit organization, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., was founded in 1976 as Indianapolis Clean City, then changed its name in 1997. Their Web site, www.kibi.org, offers a list of drop-off locations for recyclables, as well as another list of lesser-recycled materials and where they can be taken.
Easy drop-offs The following list includes drop-off locations to recycle newspaper, glass (brown, clear and green), No. 1 and No. 2 plastics (all plastics have a recycle sign with Nos. 1-7 on the container), aluminum, steel beverage cans and empty aerosol cans at the following sites:
• K-Mart, 8752 N. Michigan Road
• Marsh Supermarkets, 11625 Fox Road (Windridge Shopping Center)
• Kroger (Pendleton Pike and Sunnyside, 65th and Keystone, 79th and Fall Creek)
• Village Pantry, 1415 W. 86th St. Sahm Park, 6801 E. 91st St.
• Broad Ripple Park, Evanston Street entrance
• Southwestway Park, 8400 S. Mann Road
• Perry Park, 415 E. Stop 11 Road
• Kroger (4202 S. East St., Madison and Edgewood, Churchman and Emerson Beech Grove, Target Mall Greenwood, 5325 E. Thompson Road and South Emerson Avenue, 8707 Hardegan St.)
• Marsh Supermarkets, 3633 Kentucky Ave. (Kentucky and Mann)
• Eastgate Consumer Mall, 7150 E. Washington St. (lower parking lot)
• O’Malia’s, 56th and Emerson Way
• Kroger (10450 E. Washington St., 38th and Post)
• LoBill, 3737 E. Washington St.
• Kroger, 5615 W. 38th St.
• Northwestway Park, 62nd and Moller Road
• Kroger (5026 Crawfordsville Road — Speedway SuperCenter, 8150 Rockville Road)
• LoBill, 2802 Lafayette Road (Eagledale Center)
• The Children’s Museum, 3000 N. Illinois St.
• O’Malia’s, 320 N. New Jersey St.
These locations don’t take materials like cardboard, No. 3 or No. 6 plastics or Styrofoam packaging (which can at least be reused). The UPS Store, formerly Mailboxes, Etc., takes used Styrofoam peanuts and packaging and uses it to pack customer shipping materials like glass and electronics. They will gladly take dropped-off packaging peanuts.
Plastics Nos. 3-7 have different physical properties; basically, if you throw in a No. 5 (usually bottle caps or yogurt cups) with the rest of the No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, the melting process is compromised. The best thing to do is separate the recyclable plastics with the unacceptable ones, and limit the purchase of plastics Nos. 3-7 altogether.
Stores like Walmart will usually take used plastic bags, which are made of No. 4 plastics.
The Indy Recycling Center on 6933 E. 42nd St. takes plastics No. 3 and No. 6 (317-545-8888). Even if you can’t recycle the plastics, chances are they can be reused one way or another around the house, like reusing yogurt cups or butter containers for leftovers.
Cardboard can be collected by several curbside companies around Indianapolis, including Ray’s Trash Service, Inc., which has been in the recycling and waste disposal business since 1965. With their newest location on 200 Harding St., Ray’s can collect both residential and business cardboard and provides customers with curbside recycling bins. Go to www.raystrash.com for more information on curbside services.
Indianapolis Recycled Fiber is another place to drop off your catalogs, phone books and other home and office paper and cardboard (see page 15).
Tox-Drop Program (327-4869)
Everyday household products like bathroom cleaners and household batteries are extremely harmful to the environment if taken away with the trash. This is where the Tox-Drop Program comes in. Marian County residents have the opportunity to drop off hazardous household waste (HHW) at Trader’s Point (7400 N. Lafayette Road), the Indianapolis Police Department Training Facility (9049 E. 10th St.) or the Perry Township Government Center (4925 Shelby St.). The program has diverted over a quarter of a million gallons of toxins from Indianapolis waterways in the last 10 years.
The following materials can be brought to the Tox-Drop locations: aerosol cans, air fresheners, ammonia, asbestos tile, cleaners (bathroom, carpet, metal, oven, upholstery), flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter, transmission and brake), batteries (button, household, lead acid), bleach, detergents, fire extinguishers, floor wax, florescent light tubes, adhesives, herbicides, insecticides, moth crystals, motor oil, paints and thinners, permanent markers, pesticides, pool-cleaning chemicals, propane tanks, poisons, shoe and furniture polish, stain removers and solvents, thermometers, thermostats and wood preservatives.
Also, prevent toxic waste next time you check out a library book. Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library branches accept household batteries.
Being stuck with broken or unwanted electronics is an uncomfortable position; the equipment is either out of warranty or beyond repair, and too big to fit into a trash bag. When it comes to out-of-date technology, people feel torn as to where they can dump their old PCs from (gasp) the ’90s. Here are a few places where old electronics can be refurbished or laid to rest.
The Goldsmith Group
This company has been recycling e-waste in Indianapolis for over 30 years. The company started out in 1912 as a scrap metal business. Since then, the Goldsmith Group has recycled about 1.5 million pounds each year for the last 10 years.
Monitors, PCs, notebooks, printers, cell phones, audio and security equipment, medical equipment and palm-pilots are taken in to be sold as used technology or stripped for materials.
The Goldsmith Group retail store is located at 2107 N. Adams St. in Indianapolis. Customers can call for an estimate on electronic equipment. “When an item is deemed scrap, we can tear it down for precious metal recovery and send those materials to companies who process it for precious metals,” says Eric Goldsmith, vice president of Goldsmith Group. “Some of these materials GGI pays to properly dispose of, due to its low recovery value and high amounts of toxins like lead, mercury or other hazardous materials; so, GGI charges for some of these items. Since monitors have 6-10 pounds of lead in them, they are a good example, if they are older than 1997 or aren’t working. We take them for free if they work and are newer than 1997. Whole PCs, PII or better we buy on a per item basis.” Go to www.usedprinters.com or www.goldsmithgroup.com for more information.
Indiana Recycling Coalition’s Cell Phone Recycling Program
This project created by IRC is an easy and free way to get rid of old electronic equipment: new or old cell phones, cell phone accessories, batteries, palm pilots, digital cameras, pagers, beepers and two-way radios are accepted. The Indiana Recycling Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the environment, which includes keeping electronics that can be reused or recycled out of the waste stream. Their program gives free collection boxes and shipping to all participants.
The Indiana Recycling Coalition has also put together an E-Scrap Action Program Toolkit on their Web site. The site contains all the information and resources about e-scrap. It also provides locations for reuse and recycling of e-scrap in Indiana, e-scrap regulations and collection programs, what other states are doing about e-scrap, and how to buy environment-friendly electronics. In addition to the E-Scrap Toolkit, Indiana Recycling Coalition has a listing of e-scrap brokers, recyclers and reuse services. To download the toolkit or the e-scrap broker list, go to www.indianarecycling.org. To get involved with the Recycling Program, contact Indiana Recycling Coalition at email@example.com or call (877) 283-9550. The program will provide details on how to set up an account and how to order the collection boxes.
The Virtual Scavenger Project
In 1997, John Crooks created a safe haven where previously unwanted computers could find a home. The Virtual Scavengers Project donates a computer to volunteers who come in and work in their warehouse for four consecutive Saturdays (they provide lunch for the five-hour shift). They also sell used computers starting at $25, and have a training program for those who are looking to improve their computer skills (for some training services they charge a small fee). They train about 100 unemployed and low-income men and women in Indianapolis every year. The Project has two principal goals: to reuse as much as possible, and to keep anything from a landfill. Their staff is entirely volunteered and, since 1997, they have refurbished and redistributed about 10,000 computers, as well as trained about 300 workers, 30 of whom now have jobs in the field of technology.
The Virtual Scavenger Project has partnerships with both Training, Inc., which helps to train unemployed or under-employed workers with job skills they need; and Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation, which provides veterans with skills to re-enter the workforce.
The Project mainly works with computers, but will take other electronics to keep them out of landfills. Drop-offs will be accepted for free; due to the fluctuating number of volunteers at any given time, VSP charges for pick-ups, depending on the load’s size. If they cannot refurbish the equipment, VSP will take it apart and recycle as much as possible. The rest of the material goes to Geeks “R” Us, a program for volunteers and students to build anything from jewelry to robots with the remains. If you would like to volunteer or learn more about the Virtual Scavenger Project, located at 754 N. Sherman Drive, call 317-917-9111, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got an old grill or leftover bike parts crowding your garage? Break them down and take them to Indy Scrap Recycling (1217 N. Harding, 317-631-4311), Capitol City Metals (311 Shelby St., 317-634-7175), Farnsworth Metal Recycling (3602 Farnsworth St., 317-481-8501) or SARCO (850 S. Keystone Ave., 317-974-5715).
The Indianapolis Shredding Co., a division of Capitol City Metals at the same address (311 S. Shelby St., 317-634-7175), takes large household appliances and cars as well. Gas tanks should be removed from cars beforehand. Barlow Used Parts on 3154 N. Ritter Ave. also takes old/broken-down cars (317-547-3730). If you want to donate your car as a tax deduction, Kars4Kids is a charity organization that takes used cars to help distressed youth programs. The organization will pick up the donated car free of charge, and the donation will benefit Joy for Our Youth (J.O.Y.), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping at-risk youth receive proper education and guidance. Go to www.kars4kids.org, or call 877-527-7454 for see if you can donate.
Appliance Recyclers of Indiana (423 Main St., Beech Grove, 317-788-8681) takes household appliances, both large or small. Speedway Street Department (1390 N. Lynhurst Drive, 317-241-2568) will take scrap iron and refrigerators with the compressors removed. Capitol City Metals, located at their other address (2210 W. Oliver Ave., 317-264-2222), takes washers, dryers, stoves and refrigerators with compressors removed.
For those who would prefer to have a curbside service instead of driving to the drop-off locations, trash haulers provided by Indianapolis Department of Public Works can pick up recyclables for a fee of $5 per month. The fee is billed every three months, and the service includes a recycling bin for each participating household. To sign up and begin this service, call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622.
The Indiana Department of Commerce Energy & Recycling Office is helping out with their Buy Recycled Indiana guide for environmentally conscious people. The guide provides information on how to buy recycled-content products, what to look for in these products and why they’re beneficial. It includes a catalogue of companies that sell recycled-content products in Indiana. The Recycling Market Development Program Web site also hosts the Indiana Recycled Products Online Showroom, which lists companies in Indiana that manufacture or distribute recycled-content products. The showroom lists products and gives the company’s contact information, and even has some pictures of the products. For more information, go to www.CommerceRecycles.in.gov.
Rid your closet and yourself of the pack-rat reputation and donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army. They can take donations, repair what’s salvageable and resell them. Donated clothing should be washed first, and appliances with manuals are preferred. Go to www.thecityofindianapolis.com/pawn-shop/ for a list of Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift store locations around Indianapolis.
The Indiana Recycling Coalition Web site (www.indianarecycling.org) gives easy instructions on what to do before you buy products so you can reduce waste from the start. Precycling means considering the materials/packaging/cost before a consumer buys anything. Precycling saves money by avoiding both waste and recycling pickup, conserves room in landfills, saves energy and reduces the amount of pollution created. The site also has great ideas on how to reuse products that would otherwise be wasted, and to reduce the amount of products you buy and money you spend. Next time you go to the grocery store on a budget, consider some of these tips:
• Do: Bring Your Own Shopping Bags. By far the best way to avoid the paper vs. plastic dilemma is to bring a bag to the store. Canvas or sturdy cloth bags are light to carry and can be used repeatedly. It’s an easy habit to get into and saves a ton of paper and plastic over time. If you do decide to use store plastic bags instead, save them to use in your home later — you’ll never have to buy small trash bags again.
• Do: Buy In Bulk. Buying in bulk saves money. When comparing price per volume between single-serving containers and a larger container, the larger one is almost always cheaper. They also take up less space and have less packaging. For foods that don’t spoil quickly, the bigger the container the better. When buying foods that do spoil, buy the largest size consumable for your use.
• Do: Buy Recycled Packaging (or things you can recycle yourself). Most recycled packaging will have the triple arrow symbol and the percentage of recycled materials on the bottom. Buying recycled is always better for the environment because it saves resources and can be recycled again. Also, buy items that you know you can reuse, like plastic Tupperware or cups. Take a tip from the restaurant business: Cloth napkins, compared to all the disposable kinds out there today, sound like a breeding ground for bacteria. The truth is that if you buy them in bulk, you can throw them in the washer every week with the rest of your clothing, and save both money and room in your trash.
• Do Not: Buy “Disposable” Products. Our anti-bacterial, single-serving, disposable society is obsessed with the idea of good hygiene; cleanliness is a status symbol, so the cleaner you and your household is, the better life you must have. This kind of thinking only leads to more waste. Sure, that disposable toilet-bowl cleaning wand makes you feel like yours is the prettiest pot in town, but disposable does not mean biodegradable; now you’re out $5, and have to keep buying new brushes. Disposable and single-serving products are adding more and more waste to landfills because people are terrified of germs. Even though cleaning is a necessary and never-ending cycle, people need to consider the long-term consequences. Not-so-future generations will have to deal with limited resources, landfills and contamination problems; they won’t care how clean their grandparents’ bathroom was. Buy disposable products as seldom as possible, like plastic razors, floor-cleaning pads, toilet bowel cleaners, plastic cups and non-refillable pens. Try to avoid disposable plastic diapers as well, which account for 2 percent of total U.S. landfill volume.
• Do Not: Buy Excess Packaging. It’s the notorious air-filled chip bag scenario. You buy potato chips, thinking that the size of the bag is equivalent to the amount of chips inside. When the bag is opened, you immediately experience buyer’s remorse for a half-full bag of chips. Manufacturers try to hide small content with large and more expensive packaging. Avoid single-serving products. Buy your fruits, veggies and coffee loose. Be creative and make your own sandwiches.
Finally, be a creative re-user. Magazines like ReadyMade glamorize the act of reusing, not for its moral, granola value, but because it’s a path to individual style and cool. From a lounge chair made of wooden pallets, to a garden planter made of buttons, ReadyMade represents a kind of back-handed environmentalism for the style-conscious, budget-conscious urbanite. See www.readymademag.com for project ideas. For more information on recycling: http://www.indianarecycling.org/Precycling.htm, www.indygov.org/eGov/City/DPW/Residential/Recycling/home.htm.
Clean your files and your conscience at Indianapolis Recycled FiberAnne Laker Clean your files and your conscience at Indianapolis Recycled Fiber Subtract catalogs, cereal boxes and toilet paper tubes from your garbage bin, and you may find that there isn’t enough trash to warrant a trip to the curb on trash day. My family collects our paper and cardboard and takes it down to Indianapolis Recycled Fiber every couple of months. When they’re through with it, your wrapping paper wad or old phone book becomes a new pizza box, beer carton or even particleboard furniture.
Located at 1775 S. West St. just off of I-70 in the industrial hub just southwest of the RCA Dome, Indianapolis Recycled Fiber (IRF) has a dumpster accessible 24/7 for drop-offs of mixed paper from the public or businesses. Have a net ton of newspaper? IRF will pay you $5. You get $10 for corrugated cardboard, and more for white paper.
Indianapolis Recycled Fiber is part of Rock-Tenn Company, based in Norcross, Ga. Rock-Tenn mills 100 percent recycled paperboard and packaging, and recycles 3,300 tons of used paper every day at plants all over North America. “Our Indianapolis plant is one of 11 that shreds, bales and sells used paper,” says General Manager David Quaife, who oversees a staff of 15. Their barn-like facility cranks out colorful, 6-foot square bales of shredded paper that often end up on barges to China, one of the largest consumers of paperboard.IRF has deals with those who generate big volume: shredding companies, major industry, printers and congregations. For all those companies that contract with IRF, there are many who don’t, partially because it doesn’t cost much to landfill in Indiana. “Cities like Los Angeles fine you if you don’t recycle,” Quaife says. Slowly, free market innovations are driving change. According to Quaife, companies like Rock-Tenn are experimenting with paper made from soybeans, spray-on insulation made from newspaper and other novel products.
Meanwhile, 50 percent of fiber consumed in the U.S. is recovered, up from 34 percent in 1990. All of us can up that percentage by dropping paper at Indianapolis Recycled Fiber. IRF accepts uncontaminated newspaper, cardboard, magazines, phone books, catalogs, junk mail, paper bags and office paper. (Quaife advises people to shred papers with credit card or social security numbers before dropping it.) For more information, call 317-634-7571.
“Do you have a green volt?”
By Matt Litten
Indiana is one of the five worst polluting states in the country because of high levels of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide (Co2). All 35,673 miles of its rivers and 47,806 acres of its lakes have mercury fish consumption advisories. These grim statistics place Indiana residents in the top five for deaths resulting from power plant pollution in the country, according to the Clear the Air campaign.
But Indianapolis Power and Light Company customers have the option to choose pollution-free green energy and other energy efficiency choices to keep our air cleaner. IPL customers can choose to turn back their fossil-fuel powered meter with the net-metering of solar, wind or geothermal renewable electricity. They can voluntarily agree to curb the output of their air conditioners during peak periods.
“The Green Power option is a wonderful choice for consumers who want to benefit the environment,” said IPL spokesperson Crystal Livers-Powers. The Green Power option allows consumers to choose wind power from Iowa or solar power from California at a chosen rate of 10 to 100 percent. Another program, Net Metering, enables homeowners to credit the generation of small-scale solar power or Solar Photovoltaic (PV), wind or hydroelectric energy to their bill in exchange for their fossil fuel usage.
IPL’s newest program is an efficiency option called Cool Cents that shuts a consumer’s air conditioner off during peak energy consumption periods of the day. IPL then rebates them $20 for the summer months they participate. By capping air conditioning units during peak periods, the Cool Cents option reduces the need for constructing new power plants.
For more information about IPL’s Green Power Option, call 317-261-3456, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or visit www.ipalco.com.