What happens after my recycling is picked up?

According to the EPA’s Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures report which tracks the amount of trash and recycling throughout the United States, there were 254 tons of trash in 2013.  Of this 254 tons, 87 million tons (34.3%) were either recycled or composted.  For a comparison, the amount of recycled content in 1980 was 15 million tons.  Numbers closer to home would make this individually 1.51 pounds of recycled/composted material to an average 4.40 pounds of trash per day.

Further statics gathered suggest American’s recovered 5.7 million tons of paper for recycling and averaged 60% of organic/lawn waste composted.  All of this recycling and composting has reduced the amount of CO2 let off by 186 million metric tons.  The EPA cites this as “the equivalent of taking 39 million cars off the road for a year.”

America has come a long way from the 80’s, but there is a long way to go in just reducing the amount of waste.  Unfortunately, the EPA does not have data specific to Ohio (although they do other states).  However, we could in the future.  Tell your local representatives that you wish to support the data collection efforts of the EPA.  Better yet, collect the data at a local level and create a community challenge to reduce the annual percent of waste.

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How many wind turbines would it take…

How much dedicated acreage would the US need to allocate to wind turbines to power the US?  That is the question the science news magazine IFLScience! posed to John Hensley, manager of industry data analysis for the American Wind Energy Association in a recent article.  Shockingly, the amount of acreage is much smaller then most people would think.  Mr Hensley worked the math and the United States would need approximately 583,000 wind turbines to supply the US’s annual power consumption of 4.082 billion megawatt-hours.  The amount of acreage needed for these wind turbines would be an area roughly about the size of Rhode Island based on the 0.74 acres per megawatt produced.  wind-power

If we bring that idea closer to home, a great conversation for Transition Bluffton would be how much acreage could Bluffton dedicate to renewable energy?  What is Bluffton’s annual power consumption and what would be the benefits of being a town powered by renewable energy?

Save the date- Transition US Workshop in Bluffton, OH

SAVE THE DATE!

Transition Bluffton will be hosting a training seminar, tentatively scheduled for the weekend of February 25-26, 2017. The purpose of the training is to familiarize people with the Transition movement, provide instruction and tools for setting up a local initiative, and empower our community to tackle the issues of peak resources and climate change by rebuilding community resilience and self-reliance.

The Training session is open to any interested people from the Bluffton area, as well as anyone from throughout northwest Ohio and nearby areas of Michigan and Indiana interested in learning about how Transition might be of value in their communities. Please mark the weekend of February 25-26 on your calendar and stay tuned for more details as they are developed.

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