A few interesting reads

We uncovered a few old articles by Earth 911 that we thought were interesting.  Summaries and links to the full articles are provided below.

Extended Producer Responsibility

A recent trend in legislation called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is good news for all of you green technology geeks!  EPR is basically a strategy to make manufacturers take accountability and economic responsibility for end-of-life disposal of their products.  Hopefully, as a result manufacturers will make their products easier (read: cheaper) to recycle.  Maine led the way by signing the “Maine e-Waste Law” in 2004, requiring manufacturers to be financially responsible for the recycling of their products.   The recycling process would still be the same; municipalities would still be responsible for collection sites, but the manufacturers would pay for the recycling cost.  Since then, 24 states have signed similar legislation into law and some sort of e-waste recycling law covers 61% of the population.  For more information about the concept of EPR and the manufacturers’ struggles to comply with the various laws, read the Earth911 article.

 Real Fashion For a Cause

Have you been seeing more of those giant metal clothing drop-off bins in your neighborhood and wonder where those clothes go?  Most of the companies that own the bins donate or sell the clothing to developing countries.  Some of the biggest US organizations are:

–       Gaia Movement USA

    • Bins are located in Chicago, IL, Fort Wayne, IN, and Sacramento, CA
    • They have more than 820 green-colored bins that collected 6 million pounds of clothing in 2009
    • Materials collected include clothing, books, shoes, and toys

–       Mid-Atlantic Clothing Recycling (MAC)

    • Bins are located in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia
    • They have more than 350 light blue bins
    • Materials collected include clothing, shoes, linens, stuffed animals, belts, and purses

–       Planet Aid

    • Bins are located in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC
    • They have more than 11,000 yellow colored bins, which collected 100 million pounds of clothing in 2009.
    • Materials collected include clothing and shoes

For more details on each company, read the Earth 911 article.