2018 - Plastic Waste and Recycling


As a kid I used to do the same with the bottles and cans (soda/beer). I made some decent pocket money. Our “trash man” as he called himself, was allowed into people’s basements if that’s where they kept their trash bins. He would carry them up the stairs, out to his truck, empty them and return the barrels to the basement. Guess this was the era when you could trust most everyone. Our trash man retired to Florida (from NY), buying a retirement home for himself and his wife on the profits of what everyone recycled. He didn’t take them to the landfill, he sorted them and brought the to a recycling company at the Port of Albany and sold them (by weight).
I have a brother and sister-in-law who purchased a lake house on a private lake using the money they saved by using manufacturers’ coupons (for groceries). When they got home and after putting away the groceries, they would put the amount of money they saved by using the coupons into a bank account. Eventually, they had enough for almost the entire asking price. Of course that was many years ago. Now a car or truck costs more than what one used to pay for a home. :slightly_smiling_face: Oh… and my brother would never ever order a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. He said it was too much money for one slice of cheese. :laughing:


Rather than having multiple recycling depots for these, they chose to mail them, but at least being recycled.



HP will do the same for their ink cartridges - if you request recycling envelopes from them. And guess what those envelopes are made of? Plastic! :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Still, there’s some precious metals in each of those cartridges as well as recyclable plastic. I wonder what they do with any waste ink left in them. Hopefully that gets recycled somehow as well.

I had checked out an international company - a fairly recent company of just several years - that recycles cigarette butts. They will sell municipalities and organizations collection/shipping bags, but don’t sell the bags to individuals. Seems to me that if a household has several smokers in it, a bag can be filled in a fairly short time. Municipalities would have a harder time collecting the butts and would waste a lot of man-hours - and taxpayers’ money. Why not collect them from the source? :thinking:


This year, rather than “salt and sand” used on the roads when icy, the city of saskatoon will test wood chips. Recycling!!!
Anywhere near you testing this theory?
(The salt usually used is a by product of potash mining)


As far as I know they’re not using wood chips, but a while back I heard that somewhere they used ground up coconut shells and walnut shells. Never did hear how that worked out though. I imagine they would provide enough grit for traction and eventually the material would break down since they are organic. The field mice would like to gnaw on the larger pieces of walnut shells.
The “sand” we use here is actually stone - 1B (?), but we still referred to it as sand. It’s pretty fine and spreads just like sand. They highway departments used to use a mixture of rock salt (from salt mines) and the stone - and added calcium chloride to the mix when the temperature would be below the point where rock salt stopped working. It was funny how one year the salt would be white to grayish white and the next year it would be a pretty pink. Depended upon which mine it came from. I believe our local highway department switched from calcium chloride (liquid and granular) to magnesium chloride. The liquid was sprayed on the sand or sand/salt mix as it was running out on the conveyor of the sander into the hopper. The sander I used to use had 2 100-gallon tanks mounted in the truck box on either side the sander. They never told me to, but I used to switch off the liquid sprayer unless it was absolutely needed. The salt still caused a lot of corrosion to culvert pipes though. I can remember when we replaced some 100-year old cast iron pipes that ran across a road and replaced them with corrugated steel pipes. Within 10-years we were replacing those pipes. And because they were corrugated, they would always have a buildup of dirt and debris in them. The old smooth bore cast iron pipes would always flush themselves clean as a whistle! So much for modern technology. :roll_eyes: I’ve already switched some of the drain pipes around my home from the flexible ones to smooth bore pipes. I’ll be finishing the switchover next year. I hate having underground pipes plug up! You know what they say, “work smart, not harder.” Besides, the smooth bore pipes will get rid of more water faster than the other pipes. I guess it’s more expensive making smooth bore pipes - judging from the difference in prices.

:thinking: I wonder what else may be mixed in with that salt that can’t be separated.


The salt and sand usually spreads to the boulevards, or is piled on the side of the road and it affects the grass, sidewalk etc.
I wonder and worry about wood chips affecting these areas. They will clear them on the road with street sweeping but these areas we will need to remove the chips.


Termites would love them. :yum: :laughing: I really have to check to see when and where they tried the crushed coconut and/or walnut shells. I’m leaning toward walnut shells as these are harder and probably wouldn’t have any oil on them as coconut shells might.
My cat bailed out on me and went to the opposite side of the house. Guess my music is too loud. :rofl: Hey! I can crank it up when my wife’s not at home! :wink:


Don’t know about spreading on the roads… but there is at least one tire company that uses ground (I believe it’s walnut) shells in their tire treading material… claim them to be better than studs but easier on the roads…
I’ll track that down for you… they are sold locally, but the dealer is on the other end of town… not the one my friend works at…

As for road treatments, I read something about beet brine… as in pickled beets… but that was just in some old TV news thing… again I’ll see if I can find that… but people have been trying all sorts of junk on the roads…
I lost a windshield way back when I moved to Elkford… well not completely til I hit the tree, but the big chips were from the pit run gravel they were using on the roads… the little bits were okay, but when they got bigger than 3/4, they bounced all over the place… when challenged they claimed to have run out of the smaller crushed rock chips… by the way… most sand is just very small rocks… and yes… they don’t spread too much of the pit run anymore since they caused so many claims… Another complaint was when they substituted just plain dirt for traction… but it just formed frozen mud on the windows… really… again not a good choice.

That company contract was cancelled and it is a bit better now.

I don’t know about wood chips… @TerriB, but I had a flash of imagination of using a forced air furnace to burn sawdust and just burn the road clear… big hopper on a trailer or truck… but I don’t think that would work at least safely… and what to do with the water from the melt…


And melt the asphalt in the process! :rofl: Anyway, every spring we would have to go around all the town roads with the village street sweeper and one truck would follow - or wait at a pre-determined intersection. All the sand that was picked up was dumped into the truck, and once full was taken back to the town highway department and stockpiled there. Some wide intersections and certain roads yielded quite a lot of screenings - that’s the word I was looking @TerriB! Screenings are the fine stone from the crushing process. Darned memory! The town had an agreement with the village to buy them a new roller brush and side brush for the street sweeper. They got worn out by the time we finished the 69 miles of town roads. :wink:

I remember one time when the county was running out of salt and had a very lean mixture of salt to screenings. We had some freezing rain the little salt in the mix didn’t work very well. The screenings got washed down the hill and froze at the bottom. :rofl: They sent for me to hit some of their hills for them, so I had to leave my own run in the hamlet and the whole eastern end of town. I was different doing them, but the people using the roads liked the job I did. The county crew got a thumbs up from some people talking in a local country store where they were sitting and having coffee together. Never said a word… :shushing_face: :wink:


Environmentally…I’m not sure wood chips are any better than salt/sand…there would have to be a control of what types of chips are used, where they came from, were they sprayed, etc etc. I have never heard of them helping with “traction” on the road when we have freezing rain. Termites is not something we usually have, they probably freeze during our winters !!! :rofl::smiley::rofl:


Just a quick mid work note…

Toyo tires… https://www.toyotires.ca/winter-technology

They combine several technologies…


I had a feeling it was walnut shells. I didn’t know they were being incorporated into vehicle tires though. I had heard of the crushed shells being used as an aggregate for slippery roads, but for tires themselves. Why not? As long as they don’t wear out too fast on dry pavement, it makes sense to have permanent “studded” tires. I wonder how loud they are on dry pavement. I did check out your link. I wonder if they’ll ship them to the U.S. or if they have a U.S. dealer. Had to go pick up my better half, stopped at 2 stores in the village, and finally got back home. Time for a cup of coffee and get a few more things done around the house. Our youngest granddaughter gets baptized tomorrow morning. Time to polish my shoes… :roll_eyes:


Here is the other part about the beet juice…



Volcanic - “ecotraction”. I’m not sure about the ‘sandpaper effect” for graders etc but could be a good thing for areas that only get rain or freezing rain?
They say on their website - Sweep it onto the lawn in spring for aeration …?


@Doug4 and @TerriB, I checked out the articles on some of the new approaches to melting snow and ice from the roads - mostly in Edmonton. They’re switching to liquid calcium chloride to pre-treat about 40% of their streets. We used this approach of pre-treating over 20 years ago. It didn’t work when a lot of snow came down quickly. On the hills, people were spinning trying to get up them. The calcium chloride also has the same problem as rock salt… runoff. True Value Hardware chain has actually stopped selling the bags of granular calcium chloride and switched to magnesium chloride. (I tried to buy some calcium chloride last winter and was told they don’t carry it any more. I usually buy enough to last for 2 years, for my house and my daughter’s house. (Okay, driveways and walks.))

I’ve always tried to keep on top of the snow removal as well as the freezing rain. A lot of children use my front walk to walk up to the bus stop and then back down the hill when they get home from school. The joys of being a home owner. :roll_eyes: While calcium chloride works at lower below freezing temperatures, I guess I’m stuck with the magnesium chloride - which is safer for vegetation and animals paws. I do not know how much less of an effect it has on metal such as the under carriages of vehicles. May check it out after I mulch some more leaves. Oh bother!


Our area has already moved away from calcium chloride for some of the reasons you have mentioned. Considering we get major accumulations of snow, and temps can vary.
I think this is why we moved.to the sand/potash salt combo. I haven’t heard more about the wood chip idea. Maybe they will have a few test streets this year. I will make sure to test drive those!!!



At the VanDusen Festival of Lights, with over one million lights, they utilized recycling in their light display. Many water bottles had been recycled into flower forms with a light illuminating the flower. Amazing recycling!