Where is the Wind Blowing in Wind Energy Advancements?

Wind energy continues to be an excellent energy alternative worldwide. Advances in technology and reduced infrastructure costs have contributed to the efficiency, and today the average cost for wind energy is 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Wind energy is at all-time lows, especially in the middle of the country. The low cost and federal incentives are encouraging utility and corporate companies to choose wind energy.

Rural Areas

Wind energy brings many benefits to rural communities to include jobs, reduced electric bills, and a boost to the area’s overall economy. Alt Energy Magazine explains, “wind creates no harmful emissions and it does not require water to produce energy. Not using water is an enormous benefit for rural communities because many have farms that are heavily dependent on water. Also, wind power will not pollute the water in these areas.” Rural areas are ideal for wind energy because of the wide-open spaces.

Jobs

Wind energy is creating jobs in the energy sector. There is a wide range of domestic suppliers for energy equipment. According to one source, the pros of wind energy are increasing every year, and “in 2017, the wind energy sector accounted for about 200,000 jobs in the United States. Current projections estimate that this number will rise to 250,000 jobs sometime in 2020.” The wind projects in the United States were primarily built with domestically manufactured parts to include nacelle assemblies, towers, blades, and hubs. Wind-related jobs can now be attained in every state in the country. There are over 500 factories that build parts for wind projects. Wind energy jobs have an excellent outlook and wind technicians are one of the fastest growing careers in the nation.

Environmental Benefits

Wind is a renewable energy that helps to reduce harmful emissions released into the environment. Electricity is responsible for a third of the United States’s global emissions. According to this study, if wind energy was used for the majority of our electrical needs, it would drastically reduce harmful emissions that are released into the environment. Wind energy does not create any waste. This, in turn, reduces the need to create dump sites for fossil fuel waste. This kind of energy prevents contamination of the soil, air, and water in the area. Wind energy also reduces the consumption of fossil fuels. This is important because fossil fuels produce greenhouse gases that can harm the environment and the ozone layer. Wind energy can be created in almost any climate or location. This eliminates the need to import energy from long distances. Wind is very efficient and has sustained development. It also does not release any toxic substances that can contribute health problems.

In closing, wind energy is an excellent renewable energy that has few negative effects on the environment. It is ideal for rural areas because of the job opportunities and reduced costs of energy. Wind energy has tremendous growth potential for the future.

If you’re trying to make a bigger impact for the environment why not try to create more sustainable office practices?

Ways Every Business Can Be More Eco-Minded

Making your business more eco-friendly is not only good for the environment, it’s great for your bottom line. Savings realized by changing the products you use and finding ways to be more energy efficient are immediately tangible, but you’ll also generate goodwill in your community by being a green leader. Whether you’re looking to start small or make a big impact immediately, here are easy ways every business can be more eco-minded.

Ditch the Disposables

In 2015, 28.7 million tons of disposable plates, cups, and utensils found their way into American landfills. If you stock a lounge for employees, replace expensive paper and plastic products with durable equivalents, then you’ll save money immediately and on the back end with waste disposal fees.

Communicate Online

Paper is a top expense for most businesses. Reduce yours by encouraging electronic interoffice communication. Sharing forms and documents electronically on a print-as-needed basis decreases costs and saves valuable storage space. If you are not yet sending invoices and promotional materials via the web, consider starting now.

Recycle Cardboard

Recycling cardboard is an easy and effective way for businesses to start being more eco-friendly. Although paper and paperboard items are among the most recycled, 13.3% of it still ends up in landfills. Installing collection boxes for clean, recyclable cardboard is a good first step. For large volumes, investing in and training employees how to use a cardboard compactor and baler could greatly improve the chances of employees recycling their products, and will significantly cut down on waste. Not only that, but research has shown that when employees feel they are contributing to causes, they feel better, and work better.

Embrace Natural Climate Control

Decrease heating and cooling costs by working with natural systems. Operable window coverings like shades and awnings can be extended in the summer to reduce the solar heat gains that increase indoor temperature and retracted in winter to maximize free warmth from the sun. A single window awning on a south-facing window can reduce summer heat gain by nearly 65%.

Make the Switch to LEDs

ENERGY STAR-labeled LED bulbs can cut your lighting bill by more than half. They use less than a quarter of the energy of traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. LED bulbs are now available in almost every size and shape, and their cost is competitive especially considering that you won’t have to change them as often.

See Other Energy Alternatives

Additionally, if your business has the opportunity, you can make your business even more eco-friendly by utilizing solar energy panels. You can also look to other options such as wind energy, which can help job creation and is completely renewable. Wind energy is also very convenient for business in rural areas. But regardless of which new green energy you might want to take advantage of, the important is that you are contributing to more sustainable practices.

Start your eco-minded savings initiative by switching to less expensive recyclable office supplies, and roll the savings into making bigger changes. Your business will save money, staff will learn by example, and the community will appreciate your environmental consciousness. It pays in more ways than one to be a green leader.

If you’re trying to create products that not only are good for your customers, but are also good for the environment, then let us help! The first step to a better world is making changes to the way we do things.

5 Principles to Cut Costs in Your Recycling Facility

As a recycling facility, you are supposed to be more aware of the environmental impact you are making in all of your operations than other regular businesses. This means that as you recommend ways to cut cost, save energy, and conserve the environment, you also need to think about your own business, your current practices and whether they are cost and environmentally friendly. Here are five tips to help you cut cost as you recycle.

Offer Reusable Items in the Breakroom

One of the other sources of waste in the working environment is the use of disposable tableware such as coffee cups and pastry packaging. Waste Wise Products recommends that instead of having single-use cups, buy washable mugs and get saucers to serve food on during the coffee break. This will bring down your purchasing costs significantly. You can also include recycling bins all around your business to ensure recycling is more commonly used.

Create a Centralized Hub for Office Supplies

One of the best ways to save money and reduce waste in the office is to consolidate commonly used office supplies and place them somewhere that everyone can access. For instance, supplies such as scissors, wipes, tape, file folders, paper clips, and others can be placed in a common place that everyone can access reducing the need for everyone to purchase the supplies on their own. The central source can have a storekeeper or someone to be in charge to make sure that everyone is accountable for what they use.

Perform Regular Machinery Maintenance

Another habit that leads to ballooning costs in a manufacturing facility is the poor maintenance of machinery. When you do not invest in maintaining your manufacturing and recycling equipment, you leave it vulnerable to breakdowns that will cost you thousands of dollars to repair or replace. Fluent Conveyors explains, “a recycling facility uses many machines and tools including conveyors, forklifts, and balers on a day-to-day basis. If one of these machines breaks down, the facility can’t function smoothly and that can have an impact on revenue.”

Conserve Electricity

Another way that you can reduce the cost of running your business is investing in energy solutions which reduce dependence on electricity. For instance, you could decide to install solar panels to help with some of the heating costs. Making sure that power is off when not needed also lowers the energy bills and makes the workplace environmentally sustainable. Replacing all lights with LED eco-friendly bulbs won’t only save you money, but it’s better for the environment. You can also set most electronics to energy saving mode, which can be very helpful over time.

Buy Recycled and Recyclable Supplies

There are office supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels for the kitchen, rubber bands, paper clips and others that come from recycled material. The benefit of shopping for these supplies is that you get to pay less for them and conserve the environment at the same time.

Other Tips

Recycling is becoming more and more common as more people strive to become ecofriendly. You can seek to reach out to schools and healthcare businesses to see if they will need any sort of recycling done – chances are they will. Additionally, many households have plenty of hard to recycle materials, such as old appliances that made have issues and can’t be easily disposed of. It would be smart to reach out to tailor some of your social media marketing to reach out to these households for recycling materials if needed.

What You Should Know About Eco-Friendly Metal Recycling

Many metals exist worldwide, and each has unique properties and values. Upon recycling, it’s possible to produce new materials with far fewer carbon emissions. For example, in the case of aluminum, it’s possible to experience energy conservation increase from recycling of about 80%. The United States can remain competitive in the metal exporting markets worldwide because of the savings acquired in recycling which translates to savings in the cost of production of materials.

Risks Associated with Improper Disposal

There are many risks associated with improper disposal of metals that we could be recycling. When we think about which ones we should be recycling, it generally relates to heavy metals like cadmium, gold, lead, mercury, and nickel. If people are exposed to these heavy metals at high levels, the metals can potentially become toxic, making the people sick. Under most circumstances, we can find these heavy metals in the following:

  • Batteries
  • Computers
  • Paint found in older homes (for example, lead paint)

It’s critical to dispose of or recycle computers and batteries safely. It’s not a good idea to dispose of these items in a landfill, so don’t toss them in the trash.

Recycling Precious Metals and Scrap Metals

Precious metals are used for many small things that people use in everyday life such as dental crowns and other orthodontic fixtures; jewelry; electronics like phones, televisions and computers; cutlery; photography; and much more. There are six main stages of involvement in the process of recycling precious metals and scrap metals. They include collecting, sorting, processing, melting, purifying, and solidifying these precious metals and scrap metals. Once this whole procedure is complete, the metal bars go through a cooling process and then they are ready for use. It’s at this point that they’re transported to factories. When they reach the factories, they’re used as raw material in brand new products.

Metal Recycling Business Opportunities

Ultimately, metal recycling has been regarded as one of the most profitable opportunities for business. Many people are left to wonder what to do with an old refrigerator or microwave, things that they can’t really donate and or sell due to any issues, so it can be easy to advertise to people around town to let them know that you are hard to recycle material center. However, in recent years, it’s proven to become a challenge as prices have experienced a drop. For those who would like to become an entrepreneur in the metal recycling business, common entry points are through becoming a scrap metal vendor or beginning a scrap metal collection company. According to Fluent Conveyors, scrap metal is usually a high-value material but is susceptible to down markets just like any other recycled commodity.

Final Thoughts

Even though just about every type of metal can be recycled, currently, only 30% of metal actually gets recycled. In the United States, nearly 40% of the steel production industry is created through the use of recycled materials. Annually, there are approximately 400 million tons of metal being recycled worldwide. The most recycled consumer product in the United States is the aluminum can. When we recycle, we’re emitting less harmful gasses and carbon dioxide into the environment. Additionally, we’re preserving natural resources while simultaneously reaping financial benefits.

5 Challenges of Running a Recycling Center and How to Fix Them

While recycling is an important part of the American waste management system, there are several problems faced by the industry. Solutions to these problems can be difficult to come by. Municipal recycling centers, as well as processing plants, can manage these problems with time and thought. Here are five challenges facing recycling centers, each with a proposed solution.

1. Poorly Sorted Materials

According to Leadpoint, in areas such as the Northwest where recycling is well-established in the community and where environmentalism is strong, materials are generally properly sorted. In other parts of the country, compliance tends to be low and non-recyclable materials are often mixed in.

To solve this problem, the public should be taught how to properly recycle. Waste removal drivers can refuse to collect barrels with improper materials inside.

2. Environmental Pollutants

Many recyclable materials contain environmental pollutants like household chemicals. These chemicals can be spread throughout the recycling center when material is crushed. The public is not often aware that residue in their recyclables can impact the process further down the road. Dangerous chemicals also come from items that contain mercury, like batteries.

Again, the best way to prevent this problem is through consumer education.

3. Worker Safety

The sorting and baling machinery is inherently dangerous, and if employees are not properly trained, they face the risk of injury or death. Improperly recycled materials can become stuck or tangled in the machinery, causing difficulties.

Strict workplace safety regulations should be implemented, along with regular worker training on best situational practices.

According to Fluent Conveyors, people may be reluctant to purchase used recycling equipment since they feel they can’t trust the safety and performance of the equipment. If careful during the purchase process, an employer can find well-maintained and functioning equipment. Despite the quality of the equipment purchased, safety is ultimately up to those working with the machinery. The sorting and baling machinery is inherently dangerous.

4. Sinking Value of Recyclables

As The Balance – Small Business points out, even when recycling is properly sorted and processed, its value on the open market has greatly decreased. Many municipalities are discontinuing recycling programs due to the rising costs and lack of a market for the proceeds.

There is no ready solution to this problem, which will negatively impact the recycling industry in the United States. If materials were processed in the United States instead of overseas, local markets may find better places to use them.

5. Security Challenges for Recycling Centers

Along with the safety, logistical, and economic difficulties faced by recycling centers, security concerns are paramount. When papers are not properly shredded, consumers face the possibility of identity theft. According to ProVigil Security Systems, “Recycling centers face a number of problems when it comes to security. These centers may contain valuable material, both in the form of recyclable waste, as well as expensive equipment.” In addition, recycling centers need to have a proper security system with monitored cameras and full-time staff.

 

Even though the recycling industry faces significant difficulties in today’s market, recycling can continue to be a crucial part of waste stream management. With proper planning, recycling centers can thrive.