Green Recycling Products Blog

Celebrate a Zero Waste Holiday

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fibrex GroupHoliday Tips

Here are some ideas to help you give more and waste less during the holiday season:

Make gifts, such as food or clothing.

Choose vintage or used items, such as clothes, jewelry, furniture, and books. Find affordable second-hand gifts on donateNYC.

Give entertainment or experiences: museum memberships; tickets to movies, theater, concerts, or sporting events; or gift certificates to a favorite restaurant.

Give the gift of learning, such as language or music lessons, or classes in cooking, photography, or gardening.

Give your time or talent: baby-sitting, pet-sitting, computer help, or home repairs.

Pamper your recipient with a gift certificate for a massage, facial, or manicure; gym membership; or classes in yoga, Pilates, or dance.

Make a contribution to a favorite charity. Volunteer at a nonprofit organization.

Waste Less

Wrap presents in reusable gift bags or make your own wrapping paper from things like comics and old maps, or a pretty scarf. If you buy gift wrap, choose recycled.

Use reusable dishware when entertaining friends and family. If you use disposables, choose recycled.

Avoid wasting food by planning ahead and remixing leftovers.

Borrow or rent party supplies instead of buying new ones.

Send your old holiday lights to and receive a coupon for new energy efficient LED holiday lights.

Cut down on paper waste by sending email greetings instead of holiday cards.


Remember that others may want the stuff you no longer need. Donate your gently used clothing, furniture, books, and electronic goods.

The holiday season generates good spirits—and lots of recyclables. Recycle your greeting cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper, catalogs, and junk mail along with other paper and cardboard.

Recycle foil trays, bottles, cans, and anything that’s mostly metal or rigid plastic.

Recycle your Christmas tree into soil-enriching compost; remove lights, decorations, and stands before bringing to MulchFest or placing at the curb.

**Original posted at:

EPA and The Recycling Partnership Release Findings from State of Curbside Recycling Report

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Single stream & carts lead to highest-performing recycling programs

Fibrex Group

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and national nonprofit The Recycling Partnership have just completed a study on the state of curbside recycling in the U.S. in 2016.

The resultant report – now publicly available HERE – provides analysis of key curbside recycling attributes that influence performance, notably: offering recycling wherever trash pickup is available, using carts to collect recyclables, and having robust engagement from municipal recycling program managers.

Characteristics of curbside recycling programs that were evaluated include type of container, frequency of collection, MSW tip fee level, material mix as well as a number of other variables.

“The EPA is working to support communities as they make the transition to sustainable materials management. The insights from this research and analysis will allow us to more tightly target our resource allocation to that end,” said, Jon Johnston EPA Region 4, Chief, Materials and Waste Management Branch. “We are very pleased with the depth and breadth of this report, as it shines a bright light on areas of opportunity that EPA can start supporting and the pathway to tangible progress.”

Key findings from the report show that there is not just one program characteristic that supports successful programs, but a host of attributes that, together, support the strongest recovery of bottles, cans, containers and paper. Annual pounds per household collected was the key performance indicator used to measure program performance and of the 465 geographically dispersed cities researched, the average was 357 lbs/hh/yr with an average MSW tip fee of $47 per ton.

“Entering into this research, our goal was to simply evaluate common attributes of high-performing programs, but the findings go far beyond that,” noted Cody Marshall, Technical Assistance Lead for The Recycling Partnership. “Recent research by the State of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality shows that there is roughly 800 to 1,000 pounds of recyclables available in the household each year. There are great opportunities to recover more of that material across the country. This curbside report points to strategies that lead to higher recovery and clearly more resources need to be made available to local governments to unlock their full potential.”

When evaluating the programs with higher-than-average recovery (over 400 lbs/hh/yr), common themes quickly took shape. All (100%) of these had some type of public action that influenced curbside recycling, 96% were single-stream, 93% collected automatically and 83% of those high-performing communities were using carts.

“This report provides key insights about what drives successful recycling programs,” said Craig Cookson, Senior Director, Recycling & Energy Recovery, Plastics Division, American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Executive Committee Member of The Recycling Partnership. “ACC is a proud member of The Recycling Partnership because informed actions at the local, regional and national levels, amplified by strategic partnerships, are producing measurable on-the-ground results.”

**Original posted 12/13/16 by The Recycling Partnership (

Earth Day Network Gives Ten Inspiring Teachers a Little “Help for the Holidays”

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Fibrex Group, Earthday NetworkIn November, Earth Day Network (EDN) launched a “Help for the Holidays” contest to recognize and reward 10 inspiring teachers with help from partner Southwest Airlines. The giveaway recognized 10 educators who use innovative techniques to teach environmental and climate education in their classroom and rewarded each with a roundtrip ticket to use for the holidays.

Entry to the giveaway required an email which described how the educators address environmental and climate change education in the classroom and why they need a little “help for the holidays”. Every entry email had a great story to tell.

“So far, we’ve built a school garden, sponsored a tiger at the Wild Animal Sanctuary, and conducted an energy audit of the school” boasted one winner, an 8th grade science and high school physics teachers from Colorado.  She recently lost her mother and plans to use the ticket to surprise her dad with a holiday visit.

A 4th grade science and math teacher and her husband, a first-year environmental science teacher, each won a ticket for their exceptional dedication to environmental science in their school district. “Planning [an environmental science] class with no formal resources and little support has me exhausted,” said the husband. The couple plans to use the tickets to “take a break from all the negativity towards teachers”.

This year, a 7th and 8th grade science teacher from Florida has led her class in many projects, including “climate change world conference role play[s], removing invasive plants from sensitive sites, and evaluating how to safely develop crops that feed more people and are adapted to new climate conditions.” She is using the ticket to visit a friend who is one of four survivors in a clinical trial that is helping battle cancer.

Stories of great classroom triumph, but also personal hardship, were present in almost every entry. From teachers trying to support their students through recent fear “because so many of them have immigrated to the country as refugees and have family members still in the process of trying to become naturalized citizens,” to teachers who have spent every single ‘vacation’ day in professional development to be a better educator and leader for their students, EDN was overwhelmed by the quality of entries from dedicated educators across America.

Earth Day Network is inspired by the work of teachers and educators around the world. EDN is happy to support everything they do to increase student learning and environmental awareness in the classrooms and beyond.

*Original at