recycling

Major changes are underway, with more on the horizon for Oregon’s pioneering bottle deposit system.

Those changes -- the biggest since the Bottle Bill's adoption a generation ago -- have been slowly playing out as grocery stores close their return stations in favor of centralized off-site redemption centers.

And the state will soon determine if the deposit paid for each bottle and can of soda, water or beer will remain at a nickel or double to a dime.

Those changes are all about increasing the rate of empties -- and deposits -- that get returned.

This is the first part of a three-part series, "What A Waste: Why We Have To Stop Throwing Food Away."

Wasting 40 percent of all the food produced in the U.S. certainly has its drawbacks:

It's not feeding people in need, it's expensive and it does a lot of environmental damage.

NW Colleges Showcase Innovations In Campus Sustainability

Nov 7, 2014

In the Reuse Room at Portland State University, everything is free and the door is always open.

Students and staff can walk into the converted mailroom anytime to donate or take supplies, ranging from three-ring binders to iPods.

Compost, Seattleites! (Or Risk Being Fined)

Sep 22, 2014
Flickr Photo/Dianne Yee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It'll be a busy day at Seattle city hall Monday. Mayor Ed Murray is proposing his first city budget since he was elected last fall.

Among other things, the mayor is expected to announce funding for more police officers and for his preschool proposal.

Further down the agenda, though, is a smaller item that could add up to something big.

Let me guess how you feel about your urine: Get that smelly stuff away from me as fast as possible?

A small group of environmentalists in Vermont isn't as squeamish. Instead of flushing their pee down the drain, they're collecting it with special toilets that separate No. 1 and No. 2.

Then they're pooling the urine of the 170 volunteers in the pilot project (a quart or so, per person, daily) and eventually giving it to a farmer, who's putting it on her hay fields in place of synthetic fertilizer. The goal is to collect 6,000 gallons this year.

Flickr Photo/vmax137 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The cost of housing in the city is making many people think small, to embrace the micro movement that loves to reuse and recycle. Enter the idea of a shipping container as a building — a natural in a port city like Seattle, which handles 1.6 million container units in a year.

As California deals with a historic drought, more communities are looking to recycling sewage and storm runoff as a way to deal with the water crisis.

At the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo, California, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Ron Wildermuth, manager of public and government affairs for the West Basin Municipal Water District.

Best Recycling Advice: Don't Agonize Over It

Jan 2, 2014
Flickr Photo/Chelsea Nesvig

Northwest denizens are known to take their recycling responsibilities seriously. But it can be confusing to keep on top of all the rules. Tom Watson from the King County Recycling and Environmental Services in Seattle told Steve Scher on The Record that you don't need to agonize too much about it.

The same shiny gift wrap and bright bows that make Christmas presents so enticing are exactly what give recycling centers headaches the day after Christmas.

KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

The loading dock at Total Reclaim in Seattle is piled high with electronic discards: phones, old TVs and computer carcasses. It is also deafening: Computer boards are shredded, and trucks roar in with new loads.

KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

Seattle trash pickup could be reduced to every other week by 2015 if the Seattle City Council votes on Monday to keep that option on the table for the next year.

If the action passes as expected, biweekly service won’t be definite, however: Mayor-elect Ed Murray and  council members will still need to pass the legislation early next year.

Flickr Photo/Meaduva

Seattle city council members are scheduled to vote Monday on legislation that could change where the city's food and yard waste ends up. But the latest plan is raising a stink east of the Cascades.

John Ryan

Close to half of the garbage generated in America doesn’t come from individual homes or businesses. It comes from construction sites.