[GRRN] Fw: plastic recycling

From: Bill Sheehan (bill_sheehan@mindspring.com)
Date: Mon Jul 31 2000 - 13:47:21 EDT

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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Darlene Vandever <blaan@flash.net>
    To: <zerowaste@grrn.org>
    Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 6:47 AM
    Subject: plastic recycling

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I sent a similar letter to EDF and have not gotten a response. I hope I get
    more information from you as this is a very disturbing incident and I need
    some answers.

    When I first moved to this country area, I was outraged by the litter on the
    roadways. I contacted my local garbage company and was told that they had
    no recycling program. They said the area residents didn't ask for one or
    seem to want one. I did some searching on my own and found a recycling
    company in the next town (Conroe Recycling Co.) which took #1 & #2 plastic,
    aluminum, steel, glass, and paper. For 3 years, I did a little grassroots
    organizing and a number of my neighbors and I saved our recyclables and once
    a month, one of us in rotation would load up everybody's stuff and take it
    over to the next town to be recycled.

    Now comes the question and the disturbing incident. My turn was a couple of
    weeks ago. I took my very full pickup of recyclables over to the plant as
    usual. When I pulled in, the worker at the plant told me that they were no
    longer taking the plastic! They told me that the company(s?) they sold the
    plastic to were no longer buying it from them. They said that the plastic
    company(s?) had told them that the process of melting and reusing the
    plastic had been discovered to be releasing some type(s?) of carcinogens!
    They were told that the recycling process was being suspended until the
    process could be reevaluated and revamped so it was no longer dangerous.

    Whose leg is being pulled here? What is going on? I know the chemistry of
    those plastics and I don't see how they could release a carcogenic product
    upon melting. I am suspecting a big excuse perhaps because recycled
    plastics aren't selling to the public?

    The upshot is that I had to put nearly 15 cu. feet of plastics into the
    local landfill to sit there for the next million years. I am very disturbed
    by this. What do we do with the plastics now? My neighbors and I have
    decided that we will do even more to reduce and curtail our use of plastic
    containers but it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate all use of

    Please help me out. Tell me what you have heard of this.

    Disturbed in Magnolia, Texas

    Darlene Vandever
    If it was not for the discontent of their
    women...men would still be living in caves
    and eating raw meat.

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