Corrugated cardboard is a great recyclable material. It even be reused before you give them to the recycler. Very tough material, that can last for a long time.
It can be reused over and over as a packaging medium. So there’s no reason to throw away a useful material and let it rot in the landfills.
Cardboards don’t need to be sorted into types, but they do need to be sorted into sets. Depending on your recycle centre, they might want you to give them the boxes in sets of five or 10.
Metals are fantastic recycling materials, that is easy to recycle and often profitable.
Many recycling facilities collect food cans of all shapes and sizes. Sorting the cans out aren’t required, but the food labels do need to be removed. The cans also need to be washed and dried before giving it to the recyclers.
Another item that should be recycled more often. Soda cans can really fill up a landfill and they take many years before they begin to rust.
Tin cans are widely appreciated at recycling depots and the recycling process is easy. Tin cans shouldn’t be mixed in with food cans, as they are from different metal groups. A quick rinse is all that is needed before giving them away.
Many people at craft markets make various items from soda cans. Some of the designs are very beautiful e.g. briefcases and album racks. Try doing some tin can arts and crafts instead of throwing it in the dumpster.
Copper is a valuable metal, not in terms of monetary value, but because so many miscellaneous item need it. Door handles, electric cables, jewellery, etc.
Copper and all its alloys are very recyclable and it’s inexpensive too.
All you need to do is find out if your local recycler accepts copper. If not, Thrift stores and pawn shops welcome all kinds of copper and brass knick knacks and bracelets.
Plastics are divided into seven different categories..
Plastic can take generations to biodegrade, and some of them don’t degrade at all, so recycling plastic is essential. Not all plastics can be recycled, so it’s vital to know what can and can’t be recycled. Knowing the differences can help you avoid buying plastics that cannot be recycled.
The best recycling plastics are resin numbers 1 and 2. Those include plastic cool drink bottles, milk bottles, reusable shopping bags and plastic playground equipment.
You will need to separate the plastics according to their resin codes. You also need to remove the bottles caps, as it’s usually a different plastic compound than the bottles. They should also be rinsed out, to avoid contamination.
Most, if not all recyclers accept plastic bottles. Many schools also have a recycling programme. Ask your nearby school if they have one and you are welcomed to drop-off your recyclables.
If you do not recycle the following items, what is your excuse?
One of the easiest things to recycle, and very profitable, is glass bottles and jars. Glass is divided into three types according to colour: clear, green and brown.
Most recycling companies collect glass bottles, provided that they be cleaned and sorted.
It’s important to remember to sort out all recyclables. Separate the different types i.e. separate green from brown, from clear type glass.
Some recyclers take in broken glass, but rather give an undamaged one.
You can even return your 500ml cool drink bottles to your local Superette and get money back.
Paper is probably one of the most important things that need to be recycled. Paper is also the easiet to recycle, and can be recycled into many things, e.g. toilet paper.
Most recycling companies collect paper, some even come out to your house to collect paper.
The key to efficient paper recycling is sorting the papers out before giving them to the recycler. Colour paper shouldn’t be mixed with white paper. Also hard paper shouldn’t be mixed with soft paper.
The recyclers don’t mind if there are any staples attached to the paper, so don’t fret too much about that.
Any paper that has been contaminated by; food, adhesives, wax or oils, cannot be recycled and should rather be reused in a compost heap. Shredded paper is also not accepted.
Newspapers can easily pile up in your home. In most households, newspapers are seen as litter and simply thrown in the trash. But it’s easy to recycle newspaper, cost effective and it’s good for the environment.
The great thing about newspaper recycling, is that there is no sorting involved. Simply put them in a box and give it to the recyclers.
Just like paper, newspapers should never be shredded and if there is spoilage, just use it in your compost heap.
South African metropolitans are heading for a major water crisis in 2020, a former director general of the Department of Water Affairs has warned.
Mike Muller, who now serves as an adjunct professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and sits on the National Planning Commission, said at a Water and Energy Forum in Sandton this week that it was time for metropolitans to start “panicking” about their water supplies.
“I really do think in most of our metros, if we don’t panic now, if we don’t take action now, we will be in a crisis by 2020,” Muller said in comments quoted by the Saturday Star newspaper.
“We’re not going to run out of water, but there are some hotspots. EThekwini (Durban) is actually the most vulnerable metro at the moment – they’ve been living a charmed life.”
Muller said eThekwini “should” have run out of water during the 2010 World Cup and that it “should” run out of water during the UN climate change talks this year, but the metro would “probably get away with it”.
“We know many municipal users are not planning at all, or if they are, they’re not acting on their plans,” Muller said.
“All stakeholders must… move into action or we’re in trouble. I think we need to panic at the right time and the right time is now.”
Muller said the Vaal system in Gauteng looked “disastrous”.
“We look as though we’re 25 percent short of water for the next ten years,” Muller said.
“By the time we implement phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (in 2019), we’ll have been at risk for 10 years. Guaranteed there will be a drought.”
He blamed farmers in the Vaal for stealing water for irrigation as well as water leakage and inefficient water use.
Muller said good water management was key to growth and development.
He said environmental campaigners around acid mine drainage, actually “distract” from the main challenges around water quality and were “more about” companies trying to make profits out of the tail end of the mining industry. - Sapa
Otsuchi – Four days ago, Otsuchi was just another Japanese coastal town, a destination for surfers and lovers of remote beaches. Now, only a supermarket and a Buddhist temple remain standing amid a sea of devastation.
Like most of Japan’s northeast, Otsuchi was rattled by Friday’s massive earthquake and then flattened by the ensuing tsunami. Officials fear more than half the town’s population of about 19 000 is buried under the rubble.
“Otsuchi reminds me of Osaka and Tokyo after World War Two,” Tadateru Konoe, president of Japan’s Red Cross, said, as rescue workers swarmed over rubble, twisted metal and debris, some of it ablaze.
“Everything is destroyed and flattened. This is a complete disaster. In my long career in the Red Cross, this is the worst I have ever seen,” he said.
Fires burned in the hills overlooking Otsuchi, complicating rescue efforts. Near-freezing temperatures, and the extent of the devastation, made chances for surviving this disaster slim.
“It really doesn’t get any worse than this – I’ve never seen anything so bad,” said Patrick Fuller of the International Red Cross Federation of the Red Cross. “It is feared that more than half the town’s population is buried.”
Shaken to the core
All along the ravaged northeastern Pacific coast, there were similar scenes of destruction. The wall of water transported homes inland, swept ships into fields, upended cars and, in one instance, lifted a sailing boat onto the roof of a house.
As many as 10 000 people are thought to have been killed. Kyodo news agency said 2 000 bodies had been found on the shores of Miyagi prefecture, which suffered the brunt of the damage.
In Minami Sanriku, Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photographer Adrees Latif said the whole town had been wiped out by the waves.
More than 10 000 people were unaccounted for, but some families who lived in the surrounding hillside survived and could be seen scrambling across the rubble to get to what once was the centre of town.
“I have seen similar disasters – I covered the (2004 Indian Ocean) tsunami from Thailand – but I have never seen anything like this in my life,” Latif said. “I stopped shooting for a while to look out on to the town, and I just stood there in disbelief.”
The enormity of the disaster has shaken Japan to the core.
Survivors walked through the rubble, many in tears after losing loved ones, others unsure of the fate of family and friends. They lined up in front of notice boards at emergency centres looking for news.
“I am looking for my parents and my older brother,” a weeping Yuko Abe, aged 54, said at an emergency centre in Rikuzentakata, an all-but-flattened town of 24 500 people in far-northern Iwate prefecture.
“Seeing the way the area is, I think perhaps they did not make it. I also cannot tell my siblings who live away that I am safe, as mobile phones and telephones are not working.”
Many spent another freezing night huddled in blankets around heaters in shelters along the coast. Almost two million households were without power, the government said. There were about 1.4 million without running water.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said food, water and other necessities such as blankets were being delivered by vehicles but because of damage to roads, authorities were considering air and sea transport.
In Kuji, the Kita Nihon Zosen ship-parts factory was reduced to matchwood and a skeletal frame by the tsunami, but some staff turned up for work anyway on Monday and waited at the front gate, smoking cigarettes.
Many in shock
Many were in shock. One young worker at the ship parts factory explained why he was there. “Because it’s a work day,” he said.
When the earthquake hit, factory boss Teruo Nakano sent a few workers to look at the sea level. The tide often recedes abnormally in a tsunami before the huge volume of water gathers in height on the shallowing shore and strikes.
“Just after the quake, the water level was already a metre lower, so we thought ‘this is bad’ and escaped immediately to higher ground,” he said.
All the workers survived. Nakano said he planned to send them all home.
Cape Town – Despite a shocking increase in poaching of rhinos in SA, the head of The South African National Parks (SANParks) said that the population is in no danger of extinction – for now.
In a statement on Thursday, SANParks said rhino poaching continues to escalate at “an unprecedented rate” since the beginning of this year. The total lost so far this year stands at 124.
However, SANParks chief executive Dr David Mabunda says fears of extinction are unfounded, as the poaching deaths represented small percentages of the rhino populations.
“The SA National Parks have lost 55 rhinos, while the provinces have lost 38 rhinos collectively and the private sector has also collectively lost 31 rhinos,” SANparks said on its website.
“The rhinos lost through poaching throughout the country constitute approximately 0.6% of the estimated white rhino population of 19 409 and approximately 0.3% of the 1 752 estimated black rhino population,” SANParks added.
Other species in danger of extinction
Mabunda said that he is troubled by reports that the rhino populations are in imminent danger of extinction. However, some rhino species in parts of Africa and Indonesia are in grave danger of extinction.
There have been some successes in apprehending the poachers and SANParks announced that so far this year they have made 42 arrests in joint operations with the police force.
“On Tuesday, 29 June 2010, a 29-year-old Vietnamese national, Xuan Hoang, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a Kempton Park Magistrate’s court for possession of seven rhino horns after he was apprehended trying to smuggle his cargo through OR Tambo International,” SANParks said.
Mabunda urged the public to be vigilant and report suspicious activity, especially low-flying helicopters with concealed registration numbers as these were most often used by poachers.
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Cape Town – The government hopes to have cleaner fuels made available to the public as soon as 2013, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.
Briefing the media at parliament on the Clean Fuels Two (CF2) draft fuel specifications and standards, she said full introduction was expected by 2017.
CF2 is the equivalent of the current European Five fuel specifications (Euro V).
Peters said the modernisation of South Africa’s liquid fuels was a continuation of the process that in 2006 resulted in a ban on lead in all grades of petrol, and the reduction of sulphur levels in diesel from 3 000 to 500 parts per million.
Among others, allowable levels of benzene – a known carcinogen – would be reduced from 5% to 1% and sulphur from 500 to 10 parts per million.
The new specifications are underpinned by three imperatives – the need to contribute to public health, environmental concerns, and the need to enable more advanced combustion engines on South African roads.
The low sulphur levels would allow for the introduction of more efficient engines with less carbon dioxide emissions.
“As responsible citizens of the world, we cannot continue using fuels that result in more greenhouse gas emissions than those partners with whom we trade,” she said.
The SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) welcomed the release of draft fuel specifications and standards.
“The industry is going to play an active role in finalising future fuel specifications and standards for South Africa,” it said.
The ultimate goal of any country or region’s cleaner fuels program should be to reduce harmful exhaust emissions and thus contribute to an improvement in urban air quality as well as to reduce the release of greenhouse gasses.
A holistic and integrated approach was required to achieve this.
This required a combination of improved vehicle technology, provision of cleaner fuels to enable this technology and a number of other interventions, such as the introduction of vehicle inspection and maintenance programs, and traffic management schemes.
Sapia members had over a period of two years undertaken reviews of international experiences in this field and commissioned independent studies to provide background information needed to determine the future fuel specifications that would best contribute to the desired end-goal of improved air quality and be best suited to South Africa’s specific local conditions.
These specific conditions included a large older vehicle population, differing geographic conditions (including a wide range of altitudes), synthetic fuels being a major part of the fuel mix, and the socio-economic climate in the country.
This information will be used to inform Sapia’s comments on the discussion document.
“A speedy process is encouraged so that regulatory certainty can be obtained without further delay to enable the very substantial investments that will need to be made by the oil companies.”
The cost implications to the industry, motorists and the country also needed to be thoroughly reviewed.
“Sapia looks forward to the finalisation of the fuel specifications and standards which will represent the best interests of the country as a whole.”
Louisiana – A tornado slammed a southwestern Louisiana town on Saturday, killing a woman and injuring 11 other people. More than 100 homes were damaged, many of them destroyed, authorities said, and about 1 500 people were evacuated because of natural gas leaks.
The 21-year-old woman was killed when a tree fell on her house, said Maxine Trahan, a spokesperson for the Acadia Parish sheriff.
Debris was littered throughout Rayne, the town of about 8 500 people, after a line of violent thunderstorms moved through the area and left behind a swath of damage about 4.8km long.
Trahan said the natural gas leaks, which were later fixed, delayed authorities trying to count how many homes and businesses were damaged. About 1 500 people were ordered out of the area for the night, she said, because officials feared more gas leaks could occur. A temporary shelter was set up at a fire station and officials were working to find other shelters.
“There are houses off their foundations,” said State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons. “There are houses that have been destroyed.”
The National Weather Service sent a team to investigate and confirmed a tornado had struck the area.
Cape Town – As World Water Day approaches, the department of water affairs and host city Cape Town are determined to change perceptions about water as a scarce resource.
This year the theme of Water Day on March 22 will focus on how urbanisation puts pressure on water and sanitation services. In SA, though, the problem is compounded by “legacy issues”, according to the City of Cape Town.
“We have various legacy issues: There has been inadequate maintenance and we’ve reached the point where there’s no lead time. We’ve consumed 52% of our water infrastructure – that’s a challenge,” director of water and sanitation services Lungile Dlamini told News24.
He also said that there were serious funding shortfalls for maintenance of the water network.
“Our funding shortfall is about 1.7% of the operating budget whereas the international best practice is 7% of operational budget. Our tariffs do not enable us to fund the services we provide.”
A further challenge is that water is being lost because of the age of the networks and Dlamini said he was concerned about how strategies are translated into action.
There are plans to put more focus on “green” energy into pumping water, and this was already being investigated with a view for implementation, said Dlamini.
“Climate change is a spanner in the works, and we have to be mindful of the energy input when we pump water. We’re looking at harvesting the methane gas at our treatment plants to make them self-sufficient,” he said.
Water development is key to the growth of the country in general and the province in particular, and there is co-operation of all spheres of government to create sustainable plans for water management.
“The province has developed the integrated water management action plan to meet growth and development needs for the province,” said Dr Joy Leaner, of the Western Cape provincial government.
In terms of provisioning water into the future, Dlamini said that water is not an infinite resource and that the purpose of the Water Day campaign was to raise awareness and change mindsets about water usage.
“In our long-term planning, we will be able to meet demand [for water] up until 2016 to 2019, all things being equal. By 2016, alternative water resources should be at an advanced stage.”
One of the ideas being actively investigated was a desalinisation plant at Silverstroom, near Atlantis in the province.
“We’re also looking at raising some of the dam walls. That has a short lead time so we can do it quickly. We are already using 20% of our effluent water for irrigation purposes, but it’s not for drinking water,” said Dlamini.
Johannesburg – Floods affected eight provinces across the country, washed away 20 houses and damaged schools, roads, bridges, The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs said on Friday.
Preliminary assessments indicated that 20 houses were washed away in Northern Cape by floods between December and early February, said spokesperson Vuyelwa Qhinga.
A total of 923 cotton, vineyard, lucerne and maize farms were also affected in the same area.
Vegetables and field crops, fruit and vines in 325 farms were affected in Fezile Dabi, Thaba Mofutsanyana, Xhariep and Lejweputswa in the Free State.
Qhinga said 12 farms and 162 farmers were affected when maize, soybean and vegetables were damaged, and 12 cattle were lost in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.
Storms and floods
In the Eastern Cape, hail and floods resulted in damaged maize, beans, vegetables fields and a loss of 839 chickens, 415 sheep and 20 goats.
A total of 272 farmers, 187 farm workers were affected in Limpopo when potatoes, maize, sweet potato, groundnuts, cotton, citrus and cabbages were damage in 84 farms in Limpopo.
“A total of 104 schools are estimated to have been damaged,” Qhinga said.
The assessment indicated that 13 schools, 1 560 houses, 11 roads, 21 bridges were partially damaged in North West.
“A total of 74 sunflowers, orchards and maize farms were damaged.”
In Mpumalanga, crops and livestock were affected.
“Twenty-eight farms recorded damage to soya beans, sunflower, maize and loss of cattle, sheep and goats. A total of 42 schools are estimated to be affected.”
Gauteng had 1 847 houses being damaged and 33 farms had damages on agricultural infrastructure relating to irrigation systems, fences and poultry structures.
“Most of this infrastructure was either blown away by strong winds or washed away by water during the flooding period,” Qhinga said.