Did I read right? An Israeli entrepreneur has done what entrepreneurs do best – innovate. Except in this case, Rafael Aharon decided the massive amounts of sewage at treatment plants are really a…well…waste (no pun intended). So he decided to find a way to recycle waste water bio-solids. His company, Applied Clean Tech (ACT), extracts solids from sewage before biological destruction begins and then converts the cellulose in the solids into clean recycled paper. Cellulose is found in fecal matter and used toilet paper.
Okay…let’s get this out of the way…there is a true ‘yuk’ factor at play here. At first, reading about poop recycling did contribute to “green” because I turned 50 shades of the color. Once I returned to my normal ashen-grey tone, I asked myself: How does a business person possibly advertise their product? The answer: We may find out soon because ACT is negotiating with European and U.S. waste water treatment plants to buy sewage sludge. The owner of the company has the right idea. He sees no reason to waste the cellulose when global forests are being cut down at unprecedented rates to provide us with paper.
Of course, the Israeli recycler is not the first person to consider poop-related items. Since 1999, dirty disposable diapers have been recycled by Knowaste, a British company. The idea of recycling dirty diapers has not been an easy sell in the United States. However, a U.S. company called Terracycle is trying because there are over four million tons of disposable diapers that make their way into the municipal waste streams annually. Once collected from cooperating parents and day care centers, the diapers can be recycled as shipping pallets or other items. In fact, they may once again cushion green derrières as park benches.
Reading about the recycling of poop inspired me to look into other, shall we say, unusual ideas for recycling. Those did not require the testicular fortitude necessary for promoting the poop idea, but they may get one thinking in terms of recycling non-traditional items. You are definitely reminded that almost anything can be recycled, if you use your imagination. Of course, these ideas don’t necessarily have a yuk-factor or even an ick-factor (one degree higher than yuk), but they remind you that even odd items have green value.
Did you know there is a company called “The Bra Recyclers” in
Arizona? The textile recycling company specializes in recycling old bras and then selling them around the world. You can mail your saggy, worn out bra to the people who claim, “Where Being Green is Uplifting!” and offer “The New Shape of Recycling.”
When you start researching, it appears everything can be recycled from prosthetics to sex toys. Woah…you say? Prosthetics are collected by the Amputee Coalition of America. They are disassembled and the parts sent to developing countries. Though we legally restrict the re-use of prosthetics or their components in the U.S., landmine or war victims overseas are happy to get them. Nonetheless, we do benefit from waste reduction in our landfills.
As for the sex toys, if you want more information, you need to go to the website “Sex Toy Recycling.” The company believes that if you can recycle cans, bottles and paper, then why not sex toys? It’s an interesting question worth some consideration. Of course, we have gone full circle because now we are back to the yuk-factor.
If any of the items mentioned don’t inspire the green side of your recycling efforts, it’s okay. At least you know that just about anything can be recycled. Next time you put in your dentures or pop a cork on a wine bottle, just remember that a recycling company is ready to take them off your hands when you have no use for them any longer.
What do you have in your attic or basement which warrants recycling?