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Recycle — donate

Australians are great at recycling! But it could become much closer to 100% success rate. And we could make the packaging industry pay part of their savings to welfare organisations. And we could also start to collect some other materials into recycling. That is coming to be very valuable in this era of quickly rising fuel costs. and potential future oil shortages.

Photo of Johan Löfström
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When we return all the glass and plastic bottles we are just happy to get rid of it. But someone else is much more happy, because in big volume there are lots of value in this old packaging materials. The packaging industry saves electricity, fuel and money if they can get old materials and melt it down, reshape and sell as new packaging.

We should make the recycling and packaging industry pay parts of that profit to local welfare organisations.
If we fill up the recycling containers for free, we should :
  • Require them to weigh each container when they pick it up!
  • Demand that they pay parts of that profit to a charity of our choice!
  • We can vote with text messaging, or on a special face-book-fan-page, we could click "Like" on charities of our choice...
Different simple low-tech and high-tech-methods is possible to use in combination to create this type of ballot, and with big info signs on the sides of these recycling containers it is cheap and quick to set up with existing infrastructure, and will require very little administration.

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In Europe we have bottle-banks in most super-markets, we stuff in our PET-bottles in a machine, and get a printed receipt, with the refundable value for all our total bottles. And then we use that as "discount" at the check-out when we shop there.
see the video made by " Fun Theory"

Welfare organisations could place a big plastic container next to these bottle-banks and recycling stations. We could donate our receipts into the compartment for the organisation that we choose.
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And we should also start with some small refund when we recycle other material and waste:
  • • Clothes, if they can be reused.
  • • Wood and old broken furniture.
  • • Lightbulbs
  • • Batteries — If we put just a symbolic 1- or 5 cent-value on each battery returned, we will see individuals and groups to join together, for instance schools that collect batteries for a school trip or other charity project.

This whole concept will create many small profits, many small drops becomes a river... and the concept can be applied locally, or in any other scale.
Positive short-term side-effects from this project :
enhanced local economy, effectivizes packaging industry, reducing growth of landfills, supports welfare org's and improves social sence of togetherness and solidarity with this complement to "eco-village-concepts"
Long-term effects: better quality on local soil and ground water, helps local farmers yield more high quality crops. Less seapage and transfer of hazardous chemicals into the nature and drinking water.
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I appreciate additional details from you, on practical side of this proposed project.
I edited this concept proposal, and put all of the original text as an appendix below. Lots of details and ramblings there.
Please share feedback and ideas in the comments below!

Attachments (1)

recycle.doc

First version of this concept

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Photo of Meena Kadri

I'm pretty big on recycling too: http://postconsumption.posterous.com/tag/meena
Lots to be learnt from scarcity sustaining...

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