When I moved to Dunlap, IL from Japan, I experienced a lot of changes. The houses were larger. We used a school bus to go to school. We ate in a cafeteria, instead of the classroom. And, gasp! There was no recess!
One of the things I had a hard time adjusting to, though, was the way one throws their trash away in the US. In Japan, we had two bins we used every day; one for burnable, and one for unburnable trash. Apart from that, it was normal for a household to have separate bins for plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles, and newspapers/magazines. So, being accustomed to separating trash in a certain manner, it was a revelation to me that Americans threw their trash all in one garbage bin (unless, of course, you explicitly went to a location where you could deposit all of your recyclables).
This difference made me wonder: how exactly are these recycled goods recycled? Here are a few interesting results.
These airplane trolleys are reused as bookcases, bookshelves, desks, and much more.
Unwanted clothes are stitched together to create a simple carpet system that can easily be cut into any size.
This building block called BituBlock is extremely strong and durable – despite the fact that it consists of post-consumer recycled products such as ash, glass, and even sewage.
Lastly, glass bottles are crushed to be mixed into cement, which reduces the amount of cement used, not to mention making the road a more pleasant site to behold. I know they do this a lot in Japan, and since cars aren’t used as much in this country, I was always dazed at how the road sparkled while I walked with my friends.
It is amazing how so many materials can be used in such an original, innovative way. And no doubt there would be more to come in the future.