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Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...
2

Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

(OP)
It's being reported that this fire could burn for days:

Indiana recycling plant cited before massive fire caused evacuation orders, canceled school

The Indiana recycling plant fire forced more than 2,000 residents to evacuate the area


https://www.foxnews.com/us/indiana-recycling-plant...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

It appears as if the building was red tagged 3+ years ago. Hoffco closed in 2009. Odd that they would mention the former tenant but not the one that ran the recycling facility.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Quote (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/12/us/richmond-ind....)

The plant is owned in part by the City of Richmond and in part by a private citizen, the Wayne County Emergency Management Agency confirmed on Wednesday.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

"Full of plastic, floor to ceiling, wall to wall" sounds like the recycling was inactive. Is this just a plastic storage building, abandoned by the operator?

I suspect there are a number of these around, disasters waiting to happen. Recyclers who found their business model didn't work.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/ap...

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Most recycling gets sent to China where it gets landfilled. China recently started refusing shipments of plastic waste so recycling companies have been having to warehouse them.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20741-9

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Storage is not recycling, neither is tossing it across the pacific for someone else (China) to store it. Incineration in a boiler is at least a somewhat beneficial reuse.
https://www.consumerreports.org/recycling/whats-go...

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

We've been fed a lot of lies from the plastics industry over time; first, "It's disposable, don't worry about it," then "It's recyclable, don't worry about it." Neither were true.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

I don't think it was the plastics industry that pushed recycling so much. That industry was bound to grow regardless. There was a parallel recycling industry that lived of subsidies and perceived benefit. Sorting your recycling? That was a lot like wearing a mask, it makes you feel like you're helping.

The electrification industry is the next example. The auto manufacturers don't want to do it, are being forced to, and will advertise whatever product they are allowed to sell. This makes it look like the auto manufacturers are pushing EV's which may or may not be the case depending manufacturer. We know Toyota is vocally against it.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Quote (TugboatEng)

I don't think it was the plastics industry that pushed recycling so much.

My understanding is that the plastics industry began lobbying for the adoption of standardized recycling symbols on plastic products, as a way to "greenwash" their products. At a time when people were starting to realize that plastic was a major environmental issue, the industry protected itself by duping the public to buy into plastic recycling as a viable concept. It was that conceptual framework that allow a "recycling" market to exist.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Good point. There was a plastics industry sponsor for the design.

Quote:

The original recycling symbol was designed in 1970 by Gary Anderson, a senior at the University of Southern California as a submission to the International Design Conference as part of a nationwide contest for high school and college students sponsored by the Container Corporation of America.

On the other hand, CCA has a long history of similar art promotions and was not necessarily working on behalf of the plastics industry.

http://greatideasofhumanity.com/old-and-new/

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

I think all that happened prior to the plastics industry coopting it for their own purposes. Just happened to learn all about this recently on NPR or something, so it's somewhat fresh in my mind. Although what constitutes "fresh" in my mind these days is fuzzy at best.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

There is no recycling symbol on single use plastic bags, for good reason. They are useless.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

What could be greener than taking carbon out of the ground, using it in some form, and then burring it back into the ground? And people object about it in the name of carbon.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

cranky... I've heard that the aluminum beer can will outlast the pyramids... this stuff may accumulate. I forgot to add... what about the stuff in the oceans? or for that matter, the microplastics in your bloodstream?

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/micropla...


-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Aluminum cans have plastic liners.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

The plastic lining may beak down over time... not so sure about the aluminum.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Aluminum is actually recyclable, and in the past they would actually pay you for it. No one takes it now, at least around here, and the homeless seem to empty trash cans looking for it.
I wonder where they sell it?

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

The stores in California are legally required to refund CRV but the fine for not doing it is only $500 or so and the stores simply pay the fine instead.

As for the homeless, they take the cans to dedicated metal recycling yards where they get paid by the pound.

Aluminum cans certainly degrade. Bury them in moist soil and they'll break down into aluminum oxide powder and microplastics within a few years.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

(OP)
Here in California, we pay a 'recycling fee' for each beverage/water bottle or soda can purchased. Now this is not exactly the same as the 'deposit' which is paid in other states like Michigan, where it's a dime per bottle/can, although simple bottled-water is not included whereas in California they are. Now a 'deposit' has to be refunded to you if you return the empty bottle/can to the market where you purchased it, but while stores in California are supposed to take back your bottles/cans, many don't. I take them to an actual recycling center and get paid for the value of the material. The last time I took any bottles/cans to the recycling center was in December and I was paid $1.65/LB for aluminum cans and $1.33/LB for PET bottles.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

California Redemption Value. I've never heard anyone refer to it as a fee.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

(OP)
Sorry, just a part of the vernacular...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

I hesitate to accept it as a fee because nobody knows where the money actually goes. A fee has a purpose.

California is funny. The legislature is complaining that people are unable to collect their CRV so their solution is to double it starting next year.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Quote (Aluminum cans certainly degrade.)


It was an expression attesting to the longevity... I suspect they would last a little longer in the deserts where pyramids are located...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Aluminium cans are the most important thing to recycle. The power to recycle them is much less than the power to make new ones.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

(OP)
Which is why I religiously recycle all aluminum cans, as well as plastic soda and water bottles. The few bucks I get, I use as my 'pocket money' winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

My wish is for all plastic drink bottles to be discontinued. It is disgusting to see the number of bottles floating in rivers and harbours around the world.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

At least plastic dose not break when thrown on the road like glass.

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

I remember as a kid, shooting glass bottles, and my cousin, who was a farmer told me that the glass could harm farm animals... last bottle I shot.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

(OP)
When I was a kid, we used to shoot rats at the local dump.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

We used cans for shooting at. Made a nice sound when hit. And no broken glass.
I recall something about tire reuse several years ago, about making rubber railroad ties. But I thought then also used some plastics in that. I wonder if they still do that?

RE: Toxic fire at a large recycling center in Indiana...

Tires are recycled for use in bituminous pavements. But getting the steel out is a challenge.

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