Author Archives: Lauren Ferrucci

How One Company is Recycling and Reusing Plastic Waste in the Ocean

We’ve all seen pictures of sea life caught in six pack rings, and plastic bags washed up on shore.  Not only is it heartbreaking, but it pollutes our environment and is a waste of materials. Have you ever wished that something could be done?

Debris collected from beaches along Tern Island in the French Frigate Shoals.


In fact, company Ecover has stepped up to the plate. Ecover is a Belgium-based manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.  It is partnering with Closed Loop Recycling to turn plastics collected from the ocean into recyclable plastic bottles for cleaning supplies! The new recycled plastic is expected to be sold in 2014.

This is a part of the Waste Free Oceans program which is working to minimize liter floating along Europe’s coastline and encourage recycling. Waste Free Oceans will be providing boats with trawls capable of collecting anywhere from 2 to 8 metric tons of waste per crawl!

Do you know of any similar local programs? Let us know at

Want to learn more? Click here!

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How to Ace the RecycleMania Competition!

As you may know, the RecycleMania competition has officially begun. Tufts dorms and off-campus houses are competing to see who has the best recycling rates.  Over the next few weeks, Tufts Recycles! interns will be walking through Tufts dorms grading recycling efforts. (Don’t be afraid to say hi and ask us questions, we love talking about recycling!)

As the competition heats up, we want to make sure you are fully prepared for every recycling crossroad you may face. Here are some helpful hints and tips about the trickiest things that can and can’t be recycled at Tufts.

  • Pizza boxes can be recycled only if they are not oily and dirty. Usually this means that you can tear off the lid and drop it in the paper recycling bin. Make sure not to contaminate the recycling with the oily bottom though.
  • Paper coffee cups can be recycled. The fuzzy cups, however, can’t be recycled. Make sure to separate the plastic lid and put it in the plastic recycling container.
  • Aluminum foil can be recycled in the plastic recycling container as long as it is clean.
  • Plastic utensils can be recycled! They go in the plastic recycling bin. Just make sure they are clean.
  • Tissues and Napkins cannot be recycled. We know, it’s unfortunate! Try to use cloth whenever possible.
  • Plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled with your other plastic recycleables! Use reusable shopping bags whenever possible instead.
  • Batteries can be recycled (except for liquid and gel acid batteries). All around campus there are special containers for recycling batteries. Put a piece of tape over the ends of the batteries to help prevent fire hazards.
  • Notebooks can be recycled, they are considered paper. Don’t worry about the spiral.

So there you have it! Explanations about some of the most commonly questioned recyclable (and non-recyclable) materials. Now you are all set to help your dorm win RecycleMania! Happy recycling!

Still have questions about the nitty gritty details of other tricky materials? Send an email to

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Recycling at “Reversing Global Warming while Meeting Human Needs: An Urgently Needed Land-Based Option”

Last Friday, restoration ecologist Allan Savory gave a talk called “Reversing Global Warming while Meeting Human Needs: An Urgently Needed Land-Based Option” at the Fletcher School.  The event was hosted by the Agriculture, Forests, and Biodiversity Program of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at the Fletcher School; the Agriculture, Food, and Environment Program of Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; and Planet-Tech Associates.  The talk and the question and answer session that followed highlighted Holistic Management, a decision making framework which helps teach people how to strategically manage livestock to help heal land that has undergone desertification.

Tufts Recycles Intern Lauren at the event.

Our very own Tufts Recycles interns attended the event, and intern Diego assisted with composting and recycling at the reception that followed.  It was a very successful Zero Waste Initiative.  Thank you to everyone who came and helped us compost!

Tufts Recycles Intern Diego mans the composting station at the event.

If you are interested in learning more about the event and Holistic Management, check out the Tufts Daily article and Allan Savory’s organization, the Savory Institute.

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Win a Prize by Using the Greenbean Recycling Machine!

The Greenbean Recycling Machine, located at the bottom of the stairs near the entrance to the Commons in the Campus Center, is offering a prize to the top 5 recyclers between January 23rd and January 28th. These lucky recyclers will win $15 gift cards to Barnes and Noble. Why not bring your recycling from your dorm, off-campus house, or fraternity to the Greenbean Recycling Machine for  your chance to win?

So how does Greenbean Recycling work? It’s easy. First, you can make an account either online or at the Greenbean Recycling Machine itself. Once you have an account, get recycling! You can access real-time statistics about your own recycling efforts and the efforts of Tufts overall. It is a really good way to track your own progress and see how you are doing in comparison to other students and teams!

So get started on this challenge today!

Find the Greenbean Recycle Machine at the bottom of the stairs in the Campus Center near the entrance of the commons!

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How one man is starting a recycling revolution!

At age 23, Matthew Jose is helping to start a recycling revolution in India.  He began the organization Paperman, which helps promote recycling awareness and use recycling campaigns to support social causes.  Before he began Paperman, Matthew discovered that only 20% of the waste generated in India was recycled each year.  It was from a desire to change this statistic and make a real difference that Paperman was born.
Paperman began as a very small organization spreading awareness about recycling to communities and schools.  However, Matthew soon came to realize that recycling itself had fund-raising potential to help other causes.  How has Matthew managed to make recycling a fundraising opportunity for other causes?  A large carton is placed outside the doors of certain schools in India.  The students fill the carton with their old newspapers and plastics as they file out for the day.  These recycled goods are then sold to the “rag-pickers” who generally go door-to-door paying to collect waste from households.  The “rag-pickers” then sell the waste to others, and it eventually ends up at recycling centers.
What is wonderful about Paperman is that adding collecting waste and selling it to the “rag-pickers” generates money that can be put towards other causes.  Paperman supports various charities, old-age homes, and was even able to send a girl to school for a year.  Thus, with this one organization Matthew has been able to tackle many social issues at once.  One man has taken recycling into his own hands and is truly making a difference.
To read more about this story, click here.
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