America Recycles Day

Posted on by ConFab

On November 15th, America celebrates America Recycles Day (ARD), a nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products.  Thousands of events are held across the U.S. to raise awareness about the importance of recycling. The website americrecyclesday.org  encourages Americans to sign personal pledges to recycle and buy products made from recycled materials, along with providing helpful suggestions on how to become more environmentally friendly.  Over 67, 000 have already taken the pledge with many more expected in the days leading up to November 15th.

To understand the current state of recycling in the US we have to look back and understand its brief history.  The recycling movement started in the 1970’s and focused primarily on bottles and cans.  The “Ban The Can” movement was started in Hawaii where civilian and military volunteers collected over 9 tons of metal cans from the roadways and highways of Oahu. The metal cans were later recycled into steel reinforcement bars to be used in local construction projects. As we entered the 1990’s and beyond, the recycling movement greatly expanded and now includes materials such as plastic bags and wraps, bottles, unwanted mail, mobile devices, motor oil and batteries, to name but a few.

To put it into perspective, the average person disposes of 4.6 pounds of trash a day but also accounts for 5.6 pounds of recycled materials.  The current recycling rate in the U.S. is 34% and growing every year.  For example, we have seen a 100% increase in total recycling since 2005.   Currently, 65% of all waste products are disposed of via recycling means and the number is even higher (68%) for many items such as paper products.  These numbers have been greatly aided by state and city measures to guide waste streams away from landfills and more towards recycling centers.  Cities like Seattle and states like Connecticut and Vermont have enacted mandatory recycling laws with possible fines for non-compliance, measures that actually have been in place in the EU, for example, since the 1990’s.

The coming years should provide a boom for the recycling industry.  For example, biodegradable plastics are expected to expand nearly 20% every year until 2020. Mandatory composting has been discussed in several state legislatures and 3-D printing is expected to have a profound impact on the amount of paper we produce. There are also innovations coming in the field of turning organic waste into energy in the next several years as well.

Consolidated Fabricators Corp. (CONFAB), a leading manufacturer of waste containers and roll-offs, has supplied the recycling industry with several container solutions. There are over 26 different material and recycling streams—from scrap metals to organic materials, and CONFAB has developed container solutions to meet their needs and help safeguard the environment. Included is an easy-to-use plastic roof that prevents water from entering it, ensuring roll-off materials are contained (to avoid storm water run off and pollution). Also included is an expanded line of organic waste solutions like bin liners and large-scale organic/food waste roll-offs which are perfect for large organizations and government agencies. Additionally, CONFAB manufactures clothing donation containers and scrap metal bins. Mike Melideo, President of CONFAB, states “we are proud to do our part to achieve Zero Waste and support our recycling partners by manufacturing quality off-the-shelf and custom containment solutions.

To learn more about CONFAB and its line-up of recycling products, please visit www.con-fab.com or call (800) 635-8335.

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6th Annual Garbageman’s Invitational

Posted on by ConFab

gmi-logoThe 6th year of the Garbageman’s Invitational is almost here. Read the buzz about the highly anticipated charity event!

This year’s golf tournament will be March 31 – April 2, 2015. Once again the tournament’s charity is EREF. For more information about how to donate to benefit EREF, please go to garbagemansinvitational.com.

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June is National Safety Month

Posted on by ConFab

What does that mean, safety is such a broad term, and there is safety at work for example. If you work in any line of business, from construction to office jobs, there can be numerous occasions where your safety can be jeopardized. I’ll just give you a few examples:

Medical Emergencies That Require Equipment, i.e. a Defibrillator
Toxic Spills
Natural Disasters – Fire, Earthquake
Unsafe Equipment Practices
Building Collapses

According to the US Department of Labor, 4,628 workers were killed on the job in 2013. The reasons vary, only 18 are construction related.

In the spirit of safety, we manufactured an all-inclusive Emergency Response Bin (ERB). Be prepared for any emergency with the ERB, perfect for permanent locations or single use events like concerts, parades and sporting events. The ConFab quality container comes in three models, the ERB1000, 2000 and 3000 and in a variety of configurations (with or without product) and colors.

Companies and municipalities can have the peace of mind knowing that they have all of their equipment in one visible location. Plus our containers will ensure a smoother compliance check from OSHA, NIOSH or your Local Enforcement Agency (LEA). A definite positive appearance to site preparedness / prevention upon group visitations or Insurance reviews.

To learn more about our ERBs, please call us at (800) 635-8335
ERB for signature

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Kitchen Grease: Refuse/Recycling

Posted on by ConFab

New York strip saute in recycled bacon fat

New York strip sauteing in recycled bacon fat.

Little sausages cooking nice a cozy in a pan.

Little sausages cooking nice a cozy in a pan.

Rendering of bacon fat to be recycled properly!

Rendering of bacon fat to be recycled properly!

How do you dispose of that dirty little bi-product in your kitchen that is grease, aka FOG (Fats, Oils and Grease) or “The Grease Monster”? Come on now you all know what I am referring to, we all have it, or we all know someone who does. Whether it is used fryer oil from Thanksgiving Day turkey, grease from browning ground beef, oven roasted chicken drippings or my personal favorite Saturday morning BACON fat.

Are you a “put it in a big tin can in the freezer” type, or maybe a “pour it down the drain” type?

Do any of us actually know how to refuse/recycle kitchen FOG properly?

Chicken on the barbie creates a lot of FOG in the grease catch.

Chicken on the barbie creates a lot of FOG in the grease catch.

FOG in production pure and simple via ground beef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well today we are going to explore the do’s and don’ts of FOG refuse and recycling. In doing my due diligence for this Blog I have found there is a plethora of sites online to find this valuable information.  Such as state and local agencies, recycling/refuse companies, as well as other full on dedicated sites to environmental issues. Remember earlier when I asked, which of you were the “can”, and which were you were the “drain” types?  Well that is because the aforementioned happens to be the two most common methods used by individuals to dispose of their kitchen grease in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. I grew up with a “can-o-lard” in the freezer and I may have even mixed a little bacon fat and hot water cocktail down the disposal.

The later of the two options has been a undesirable practice (and in some jurisdictions unlawful) for decades. However with a few “cooperative parental maneuvers”, across the board, I am sure we can breed this unwanted practice out of us in a generation or two.  The first option has been the preferred option ever since the second option was decided undesirable, which in turn recently has become an environmental issue that has made this practice also unlawful in some larger municipalities. We should never-ever, ever-never pour of our greasy little kitchen bi-product down our drains.  Although it may seem like a good way to lubricate your garbage disposal it is really not. Furthermore the grease solidifies rapidly after leaving the pan, or other receptacle you have captured it in, regardless if you run hot water or not, thus adhering to the inside of our drain and sewer pipes.  After enough time and grease the pipes are clogged solid leaving you in quite the little predicament.  For those of us who do not already know this it is bad for your wallet and good for the “Rooter” guy.  I am sure that your wife would prefer something shiny and sparkly with that money instead of a big smelly hole in the front yard (Okay this is 2013 after all, for the ladies, I am sure your husband would prefer a nice new time piece instead of a big smelly hole in the front yard. It just so happens we like shiny and sparkly things too).  If the grease gets past your property line and into the city’s pipes this is a nightmare for the water/sewer maintenance workers.  This may result in the potential rise in local taxes and fees, should this practice continue unchecked by the vast majority of us and continue to drain public resources.  Other methods of FOG disposal that are frowned upon are but no limited to; placing in with yard and garden waste or attempting to make a better compost.

The "old preferred and newly un-preferred" FOG refuse method.

The “old preferred and newly un-preferred” method to kitchen grease refuse over the much practiced “pour down the kitchen sink”.

The “old preferred and newly non-preferred” (depending on you municipality, I live in “Cow Town USA”, where is is still lawful to send FOG to the landfill) option of kitchen grease refuse is the “put it in a big tin can in the freezer” method.Placing in the freezer will limit odors to the home, and be sure to add a box of backing soda to freezer as well.  Once the can is full of solidified grease, dispose of it in your garbage on trash pickup morning. Placing the tin can in the garbage the day of trash pickup is to keep neighborhood odors down to a minimum. Some landfills may require the FOG to be in a unbreakable/sealed container.  If you do not know what I am talking about then perhaps you should take a trip to your favorite eating establishment on any average summer afternoon. Once you are there go around back to where their industrial size “Grease Bin” is stored and take a big deep breath in threw your nose. Now you unpleasantly know what I am talking about. You can also take your FOG to most local waste water treatment facility’s for proper refuse/recycling. However there may be a minimum amount allowed to be free of charge. Another acceptable method is to combine with cat litter or coffee grounds and then dispensing to the trash. Now for the current preferred method of fog disposal.  What about getting a little money for your grease?  What? Wait just one minute, cash for my used frying oil, are you serious? Yes that is correct, a new booming green industry, is the Bio-Fuels Industry. This is the process of collecting certain types of kitchen grease and refining it into Bio-Fuel. This is the new preferred method by all reasonable accounts.  Remember that Thanksgiving Day turkey that was so deliciously deep fried in peanut oil? After the oil cools (I will defer to Alton Brown for determining how many times you can reuse that peanut oil if filtered and stored properly) pour it back into its large plastic seal able container and bring it to your local grease Bio-fuel manufacturer (contact them for locations, quantities, rates and preparation).  Perhaps your household generates a high volume of FOG and you desire a economical and convenient containment system that you local Bio-Fuel procuring agent is sure to love. Introducing the Eco-Tub from CONFAB.

The "New perferred Method" in dealing with the Grease Monster!

The “Current Newly preferred Method” in dealing with the Grease Monster!

Finally on to my favorite part of the Blog, fat recycling, preferably bacon in my opinion. Yes I know this is not necessarily the healthiest practice , however it is far better than recycling let’s say battery acid in this manner. This is a very simple concept; capture the fat in a small glass bowl, cool and store the fat in the refrigerator and reuse that sinful goodness at a later time.

The Bacon and the recycled fat!

The Bacon and the recycled fat!

Try it with a number of recipes that calls for butter or oil, like pan frying your next steak or some eggs in some bacon fat or use it to make tasty gravy.  Check out this link for some very tasty bacon fat recycling ideas. Drum roll please for the “coupe de grace” …… bacon flavored bourbon!! So please remember, no matter how you choose to refuse/recycle your kitchen bi-products that are grease, do so in manner the best suits our drains, water resources and environment.  Is pouring FOG down your drain as bad as pouring paint or used motor oil into it? Most likely not, as I am not a chemical engineer, this is only my hypothesis.  Furthermore one can stop their car with their feet, yet I would not advise it, it could lead to undesired consequences.

Here are some more fun facts and all around good information on FOG refuse/recycling:

Introduction to FOG Inspections from www.waterboards.ca.gov

How To Keep Grease Out Of Your Drains by EBMUD

Tips on FOG by City of Stockton, CA

FAQ on Recycling Cooking Oil by www.earth911.com

How to Keep Drains and Sewers Clean from City of Lodi, CA

Grease: The Monster Inside your Sink by San Antonio Water System

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