Recycle Lady 7-1-22

Recycle Lady 7-1-22

Is there any advantage to using dryer balls as compared to single-use dryer sheets? Washer Woman

Dear Washer Woman,

While not as energy efficient as drying clothes outside on a clothesline, there are several efficiencies to using dryer balls over single-use, throwaway dryer sheets. The dryer balls are more eco-friendly than dryer sheets that are thrown in the trash after one use. Dryer balls soften your clothes naturally instead of using chemicals that leave a thin layer of residue on fabrics. These layers can build up over time and may reduce the absorbency of towels. During the drying process, dryer balls are tossed around in the dryer. This tossing separates the articles in the dryer and creates pockets of air that makes the hot air flow more efficiently. It helps them dry quicker, reduces the likelihood of winkles and, in contrast to single-use dryer sheets, dryer balls are reusable for over 1,000 loads.

Made of wool, dryer balls have a lifetime of several years and are biodegradable.

Dear Recycle Lady,

I do lots of canning each summer and there are always jar rings and lids from past years that are not usable. Since they are made of metal, I am wondering if these rings and lids can be recycled with steel cans. Canner

Dear Canner,

If you do much canning, you probably have lots of lids that can’t be used again, as flat lids have a special sealing compound around the rim that is usable only one time. It may appear to be ok to use them more than once but doing so may result in jars that are not sealed properly. The Recycling Center recycles both jar rings and lids with steel cans. There are some new reusable, leak proof, secure silver canning jar caps available for Mason jars with silicone seals. The silicone sealing rings are made of food-grade BPA-free silicon, so they are safe for food. Both Amazon and Walmart have them online. Have you considered using reusable glass canning lids? They are safe for both water bath and pressure canning and can be used for years if they don’t get cracked or chipped. Besides recycling, there are many uses for jar rings and lids. Check the website, www.simplycanning.com/recycle-canning-jar-lids.html for lots of interesting possibilities.

Dear Recycle Lady,

What are Neonics? Are they dangerous for pollinators? Save the Bees

Dear Save the Bees,

Neonics, also known as neonicotinoid pesticides, are a group of widely used insecticides that are harmful to pollinators, people’s health, and the environment. According to Friends of the Earth, neonics stay in the environment for months to years and are driving many species of vulnerable bees and other pollinators toward extinction. This alarming decrease is putting our ecosystems and food supply at risk. No bees, no food! The European Union has banned the worst neonics, but the EPA still allows their widespread use here.

Did you know that oxygen is recycled? We breathe in oxygen, breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants breath in the carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen – part of the circular built environment!

Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to recyclelady@greenbrier-swa.com. Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.

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