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Recycling

Desktop 3D printers have hit price-points that make them as affordable as color laser printers. But they also share the same problem – replacing the printing medium costs an arm and a leg. A kilogram of plastic filament costs about US$50, meaning the cost of turning your ideas into reality can quickly add up. But now the Filabot, a miniature plastic recycling plant, will provide a wide variety of plastic filaments from scrap. Read More
Tires are one of those things that our society goes through a lot of, yet their disposal can be problematic. Being round and containing a large air cavity, they’re not exactly the most efficient things to store or transport. Those that don’t get recycled can end up collecting water and acting as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, or becoming part of giant “tire mountains.” A new device, however, is designed to cut them apart so they can be flat-packed – thus reducing the space they take up, and maximizing the amount that can be transported at once. Read More
A streetscape that includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete has earned Cermak road in Chicago the title of “greenest Street in America” according to the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT). Opened in October 2012, the first phase two mile stretch is part of the Blue Island/Cermak Sustainable Streetscape project which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of reducing overall energy usage by 42 percent. Read More
Paper waste has already been used to create things like foam and batteries – now, a team of researchers from Spain’s University of Jaen are making bricks out of the stuff. Although the finished products still need a little tweaking before they're ready for prime time, they could ultimately give traditional bricks a run for their money. Read More
While it’s definitely important to keep the heavy metals in discarded batteries out of the environment, the sorting of all of the different types of batteries that arrive at a recycling depot could no doubt get extremely tedious. It’s the type of job that often goes to a machine. Well, such a machine has been invented. Called the Optisort, it can recognize about 2,000 types of batteries, and is currently being used to sort one third of those recycled in the UK. Read More

They may taste great on a pizza, but could onions and garlic be used to help clean up hazardous heavy metals? Research conducted at GGS Indraprastha University in Delhi, India, suggests this is indeed the case. Read More

Some readers may recall our recent article on the Rizoma bicycle. Along with its carbon fiber build and almost US$5,000 price tag, one of its more striking features is the lack of a seat tube – the part of the frame that runs from the seatpost down to the bottom bracket. Well, if you want to save quite a few bucks, you may soon be able to get that same sort of frame made from recycled aluminum, on the decidedly quirky ReCycle line of city bikes. Read More
Every year, untold tons of lawn clippings end up in landfills – or at best, in compost heaps. US Department of Agriculture chemist Syed H. Imam, however, has come up with what could be a better use for them. He’s been making them into fireplace logs, that have some big advantages over conventional artificial logs. Read More

Just last week, we told you about the Rocking-Knit chair, a student-designed device that utilizes the user’s rocking motion to knit a hat. After lots of use, needless to say, such a hat would eventually get worn out. Instead of just throwing it away, however, you could recycle it – using another student-designed contraption, the unknitting machine. Read More

It's reckoned that most of the 22 million tons of rubber that is processed every year worldwide goes into making vehicle tires and that once rubber products reach the end of their useful lives, for the most part they end up being incinerated. Even when the rubber residues are reclaimed and re-used to make new products, the lack of techniques for producing high-quality materials means that the recyclables are relegated to secondary products such as arena or playground floor coverings or padded doormats. Looking for new ways to optimize the recycling of rubber waste, researchers have developed a material called EPMT that has the desired material properties and characteristics for use in the manufacture of high quality products such as wheel and splashguard covers, handles, knobs and steerable casters. Read More
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