A row of new reverse vending machines, which collect drink containers for recycling, greets customers at the grand opening of the BottleDrop Redemption Center in Medford, Ore.
Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting
Because of layers of material that can be difficult to separate, many containers for juices and broths have traditionally been destined for landfills. But recycling them is getting easier.
A grande Cafe Nero, large Costa Coffee and venti-sized Starbucks to-go cups sold in London. The U.K. Parliament is considering a tax on disposable cups in an effort to cut down on waste.
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At Resource Management's materials recovery facility, workers pull plastic bags, other trash and large pieces of cardboard off the conveyor belts before the mixed single-stream recyclables enter the sorting machines.
Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio
Kwesi Bido, 14, (right) stops to fix 13-year-old Inusa Mohammed's flip flop. Both spend evenings and weekends searching for scrap at Agbogbloshie, an electronic waste dump in Accra, Ghana.
Courtesy of Yepoka Yeebo
Javier Goyeneche contends that trash can be transformed into beautiful cloth — with a much higher percentage of recycled materials than found in most commercially popular recycled fabrics.
Courtesy of Javier Goyeneche/Ozy.com
Massachusetts composting companies like City Soil, which turn food waste into compost that can be used on gardens and farms, say they expect to get quite a bit of new business from the food waste ban.
Courtesy of City Soil
Worker Charles Lee sorts through clothes at Mac Recycling near Baltimore. Textile recycling is a huge international business, and a small facility like Mac ships about 80 tons of clothes each week to buyers around the world.
Portland recycling handlers say they've seen more diapers in recycling bins after the city switched to biweekly trash pickups. A file photo shows bags of diapers in a container at a California recycling facility.
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Charlotte Douglas International Airport has deployed an army of 1.9 million worms to eat through its organic waste. The airport has reduced the trash it sends to the landfill by 70 percent.