Recycling Videos

There are tons of videos out there about recycling. We went through them and choose the best ones to save you some time. Since we did the hard part of finding them, you can watch them in a short period of time and learn a lot about recycling. Here are a few videos worth a watch for recycling information.

You can learn about easy recycling tips, environmental impacts of recycling, recycling project ideas, and extreme responses to recycling. Have you heard of Garbage Island? Did you know you can recycle your running shoes? Have you seen a house made out of bottles and tires?

Check out these videos and learn more.

Ray Olson works for The City of Ventura Environmental Services Office.  He uses public service announcements to help residents understand the impacts of recycling. In this quick video, he describes the “fine art of recycling.” The basics of recycling is being aware of the items your city or county accepts.  Ventura is unable to recycle Styrofoam and plastic bags. Residents knowing not to put in these in their recycling bin avoids contaminants. Ray encourages residents to check with their city for accepted items to be effective recyclers.  And who does not want to be one of those?

Ray also covers the importance of conservation of natural resources through recycling and the investment it gives to the economy. Returning the natural resources creates many jobs in various divisions of recycling as we also point out on Why Recycle? Go here to read more detailed information:

Here is one more video from Ray Olson. He sure has a passion for recycling and we are thinking he needs a “I Heart Recycling” t-shirt.  He begins this video blowing sand out of his hands to connect sand with production of glass. Ray tells us that recycling glass uses eighty to ninety percent less energy as opposed to manufacturing from sand.  Thank you for the sand demonstration, Ray.

In this short video, Ray gives tips for recycling glass. He warns us to avoid contaminants that require higher melting points, such as, light bulbs, ceramics, and window panes. You can ruin an entire recycling batch if some of that stuff gets in with the glass. Recyclable glass is typically any glass that has held food. Ray’s final tip is to check if your beverage glass bottles have bottle deposit values to return for the deposit. Because reusing is even better than recycling, right? And, you get money back too!

This video is a good example about recycling myths. It begins defining recycling “as the process by which materials are collected and used as raw materials for new products.” The video highlights some of the negatives, often myths, behind recycling.

Their first myth is recycling always protects the environment. The video argues we create more pollution collecting and sorting recyclables. Also, the Recycling Propaganda (as they title the video) is against recycling paper since it does not save forests. They argue that eighty seven percent of paper is manufactured from trees planted for paper production. In regards to landfill space, there is no need to worry.  There is plenty of landfill space for eighteen more years and are the safest ever.  Safe because the Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring them. Finally, the video claims that we lose eight billion dollars each year from recycling and it does not benefit the economy.

Ironically, the video does end by saying “the world would be better if everyone just did their part.” They add a little reminder that is always good to recycle aluminum cans, batteries, and building materials.

Don’t just take this video’s word for it though. Things aren’t always black and white. We write about the same subject on the page, Recycling Is Too Difficult and 9 Other Obnoxious Myths. You’ll see that some of this video’s arguments don’t really hold up under greater scrutiny.

Eric Rochow of Real World Green, a web video broadcast, tells us how to recycle old athletic shoes. Nike has a program called Reuse-A-Shoe to recycle any brand of athletic shoe. Nike recycles the vinyl and soles with left over production material to make Nike Grind. This material is used to make rubber athletic courts, tracks and playground surfaces. You know, it is the kind of track you step on and wonder how it is made.  At the time of Eric’s broadcast, Nike had recycled 20 million pairs of sneakers and partnered to produce 265 athletic fields.

Eric Rochow suggests this would make a great community or school project. And it really would. Look at to find out more information and shoes drop off locations.

The Manhattan Compost Project for the Lower East Side Ecology Center gives us the quick rundown on Worm Composting. This might be recycling at its most natural form and prevents thirty percent of food waste from entering the landfill. Reducing biodegradable waste in landfills decreases the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere.  That is a good idea, right? Read here before you make that decision: Learn About Landfills and Methane Gas. We provide you with a lot of information on the topic of methane gas.

The worm compost video is less than two minutes. But it has a lot of information on recycling food waste and organic matter. The composter in the video suggests it is even easier than it looks. And she makes it look so easy. Here is a list of things you will need to worm compost.

  • Buy a compost bin or make your own
  • Order red composting worms online
  • Moisten paper strips (three parts water to one part paper)
  • Food scraps and organic matter (avoid meat, oils, and dairy products)

In this video, a woman lays out sixty water bottles on a table to represent the trash one person makes by drinking a bottle of water a day for two months. This visual definitely strikes an impact on the waste we create. Not sure about you, but we drink more than a bottle of water a day. So the reality is we would create a lot of trash if we did not have a refillable water bottle.

Buying a designated safe water bottle is a very easy solution to the reduce consumption. You do not have to make a sacrifice and, if anything, it becomes more convenient since it is refillable. You always have water.  And since you are not buying bottled water, you can save money too. Everyone should have one of these water bottles!

Why recycle? Garbage Island is why.

CNN’s News to Me interviewed Thomas Morton, a journalist, about a documentary he is filming about Garbage Island located northeast of Hawaii. Garbage Island is an area of the ocean double the size of Texas that is disgustingly contaminated with trash. Thomas says it is like being in a snow globe when under the water surface in the debris.

Water samples taken from Garbage Island are showing that plastics out ratio plankton six to one on average. And in some areas it was a thousand to one! Eighty percent of this pollution is estimated to be from land and river run off. A major concern is the pollution is moving its way up the food chain. Doctors are studying the exposure to the chemicals in these plastics and linking them to many of the United States’ public health concerns. The video teaches about minimizing our environmental impact, and why the three simple words Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are so important.

Brian Burke, known as the Zero Waste King, talks about what his community at Quayside Cohousing complex in Vancouver, Canada is doing to reduce their waste and recycle. They are one of the firsts, as Brian says, to “dump their dumpster.” The complex called to have it removed. The interview takes place in the garage beside the Toyota Prius, of course, so you can see how they organize their recycling.

Brian shows how his community has figured out a way to recycle Styrofoam and animal bones. Since the Styrofoam is light, they are able to mail it to a Styrofoam recycling facility. The animal bones are dropped off at a local butcher shop to be picked up and ground into bone meal.  Bone meal is used in the garden industry as an organic fertilizer.

A community with Zero Waste is an amazing accomplishment. Brian describes that his community has focused on this mindset: “Every time you consider throwing something away: you have to start thinking there is no away. Away is coming back to you wherever you put it. And so you put something in the garbage. It gets into the water. And that water gets back into the food you that you are buying from the store. And those pollutants are coming back to you in the food you are buying.”

Buying recycled is an easy way to reduce our waste. It is a great recycling tip. Here is a rain barrel to buy recycled to help you harvest rainwater. It is two steps in recycling with one effort: rain barrel and rainwater.

This is a product video on a 50 gallon recycled rain barrel. The presenter shows the rain barrel is actually a food barrel from Greece. It was once filled with Greek peppers. These containers were shipped to restaurants and then recycled into rain barrels. Since the barrel originally contained food, the barrel is safe to collect rainwater for gardens.

A plus for this particular rain barrel is it is reused and not technically recycled. Therefore, it did not require energy to recreate. It is an easy option for one person to have a large positive environmental impact by buying recycled, especially if the item is reused, and reusing rainwater.

In just over a minute video, CNN International presents Michael Reynolds, creator of Earthship Biotecture in New Mexico. Michael was formerly an Architect but now refers to himself as a Biotech. He designs sustainable homes built out of recycled materials that are typically thrown away. He came up with the idea in the 1970’s, when a news show covered a story on cans being tossed out on the highway. His reaction was to build a house out of cans.  Talk about grabbing a bull by the horns!

An Earthship home is toured in the video. See the home in construction phases with earth packed tire walls. The finished recycled glass bottle bathroom wall is unbelievable!

Trash or Treasure?

Living St. Louis airs on St. Louis Public Television. Ruth Ezell interviews artists on why they work with recycled materials. The artists talk about their favorite mediums, including metal salvaged from junkyards, clay made from junk mail, and reclaimed wood. Art pieces were created for an online auction to raise money and awareness for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.  This organization is dedicated to providing education and legal defense to protect the environment.

This fundraiser made a creative community project!  It would be a great and easy idea for any community. It can raise money for a good cause and bring awareness to recycling.

This video, Recycling Is a Waste of Time, is an excerpt from the Battle of Ideas 2007 annual conference. The conference is a series of audience involved debates held in London, United Kingdom. The Institute of Ideas organizes it and is on hot topics in today’s society. It is aimed at free thinkers wanting to be challenged.  The conference is becoming very popular.

Thomas Deichmann, a journalist and Editor in Chief of the German magazine Novo, is featured in this segment of the debate.  He says the “best you can do as an ordinary citizen today is not to think about waste. Recycling is a waste of time, waste of money, and waste of intellectual or moral, however you call it, brain energy.”  He keeps going to say that recycling has become a political issue and a “brainwash attempt.”  Yes, he really does say “brainwash attempt.” The more beneficial approach to recycling is to let the experts take care of waste not let the citizens concern themselves on how to recycle.  He suggests the most beneficial waste management program is to burn it cleanly with filters and use the energy.

You can probably begin to imagine some of the respones. Mainly the panel responds to Deichmann’s neglect of conservation of natural resources.  They also talk about the importance of the education and mindset that household recycling creates. The respondents on the panel are: Julia Hailes, author of The New Green Consumer Guide, Julie Hill, former Director of Green Alliance, and Rob Lyons, writer focused around environment and waste. All very green people in a free thinker kind of way.  It does make for a good discussion.

The full video can be seen here: Battle of Ideas: Recycling Is a Waste of Time.  It has a lot of information and opinions on recycling but is long.  You can decide if you can sit through it.  But you were warned: it is almost an hour long video.

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