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Case Study > Doris' Life


Doris’ Life

To some, going green may just be an uncommon action done only when it is convenient for them but for Doris Davies, it is never too inconvenient to help protect the environment. From recycling every color of paper to buying organic produce, Davies lives her life in constant awareness of her effect on the environment. Raised pacifist, Davies learned at an early age to respect the Earth and not take what wasn’t hers from the environment. When presented with the option to make conscientious decisions about the environment, Doris never turns away. There are many outlets and ways to tailor ones life around preserving the environment, but the motivation to do so can get in the way. For Doris, the motivation is there and doesn’t look to let up anytime soon. Here are a list of ways doris gets involved, along with some more information about her.

More about Doris (Click for video)


Lancaster County Recycling

Lancaster County Drop-off Locations

United States and Pennsylvania Recycling Facts

History of Recycling in the United States

What You Can Do


Organic Standards.

Background on Doris

When Doris moved from Lancaster County to New Jersey, her family had little knowledge of recycling since Lancaster County did not collect recycling products in addition to the trash pickup. In New Jersey, the township refused to pick up their trash because it had recyclables in it. After seeing this, they quickly adjusted to the process of recycling. Doris’ family eventually moved to Georgia and discovered that their township recycled everything. Her family separated everything on their own and took it to places that would recycle it. When her family moved back to Lancaster County, it will still far behind in the recycling process. At the time, you could take recycling to certain places, but only two times per month. Now, Doris collects everything that can be recycled that the township does not collect and takes it to Goods Disposal Service. Doris not only lives a green life, but she has instilled these same principles into her children as well.

Ways Doris Lives Sustainable

o Uses compact fluorescent bulbs, and replaces all regular bulbs with fluorescent bulbs when they burn out

o Energy efficient appliances: Refrigerator and Dishwashers

o Drives a Toyota Scion XA, receives up to 30 miles per gallon - Uses this for errands and some long distance driving

o Has leaves picked up by the township to get composted instead of going to a landfill

o Uses: biodegradable cleaning products, biodegradable cooking products, stainless steel water bottles, reusable shopping bags

o Recycles: glass, metal and number one plastic

o Additional recycling that does not get picked up by the township: newspaper, magazines, cardboard, hazardous materials (paint, batteries, medication)

-Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
• Pays for itself in roughly 6 months and saves around 30 dollars over the course of its lifetime.
• Uses about 75% less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than a regular light bulb does.

- Energy Efficient Appliances
• Can save your household up to $400 a year.
• Using the appliance more efficiently can extend the life on the actual appliance.

-Leaf Pick-Up
• If your townships offers it, rake leaves to the curb and they will get composted instead of going to a landfill.

- Reusable Water Bottles
• Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles and continue to re-fill with your drinks instead of constantly using plastic water bottles.

- Biodegradable Cleaning and Cooking Products
• Visit the EPAs website to find out what products are considered green cleaners.

-Reusable Shopping Bags
• Cut down on the amount of trash that comes from plastic and paper grocery bags.

Lancaster County Recycling

Do you throw away trash that could be recycled? Are you not sure what types of things can actually get recycled? Here you’ll find a list of the most common everyday items that can easily be recycled. Along with the list of common recyclables, you will also find items that should not be recycled as well as how to recycle certain products. Once a product is recycled, you will also see what type of products are produced from the recycled material!

**In 2008, Lancaster County recycled 184,301 tons worth of waste

Common Things Recycled

o Glass- green, brown and clear beverage and food glasses - All glass should be rinsed and lids thrown in the trash.
o DO NOT recycle light bulbs, window glass or drinking glasses.

o Metal- food and beverage cans made from aluminum & tin - All metals should be rinsed.
o DO NOT crush anything. Foil and pie pans should not be recycled.

o Plastic - #1 plastic and #2 plastic - Lids should be thrown in the trash.
o DO NOT recycle yogurt or plastic toys.

o Newspaper - Newspaper and everything contained within it - Stack on top of other recyclables.
o DO NOT put out in the rain or in plastic bags.

o Hazardous Waste From Your House - Thermometers, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, etc.

o Electronic Recycling - Cell phones, televisions, computers - Having these products in landfills can harm our environment.

What you may not have known…

The following items listed are things that you can recycle, but may not have known.

o Ammunition
o Antifreeze
o Fire Extinguishers
o Lawn Mowers
o Mobile Homes
o Power Tools

The following items listed are things that you should NOT recycle

o Cookware
o Broken drinking glass
o Pottery
o Window Glass
o Cereal and cardboard boxes
o Wire hangers
o Yogurt Containers
o Whipped cream containers, deli, or margarine containers
o Medication Bottles
o Motor Oil Containers

Most of the things we recycle get recycled into what they previously were, but not all of the things we recycle get made into what we think they do. Below are some examples of the things we recycle and what they get made into. Glass beverage containers can always be recycled into other glass beverage containers, but they also are used for roads, marbles, tiles and surfboards. Plastic soda bottles have enough fiber in them for one extra large t-shirt, a square foot of carpet and enough fiber to fill a ski jacket! All steel and aluminum cans can be recycled into other steel and aluminum products but it is not their only use. By recycling these products, it uses 75 percent less energy than constructed other products made of non-recycled materials. Some things that can be made from recycled steel and aluminum are cars, bikes, any type of appliance and cookware.

Source: Recycling Information

Source: Recyling Source: National Recycling Coalition - Interesting End Products

Lancaster County Recycling Drop off Locations

Interested in recycling but aren’t sure where to start? Here you’ll find a list of recycling drop-off locations throughout Lancaster County to begin the recycling process.

Lancaster Salvage Company - 1058 N Plum St, Lancaster, PA‎ - 717-393-0088

Specializes in copper and metal and has been recycling waste materials for 82 years. The Lancaster Salvage Company has been operating since 1926.

Shell’s Disposal and Recycling, Inc. - 640 S Franklin St, Lancaster, PA‎ - 717-394-6640

‎ Residential and commercial Hauling Company, but also processes recycled material. Shell’s is available to pick up recyclable material and yard debris. Shell’s has been operating since 1976.

Brandywine Recyclers 328 N 14th St, Lebanon, PA‎ - 717-272-4581

‎ Brandywine Recyclers collects sorts and packages recyclable material. Their goal is to reduce their customer’s cost in trash pickup and the amount of trash taken to landfills. They buy all scrap metals as well as recycle many other materials.

Full Circle Recycling - 702 S Prince St, Lancaster, PA – 717-284-2800

Full Circle Recycling specializes in aluminum, batteries, iron, steel and other metals and operates Monday through Saturday.

Professional Properties Services Inc. - 526 S Queen St, Lancaster, PA – 717-394-6343‎

Professional Properties Services Inc. specialized in garbage, homes and yard debris. They operate Monday through Friday.

Ephrata Recycling - 339 E Fulton St, Ephrata, PA – 717-733-9300

‎ Ephrata Recycling gives cash for certain recyclables. They are open for business Monday through Saturday and specialize in scrap metal cleanup. Ephrata Recycling has been in business since 2004.

Good's Disposal Service, Inc. - 4361 Oregon Pike, Ephrata, PA – 717-336-6385

When Doris separates her trash from recycling, she takes her recycling products to Good’s Disposal Service. Good’s Disposal Service offers residential, commercial, industrial, and construction recycling services.

Source: Recycling Centers in Lancaster County, Pa

United States and Pennsylvania Recycling Facts

Interested in recycling facts that affect the entire country? Look here for laws that dictate recycling throughout the United States. You will also find facts about recycling in Pennsylvania as well!

General Facts about Recycling from UCLA

-Out of the 85.5 million tons of paper used each year, only 22% is recycled.

-One ton of paper made completely from recycled scrap saves 7000 gallons of water, 4100 kilowatt-hours of energy, three cubic yards of landfill space, and 17 trees

-Americans are only 5% of the world's population, but produce 30% of the entire world's garbage.

-Metal salvaged during World War II saved enough metal to build two warships.

-Every person in the United States produces about 4.3 lbs. of garbage on a daily basis.

-When making a soda can from recycled aluminum, 96 percent less energy is used than making a can from non-recycled material. It also has 95 percent less air pollution and 97 percent less water pollution.

-Out of the four million plastic bottles that Americans use every hour, only one in four is actually recycled.

-The average American uses 650 pounds of paper every year

-More than half of all plastic containers used are not recycled and go straight into landfills or incinerators.

-Glass can be recycled forever -Every two weeks, Americans throw out enough glass bottles and jars that could have filled the 1350 towers of the World Trade Center

-In 1993 more paper was recovered for recycling than was sent to landfills. The energy saved from recycling aluminum in 1993 alone was enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.

-Americans throw away enough steel every year to build all new cars that are made in America.

United States

-Now, the United States recycles 32.5 percent of its waste -In 1970, the United States only recycled 5 percent of its waste.

-The EPA states that recycling slashes global warming pollution by comparing it to removing 39.6 million passenger cars from the road.

-In 1973, there was no curbside recycling programs in the United States. In 2006, there were about 8,660 curbside programs.

-Now, 31 percent of plastic soft drink bottles 45 percent of aluminum cans are recycled.

-Less than half of all paper thrown away in the United States is recycled. -13 percent of water bottles are recycled.

-Only 20 percent of the 425,000 tons of passenger-related waste is recycled by airports and airlines each year.


-Pennsylvania became the largest state in the country to recycle when it passed Act 101 in 1988.

-In 1995, about nine million people in Pennsylvania were recycling

-Even though only 415 communities throughout Pennsylvania have a mandatory recycling program, an additional 350 communities are participating in curbside recycling voluntarily. (Pennsylvania Waste Law)

-Any community that has over 5000 people in it is required to have a curbside recycling program for the residents of the community that pick up any three of the following items.

• High-grade office paper
• Colored glass containers
• Aluminum cans
• Newsprint
• Plastics
• Corrugated paper
• Clear glass containers
• Steel and bi-metallic cans

- The communities that are required to have a curbside recycling program are also required to collect leaves and other yard debris that will be composted.

Source: Bruins for Recycling

Source: Clean Air Council Protecting everyone's right to breathe clean air

History of Recycling in the United States

When did recycling really become an issue in the United States? Click here to find out why recycling became an important factor in the American lifestyle and information on recycling today. Around the time of World War II, Americans began recycling and started to practice conservation as a way of helping national security. After the war ended in the 1950s, more and more Americans became aware of the environment and the amount of waste they produced. Because of the obviousness of the amount of waste that was produced, more Americans became committed to the environment. Many children born after the 1980s grew up the “recycle, reduce, reuse” symbol and worked to incorporate this idea into their lives. Although some people claim that recycling the does benefit the environment, studies show that a change in human behavior did actually force humans to reevaluate their ways and question how they lived their lives.

After World War II ended, America was driven with the idea of “newness”, but concerns for the environment is what really forced Americans to restrain their waste, re-use what they had and live within certain limits. Litter and crowded landfills proved to communities that they needed to maintain their waste. Not only did re-using products help the environment, but it gave the United States an opportunity to profit off of recycled products and increase development. All throughout the country, non-profit recycling centers began to open and eventually municipal recycling followed. Now, most communities throughout the country have these programs and have citizens separate recyclables from their trash before it is collected. Some communities also force residents to pay for the amount of trash they put out.

Most Common Recycled Household Items:

o Paper and cardboard
o Metal
o Glass
o Plastic containers
o Yard waste

Now, all plastic is given a number according to the type of plastic. Most of this plastic comes in the form of soft drink bottles, laundry detergent bottles, plastic bags, some yogurt containers and lids. All individual numbers refer to one type of plastic except for number seven plastic which is not one type of single plastic material. In 2005, the American Chemistry Council stated that 922 million pounds of plastic bottles (milk bottles and laundry detergent bottles) were recycled.

Source:Recycling - Encyclopedia of Earth.

What You Can Do

Easy and convenient ways you can begin recycling. Here you’ll find tips on how to recycle and how you can cut down on the amount of trash that goes to landfills. These tips are easy and simple ways to help protect our Earth. You will also find ways to incorporate sustainable living into your daily activities.

There are many simple ways in which you can help preserve our environment and they don’t involve drastically changing your lifestyle or the way you go about your day. Living sustainable can not only help our environment but save you money as well! Follow a few of the tips below, and even the slightest change can help protect our Earth!

• Reuse as many household products as you can.
o If you do not have recycling pick-up or a recycling program in your own county, find ways to reuse your household products instead of simply throwing them out.
o Reuse products.
o Speak to local politicians and encourage them to implement a recycling program

• Compost your organic waste rather than throwing it out.
o Anything from leaves to bush trimmings can be composted into soil. Instead of throwing away yard debris, compile it together to make soil on your own.

• Use reusable shopping bags
o Grocery Stores have these bags for a reason. To limit the number of plastic bags you accumulate, use your own bags every time you shop to limit the amount of bags being sent to landfills.

• Instead of throwing away clothing or electronics you no longer use, donate them.
o By donating these items, you not only help reduce the amount of trash going to landfills, you help those in need as well! You’ll help the environment and help others at the same time.
o Goodwill’s and The Salvation Army are located all over, research the closest one to you and donate unused items.

• Recycle.
o If your community has a recycling program, use it.

• Use recycled products.
o Use products that are made from previously recycled materials, and recycle them when you are done.
o Use and buy products that are made with post-consumer recycled paper and that come packaged in recyclable materials.
o Buy these products in bulk so you use less packaging.

• Donate electronics.
o Certain electronics may be considered toxic and pollute the earth when they go to landfills. To avoid these toxins hurting our environment, donate old electronics instead of throwing them away.
o Electronic companies may also take back old computers or TVs.

• Make it convenient.
o Place recycling bins throughout your house and office in order to make recycling easy.
o Have different bins for different recyclable to prevent you from sorting them later.
o The more convenient you make it; the more likely you are to use it.

• Avoid bottles and foam cups.
o Reuse mugs and glasses for coffee or water at work and use tap water instead of buying plastic water bottles.

• Think what your doing isn’t enough?
o Talk to local officials to encourage more recycling initiatives. Recognize stores that make eco-friendly decisions and support them in their efforts.

• No matter where you go, keep your good habits.
o Laws differ in each city you go to so make sure you know and understand all of the policies on recycling.

• Running Errands.
o Instead of making multiple trips to the grocery store or the mall, make them in one trip.
o Avoid going to the store, driving home, then going back out to the mall by planning your shopping trips together
o This saves on car emissions as well as time.

Source: National Recycling Coalition Source : NSF Consumer Information: The Importance of Recycling


Looking for ways to celebrate green living or just ways to continue recycling throughout the holidays? Click here to see how you can respect our environment. You can even find ways to recycle your Christmas Trees!

Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. Since April 22 normally falls on a weekday, it is celebrated during the weekends before or after the 22nd. Earth Day was originally created by a United States Senator named Gaylor Nelson. This day was created because citizens were upset over the damage caused to the environment by humans. In 1990, Earth Day was celebrated internationally and over 200 million people in 141 different countries participated in the event. There are many ways you can celebrate Earth Day, and you can start by asking your community what type of events or activities they have planned for that day. If your community has no events planned, volunteer to organize an event for the community. Ever since the first Earth Day celebration, many positive Acts have been influenced. The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act have all been created because of the influence of the first celebrated Earth Day.

The following list shows you ways in which you can reduce your impact on the environment:

o Carpool to work with coworkers or those who work around you.
o Use alternate modes of transportation when going on short trips.
o Ride your bike
o Walk
o Use public transportation
o Turn off all of your lights and appliances when you are not using them
o Compost your yard waste and make soil out of yard debris
o Use community recycling programs

A Guide to Christmas Tree Recycling

1. Leave your tree on the curb – many areas will pick up your tree in the weeks following Christmas. There may be certain requirements as to how big the tree is so it is recommended that you call for details
2. Take your Christmas tree to a drop off recycling center. Lancaster County drop off locations are listed at the end of this.
3. If you have a compost container in your yard, cut down the tree and put it in the container.
4. DO NOT BURN YOUR TREE. Many tree needles are very flammable and will catch fire very easily.

Lancaster County

• Lancaster County Central Park - Parking lot behind park office on Chesapeake Street, Lancaster PA 717-299-8215.
A $1 per tree donation is requested.
• Martin Mulch Products - 55 Woodcrest Drive, Ephrata, PA 717-733-1602. Christmas Trees
$2 per tree.
• Zeager Brothers - 4000 E. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 717-944-7481.
Christmas Trees are no charge. Source: How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays

Source: The History of Earth Day

Organic Standards

Listed below are a few summary points from the National Organic Program standards for crops, livestock and handling processes.

Crop Standards

In order for crops to be considered organic there must be no prohibited substances applied to the land for at least three years before the organic crop has been harvested. No use of genetic engineering is allowed. Soil fertility will be managed by rotating crops, cultivation practices, and cover crops. These will be supplemented with animal and crop wastes and other allowed synthetic materials. Organic seeds are preferred, but a non-organic see will be allowed under certain conditions. Any form of crop pests or weeds will be controlled through physical, mechanical and biological controls. If these do not work, a synthetic substance contained on the National List can be used.

Livestock standards

Livestock Standards apply to the animals that are used for meat, milk eggs and other products that come from them that are organically produced. In order for livestock to be considered organic, animals used must be raised under “organic management” from the last third of gestation or at the latest, the second day of life for any poultry product. Livestock must be fed with 100 percent organic products. If an organic livestock producer wants to convert an entire dairy herd, they need to have 80 percent of their food be organic for nine months, then 100 percent organic for the next three months. Any animal that is raised organically is not allowed to receive any type of hormones to increase growth or be given an antibiotic no matter the reason. Other methods will be used in order to keep these organic animals healthy. Treatment cannot be withheld from sick or injured animals and these animals receive any medicine that is prohibited, the animal may not be considered organic. Every animal that is raised organically must be allowed outdoors. They may only be kept inside due to health or safety reasons, or to protect the soil or water.

Handling standards

Below is a list of standards that must be followed when producing an organic product.

According to the handling standard, “all non-agricultural ingredients, whether synthetic or non-synthetic, must be included on the National List of Allowed Synthetic and Prohibited Non-Synthetic Substances” Anyone handling organic products must not mix organic and non-organic products together in order to prevent the organic product from coming in contact with a prohibited substance. Any product that has an organic label must have all ingredients that are organically produced, unless a certain ingredient is not available in an organic form.

Source: Agricultural Marketing Service - National Organic Program.

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