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Old 01-06-2009, 12:05 AM   #51 (permalink)
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That's a really good idea about the batteries from old phones. I bought a bunch of old laptop batteries, and removed the Li-ion batteries (and NiMH in some). Even though the laptop batteries weren't any good, it was often because a couple of the batteries were bad. There were usually 6 or 9 18650 Li-ion batteries in each laptop battery, and I found that most of them were typically good. I made a spot welder, and made a 36v 8.8 amp*hr battery pack for my bike using some flat nickel stuff. I ended up selling them, but I bet with collecting lots of old laptop batteries, 60-80% of the 2.2 amp*hr 3.6v batteries are still good. It only takes about 6800 of them to power the Tesla!

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Old 01-06-2009, 12:15 AM   #52 (permalink)
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That was why I suggested using Li-Ion batteries for a EV project - laptop batteries go bad all the time b/c people don't properly maintain them through their life. 1 or 2 cells go bad, they toss the battery and get a new one.

It's really nothing to come up with a few thousand individual cells, and the little tabs to link them together can be almost any piece of metal you have laying around that you can cut small pieces from, and you'd have one of the lightest battery arrays available, and you'd have paid almost nothing (other than time and effort) for it. And if a few cells die, you have replacements available easily.

It's never been maintaining Li-Ion packs that is expensive, it's building the initial pack, IMHO. Once you've done that, all you have to do is keep an eye on the pack, and when a cell or two starts to discharge too fast, it will become obvious quickly.

I used to be in good with a local computer shop back home that always replaced the batteries when they got laptops on trade with new ones, and they'd give me the old ones, assuming I was a recycler (I was hauling scrap metals at the time, including some rare/precious/expensive metals). I used to take the laptop batteries apart and fix them, then re-sell the ones that I could make work.

Then again, I used to sell engines and transmissions that I picked up from garages too... $1 per cubic inch, running or not, no warranty. Transmissions were $50 for 2WD, $75 for 4WD, $100 for AWD.

Many times, I'd sell them for less than that, but I had to at least get the scrap price for it.

<(--- Micro-Entrepreneur LOL. It's really easy to make money if you can find ways to get into Niche markets with no expenditure. Recycling (in most forms) is a money maker, if you're inclined to do the things that need to be done.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Hey Christ -

Thanks for starting this thread!

I just noticed it today - I hope that you are NOT still burning your trash in an open fire pit in your back yard! Unless you can properly burn waste you are releasing lots of toxins in the air. (yes Metro Shultz I see you mention the burn as well) There are loads of chemicals in even the most harmless looking thing like cardboard you think the bright colors on the printed boxes are chem. free!

Also the best solution to the shopping bag discussion is to sew up and bring your own bags. you could use the same material you mention from your quilt project. I live in the east-coast and whole foods and the Hannaford stores and my local independent shop all give a nickel off per bag but that is not important not using a new bag (reduce) is the best option there.

I agree reuse, repurpose or up cycle is the best option (Up-cycle is the fancy term for taking trash like cocoplast political campaign signs and making slick wheel skirts to sell to your pals!) However, recycling with all of it faults and added carbon foot print is still needed. For example I work for a us rope manufacturer and we are privately held so I can't share real numbers but we make MILE and MILE of Nylon life safety ropes, so as a conscious citizen I started a rope recycling program that gives folks options to dispose of their petro chemical based rope with out tossing it into the land fill (and god forbid a fire pit it'd STINK!!) - Now we encourage reuse first stuff like dog leash, horse halters, tie downs, rope rugs, kids swings, key chains and cool up cycled stuff from greenguru.com and the list of reuse goes on and on BUT it is not realistic or sustainable to reuse or repurpose all of the rope made by us and all of the other manufacturers that also make rope. Also because it is life safety it is imperative that a retired rope never get's use for life safety use rope is cheap compared to the hospital or worse! My hope is that all manufacturers will be help responsible for the stuff that they (we) make, the packaging that they use, the stuff that ends up in our houses, cars, landfills, drinking water and air. When a rope get recycled it is ground up and made in to plastic stuff like carp fuzz kids toys and even the keyboard that I wrote this diatribe on.
It is hard to beet the trinity when you practice all three Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I think ecomodding and ecodriving embodies all three.

check out the The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard if you have not already it is a simple little thing that can get us thinking.

I hope my comments don't sound mean spirited or judgmental the internet has a way of twisting best intentions sometimes oh and please stop burning your trash in an open fire, I'm a dad now and I've really learned that every action even small has impact like ripples from tossing a rock in a pond.

My favorite reuse tip - I put a solar hot water system on the house and I use the same sun to heat my water every time it rises...
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:41 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Well - I would stop burning my trash, but for the following:

There is no local trash pickup here.
None of us can afford to truck our trash to the local dump to dispose of it "properly".
As is the case with many rural areas, there hasn't been any implementation of recycling programs either. It's more like "if you want to recycle, you'll trouble yourself to do it.", which usually means that it doesn't happen. Many people around here at least, *most of which drive trucks, and go right by the area that accepts cans and bottles and such for recycling*, can't be bothered to keep their recyclables around long enough to send them down the way.

I've talked with town officials about implementing some sort of local recycling center, and they're more critically thinking about ways to stop people from speeding through town, and using the state police to do it. (No local police either.)

With this thread, I plan on letting it run it's course, then organizing the info into a sort of table or whatever that will showcase the many different ways that things can be re-used effectively, even if it's just one thing, one time.


By the way - good reuse for any plastic compound that you're probably using right now - Fleece. (Which also makes a very good form of fiberglass composite for non-structural pieces.)
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:10 PM   #55 (permalink)
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We don't have organized trash collection in this part of Maine either but we do have a dump / transfer station. My wagon does a good job actingas a garbage truck.... Except I bet there are not many AWD garbage trucks that get mpg's in the 30's. You sound very resourcefull I bet you can find a solution better then an open fire. Maybe you could make a proper incinerator? It is important we all need to try creative approaches to solve dificult problems.

Where do you live and when do you have open burns I'll be sure to stay the heck away!


Good tip on the fleece, our nylon 6 & 6.6 is a bit differnt but check out Eco-mills the make great fleece from plastic water bottles!

Ok here is a reuse tip for your list. I cut the bottom off from windsheild washer fluid jugs. They make great scoops to spread sand & salt mix (free at my town muni lot) on dirt rd. I reuse 50 gal drums from work to store the mix at the top of each steep hill, my neighbors are happy with my efforts.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:26 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12voltsolar View Post
We don't have organized trash collection in this part of Maine either but we do have a dump / transfer station. My wagon does a good job actingas a garbage truck.... Except I bet there are not many AWD garbage trucks that get mpg's in the 30's. You sound very resourcefull I bet you can find a solution better then an open fire. Maybe you could make a proper incinerator? It is important we all need to try creative approaches to solve dificult problems.

Where do you live and when do you have open burns I'll be sure to stay the heck away!


Good tip on the fleece, our nylon 6 & 6.6 is a bit differnt but check out Eco-mills the make great fleece from plastic water bottles!

Ok here is a reuse tip for your list. I cut the bottom off from windsheild washer fluid jugs. They make great scoops to spread sand & salt mix (free at my town muni lot) on dirt rd. I reuse 50 gal drums from work to store the mix at the top of each steep hill, my neighbors are happy with my efforts.
Eh, they've been burning trash around here in fire pits for over 100 years.. no one has had a problem so far. LOL.

I understand that it's not "proper", but who would really be troubled to buy/use an incinerator when they can burn it free in their back yard? Sure, I could design/build one, but to what end? The guy that owns this house wouldn't even use it. Sales and Marketing, I'd have no capital investment for, so that's a moot point. It would essentially be a wasted effort at this particular juncture.

I do like the idea, so maybe I'll blueprint it for future use on my own home though, even though I don't plan on having non-recyclable trash for the most part.

That's my ultimate end - to find a way to reuse/recycle EVERYTHING I use/buy/etc.

It can be done, it's just that many people "can't be troubled" to step outside their own reality and see that things don't have to be the way they are... I feel it's my job to kind of help usher them along a little bit, especially considering that it takes no more energy to toss something in the recycling than in the trash.. it's just slightly to one side or the other (most cases), so you have to adjust your aim.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:46 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Fireplace food

You didn't pay attention,
I use the brown bags as fire starters for my fireplace.
I don't burn in the open. The city would fine me.
I live in the largest city in Virginia, by population and second largest by land mass. We have trash pickup on every Thursday and recycle pickup on every other Thursday.
When we moved into this home in Y2K, the garbage cans were NOT big enough to handle the volume of trash my family produced. I often put trash in my neighbors cans.
Now 8 years later the can is usually less than half full for regular trash and recycle sometimes only goes to the curb once a month.
I have a large green plastic tub in the garage for aluminum, and we have made it a game for my grandson to smash cans and fill it up. He comes over every Saturday so his mom can go to her second job. When the can is full he and I take it to the recyclers ourselves and spend the money on a movie or some other fun adventure.
Re-purposing products has accounted for most of the reduction. The rest is intelligent purchasing.
We truly attempt to buy only what we will use and try to find items with the least amount of useless packaging.

Getting back to the brown paper bags,
Two communities in Tidewater (The greater metropolitan area I live in) have banned the plastic t-shirt style bags from use in stores.
It seems they realized they were spending more in cleanup to get these things off the streets, and out of the water, and parks, etc
than they were recouping in taxes from the local supermarkets.
I have made the same suggestion to our city council. The recent elections replaced just about all of them so we will see what happens in the coming years.
Keep the ideas coming,
Schultz


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Old 01-07-2009, 12:02 PM   #58 (permalink)
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I've mentioned getting rid of plastic bags - the consensus seems to be "we need the handles"... LOL.

I guess noone's heard of paper bags with handles on them... or superglue, for that matter.

I used to love smashing cans w/ the can crusher my dad got.. makes a good workout for an over-active youngin' LOL.

We actually kept the cans in a box that was the size of my dad's truck bed, and about 4 feet tall... it took nearly two years to fill it with all our cans of soda and beer, half of the neighbors bringing their cans over, etc. I can't even remember what it weighed when we were done, but it takes approx 16 soda cans to make a pound.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:57 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Fireplace food 2.0

Hey MetroShultz -
Sorry it is not that I didn't pay attention; it is like my wife says I was only half paying attention.... I've always enjoyed your posts; you impress me as a great guy!

What I misunderstood was when you had mentioned "My paperwork from owning a small business is there too. I have to keep it till 2011, then it becomes fireplace food. When we go to the grocery store we get paper bags. They fold back up and store easily, can be re-used a brazillion times,
when we have too many they get fed to the fireplace."
You are clear that is a Fireplace food and not and open burn. I start my wood stove with the local free paper that shows up in my mailbox even though Ive tried to cancel it and wrote NO FREE PAPERS on my mailbox...
(Oh I got to use the brazillion bit the other day, thanks for that)

Christ -
Not trying to beat a dead horse but I'd love to help speed up the path to your "Slowly gaining consciousness..." my guess is the reason Shultz's town would fine him is most likely because burning trash is nasty... and not environmentally smart.
You mention that "they've been burning trash around here in fire pits for over 100 years.. no one has had a problem so far. LOL." You cannot justify air pollution by saying that other people have done it for years, it doesn't make it OK. Companies used to pour chemicals into our air and water but we all know better now.

Well I've made my appeal and hope you can find a more eco-minded alternative. I promise that I will not mention it again....

Here is a DIY paper bag with handles tip. Take two bags and some spray mount (I know I know that stuff is toxic) Super glue your favorite handle of choice to the inside of Bag A (I'd use some free rope from work, what a surprise) then spray the bottom of bag A - and around the new handles with the spray mount, insert & line up Bag B in to A and press the spray glued parts together and you have a very durable double bag with handles that could be used two or three brazzillion times....
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:15 PM   #60 (permalink)
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I wasn't referring to the ecological problems associated with burning trash - more to the "I wouldn't want to be around during an open burn" comment.

As far as paper bags with handles, it's really easy to make them with pieces from other paper bags... (when they're no longer useable). You just to cut a piece about 2 feet long, fold it in half so it's a 1 foot long strip, then fold about 3 inches in from each edge at a 90* angle to the larger section. You end up with a "n" shape, and you glue 1" of the bottom of each tab to your paper bag with a glue stick.

Frankly, I still much prefer fabric shopping bags, and plan on making some eventually, so I can stop using paper or plastic entirely. I just have to get out of this undesirable living situation first. (These people are mongols compared to standard knowledge and practice... they live only for the sake of making others' lives miserable.)

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