One of the most notable success stories in recycling is that of structural plastic lumber. The material is mostly polyethylene reinforced with stiff plastics or recycled composites. Made from milk containers, coffee cups, and other recycled plastics, structural plastic lumber is lighter than steel, longer-lasting than natural lumber and strong enough to support 120-ton locomotives.
Have you ever wondered what happens when a fish encounters a dam or a culvert? Too often, these structures are barriers to breeding and nursery sites, feeding grounds, and vital genetic mixing. In a warming world, barriers also prevent fish from seeking refuge as stream temperatures change.
We have been using salt to keep winter roads free of ice and snow since the late 1930s. In the United States alone, some 20 million tons of salt are applied to roadways each year. And while its use has real benefits in terms of safety and navigation, there have been cumulative costs to the environment, including degrading freshwater resources and contaminating groundwater.
Snow season is here. The chances are good you’ll find yourself behind a truck spreading salt on the roads in an attempt to deice them. You may even try a little salt on your own front porch. Annually we spread about 20 million tons of road salt in the U.S., and we’ve been doing it since the late 1930s.