Lizabeth Gray

Lizabeth Gray

Screen shot 2013-08-15 at 2.16.14 PMOur friends over at the City of Pittsburgh's Environmental Services in conjunction with Zero Waste Pittsburgh, a project of the Pennsylvania Resource Council are holding a great recycling event this weekend that not only includes the usual list of suspects such as newspaper, televisions, cardboard and such but also polystyrene ... the stuff that regularly appears  in your take-out meals, coffee cups and just about anything you get on Ebay or Amazon.

Seems some creative soul has figured out a way to turn the white stuff into construction material like columns and crown molding. 

The event is being held at Pittsburgh Environmental Services, 3001 Railroad Street, in the Strip District. If you have questions, please contact Zero Waste at 412-488-7490 x236.

Check out the full list on the city's website or at

Tomorrow ... Why many places won't take broken televsions for recycling



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All those TVs sadly left behind

Friday, 09 August 2013 21:11

pile of televisionsLiving in South Oakland you become attuned to the change of seasons. You realize summer is here when you can easily find a parking space on Forbes Avenue at lunchtime and that it is close to ending when a multitude of television sets appear on sidewalks throughout the community as students move out of their off-campus housing in mid-August.

Unfortunately many students seem blissfully unaware of the Pennsylvania state law that prohibits the disposal of electroncs (televisions, computer monitors and more) in the general rubbish collection. 

But don't despair; eLoop is here to save the day. You can take your unwanted electronics to Construction Junction in East Liberty. Working in colaboration with eLoop, residential customers can bring their ewaste to CJs for recycling during regular operating hours and it's a free service ... as long a the screen isn't broken.

Here's a handy list right from the CJ site:

  • Desk top and laptop computers -- FREE!
  • TV / Monitor or LCD 15" and under -- FREE!
  • TV / Monitor or LCD 16" to 19" -- FREE!
  • TV / Monitor or LCD 20" to 390"-- FREE!
  • CRT/LCD 40" or greater and Console TV (latter- in wood cabinet) -- FREE!
  • Cell phones/PDAs/smart phones -- FREE!
  • All mixed electronics -- FREE!  Mixed electronics includes: printers, copiers, DVD players, fax machines, telephones, routers, switches, small appliances, remote controls, battery backup systems, video recorders and digital cameras. 

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New Pa. electronic waste recycling laws in effect

Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:50

Screen shot 2013-02-27 at 11.35.14 AMEarlier this year a new law went into effect in Pennsylvania that prohibits the collection of covered devices, such as computers, laptops, computer monitors, televisions and tablets with their trash. The Pennsylvania Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA) was passed in 2010 and went into effect on January 24, 2013.

Fortuantely in the Pittsburgh area we have several options for recycling electronic waste. 

Goodwill has a program, Reconnect, that not only deals with the problem of electoric waste it helps make a difference in lives of others. Residents can drop off any brand of used equipment at a participating Goodwill donation center for free and you'll get the benefit of a tax receipt. 

Construction Junction offers both recycling and reuse to the region. Working with eLoop, they offer residents recycling options for everything from laptops to lightbulbs.

eLoop llc offers recycling options for both residents and businesse and is certified to both the R2 and BAN e-Steward (ISO 14001) standards, and operates a DEP-permitted facility.

As spring approaches there will be various recycling events posted to the calendar ranging from electronics to out of date pharmecuticals. 

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I like so many others have tons of CDs which means I have tons of CD covers. And not wanting to just throw them in the trash I've been looking for clever (not too clever or crafty as that isn't me) ways to recycle them. And it looks like I have finally found one that even I can manage.

The site is called "So you think you're crafty.

The tutorial takes you step by step through creating a small greenhouse out of CD covers, a great spring project to get plants started and such. The blog is pretty straight forward with nice images.

There's loads of other stuff on the site plus you can be a guest blogger if interested or enter a crafters contest. 


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Free day at the Phipps

Monday, 25 February 2013 09:24

Thanks to the generosity of the Jack Buncher Foundation,  Pittsburghers can take a lovely walk in a beautiful garden and not freeze while they're at it.  

From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., entry to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is free for the community. 

This is your chance to visit the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a unique research and education facility and one of the world's greenest buildings. 

“We believe that everyone should have the chance to experience the extraordinary beauty and inspiration to be found at Phipps,” says Jack Buncher Foundation President Bernita Buncher. “It is one of Pittsburgh’s finest treasures, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with our community.”  


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Phipps finalist for national honor

Friday, 15 February 2013 11:11


It's been a busy week for the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Tuesday saw the opening of their new Center for Sustainable Landscapes and today they received news that they are one of the finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. 

“Museums and libraries serve as community gathering places and centers for lifelong learning, and we are very proud to announce Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens as a finalist for the 2013 National Medal,” said Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “This year’s finalists exemplify the many wonderful ways museums and libraries can respond to the needs and wants of the communities they serve.”


Interested in helping with the big bird count? Volunteers are asked to meet up at the Sewickley Heights Borough parking lot from 9 to 11 a.m. for a bird watch and data collection.  This is an annual event to gather information on the local bird population "to create a mid-winter snapshot of the numbers, kinds and distribution of birds across the continent."

You want to bring binoculars, good shoes and warm clothes.

If you're interested in more bird events in the are, check out Scott Shalaway's recent story on Pittsburgh love of birds

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Pittsburgh's greenest building opens to public

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:34

Screen shot 2013-02-12 at 11.52.54 AMThere's nothing like it anywhere in the world and we have it here in Pittsburgh. The Center for Sustainable Landscapes at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens opened its doors to the public today. 

And while a visit to the Phipps is always a great adventure, the new center offers education and research programs, showcasing Pennsylvania green design. Totally self-sustainable, visitors will explore numerous forms of renewable energy from solar panels to geothermal wells and wind turbine. 

Plan on spending the day exploring the green rooftop which features native plants along with a great view of Oakland, the new lagoon, rain garden and wetlands. 

“The CSL was created to act as a model for how we can all work together with nature to make our communities healthier, safer and more supportive of life,” says Phipps Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini. “It will also give our guests the opportunity to see just how beautiful and practical green can be, and we are very excited to share this inspiring new space with Pittsburghers in the days to come.” 

And just think this is all included in the price of admission to the Phipps, one of Pittsburgh's great bargains has just gotten even better and greener. 

More PG coverage: Phipps offices aim to meet world's highest environmental standards


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It’s always interesting what you run into while job hunting on the internet.

I received a call today regarding a position at Fisher Scientific. Now I have no idea if I’ll end up working there but when I started exploring their website I ran into their corporate green page which I felt was worth sharing.

Besides, I loved the frog!

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The PG’s Theresa Linderman’s story “Stores partner with nonprofits to reuse material, merchandise" is a good read on what local companies are doing to make a difference.

American Eagle Outfitters' "Recycle. Rejean"  and Dick's Sporting Goods winter coat trade-in promotions not only  made good business sense for both companies and consumers, they also meant less waste ending up in a landfills.

News update for Pittsburgh cyclists

We have an update from Bike Pittsburgh on the latest installment of new bike lanes in the East End. This is good start for Pittsburgh bike riders and car drivers but there are  more streets and other issues that needs to be looked at throughout the city. 

Wind Power Report

Last week PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center released their report, “Wind Power for a Cleaner America: Reducing Global Warming Pollution, Cutting Air Pollution and Saving Water." With the expiration of the wind power tax credit looming, reports like this are extremely important.

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Shop green, shop local!

Friday, 30 November 2012 10:52

With the holidays coming up and the environment in mind why not try shopping locally at one of Pittsburgh’s finest new traditions?

On Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, the “I Made It Market” returns to Bakery Square, 6425 Penn Avenue (map).

With 90 local artisans you can expect a wonderful shopping experience for family, friends and even your furry buddies who are welcomed to join in the holiday fest! Head over to their website for all the details and, if you can, please bring along a tote bag with food donations for the Pittsburgh Food Bank. 

For all the glorious details, check with our friends at “I Made It Market”.

Feeling a bit crafty yourself?

Then head over to Construction Junction on Saturday, December 1, 11 – 12:30 for a bit of crafty wreath making from old door knobs and keep the environment in mind.

You need to register beforehand so drop an email to Natalie at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The class fee is $55 per person.



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