Janet Unruh on "Recycle Everything: Why We Must, How We Can"

program: 
Recovery Zone
program date: 
Wed, 12/22/2010

We've all heard of peak oil, but what about peak hafnium, or peak terbium? Hafnium, which is important in computer chips, could be depleted by 2017, and terbium, used in florescent light bulbs, by 2012. Most other ores are also in decline.  One solution is to recycle these materials, but how? Janet Unruh is a Portlander who believes that everything can be recycled 100% – provided we learn how to design things properly and set up the right systems for materials recovery. With her knowledge and experience in manufacturing, having worked for the last decade in the truck manufacturing industry, she has founded The Institute for Material Sustainability.  In her book, Recycle Everything - Why We Must, How We Can, Unruh describes and provides examples of a cyclical system that retains within itself all the materials used in production. The system is a closed system that eliminates the extraction  of new materials and their eventual disposal. Through her book  and the Institute, Unruh hopes to enable industries to transition to more sustainable methods of using materials for manufacture and recovery through recycling, and realize a sustainability that would allow human production and consumption to continue indefinitely, within the limitations of a finite Earth. Hosted by Stephanie Potter. 

 

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