Green alert #2

Code green @ Murfie HQ!

Murfie boxed up and recycled 944 pounds of plastic CD stuff yesterday. Murfie: 944; landfills: 0.

Poor poor Mr. Landfill. I bet he’s irked that we’ve deprived him of plastic. Eh, he’ll just have to deal. Another green element of our recycling project? We used Community Car to deliver the plastic to Waste Management.

P.S. You may have noticed that the picture of jewel cases on your upper-left isn’t real. If you were fooled, it’s OK. The distinction is shockingly subtle. Point is, I forgot to snap a photo of the batch of boxes, so I rendered my own interpretation. Next time, like last time, I promise you’ll be treated with the real deal.

Operation ID Plastic Packaging

What the heck is a resin ID code?

You can exhale now. Phew! I hope that wasn’t too strenuous. I know you’ve all been holding your breath until I posted something here about the resin identification coding system. I mean, I did talk it up. Breathe now, the time has come to discuss that little rounded triangle, with arrows and a number, on the bottom of plastic packaging. AKA resin identification code, the symbol is simply a way to identify a container’s polymer type and facilitate the recycling of post-consumer plastics by providing a consistent, uniform national system.

The resin ID coding system was designed to help all parties involved: consumers, manufacturers, recyclers. Our job as consumers is to take a peek at the bottom of plastic containers and identify the resin content. The seven plastic resin codes help us figure out whether and how to recycle all the plastic products invading our everyday lives. Now, there are countless articles out there on the world wide web breaking down the 7 resin codes, so I won’t beat a dead horse here…but I must say that this table is quite useful (and dare I say the best snapshot?). For each number, you’ll find a pretty little graphic, detailed description, properties of the polymer, product applications, and products made with recycled content.

One last thing to add. Municipal (curbside) recycling programs traditionally pick up only codes #1 and 2. For those other plastics coded #3-7, you may have to contact a local recycling facility or do a little digging on recycling programs in your area as new markets become available for polymers.

Operation Recycle Plastic

Murfie’s recycling practices

Murfie can be kind of a MRF sometimes. Though not a riddle, you may feel stumped, so take a look at this Q&A to clear things up. If you’re only mildly confused, let’s skip ahead to the short version. Murfie=MRF=Materials Recycling Facility, because Murfie receives collections of CDs, then separates and recycles the unwanted plastic stuff. Unwanted?—Yes, unwanted—So stuff, plastic stuff, that I don’t want anymore?—Yeahhh—So that could mean, that must mean…—Plastic jewel cases, we bid you farewell.

Yes indeedy, we’ll help you part ways with your jewel cases. And I promise, saying goodbye is really easy:
Step 1
Request a kit, and we’ll send you a box and prepaid postage
Step 2 Round up your discs, put ’em in the box, and send it back to us
Step 3 Once we receive your kit, we’ll warehouse your CDs at our HQ
Step 4 Go Operation Recycle Plastic

So, how exactly does Murfie execute Operation Recycle Plastic? I regret that my answer cannot be more epic, but nonetheless here’s a quick breakdown of our humble recycling practices. Because municipal recycling programs typically don’t collect the type of plastic (polystyrene) that’s used in jewel case manufacturing, we partner with a local Waste Management facility to take care of the bulk quantities we accumulate. As North America’s largest recycler, Waste Management manages the recyclable plastics we drop off.

While not terribly exciting, talking about plastics recycling does have merit. Plastics are valuable as a resource. When recovered properly, recycled plastics can help make other products, which also decreases the volume of waste subject to landfills. Reduce, reuse, recycle! By the way, plastics recycling is not available in all areas, so you’ll have to check to see if recycling facilities exist in your community. Here’s one way to do so.

Next post I’ll cover the resin identification coding system. Good times, so

Sayonara, plastic CD packaging!

Bidding a proper farewell to jewel cases

Here at Murfie HQ, we try to do the right, and cool, thing.  In the Murfieland context, that means providing an awesome service for buying, selling, and trading music, AND recycling plastic CD packaging.  Murfie isn’t into this whole plastics recycling thing because we are all (light/dark/bright) green-eyed, bleeding-heart liberal monsters…we recycle because it’s the right thing to do for your music experience as well as U.S. municipal solid waste (MSW) management.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over half of MSW (54.3%) is discarded into landfills, and 11.9% is burned at combustion facilities.  No matter the shade of your environmental eyes, that’s pretty icky for our planet.  What sort of trash are we disposing in landfills or burning?…well, along with paper, metals, yard trimmings, and glass (etc.), plastics make up 12.3% of total municipal solid waste generation.

And guess what?  Only 7 percent of that plastic waste is recovered for recycling.

A 7% recycling rate is pretty darn low.  Too low, actually.  The only right thing to do is up that rate.  That’s why Murfie makes it our business to always separate out and recycle the plastics that comprise CD packaging.  This ends up being a pretty big job, as we accumulate tons and tons of boxes chock full of jewel cases.  But because Murfie can make anything awesome, we had a bit of fun and put together a time-lapse video depicting what an epic chore unloading plastic CD stuff can be.  Check it out!

P.S. If you want to know more about that whole plastics recycling thing (and much, much more!), the EPA has put out a great facts and figures report on MSW generation, recycling, and disposal.

Murfie’s origin story

Why Murfie is Murfie

Q: What’s up with your name?!  Does Murfie mean anything?
That’s a good question.  And the answer is actually quite relevant to our business model and vision.  Murfie comes from the acronym MRF, which stands for materials recycling facility and is pronounced “murf” – so it wasn’t rocket science to add those last two letters to MRF and make it sound awesome.

Now, what’s so significant about a materials recycling facility?  And is Murfie anything like a MRF?  Well, you can in fact think of Murfie as a specialized plant that receives, separates, and processes recyclable materials, which in our case is your collection of discs.  Like a MRF, Murfie does indeed receive materials (CDs!) that can be sorted and prepared for end-users ( customers!).  Our treatment goes a bit like this:
1) We capture the value of physical CDs by taking your discs and turning them into digital music upon request,
2) while shedding the unwanted plastic packaging (and of course, recycling those materials)
3) and then we create and deliver value by providing an online selling, trading, and buying community that is both fun and hassle-free.

As you can see, Murfie’s mission is to contribute to the dematerialization movement – reduce the total material that’s required to serve a function.  So is less more?  Well, by freeing your home of physical clutter and turning those CDs into digital media, as well as recycling all other unnecessary materials, certainly does more with less.