Lyon County recycling coordinator
Waaay back in 2010, I first relayed to you what I thought was a pretty cool recycling story. I brought it up again in 2011 because I was bummed that I still didn't have a sample of the recycled item that this particular company made. Well, I'm happy to report that Anna put the package in the post on March 27, and it got here on Tuesday, April 1!
I now have a mini GumDropBin, a comb, a ruler and a guitar pick made out of used chewing gum! Yup - you read right. Here's a little background info that'll help explain the "sticky" situation. In 2006 Anna Bullus "noticed that not only was gum a material that was being wasted but a litter that was starting to pollute on a global scale." Anna's a chemist that spent more than four months in a chemistry lab figuring out how to create a new polymer out of used chewing gum that could be used in the rubber and plastic industries. (My aunt used to tell me that I was chewing tires when she'd see me chewing gummaybe that wasn't as far-fetched as I thought. Umm!) She succeeded, and the Gumdrop bin company was set up in November of 2008. The first item to be produced out of the polymer was a bubblegum pink receptacle that can be seen attached to lampposts, along city streets, by bus stops, in city parks, etc. in the U.K. into which people can/should deposit their chewed gum instead of throwing it on the street where some someone else can step in it and have it stuck all over their shoes. So irritating! Anyway, when the container gets full, it's picked up, taken back to the factory where it and the contents get made back into another bin or maybe a mini bin, a comb, a ruler, a guitar pick, or even a Frisbee. From what it says on the site, "With Gumdrop's help, recycled and processed chewing gum can become a vast number of things from wellington boots, to mobile phone covers, stationary, packaging and much more." I'll "chew" to that! Sorry! Seriously, visit the site at gumdropltd.com/. It's so cool! Hey, come to think of it, they should send me "across the pond" so I can see first-hand the workings of the factory as part of my job, right? OKI heard that, "Sure, let them send herwith a one-way ticket."
Keep reducing, reusing, recycling and buying recycled! For info or if your club is interested in a presentation (free) regarding recycling/waste reduction and hazardous waste disposal, call the Lyon County Environmental Office at 507-532-8210. Also available is info about disposal of appliances, electronics and tires. www.lyonco.org. Click on environmental under the public works menu.
A sidenote - as I mentioned in my first column about this, if you step in gum it's not because of meI swallow mine. Apparently my Aunt Mary's scare-tactic of chewing/ingesting old tires didn't work. Kidswe never listen!
Another sidenote - I still wonder how many pieces of chewed gum it takes to make a GUMDROP bin?