Life at Jama

How to Make Fewer Recycling Mistakes

Jama Software hosts a recycling lunch and learn

Here at Jama Software, we take our commitment to sustainability and the environment seriously. Earlier this year, we became a certified Green Business through the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program. To help further solidify our day-to-day green actions as acompany, we also recently had a workshop put on by Sustainability at Work to teach us the in’s and out’s of recycling in Portland.

Because every locality is different, it was helpful to get information directly from the source about what is and isn’t recyclable. And, thankfully, recycling in Portland isn’t quite as complicated as Portlandia makes it out to be.

More importantly, the workshop also taught us the how & why behind what gets recycled and what doesn’t. The workshop leader pointed out that just about any material CAN be recycled, but that doesn’t mean that it WILL be recycled. There are complex factors at play, including economic factors such as the cost to recycle a material and the demand for that material. For some materials, it simply costs too much to recycle that the recycled version is considerably more expensive than the non-recycled version.

recycling
Morgan Armstrong ‏twitted: “Paul from @sawpdx dropping knowledge re: recycling. Balled up, clean foil: yes. Plastic clamshells: no. #lifeatjama”

Take for example the ubiquitous to-go coffee cup. It could be recycled, but the wax or plastic lining inside the paper cup makes it a very difficult and expensive process becausethe lining is very difficult to separate from the paper. This lining makes the cups really excel at their job of keeping your coffee hot and contained and not turning into a soggy mess in your hand. But the trade off is that it’s much more difficult to recycle. For a greener option, invest in an insulated travel mug or thermos that you can reuse over and over again.

We’re lucky to live in a city that tries to make it as straightforward as possible, ensuring that most items can be recycled without needing to go through too much fuss. For Jama, recycling is as much a part of daily life as are dogs in the office, and creating great software to help you continue building great products.