Introduction

Hello, I’m Julia Goldstein, your instructor for rethink the bins. A short course on best practices for smart recycling and composting. You might be confused, but figuring out what to toss Where is not as hard as it might seem. Once you’re done taking this course, you will have learned some important best practices so that you can feel more confident that what you toss into the bins is actually going where it needs to end up. Let’s get started. This class has six different lessons in it. And I’m going to start with the basic introduction and get into what to toss where and understanding really what is recyclable and compostable, taking a look at some specific classes of materials, and I’ve got a couple of quizzes built in so you can test your knowledge. First of all, I want To tell you a little bit about me. I’m going to go back in time to Mr. Riley’s fifth and sixth grade class in the late 1970s. Mr. Riley owned a VW bus, hence the photo and he would take us on field trips. Now my school had a contest to see which classroom could collect the largest number of aluminum cans. And most of the kids just brought a few in from home. But Mr. Riley decided it was time for a field trip. So we packed all 18 of us in his VW bus. This was before seatbelt laws and drove us to the beach. I lived in San Diego. We had big plastic trash bags, and we picked up I don’t know how many aluminum cans and I remember you could sell those for 17 cents a pound. Well, Mr. Riley’s calling Last one, the competition. Now, I can’t say that this was the start of my whole journey lifelong into recycling because what happened next was the 1980s, not a decade exactly known for environmentalism. So what I did instead was I discovered the field of materials science. I took a class, my junior year of college, and I became fascinated with the idea that engineers could tailor materials to have specific properties to make them stronger or lighter or have greater electrical conductivity. And I decided I was so fascinated by it. I went and got a PhD in material science. And I ended up writing for companies about a lot of fascinating stuff that they were doing, ended up with working in semiconductor manufacturing. And then in 2019, I published My first book, material value, which is all about how stuff is made and how it can be made better looking at more sustainable, less wasteful ways to manufacture stuff. And part of promoting that book is I started leading workshops in Seattle where I live that we’re about recycling two of the chapters in the book cover recycling and E waste, and there’s a lot of information in that, and also a lot of confusion. With this course, I aim to clear up the confusion. With that it’s time to continue to lesson two.