Why this project?
We wanted to keep learning and working during the stay-at-home spring semester and summer. We also wanted to connect with the Bucknell community, who are also spending a lot of time at their respective homes. We hope this project educates people about plastics and raises awareness for the need to protect the environment by recycling as many things as possible that can be found at home.
Who are you exactly?
We are Team Ray’cycle! Aka Prof. Wakabayashi’s research group. We’re all current Chemical Engineering students from different class years collaborating on this project. We are partnering with Bucknell Environmental Club to bring this project together.
When did this project initially get started?
Shortly after our Spring 2020 semester went remote during the COVID19 pandemic, our team pivoted our focus from in-lab experimental research to community project work.
Why did you only select certain types of plastic?
We have a limited capacity in our labs, so we wanted to focus on the items that we know are often generated from homes but not taken at local recycling centers. Our goal is not to replace your town/city/municipality’s recycling program.
Why did you not take colored plastics bags or coffee pods?
Colored plastics are just as useful as white ones, but we preferred to have a bit of control on the color of the finished product, and so we limited our supply to white and clear bags and pods. We did, however accept different colored bottle caps.
Why weren’t plastics that are Type 2, 4, or 5 collected as well?
Unfortunately, we couldn’t take just any plastics, but we’d be happy to engage in a conversation with you. Contact us through this form.
How clean did the recyclables need to be?
Our SSME technology processes plastics with some foreign objects (called contaminants) mixed in, but for comfort during storage and transport, we recommend thorough cleaning of food or drink residues to avoid weird smells and insects.
Where were the recyclables delivered to?
We set up a drop-off location or arranged a curbside pickup, following COVID19 guidelines.
What happens next to the recyclables?
We process it using our unique Solid-State/ Melt Extrusion (SSME) technology and recycle it into one of our product portfolios, like a Bucknell-themed cookie cutter, to give back to YOU.
What’s the catch? How much are these products?
Donations are what made this project happen, so we are giving out these products for FREE! If you would like to pick up any of these gadgets, let us know!
Can I contribute a blog post or video segment on your website?
You can Contact Us and discuss the details of what you would want to contribute. Our main goal is to educate others and we are excited to hear what you have to share!