Podcast Episodes

Episode 29: All I Want for Christmas is a Glass Crusher

September 25, 2023

Glass is a pain! No, really! We’ve talked about that before here in Rome. On this episode, Keith and Mollie talk to someone who has decided to do something about it. Moriah Fordham is the owner of Phoenix Glass Recycling, bringing glass recycling to Huntsville, AL and the surrounding county. Even if you don’t live in Huntsville — not everyone can be a rocket scientist — you can learn a lot by listening to the interview with Moriah. She’s an entrepreneur who cares about the environment and wants to fill a much needed spot in the recycling world. Her company is a member of 1% for the Planet, the Glass Recycling Coalition, and the Alabama Recycling Coalition. But Moriah has a lot more to share than just a business with memberships. She’s got great ideas for keeping glass out of the landfill, whether you have a glass recycling program in your neighborhood or not. And if you’re still looking for more, learn about what really happens to recycled glass and what recycled glass can be turned into after it leaves the bin. Oh, and check out the new bigger glass crusher that Phoenix Glass Recycling has ordered. We’re pretty sure Mollie’s hoping Santa brings her one of these, too. And if you have glass recycling or reusing ideas of your own, make sure to add a comment below. This episode might not make glass recycling crystal clear, but we sure hope it at least manages to break the glass!

Episode 28: Funcycling

August 20, 2023

You’ve heard of recycling, and you’ve possibly even heard about upcycling, but have you tried funcycling? On this episode, Keith and Mollie dive into how to make recycling more fun! Yes, it’s really true. You actually can take good care of the environment and have fun at the same time. To help figure this out, return guest, funny man, and birthday boy Ben joins this episode with his own jokes, ideas, and, well… you’ll just have to listen to find out. And after you take in these ideas as a starting point, why not share a few of your own? Let us know how you make the task of recycling more fun by leaving a comment! Or at the least save us with some better jokes!

Episode 27: Bin There, Do That

August 3, 2023

The times they are a chingin’! Okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but Keith and Mollie are certainly all worked up on this episode. The city of Homewood, AL that we call home here at Rome Was Not Recycled in a Day is making some big changes to our curbside recycling program. City council person Jennifer Andress joined us for an episode in late 2021 to say that these changes were in the works. Even if you don’t live in Homewood, your curbside program might also be moving to a “mixed stream” program with a single bin for garbage and recycling. Give this episode a listen to learn about the changes coming, understand what RePower South is doing with our garbage and recycling, and help us ponder some of the many questions we have about this new system. We’re even wondering if The Gasp Group can help address some of our concerns about the idea of garbage being burned for energy. Perhaps most importantly, get some ideas how we can work with this new system without throwing some of our good recycling practices in the garbage! And if you have ideas of your own or can answer any of our questions, please comment below or hop over to our contact form. We’ll all figure this out together!

Episode 26: To Plug or Not to Plug

July 15, 2023

It’s summer vacation season! As you’ve hit the pump before hitting the road this year, your wallet has probably felt the pain. Gas prices may not be at an all-time high, but they ain’t what they used to be. Keith and Mollie have noticed that electric and plugin hybrid vehicles have become quite the thing these days! On this episode, they’re joined by an engineer from an electric utility company, John Murray, to explore the question: is it time to get one? Do they really make it worth it? What are the hidden costs, both to the owner and to the environment? And should we all rush out and buy one today? Before you plug in, tune in and hear the facts. And after you listen, we’d love to hear your own thoughts on these new kinds of cars that might save you a little at the pump… but might not be right for everyone yet.

Episode 25: Hey There, Wait a Minute Mr. Compost Man

March 23, 2023

It’s spring time at last! The time when we throw off the winter blahs, get outside, enjoy the birds singing and the flowers blooming, and start a compost bin! Okay, maybe composting isn’t on your spring wish list. Maybe you just can’t get into it because it’s too hard! If you listen regularly, though, you knowthatthis podcast is all about making recycling easier. Keith and Mollie are here to help. On this episode, they’re joined by Matt Nesbitt from Field Culture Compost, a community-sourced composting company. Listen to learn Matt and Mollie explain composting made easy. And if it’s still more than you can do, learn about the services that Matt’s company offers. You might even get inspired enough to get started on that spring cleaning that you’ve been putting off! And let us know your own composting tricks by leaving us a comment.

Episode 24: Roses are Red, Recycling is Green

February 9, 2023

It’s almost Valentine’s Day once again. But as Cupid aims his arrow and we prepare to give flowers, chocolate, cards, and food to our Valentines, what about taking a minute to think about the environment? That’s exactly what Keith and Mollie are up to on this episode. Whether you’re still looking for the perfect gift idea for your Valentine, or you just want to love the earth a little more, this episode’s got something for you. Keep those candy wrappers out of the trash with a candy wrapper recycling box from our friends at Terracycle. And before you buy that candy, make sure it’s from a company that’s kind to the planet as well as to it’s workers like something from Equal Exchange, or buy locally here in Birmingham from Chocolata. And after you’ve bought or made a card, pay back that paper supply with garden seedlings from Heifer International. Got some more creative, earth-friendly ways to celebrate your Valentine? Post a comment below. The earth will thank you for your good choices, and your Valentine probably will, too!

Episode 23: Give Sustainability the Old College Try

December 17, 2022

Here at Rome Was Not Recycled in a Day, we know that sometimes living your life in a way that’s good to the environment can be a little overwhelming. Next time you get overwhelmed, though, stop and be thankful that you’re not in charge of sustainability for an organization of 70,000 people. That’s exactly what today’s episode is about. Keith and Mollie talk with Meredith Moore from the University of Illinois where she coordinates sustainability programs and helps to educate the students, faculty, and staff on how to take good care of our planet. Learn about some of what she does and how you can translate some of her programs to your own personal habits. And if you find yourself wanting more after listening to this interview like we did, make sure to check out the Illinois Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment web site for more amazing ideas. We hope you’re as inspired by Meredith’s work as we were. And after you listen, make sure to share your great ideas with us by leaving a comment below.

Episode 22: Don’t be a Turkey to the Environment

November 14, 2022

Today, Keith and Mollie talk turkey. They also dabble in sweet potatoes, dressing, vegetables, and even come back for pie. Yes, as we all get ready to pause and be thankful with a big meal, today’s episode is about pausing and thinking about all the garbage that’s generated in the process. But don’t panic! Before you cancel the whole meal, this episode is filled with the ingredients for ideas to make your Thanksgiving holiday one that the environment can be thankful for, too. If your groceries are packaged in #5 plastics, learn ways to recycle them with Community on the Rise or by taking your recycling to Target. And if you’re picking up a pre-cooked meal, learn about some of the options from The Fresh Market and Whole Foods that will fill your stomach with good food while not filling your garbage with single-use plastics. Also learn about the great commitment to environmental stewardship from Whole Foods. Try an idea or two, or come back for thirds. And after you listen, we’d love if you’d use the comments section to share your own environmentally friendly Thanksgiving ideas.

Episode 21: Class Act Recycling

October 27, 2022

Join Keith and Mollie on today’s episode when they head back to school! No, they aren’t going to start a Ph.D. program in astrophysics. That’s next week. Today, they’re joined by returning guest George to talk about recycling at the middle school. It’s tough to be a middle schooler, and even tougher to be one who realizes that the way he treats the world now will impact the world he lives in when he’s an adult. Even if you aren’t a middle schooler, you might learn a few ideas from George today to live more environmentally friendly. And if you’re struggling with that, maybe follow Mollie’s lead and give a few gifts through Heifer International. And if you’ve got some great ideas of small things that you do to be more environmentally friendly, we want to hear about them. Please use the comment form below to let us know about them.

Episode 20: Confessions of an Alkaline-holic

June 5, 2022

Do you have a mountain of dead batteries that you’ve been trying to get rid of? Or maybe you feel a twinge of guilt every time you throw a dead battery in the trash? If you struggle with the dead battery dilemma, this episode is for you. Today, Keith and Mollie dive into your pile of dead batteries. Okay, not literally. Join them to learn what the EPA has to say about disposing of dead batteries along with some other great ideas from our friends at Earth911 and Call2Recycle. Plus, learn about Mollies adventures with the battery recycling box from Terracycle and other ways to get rid of batteries with Batteries Plus. Finally, learn about KW Plastics, a business that’s making use of old car batteries. And, spoiler alert: it’s not easy to get rid of dead batteries, so learn some of Keith and Mollie’s ideas for reducing battery use. As always, we’d love to hear your ideas, too. Just swing by our contact form to let us know how you’re solving your own battery dilemma.

Episode 19: What’s in Your Bin?

December 30, 2021

It’s a constant dilemma: what can you put in that curbside bin? Better yet, what are your family members putting in that curbside bin when you aren’t watching? Maybe you don’t pace the floor worrying about it, but it’s still often a puzzler. On this episode, Keith and Mollie finish up 2021 by looking ahead to 2022. They’re joined by their city council person, Jennifer Andress, to learn what’s in the works for recycling in Homewood in the future. If you live in Homewood, learn what you you might be able to put in that bin once new plans are put into action, and if you live elsewhere, this might give you some ideas to take to your own city council. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. If your city is doing something innovative with recycling, leave us a comment below or use our contact page.

Episode 18: Holiday Burn-Out

December 18, 2021

It’s the time of year when so many of us bring down decorations from the attic to make our homes festive. And, if you’re like Keith and Mollie, you discover every year that, while we’re all enjoying our summer vacations, those oh-so-pretty lighted decorations tend to give up the ghost of Christmas past. On this episode, Keith and Mollie deck the halls in a little different way. Check it out to learn some fun ideas for things you can do with Christmas Lights that don’t light any more. Learn about Keith’s adventures with the Light Keeper Pro that might help you get a little more life out of those strings of lights. If that doesn’t work, Mollie has some great ways to reuse them. And if all else fails, our friends at Protec Recycling can help you keep them out of the landfill. So, instead of staying up worrying about your broken Christmas lights instead of going to sleep to wait for Santa, give our show a listen. If the ideas don’t help put you to sleep, then maybe the episode will. And, as always, we’d love to hear your ideas. Send us your ways to repurpose Christmas lights by commenting below or by using our contact form.

Episode 17: No Tricks, Just Treats

October 28, 2021

It’s fall! Time for fall decorating, carving that pumpkin, and maybe even dressing up in a costume for some Halloween fun. But how do you do that while being good to the environment? And we’re not just talking about why you shouldn’t TP your neighbor’s house this year. On this episode, Keith and Mollie jump into having a green Halloween. Listen for ideas on decorating, dressing up, and even what to do with all of those candy wrappers. If your decorations have worn out, get some ideas on how to repurpose them, or send broken lights or electronic decorations to Protec. Learn about H&M’s used garment recycling and their global sustainability efforts. And after it’s all done, why not compost those pumpkins? We don’t need to trick you into lessoning. Once you’re done, if you’ve got your own Halloween recycling ideas, comment below or drop us a note.

Episode 16: A Big Pane in the Glass

September 17, 2021

If you’re like Keith and Mollie, which you must be at least a little if you follow this podcast, you’re always looking for alternatives to throwing things in the garbage. Let’s face it, though: some things are really hard to get rid of or reuse while still being good to the environment. One of those things which is getting increasingly more difficult to recycle is glass. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones whose curbside recycling program still takes it, or maybe you’ve got a growing pile of glass in your house waiting for a way to get rid of it. Today, Keith and Mollie are joined by the founder of Kinetic Recycling, a company that tried to fill this gap for environmentally-minded home owners after the local city recycling program stopped taking glass. Give it a listen to learn about the adventure of this small business and to think a little more about what happens to some of that recyclable stuff after it leaves your home. Spoiler alert: the recycling fairy isn’t involved. We’d love to hear your thoughts, too, on getting rid of some of the more hard-to-recycle products we find in our homes. So, after you listen, why not leave a comment below or send a note to Keith and Mollie from our contact form? We’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

Episode 15: Recycling by the Yard

August 23, 2021

It’s summer time! On this episode, Keith and Mollie take it outside. Specifically, they take recycling to the back yard. If your outdoor furniture is broken, your outdoor cushions are dirty beyond repair, and your lawn care practices wouldn’t exactly be considered environmentally friendly, step outside and join them for this great adventure. Learn about the outdoor furnishings box from our friends at Terracycle and some more affordable alternatives. Then, spiffy up your yard with ways to mow and water the grass. And when you’re done, don’t forget to share some of your own outdoor recycling ideas on our contact form or by commenting on this episode.

Episode 14: Recycling You Can Sit On

May 20, 2021

Ever think about all of the plastic lids and caps that get thrown out instead of being recycled? If you’ve been losing sleep over them, or even if you haven’t, don’t worry. In fact, that’s what Keith and Mollie talk about today. We can’t help with your sleep patterns, but we might be able to help you with recycling caps and lids. Some environmentally-minded young ladies from a local elementary school are doing a project with Green Tree Plastics and the ABC Promise Partnership to turn those lids and caps into something useful instead of just something in the landfill. Check it out to learn what they’re doing and how you can get involved.

Episode 13: How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change a Person?

February 7, 2021

Lightbulbs are everywhere, but we usually don’t think much about them until they burn out. When that happens, what do you do with the old one? While you’re stumbling around in the dark trying to figure that out, why not join Keith and Mollie to explore how to keep those old lightbulbs out of the garbage? Learn if LED bulbs really are as great as people say they are, and discover a few new resources for recycling bulbs like RecycleABulb.com. And, of course, check our resources page for more ideas.

Episode 12: Hit a Home Run for the Environment… Obviously

October 21, 2020

As the World Series gets underway and this year’s baseball season draws to a close, Keith and Mollie make one last trip to the ballpark. But what’s this? Broken bats? Old gloves? And don’t even get us started on the concession stand. On this episode, return guests George and Ben come back to help sort through the recycling that can happen at the baseball stadium. Learn about a great sports equipment recycling box from our friends at Terracycle, how RecycleNation is making a fashion statement with old baseball gloves, and a lot more. And if you finish this episode and are wanting extra innings, check out our recycling resources page for even more ideas.

Episode 11: Take my Stuff, Leave my Ping-Pong Table

September 14, 2020

Got a pile of things that you need to get rid of but that you know can’t go in the garbage? We’ve all got old electronics, dead batteries, and other things that we’ve been told shouldn’t go in the landfill. You could try throwing those things in your neighbor’s garbage can and run while nobody’s looking, or you can check out the ideas from this episode. Since most of these puzzling items often get stashed in the garage, Keith and Mollie have brought George back for more help straightening up the garage. Join us to learn how to safely get rid of some of these tough items and stay on your neighbor’s good side.

Episode 10: In the Garage With George

September 3, 2020

Got a garage full of junk? No, we’re not talking about your car. That’s a different podcast altogether. But for most of us, the garage is a convenient place for common household items to disappear to. The problem is they only get as far as the garage in their disappearing act. On this episode, Keith and Mollie are joined by their friend, George, to help sort through the garage clutter. If you’re wondering what to do with that stack of cardboard boxes or pile of empty paint cans, check it out. Maybe you can even listen while you work on that car repair project you need to get to?

Episode 9: Trust Your Crazy Idea

August 17, 2020

Sometimes, it’s the crazy ideas that end up making the biggest splash. Today, Keith and Mollie are joined again by Mary Liz Ingram of the Clean Up Project USA, a resource that grew out of her family’s crazy idea to try going 40 days without any disposable plastic products. If you listened to the last episode and went away thinking it sounded like a crazy idea, or maybe an intriguing idea, then you’re in for a treat this week. Listen to learn more about why Mary Liz started the Clean Up Project, and get her suggestions of how you might start your own plastic-free journey one step at a time. To learn more, check out the Clean Up Project website or follow Mary Liz on Facebook and Instagram. You can also check out Mary Liz’s appearance on the This One Good Life podcast and her bi-weekly commentary on Alabama Public Radio, Living With Less Plastic.

Episode 8: 40 Days Without Plastic

August 3, 2020

Here at Rome Was Not Recycled in a Day, we’re as much about small lifestyle changes as we are about what goes in the recycling bin. But sometimes, someone makes a big lifestyle change and ends up showing all of us that, all in all, it’s not as hard as it looks. On this episode, Keith and Mollie are joined by Mary Liz Ingram, creator of The Clean Up Project to talk about her family’s adventures going plastic free for 40 days. Spoiler alert: they did this last year, and they still haven’t stopped! Learn about how she started, what was way easy to give up, and what wasn’t so easy. And check out our recycling resources page for links to some of the things Mary Liz talks about on this episode.

Episode 7: Let’s Eat, Please Pass the #1 Plastic

July 20, 2020

Ah, dinner time. We all gather around the table to enjoy some good grub. But is the environment enjoying our meal time as much as we are? If it’s take-out, there’s the obvious question of what you can do with the container after the yummy goodness is gone. But what about the napkins? How do you wash the table? Before you lose your appetite completely, check out today’s episode. Keith and Mollie break down meal time to make recycling in the dining room, or wherever you enjoy your meals, a cinch. They’ll even save room for dessert.

Episode 6: How Did the Bread Tag Cross the Road?

July 6, 2020

It’s pretty ridiculously obvious that recycling is good for the environment. But did you know it can also be good for charitible organizations? On this episode, Keith and Mollie are joined by their friend Mallie to learn about one such example. Check out how Mallie is helping to recycle while helping kids in need get wheelchairs through Danielle Cares for Chairs. And if you want to know more or join the cause after listening, visit the the Danielle Cares for Chairs web site.

Episode 5: Recycling in the Kitchen Takes All Sorts

June 26, 2020

Feeling overwhelmed in the kitchen? We can’t help you figure out what to have for dinner tonight, but on this episode, we’ll at least help you sort through the craziness of recycling in the kitchen. For all of that stuff that can’t go in the curbside bin, how on earth can you sort through it, and what are you supposed to do with it? Keith and Mollie are joined again by Lulu and Ruby to talk about how to organize and deal with all of the kitchen recycling. Maybe, with all of that out of your way, you’ll be able to think more clearly about what to have for dinner.

Episode 4: Everything in the Kitchen Sink

June 9, 2020

Sponges and dishes and plastics, oh my! A lot of waste happens in the kitchen, especially in the sink. Are you wondering how you can be more environmentally friendly with your dish washing habits? Then join Keith and Mollie with a couple of special guests to go deep sink diving. Before you know it, you’ll be up to your elbows in good kitchen recycling ideas.

episode 3: recycling in the time of covid-19

May 26, 2020

There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed things for all of us. It’s even changed our eating habits, shopping, and daily routines. So, have you stopped to think how it’s changed the garbage and recycling that you’re producing? On this episode, Keith and Mollie dive into some of the changes that COVID-19 has brought to all of us and how we can stay environmentally focused in light of these changes. Plus, wondering what to do with all of the extra time you have at home? Why not start composting? Mollie’s got some great tips to get you started.

Episode 2: In the Bathroom with Ben

May 18, 2020

Ever wonder what to do with empty toothpaste tubes to keep them out of the landfill? Or maybe you’ve got a collection of empty soap pump bottles that you don’t know what to do with? On this episode, Mollie and Keith are joined by a special guest to learn about recycling in the bathroom. If you’re the kind of person who stays up nights thinking about toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper, or even if you’re not, you’ll learn something from today’s episode.

Episode 1: The Five Fingers of Recycling

January 8, 2020

In this first episode, Mollie and Keith identify the five categories of things that can go into most curb-side recycling bins and a few items that definitely don’t belong there. In the meantime, Keith learns how to say MRF.