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Styrofoam Cups: Ban or Recycle?

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Major municipalities like New York and others in the United States face the prospect of citizens creating a growing amount of trash because of population increases, wasteful product packaging, and materials which defy decomposition.styrofoam-cups

Styrofoam cups are an example of inorganic materials which defy easy breakdown for recycling purposes. Seattle has banned these styrofoam cups with cities like New York likely soon to follow. Generally speaking, organically based materials may be disposed of more easily by natural processes like composting.

Right now, the restaurant industry in New York City is gearing up to thwart an effort by legislators to ban styrofoam cups.

Inorganic materials like styrofoam require a mechanical intervention in order to reduce waste to a more manageable form. Herein lies the need for enhanced polystyrene methods which can accomplish the requisite separation to facilitate recycling more cost effectively. The stakes are high for the environment, but the restaurant industry is set to lock horns with New York City over the styrofoam banning issue.

On the other hand, London has been successful in reprocessing styrofoam if it is cleaned first. Modern materials science has advanced to the point where polystyrene polymers can be dissolved in an organic solvent. A heated solution is transformed into a gaseous spray to separate the polystyrene more cost-effectively. As a result, the restaurant industry can look to new polystyrene separation methods to reduce styrofoam waste to manageable levels.

Existing recycling processes for glass, metal cans and plastic bottles have met with greater success and public acceptance. For example, glass, metal and plastic bottles can be crushed at receiving sites in exchange for a modest refund of a nickel per recycled item.

As the population in the United States continues to grow, recycling will become a bigger issue. The public has a vested interest in limiting trash because of finite storage space. In addition, waste must be minimized to reduce or eliminate diseases which thrive on organic and inorganic decomposition. The technological reprocessing enhancements for styrofoam represent a new frontier for cities like New York to explore in the continuing effort to reduce waste efficiently and cost-effectively.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.