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Bike-Powered Recycling System Clean Up E-Waste Industry | Urban ...

Bike-Powered Recycling System Clean Up E-Waste Industry | Urban ... | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Bike-Powered Recycling System Could Clean Up E-Waste Industry Developing countries are overflowing with the cast-off electronics of the Western world. In poverty-stricken areas, recycling this e-waste is the only way some ...

Made from an old bicycle fitted with a special pedal-powered cable granulator, Esource gives individual recyclers a way to extract copper from electrical wires without burning the plastic. Wires are fed into the granulator while someone pedals the bicycle. Using water and a unique grinding tool the plastic is stripped away from the electrical wire, leaving the copper in tact.

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Zero Waste World
Big and small efforts worldwide to manage waste
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Upcycling Wine Bottles - KERO-TV 23 ("there is life to that wine bottle that's amazing - watch video")

Upcycling Wine Bottles - KERO-TV 23 ("there is life to that wine bottle that's amazing - watch video") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Don't put that wine bottle down just because you finished it! The List's Jodie Heisner shows us how to remix wine bottles into something completely new. Check it out now, on The List.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Many people have asked me what they can do with used wine bottles. Well, this guy has an answer.

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Black Bag Restriction Sees 3,600-Tonne Reduction In Swansea’s Waste ("makes sense")

Black Bag Restriction Sees 3,600-Tonne Reduction In Swansea’s Waste ("makes sense") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The introduction of a black bag limit in Swansea has helped prevent thousands of black bags ending up in landfill, Swansea council has announced. Since the introduction of the three-bag limit in th...

Since the introduction of the three-bag limit in the city in April this year, Swansea Council, up to the end of August, has collected and disposed of 3,600 tonnes less black bag waste from the kerbside compared to the same period in 2013.

The Council brought in the limit to help reduce the amount of black bag waste being disposed of at landfill and to encourage residents to use the existing recycling services.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment & Transportation said: “Residents have been playing their part by sticking to the three bag limit and making use of the kerbside recycling services.

Cllr Mark Thomas – “We can’t become complacent about waste disposal. There is still much more to be done to comply with ever increasing targets and costs… We need all residents to do as much recycling as they can to help Swansea reach these targets”

“It’s great news to know that this has had a positive impact in terms of waste disposal in the city.”

A CIWM Journal Online poll, taken in May this year, revealed that respondents are of the opinion that implementing a limit on the amount of black bag waste residents can put out for collection “makes sense” in reducing waste sent to landfill.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is waste reduction at source! By limiting garbage bags, people are encouraged to reduce their waste.

"Findings revealed that 58 percent of respondents are of the opinion that it is an effective way of reducing waste sent to landfill, answering: “Yes, it makes sense, and evidence indicates this”."

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This Couple Spent Six Months Eating Garbage ("i would also eat this type of garbage; makes sense")

This Couple Spent Six Months Eating Garbage ("i would also eat this type of garbage; makes sense") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Premiering on World Food Day, the new documentary Just Eat It highlights American food waste from soup to nuts.

 Just Eat It is the story of husband and wife Grant Baldwin (director) and Jen Rustemeyer (producer) as they set off on a six-month journey to consume only “wasted” food—discarded, “ugly,” or simply poorly labeled items that are otherwise fully edible. The result is a surprising and eye-opening story about the state of food waste in North America, where 40 percent of the food produced is never consumed (a $165 billion loss), despite our skyrocketing rates of hunger. It’s a stunning thing to see—agricultural fields full of non-marketable produce or dumpsters full of fresh food—when one in five households with children in the U.S. is food insecure.

A quarter of what we buy we don’t eat. Individuals are responsible for one half of all the food waste created—whether they’re throwing away uneaten groceries or cooked food, or not finishing their food at home or out at restaurants.

Everybody has food waste around the world but only developed countries arechoosing to throw away food. Developing nations don’t have as much refrigeration and transport for food as we do. They don’t have a choice because it’s going bad; they have a lack of infrastructure. So they have almost as much food waste, but they’re not choosing to throw it out. They value their food more than us. Here, we’re so sophisticated with our food systems that we can actually decide to throw things out.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a very prudent consumer thinking that solves a big portion of our 40% food waste.

"Well, if you want to be proactive right away, the “Eat Me First” bin is my favorite. That’s a bin in your fridge where you put things that need to be included in the next meal. That allowed me to feel more creative in the kitchen, at least. I wasn’t much of a cook before this. And look at what they’re pulling off the shelves at the supermarket. You'd be surprised—buy some of that, it’s still good. And use your senses instead of the date label."

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Unilever initiative helps 25 million people gain toilet access by 2020 ("more phones than toilets")

Unilever initiative helps 25 million people gain toilet access by 2020 ("more phones than toilets") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Improving global access to sanitation can be a foundation for better health, nutrition and education

Of the world’s seven billion people, a staggering six billion have mobile phones. But only 4.5 billion people have access to toilets or latrines. Mobile phones were first demonstrated to the public by Motorola in 1973. Yet we humans have been thinking about how best to deal with our waste since our earliest days. So how can it be that more people in the world have phones than toilets?

Part of the answer lies in the uncomfortable silence we have on the subject of toilets – people simply don’t want to talk about it. Tackling the sanitation crisis is a complicated business. Many assume that the crisis persists because of a lack of money or infrastructure. But often sanitation projects have failed because communities have been given latrines or toilets that they choose not to use, continuing instead to defecate in the open. Any sustainable sanitation solution needs to take into account the beliefs and barriers that people may have to changing their deeply ingrained behaviour and adopting the use of toilets.

Today, at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York, Unilever announced our new sanitation target. We have committed to help 25 million people to gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. The new target bolsters our WASH programme and will help us to achieve our goal of helping one billion people to improve their health and well-being by 2020.

We can’t wait any longer to find sustainable solutions and end the global sanitation crisis. The international community must come together and take decisive action.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"2.5 billion people live without access to a toilet. Of these, over one billion defecate in the open. Poor sanitation has serious impacts on health, nutrition, education, gender equality and sustainable economic development. ...

"We can’t wait any longer to find sustainable solutions and end the global sanitation crisis. The international community must come together and take decisive action."

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Mongolia's Poorest Turn Garbage into Gold - Inter Press Service ("recycling creates employment")

Mongolia's Poorest Turn Garbage into Gold - Inter Press Service ("recycling creates employment") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Inter Press Service Mongolia's Poorest Turn Garbage into Gold Inter Press Service With extremely limited infrastructure and a general lack of governmental resources, Galaariidii explains that 90 percent of garbage from these areas ends up on the...

Defining itself as a “business incubator centre” for small and medium-sized businesses, Tehnoj estimates that it has organised trainings for approximately 30,000 people across Mongolia, through various projects.

The TG2G project is currently operational in three of Ulaanbaatar’s outer districts: Khan-Uul, Chingeltei and Songino Khairkhan, and includes 20 production groups of around five to six people each.

“The goal of this project is to recycle products and reduce unemployment,” Galindev Galaariidii, director of Tehnoj, told IPS.

The NGO receives its funding from the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP)’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific Innovation Fund, a new U.N. initiative to support innovative programmes that “provide the creative space and discretionary resources to prototype innovative solutions and experiment with new ways of working to tackle complex development challenges outside the traditional business cycle,” Thomas Eriksson, UNDP’s deputy resident representative in Mongolia, explained to IPS.

The Innovation Fund is currently supporting the creation of programmes in 32 countries and helps promote environmental sustainability and inclusive economic and social development, key components of the U.N.’s post-2015 development agenda.

Bert Guevara's insight:

They are looking at waste as a resource and turning it into new products.

"The programme currently focuses on training groups in the creation of six main products: brooms, chairs, foot covers (often used for walking in temples or schools), picnic mats, waterproof ger (yurt) insulation sheets and containers of all sizes.

"But new product designs are constantly being created. Oven mitts, bags, hats and aprons are just a few of the new forms of merchandise being developed."

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Berlin duo launch a supermarket with no packaging (more sense than banning; bring own packaging")

Berlin duo launch a supermarket with no packaging (more sense than banning; bring own packaging") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Shrink-wrapped shallots and polystyrene-packed peppers are a thing of the past at Original Unverpackt, a German concept store selling groceries without the packaging

It works like this. You bring your own containers and have those weighed. Berlin-based supermarket Original Unverpackt labels your containers. You shop. When you get to the till, the weight of your containers is subtracted and you pay for the net weight of your groceries. The label is designed to survive a few washings so you can come back and skip the weighing process for a while.

Founders Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski say there’s a rising demand for products and services that deal with sustainability and that people demand alternatives to the “lavish” handling of our resources.

“Here, the customer only takes what they need,” says Wolf and Glimbovski ahead of the launch of their Berlin-Kreuzberg shop. “We’d like to offer an alternative way of shopping - one where we offer everything you need but you won’t find hundreds of different types of body lotion or olive oil.”

Food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart, says supermarkets have cottoned onto the ‘ethical consumer’. “The food and packaging industry has undergone a strategic rebranding campaign [and now] argues that you can reduce food waste by how it’s packaged. So you get pots of cubed-up mango instead of an actual mango. We then buy supermarket branded reusable shopping bags which we hang in our hallways which turn our homes into billboards for these places. It’s a distraction from the real issue which is turning nature into cash to satisfy unnecessary consumer desires.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Ecological creativity opens idea to behavioral changes in a redundant activity like buying groceries.

"Selling unpackaged groceries is a progressive concept borne out of the bulk buying trends of the 1980s, but it is only part of a solution towards less industrialised consumption. It’s one of the myriad of options pushed out to people as alternative ways of buying. We’re getting better with managing waste - nearly 70% of the UK’s waste is recovered or recycled compared to 27% in 1998. But it is a drop in the ocean when you consider the vast quantities disposed of by China, Russia and the United States."

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Oakville Assembly Plant- Zero Waste to Landfill - YouTube ("they have the correct mindset on waste")

The Oakville Assembly plant now sends zero waste to landfill, an achievement that gives Ford Motor Company the distinction of becoming landfill free at all i...

From 2007 to 2011, Ford reduced its per-vehicle landfill waste by 40%, and by 2016 the Blue Oval hopes to reduced the number a further 40%. It joins the Windsor Engine Plant and Essex Engine Plant, Ford’s two other major factories in Canada, and Oakville becomes Ford’s 21st zero waste-to-landfill factory globally.”Reducing waste is a crucial part of our strategy toward building a world-class manufacturing system,” said Anthony Hoskins, director of manufacturing. “We are leveraging the power of our Ford Production System by applying standard waste reduction processes across our facilities.”

Ford claims that in 2013 alone, the Oakville Assembly plant recycled more than 2,000 metric tons of wood, cardboard, and other refuse that would normally go to a landfill. This saved an estimated 5,000 square-meters of space in said landfills, about the same amount of space needed for the annual refuse of 5,500 average homes. In addition, Ford estimates conservation efforts saved about 32 million gallons of fresh water, a resource that is becoming increasingly important in today’s world. Ford’s committed a lot of resources to bolstering its green image, which includes other recent efforts like Michigan’s largest solar array and installing a “green roof” on its Rouge truck plant.

The Blue Oval is talking the talk and walking the walk on the manufacturing end of things, and their hybrid cars are selling like hotcakes. Now if they’d only show this kind of commitment to the Focus Electric…

Bert Guevara's insight:

Zero waste-to-landfill is achievable. Ask these guys from Ford in Canada.

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Banning food waste: companies in Massachusetts get ready to compost ("innovation to reduce waste")

Banning food waste: companies in Massachusetts get ready to compost ("innovation to reduce waste") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Massachusetts recently enacted the most aggressive mandatory composting program in history. How are companies adapting?

Boston Medical Center is starting with food service first. Using a program called TrimTrax, the 496-bed medical center weighs food waste in their kitchens prior to disposal, creating awareness around what is being wasted.

If you have to carry your own food, you’re less likely to overload. University of Massachusetts dining service has gone trayless across the campus.

Diverting more than 800,000 tons of current food waste will require an infrastructure that can handle it. State officials are encouraging organizations to get creative. That may mean partnering with local food banks to salvage still-edible foods, changing the way cafeterias order, prepare and serve food, and connecting businesses with local farms that may be able to use some of the waste as feed for livestock. The state is also providing technical assistance and $1m in grants, and $3m in low-interest loans to spur development of local composting and anaerobic digestion facilities.

“I’m all for composting,” says Rauch, “But the absolutely best thing is to reduce the amount of food waste generated. Then distribute it to people who need it. Third is to distribute it to animals that we’re going to eat because it’s a better use of what’s already committed in the carbon footprint. Next is composting and anaerobic digestion, and last is landfill which is the worst thing you can do.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

As I said before, this needs to be done here in the Philippines where more than 50% (reaching up to 70%) of landfill waste is biodegradable.

"Cash calls the new ban “a win six ways”: it reduces the need for landfills, saves money on disposal costs, reduces greenhouse gases, provides a source for clean renewable energy, creates clean energy jobs, and produces useful products like fertilizer and compost."

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Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, September 21, 7:35 PM

Reducing the huge percentage of food waste should be relatively easy. Growing all our food with 100% sustainable practices will take more time, but is absolutely possible.  

Angeliki Moutsika's curator insight, September 23, 11:48 AM

America deals with the problem of food waste by banning it. Maybe we should consider of something like that for Greece because otherwise nothing will be done.

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CA approves Obando landfill ("landfilling is not a welcome mode of disposal to many")

CA approves Obando landfill ("landfilling is not a welcome mode of disposal to many") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The Court of Appeals (CA) has approved the establishment of a sanitary landfill in Obando, Bulacan after it dismissed a petition for a writ of kalikasan fi

In a decision released last Friday, the appellate court said there is no basis to stop Ecoshield Development Corp. (EDC) from pursuing the Obando landfill project in Barangay Salambao.

EDC is owned by businessman and former ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua and his son Edgar.

The petition for a writ of kalikasan was filed by the citizens of Obando, led by a certain Maria Theresa Bondoc.

The CA even lauded the project for being “environmentally safer” than other dumps like the Phileco landfill in Navotas, which has been the subject of a health complaint.

The court gave weight to EDC’s argument that while the proposed Obando landfill is an investment, it would also help address the solid waste management problems in the municipality.

The firm has spent P500 million for the landfill project as of June last year.

The CA said the writ of kalikasan is applicable when a project poses a significant risk to life, health, and property of inhabitants and the environment in two or more cities or provinces.

It said such was not the case with the Obando landfill.

The appellate court said the establishment of a pollution control facility like a landfill should not be postponed, as illegal and indiscriminate dumping pose a threat to the environment.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The Court has ruled that this landfill is NOT a significant threat to life, health and property, contrary to allegations by residents. So what now?

“It should be noted that all of the required documents were submitted and the procedure was substantially complied with,” the CA said, adding the landfill is suited for its location, as it was set up on a body of water that has dried up and the area shored and fenced around."

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Recycling of e-waste increasing ("80% improperly disposed; poses increasing danger")

Recycling of e-waste increasing ("80% improperly disposed; poses increasing danger") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Earth Talk looks at efforts to increase recycling to prevent the accumulation of obsolete electronics.

With electronic equipment and gadgets the fastest growing waste stream in many countries, how to deal with so-called "e-waste" may in fact be one of the most pressing environmental problems of the 21st century.

According to BCC Research, consumers around the world purchased 238.5 million TVs, 444.4 million computers and tablets and a whopping 1.75 billion mobile phones in 2012 alone. Most of us discard such items within three years of purchase, and this is driving the global growth in e-waste by some eight percent a year.

Meanwhile, a recent study conducted by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on behalf of the United Nations found that the growth in demand for and manufacturing of new electronics will result in a 33 percent increase in e-waste globally between 2012 and 2017. But why is e-waste any more of a problem than old fashioned garbage?

"Some of the materials in personal electronics, such as lead, mercury and cadmium, are hazardous and can release dangerous toxins into our air and water when burned or deposited in landfills improperly," reports the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council. 

"And throwing away metal components, such as the copper, gold, silver and palladium in cell phones and other electronics, leads to needless mining for new metals."

Today some 80 percent of unwanted electronics are disposed of improperly.

"E-waste is either discarded or exported to emerging nations, where open-air burning and acid baths are used to reclaim precious metals and other elements," reports Maureen O'Donnell in EHS Journal. The lack of proper controls in such countries, she says, has led to elevated lead levels in children and heavy metals pollution of soil and water.

As a result, she adds, "We now stand at the forefront of a growing environmental catastrophe."

Bert Guevara's insight:

What is the national program in the Philippines for e-waste?

"The good news is that many nations have enacted new laws to hold manufacturers responsible for the future e-waste created by their products. The European Union has led the way with its Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, which calls on electronics makers to "take back" their products for recycling when consumers upgrade to something new, and restricts European countries from exporting or importing e-waste. Japan and China are among other countries that have passed similar laws."

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EDITORIAL - Jamaica's obsession with garbage - Jamaica Gleaner ("citizens should own the problem")

EDITORIAL - Jamaica's obsession with garbage - Jamaica Gleaner ("citizens should own the problem") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
EDITORIAL - Jamaica's obsession with garbage
Jamaica Gleaner
Jamaica has been suffering from extreme environmental abuse and degradation for many, many years.

And when television news focused on the debris-choked gullies and general garbage pile-up in the Hanover capital, Lucea, it was most likely met with the same kind of indifference. Graphically written stories about garbage-infested towns could fill many news pages because it is that prevalent.

The first thing to recognise is that citizens must take some of the blame for improper disposal of waste. But it is also clear that none of the parish councils and municipalities is properly equipped to carry out their substantive responsibility of keeping towns and cities clean.

Our streets are littered with non-biodegradable plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers, food wrappers, and 'scandal bags'. Meanwhile, the stench of untreated sewage creates an environmental nightmare. Negligently discarded trash is not only an eyesore; it can do harm to wild and marine life too.

We need look no further than the markets to recognise the high level of resigned indifference to the state of Jamaica. Market vendors and the shoppers who patronise them carry on a lively trade surrounded by mounds of debris and the flies they attract, and sometimes there are pools of stagnant water. It does not seem to bother anyone.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Proper disposal of garbage should be a natural part of our lives as stewards of planet Earth.

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Global Trash Burning Far More Polluting Than Expected (around 5% of total man-made CO2 emissions")

Global Trash Burning Far More Polluting Than Expected (around 5% of total man-made CO2 emissions") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it

NEW DELHI (AP) — Rampant trash-burning is throwing more pollution and toxic particles into the air than governments are reporting, according to a scientific study estimating more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned....

While many governments tally emissions from incinerators, trash that is burned in backyards, fields and dumps is mostly unregulated and unreported.

Researchers pulled together existing data on population, per capita production of trash and official reports on waste disposal to calculate how much garbage is burned around the world each year. The answer: 41 percent of our global 2 billion-ton annual output goes up in flames.

China and India were found to have the most trash burned by residents, while China, Brazil and Mexico burned the most at garbage dumps.

Much of the world's air pollution can be blamed on burning garbage, including discarded plastics, busted electronics, broken furniture and food scraps.

 

China's trash-burning emissions, for example, are not reflected in official data for slightly larger PM10 particulate matter, though the study shows those emissions are equal to 20 percent of what's reported.

 

The study also showed that global trash burning releases about 5 percent of the world's man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas.

 

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 30, 9:43 PM

Is trash-burning still happening in your neighborhood? 

"In India, where burning trash is illegal, hundreds of thousands with no garbage pickup have no other choice for disposal. And as temperatures dip in winter, they often have few other options for keeping warm, and many spend their nights huddled around noxious blue flames coming off humble pyres of burning plastic bags, rubber tires and whatever else they can find handy to burn."

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Indian Scientists Convert Plastic into Petroleum, Testing Economic Viability ("not new in the Phil")

Indian Scientists Convert Plastic into Petroleum, Testing Economic Viability ("not new in the Phil") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun is looking for economic viable ways of conversion of plastic waste into petroleum products. IIP is looking for ways to make the technology cheaper and efficient. It’ll help the technology to become more useful as it’ll reach out to the masses.

Another feature of the technology is that liquid fuel produced i.e. gasoline and diesel, meets Euro-III fuel specifications and different products can be obtained from the same raw material by simply changing the catalysts and operating parameters.

“We have applied for a patent. We developed this after nearly a decade of intensive research. We are now planning to commercialise the technology although we are still engaged in the process of engineering to design heavy machinery and processes,” IIP Director M.O. Garg IIP Director M.O.

“The current prices of petrol, which is derived from crude hydrocarbons, range between Rs 70 to Rs 80 per litre. Petrol in this case costs Rs 30 to Rs 40 per litre, inclusive of the cost of plant, operations, manpower and land cost,” Garg said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Similar technologies exist in the Philippines, but aren't getting that much support.

“The current prices of petrol, which is derived from crude hydrocarbons, range between Rs 70 to Rs 80 per litre. Petrol in this case costs Rs 30 to Rs 40 per litre, inclusive of the cost of plant, operations, manpower and land cost,” Garg said.

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Austin Business Diverts Food Scraps to Organic Gardens by Bicycle ("shades of bgy sun valley model")

Austin Business Diverts Food Scraps to Organic Gardens by Bicycle ("shades of bgy sun valley model") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
One Austin company is thinking outside the trash can, diverting more than 100 tons of food scraps to community gardens – by bicycle.

East Side Compost Pedallers diverts biodegradable waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill to local organic gardens and farmers to become nutrient-rich compost. Their business has grown by 10 percent since July.

By pedaling “scrapple” (their term for compostable food scraps) on custom-fit bikes, the riders for East Side Compost Pedallers get an amazing work-out, and help the environment, all while promoting food sustainability. It’s a win-win-win scenario.

Residents pay only $4 a week to have their ‘scrapple’ picked up and diverted to where it can do some good. The company has only seven cyclists at the moment, but plans to grow as demand continues to increase. They may be aided by the fact that Austin, Texas, unlike many other U.S. cities, has a small compost pilot program available to residents of some neighborhoods.

Seed sovereignty and food sustainability are key issues in the GMO-tainted world, and businesses like this one turn biotech’s claim that we can’t feed our growing populations without their toxic products on its head.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Small strides in the right long-range direction.

"Worldwatch Institute also says that world hunger is best solved by small-scale agriculture, not the industrial agricultural model we’ve all been finagled into. Bye-Bye GMO. Hello organic composting (from recycled food scraps!) and non-GMO seeds."

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Eleen Murphy's curator insight, October 22, 8:39 PM

Great example of compost collection scheme that keeps things local and sustainable.


Local programs can help foster environmental stewardship in communities, educate people in the importance of recycling organics, decrease traffic on roads and therefore air pollution and greenhouse gas emmisions. WHat's not to like about this scenario?


For more thoughts on why composting should stay local, listen to our special on community composting in NYC!

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Remanufactured Ink Cartridges are Beneficial to Our Environment ("can your printer take it?")

Remanufactured Ink Cartridges are Beneficial to Our Environment ("can your printer take it?") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
When deciding to purchase remanufactured ink cartridges it's important to find reputable manufacturers to ensure the company is using proper remanufacturing

1. Promotes Recycling. Recycling ink and toner cartridges is a process of gathering, sorting, refining, treating, or reconstituting the materials to produce new products. A typical used toner weighs approximately three pounds and about 97 percent of the components can be recycled.

2. Reduce the Amount of Waste. 

3. Protect the Environment From Harmful Toxins. 

4. Conservation of Resources. Remanufactured ink cartridges are produced using recycled resources such as aluminum, plastic, steel, and rubber.

5. Conserve Energy. To manufacture a new ink or toner refill, a minimum of three quartz of oil is needed. 

6. Improve Indoor Air Quality. Inks and toners that are petroleum-based often contain solvents that release harmful organic compounds such as xylenes, styrene, and ethylbenzene. These chemicals can be harmful to the air and cause adverse health effects. Many remanufactured options use soy-based or agri-based ink options to reduce the adverse effects on indoor air quality.

Bert Guevara's insight:

When deciding to purchase remanufactured ink cartridges it is important to find reputable manufacturers to ensure the company is using proper remanufacturing. You may ask if remanufactured ink cartridges will damage your printer and for majority of types of equipment, when installed and used properly a remanufactured ink or toner product will work as efficiently as a brand-new cartridge.

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Farmers lead composting revolution to heal African soils ("feed soil; soil feeds plant; plant is good")

Farmers lead composting revolution to heal African soils ("feed soil; soil feeds plant; plant is good") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The soils on which African farmers depend are getting poorer, writes Fernando Naves Sousa, depleted of nutrients and organic matter. This creates a huge challenge: to reverse the trend in an environmentally responsible way, while feeding a growing population. But it can be done - using organic composting techniques.

"We have to feed the earth, so that it gives us what we need",says the farmer of Niamana, a village in southern Mali.

The humid heat of the rainy season makes everyone sweat. Attracted by some of the already mature sorghum grains, a few little red and yellow birds sing nearby. If one of the children throws a stone to scare them away, they escape and hide in the nearest trees.

Moussa uses his hand-made hoe to pluck weeds from his fields, adding them to the compost pile, under the big Baobab and next to the water well. That is where he works on his secret.

"I realized only good compost gives back the land what we take from it in a lasting way, and that is why I started producing it in great amounts."

Ever since, he has strictly followed the recommendations: to gather organic materials from his fields and kitchen waste, mix the available animal manure, weeds and crop residues and place the materials in layers, watering the pile in the dry season and turning it every two weeks for optimal decomposition. The result is a rich and crumbly black earth ready to nourish his nutrient hungry soils.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Composting 101.

Moussa stopped using the mineral fertilisers before learning how to produce the good compost: "The chemical fertilisers only help the crops in the first year, while the effect of compost can be felt up to three or four years after applying it."

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Water firms to pipe biomethane gas generated at sewage-treatment works into Britain's homes

Water firms to pipe biomethane gas generated at sewage-treatment works into Britain's homes | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Thousands of UK residents will soon be cooking with "poo-power"'. In a national first, water firms including Severn Trent, Wessex Water and Northumbrian Water are preparing to pipe a continuous supply of biomethane gas directly from sewage-treatment plants into the National Grid.

In the past, water firms have used gas produced in sewage treatment to generate electricity on site, but this will be the first time advanced technology to treat methane will produce high-quality biomethane suitable for use in homes.

"Greenhouse-gas emissions reductions could be significant as the methane normally generated at sewage works is 25 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide," he said. "By capturing methane and pumping it into the National Grid water companies could turn from greenhouse-gas emitters into renewable-energy generators."

According to the latest data from the Environment Agency, the UK water industry, per year, consumes around 8,100 gigawatt hours (GWh) and generates over 4 million tons of greenhouse-gas emissions.

"Although it's a little unsavoury, there's lots and lots of power locked in poo, and when processed it's perfect to generate clean renewable green gas", said Severn Trent Water's Simon Farris."It's also important for lowering our energy costs... so that we can pass those on to customers."

Bert Guevara's insight:

With 100M people, the Philippines has lots of poo-power to tap.

"Greenhouse-gas emissions reductions could be significant as the methane normally generated at sewage works is 25 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide," he said. "By capturing methane and pumping it into the National Grid water companies could turn from greenhouse-gas emitters into renewable-energy generators."

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Century Foods Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill ("if there's a will, there's a way; so shall it be done")

Century Foods Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill ("if there's a will, there's a way; so shall it be done") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Century Foods International of Hormel Foods reached a recycling rate of 93 percent in 2013 and achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status at all four of its plant locations last October, earning it the company’s 2013 Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best award.

Century Foods International employees combined a number of efforts to achieve these results such as: employee awareness, partnerships with buyers, vendors and local groups, and new in-plant processes.

Each year, Hormel Foods facilitates the companywide internal Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best competition, which rewards company teams that have identified areas for efficiency improvement and implemented changes.

In 2013, entries generated throughout Hormel Foods documented significant resource savings: a 154 million gallon reduction in water use, a reduction of more than 180,000 MMBtu of energy, a 7,900,000 reduction in kWh of electricity, and a reduction of more than 1,000 tons of solid waste.

Last week Diamond Packaging said it has achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill status.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It can be done, so days another corporation.

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What do you know about aluminum? Take our aluminum quiz! : Discovery Channel ("take time to answer")

What do you know about aluminum? Take our aluminum quiz! : Discovery Channel ("take time to answer") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
This aluminum quiz will test your knowledge of one of the most versatile materials found on Earth. Check out this aluminum quiz.

It's neither as tough as iron nor as pretty as silver and it's the most common metal on earth both in prevalence and in stature. Yet, this basic element has defeated the odds to make itself practically indispensable in our daily lives.

Bert Guevara's insight:

For those who drink beverages in aluminum cans, try to take this short quiz and learn new things you thought you knew.

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Where gadgets go to die ("where is your last unused gadget? do you know an eco-friendly disposal?")

Where gadgets go to die ("where is your last unused gadget? do you know an eco-friendly disposal?") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
WHAT to do with old computers, monitors, keyboards, printers, phones and other digital paraphernalia? On no account should anything containing a printed circuit...

Not counting all the other toxic materials used in electronic products, the lead in the soldered joints alone requires such items to be recycled professionally.

According to a United Nations initiative known as StEP (Solving the E-Waste Problem), electronic waste can contain up to 60 elements from the periodic table, as well as flame retardants and other nasty chemicals. Apart from heavy metals such as lead and mercury, there are quantities of arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and polyvinyl chloride to be found. All of these pose hazards to the health of those handling them.

When burned at low temperature, the brominated flame retardants used in circuit boards and casings create additional toxins, including halogenated dioxins and furans—some of the most toxic substances known. These can cause cancer, reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption and numerous other health problems. Meanwhile, the heavy metals released by incineration can accumulate in the food chain (especially in fish) and come back to haunt future generations.

The trouble is that, even with respectable collection centres, there is no guarantee that e-waste will be processed responsibly downstream. What little is known about recycling hazardous waste in America, for instance, suggests that only 15-20% is actually recycled; the rest gets incinerated or buried in landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There is no evidence to suggest other countries are any better.

Bert Guevara's insight:
A growing mountain of electronic waste needs to be disposed of responsibly by rich nations rather than shipped to poorer countries to do the dirty work
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Banning food waste: companies in Massachusetts get ready to compost ("best solution to food waste")

Banning food waste: companies in Massachusetts get ready to compost ("best  solution to food waste") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Massachusetts recently enacted the most aggressive mandatory composting program in history. How are companies adapting?

America’s trash stream is stuffed with squandered food – 36m tons of it. According to the federal government, tossed food reaches more landfills and incinerators in America than any other municipal solid waste, and it’s a problem that Massachusetts officials are taking seriously.

Starting 1 October, approximately 1,700 of the state’s biggest food-waste generators – think hospitals, colleges, supermarkets, hotels, nursing homes, prisons and other facilities that produce at least one ton of food waste per week – must divert it away from landfills.

The state’s new commercial food-waste ban will require table scraps, withered fruits, tired vegetables, and expired packaged foods to flow toward food pantries, compost facilities, local farms – or to newly established anaerobic digestion facilities that can transform it into clean energy.

It’s the most aggressive mandatory food recycling program on the books. While Vermont and Connecticut also have both enacted commercial food-waste bans, they have a higher threshold of two tons of food waste per week.

Organic waste, meaning anything that comes from a plant or animal source and is biodegradable, makes up 25% of the Massachusetts’ current waste stream. Some of that is shipped out of state, but much of it ends up in landfills at a hefty $60-80 per ton, where it decomposes, creating harmful and unwanted methane gas.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Attention DENR - this is what we need in the Metro, where more than 50% of landfill waste is compostable. We can do it either centralized (where it becomes viable) or decentralized where it becomes a democratized commodity.

“It’s expensive to get rid of; there’s a whole suite of environmental problems associated with it, and we’re leaving economic opportunity on the table,” says David Cash, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, which will regulate the new law. “That banana peel can be turned into compost. It can be turned into energy. Not-quite-expired food can be directed to food pantries or used to feed agricultural animals.”

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Understanding the Global Problem of Food Waste ("reduction in waste very viable")

Understanding the Global Problem of Food Waste ("reduction in waste very viable") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
This infographic breaks down what we throw away into food groups. (Great food waste infographic by @willyblackmore. Reduction may be key but Hungry Giant can help reuse food waste.

But what exactly does that proliferation of food waste look like? Are we talking about tens of thousands of expired yogurt containers or hundreds of tons of sad, slightly limp heads of lettuce?

Working with global food waste data from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Popular Science has made an infographic that rather beautifully shows where the waste streams across the food and supply chains emanate from. The biggest losers, so to speak, are fruits and vegetables (44 percent lost) and roots and tubers (47 percent lost). Despite all the sour milk we’ve thrown away in our lives, dairy has the lowest amount of loss (16 percent).

As the waste lines frustratingly show, much of the vegetable waste happens on the farm, where harvests can go awry for any number of reasons—including walk-bys, the industry term for a field that’s never picked because the labor costs would be higher than the value of the harvest.

But an equally thick line exists at the consumption end of the spectrum, highlighting the need for a change in attitudes at home (and in retail) to help curb what is globally a 1.4 billion ton problem.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The highest rate of food wastage is in fruits and vegetables, followed by roots and tubers, and then fish. What can we do about it?

While hunger and poverty remains, wasting food is like stealing from the tables of the poor. (Pope Francis)

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Eleen Murphy's curator insight, September 8, 7:07 AM

Great infographic to give us a real sense of what we are wasting. Not surprisingly, fruits and vegetables are at the top of the list.


We need to change our attitudes to food and food waste, not only in the home but in the food and farming industries as well. The truth is that we cannot afford to waste food, and support needs to be available to farmers so they can make the most of their produce.

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When Recycling Becomes a Dirty Business ("single-stream collection not good for recycling")

When Recycling Becomes a Dirty Business ("single-stream collection not good for recycling") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Dumping all your bottles, cans, and paper in one recycling bin is convenient, but those materials may end up in a landfill.

Once collected, recyclables are taken to a materials recovery facility (MRF), where they’re sorted either by hand or using expensive, high-tech equipment. From there, the materials go to buyers of scrap glass, paper, metal, and plastic. High-quality glass can be turned into new bottles. High-grade office paper can become new office paper. The higher the quality of the recyclables, the better the process works—and the more cash the recycler gets from the sale.

That’s the problem. Single-source collection usually delivers lower-grade material than recyclables from multiple-bin collection programs. That means the material gets “downcycled” into less valuable products, if it isn’t discarded entirely.  

But when a single-stream truck dumps its load out onto the concrete floor of a transfer station, many of the jars and bottles in the load will break. That makes it next to impossible to sort the glass, and that means the broken glass can only be used for lower-grade products, such as roadbed fill.

The same goes for plastic. And if single-stream cities find that their income from scrap sales is declining, those losses cut into the money saved on collection. In many cases, that lowers single-stream’s net cost savings to between 1 and 2 percent. Meanwhile, somewhere between 15 and 27 percent of all single-stream collected recyclables end up in a landfill. That undoes the benefit of more people recycling.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Recycling is after the quality, not the quantity. The fad of single-stream collection is causing a decline in the recycling rate.

"Single-stream hasn’t spread in a vacuum. ... Those mega-MRFs mean dirtier conditions on the sorting line, which means more recyclables end up in landfills."

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Eleen Murphy's curator insight, September 1, 4:32 AM

It is imperative to keep our streams seperate and clean.


With 15 to 27 percent of all single-stream collected recyclables end up in landfills, there is no argument that would weigh in favour of single-stream collection from an environmental or sustainable point of view.

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Toronto's Clever Litter-Shaming Ads Could Just Work ("people need to be reminded often")

Toronto's Clever Litter-Shaming Ads Could Just Work ("people need to be reminded often") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
UPDATE: The ads have been pulled, due to complaints from the brands depicted. Read our story here.

For a long time, Toronto has enjoyed a reputation as a safe, clean city — you know, that whole "New York run by the Swiss" idea. And...

For a long time, Toronto has enjoyed a reputation as a safe, clean city — you know, that whole "New York run by the Swiss" idea. And frankly, we prided ourselves on being better than those who simply drop their garbage on the street.

But lately, the streets are looking more and more like, well, New York in the '70s, andLivegreen Toronto has a great idea as to how to correct that.

This campaign, currently plastered on the sides of buses, in newspaper ads and elsewhere takes a decidedly Canadian approach to the matter. By which we mean, quietly shaming those who litter by telling them exactly what we think of them with the tagline, "Littering says a lot about you."

Yes, that's right — if you litter, you are, in fact, trash.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Check out this clever anti-littering ad campaign.

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Plastics Recycling: You're Doing it All Wrong ("it still depends on the viability of plastic recovery")

Plastics Recycling: You're Doing it All Wrong ("it still depends on the viability of plastic recovery") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Are you still recycling 'by the numbers'? You need to stop. Everything you know about plastics recovery is wrong.

To start off, this    is not an indication of recyclability.   Nor are any of these:   

In fact, just to be clear, these emblems are not indicative of:

RecyclabilityRecycled contentCompatibility with other products of the same numberSustainable Greeny GoodnessWhat they are

In the 1980s, the American plastics industry was feeling a squeeze. Environmentalists were concerned over the abandonment of refillable glass and metal vessels by an increased use of disposable, litter-ready plastic bottles. Scrap businesses were finding it hard to sort look-alike plastics, and state legislatures were pushing for a national, codified system to help recyclers identify all of these plastic bottles.

As a result of these pressures, in 1988 the Society of the Plastics Industry (an American trade association) introduced the Resin Identification Codes (RICs), pictured below.  This was a once-in-a-generation, sector-wide initiative, intended to address the concerns of environmentalists, industrialists and state governments seeking a way to tame and organize the matter of plastics recovery.  Placed on the bottom of plastic bottles,  markings depicting numbers inside a triangle of chasing arrows identified the six most commonly used plastics (also known as resins), with a seventh class as a catchall for everything else.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Very few people understand this coding, much worse, the plastic industry has made so many product combinations that the coding no longer applies to majority of products. 

"The bottom line is: this numbered system so beloved – or hated – by consumers everywhere wasn’t meant for you, the consumer, and fell apart early on.  It’s time to let it go in favor of something better.  And to those of you who continually argue with your spouse – or your local recycling office – over the recyclability of a strawberry container “because it has a number one!” … Cut it out.  Let it go.  It’s over."

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