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Beijing introduces recycling banks that pay subway credits for bottles - The Guardian

Beijing introduces recycling banks that pay subway credits for bottles - The Guardian | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The GuardianBeijing introduces recycling banks that pay subway credits for bottlesThe GuardianRecycling firm hopes to improve profits by bypassing informal network of bottle collectors.and more »...

More than 100 recycle-to-ride devices will be installed in an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of the informal bottle collection business and improve the profits of the operator, which works in an industry thought to be worth billions of dollars.

Donors will receive between 5 fen and 1 mao (about 1p) on their commuter passes for each polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle they insert into the machine, which then crushes them to a third of their original size and sorts them according to colour and type.

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Big and small efforts worldwide to manage waste
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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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Upcycle your way to unique furniture and décor - Albany Times Union ("check out over 30 pic ideas")

Upcycle your way to unique furniture and décor - Albany Times Union ("check out over 30 pic ideas") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Upcycle your way to unique furniture and décor Albany Times Union A bench that was once an antique headboard; a dress made from plastic grocery bags or jewelry made from silverware: These are just a few examples of upcycling — the art of taking...

Creative minds do best at upcycling because it's such a formative process. Sure, you can use Pinterest for inspiration, but original ideas can be the most rewarding.

"I don't throw away something till it really has no value any more," says Steven Kroeger, from Albany. Kroeger sells his creations on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/stevenrolfkroeger. "I look at it and think how is it useful again. I learned that from my grandfather. He had quite a few children during the Depression."

Not only is upcycling good for the environment and, oftentimes, your wallet, but it's also more fun than buying new, says Sarah Trop, owner of FunCycled in Troy. At her store, they not only create furniture out of items they find, but they also build and refurbish items from a customer's collection.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"We realized [upcycling] was a great way to repurpose and reuse old materials and make things functional," says Houle. "Once we started making different things such as the dress and the table, we just kept going because it was so much fun."

"We throw a ton of stuff away in landfills every year, so if we can show people we can repurpose garbage people can do that and the landfills will be less full," says Houle.
Like Trop, Houle encourages people not to get discouraged, or intimidated — and to have good tools. "Always have a power drill. Power tools are essential," she says. "If you're trying to resurface wood ... things don't work if you don't have power tools."

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Is falling recycling rate due to 'green fatigue'? ("change in packaging or too many bins?")

Is falling recycling rate due to 'green fatigue'? ("change in packaging or too many bins?") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Phys.Org
Is falling recycling rate due to 'green fatigue'?
Phys.Org
It's been suggested that a recent fall in recycling rates is due to green fatigue, caused by the confusing number of recycling bins presented to householders for different materials.

So is this really a cause for concern, if the drop in recycling rates is down to there being less waste generated in the first place? Well, yes, if this means the 2020 target of 50% household recycling is not met. In that case, the UK government will be fined, and this may affect householders indirectly through higher taxes or lower provision of public services. However, this concern may be misplaced and perhaps is more to do with the way the target is defined, rather than recycling levels.

The relationship between recycling and the waste we generate implies that a drop in the amount of waste produced or an increase in less-recyclable material will lead to a fall in recycling volumes and possibly a drop in the recycling rate. The former should be recognised as a welcome development, whereas the latter reflects changing patterns of consumption. This should prompt new innovation in the waste sector to deal with these types of waste. For example, by developing improved recycling methods or technology to deal with different types or combinations of ,ateroals.

Research indicates that there are several factors that underpin the rate of recycling, from the way the service is provided, to whether recycling is considered a social norm among families, communities or groups banded by age, ethnicity or location. Perhaps the role for government in tackling any dip in the recycling rate is to highlight the prevalence of recycling among certain groups as a way to demonstrate the existence of that recycling norm – and by doing so, encourage it in others.

Bert Guevara's insight:

So the current preoccupation with the headline recycling rate may be unhelpful. If the concern is the impact that excessive waste is having on the environment, then less recycling due to less waste being generated in the first place should not be a cause for concern. If the drop in recycling reflects changing consumption patterns, any penalties should be aimed at generating incentives to innovate in terms of packaging and new and better ways to deal with different types of waste. We need better analysis to identify the true causes of any change in recycling patterns, and the legislation – designed to drive greater recycling – should recognise why these two situations are different.

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5 Myths (and Truths) About Plastic Pollution in Our Ocean ("all solutions needed; no single approach")

5 Myths (and Truths) About Plastic Pollution in Our Ocean ("all solutions needed; no single approach") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
As the Director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Program, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people who care about the ocean and are making a difference for the communities that depend on it. However, I’m always surprised by the number of misconceptions about ocean plastics.

Fact: Most of the plastics in the ocean come from items we use every day—bags, bottles, caps, food containers, etc. By limiting single-use plastics in our everyday lives and disposing of these items properly, we can reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean.

Fact: Plastic particles are now found inside animals and throughout the ocean food chain—frommussels to fish to turtles to whales.

Fact: Bans, fees, recycling nor product redesign alone can fix this. The ultimate solution is a combination of all of these and more. The biggest impact will come from stopping the massive amounts of plastic litter before it travels over land, and into our waterways and ocean.


Bert Guevara's insight:

We need all approaches: bans, fees, recycling, product redesign, etc. -- all are needed to be put in place.

"Cleanups alone can’t solve this problem, but volunteers are instrumental in helping us assemble ourOcean Trash Index. This provides us with a snapshot of what’s trashing our ocean so we can work towards preventing the most abundant and problematic items of trash from reaching the water in the first place."

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Voluntary Bag Reduction Program Moves MV Toward Zero Waste ("behavioral approach")

Voluntary Bag Reduction Program Moves MV Toward Zero Waste ("behavioral approach") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
According to a statement, since the program went into effect, The Market at Mountain Village has reduced the number of bags it distributes by 72 percent – or 129,900 less bags.

Pursuant to a resolution passed by Mountain Village Town Council in July 2012 establishing The Town of Mountain Village Disposable Plastic Bag Reduction Program, shoppers who bring their own bags will be rewarded with a 25 cent credit per bag, while those who need a bag will pay 25 cents for each bag the store provides.

“The program started after we were approached by the Town of Telluride and David Allen to impose bag regulations in Mountain Village similar to those in Telluride. But it was our own town council that decided to make it a voluntary measure instead of a strict governmental mandate,” explained Environmental Services Director Deanna Drew. “I believe we are the only town in the nation that actually monitors the progress of this bag-reduction program, and keeps track of how many bags are kept from the waste stream on an annual basis. In 2009 we adopted a ‘zero waste or darn close’ goal. This is part of how we’re striving to meet that goal.”

According to the language in the resolution, the program is “a cooperative program between the Town of Mountain Village, the Grocery Stores, and the Retail Merchants. The Program supports the Town’s goal of Zero Waste and is a step toward a significant reduction of plastic bags in the town’s waste stream starting with the grocers and eventually including all merchants.”

The resolution sets out program requirements, allowing grocers and retail merchants to collect a fee for each bag provided to shoppers and including provisions for  installing visible signage about the program; providing reusable bags for sale; supporting the Zero Waste Task Force in its development of a commercial composting facility for the community; and ensuring that both grocers and merchants “shall be recognized and celebrated publicly in Town communication vehicles for their voluntary participation.”


Bert Guevara's insight:

Check out this successful zero-waste model of voluntary compliance! Change of behavior cannot be achieved by dictatorship. Providing a choice for the consumer to reuse and recycle results in a longer lasting imprint on overall "zero-waste" behavior.

I definitely like this approach to zero-waste than banning left and right, which only creates a false sense of achieving a green consciousness.

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How to Put Food on the Table for 10 Billion People on a Warming Planet ("it makes sense if you focus")

How to Put Food on the Table for 10 Billion People on a Warming Planet ("it makes sense if you focus") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
China, India and the U.S. between them emit more than half of all

Imagine being able to contain greenhouse gas emissions, make fertilizer use more efficient, keep water waste to a minimum and put food on the table for the 10 billion people crowded into the planet’s cities, towns and villages by the end of the century.

This is thinking big: the global view of immediate and local problems. The researchers selected three key areas with the greatest potential for reducing environmental damage while boosting food supply. They thought about water use, food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and polluting run-off from farmland and where fresh thinking could make the most difference in the most efficient way.

The first challenge is to produce more food on existing land. They see an “agricultural yield gap”—that is, a difference between what soil actually produces and what it could produce—in many parts of the world.

Rice and wheat are the crops that create most demand for irrigation, which in turn accounts for 90 percent of global water consumption. More than 70 percent of irrigation happens in India, China, Pakistan and the U.S., and just by concentrating of more efficient use, farmers could deliver the same yield and reduce water demand by 15 percent.

Crops now grown as animal food could supply the energy needs of 4 billion people, and most of this “diet gap” is in the U.S., China and Western Europe.


Bert Guevara's insight:

This prescription makes a lot of common sense. You will wonder how a simple audit of how we use the planet's resources can result in mega-savings which are good enough in climate change mitigation. I suggest you read this article and give your comments.

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Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away ("we are still hoping for safe disposal")

Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away ("we are still hoping for safe disposal") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The recent closure of five US power stations is forcing the industry to confront big questions about radioactive waste, writes Paul Brown. Who is to pay the mounting costs of managing the wastes and keeping them secure? And precisely where will be their final resting place?

Long-term employment is hard to find these days, but one career that can be guaranteed to last a lifetime is dealing with nuclear waste.

The problem and how to solve it is becoming critical. Dozens of nuclear power stations in the US, Russia, Japan, and across Europe and Central Asia are nearing the end of their lives.

And when these stations close, the spent fuel has to be taken out, safely stored or disposed of, and then the pressure vessels and the mountains of concrete that make up the reactors have to be dismantled. This can take between 30 and 100 years, depending on the policies adopted.

In the rush to build stations in the last century, little thought was given to how to take them apart 40 years later. It was an age of optimism that science would always find a solution when one was needed, but the reality is that little effort was put into dealing with the waste problem. It is now coming back to haunt the industry.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is again the resurrected idea of adopting nuclear power to augment the energy deficiency of the Philippines. The TRUE cost of nuclear power is pricing itself out of the market ... "could no longer compete on cost with the current price of natural gas and increased subsidies for renewables."

"The dilemma for the industry is that the US government has not solved the problem of what to do with the spent fuel and the highly radioactive nuclear waste that these stations have generated over the last 40 years.

"They have collected a levy - kept in a separate fund that now amounts to $31 billion - to pay for solving the problem, but still have not come up with a plan."

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Recycling is Destruction. - iFixit ("repair is better than recycling")

Recycling is Destruction. - iFixit ("repair is better than recycling") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Recycling isn’t the answer; it’s the last resort.


There’s a better way...
The best shot we have at reducing the environmental impact of our electronics is to keep them around for as long as possible.
Repair is the first line of defense against waste. It extends the life of electronics: users can replace broken components, put in a better battery, or upgrade to higher-capacity RAM whenever they want. That means less stuff in landfills and less things in a recycler’s shredder.
And it doesn’t stop with the owner. Manufacturers can repair their products, too. 65% of all cell phones collected in the US are refurbished or repaired, then resold—not recycled. That’s because recyclers make an average of about 50 cents per recycled phone. Resellers, for comparison, average $20 per phone.
Even better, when stuff is repaired, it holds on to all the energy and all the materials it used up during manufacturing. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is lost.

Repair is better than recycling.And we're not the only ones who think so. Leading think tanks, like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, say the best way to support both the economy and the environment is through a Circular Economy, where resources are designed for widespread reuse.In a Circular Economy, repair is the inner loop—making it the quickest, most effective way to get more value out of our resources.
Bert Guevara's insight:
Taking a closer look at the e-waste situation:In a Circular Economy, repair is the inner loop—making it the quickest, most effective way to get more value out of our resources.
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'Use DAP, PDAF to resolve waste management woes' ("Phil has a good SWM law but poor implementation")

'Use DAP, PDAF to resolve waste management woes' ("Phil has a good SWM law but poor implementation") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal thinks it is high time that some of the billions of pesos involved in the controversial Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) be used to resolve the country’s waste management problem.

Macalintal also cited studies in the United States which, he said, should alarm those who have position in the government.

“In previous research undertaken by the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health between 1980 and 1992, it said that garbage collecting is not only ‘extremely hazardous but it can in fact be both dangerous and even deadly. Unfortunately, the risk of injury and health hasn’t improved much since then. In 2007, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that refuse and recyclable materials collectors had a fatality rate of 22 per 100,000 workers, placing them among occupations with high fatality rates.’

“If garbage collectors in the US would still belong to the job with high fatality rates despite all the protective gears given to them by their government and their high salary rates, then Filipino garbage collectors are now in so pathetic and pitiable condition because of the apparent lack of concern by our government officials over their welfare and benefit,” he said.

Unlike the sanitary engineers in the US, Macalintal noted that Filipino garbage collectors “do not have the luxury of wearing heavy gloves, shoes or protective gears while collecting garbage. Some even use their bare hands, some without shoes nor slippers. Some in sleeve-less shirts; others have no clothing at all. And they are not paid that much, sometimes even underpaid.”

As such, Macalintal is urging government officials to immediately act on the “very poor waste management system in our country,” and be more mindful to all the potential hazards to the lives of Filipino garbage collectors.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There are so many things to fix if we are talking of a sustainable solid waste management program. In fact, the system requires a major overhaul beginning with the people calling the shots.

“It is sad to note that our government officials seem unmindful or have no concern at all over the health and sanitation of the truck drivers and the garbage collectors who are exposed to the hazard and danger in collecting garbage,”

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Massachusetts is taking a new approach to food waste - The Boston Globe ("take full range of options")

Massachusetts is taking a new approach to food waste - The Boston Globe ("take full range of options") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Starting Oct. 1, food waste from large institutions and supermarkets — not residents — will be collected in Massachusetts. And only some of that will go to bugs.

Massachusetts’ new food waste ban, which was a decade in the making, puts the commonwealth among leaders in the United States in addressing an indulgence that is unique to our modern existence: throwing away large quantities of food. But the US is behind cities in Canada and Europe, where such organic waste already is collected and converted to good use. In Germany alone, there are 6,800 food waste processing plants.

“We want to find alternatives, and disposing of solid waste is expensive,” said Greg Cooper, who is head of commercial recycling for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “We are starting to see a shift from throwing everything away.”

“We want to look at the full menu: Are you ordering the right amount of food? Can you reduce the amount you buy to ensure less ends up going in the trash?” Secondly, he said, he expects more supermarkets and institutions will donate edible food to soup kitchens and food banks. And some businesses will build facilities to handle the waste on-site: Stop & Shop is doing that in Freetown, which will handle the unbought returns from 213 of its stores.

Much of the remainder will be made into compost. WeCare Environmental composts trash, sludge, and food waste in Marlborough and sells the result to farmers, sand and gravel mixers, and other users.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is an example of how food waste should be tackled from both ends of the consumption cycle. The Philippines should learn from this model.

“When we understand the stuff going out the door is actually a valuable resource, we start to treat it differently,” he said. “Organics are way, way too precious to dispose of.”

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Brighton's Lovely 'Waste House' is 100 Percent Rubbish - Curbed National ("great achievement")

Brighton's Lovely 'Waste House' is 100 Percent Rubbish - Curbed National ("great achievement") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
TakePart Brighton's Lovely 'Waste House' is 100 Percent Rubbish Curbed National Up close, it's probably readily apparent that the University of Brighton's new "Waste House" is made entirely from recycled material ("garbage" if you want to be frank...

Of course, any fan of garbage-based adaptive reuse projects knows that they're only as good as their lists of materials are mind-boggling. In that vein, the long list of items that comprises the Waste House includes 19,800 toothbrushes, 2 metric tons of denim scraps, 200 rolls of wallpaper, 4,000 VHS tapes, 4,000 DVD cases, 600 sheets of second-hand plywood, 500 bicycle inner tubes, 600 vinyl banners, 2,000 used carpet tiles, and 10 metric tons of chalk.

As architect Duncan Baker-Brown explained to Dezeen, this upcycled collection of junk was all about proving that "you can build something with other people's stuff, and that you can make a permanent building out of rubbish. There have been a lot of other projects where people have built sheds or temporary things out of rubbish, but to get full building regulations and planning approval is a first." The finished building will serve as a combined research center and teaching tool for students from the university's Sustainable Design course, as well as a community center.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Trash resources will always find better uses once we put our minds into it. If there is a will; there is a way.

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New Tips for a Sustainable Waste Management Program - Sustainability: business, life, environment | Taiga Company

New Tips for a Sustainable Waste Management Program - Sustainability: business, life, environment | Taiga Company | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it

In a recent GreenBiz post, 8 New Ways to Reduce Waste at Your Business, our sustainability consulting practice finds insights from business sustainability programs from around the world.  Herein, the author leverages new and often strange sounding strategies that are actually producing results.  Here is the complete list.

Compost: Organic waste is typically the heaviest portion of the waste stream. Heavy waste is costly to remove.  Hundreds of office buildings are composting as well, and composting service is available in more than 40 major U.S. markets. Audit your facility: Take a look around your facility and evaluate the supply chain of items that become waste. What consumables do you stock? Can you switch to compostable or at least recyclable products? How are waste bins placed?Make sure that recycling and composting containers are more convenient than landfill-bound containers, and that labels are easy to read. Signage with photos showing what goes where are highly effective, and hauling companies often provide free templates.Reduce packaging: One third of waste in developed countries comes from packaging alone.  Evaluate the packaging used in your business. Eliminate bottled water:  Ditch the bottles in favor of filters and glasses.Give food waste to pigs: No kidding! This age-old strategy is applicable today and offers significant cost savings.Go paperless: Technology offers cheaper and better alternatives to using paper.Measure it: You can't manage what you don't measure. Make sure your hauler is weighing your waste, then calculate the amount per day, or per person per day.Collect e-waste every day: Offer a bin where employees can put e-waste — from either home or work — and promote it as a benefit to employees. In additional, make sure that your e-waste vendor is actually recycling, as many sell the waste to overseas entities that do not follow through with recycling.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Practicing sustainable waste management at the office ... 

"At Taiga Company, our own sustainability consulting approach emphasizes that changing habits is the key to a low waste culture.  Once you have raised your eco awareness in one area of waste reduction, it's easy to find new ways of reducing waste in other areas of your life."

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This Ocean Art Is Beautiful And Horrifying At The Same Time ("calling attention to ocean garbage")

This Ocean Art Is Beautiful And Horrifying At The Same Time ("calling attention to ocean garbage") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
They’re beautiful from a distance -- and appalling upon closer inspection.

A styrofoam coral reef, a water bottle jelly fish and a plastic whale ribcage are some of the giant sealife sculptures featured in Washed Ashore -- a traveling exhibi...

“I've created something I hope is beautiful and horrifying,” lead artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The display, sponsored by Pozzi’s Artula Institute for Arts and Environmental Education, is the product of years of collecting more than 11 tons of beach trash to raise awareness of how plastic pollution affects the species featured.

“We’re thrilled that the Zoo is bringing this important art and educational message about ocean pollution to a wide audience in the Bay Area,” Pozzi said in a zoo press release.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A message of  urgent concern!

"The display is the product of years of collecting more than 11 tons of beach trash to raise awareness of how plastic pollution affects the species featured."

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Zero-Waste-to-Landfill Gets Certified ("in the Phil, it's called ZERO BASURA OLYMPICS; recycling credited")

Zero-Waste-to-Landfill Gets Certified ("in the Phil, it's called ZERO BASURA OLYMPICS; recycling credited") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
A zero-waste-to-landfill validation offers US manufacturers a way to demonstrate social and environmental responsibility, as well as boost the bottom line.

When it comes to reducing and managing solid waste streams, the UL ECVP 2799 “Zero-Waste-to-Landfill” validation refines the somewhat nebulous and variously defined concept of “zero waste.” With UL 2799, UL Environment sets out a comprehensive, rigorously-defined and independently-verified set of metrics and processes that a variety of leading companies are using to dramatically cut down the volume of solid waste being sent to landfills. In some cases, landfill waste has effectively been reduced to zero.

UL Environment’s zero-waste-to-landfill initiative began taking shape in 2012, when it started working with roofing and building materials manufacturer GAF.

Working with GAF, as well as other businesses and municipalities aiming to reduce waste and enhance the overall sustainability of their operations, such as Bridgestone Americas, Mayer Brothers Apple Products andWaste Management’s Phoenix Open PGA Tournament, UL 2799 has evolved into a comprehensive, clearly and rigorously defined environmental claims-verification standard and certification.

UL 2799 is comprised of three performance tiers:

Zero Waste to Landfill: Products, facilities and/or organizations that have achieved a landfill waste diversion rate of 100 percent;Virtually Zero Waste to Landfill: Those that have achieved a landfill diversion rate of 98 percent or greater; andLandfill Waste Diversion: For those that have achieved landfill waste diversion rates of 80 percent or greater.

As UL Environment explains, “Each claim validation is clearly defined, carefully reviewed and thoroughly vetted so that businesses and their customers can understand the environmental significance of such a major achievement.”

 

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Just do it!

"Surveying the zero-waste metrics, methods and standards being developed and put to use among businesses and municipalities, UL Environment found a variety in use, “some more narrow than we were looking for.” Its work with GAF, along with industry leaders and government experts, eventually led to development of the UL 2799 waste-diversion standard and environmental claims standard and certification, Mayer recounted."

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Landfill closures result in increased recycling - Casper Star-Tribune Online ("it's mind conditioning")

Landfill closures result in increased recycling - Casper Star-Tribune Online ("it's mind conditioning") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Landfill closures result in increased recycling
Casper Star-Tribune Online
It was the first of many to realize that even if recycling didn't pay for itself, it was cheaper than the alternative.

Three years ago, Sundance’s city council made a bold decision to require all of its residents to recycle household items.

Each house received a blue bag for everything from water bottles to newspapers to be placed on the curb each week. A truck from Gillette came by to collect.

Bills went up $4.35 per month and residents grumbled, but everyone knew the stakes.

“The council’s idea was if we could pay for it up front and get it out of our garbage, we wouldn’t have to increase rates later,” said Kathy Lenz, Sundance’s clerk and treasurer.

And it worked. The town has reduced its garbage by 50 percent, and less garbage means lower bills.

Sundance is one of dozens of Wyoming towns facing landfill closures due to potential groundwater contamination. It was the first of many to realize that even if recycling didn’t pay for itself, it was cheaper than the alternative.

“Anything they divert locally, they miss a tipping fee on the other end,” said Craig McOmie, recycling coordinator with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. “We will see a lot of changes in the next five or so years.”

More than 90 percent of the landfills tested were leaking significant amounts of toxins into the ground, tests showed. So Wyoming DEQ gave most cities and counties an option: line the landfills to prevent leakage, or close and cap them and start shipping garbage to an approved facility.

Bert Guevara's insight:

When landfilling hurts the pocket, citizens realize that recycling makes a lot of "dollar" sense.

"Recycling programs don’t always pay for themselves. But if it costs $30 a ton to recycle, and $100 a ton to truck waste to another landfill, the savings add up, he said.

“Slowly we’ve made changes so we make money,” Holloway said. “We shipped 66 percent more recyclables so far this year than in 2013. That’s stuff that’s not going to the landfill.”

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Eleen Murphy's curator insight, August 24, 9:56 PM

A positive example of how recycling can save money.

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Viva Recycling to open 2nd tire recycling plant in South Carolina - Recycling Today ("Phil needs this")

Viva Recycling to open 2nd tire recycling plant in South Carolina - Recycling Today ("Phil needs this") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Viva Recycling to open second tire recycling plant in South Carolina Recycling Today The company, established in 2011, processes scrap tires to produce recycled rubber products for home, business and recreation at its existing tire recycling...

The company, established in 2011, processes scrap tires to produce recycled rubber products for home, business and recreation at its existing tire recycling facility in Moncks Corner. The used tires it has been recycling are collected from a range of sources throughout the Southeast, including automobiles, light and heavy trucks, landfills, municipalities and tire retailers.

Viva Recycling says the new facility will be capable of recycling more than 4 million tires per year, similar to the number it presently handles at its flagship location.

Under its recycling process, the company will separate the scrap tires and other industrial rubber scrap into their component parts—rubber, steel and fiber. While the steel and fiber are recycled, the rubber is sized, shaped, colored and molded into a variety of products for industrial, commercial and residential applications. End products include landscape mulch, playground safety flooring, artificial field infill, rubber sidewalks, rubber pavers, equestrian flooring and rubberized asphalt.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I like the end products of their recycled rubber:, especially the rubberized asphalt.

"End products include landscape mulch, playground safety flooring, artificial field infill, rubber sidewalks, rubber pavers, equestrian flooring and rubberized asphalt."

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An app that reduces food waste ("a good idea that needs to be tested; will consumers bite?")

An app that reduces food waste ("a good idea that needs to be tested; will consumers bite?") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The U.S. wastes up to 40 percent of its food. The new PareUp app connects users with restaurants and stores to buy good food it is tossed out.

This New York-based app developer aims to prevent food waste by letting its users connect with restaurants and grocery stores to buy their excess product before it's thrown away. PareUp's online marketplace is launching in early August and the mobile app will be available on Apple Store by mid-September.

"We want to change the cultural conversation around what it means to consume food and the life cycle of food," says co-founder Margaret Tung. "Because we're throwing out a lot more than needs to be."

Using PareUp's platform, food retailers can showcase inventory and indicate excess items together with a discounted price and the time when they'll be ready for sale.

This helps stores and cafés make money by selling products that they could not donate anyway, either because of food safety regulations or because they don't meet the minimum weight required to arrange a pickup with a food bank or shelter.

Still, getting people to eat food that was previously doomed for the trash might take some convincing. Tung admits to a perception problem. "The key is to stop labeling such items as 'leftovers,'" she says, adding that no products are actually expired.

Of course, an app won't end food waste, but it might help reduce the volume. And it easily beats dumpster diving.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A Filipino version of this app is needed urgently in the Philippines to reduce food waste. Why not?

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NRDC: Food is simply too good to waste. ("40% is uneaten in the U.S.; half of that in poor countries")

NRDC: Food is simply too good to waste. ("40% is uneaten in the U.S.; half of that in poor countries") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
NRDC: Getting food to our tables eats up 10% of the total US energy budget, uses 50% of US land, and swallows 80% of freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40% of food in the US today goes uneaten.

Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten. Getting food to our tables eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25 percent of all freshwater and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land. Moreover, almost all of that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Nutrition is also lost in the mix -- food saved by reducing losses by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables. Given all the resources demanded for food production, it is critical to make sure that the least amount possible is needlessly squandered on its journey to our plates.

Bert Guevara's insight:

While many Filipinos admit to going to bed hungry, food is being wasted in other parts of the affluent world. Even in the Philippines, food waste has to be minimized.

" ... food saved by reducing losses by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables."

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This Floating Platform Could Filter The Plastic From Our Polluted Oceans ("listen to daring designers")

This Floating Platform Could Filter The Plastic From Our Polluted Oceans ("listen to daring designers") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
By Vanessa Quirk
(Read the original story here)


Courtesy of Cristian Ehrmantraut

"Plastic is an extremely durable material, taking 500 years to biodegrade, yet it’s designed to be used for an average of 5 minutes, and so it’...

Cristian Ehrmantraut has developed a prototype for a floating platform that filters the ocean and absorbs plastic. Located 4 km from the coast of Easter Island, close to the center of the mega-vortex of plastic located in the South Pacific, the tetrahedral platform performs a kind of dialysis, allowing the natural environment to be recovered as well as energy and food to be produced.

Thus, the project, which would be located 4 km off the coast of Easter island, is a prototype for a floating platform that filters the ocean, absorbs plastic, and protects the island from this ceaseless attack.

The design of the sub-structure is based on the application of the M.E.F. logic, which is similar to the Sierpinski fractal, but in three dimensions in order to achieve the overall coordination of the small, prefabricated elements. Its tetrahedral shape is simple, clean, stable, and static.

At the conceptual level, interesting things also occur, such as the verticality of the space in its natural state; just by being submerged, it’s possible to see the sky from below sea level. Aspects of emergence at a non-invasive, horizontal level were also considered, which results in a volume no bigger than a freighter, with the habitable zone on the surface and the recycling zone underwater. Ocean water is directed toward the recycling zone via gravity filters that separate the water from the plastic, which is later processed into plastic bricks, tiles, or anything that could be used to improve the quality of life of those in need. The habitable zone also has gardens to produce food for its 65 workers, without having to resort to supplies from the Island. The roof is made from photovoltaic cells.


Bert Guevara's insight:

This is an example of taking responsibility for the ocean mess that man has created. This amazingly-designed platform may just be what we are looking for -- a floating plastic recovery and recycling factory.

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Recycled products saved her life - YouTube ("plastic straws are useful when recycled for livelihood")

A cancer patient strives to earn money with the use of plastic straws. She sells bags made out of plastic straws. Watch Mutya ng Masa to know the whole story...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Plastic straws are durable as materials for bag making and other handicraft items, which are life-saving livelihood opportunities for the underprivileged. What will happen to her when plastic straws are banned?

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Integrated approach vital to reduction food waste and loss ("not simple case to solve; need planning")

Integrated approach vital to reduction food waste and loss ("not simple case to solve; need planning") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Governments, international organisations, businesses and community agencies worldwide must create joint programmes to reduce food loss and waste (FLW), if they want to show that they are really committed to developing sustainable food systems. This is the only way to ensure that future populations have ...

Governments, international organisations, businesses and community agencies worldwide must create joint programmes to reduce food loss and waste (FLW), if they want to show that they are really committed to developing sustainable food systems. This is the only way to ensure that future populations have adequate amounts of good quality food. This is the keynote message of an advisory report, released on July 3, 2014, by the UN Committee on World Food Security's (CFS) High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition. Toine Timmermans, Programme Manager Sustainable Food Chains at Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research, and a project team member, was closely involved in developing the report.

The expert panel advises governments and international organisations about how to ensure proper integration of food chains and systems into national and global food and nutrition policies. Food waste should be monitored via agreed and globally-consistent methods and can be seen as a means of making farming and food production systems more efficient and sustainable. Research on direct and indirect causes of FLW is essential. "We need to be able to identify those areas and processes where it would be most efficient to intervene", the panel said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is taking the food waste issue seriously.

"The expert panel recommends four parallel, mutually-supportive tracks, using an inclusive and participatory approach:

1. Improve data collection and knowledge sharing around FLW;

2. Develop effective strategies to reduce FLW, at the appropriate levels;

3. Take effective steps to reduce FLW.

4. Improve coordination of policies and strategies in order to reduce FLW. Per stakeholder, the panel mentions a number of concrete actions to be taken."

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Luntian Bags: A livelihood program that provides jobs for unemployed women ("going green creates jobs")

Luntian Bags: A livelihood program that provides jobs for unemployed women ("going green creates jobs") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it

(ANC VIDEO:) Luntian Bags: A livelihood program that provides jobs for unemployed women. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

In the quest for "biodegradable" reusable bags, Luntian Bags is a winner. What started as a small handicraft project is now employing 30 women from the local village of San Teodoro, Mabini.

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The strange science behind design: materials from unusual sources ("textile from upcycling & recycing")

The strange science behind design: materials from unusual sources ("textile from upcycling & recycing") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
From clothing made from crab compounds to recycled blue jeans worked into your Ford Focus, innovation in textile manufacture and design is getting weirder – and more sustainable

From as far back as the story of Adam and Eve, who used fig leaves as makeshift clothing in the Garden of Eden, humans have been imagining ways to use natural materials to clothe themselves. Today's textiles are more inventive and technically advanced than ever as new synthetic-natural hybrids with cradle-to-cradle principles make their mark.

Many of the examples here use existing waste streams or manufacturing byproducts to create unique materials. Makers and manufacturers are also increasingly growing a social conscience and moving beyond environmental impact alone. The process of making sustainable textiles and textile-related products requires buy-in at multiple levels – from raw materials, manufacturing and distribution to design, branding and consumer preferences.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Textile upcycling and recycling from unusual sources ...

"But as more companies close the loop, will we see even stranger collaborations? Will there be textiles that never die in an endless circle of old polyester clothing recycled back into new polyester clothing? The future of fabrics is about to get even weirder."

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Indonesia's poor swap garbage for health care ("why didn't i think of this earlier; great exchange")

A new group of clinics on Indonesia's main island of Java are treating patients for free in exchange for rubbish, an innovative approach to broadening access to healthcare for the poorest as...
Bert Guevara's insight:

As long as waste has value, it can be used in so many ways like this. Although health centers are free in the Philippines, medicine is not.

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Eleen Murphy's curator insight, June 23, 5:21 AM

A great example of the many ways we can use "waste" when it is given value and treated as a resource.

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Will New Yorkers Jump on Board with a Composting Program? ("making a dent in garbage volume")

Will New Yorkers Jump on Board with a Composting Program? ("making a dent in garbage volume") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
A pilot program to test out the curbside collection of organic waste was much more successful than officials anticipated, and now they plan to expand it.

The project – which included 30,000 households in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island, as well as over 100 schools and city buildings throughout the city – was much more successful than officials anticipated, and now the city is rolling out the curbside organics collection program to the rest of the Big Apple in phases. This spring, an additional 70,000 households in Queens and Brooklyn received new brown carts where residents can toss in fruit and vegetable trimmings, meat and bones, napkins, and even pizza boxes.

New York City sends about 3.2 million tons of waste to landfills each year, the New York Times reported, and spends around $350 million annually to haul trash as far away as South Carolina, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. By expanding the composting collection program citywide, officials hope to make a dent in that staggering statistic, estimating that organics make up approximately 30 percent of the city’s waste stream.

Composting organic material from the nation’s largest city clearly has environmental and economic benefits, but will the program be successful? Despite the unexpected popularity of the pilot program, New Yorkers have been slow to increase their recycling efforts: Bloomberg Businessweek reported that recycling participation has stalled at 43 percent or less over the past several years, even with a city ordinance mandating recycling. Last year, New York issued 51,000 violations to the city’s recycling program for paper, plastics, glass and metals, according to Bloomberg. While New York City’s organics program is currently a voluntary initiative, it may become mandatory in the next few years.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Food waste composting in New York?; so why not in Metro Manila?

“Success does not happen overnight,” Nutter wrote. “Behavior change is hard business. In San Francisco, when recycling and composting was mandated, we experienced some initial resistance because of the ‘ick’ factor: the idea that composting could be foul smelling and belongs on a farm, not in a city. Overcoming these misconceptions is as easy as reminding people that compostables have been in your kitchen trash can all along. Now, you are separating out your coffee grounds, food scraps, soiled paper and dead flowers and putting them toward a good cause.”

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