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Improve your Wi-Fi signal using a soda can

Improve your Wi-Fi signal using a soda can | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
In 6 simple steps, you can be browsing the web with more ease, and without needing new devices.


MAKE blog shows us how to improve a wifi signal using just a soda can. Just clean the can, remove the tab, cut out the bottom, create a base, slice up the side and attach it to your router. More details are given on MAKE but that's essentially it. It's basically like adding foil to TV antennas, only for today's tech. Gotta love simple fixes using repurposed materials!

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How to Finally Go Paperless in the Office ("not easy but can be done with a lot of planning")

How to Finally Go Paperless in the Office ("not easy but can be done with a lot of planning") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Going paperless saves time, money, manpower and space, but it isn't easy. This guide walks you through how to go paperless once and for all.

There are a number of reasons why businesses should go paperless. It saves time, money, manpower and space. It keeps files more secure, yet makes them easier to access when they’re needed. And the clincher? We could save entire forests. With more than 60 percent of timber harvested worldwide going into making paper — and the United States consuming more than 80 million tons of paper annually, you’d think the positive impact it would have on the planet would be enough. 

But it’s not. Many business owners complain that going paperless just isn’t feasible, and that there are too many hurdles to overcome.

Look, we know it isn’t easy. The majority of U.S.-based offices use paper in almost every aspect of their day-to-day operations. But just because it’s the way things have always been done doesn’t mean it’s the way things should always be done. It’s time for a change, and change often involves certain aches and pains. Let’s take a look at some of the barriers that keep companies from going paperless, and how to break them down.

Going paperless isn’t easy, nor will it happen overnight. Though a full transition may take months or even years to complete, the benefits you see as a result will make your hard work and planning well worth it. Think of all the trees you’ll save!

Bert Guevara's insight:
There are practical uses of paper and there are times when going paperless is better. Times are changing and we have to move on.

"Going paperless isn’t easy, nor will it happen overnight. Though a full transition may take months or even years to complete, the benefits you see as a result will make your hard work and planning well worth it. Think of all the trees you’ll save!"
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Japan launching 'space junk' collector ("our throw away bad habit has been exported to outer space")

Japan launching 'space junk' collector ("our throw away bad habit has been exported to outer space") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Japan will launch a cargo ship Friday bound for the International Space Station, carrying a 'space junk' collector that was made with the help of a fishnet company. 

Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are experimenting with a tether to pull junk out of orbit around Earth, clearing up tonnes of space clutter including cast-off equipment from old satellites and pieces of rocket.

There are estimated to be more than 100 million pieces in orbit, posing a growing threat to future space exploration, scientists say.

Researchers are using a so-called electrodynamic tether made from thin wires of stainless steel and aluminium. 

The idea is that one end of the strip will be attached to debris which can damage working equipment -- there are hundreds of collisions every year. 

The electricity generated by the tether as it swings through the Earth's magnetic field is expected to have a slowing effect on the space junk, which should, scientists say, pull it into a lower and lower orbit. 

Eventually the detritus will enter the Earth's atmosphere, burning up harmlessly long before it has a chance to crash to the planet's surface.

A spokesman for the space agency said it hopes to put the junk collection system into more regular use by the middle of the next decade. 

"If we are successful in this trial, the next step will be another test attaching one tip of the tether to a targeted object," he added. 

The cargo ship launched Friday is also carrying other materials for the ISS including batteries and drinking water for the astronauts living there.

Bert Guevara's insight:
What can we do when outer space becomes an open dump site? When do we learn that garbage does not disappear, even in space?
Japan has volunteered to be the space junk collector.

"There are estimated to be more than 100 million pieces in orbit, posing a growing threat to future space exploration, scientists say."
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HowStuffWorks: Recycling Aluminum Convert All Video.com ("amazing aluminum recycling")

Captioned for educational purposes only
Bert Guevara's insight:
Watch this video and appreciate the benefits of going aluminum. Although it is not always cheaper, compared to other packaging, it is sustainable for the environment.
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Puerto Princesa to implement stricter waste management ("litter-free is not enough; why only now?")

Puerto Princesa to implement stricter waste management ("litter-free is not enough; why only now?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

PUERTO PRINCESA- No segregation, no collection.

No segregation, no collection. 

This is the staunch policy that the Solid Waste Management(SWM) of Puerto Princesa will enforce starting November 15. 

The City Solid Waste Management had been warned by the National Solid Waste Management Commission to stop collecting unsorted garbage or it will impose a P500,000 penalty in accordance with Section 48 of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. 

Barangay officials were urged to make all the necessary efforts to immediately implement proper waste segregation in their respective barangays in compliance with the law. 

Some barangay officials in the city admitted that they were not able to consistently and strictly enforce this national law on waste segregation. Some of the Materials Recovery Facility or MRF that the barangay was supposed to maintain were no longer functional, too.

But barangay officials are now starting to re-educate its constituents about segregation by giving out flyers and conducting information campaign.

Bert Guevara's insight:
After 15 years, the city realizes that R.A. 9003 makes more sense that just being litter-free.

"Barangay officials were urged to make all the necessary efforts to immediately implement proper waste segregation in their respective barangays in compliance with the law. 
"Some barangay officials in the city admitted that they were not able to consistently and strictly enforce this national law on waste segregation. 
"Some of the Materials Recovery Facility or MRF that the barangay was supposed to maintain were no longer functional, too."
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5 Top Tips for Recycling Old Technology - Earth911.com ("don't just toss them into bin")

5 Top Tips for Recycling Old Technology - Earth911.com ("don't just toss them into bin") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Need to make room for some new gadgets in your life? Kick old technology to the curb with these ideas for recycling phones, computers and other tech.

Sometimes it seems that the only thing harder to get rid of than old electronics is old couches. Television sets, desktop computers, monitors, printers, tablets and even old smartphones have a tendency to hang around, even after their usefulness has run out. Most municipal garbage services advise not to throw these items in the trash, which can leave you out of luck when it comes to disposing of old technology. Thankfully, there are ways to get rid of old tech, some of which are actually quite convenient. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Replace and trade in old phones 

Many wireless providers allow you to trade in old phones when upgrading to the newest model. In fact, T-Mobile accepts iPhone 6s and other older devices, so even a previous-generation smartphone that is still perfectly good can be traded in for a new one.

2. Take advantage of corporate recycling programs 

There are also a lot of corporate recycling programs that make it easy to dispose of old electronic gadgets.

3. Sell old tech items on eBay or Craigslist 

If you would like to make money off of your old tech gadgets, it might be easier than you think.

4. Donate old tech gadgets to nonprofits 

You can trade in your old smartphone and support a good cause at the same time.

5. Don’t throw away old technology 

Tossing electronics is bad for the environment and completely unnecessary. Instead, recycle your old electronic gadgets, donate them to charity or trade them in for newer replacements. There are a multitude of ways to dispose of old tech gadgets properly, and many of these methods are so simple that there’s no reason not to use them.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Sometimes it seems that the only thing harder to get rid of than old electronics is old couches. Television sets, desktop computers, monitors, printers, tablets and even old smartphones have a tendency to hang around, even after their usefulness has run out. Most municipal garbage services advise not to throw these items in the trash, which can leave you out of luck when it comes to disposing of old technology. Thankfully, there are ways to get rid of old tech, some of which are actually quite convenient. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Replace and trade in old phones 
2. Take advantage of corporate recycling programs
3. Sell old tech items on eBay or Craigslist
4. Donate old tech gadgets to nonprofits 
5. Don’t throw away old technology
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Scan your garbage’s barcode; this smart code will tell you to recycle or trash it ("smart recycling")

Scan your garbage’s barcode; this smart code will tell you to recycle or trash it ("smart recycling") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

The smart trash can by Uzer scans your waste's UPC, and tells you which parts of the packaging can be recycled and which cannot.

You might think that deciding what can and cannot be recycled is a pretty straightforward affair, but not all plastics are recycled equally. The plastic tray in a microwave dinner can be recycled, as can the cardboard box, but what about that plastic film over the top? Can the top of a plastic bottle be recycled along with the bottle? Eugene, a smart trash can from French company Uzer, sets out to answer all these ambiguities.

The Eugene works by scanning the UPC on the packaging you’re about to toss. A small screen on the front of the can tells you what packaging can go into the recycling, and what can’t. Take the plastic bottle example: It will tell you that the bottle portion can be recycled and that the cap should be thrown away.

These days, nothing can claim to be truly “smart” unless it has a corresponding smartphone app, and Eugene doesn’t disappoint. The app works on both Android and iOS and will help you track your impact on the environment based on what you successfully recycled. It also keeps tabs on what you are disposing of, and automatically adds them to a shopping list for your next visit to the store, or even curates an online order so the replacements can be delivered to you. If you’re watching what you eat, it will even keep tabs on the nutritional information for you, so you can see what your body took in as well as your garbage can. Uzer CEO Clément Castelli also thinks that brands may want to incentivize the use of the system with discounts based on how much of their products you recycle, according to Engadget. 

The Eugene is currently in the crowdfunding stage on France’s equivalent of Kickstarter, the delightfully named KissKissBankBank. As with any crowdfunding campaign, it’s backer beware. Uzer has plans to be at CES in January to show the can off in the U.S., and the company already plans to have a second product on display come showtime. 

Bert Guevara's insight:
Recycling goes hi-tech!

"The Eugene works by scanning the UPC on the packaging you’re about to toss. A small screen on the front of the can tells you what packaging can go into the recycling, and what can’t. Take the plastic bottle example: It will tell you that the bottle portion can be recycled and that the cap should be thrown away." (Note: bottle caps in the Phil can be recycled.)
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Innovative solutions to solve plastic waste ("new discoveries lead to new approaches")

Innovative solutions to solve plastic waste ("new discoveries lead to new approaches") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

In high school, two smart women discovered a new bacteria in a local river that specifically eats phthalates, a harmful plasticizer that never degrades.

In high school, two smart women discovered a new bacteria in a local river that specifically eats phthalates, a harmful plasticizer that never degrades. Since then, they have turned their discovery of plastic-eating bacteria into an innovative, award-winning business model. "We have not only shown that bacteria can be the solution to plastic pollution, but that also being open to uncertain outcomes and taking risks create opportunities for unexpected discoveries."

Bert Guevara's insight:
New uses of bacteria to attack the plastic waste problem leads to new approaches in cleaning up the world.

"In high school, two smart women discovered a new bacteria in a local river that specifically eats phthalates, a harmful plasticizer that never degrades. Since then, they have turned their discovery of plastic-eating bacteria into an innovative, award-winning business model. "We have not only shown that bacteria can be the solution to plastic pollution, but that also being open to uncertain outcomes and taking risks create opportunities for unexpected discoveries."
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ByFusion turns all types of ocean plastic into eco-friendly construction blocks ("RePlast upcycling")

ByFusion turns all types of ocean plastic into eco-friendly construction blocks ("RePlast upcycling") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

A new startup called ByFusion created an eco-friendly way to repurpose collected ocean plastic permanently, in the form of construction blocks called RePlast.

The problem of ocean waste, particularly the plastic variety, is a big one, and many creative people are working on ways to clean it up. Finding ways to repurpose the plastic debris collected from the ocean is one component of that, and the U.S.-based startup ByFusion has responded with technology that recycles ocean plastic into durable construction blocks. This way, the plastic waste can be repurposed permanently, rather than being used to create another disposable plastic item that might wind up right back in our precious waterways.

The technology is based on a genius idea from New Zealand-based inventor Peter Lewis, who is a principal engineer with the company. His process involves a modular platform that compresses plastic debris into blocks of various shapes and densities, based on custom settings. The result is called RePlast, the company’s name for the recycled plastic building material. The RePlast system is portable, designed to run on gas or electric, and doesn’t require the plastic to be sorted or washed.

ByFusion describes RePlast on its website as a “nearly 100-percent carbon neutral, non-toxic manufacturing process,” and says the bricks can help improve the eco-friendly status of building projects and contribute to LEED certification. So far, the recycled plastic blocks have been designed to be used in walls and road barriers, but the company is open to customizing the building material for use in other types of projects as well.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Instead of just surrendering to the never-ending ocean of plastic debris, this company is doing something about it. 
Actually many groups in the Philippines are also doing the same initiative of converting waste plastic into eco-friendly items. We should support them.
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Cleaning-up Bali, making fuel from plastic ("1 kg of plastic = 1 lt. of fuel; smart & simple systems")

Cleaning-up Bali, making fuel from plastic ("1 kg of plastic = 1 lt. of fuel; smart & simple systems") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

In Bali, where fuel is heavily subsidised (at the risk of crippling the national budget), an elderly man cooks his rice with fuel harvested from plastic.

The cacophony of Denpasar’s traffic fades as you enter Pekambingan village, home of a self-taught inventor, Ida Bagus Ketut Atmaja.

Shade trees line the paved alley, roosters scratch inside bamboo cages and children and adults rest in the cool lent by leafy boughs overhead. 

The plastic waste besieging many Balinese villages has been vanquished here. The village is clean — although its river remains choked with rubbish.

“Success to me is that we get on top of the plastic problem, that my grandchildren can play in the river as we old folk did when we were children,” says Ketut of his motivation to build an safe incinerator for plastic waste. He says he never set out to make fuel — it was a byproduct that may prove to be an unexpected reward for communities cleaning up plastic waste.

Expected hikes in gasoline prices following reduced government subsidies would make that reward even greater.

“The idea was how to deal with plastic waste — how to clean up the rivers and streets. Early information was that people were burning plastic and releasing poisonous gasses, so we tried to heat plastic waste in a different way, without open fires,” says Ketut.

The device works like an arak or whiskey still. As plastic burns, gases travel down a water-cooled pipe and condense into a liquid, which drips into bottles — and can be used as fuel that has been successfully used to power motorcycles. “It takes one kilogram of plastic to make a liter of fuel, so two problems are solved in a single application. Each village can have its own furnace to burn waste plastic that is not releasing pollutants, while also yielding free fuel,” Ketut says.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Smart recycling ideas from simple systems.

"The device works like an arak or whiskey still. As plastic burns, gases travel down a water-cooled pipe and condense into a liquid, which drips into bottles — and can be used as fuel that has been successfully used to power motorcycles. 
“It takes one kilogram of plastic to make a liter of fuel, so two problems are solved in a single application. Each village can have its own furnace to burn waste plastic that is not releasing pollutants, while also yielding free fuel,” Ketut says.
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A Better Bottled Water Bottle | DiscoverMagazine.com ("looks promising for recycling & climate")

A Better Bottled Water Bottle | DiscoverMagazine.com ("looks promising for recycling & climate") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Using crop leftovers to make plastic without a carbon footprint.

Recycling a plastic bottle may provide a fleeting sense of green philanthropy, but the process of making that bottle is still pretty eco-unfriendly. Now, chemists at Stanford University have developed a new plastic-making method that could leave no carbon footprint. 

Most of the 270 billion plastic bottles used in the U.S. each year are derived from petroleum. And that manufacturing contributes to a global greenhouse gas hit of more than 200 million tons of carbon dioxide each year — the same amount about 150 coal power plants generate annually. Some plastics companies are attempting to cut that footprint by substituting corn-based sugar for petroleum. But planting, fertilizing and harvesting corn generates significant carbon emissions, too, says researcher Matt Kanan. 

Instead of sugar, Kanan’s team developed a process that uses carbon dioxide and furfural, a compound derived from corn harvest waste. First, they converted furfural into furoic acid, a common food preservative. Next, they had to break the furoic acid’s strong hydrogen-carbon bond. Normally this requires an expensive base (the chemical opposite of an acid) that’s reactive and unstable — considerable hurdles to eco-friendly mass production. But the team discovered a workaround by heating the acid to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, carbonate (a weak, non-hazardous base) can break the hydrogen-carbon bond. So when they mixed the hot furoic acid, carbonate and CO2, the result was a compound that could be turned into plastic. 

Another plus? This technique, published in the journal Nature, not only uses existing plant waste but consumes large amounts of CO2 and could be applied to other types of chemical manufacturing as well — a boon to our increasingly CO2-saturated atmosphere.

Bert Guevara's insight:
"Instead of sugar, Kanan’s team developed a process that uses carbon dioxide and furfural, a compound derived from corn harvest waste. ...
"This technique, published in the journal Nature, not only uses existing plant waste but consumes large amounts of CO2 and could be applied to other types of chemical manufacturing as well ..."

"Most of the 270 billion plastic bottles used in the U.S. each year are derived from petroleum. And that manufacturing contributes to a global greenhouse gas hit of more than 200 million tons of carbon dioxide each year — the same amount about 150 coal power plants generate annually."
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Next-Wave Recycler Sources Scrap, Solutions - Earth911.com ("taking a new perspective")

Next-Wave Recycler Sources Scrap, Solutions - Earth911.com ("taking a new perspective") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

You could say CASS wants to elevate scrap recycling, setting a new industry standard along the way. They’re well on their way but not without challenges.

What Blue Bottle is doing for coffee, he explains, is precisely what CASS intends to do in scrap processing and aluminum remelting: take a simple process and approach it from a new perspective. After getting his order, Kangeter even snaps a photo of the beautiful design in the coffee froth. It’s an attention to detail he admires, an elevation of the coffee art. 

You could say CASS wants to elevate recycling—to set a new standard for quality, efficiency, customer service, professionalism, sustainable operations, community involvement, and employee care. That’s an ambitious corporate vision, but Kangeter sees it as a necessary survival step for his company and the scrap industry as a whole.

CASS began life in 1969, when entrepreneur Chal Sulprizio bought Associated Metals in Oakland and rechristened it Custom Alloy Scrap Sales. The small nonferrous scrap processor and aluminum melter had six employees and 1.5 million pounds of annual production. “Custom Alloy Scrap Sales was a one-man show,” Kangeter says. “Chal designed, operated, and fixed the equipment; he ran production; he was the commercial guy; he did everything.” 

That all changed when Kangeter joined the company in 2006. Although he had no metals or recycling experience, he had business management experience and knew how to grow companies, having established more than 400 points of sale in North America for an Italian fashion brand. He wanted a new professional challenge—and more time at home with his family—so it was opportune when Sulprizio, his father-in-law, offered him the CEO post at CASS. He agreed, with the understanding that if the job didn’t work out, Sulprizio should fire him with no hard feelings. 

Despite Kangeter’s dearth of industry knowledge, he says he was confident in his ability to “scale the business.” To do so, however, he needed to assemble a dedicated group of employees who could divide the responsibility of running it. “My responsibility was to find talented people who are passionate and committed to excellence to drive the business to the next level,” he says.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Recycling needs new blood, new ideas. The entrepreneurial bar of recycling has to be raised a notch. This guy is doing it the right way.

"And drive it they have. In the past decade, CASS has grown to a 120-employee company, its revenue has more than tripled, and its profitability has more than doubled, Kangeter says. The company’s scrap processing operations have expanded beyond nonferrous to handle a “respectable amount” of ferrous, and its aluminum melting output now exceeds 50 million pounds a year. From the solid foundation Sulprizio established, CASS has “evolved and matured as a business model that became more disciplined and more profitable,” Kangeter says. 
“As we became more profitable, we were able to reinvest in the business. That allowed us to develop new ideas and execute them—and that’s what we’re still in the process of doing.”
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California's Recycling Industry is in Rapid Decline ("people & industries need retooling for success")

California's Recycling Industry is in Rapid Decline ("people & industries need retooling for success") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

California is struggling to recycle its waste, including single-use disposable containers that are a lifeline for some of the state's poorest residents. Meanwhile, more trash is finding its way into the Golden State's landfills.

California has long basked in its reputation as a sustainability leader. From its booming solar sector to its cap-and-trade program, the Golden State sets environmental standards that others strive to follow. But a series of trends threaten to have California fall far short of its 2020 goal to recycle 75 percent of its municipal waste. And as is the case with the rest of the country, the state is struggling to recycle the easiest items, such as single-use disposable containers. 

After several years of a steady decrease, the amount of garbage sent to California’s landfills spiked to over 33.2 million tons last year, an increase of approximately 2 million tons. The Los Angeles, San Diego and Inland Empire areas saw the largest spikes in waste disposal tonnage, though most of California saw recycling decline while landfill disposal increased. The bottom line is that after several years witnessing the state recycle over half of its trash, that rate fell to 47 percent, the lowest in several years. 

The state’s population has gradually increased, after taking a dip during the aftermath of the 2008-2009 fiscal crises. Meanwhile the economy improved, motivating more Californians to buy more goods. The results: 44 million more tons of trash ended up in landfills, while 24 million fewer tons were recycled in 2015 than in the previous year. And in environmental terms, that means 200,000 more metric tons of carbon emissions were emitted into the atmosphere.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Economic trends have changed and they are bad for recycling. In the long run, this will be burdensome for the citizens.

"Several forces are contributing to this reversal. 
- First, as mentioned earlier, more residents are enjoying the benefits of a recovering economy, so they are buying more things. 
- But the slump in oil prices also means that companies are not motivated to buy materials such as plastic resins derived from recycled material if conventional options are cheaper. 
- Meanwhile, after years of a commodity boom, other raw materials are at their lowest prices in years. With virgin materials cheap, the bottom has dropped out of the recycling market, even in the eco-conscious Bay Area. 

"The effects were felt across the state as hundreds of recycling centers closed. Even before the mass closings, materials such as glass and plastic have never compensated for the expenses incurred in collection, so the state of California has long subsidized those costs. Many recycling centers therefore chose to close their doors, which puts even more pressure on the state’s waste-diversion agenda. California has the luxury of sending less than 1 percent of its garbage to landfills out of state, and that option is not slated to see an increase at any point soon.
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A car made from tequila? Ford Motor Co says it's good for the planet ("improved bioplastics are good")

A car made from tequila? Ford Motor Co says it's good for the planet ("improved bioplastics are good") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Ford plans to introduce a new type of bioplastic for some of its car parts using waste materials generated by Jose Cuervo, the tequila manufacturer...

When you put tequila and cars side-by-side, the story doesn’t usually end well. But Ford is trying to change the narrative. The car manufacturer has plans to introduce a new kind of plastic for some of its automobile parts using waste material generated by Jose Cuervo, the tequila manufacturer. Tequila is made by juicing the heart of an agave plant, a spiky desert succulent with a core composed of very strong fibers. These fibers are left over during the juicing process, and are usually thrown away or burned. 

Now, Ford hopes to use these agave fibers to create a so-called bioplastic to replace synthetic materials, such as fiberglass, which are used to strengthen plastic components in cars – things such as storage bins, air-conditioning ducts and fuse boxes. Would you wear wool shoes to save the environment?

Bioplastics are an old class of materials, invented after Anselme Payen, a French chemist, discovered cellulose in 1838 – a compound in many plants that can be made into fibers. By the late 1800s, cellulose from plants was being used to make rayon and viscose fabrics, as well as cellulose acetate photographic film, or safety film, designed to replace highly flammable nitrate film. Carmaker Henry Ford became an early champion, developing soybean-based plastic auto parts in the 1940s.

Agave fibers will serve the same purpose in a new hybrid plastic. The fibers are extremely strong and resilient, and have been used for centuries by indigenous people in both the US and Mexico for sewing and weaving, and for making rope.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Recycled material from tequila waste - a brilliant idea!

"Darby Hoover, a senior resource specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised Ford for focusing on agricultural waste, rather than virgin materials. There are 5bn metric tons of agricultural waste produced globally every year, Hoover says, so reusing more of this is important to the planet. It is also preferable to growing a plant specifically to make plastic, which takes land and other resources out of food production.
“It’s absolutely true that you’re avoiding impacts that likely would happen if that agave waste were not repurposed,” Hoover says. “All of that would create near term carbon emissions. So finding ways to repurpose those into products is commendable.”
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Why Is Denver So Bad at Recycling? - Earth911.com ("poor policies become disincentives to recycling")

Why Is Denver So Bad at Recycling? - Earth911.com ("poor policies become disincentives to recycling") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Denver is one of those cities that seems like it would be a dream for any eco-friendly person to live in. It’s full of like-minded people all working together to keep the environment clean and healthy … right? According to a recent study, that might not be the case. Denver recycles only 18 percent of the waste that is generated

So why are the recycling rates in Denver so low? The majority of the blame should go to the city’s current policies, according to the authors of the study. In an annual city survey, the vast majority of people surveyed rated recycling as a high priority and said that “recycling is very important or essential.” 

The current challenges include: 

- Denver residents who live in larger housing complexes don’t have access to recycling bins. 

- There is an additional charge of about $10 per month to have the green composting bins picked up. These are the bins that hold organic waste like leaves, food scraps and grass clippings. Currently, only 4 percent of single-family home residents have city compost bins. 

- Trash collection is provided to all single-family homes in Denver, but the recycling service is voluntary and only available upon request. As a result, many Denver residents haven’t taken the initiative to set up service, and, as a result, 23 percent of homes don’t have recycling bins. 

- Many Denver businesses don’t have a recycling program. In fact, according to CoPIRG, businesses produce as much as 60 percent of municipal waste.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Learn from the experience of others. Find out why this city is only recycling at an 18% rate. Policies turn out to be disincentives!
URBAN RECYCLING IS ALL ABOUT INCENTIVES!

"How to Improve Recycling Rates 
"What can Denver (and any other city in its situation) do to improve recycling rates? Here’s what the study’s authors say: 
1. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to recycle.  
2. Make it more attractive to compost. 
3. Support businesses that recycle. 
4. Set a zero-waste goal. 
5. Provide financial incentives to recycle."
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New app proves a nourishing idea for wasted food | Killian Fox ("if there's a will, there's a practical way")

New app proves a nourishing idea for wasted food | Killian Fox ("if there's a will, there's a practical way") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

The distribution of surplus food in Ireland is being transformed by FoodCloud. Killian Fox meets the duo behind the venture

Ward, who is 26, was studying business and economics at Trinity College, Dublin, where O’Brien, 31, was completing a masters in environmental science. Neither were particularly tech-savvy – they bonded over “a love for food and a distaste for waste” – but that didn’t deter them from using technology to address the problem. “We developed an app that would help businesses notify charities when they had surplus food available,” says Ward. 

It took them a year and a half to build. To use FoodCloud, the retailer simply uploads details of what’s available to the app. Local charities receive that information automatically, collect the surplus food at an appointed time and distribute it to those in need. The idea appealed to Tesco Ireland, which offered FoodCloud a trial just as Ward was finishing her degree. Tesco later introduced the service to all of its 140 stores around Ireland.

But why did this disconnect between retailers and charities exist? An estimated 1.9m tons of food is wasted in the UK grocery supply chain every year, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap). Meanwhile food poverty is on the rise – figures from the Trussell Trust show that food-bank use has increased more than 40-fold in the UK since 2008-09. It seems indefensible that supermarkets are throwing away good produce.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Giving is a source of happiness to both donor and recipient. Find out how a simple idea has become a big deal in food waste management.

But this isn’t all about networks and supply chains, nor can you judge FoodCloud purely on the number of meals they’ve helped donate – 8.4m in the UK and Ireland since they launched. It’s also about the tangible difference that the start-up is making in people’s everyday lives. Ward tells me they are working with a women’s refuge in Ireland where many of the residents find it difficult to socialise. “Now the managers are noticing that when the food donation arrives twice a week, the women are coming out of their rooms, swapping food and sharing recipes, and there’s laughter in the room. The recognition that food is about far more than nutrition, that it also has the potential to connect and empower people. For us that’s one of the most powerful pieces of feedback we can get.”
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This Dutch Company Turns Demolished Buildings Into Beautiful Materials ("you have to see this")

This Dutch Company Turns Demolished Buildings Into Beautiful Materials ("you have to see this") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Razing old structures creates huge amounts of waste. StoneCycling transforms it into usable material.

One of the newest buildings on Gouvernestraat, a road in Rotterdam, is actually one of the oldest—but you wouldn't be able to tell from looking at it. By all accounts, the petite house looks thoroughly modern, thanks to its Spartan facade and lack of architectural flourishes. But it's actually composed of architectural waste salvaged from demolished structures, 15 tons of it to be exact.

With this new, consumer-focused product line and its existing trade-oriented building materials business, Massa and van Soest are aiming to create a competitive market around materials destined for landfill—and incentivizing more sustainable design in the process. Here's how.

Van Soest graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven at the peak of the economic crisis in Europe. He noticed that a lot of buildings were vacant or under demolition, and found himself wondering what happens to these structures after the wrecking ball hits. Where does all of that rubble go? He started doing more research and found that in the Netherlands, the construction industry generates 65% of the country's waste—the largest proportion of the entire stream. He began tracking where that waste went, and soon learned that some of it was crushed and turned into material for paving roads or shipped overseas for disposal. 

"The alternative [for handling construction waste], compared to our solution, is down cycling," Massa says. "The value goes down per ton. What we try to do is create products that represent more value than the current combined price of those waste streams."

Bert Guevara's insight:
In the Netherlands, the construction industry generates 65% of the country's waste. 
How about the Philippines? Is there any institutional effort to reuse, upcycle and recycle construction waste?

"Van Soest began to think about how he could apply circular-economy thinking—in which resources are reused as efficiently as possible—to the construction waste problem. 
"Why not turn demolished buildings into new buildings?"
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Landfills have a huge greenhouse gas problem. Here's what we can do about it. ("divert food waste")

Landfills have a huge greenhouse gas problem. Here's what we can do about it. ("divert food waste") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Food and yard waste make trash heaps prolific producers of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. What can we do to solve this problem?

We take out our trash and feel lighter and cleaner. But at the landfill, the food and yard waste that trash contains is decomposing and releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfill gas also contributes to smog, worsening health problems like asthma. 

Globally, trash released nearly 800 million metric tons (882 million tons) of CO2 equivalent in 2010 — about 11 percent of all methane generated by humans. The United States had the highest total quantity of methane emissions from landfills in 2010: almost 130 million metric tons (143 million tons) of CO2 equivalent. China was a distant second, with 47 million (52 million), then Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil and India, according to the Global Methane Initiative, an international partnership of government and private groups working to reduce methane emissions. 

Because methane typically has a much shorter life in the atmosphere than CO2 (12 years compared with 100 to 300 years for carbon dioxide), reducing methane release from landfills can help rapidly reduce climate change risk.

A more direct — and likely more successful — way to reduce landfill methane would be to reduce the amount of methane-generating materials going into landfills in the first place. 

With some 40 percent of all food wasted in the United States, reducing food waste offers big opportunities. Last year the EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture set a target to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030, with programs for public education and commercial policies. “Let’s feed people, not landfills,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy in announcing the initiative. “By reducing wasted food in landfills, we cut harmful methane emissions that fuel climate change, conserve our natural resources, and protect our planet for future generations.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Diverting food waste from landfills is a simple but proven procedure to reduce methane generation. Why don't we just enforce R.A. 9003 in the Philippines and do our part in climate change mitigation? 

"With some 40 percent of all food wasted in the United States, reducing food waste offers big opportunities. Last year the EPA and U.S. Department of Agriculture set a target to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030, with programs for public education and commercial policies. “Let’s feed people, not landfills,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy in announcing the initiative. “By reducing wasted food in landfills, we cut harmful methane emissions that fuel climate change, conserve our natural resources, and protect our planet for future generations.”
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The cost of plastic packaging ("weighing in on its necessity in the battle vs food waste")

The cost of plastic packaging ("weighing in on its necessity in the battle vs food waste") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The changes have happened so gradually that most consumers haven’t even noticed, but a tremendous amount of plastics have crept onto supermarket shelves. Shoppers are tossing a lot of plastic packages into their carts that didn’t exist when they were kids. Cucumbers sleeved in polyethylene film are now ubiquitous in the produce department, as are sliced fruits in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers and chopped, ready-to-eat salads in polypropylene bags. People don’t have to make their own guacamole or hummus anymore—it comes already prepared in convenient polypropylene tubs.
Resealable plastic pouches, made from sophisticated multilayered films, are all over the supermarket. Shoppers can spot them on dry goods shelves containing granola, brown sugar, and beef jerky. They hang in refrigerator cases displaying shredded cheeses and cold cuts and are stacked in freezers filled with chicken, fish sticks, and french fries. Even tuna is starting to come in easy-to-open metallized pouches instead of the familiar stout can. Vacuum-packed steak, ribs, and chicken are a growing presence in meat department cases.
Many industry critics think all these plastics are a bit much. “It’s so immensely curious how stupid modern packaging is,” William McDonough, a designer and sustainability guru, told a greenbiz.com reporter a few years back. 
To McDonough and like-minded critics, flexible plastics, especially the newer multilayered films, are another excess of a throwaway society. They are much harder to recycle than the simpler metal, paper, and glass containers they replace. Too many of the new materials end up in landfills or bobbing around the ocean. And they make it all too easy for people to simply discard things without a thought to the damage they are doing to the planet.
Bert Guevara's insight:
There is a saying, "You cannot put a good man down."
When applied to plastic, its beneficial uses continue to promote its existence in the market, in spite of all the negative advocacy.

"The packaging industry, though, doesn’t think its products are so stupid. It sees plastics as a solution to another big environmental problem: food waste. Flexible plastics don’t shatter or dent, and if they are well-engineered, they don’t rip or puncture either. Their multilayered structures ensure long-term preservation of the food inside. And they are lighter and cheaper to transport than metals or glass."
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Dairy Farmers Pour Out 43M Gallons of Milk Due to Surplus ("food waste recycling or exchange needed")

Dairy Farmers Pour Out 43M Gallons of Milk Due to Surplus ("food waste recycling or exchange needed") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

American farmers have purposefully poured out more than 43 million gallons’ worth of milk due to an excessively abundant supply of milk

American farmers have purposefully poured out more than 43 million gallons’ worth of milk due to an excessively abundant supply of the dairy product in the county. 

The farmers dumped the milk in fields and manure lagoons or used it as animal feed, in the first eight months of 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The massive amount of milk—enough to fill 66 Olympic swimming pools—is the most wasted in at least the last 16 years, according to the newspaper.

The U.S. has been dealing with an enormous milk and cheese glut. It prompted the USDA on Tuesday to offer to buy $20 million of cheddar cheese to reduce a private cheese surplus that has “reached record levels,” the department said in a news release. 

The excess follows a shortage in the country two years ago which led dairy producers to expand their operations. 

Market prices for milk have plunged 36% on average since prices hit records in 2014, according to the WSJ.

Bert Guevara's insight:
"Enough to fill 66 Olympic swimming pools ..."
Isn't there a smarter way of addressing the oversupply that does not lead to dumping? ... and still we talk of malnutrition.
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From phone to timepiece: YouTuber shows how to turn your old Nokia phone into a smartwatch

From phone to timepiece: YouTuber shows how to turn your old Nokia phone into a smartwatch | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Don't donate that old Nokia phone quite yet -- instead, head to YouTube and learn how to turn it into a smartwatch.

If you’re crafty enough, you can turn your old tech into new tech, so don’t donate that old Nokia phone quite yet. 

Instead, head to YouTube and discover how you can repurpose that old mobile phone that you thought you’d never use again. Under the guidance of YouTube how-to guru Daniel Davis, you can build your own smartwatch, because who really wants to spend money on a Pebble these days? 

As Davis explains in a post on Make, he didn’t want his Nokia 1100 phone to go to waste, so he decided to take it out of storage and see if he could put it on his wrist. When he began disassembling the device, he found that it had a “nice, hackable screen, as well as a little vibrating motor for notifications.” So with nothing more than a few resistors, he managed to “get the screen working using an Arduino.” Then, to really take things to the next level, he added a Bluetooth module and “a little bit of code,” which allowed his old Nokia to send phone and text notifications like a brand new smartwatch.

Davis made use of a 3.7 volt rechargeable battery and a charging board for power, and then rounded out the wearable with a 3D-printed case and a watch strap. 

While it may not be the single most aesthetically pleasing smartwatch we’ve ever seen, it’s certainly a fun project and a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. And of course, if you wanted a sleeker look, you could always design a different case or find a band that better suits your style. All the same, it’s a far cheaper alternative to buying any other smartwatch currently on the market, and a great way to stretch your creative muscles. So dig out those old Nokia phones, friends. And get hacking.

Bert Guevara's insight:
E-gadget recycling - from old cellphone to smartwatch!
Note: this is applicable to e-gadget nerds only. I personally got lost during the explanation. Anyway, not a bad idea for millions of discarded phones.

"While it may not be the single most aesthetically pleasing smartwatch we’ve ever seen, it’s certainly a fun project and a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. And of course, if you wanted a sleeker look, you could always design a different case or find a band that better suits your style. All the same, it’s a far cheaper alternative to buying any other smartwatch currently on the market, and a great way to stretch your creative muscles. So dig out those old Nokia phones, friends. And get hacking."
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The Truth About The Great Pacific Garbage Patch ("let's clear out some myths to get a clear picture")

The Truth About The Great Pacific Garbage Patch ("let's clear out some myths to get a clear picture") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ elicits thoughts of water so packed with plastic that boats can’t pass though, or an island made completely of trash.

There’s a lot of unanswered questions and misunderstandings that surround this part of the world – so we wanted to bust a few of the myths floating around.

1. ‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,’ is a plastic island in the middle of the ocean 

‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ elicits thoughts of water so packed with plastic that boats can’t pass though, or an island made of trash. The fact is, much of the rubbish found in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch sits below the surface of the water, hidden from view.

2. There is only one garbage patch 

In the Pacific Ocean alone, there are in fact two patches of marine debris concentration. The Western Garbage Patch, near the Japanese coast, and the Eastern Garbage Patch which is located near Hawaii.

3. The patch is the size of Texas, or twice as big as Texas, or the size of the United States 

The truth is, we simply don’t know the exact size of the patch. Most scientists do estimate the patch to be twice the size of Texas, but because most of the debris sits underwater, and the currents constantly move it around, it is difficult to know.

4. We can clean up the patch 

This is probably the most devastating fact, but there is little we can do to clean up the patch. Partially because the area is so vast and partially because a lot of the debris is so small. 

What we can do however, is prevent it from growing further. The best thing we can do to prevent more plastic ending up in our oceans is reduce our use of it.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Let's get our facts straight about this garbage problem in the oceans. These are four of the myths:

1. ‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,’ is a plastic island in the middle of the ocean
2. There is only one garbage patch
3. The patch is the size of Texas, or twice as big as Texas, or the size of the United States
4. We can clean up the patch
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5 Easy Tricks To Reduce Food Waste ("best practical tips for all households")

5 Easy Tricks To Reduce Food Waste ("best practical tips for all households") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Imagine being able to reduce food waste and your grocery bill by 30% in the process. These 5 simple tips will help you do just that.

5 tips to reduce food waste now - - Eat me (first)

Create a bin or drawer labeled “eat me first” that allows you to see (at a glance) what needs to be used up before it goes bad.

- Freeze!

And what if you fail? What if the “eat me first” bin is overflowing and you know you won’t be able to eat everything? Well, freeze it!

- Soup for you!

For the longest time I never considered doing it, but making your own soup stock is the simplest thing in the world to do.

- Smooth operator

Smoothies are a perfect on-the-go meal for those mornings when you don’t have time to cook. They’re also a great way to use less-than-perfect fruits and veggies to reduce food waste.

- Sharing is caring

The preceding suggestions dealt with ways to quickly and easily reduce food waste on your own, but this final option allows you to harness the power of technology and your community, too! A food-sharing app called OLIO connects you with neighbors, stores and community members with surplus food so that extra food can be shared, rather than thrown out. It’s like Craigslist, but for food. Best of all? It’s free!

- Small steps, small bites 

Making the decision to reduce food waste can feel daunting, but all you really need to do is make a series of small, conscious decisions to drastically reduce the amount of good food that ends up in the trash. These decisions quickly become routine and they go a long way to help your grocery budget and the environment, too.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Here are the best tips I have read on how to avoid food waste at home. Check it out.

"Imagine being able to reduce food waste and your grocery bill by 30 percent in the process. By putting these five simple systems in place, you’ll be able to identify need-to-eat foods, save foods from the compost or the garbage, get the most out of waste bits and pieces, and rescue food mangled by evil toddlers. Now that’s a win!"
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7 Ingenious Upcycling Ideas You'll Fall In Love With! ("simple ideas from creative minds")

7 Ingenious Upcycling Ideas You'll Fall In Love With! ("simple ideas from creative minds") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Upcycling comes in many different forms and these seven upcycling ideas are sure to inspire, engage and excite you. What's old is new again.

7 upcycling ideas you’ll love 

1. Upcycle sails into seasonal decor 

Sea Bags has breathed new life to over 500 tons of sails that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. Sea Bags creates fun, functional and stylish totes, bags, wine bags and home goods from reclaimed sailcloth in Portland, Maine. If you’re a seaman (or woman), you can become Sail Trade Partner.

2. Upcycle juice boxes into kids crafts

eed your kids a snack, then create upcycled craft projects with them using the leftover pouches and boxes.

3. Upcycle your TV cable into an HDTV antenna 

A TV industry first, ReLeaf by Mohu is an eco-friendly OTA antenna made from discarded cable set-top boxes and post-consumer recycled paper.

4. Upcycle a pizza box in to plates and storage

GreenBox is truly the 100% recycled and recyclable “Swiss Army knife of pizza boxes.”

5. Upcycle your old makeup into cash

6. Upcycle jeans into home insulation

This denim insulation is not only environmentally friendly, but isn’t carcinogenic, contains no formaldehyde or chemical irritants, offers extraordinary thermal performance and provides 30% better sound absorption than traditional fiberglass insulation. Goodbye pink, hello blue.

7. Upcycle your furniture to benefit veterans

Bert Guevara's insight:
Have you scanned your house lately and allowed your mind to "go crazy" over new upcycling ideas? Check out some ideas from other people.

No act is too small. Let us know your favorite upcycling idea in the comments below. 
“Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact, it is the only way it ever has.” ~Margaret Mead
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LANDFILL HAS 13 VIOLATIONS ("it's not even a landfill, it's a giant dump site! close it down!")

LANDFILL HAS 13 VIOLATIONS ("it's not even a landfill, it's a giant dump site! close it down!") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7) has issued a notice of violation against the City of Cebu for its failure to comply with several standards set by the bureau in the operation of its 15-hectare landfill in Barangay Inayawan.

Following weeks of unbearable stench from the dump site, EMB-7 investigators found that the city had violated 13 conditions of DENR’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued in April 1998 for its sanitary landfill. 

If the terms and conditions of the ECC remain unmet by the city, EMB-7 director Engr. William Cuñado threatened to close the dump site.

Earlier last August 18, EMB-7 field personnel were sent to Inayawan to monitor the dumpsite amid rising complaints from residents and businesses in surrounding areas about the very strong odor coming from the mountains of seemingly endless garbage.

Based on the team’s Compliance Evaluation Report, it was found that the city violated 13 conditions of the ECC including its failure to secure a discharge permit to check if the effluents (liquid waste or sewage) conform with the standards set by the EMB.

There was also no soil covering for each waste after spreading, compacting and the spraying of insecticide as numerous flies were hovering in the area, read the EMB-7 report.

“This is among the main reasons for the foul odor. There was no soil cover on the waste,” Cuñado told Cebu Daily News in an interview.



Bert Guevara's insight:
This is an example of the worsening solid waste management in the country. This is obviously a dumpsite, but for lack of an alternative solution, the city if pressured to keep it open despite the violations.
With the booming economy of Cebu City, the local government cannot imagine the grim scenario of not having a disposal site for garbage.
What happened to R.A. 9003?
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Fixing America's Waste Problem ("current volumes are unsustainable; need shift to circular economy")

Fixing America's Waste Problem ("current volumes are unsustainable; need shift to circular economy") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

3p's Nithin Coca takes a closer look at America's landfill waste problem and how we can begin to shift toward a circular economy.

America’s massive, growing landfills are the result of many decades of bad policies and decisions. And it will take a concerted, society-wide effort to solve this problem. Let’s dive deeper into just how big our landfill waste problem is and how we can begin to shift toward a circular economy. 

This is not just about waste. Landfills are directly connected to the larger sustainability issues facing this country. One of the reasons that America went down the path of throw-it-away is related to the reason we decided to build vast suburbs instead of dense, sustainable, walkable cities. We have a lot of land compared to most other developed countries. The same space we used to build suburbs, roads and an auto-centric culture, we also used to hide our waste as we moved into a throw-away economy. 

Today, we have 2,000 landfills and counting, with our collective waste growing by the day. What began as a simple solution to a changing economy grew into a massive problem. The average American produces an astounding 4.4 pounds of trash every day, according to EPA estimates. This chart from SaveOnEnergy.com shows how many tons of trash are in each state’s landfill, per-person.

Eliminating methane pollution has been cited as a key, short-term environmental goal if we are to achieve future climate goals. So far, little is being done across the country to limit landfill methane emissions. While capturing those emissions is key, it would be better to just eliminate organic waste from landfills altogether, by ensuring we eliminate food waste and compost the rest.

Bert Guevara's insight:
With all the American high-tech systems available, the garbage disposal problems remain. What is wrong with a linear throw-away culture? It is unsustainable!

"In the end, what we need is a circular, closed-loop economy, where all waste is reused or recycled and nearly nothing ends up in landfills. Building a circular economy won’t be easy. In America, though, the greatest challenge may be inertia, as we overcome the burden of so many years of bad planning and limited infrastructure. Regional action is great, but we need a concerted, national effort to really stem the growth of all those landfills."
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