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Oyster shell recycling program faces problems ("it takes a people-friendly program to succeed")

Oyster shell recycling program faces problems ("it takes a people-friendly program to succeed") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The State
Oyster shell recycling program faces problems
CapitalGazette.com
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation runs the “Save Oyster Shell” oyster-recycling program in the Maryland and Virginia watershed areas.

The foundation, due to a lack of proper funding, equipment and resources, joined forces with the partnership to deal with large-scale shell collection. Until now, the program has been mainly run on a volunteer basis, with the intention of giving people “a sense of ownership in helping to save the bay,” Willey said.

While the foundation and the partnership both wish to continue to encourage public participation, collection operates on a county-by-county basis, so working through restrictions on collection can take a while.

Despite the lapse in collection efforts lately, Day thinks the program is “quite successful” in building oyster bars all over the bay. He will continue to participate in the program once he gets more collection bins, because he would rather use his leftover oyster shells to help regenerate the bay than waste them.

“It’s a little extra work, but it’s worth it,” he said.

May said despite the setbacks, the program seems to be a success. “I think they’re headed in the right direction, they just need to get more people on board to help.” He cited the lag time in establishing a public dumping spot in Frederick as an example of the need for the community to rally behind the program.

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Good news! Another ‘Zero Waste’ grocery store opens in France ("new behavioral options make a diff")

Good news! Another ‘Zero Waste’ grocery store opens in France ("new behavioral options make a diff") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
High quality bulk ingredients, as long as you bring your own container -- sounds like my kind of dream store!

At day by day, there is no packaging; all 450 products are sold loose. You must bring your own containers or use the ones “graciously provided by other clients,” according to the website. This helps both the planet and one’s wallet, since we often pay for fancy excessive packaging without even realizing it. Bigorgne told La Voix du Nord that, in some cases, her package-free products are 40 percent cheaper than what you would pay in a conventional store, despite being of higher quality.

You can buy precisely the quantity of food that you want. “If you need only a single spoonful of coffee or two cinnamon sticks, I’ll sell it to you,” Bigorgne says. The idea is to reduce the amount of food waste that gets thrown away by selling exactly what a person will use. (An estimated 24 percent of calories produced globally are wasted, and that number is much higher in the U.S.)

This is not a new concept; it’s the way that many of our grandparents shopped. They would take a jar to the corner store to have it filled with however much of a particular ingredient they needed or could afford. While we enjoy a much greater selection of food than previous generations did, it is unfortunate that we’ve moved so far away from the bulk shopping model and the acceptance of reusable containers in stores.

Bert Guevara's insight:

New options in consumer behavior patterns make far better sense in finding sustainable solutions to the waste problem. The banning of plastic has not made a dent in our garbage volume. The latest MMDA data shows a 20% increase in Metro Manila landfill waste volume. We must be attacking the problem the wrong way.

"Stores like day by day show that the trend may be changing. Hopefully North America will take a lesson from Europe’s more forward-thinking grocery models and start realizing that there is another way to shop that doesn’t involve vast quantities of plastic packaging waste."

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How to Reduce the Toxic Impact of Your Ex-Smartphone ("mind boggling stats worth the recycle effort")

How to Reduce the Toxic Impact of Your Ex-Smartphone ("mind boggling stats worth the recycle effort") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
If Americans recycled the 130 million cellphones thrown away every year, enough energy to power 24,000 homes could be saved

With so many new smartphones and electronics being purchased, are users disposing of their older devices properly? According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, approximately 2,440,000 tons of electronics, such as computers, mobile devices and televisions, were disposed of in 2010. Twenty-seven percent, or 649,000 tons, of that “e-waste” was recycled. Because some materials in electronics, such as lead, nickel, cadmium and mercury, could pose risks to human health or the environment, the EPA “strongly supports” keeping used electronics out of landfills.

“Recycling electronic equipment isn’t quite as easy as leaving it in a bin in your front yard, as we've learned to do with paper and plastics, but the health and environmental benefits of recycling e-scrap are tremendous,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Mary A. Gade. “Also, we know that half of the devices thrown away still work.”

If Americans recycled the approximately 130 million cell phones that are disposed of annually, enough energy would be saved to power more than 24,000 homes in a year. If we went ahead and recycled one million laptops, too, we would save the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year. Furthermore, for every million cell phones we recycle, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered. Recovering these valuable metals through recycling precludes the need for mining and processing that much new material from the Earth, thus not only conserving natural resources but preventing air and water pollution as well.

Bert Guevara's insight:

While the e-waste problem is still manageable, new solutions should be put in place. With no imperative or incentive to manufacturers or dealers, the problem keeps mounting yearly.

"To fix the problem, Purves said the state should require manufacturers of electronic equipment to accept an unlimited amount of material to be recycled.

"In addition, he argued existing e-waste recycling companies need to be paid reasonable compensation for trying to dispose of the materials properly.

"Ultimately, legislation may be need to correct the problem, according to some."

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Why are cities picking up the tab for recycling? ("commercial responsibility lacking in waste disposal")

Why are cities picking up the tab for recycling? ("commercial responsibility lacking in waste disposal") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Sarah Laskow writes an important article on recycling and producer responsibility, a subject dear to TreeHugger's heart.

Recycling makes you feel good about buying disposable packaging and sorting it into neat little piles so that you can then pay your city or town to take away and ship across the country so somebody can melt it and downcycle it into a bench if you are lucky. But only a little more than a quarter of that waste makes it that far, because the economics aren't there and many towns find it cheaper to just dump it in a hole in the ground.

Now Sarah Laskow picks up the banner with her post at Next City, asking Who Will Pay America’s $1.5 Billion Recycling Bill? with the subhead that we have been asking for years, Why Are Cities Picking Up the Tab on Corporate America’s Waste?

Laskow notes that disposable packaging makes up a big chunk of municipal solid waste. Fifty years ago this barely existed; people paid a deposit on bottles and took them back, where they were refilled. People ate in restaurants, not cars, and used china plates that were washed and reused. However manufacturers managed to convince us all that it is our responsibility to pick this stuff up and pay for its disposal or recycling. There is talk of change:

Industry clearly isn't interested in EPR and doesn't want to talk about it but it is really the only way to do it. We all drink BPA laden canned beer now because the big brewers wanted to centralize production and they couldn't do that shipping heavy empty glass bottles around the country. The whole system of distribution works now on it all being one way, with the consumer responsible for the garbage. Laskow quotes Samantha McBride on how they changed the language and the thinking:

In the ’80s, some container and paper companies began supporting curbside recycling “to keep the costs of negative externalities squarely on the public.” Industry representatives were often quite explicit about this position. In a 1993 article about recycling, for instance, a representative of the American Plastics Council told the New York Times, “If I buy a product, I’m the polluter … I should be responsible for the disposal of the package.”

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This scenario is the same in the Philippines -- LGUs spend tax money for waste collection, transport and disposal of commercial packaging waste. Is there a way for the companies who make the profits to share in the expense of recycling?

"I am not sure that this is entirely true. When there is true producer responsibility, companies act in their own best interest like Dell and BMW did, to design things so that it is easier and cheaper to deal with the waste. When Herman Miller took on producer responsibility for their Aeron chairs, they redesigned it so that they could take it apart in minutes and reuse many of the components. Because the companies selling beer in Canada take the bottles back and refill them, they design them to be a bit heavier and stronger to survive an average of 37 cycles of sale, return, wash, refill, sale. They save a fortune."

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ALERT! California Water Aquifers Injected with Waste 2500 Times - YouTube ("this is atrocious!")

http://www.undergroundworldnews.com Following the news that California allowed oil companies to inject waste into federally protected underground aquifers, s...

Following the news that California allowed oil companies to inject waste into federally protected underground aquifers, state regulators are offering a new set of rules to govern the way water is safeguarded in the future.
According to a report by the Associated Press, state officials permitted oil and gas companies to dispose of waste and other fluids into aquifers containing drinking and irrigation water more than 2,500 times. Significantly, 46 percent of these permits were authorized within the last four years – the same timeframe during which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned California that regulators were not sufficiently protecting underground water reserves in the drought-stricken state.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This shouldn't happen anywhere in the planet. Aquifers are owned by the people as part of nature's heritage. It will be atrocious to discover that oil companies were allowed to use it as their septic tank.

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The 7 Best Compost Bins for Organic Gardening in 2015 ("you will be running out of excuses")

The 7 Best Compost Bins for Organic Gardening in 2015 ("you will be running out of excuses") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Here are 7 great, simple compost bins to start using your ‘waste’ to create your own nutrient-rich ‘black-gold’ soil to add to your gardens.

If you’ve been yearning to start composting – this is the year to do it! Composting mimics nature’s recycling plan, only it does so on super-warp speed when done right. A compost pile starts out as a diverse pile of “waste.” The easiest compost systems are simply left alone to decompose into rich, sweet-smelling garden amendment, while others require a little elbow grease.

Two important ingredients to any composting system are aeration and moisture. Sometimes heat can make sure that you get a composted soil that is rich with beneficial fungi, beneficial bacteria, and earthworms, as well as the enzymes and acids these life-forms release as they multiply. These soil nutrients can turn a half-dead garden plot into a Garden of Eden bursting with bumper crops.

Not only does adding organic composted soil to your garden help its water-retaining capacity, it also helps to build the immune system of your plants – making your favorite trees, vegetables, flowers, and fruit better able to respond to the challenges presented by a thriving ecosystem – including pesky insects and diseases.

It also removes trash that the municipal collection agencies would normally have to retrieve, and which would go to waste. Yard trimmings, such as leaves, grass clippings, garden debris, and brush, make up over 20% of a typical household’s solid waste.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Here are 7 great compost bins that are easy to set up today to start using your ‘waste’ to create your own nutrient-rich ‘black-gold’ soil to add to your gardens:

1.  Vermicomposting

2.  Japanese Bokashi Composting

3.  Rot-resistant Cedar & Chicken Wire

4. Grass-Clippings, Fall Leaves, and Wood Chip Composting

5. The Three Bin System

6.  Open Wire Compost Bin

7.  Lazy Man's Composting

 

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Unilever, P&G Join Closed Loop Fund to Boost Recycling - Triple Pundit (blog) ("a matter of incentives")

Unilever, P&G Join Closed Loop Fund to Boost Recycling - Triple Pundit (blog) ("a matter of incentives") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Unilever and P&G have joined the Closed Loop Fund, a multi-stakeholder program that seeks to invest up to $100 million in recycling programs.

Recycling has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, with some estimates suggesting it could even be worth as much as $80 billion this year. Nevertheless, many communities in the U.S. still do not offer recycling with their municipal waste collection. Even though cities such as Los Angeles have seen a net financial benefit — gaining revenues from selling off recyclable materials instead of paying to send them to landfill — cities are losing money from not launching recycling programs.

Of course, as with the launch of any business or initiative, seed money is needed. And despite the improving economy, many municipalities cannot or will not invest in the launch of the program. Recently Unilever and Procter & Gamble joined a program that seeks to address the growing challenges of waste diversion.

Both consumer packaged goods companies are now aligned with the Closed Loop Fund, a multi-stakeholder program that seeks to invest up to $100 million in recycling programs.

Companies that have joined this initiative so far include Walmart, Coca-Cola, Kuerig, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo and Goldman Sachs — a list that will impress you, or cause your eyes to roll upward, depending on how sincere you believe this project is. Staffed and advised by a crew of executives and advisors from academia, nonprofits, governments and the private sector, the Close Loop Fund insists it “can drive transformational change through partnership” in order to boost recycling rates across the country.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I have always believed in "incentivized" recovery of waste. This program in the U.S. can be replicated locally, with industries partnering with the right private recyclers.

"... Taking a stand on extended producer responsibility would help these companies achieve such targets — but these companies would rather pin the responsibility on consumers, retailers and municipalities. The offer of financing for recycling programs is a far more cost-effective strategy for these companies. $100 million may seem a lot, but it could evaporate quickly if many cities show interest. Time will tell if this will really make a difference or if it is just a well-orchestrated PR stunt full of “multifaceted” investments “in innovative programs.”

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These Companies Want to Make Your Smartphone Truly Smart | Sustainable Brands ("fight vs obsolescence")

These Companies Want to Make Your Smartphone Truly Smart | Sustainable Brands ("fight vs obsolescence") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Mobile phone manufacturers have made their billions promoting and taking advantage of our collective technophilia. But Shiny Object Syndrome only accounts for part of the equation — the balance belonging to planned obsolescence. Mobile phones — and smartphones in particular — have been designed as a one-off capture of the latest technology. But what if you could actually “upgrade” a phone — adding or replacing components to improve the device without needing to dispose of the entire unit?

That is the aim of the Puzzlephone, a new modular Android device with three parts that can easily be customized, replaced or upgraded. It features a "brain" with the main electronics, a "heart" with the battery and a "spine" with an LCD screen. If, say, the battery or camera stops working — or you want to upgrade to a better operating system — you can switch in a new part rather than buying an entirely new phone. The phone is designed to last 10 years and have a significantly reduced life cycle and environmental footprint.

Some conceptual challenges facing the Puzzlephone include finding the best balance of modular and non-modular components. Consumers may be averse to a phone that is too configurable. From a hardware perspective, there are challenges in developing something compact, reliable and useful in a convenient package.

Similarly, a company called Phonebloks is working on how to divide the structure of smartphones into separate modules, or Bloks, designed for easy disassembly. The primary benefit is being able to detach faulty components and have them repaired or replaced without having to toss the entire phone. Phonebloks wants to both revolutionize the mobile phone industry with long-lasting phones and create them on an open platform, through a collaborative effort between as many phone companies as want to take part.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The corporate practice of "planned obsolescence" for electronic gadgets is simply overwhelming the e-waste scenario of most developed and developing countries. The Philippines is no exception.

"There are also questions of ethics afflicting the mobile phone industry — most notably the unscrupulous acquisition of rare earth minerals, or “conflict minerals.” ...

"As smartphones become ubiquitous and information communication technologies continue to pervade the farthest reaches of the world, the need to address accompanying environmental and social sustainability concerns associated with our devices is becoming increasingly evident — and electronics giants would do well to follow the lead of these forward-thinking companies."

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The technology turning carpets into bikes ("fantastic idea! great inventor but we need to replicate")

The technology turning carpets into bikes ("fantastic idea! great inventor but we need to replicate") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
A New Zealand company has developed a way to recycle worn-out carpets into children’s bicycles

Now it can. For the past several months, carpets have found a highly unconventional second life as bikes. Jenny McIver and her husband Rich – New Zealanders who have recently returned home after several years in New York City – run Wishbone Design, a product design company. Together they have developed a technology that allows them to turn carpets into rigid tubular shapes and so form children’s bikes. Not just that: the Wishbone Bike Recycled Edition can be expanded as the child grows, saving additional space in landfill.

“The nylon carpet fibres are shaved from the backing,” explains McIver. “Then both the nylon fibre and polypropylene backing are separately recycled via a proprietary process, which shreds, cleans and heats the raw material into liquid form. We add glass fibre for strength and rigidity.”

The result is engineered resin pellets that can be injection-moulded into strong organic forms. “But we don’t stop there,” says McIver. “This is the first bicycle ever to be made using gas-assisted injection moulding, which allows us to create complex, single-piece tubular forms that achieve very high strength and rigidity.”

The couple spent almost three years developing the technology and design, introducing the mass-produced bike last year – the world’s first bike made entirely from post-consumer recycled material. In concrete terms, that means nylon from used carpet – two kilos of it per bike. Customers particularly love the design aesthetic and the adjustable frame, says McIver, which fits children from 12 months to six years.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Fantastic efforts in recycling that needs to be replicated in many countries. The creativity goes on and on!

"The Wishbone Bike Recycled Edition may be the most glamorous end for a worn-out floor covering, but it is not the only way to recycle a carpet. Particularly in the US, carpet recycling is advancing quickly. Thanks to Care, a partnership between the government and private companies, 30% of used carpet now returns to the market as carpet fibre, backings, new carpet, cushions and engineered resins, a common component in durable goods. Care reports that in 2012, the latest year surveyed, 1.6m tonnes of carpet was diverted from American landfills and recycled, the highest figure ever."

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Municipalities Look to Reduce Toxic Waste by Recycling Cigarette Butts ("small butt terrible")

Municipalities Look to Reduce Toxic Waste by Recycling Cigarette Butts ("small butt terrible") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Cigarette litter mars landscapes, beaches and sidewalks across the country, but municipalities are working to reduce the toxic waste plaguing America’s public places.

Cigarette waste accounts for 38 percent of all litter, making it the country's most-littered item, according to "Litter in America," a KAB 2009 study of littering behavior. The U.S. improperly discards an estimated 195 million pounds of cigarette butts annually.

Over the past eight years, Connecticut-based KAB says its program cut cigarette litter by half based on local measurements taken in the first four to six months after implementation. In fact, KAB claims an average 48 percent reduction of cigarette litter in communities implementing the program in 2013. Cities that maintain their programs are sustaining their success, with litter-reduction programs improving by an additional 34 percent in 2014.

TerraCycle, which uses difficult-to-recycle products in its process, has a nationwide program, along with New Orleans and other cities, that recycles cigarette butts into plastic pellets later used to make products, such as industrial pallets.

The city and tax payers pay nothing for the program, which is an extension of TerraCycle's Cigarette Waste Brigade and sponsored by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. In fact, to help fund green jobs throughout the city, the recycler donates $4 for every pound of cigarette waste collected. TerraCycle supplies the receptacles and the cigarette company covers any ongoing costs. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

A cool idea to remedy a nagging nuisance waste problem. Can there be such a program in the Philippines?

"Having these receptacles available should provide us one more tool in our efforts to keep our city clean, while maintaining our commitment to being green and eliminating our overall trash output,” ...

"The city pays nothing for the program and TerraCycle donates $2 for every pound of cigarette waste collected, giving $1 to Salem Main Streets and $1 to KAB."

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Australia orders waste dumping ban on Great Barrier Reef ("why not ban garbage from all oceans?")

Australia orders waste dumping ban on Great Barrier Reef ("why not ban garbage from all oceans?") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Australia has ordered a ban on dumping dredge waste on most of the Great Barrier Reef, the environment minister said Saturday, as part of a push to stop the UN declaring the site in danger. Environ...

“We are ending a century-old practice of dumping in the marine park,” he said, referring to waste created by enlarging shipping channels, berths and marinas.

Conservationists say dumping waste in reef waters damages it by smothering corals and seagrasses and exposing them to poisons and high levels of nutrients.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has threatened to put the reef, which is a World Heritage area, on its danger list.

The body has given Australia until February 1 to act and Hunt said he would travel to Europe next week to consult on long-term plans for the natural wonder.

Hunt said the government had put together “a strong defence of the management of the Great Barrier Reef… concluding that it should not be listed as in danger”.

The reef also faces threats from climate change, nutrients washing into the sea and the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish, and the government was working on each of them, he added in a statement.

But he said water quality was improving, coral-eating starfish were being culled and stricter management regimes have been put in place for shipping and developments, including ports.

“Australians are proud of the reef and it remains one of the great natural wonders of the world,” he said.

“We are determined to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef not just for the coming decades, but for coming centuries.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

By executive order, by law, by resolution, by edict -- why not ban garbage in our oceans and beaches? We can't afford to lose any more beautiful sites. 

“Australians are proud of the reef and it remains one of the great natural wonders of the world,” he said.

“We are determined to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef not just for the coming decades, but for coming centuries.”

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Coconuts Husks: Adding Value to a Wasted Resource ("creativity at work; waste can become a resource")

Coconuts Husks: Adding Value to a Wasted Resource ("creativity at work; waste can become a resource") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Researchers turned entrepreneurs see tremendous value in using coconut husks to produce a variety of products while helping local farmers and communities.

While husks are often discarded, they can be put to a variety of uses, such as binder-less particle board, sustainable packing material, automotive trunk liners and electric car battery pack covers. Additional applications include farm erosion netting, activated charcoal filters, potting materials and wall planters.

Also known as coir, the history of using coconut husks to manufacture a variety of natural bio-products goes back thousands of years. Today, it’s progressing hand-in-hand with an inclusive model of international development centered on sustainable local market and business development, job creation and the opening up of new opportunities that could raise the living standards of millions of families living in the tropics.

Young research-driven companies in Texas, such as Essentium Materials in College Station, embody social-enterprise and triple-bottom-line values in which ethics and justice underpin environmentally, socially and economically sustainable product and business development.

An abundant, renewable resource that thrives across a 2,800-mile-wide tropical zone, an estimated 50 billion coconuts are harvested annually across the tropics. Ninety-six percent are harvested by more than 10 million poor, small-scale coconut farmers subsisting on less than $500 per year, highlighted Baylor University’s Dr. Walter L. Bradley and Stanton Greer in a research brief.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Zero Waste thinking at work!

As Teipel said, “The coolest part is seeing something that was once just waste become a new resource … Also, it is benefitting both the environment and the communities in developing nations where the coconuts are grown.”

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Trashing electronics becomes illegal in New York ("creating need for systematic recycling/disposal")

Trashing electronics becomes illegal in New York ("creating need for systematic recycling/disposal") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
If Santa brings you a shiny new laptop, video game console or flat-screen TV, don't toss the old one in the trash.

Starting Jan. 1, the final phase of New York’s 2010 electronics recycling law takes effect, making it illegal for consumers to throw so-called “e-waste” in the garbage.

“Now you have to recycle it,” said John Shegerian, CEO of Fresno, Calif.-based Electronic Recyclers International, which provides e-waste recycling services for New York City, Los Angeles and 150 other municipalities across the country. “You need to find a legitimate recycler and get your material to them.”

Violators can be fined $100.

New York’s law requires electronics manufacturers to finance a system of collection and recycling for state residents. Best Buy stores accept most electronics from consumers for recycling at no charge, regardless of where the product was purchased. For products not accepted in-store, such as rear-projection TVs and monitors larger than 32 inches, the company offers haul-away services when a replacement product is delivered to the home.

The Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Staples and Best Buy accept consumer electronics and send them to Electronics Recyclers International, which has eight facilities across the country that shred electronics and reclaim materials.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This may be a good idea to replicate in the Philippines.

 

"There are now electronics recycling laws in 25 states, but not all go as far as New York’s, which bans landfill disposal of computers and peripherals, televisions, cathode ray tubes and small electronic equipment like VCRs and game consoles.

"As more states require electronics recycling, an industry has rapidly grown to provide recycling services. According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a trade group, the U.S. recycling industry employs more than 45,000 full-time workers, up from 6,000 in 2002."

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Video: Jailed, but Not Silenced ("the lake protector is jailed; polluter continues 'poison' business")

Video: Jailed, but Not Silenced ("the lake protector is jailed; polluter continues 'poison' business") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Wu Lihong, an environmental activist, was jailed for speaking out about pollution in China’s Lake Tai. Now he is free, but is still calling attention to the industrial waste that flows into the lake.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

When the government takes a blind position on pollution, the victims are the people they were supposed to protect. And when someone speaks the truth; he is jailed.

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Toxic E-Waste Piles Up as Manufacturers End Free Recycling ("cheap gadgets = more e-waste disposed")

Toxic E-Waste Piles Up as Manufacturers End Free Recycling ("cheap gadgets = more e-waste disposed") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Some 55 million pounds of e-waste could be recycled in 2015, but that's not likely to happen despite laws on the books

“It’s a shame,’’ said Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), the chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “Our program is not working well.’’
It is no small problem. A projection from the state Department of Environmental Protection, estimates that approximately 55 million pounds of e-waste material could be recycled in 2015, according to John Purves, an attorney who represents some of the recycling facilities.
Whether that goal can be achieved, however, is questionable, considering changes in the marketplace.
Manufacturers used to accept the e-waste for free, but are now balking at doing so. Counties and towns that had to pay recyclers are bailing out of the program because of higher costs, according to Purves.
“This problem is going to get worse,’’ he said. “I fear a big rise in illegal dumping. It only works if the cost of recycling is borne by manufactures, which is not happening today.’’
The result is that some of the waste ends up being stored in county Department of Works warehouses, instead of being recycled, according to Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
“A lot of towns have stopped recycling the stuff and the DEP not enforcing the law,’’ Tittel said.
In part, that is because many municipalities and counties have reduced their workforces, Purves said.
To fix the problem, Purves said the state should require manufacturers of electronic equipment to accept an unlimited amount of material to be recycled.

Bert Guevara's insight:

We need a win-win solution for everyone to do his part - consumer, government and industry.

"To fix the problem, Purves said the state should require manufacturers of electronic equipment to accept an unlimited amount of material to be recycled."

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House OKs bill penalizing dumping of ships waste into sea ("another good law that awaits enforcement")

House OKs bill penalizing dumping of ships waste into sea ("another good law that awaits enforcement") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that will prevent and control pollution caused by waste materials from ships.

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure that will prevent and control pollution caused by waste materials from ships.
Among the prohibited acts under the bill are the discharge of oil, oily mixture, noxious liquid substances, and other harmful substances in packaged form, sewage, garbage from any Philippine ship or any other ship while within Philippine waters.
House Bill 5377 seeks to implement the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships or Marpol 73/78, including its annexes and subsequent amendments.
The measure, known as the proposed “Prevention of Pollution from Ships Act,” shall cover Philippine ships, wherever they may be found, and foreign-flagged ships, whether or not they are registered with state parties to the Convention.
Exempted from the coverage of the proposed law, however, are warships, naval auxiliary ships and man-of-war vessels.
A violator may face a fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million, while the dumping of garbage or sewage will pay not less than P25,000, but not more than P2 million.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is an important development in solid waste management. If we are complaining about ocean garbage, then we have to help the government enforce this new law.

The meat is in the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) and of course, the implementation.

"A violator may face a fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million, while the dumping of garbage or sewage will pay not less than P25,000, but not more than P2 million.
"A corresponding fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million will be slapped on ships that emit other harmful substances.
"HB 5377 creates the Marine Pollution Adjudication Board with quasi-judicial powers to hear marine pollution cases."

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, February 16, 1:00 AM

This is an important development in solid waste management. If we are complaining about ocean garbage, then we have to help the government enforce this new law.

The meat is in the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) and of course, the implementation.

"A violator may face a fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million, while the dumping of garbage or sewage will pay not less than P25,000, but not more than P2 million.
"A corresponding fine ranging from P200,000 to P10 million will be slapped on ships that emit other harmful substances.
"HB 5377 creates the Marine Pollution Adjudication Board with quasi-judicial powers to hear marine pollution cases."

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25 new uses for old jars ("reuse involves creativity; you won't run out of ideas")

25 new uses for old jars ("reuse involves creativity; you won't run out of ideas") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
If you have a jumble of jars that need jobs, consider calling them into service for any of these tasks.

1. Contain goopy cakes

2. Show off your souvenirs

3. Tame an unruly button collection

4. Load them up at the grocery store

5. Light a lantern

6. Create a sanctuary for succulents

7. Poach perfect eggs

8. Constrain your spools and assorted junk

9. Hatch a tiny forest

10. Whip up some homemade hostess gifts

11. Create a cloche for crafted treasures

12. Bring a salad to work

13. Sprout sprouts

14. Swing a chandelier

15. Construct a parfait

(and many more ....)

Bert Guevara's insight:

"Given the choice, most of us treehugging types will opt for a product that comes housed in glass rather than plastic. There's the satisfying heft of a jar, the clink in the shopping cart, the lack of leaching chemicals, and the ease of recycling ... among other things.

"Glass jars rock. But perhaps one of their most beguiling traits is also one of their most bedeviling: Their potential for reuse.

"Because although the possibilities are many, the empty jars – eagerly waiting to fulfill some type of practical function – seem to proliferate like rabbits in the cabinet.

"They're too useful to toss, but how many applications do you actually employ them in? If you have a jumble of jars that need jobs, consider calling them into service for any of the following tasks."

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KidsGardening.org - Carton 2 Garden - YouTube ("great corporate CSR project to start them young")

Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening.org are proud to present our first national Carton 2 Garden Contest!

School gardens can provide a number of benefits to students, teachers, and schools, and can serve as living laboratories where kids can observe, learn, and experiment, while also growing fresh food and nurturing a healthy appetite for good clean fun. And although some school and urban garden programs are very successful at what they do, and are inspiring kids and their families to get more involved with their food system, we've still got a long way to go before every school has their own garden, even if it's just a small one.

One strategy for schools, teachers, and parents to help boost a school garden program in their community (or to help start one) is to start small and think creatively, using the resources at hand, in order to attract more interest and funding for the project, and to then expand it as more resources become available. The Carton 2 Garden contest, which offers prizes of up to $2500 USD for building or enhancing school gardens, is centered around using something which is present at just about every school in the country, the humble milk and juice carton.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I like this project. Can we have local corporate sponsors (who use composite packaging) pick up the tab?

"The Carton 2 Garden contest, which is open to any public, private, or charter K-12 school in the US, is looking for the most creative or most appropriate use of repurposed juice and milk cartons in a school garden."

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Plastic film, bag recycling campaign hits Dunn County ("education, recovery & recycling of plastic")

Plastic film, bag recycling campaign hits Dunn County ("education, recovery & recycling of plastic") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
To create awareness about plastic film and bag recycling, the Dunn County Solid Waste Division is launching a new advertising campaign. Educating people about what types of plastic film and

The ad campaign playfully compares recycling to reincarnation, giving new life to old materials. Featured in the ads are a digging dog who was formerly an archeologist, and a plastic lumber fence that used to be a bread bag. The ads were created by Flapjack Creative of Wausau. Funding to create the ads came from a grant through the Dunn County Community Foundation, while placement of the ads is funded by the American Chemistry Council.

The Dunn County Solid Waste Division has been working to energize and educate the public about plastic film and bag recycling since last summer.

In 2014, Dunn County was chosen as part of a pilot program for a nationwide public outreach initiative aimed at increasing the recycling of plastic film packaging. The pilot program, called WRAP (Wrap Recycling Action Program) is made possible through coordination of both local and national organizations including the American Chemistry Council, Flexible Film Recycling Group, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Indianhead Enterprises, Inc. and Trex Company, Inc.

The Dunn County Solid Waste Division and the City of Menomonie initially kicked off their plastic film and bag recycling program by designating June as “Plastic Film and Bag Recycling Awareness Month.” Area Collection Stations and the Transfer Station began accepting plastic film such as dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, plastic wrap around napkins, toilet paper, bottled water, etc. in addition to traditional grocery bags.

Thanks to a partnership with Indianhead Enterprises, the plastic film and bags collected by Dunn County are recycled into composite decking by Trex Company, Inc. Dunn County hopes the new campaign will teach residents to recycle plastic film and bags, as well as encourage businesses to recycle items such as stretch wrap, pallet wrap, furniture wrap, retail bags and more.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The trend towards educated use and recovery of plastic bags goes a long way in sustainable waste management policies. The consumers will pick up any "smart" program that does not 'punish' the public.

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Two women turn upcycled fashion into an award-winning business ("world needs more women like them")

Two women turn upcycled fashion into an award-winning business ("world needs more women like them") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it

dLook At Me Designs transforms old sweaters and tee shirts into fresh new styles.

The company creates flirty skirts, tees, texting gloves, hats and scarves from recycled materials, all in Plainville. For the tee-shirt skirts, they find materials at thrift stores—which gives them control over colors and patterns. For sweaters, they buy materials by the bale.

“The most hideous sweater can become the cutest gloves,” said Brown. She and Peddle buy sweaters by the pound from a textiles grader, who sorts through the clothing donations that can’t be sold in thrift shops. These bales of clothes are typically shipped overseas, but Look At Me Designs found a use for them here in the U.S.

Both women work on the designs, and collaborate with independent sewers in the area to produce the items. Brown said that they use scraps to create embellishments, and if any garments are still in good condition but can’t be used, they donate them.

“It’s a challenge to see what we have, and what we can do with it,” said Peddle. For example, bulky sweaters that couldn’t be turned into skirts inspired the pair to make texting gloves, which have become popular sellers. The thick sweaters are also turned into boot-toppers, which double as leg warmers.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Are you looking for a unique career?

"Scaling up the business has not been without its challenges, as some retailers expect to know exactly how every item will look in advance. “We encourage people to understand that each piece is unique,” said Peddle. When the company sells their goods wholesale, they incentivize shops to be flexible about color palettes by offering better prices—which in turn helps them recycle more."

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Food Industry Needs to Take Responsibility for Its Packaging ("who are making an effort to go green?")

Food Industry Needs to Take Responsibility for Its Packaging ("who are making an effort to go green?") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Leading companies in the food industry are falling short when it comes to addressing the environmental impact of their packaging, according to a new report.

The study, Waste and Opportunity 2015: Environmental Progress and Challenges in Food, Beverage and Consumer Goods Packaging, reviews the packaging practices and policies of 47 major companies and evaluates them by four standards: reducing waste at the source of the packaging (using reusable packaging or choosing packaging with less material), using recycled-content material, designing packaging for recyclability, and supporting recycling collection efforts for packaging materials.

Not one of the 47 companies surveyed earned the report’s highest ranking, “Best Practices.” But six companies were able to achieve the second-best standing, “Better Practices,” in the fast food and beverage sectors: Starbucks, McDonald’s, New Belgium Brewing, Coca-Cola, Nestlé Waters North America and PepsiCo. ...

Quick-service restaurant and beverage companies that received the lowest ranking in the survey — for showing little to no leadership on packaging sustainability — include: Arby’s, Quizno’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s Pizza, Heineken, MillerCoors, Boston Beer and Red Bull.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In case you want to know which companies are making an effort to help the environment while doing business, here is a ranking made by a foreign group.

“Better Practices,” in the fast food and beverage sectors: Starbucks, McDonald’s, New Belgium Brewing, Coca-Cola, Nestlé Waters North America and PepsiCo. ...

"... for showing little to no leadership on packaging sustainability — include: Arby’s, Quizno’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s Pizza, Heineken, MillerCoors, Boston Beer and Red Bull."

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What a waste: study finds big US brands stuck on disposable packaging ("time to attack earlier")

What a waste: study finds big US brands stuck on disposable packaging ("time to attack earlier") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Lagging behind the rest of the developed world, American brands continue to opt for the absolute worst packaging materials, according to a report released Thursday

Big brands, including Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, KFC, Kraft Foods and MillerCoors, are wasting billions of dollars worth of valuable materials because they sell food and drinks in subpar packaging, according to a comprehensive new report on packaging and recycling by the fast food, beverage, consumer goods and grocery industries.

The environmental groups did identify a number of leaders, albeit flawed ones. In the beverage industry, New Belgium Brewing, Coca-Cola, Nestlé Waters and PepsiCo won praise. Starbucks and McDonald’s are said to be a cut above their competitors in fast food and quick-serve restaurants. As for consumer goods companies and grocery stores, the report offers qualified praise for Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever.

Broadly, though, this study paints a discouraging picture. What progress has been made is incremental and spotty, not comprehensive. As often than not, single-use packages of food and drinks are made from virgin materials and then tossed in the trash.

As the report notes, with an overall recycling rate of 34.5% and an estimated packaging recycling rate of 51%, the United States lags behind many other developed countries. Less than 14% of plastic packaging — the fastest-growing form of packaging — is recycled. Recyclable post-consumer packaging with an estimated market value of $11.4bn is wasted annually.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Packaging designs and materials cannot be left to the discretion of corporations, if we want to reduce waste of valuable resources of the planet.

"Perhaps most significantly, public policy around packaging has advanced at a snail’s pace. While businesses in the EU and elsewhere help finance comprehensive recycling programs through what are called “extended producer responsibility” fees, only a handful of companies — led by Nestle Water, Coca-Cola and New Belgium — have expressed a willingness to support that approach in the US."

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How Reducing Food Waste Could Ease Climate Change ("there is a direct link which you may not know")

How Reducing Food Waste Could Ease Climate Change ("there is a direct link which you may not know") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The energy used to produce wasted food generates more than 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.

More than a third of all of the food that's produced on our planet never reaches a table. It's either spoiled in transit or thrown out by consumers in wealthier countries, who typically buy too much and toss the excess. This works out to roughly 1.3 billion tons of food, worth nearly $1 trillion at retail prices.

Aside from the social, economic, and moral implications of that waste—in a world where an estimated 805 million people go to bed hungry each night—the environmental cost of producing all that food, for nothing, is staggering.

The water wastage alone would be the equivalent of the entire annual flow of the Volga—Europe's largest river—according to a UN report. The energy that goes into the production, harvesting, transporting, and packaging of that wasted food, meanwhile, generates more than 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. If food waste were a country, it would be the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind the U.S. and China.

We tend to take our food for granted in the developed world. Since food is so plentiful, we aren't aware of the tremendous amount that's wasted and the impact that has on world hunger, political stability, the environment, and climate change. Yet when it comes to looking for ways to curb greenhouse gas emissions, food wastage is a relatively easy fix—the low-hanging fruit, so to speak—and it is literally rotting on our tables. It doesn't require any new technology, just more efficient use of what we already have. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

What can we do to minimize food waste? We can attack it from two fronts:

1. Governments can enact food safety standards where they don't exist. This will jump-start the system to properly transport and store perishable foods like meat, fish, dairy, and produce. ...

2. We can all take small steps that will accumulate to make a meaningful difference. Let's buy just the food we need so we throw away less. Let's accept that produce can be top quality and delicious even if it has a slight imperfection in appearance. Let's bring meals home that we don't finish in restaurants. Small changes will yield big results.

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City of Vancouver bans organic waste from regular garbage ("composting needed for this to work")

City of Vancouver bans organic waste from regular garbage ("composting needed for this to work") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The use of a green bin has been recommended for years, but now it's the law in Vancouver, as part of the city's plan to cut down on unnecessary food waste.

The city of Vancouver has taken a drastic step to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. As of January 1, it became illegal to toss food scraps into the regular garbage, regardless of whether you live in a single-family home, an apartment complex, or run a business. There will be a six-month grace period for residents to become accustomed to separating organic and household wastes and for garbage haulers to learn to identify the illegal waste, and then penalties will start being applied in July 2015.

Vancouver is already a forward-looking city with an excellent track record when it comes to recycling – about 60 percent, which is among North America’s highest rates. The city’s goal is to recycle 70 percent of its waste by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020. Implementing the organics ban will help make that happen. Mayor Greg Moore explains:

“Everyone is affected by this ban, whether you are at home, or out in the community. We need to think differently. We need to think about how we separate our organics, our recycling, and our solid waste.”

Currently an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the garbage in North American landfill sites is composed of organic material. This is a serious problem because, when organic waste decomposes, it produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas 21 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Parañaque City tried this (by Executive Order) but failed because very few were aware of how to handle food waste. Basic knowledge on home composting is still a foreign idea to many families.

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Eco-Friendly Business Cards Make a Great First Impression - Ways2GoGreen Blog ("sends right message")

Eco-Friendly Business Cards Make a Great First Impression - Ways2GoGreen Blog ("sends right message") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
There are many ways in which you can spread your eco-sensibilities. One of the easiest is through the creation of eco friendly business cards.

But you can make a difference by simply choosing an eco-friendly alternative. Recycled card stock is a great place to start. Although you may love the look of vellum, linen, or high-shine stock, you should know that these options cannot be recycled. So choose not only a stock that is made from reclaimed paper products, but also one that won’t end up in the landfill down the road. You might be surprised by the many appealing options that will fit the bill. From there, you’ll want to select a company that utilizes greener manufacturing processes (less pollution and waste), as well as low-impact dyes. You might think that ink without chemical fixatives won’t be as good, but soy-based products come in a wide range of colors and work just as well as the toxic alternatives that permeate the printing industry (and pollute our water supply).
So now that you’re doing your part for the environment by greening up your own business practices, how can you let clients and colleagues know that your cards are eco-friendly? It’s not like you’re carrying on some kind of business card contest where you can brag about having the best cards in the office; you don’t want to come off as pretentious. But there is a way that eschews blatant self-promotion. Simply have the printer include the recycled stamp on the back of the card (you know, the triangle of green arrows) so that anyone who turns it over will see what you’re up to. Not only will this make a good impression on many people that you’re meeting for the first time; it will also spread the message that there is a multitude of ways to go green, even in business. And it may even convince a few others to do the same.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Your business cards can become green, and send a good impression.

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Full scale of plastic in the world's oceans revealed for first time ("action needed on both ends")

Full scale of plastic in the world's oceans revealed for first time ("action needed on both ends") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Over five trillion pieces of plastic are floating in our oceans says most comprehensive study to date on plastic pollution around the world

Data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand suggests a minimum of 5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans, most of them “micro plastics” measuring less than 5mm.

The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world’s oceans.

While spread out around the globe, much of this rubbish accumulates in five large ocean gyres, which are circular currents that churn up plastics in a set area. Each of the major oceans have plastic-filled gyres, including the well-known ‘great Pacific garbage patch’ that covers an area roughly equivalent to Texas.

Reisser said traversing the large rubbish-strewn gyres in a boat was like sailing through “plastic soup.”

“You put a net through it for half an hour and there’s more plastic than marine life there,” she said. “It’s hard to visualise the sheer amount, but the weight of it is more than the entire biomass of humans. It’s quite an alarming problem that’s likely to get worse.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

We need better consumer and producer responsibilities because plastics are still useful and will not disappear just yet. The recycling loop has to be closed.

"But researchers predict the volume will increase due to rising production of throwaway plastic, with only 5% of the world’s plastic currently recycled.

“Lots of things are used once and then not recycled,” Reisser said. “We need to improve our use of plastic and also monitor plastics in the oceans so we get a better understanding of the issue.

“I’m optimistic but we need to get policy makers to understand the problem. Some are doing that – Germany has changed the policy so that manufacturers are responsible for the waste they produce. If we put more responsibility on to the producer then that would be part of the solution.”

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