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Arab Gulf recycles paper, plastic, and cars! ("car recycling uses less energy & sells internationally")

Arab Gulf recycles paper, plastic, and cars! ("car recycling uses less energy & sells internationally") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) does everything big, including recycling, and this week they’ve officially opened their first plant dedicated to recycling cars! An estimated 11,000 UAE vehicles get ...

Now all that automotive litter will be put to better use: “This is the only facility today that can deal with end-of-life vehicles in the country. We encourage insurance companies, dealers and government departments to use this service,” said Najib Faris, chief commercial officer of Bee’ah, the plant operator.

Dumped cars will be manually dismantled, then sliced and diced to allow valuable metals to be salvaged, and plastics, tires, upholstery, cables and mechanical parts to be recycled or refurbished within the Bee’ah compound.  Previously, old clunkers were sold to scrap dealers, who stripped off spare parts and sold the car carcasses on the international market.

Workers separate cables, which are sent to electronic waste traders, and foam cushions that can be recycled locally. Window glass is pulverized and used for landfill cover. The company aims to sell engines and transmissions to international companies that refurbish them. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

While other countries are worrying about e-waste, this country is recycling cars!

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Waterless toilets turn human waste into energy and fertiliser ("another timely smart poo idea")

Waterless toilets turn human waste into energy and fertiliser ("another timely smart poo idea") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
A number of innovative projects have set out to capture the valuable nutrients available in human faeces and make a profit from poo

Sanergy collects the waste and converts it into nutrient-rich organic fertiliser which is then sold on to Kenyan farmers. To date, Sanergy has launched 555 toilets to a network of 270 Fresh Life operators serving 25,000 people a day while safely removing more than seven tonnes of waste from communities daily.

Like Sanergy, UK-based Loowatt has also developed a hygienic waterless toilet system, although this one also generates energy. The odourless Loowatt toilet uses a sealing mechanism to wrap human waste in a biodegradable liner which is pulled through the sealer when the toilet is flushed. The “cartridge” is then emptied periodically into an anaerobic digester, where the waste and biodegradable liners are converted into biogas and fertiliser.

Since 2012, Loowatt has been rolling out its sanitation system at its pilot project in Antananarivo, Madagascar. There, a public toilet is linked to a micro-scale digester which provides energy onsite, although as the project expands the toilets will be linked to larger digesters operated by the local government or private operators. Using this model, the Loowatt team is working on toilet solutions for disaster relief.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The scarcity of water and the ever-increasing volume of human waste will make you wonder how the sanitation problem can be solved in a sustainable manner. The idea of waterless urinals has already caught up in malls; now we are looking forward to waterless toilets.

“The idea that you could solve sanitation issues with a water-driven toilet is hilarious to me,” says Woo Woo founder James Young. “It’s not going to happen, and that’s just based on water supply. After that you have to build the methods of getting the waste away, and treating it. If someone can crack the waterless toilet by making it affordable and aspirational to everyone, it’s going to make hundreds of millions of lives better.”

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Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away("can this be a lifetime project/business?")

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

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

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

Since it costs an estimated $10 million dollars a year to keep spent fuel safe at closed stations, electricity utilities saddled with these losses, and without any form of income, are taking legal action against the government.

The US government has voted another $205 million to continue exploring the idea of sending the waste to the remote Yucca Mountain in Nevada - an idea fought over since 1987 and still no nearer solution. Even if this plan went through, the facility would not be built and accepting waste until 2048.

The big problem for the US, the utility companies and the consumers who will ultimately pay the bill is what to do in the meantime with the old stations, the spent fuel, and the sites.

Much of the fuel will be moved from wet storage to easier-to-manage dry storage, but it will still be a costly process. What happens after that, and who will pay for it, is anyone's guess.

The industry is having a Nuclear Decommissioning and Used Fuel Strategy Summit in October in Charlotte, North Carolina, to try to sort out some of these issues.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Nuclear energy's dilemma that keeps being put off for the future. But until today, the future solution to a present problem seems too distant.

"The industry itself has always relied on its continuous expansion, and developing science, to deal what it calls "back end costs" at some time in the distant future.

"But as more stations close, and fewer new ones are planned to raise revenue, putting off the problem no longer seems an option, either for the industry or for the governments that ultimately will have to pick up the bill."

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Want to Solve Hunger AND Food Waste? There's an App for That ("tech + charity vs food waste & hunger

Want to Solve Hunger AND Food Waste? There's an App for That ("tech + charity vs food waste & hunger | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
TIME editors and writers set out to find some of these leaders of tomorrow who are working hard to change their worlds today

As the CEO and co-founder of FoodCloud, a nonprofit food-sharing service that connects businesses with charities seeking food donations, Ward spends many evenings in the Irish capital, Dublin, making sure the handovers go smoothly. It’s that dedication that has helped turn FoodCloud, which launched in October 2013, into Ireland’s only nationwide food-sharing charity, facilitating the donation of more than a ton of surplus food every day in a country still emerging from a financial crisis that has hit the poor particularly hard.

FoodCloud works like this: Supermarkets or bakeries, which often have excess food, can sign up and at day’s end use the service’s app to upload details of any leftover food they wish to donate. A text message is then sent to local charities. If staff at a charity want to accept the donation, they can text back and collect the food.

It wasn’t long before Ward and O’Brien were able to successfully connect a Dublin charity to a local farmer’s market, but they soon realized that playing matchmaker between charities and businesses was an enormous amount of work, particularly for two full-time students. Scaling their idea in order to become a functional charity and make a lasting impact would take a lot of time and work.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is what we need in the Philippines to fight hunger and food waste.

"Yet it isn’t just technology that has bolstered FoodCloud; Ward’s business education has helped make the service self-sustainable. “We were very focused on getting a revenue model that worked,” she says, so they could avoid time-consuming fund-raising. FoodCloud charges larger participating businesses to take away their surplus food. Ward says it’s still a win for the big donors because FoodCloud is helping them reduce waste disposal costs."

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Eliminate Food Waste: Green Food Storage Tips - Ways2GoGreen Blog ("be specific in buying & cooking")

Eliminate Food Waste: Green Food Storage Tips - Ways2GoGreen Blog ("be specific in buying & cooking") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Here are a few tips to help to eliminate waste from unused food. Learn green food storage tips.

Buying in bulk is not the best idea for food items. Shop for as few days as possible. It may not be very advantageous to shop daily, but is you shop for items like fruit and vegetables often, buying them as you need them will prevent them hanging around your kitchen waiting to be eaten.

By shopping for specific recipes you can also reduce the amount of time that you have certain items, not allowing them to turn or rot.

A way to store leftovers is very important. Store all of your leftovers in airtight, leak-proof, clear containers. You can also divide the leftovers into smaller portions depending on your servings needs. Always refrigerate leftovers no more than two hours of cooking.

A great way to store food to prevent excess waste is to know which foods to store together. Keep vegetables and fruits separate and store similar items together: Oranges with oranges and carrots with carrots. Because they give off different gases, vegetables and fruit can cause deterioration in each other. Also never wash fruits and vegetables “before” refrigerating. Rapid mold and rot can be a result of the dampness.

Freezing items allow you to keep them longer. Try freezing those apples, strawberries and fresh veggies to not only make them last longer, but to use them in other items such as smoothies and soups.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Reducing food waste is a major concern in urban life. There is a need for continuing education.

"Proper storage of food is half the battle in eliminating waste. Your wallet will thank you as you shop less, and the environment will thank you also. Less waste is always a good thing for mother earth."

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Chinese capital of recycling electronic waste is booming, but at a cost to the environment and locals' health | The Japan Times

Chinese capital of recycling electronic waste is booming, but at a cost to the environment and locals' health | The Japan Times | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Mountains of discarded remote controls litter the warehouse floor. In a dimly lit room, women on plastic stools pry open the devices, as if shucking oyster

Business is booming in the Chinese town of Guiyu, where the world’s electronic waste ends up for recycling — and is set to get even better.

But the industry has a heavy environmental cost. Electronic remnants are strewn in a nearby stream, and the air is acrid from the burning of plastic, chemicals and circuit boards.

Contamination by heavy metals has turned the air and water toxic, and children have high lead levels in their blood, according to an August study by researchers at Shantou University Medical College.

While U.S. e-waste production has increased by 13 percent over the past five years, China’s has nearly doubled, setting the nation on track to overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest source as early as 2017.

Nowhere are the profit and environmental toll of e-waste recycling more on display than in Guiyu in the southern province of Guangdong, where some 80,000 of 130,000 residents work in the loosely regulated industry, according to a 2012 local government estimate.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's about time electronic gadget makers extend the usefulness of their products to reverse the current trend of "planned obsolescence".

The overall picture is mixed, he said. “There is an environmental good happening there — they’re extending the life span of usable components, they’re pulling things out and recycling them, or sending them to Korea and Japan, something that’s very expensive to do in the U.S. and the EU,” he said. “Yet they do it in a way that’s not always good for human health and the environment. Recycling is a morally complicated act.”

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Lombardi promotes zero waste planning as best solution for replacing landfills - Lincoln Journal Star

Lombardi promotes zero waste planning as best solution for replacing landfills - Lincoln Journal Star | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Recycling guru Eric Lombardi wants the city of Lincoln to start thinking about its garbage future.

Right now, most of the city's trash ends up in the Bluff Road Landfill north of Interstate 80. But the big pit could fill up by 2032, and building a new one could be a controversial and costly process.

Eco-Cycle, founded in 1976, is considered a pioneer in the recycling industry, processing more than 50,000 tons of diverse recycled materials annually -- including used yoga mats, which are made into covers for Apple iPads.

The idea of zero-waste planning is to keep garbage out of the landfill in the first place by recycling, composting, reusing, repairing, recovering and redesigning products to make them more durable and environmentally friendly. Using landfills or incinerators to burn garbage to generate electricity is taboo in Lombardi's book.

No community has reached the zero-waste goal yet, he said, but cities such as Boulder, Portland and San Francisco in the U.S. and some European cities are making progress. In Germany, he said, unprocessed mixed waste is banned from landfills.

"Things are changing all around us," Lombardi said. "All of this stuff we are throwing away can be used as a resource."


Bert Guevara's insight:

As sanitary landfills are becoming less viable, the concept of Zero Waste is becoming a sustainable option. This is the best way to go!

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The Zabbaleen of Garbage City - YouTube ("while Egypt struggles, this city takes care of the garbage")

Manshiyat Naser (or Manshiyat Nasser), also known as Garbage City, is a slum settlement at the base of Mokattam Hill on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. Its ec...

And the citizens of Garbage City, as it's called, are surprisingly happy. Only one thing really seems to worry them: the thought that their livelihood dealing in Cairo’s trash will be taken away.

Different families in Garbage City focus on different sorts of trash. Some deal in metals, some in plastic bottles, some in paper — sorting each group into “sellable” and “unsellable.” Anything that can be reused or recycled is saved. Carts pulled by donkeys ply the streets, stacked sometimes 10 feet high with recyclables.These expert dumpster-divers are known as Zabbaleen, that’s “garbage people” in Egyptian Arabic, and they recycle an amazing 80 percent of the waste they collect, compared with a mere 25 percent among garbage companies in Western cities. The Zabbaleen, who live mostly at the southern end of Manshiyat Naser ward, are consummate outsiders — and not just because they collect refuse for a living. They are Christians in a city of Muslims, and pig-farmers in a society that reviles swine.But these outsiders do Cairo an enormous favor. For going on 80 years, they’ve collected, sorted and disposed of the solid waste of one of the world’s largest cities.With a population of around 25 million, Cairo makes mountains and mountains of solid waste every day. And the city’s 80,000 Zabbaleen are thankful for every bit of it, as are the many thousands of pigs that live among them.
Bert Guevara's insight:

While the Egyptian government struggles for political stability, this community handles the garbage problem and achieves 80% recycling efficiency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

Small strides in the right long-range direction.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

2. Reduce the Amount of Waste. 

3. Protect the Environment From Harmful Toxins. 

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

Composting 101.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

It can be done, so days another corporation.

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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BioBus – The UK’s first food and poo-powered bus - YouTube ("back to the future time is upon us")

We’ve launched the first UK bus powered on gas generated from recycling food waste and treating sewage – the Bio-Bus! Television personality Stefan Gates too...

In what is a first for the country, the "Bio-Bus", a 40-seat bus that uses biomethane as its fuel, is now operating in the UK, and could be a harbinger of a greener, more sustainable, public transport system.

The biomethane that fuels the Bio-Bus is generated from sewage and food waste (waste which is unfit for human consumption), and because the bus' engine produces lower emissions while burning biomethane than conventional diesel does, it could not only help improve air quality, but also help to prove the case for more waste-to-fuel projects.

The biomethane is being generated by GENeco through anaerobic digestion at the Bristol sewage treatment works, and in addition to fueling this bus, is also being added to the UK's national gas grid at a volume capable of powering around 8500 homes. The treatment plant handles about 75 million cubic meters of sewage and 35,000 metric tons of food waste each year, effectively turning local waste into local fuel.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Methane gas-powered engines powering buses is a fantastic idea, considering it is from a renewable source -- food waste and poop. This reminds me of "Back to the Future" movie.

"On a full tank of this bio-gas (equivalent to the annual waste of 5 people), the Bio-Bus has a range of up to 300km, and is currently being operated by the Bath Bus Company on the A4."

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Students’ ‘Feeding Forward’ fights hunger, food waste ("US version of FoodCloud tackles food waste")

Students’ ‘Feeding Forward’ fights hunger, food waste ("US version of FoodCloud tackles food waste") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Imperial Valley California News, including Brawley, El Centro, Calexico, Holtville, Dunes, San Diego, Palm Springs

Fourth-year student Chloe Tsang helped found “Bare Abundance,” which has since morphed into the food-recovery platform “Feeding Forward.”

An environmental biology major and global poverty and practice minor, Tsang helped found the food-recovery platform, which connects organizations that have surplus perishable food with social agencies that feed the hungry. More than 400 donor groups — including Cal Dining, Cal Catering and scores of Bay Area restaurants — are currently registered on the site, along with some 100 recipient nonprofits. More than a half-million pounds of food have been recovered since the platform’s launch spring 2013.

“I didn’t expect it to be this big, but now that I see it growing, it’s something I can’t let go of,” says Tsang.

Coordinating volunteers’ schedules was complex and time-consuming, however – and after year two Bare Abundance determined that its model was not sustainable; it was time to leverage technology. A recent Berkeley computer-science graduate rose to the occasion, designing a software program that allows donors to easily post surpluses available for pickup, and helps match those offers with recipients and volunteer drivers. Its launch, under the Feeding Forward brand, catapulted food redistribution to a whole new level at Berkeley.


Bert Guevara's insight:

A noble idea with good intentions will always bear "good fruit." This is another anti-food waste and hunger advocacy that works.

"Coursework on global poverty “helped solidify my passions and explain some of the structural issues involved,” she says. And the food-recovery project put theories intro practice, elegantly marrying her interests in natural resources, environmental justice and food justice – her twin desires to address hunger and reduce food waste."

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Can turning illegal weapons into high art stop gun violence? ("like swords to plowshares... biblical?")

Can turning illegal weapons into high art stop gun violence? ("like swords to plowshares... biblical?") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Liberty United is a company that recycles and transforms illegal guns and bullets into beautiful jewelry, reducing the number of weapons on the street and generating proceeds to help gun violence victims.

A company called Liberty United, created by the founder of Ethos water, is on a mission to reduce gun violence in the United States. Its method is highly unconventional. Illegal weapons and bullets are collected from partner communities, checked and catalogued by law enforcement authorities, and released for recycling. Liberty United’s designers then transform and reforge the weapons into beautiful pieces of jewelry, thus reducing the number of weapons on the street and rendering them unable to cause any further harm.

Each piece of jewelry bears the serial number of the original weapon or is made of reworked metal bullets – a stark reminder of what its purpose once was. A large percentage of profits from sales go back into the communities from which the weapons were collected in order to create safer opportunities for young people and to help families with victims of gun violence.

In a video describing the work that Liberty United does, renowned jewelry design Philip Crangi urges Americans to remember the unity that was both required and created by the construction of the first transcontinental railway across the U.S. in 1869. He invokes the historic act of driving the golden spike as an important symbol of the American spirit, which can also be channeled to combat the unnecessary and rampant gun violence that currently plagues the nation:

Bert Guevara's insight:

Converting guns to creative jewelry - such a poetic message of peace.


“Politically, I think, we all see each other as on opposite ends, and it’s really easy to define ourselves by who we’re not, but ultimately you know we are all in this together. ... To do this kind of project is amazing. This represents a gun that’s no longer on the street killing somebody.”

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UK remanufacturing worth £5.6bn if business model can be cracked ("combating obsolescence profitable")

UK remanufacturing worth £5.6bn if business model can be cracked ("combating obsolescence profitable") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
Remanufacturing presents a huge financial opportunity for the UK and could give British manufacturers a competitive edge

At its crudest, remanufacturing involves rebuilding, repairing and restoring an end-of-life product to meet or exceed its original performance specifications, with a warranty to match. It’s considered one of the more valuable resource flow routes of the circular economy, yet it’s still a fledging industry – particularly within the UK and Europe. According to a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG), the UK’s remanufacturing market is valued at £2.4bn, yet has the potential to increase to £5.6bn.

“Remanufacturing presents a huge financial opportunity for the UK,” asserts APSRG’s manager Laura Owen. She points to the US, which has the largest remanufacturing industry in the world. “Between 2009 and 2011 the value of US remanufactured production grew by 15% to at least $43bn (£26bn). This supported 180,000 full-time jobs in over 70,000 remanufacturing firms.”

Susanne Baker, senior climate and environment policy adviser at manufacturers’ organisation EEF believes that remanufacturing could give British manufacturers a competitive edge “if they can crack the model”. She says it’s about getting used products back to the factory in a cost-effective way.

Earlier this year the APSRG launched its second parliamentary inquiry into remanufacturing, seeking to identify what business models lend themselves best to the activity. In its first inquiry, it called for the establishment of a UK remanufacturing centre of excellence to raise the sector’s profile and encourage greater knowledge transfer between key players. “If developed [it] will be made up of a variety of partners with specific and complementary skills in remanufacturing,” Owen says.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is how to confront the ugly head of "planned obsolescence" which is the most short-sighted profit machine of modern technology and economy. 

After REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, COMPOST, UPCYCLE comes REMANUFACTURE.

“It presents an opportunity to reduce operational costs significantly,” she says. There are many studies to draw on, but remanufacturing typically uses 85% less energy than manufacturing and in some cases, can be twice as profitable.

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Waste Reduction and Green City Goals | Sustainable Cities Collective ("going beyond 3Rs")

Waste Reduction and Green City Goals | Sustainable Cities Collective ("going beyond 3Rs") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it
San Francisco recognized that the recycling of bottles and paper could no longer remedy the amount of waste being produced, so they initiated a zero-waste program.

The challenge lies in reconditioning the population to rethink the age-old mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and now compost. Let’s think critically for a moment about what we consume. Everything we consume must first be made using resources. For every 1-pound of goods produced, 71 pounds of waste is created. This waste encompasses everything from mining for resources and refining raw materials to powering production facilities, to the transportation required in-between.

As an example, we can look at food waste in the United States. Brace yourself for a staggering look into the microcosm of the consumer waste world. The average family throws out 1 out of 4 bags of groceries. That means 1 out of 7 truckloads of perishables being delivered to supermarkets should not even bother making the journey. Per family, this can add up to over $1,350 thrown away each year. On a national scale, this means Americans are throwing away $165 billion each year when you take into account the water, energy, land, and transportation that goes into producing food.

All of this garbage piles up in landfills, which results in methane emissions. It may be convenient to blame a significant portion of climate change on cow flatulence, but the waste sent to landfills also accounts for a large chunk of U.S. methane emissions. It’s time to stop blaming the dog for the bad smell in the room and take ownership, so to speak. Reducing this consumer waste will require a change in the supply chain operation, alternative marketing incentives, and an overall increase in public awareness, not to mention a shift in consumer behavior.

Bert Guevara's insight:

What does it take to be a zero-waste city?

- Sending nothing to the landfill or incinerator.     

- Recycling materials.     

- Composting biodegradable foods and packaging.     

- Preventing waste before it happens.

Sounds simple enough right? The challenge lies in reconditioning the population to rethink the age-old mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and now compost. Let’s think critically for a moment about what we consume. Everything we consume must first be made using resources. For every 1-pound of goods produced, 71 pounds of waste is created. This waste encompasses everything from mining for resources and refining raw materials to powering production facilities, to the transportation required in-between.

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Recycling Myths Busted - Ways2GoGreen Blog ("a lot of room for improvement beginning with information")

Recycling Myths Busted - Ways2GoGreen Blog ("a lot of room for improvement beginning with information") | Zero Waste World | Scoop.it

Recycling is big business these days, and most local authorities have strong recycling programs. Yet in spite of this, there are a lot of myths floating round about recycling and whether it is, or is not, a good idea.

Some of the misinformation comes from confusing messages put forward by the local authorities themselves, but other myths are based on old excuses that people used to make when recycling required more effort.

A few of the more common myths are examined here:

Myth 1 – Recycling Collections Waste More Energy than Recycling Saves

Myth 2 – Tetra Pak Cartons Can’t Be Recycled

Myth 3 – Plastic Food Packaging Can’t Be Recycled

Myth 4 – The Stuff You Sort For Recycling Just Gets Dumped Overseas

Myth 5 – “I Recycle, So I’m Doing Enough for the Environment”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Contrary to common thinking, a lot of progress has been achieved in the recycling industry. The problem is that it does not get promoted the right way.

Here are some myths which you may have believed in for some time.

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Upcycling Wine Bottles - KERO-TV 23 ("there is life to that wine bottle that's amazing - watch video")

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

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bert Guevara's insight:

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

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

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