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Dumping Garbage - MSC Cruises Magnifica -1 - YouTube ("the garbage we collect in coastal clean-ups")

A former crew member sent us this video of a MSC Cruises crew member pitching garbage bag(s) overboard from the MSC Magnifica off the coast of Brazil. Check ...

MSC Cruises says "a full investigation is being conducted into the issue" and that "new stringent procedures have been enacted ... to further discipline crew members for breaches of the company's stringent anti-pollution policies."

"In light of the on-going investigation MSC Cruises is not in a position to divulge details of the case," the company continued. "MSC Cruises is fully collaborating with the Brazilian authorities in order to shed light on the responsibilities and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future," it said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This video confirms what many are suspecting all along. Irresponsible ship crews, who make money from the oceans, are dumping their garbage into the sea.

There has to be a stricter coast guard regulation to monitor garbage volumes loaded on-board in ships and the volume that is unloaded when they dock.

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Global Recycling Movement
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How One Massachusetts Grocer is Converting Food Waste to Energy ("40% of energy needs from waste")

How One Massachusetts Grocer is Converting Food Waste to Energy ("40% of energy needs from waste") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Grocer Stop & Shop has partnered with Divert Inc. to turn food waste to energy in Massachussetts.

“It recreates the natural process of anaerobic digestion, a process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material, to convert the carbon in edible food into a natural biogas, a clean, renewable and local energy source that can be used to generate electricity,” says Philip Tracey, Stop & Shop manager of public relations. “The process is carried out in an enclosed, oxygen-free environment, which means it generates no odors.” 

The Stop & Shop Green Energy Facility is expected to process an average of 95 tons of inedible food per day, an estimated 34,000 tons per year. The energy produced by the 12,000-sq.-ft. facility will provide up to 40 percent of the Freetown distribution center's energy needs. That's enough power to operate the facility for four months out of the year. Once fully operational, the facility will create approximately 1.25 megawatts of clean electricity. 

“The food waste used to power the facility is made up of products that go unsold and are unable to be donated to regional food banks or local farms," says Tracey. "Once onsite, the inedible food material is turned into usable energy within 24 hours.” 

The Green Energy Facility was created and is operated by Divert. A $400,000 grant was provided by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for the creation of the facility. Additionally, Stop & Shop received funding from Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy provider.

Bert Guevara's insight:
I just love this idea!

"The Stop & Shop Green Energy Facility is expected to process an average of 95 tons of inedible food per day, an estimated 34,000 tons per year. The energy produced by the 12,000-sq.-ft. facility will provide up to 40 percent of the Freetown distribution center's energy needs. That's enough power to operate the facility for four months out of the year. Once fully operational, the facility will create approximately 1.25 megawatts of clean electricity. ...
“The system allows Stop & Shop to vertically integrate our business to by allowing trucks return inedible food to Freetown on their regular trips, reducing diesel truck traffic, helps Stop & Shop save money, and lessens our environmental impacts,” he says. “We are turning the unsold, inedible products into energy in less than 24 hours.”
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At The Age of 15 She Invented Building Material From Indian Rice Waste ("she saw resource from waste")

At The Age of 15 She Invented Building Material From Indian Rice Waste ("she saw resource from waste") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

After seeing the environmental hazards that burning rice waste was causing at her family farm in North India, then-15 year old Bisman Deu saw an opportunity to create something useful, and developed an environmentally sustainable building material out of the farm’s biggest waste product.

To understand Deu’s product, one needs to understand the levels of dire pollution that the entire North India region suffers as a result of two major burning seasons for farmers. The first round is in May, during the heat of summer when wheat chaff is burnt and rice crops are sown, and the second in November when rice paddy is burnt and wheat crops are sown. 

Deu’s family farm in the North Indian city of Amritsar grows both wheat and rice. 

After seeing the burning of the waste products during evening walks with her dad, Deu, who had moved back to India with her family after spending most of her formative years in the U.K., realized that everyone around her was suffering from breathing problems as the air clouded over with the smoke. 

“I started researching pollution,” she says, “then I researched the properties of rice husk; it has a high silica content, is waterproof, and termite resistant,” she says.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is the kind of mentality we need to address the garbage problem. She saw the resource, not the clutter.

"With research in hand she went on to experiment in her mother’s kitchen, mixing the leftover rice husk with resin and baking it – to form a prototype product, which she named Green Wood. She saw this particle board forming the base building block for housing in rural communities."
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Listen Up! Recycling Can’t Support a Circular Economy Alone ("more research needed until end of life")

Listen Up! Recycling Can’t Support a Circular Economy Alone ("more research needed until end of life") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

To establish a genuine circular economy we must capture the value of resources on the front end through renewable materials and sustainable sourcing..

We should all strive to keep resources in use for as long as possible and regenerate materials and products at the end of their lifecycle, but it is known that we can only recycle something for so long before it begins to disintegrate. Therefore, establishing a genuine circular economy includes capturing the value of resources on the front-end of the lifecycle as well. This can be achieved through renewable materials and sustainable sourcing. What I mean by “renewable materials” is natural resources that can be replenished overtime such as paperboard made from trees or bio-based plastics derived from plants like trees or sugar cane. While some of these are not perfect solutions, they are a step in the right direction.The linear take-make-dispose model is no longer viable in the face of rapid population growth, a burgeoning global middle class and the skyrocketing consumption that will inevitably follow. Our resource base is dwindling while greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. It’s now safe to say that if we continue with business as usual, companies will face an unpleasant future of price volatility, inflation of key commodities and an overall decline, and in some cases, depletion of critical material inputs. This is why businesses are turning to the circular economy to successfully tackle these challenges. 

Considerable attention is being paid to capturing resources at the post-consumer stage of the product lifecycle. But even with advanced systems and technology, how practical and realistic is it to truly create a circle that constantly re-uses? How do we address the fact that there will always be a need for at least some virgin material inputs? How do we address the limitations of reusing and recycling? What role can renewable materials and responsible sourcing of raw materials play in addressing these challenges and what role can it play in a circular economy? 

Even if the recycling system was perfect, the fact still remains that 100 percent of feedstock cannot come from recycled content alone and we will always rely on a portion of virgin input materials. This is why renewable materials and sustainable sourcing are critical to the circular economy. Certainly value-innovation should ensure that product/packaging is still designed with recyclability in mind because the end-of-life cannot be compromised. The strength of the circular economy model lies in this restorative lifecycle approach and adding renewability to recyclability will create a new leading edge in the evolution of products/packaging.

Bert Guevara's insight:
"We should all strive to keep resources in use for as long as possible and regenerate materials and products at the end of their lifecycle, but it is known that we can only recycle something for so long before it begins to disintegrate. Therefore, establishing a genuine circular economy includes capturing the value of resources on the front-end of the lifecycle as well. This can be achieved through renewable materials and sustainable sourcing. What I mean by “renewable materials” is natural resources that can be replenished overtime such as paperboard made from trees or bio-based plastics derived from plants like trees or sugar cane. While some of these are not perfect solutions, they are a step in the right direction."
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Bacteria found to eat PET plastics could help do the recycling ("nature just redefined biodegradable")

Bacteria found to eat PET plastics could help do the recycling ("nature just redefined biodegradable") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

A newly discovered microbe uses just two enzymes to break down plastic, and may help us develop new ways of clearing landfill and recycling  

So how do the bacteria do it? They link to the PET with tendril-like threads. They then use two enzymes sequentially to break down PET into terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol, the two substances from which it is manufactured and that are not harmful to the environment. The bacteria then digest both substances. This could mean they would be useful for getting rid of polluting plastics in the environment. Their ability to reconstitute the starting materials also lends them to recycling strategies. But the process takes a long time – about 6 weeks at 30°C to fully degrade a thumb-nail-sized piece of PET. “We have to improve the bacterium to make it more powerful, and genetic engineering might be applicable here,” says Oda, whose team is already experimenting with this. One way of speeding things up would be to transfer the genes that make the two enzymes into a faster growing bacterium like Escherichia coli, says Uwe Bornscheuer of Greifswald University in Germany. Given that E.coli secretes the first breakdown product -terephthalic acid – instead of consuming it, this would also make it more practical prospect for recycling, he says. Bornscheuer says it’s encouraging that nature has evolved a natural consumer of PET, just 70 years after the plastic began accumulating in the environment. So far, only a few fungal species have been reported to biodegrade PET. “I’m sure we’ll find more microbes in nature that have evolved to degrade other plastics,” he says. “It’s just a matter of searching properly and having patience like the Japanese group to narrow the search down to a single bacterium.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
"Nature has beaten us to it again. It has taken just 70 years for evolution to throw up a bacterium capable of breaking down and consuming PET, one of the world’s most problematic plastic pollutants. 
"Japanese researchers discovered and named the species, Ideonella sakaiensis, by analysing microbes living on debris of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics they collected from soil and wastewater. 
"The bacterium seems to feed exclusively on PET and breaks it down using just two enzymes. It must have evolved the capability to do this because the plastics were only invented in the 1940s."
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Zero waste family- Johnson Family. CA ("it was a family decision to bring their garbage to almost zero")

This is a 2011 video which I reposted to remind everyone that if there is a will, there's a way. Zero Waste is a lifestyle which can be embraced by a family.
Bert Guevara's insight:
Check out this 2011 video and ask yourself if you can begin the same lifestyle conversion. It is a series of realizations and decisions, but it does not take rocket science to do it.
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The Bolivian teenager turning e-waste into robots ("wall E has found a kid partner")

The Bolivian teenager turning e-waste into robots ("wall E has found a kid partner") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

In the rural town of Patacamaya, Esteban makes robots from scrap in the hopes of giving his family a better future.

Seventeen-year-old Esteban Quispe is busy at his computer. Seated in the room his parents have turned into a workshop, Quispe is surrounded by different materials - electrical wires, metal sheets, and bulbs of different sizes and colours - all of which he has collected from a local rubbish dump to make into robots.

Quispe's creations are made from electronic waste and the teenager is entirely self-taught. 

He proudly shows off a toy car with a circuit of bulbs that light from left to right like the KITT car from the 1980s American TV series Knight Rider; an LED cube which displays 3D images; and his most complex and beloved creation - a square-shaped robot that is a replica of, and is named after, the Pixar character Wall-E.

The teenager's knack for building electronic devices caught the attention of local media last year after he won first prize in a high school robotics competition with his robot Wall-E.

He first came up with the idea of making it in 2008 after watching the Pixar film. Quispe began collecting materials to piece together the robot. After several attempts, he completed the final version in 2014. 

"I immediately liked the character because of its intelligence and ecological conscience," Quispe explains. 

"I am a bit like Wall-E," says the teenager, "as I wish Bolivia was a less polluted country."

Bert Guevara's insight:
Someday, this boy will be famous!

"Thanks to the money he made from selling his creations, Quispe's parents were able to buy schoolbooks for their sons. Now, with his father unable to work due to chronic back pain, Quispe hopes to utilise his skills to support his parents and his brother.
"I can now make more sophisticated robots, like Wall-E, and I had a proposal from a person here in Patacamaya interested in buying it. I would be happy to use the money to help my parents and Hernan, especially after all they have done for me," he says as he walks out of his workshop into the garden.
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Julien Munoz's curator insight, March 2, 2:48 AM
Someday, this boy will be famous!

"Thanks to the money he made from selling his creations, Quispe's parents were able to buy schoolbooks for their sons. Now, with his father unable to work due to chronic back pain, Quispe hopes to utilise his skills to support his parents and his brother.
"I can now make more sophisticated robots, like Wall-E, and I had a proposal from a person here in Patacamaya interested in buying it. I would be happy to use the money to help my parents and Hernan, especially after all they have done for me," he says as he walks out of his workshop into the garden.
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Green Effect : The Recycling Industry's Economic Impact ("an underground economy that creates jobs")

The video highlights the recycling industry’s significant contribution to the U.S. economy in terms of employment, tax generation, and overall economic benef...
Bert Guevara's insight:

"The video highlights the recycling industry’s significant contribution to the U.S. economy in terms of employment, tax generation, and overall economic benefit. The 1:36 video keys on the fact that recycling is an economic driver that provides many benefits across the globe beyond just the environmental advantages."

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One Man's Trash: New Technologies, Partnerships Boosting Recycling Around the World | Sustainable Brands

One Man's Trash: New Technologies, Partnerships Boosting Recycling Around the World | Sustainable Brands | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Among the key challenges to the burgeoning recycling market are lack of infrastructure, innovation at scale and funding. But a variety of initiatives — in developed and developing areas alike — are attempting to secure these factors to help spur the development of circular economic infrastructure.

In Argentina, a new generation of trash pickers is helping to refine recycling at the street level. Buenos Aires has invested in recycling through the city government’s Ciudad Verde (Green City) plan and now more than 5,000 litter pickers (known locally as cartoneros) collect a base salary for emptying the city’s bell-shaped recycling bins.

“The first big change came in 2002 when Buenos Aires withdrew a long-standing law that made litter picking illegal,” Santiago Sorroche, anthropologist at the University of Buenos Aires, recently told The Guardian. “The second came with the Zero Garbage law [in 2005], which aims to gradually reduce the solid waste going to landfill.”

Sergio Sánchez, president of the Argentine Federation of Litter Pickers and Recyclers, struck a deal with city officials so registered litter pickers receive a monthly salary of $383 to empty recycling bins, in addition to a minimal social security package and a small pension.

“The big difference today is that we’re treated as workers providing a public service for the city,” Sánchez told The Guardian. “Before, people would look down on us and say we created a mess, plus the police would always hassle us.”

In Brazil, New Hope Ecotech is a technology solution company that offers a digital platform to connect manufacturers with waste pickers via trade-able environmental securities (similar to carbon credits, but for recyclables). Refining a process from street collection to reinvestment is innovation at scale.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The key word is to zero waste is "CIRCULAR ECONOMY;" and it does not require rocket science! Check out this Argentinian model.


"Among the key challenges to the burgeoning recycling market are lack of infrastructure, innovation at scale and funding. But a variety of initiatives — in developed and developing areas alike — are attempting to secure these factors to help spur the development of circular economic infrastructure."

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Somali teen earns a free education after wowing his small town by making electronic toys out of trash

Somali teen earns a free education after wowing his small town by making electronic toys out of trash | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
A Somali teenager is making a name for himself by creating electronic toys from trash.

On paper, it would be easy to write off Guled Adan Abdi’s future and miss the latent potential: he’s a thirteen-year-old living in war-torn Somalia and currently learning at the grade level of eight year-old due to missing out on years of formal schooling, family tragedy and upheaval. But this whiz kid is making a name for himself and creating a promising future by upcycling trash to make electronic toys. Abdi, who wants to produce actual cars some day, began by creating plastic toys from discarded bits of trash like old cooking oil containers. According to his mother, a widow who has struggled to provide for herself and her children, assembling plastic items was a way to keep Abdi safely occupied at home while she worked. More recently, Abdi began studying details about cars and trucks and how they work, eventually adding batteries to his inventions to introduce motion. According to the BBC, Abdi has made “four electronic toys, including a truck and a plane, mainly using plastic from old cooking oil containers… [and] he has also invented a fan that can be used as a light at night. Now a sort of local celebrity, Abdi spends his time after school creating airplanes, fans, trucks, and cars while admirers watch and encourage him. Happily, Abdi’s accomplishments have caught the eye of regional authorities, who have promised to fund his education. Meanwhile, the resourceful teen hopes to continue building and eventually sell his inventions.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Amazing!


"But this whiz kid is making a name for himself and creating a promising future by upcycling trash to make electronic toys. Abdi, who wants to produce actual cars some day, began by creating plastic toys from discarded bits of trash like old cooking oil containers."

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3D Printing with Recycled Potato Chip Bags | Mashable ("this is a fantastic upcycling idea")

3D printing is the future of fabrication, but there's one problem: It uses a lot of plastic. Enter 3D Brooklyn, a small studio that uses materials that can't...

Have you ever wondered what happens when you recycle a potato chip bag? That bag could be turned into the next 3D-printed trinket. New York-based 3D Brooklyn has teamed up with TerraCycleto transform recycled potato chip bags into 3D printer filament—an excellent step in the right direction to slowing the world’s massive waste issue. The innovative company has also begun selling their mix of 80% recycled polypropylene / 20% recycled polyethylene online.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The 3-D printer technology is already here. How about the "ink"? This video shows how one company uses laminates or plastic foils to produce the material for 3-D printer ink.

Watch the video to tickle your imagination.

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Are we about to throw away $25 trillion in waste? ("our product designers should rethink their goals")

Are we about to throw away $25 trillion in waste? ("our product designers should rethink their goals") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The rate and nature of our consumption is choking economic growth


The average car lies idle for 90% of the day. The average power drill is used for 30 minutes of its entire life. Landfill dumps are full.

It is widely recognized that wasteful exploitation of the world’s resources is taking its toll on the environment, but it is less appreciated that the rate and nature of our consumption is choking economic growth. As much as $25 trillion could be at stake by 2050 unless we change the relationship between natural resources, customers and the market. Thanks to radical new business models and technologies, some companies are now growing by finding value in resources, assets and products that have, until now, been vastly underutilised. The circular economy is starting to turn, but more efforts are needed if we are to decouple economic growth from increasing use of natural resources.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is what should dominate board room discussions among product manufacturers. How can our products go beyond single purpose designs and single use? How can they contribute to a circular economy?


"The circular economy is about more than recycling and managing landfill. Indeed that is a limited, one dimensional view of waste. We need to look at all four dimensions of waste as an opportunity. Find value in wasted resources that could become renewable, such as biofuel. Exploit the wasted capacity in property or assets that could find a market, such as the 60% of Europe’s truck capacity that remains empty most of the time. Reduce the wasted lifecycles that currently see products discarded rather than refurbished, often because they are not built to last or are designed for early obsolescence. Finally, secure the wasted embedded values by finding uses for otherwise rejected materials."

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Compost Pedallers Indiegogo Video ("these amazing bikers connect the dots to sustain composting")

INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN NOW LIVE! http://igg.me/at/icompost The Compost Pedallers are a bike-powered Compost recycling program. So far, we have diverted 500,000 p...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Watch this video and discover what big trucks cannot accomplish. The simplicity of the system has enormous potentials because it addresses an urban problem related to composting.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/compost-pedallers-turn-your-waste-into-food#/

 

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Customers must be at heart of circular economy, retailers agree ("behavioral changes must be modeled")

Customers must be at heart of circular economy, retailers agree ("behavioral changes must be modeled") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Retailers must be prepared to collaborate to create a 'behavioral catalyst' that will transform the circular economy concept into a viable, mainstream business model, a panel of sustainability experts has concluded. - edie news centre

The role of the consumer was considered to be the main barrier to overcome in order to truly establish a succinct, global circular economy. John Lewis is one of many in the fashion sector moving to sustainable sources of cotton in order to hit sustainability goals, but as the group's sustainability sourcing manager Eoghan Griffin pointed out, the decision wasn’t driven by consumer demand.

Griffin said: “The main issue is balancing the circular economy with the customer’s constant need for new. We’re not getting a massive demand from consumers to have sustainable products. For us, our responsibility is to meet the more general demands.”

These sentiments were echoed by Goodwin who added: “The consumer has a huge role to play but at the moment they don’t understand and are unaware. There’s a role for the retailers to be enablers and give more information.”

Providing a perspective from the electronics industry, Samsung's sustainability affairs manager Kevin Considine agreed there are still some key challenges surrounding the transition to a circular economy, but he believes servitisation could provide the answer. 

Samsung recently announced the launch of a new refurbishment business model, which encourages consumers to return unwanted or damaged goods back to the manufacturer so that they can reuse the goods to create new products.

Considine explained: “Refurbishment is an increasingly important and growing sector which would allow us to get closer to our customers. There’s always a demand for a primary product but increasingly there will be demand for refurbished products.

Considine also called for a reform of regulatory systems to allow for more efficient business models compared to the "fragmented" regulations that big businesses currently operate within. “Businesses need time to develop their own approach, rather than a rush to introduce regulation," he said, claiming he is an advocate of “more carrot, less stick” to incentivise positive change. 

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Both producers and consumers have to team-up for the solution. There can be no cooperation unless the dialogue begins. Who will work as the arbiter? The government has tried before, but there seems to be little progress.


"Retailers must be prepared to collaborate to create a 'behavioral catalyst' that will transform the circular economy concept into a viable, mainstream business model, a panel of sustainability experts has concluded. ...

The transition to a circular economy will be centred on the behavioural changes of both producers and consumers, the panel said."

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Pollution risk from over 1,000 old UK landfill sites due to coastal erosion ("time bomb")

Pollution risk from over 1,000 old UK landfill sites due to coastal erosion ("time bomb") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Storms and rising sea levels could break up old rubbish dumps in England and Wales releasing potentially toxic waste, study shows

Over 1,000 old landfill sites on the coasts of England and Wales are at increasing risk of being breached by erosion, according to a new study, posing a serious pollution danger to wildlife and bathing waters. 

Landfill sites before the mid-1990s had few or no restrictions about what rubbish could be dumped in them and little is known about what they contain. But many were on the coast and some were used to raise land levels and even as part of flood defences. Climate change is bringing higher sea levels and stronger storms, putting the old dumps at greater risk of being broken up. 

The new study, the first of its kind and funded by the Environment Agency, assessed two landfill sites in Essex to find out the level of toxic pollutants in the waste they contained. It found large quantities of harmful metals, such as lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are carcinogenic.

“Our findings show, that in the event of erosion, there would be serious environmental consequences due to the level of contaminants,” said Kate Spencer, an environmental geochemist at Queen Mary University of London, who led the research. “You would be likely to see significant effects on local animals and plants, from mortality to reductions in fertility. There would also be consequences for bathing waters.” 

There are 1,264 historic landfill sites in the coastal zone where the risk of flooding has been previously estimated at 1-in-200 years. Of these, 537 are in or near bathing water catchment areas and 406 are in or near sites of special scientific interest.

Bert Guevara's insight:
In the Philippines, this problem is also a threat with so many illegal dump sites located near the coasts. Since the Philippines is under serious threat from sea level rise, this problem has to be addressed soon.

"There are 1,264 historic landfill sites in the coastal zone where the risk of flooding has been previously estimated at 1-in-200 years. Of these, 537 are in or near bathing water catchment areas and 406 are in or near sites of special scientific interest."
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Cagayan de Oro dump site turns into a tree park ("this is an attempt to convert dump into tree park")

Cagayan de Oro dump site turns into a tree park ("this is an attempt to convert dump into tree park") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

On Friday (April 15), environment officials of Cagayan de Oro City and underprivileged individuals planted about 2,000 tree seedlings in a former dump site at Upper Dagong, Brgy. Carmen, to turn the vicinity into a tree park.

On Friday (April 15), environment officials of Cagayan de Oro City and underprivileged individuals planted about 2,000 tree seedlings in a former dump site at Upper Dagong, Brgy. Carmen, to turn the vicinity into a tree park. The 17-hectare dump site was closed in 2010 on orders of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in compliance with the Ecological Waste Management Law. Elvisa Mabelin, coordinator of the City Social Waste and Management Board (CSWMB) said the tree planting activity is part of the second phase of the dump site's P98 million closure and rehabilitation project. She added that officials are conducting an inspection of a sanitary landfill replacement. Mabelin said a total of five hectares will be covered by the second round of the tree growing project as part of the city's tree adoption program, which covers varieties of teakwood, acacia, narra and golden shower trees. The first tree planting was conducted last October, when one thousand trees were planted.

The rehabilitation also covers the construction of a drainage system for garbage leachate. The liquid substances will be collected and processed to water the plants around the dump site. Flammable gases emitted from the refuse will go into vents for safety and containment.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is a good idea, but it's too early to make a judgment if the city can execute the program until completion. 
The basic question is whether the ecological solid waste management program in place to handle waste from the source?

"... the tree planting activity is part of the second phase of the dump site's P98 million closure and rehabilitation project. She added that officials are conducting an inspection of a sanitary landfill replacement."
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Our wasted food is a huge environmental problem – and it’s only getting worse (why do some go hungry?)

Our wasted food is a huge environmental problem – and it’s only getting worse (why do some go hungry?) | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

Humans produce more food than they need, and there are environmental costs to that.

The more scientists study the issue of food waste — and its worrying implications for both the environment and global food security — the clearer it becomes how much of a problem it is. Now, new research is giving us a few more reasons to clean our plates. A study just out in the journal Environmental Science and Technology concludes that we’re already producing way more food than the world actually needs — but a lot of the excess is being wasted, instead of used to feed people who need it. That’s a big problem for global food security as well as for the climate, given the huge amounts of greenhouse gases that go into producing the extra food — and the study suggests that the problem will only get worse in the future. Scientists are already aware of how bad food waste is for the environment. Just last week, we reported on the staggering carbon footprint associated with wasted food — the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization reported that, in 2007, the emissions required to produce all the food that went to waste in the world amounted to at least 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, more than most countries emitted. This estimate included all the emissions required to produce the uneaten food, including emissions from soil, livestock and the energy required to run a farm.

Bert Guevara's insight:
You don't have to be a genius to connect food waste and hunger. It boils down to balanced production and proper distribution.

"The study found that the global food surplus increased overall between 1965 and 2010 from 310 extra kilocalories per person per day to 510 extra kilocalories, with the greatest surplus growth rates generally observed in developed nations. As of 2010, 20 percent more food was being produced worldwide than was actually needed to feed the world’s population, and overall the researchers estimated that the global surplus could be used to feed an extra 1.4 billion people. The UN estimates that about 800 million people worldwide suffer from undernourishment, meaning there’s currently enough wasted food in the world to solve the world’s hunger problem nearly twice over — it just isn’t reaching the people who need it."
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Teenager brings poop power to Kenyan school ("the advantage of knowing & doing; boy changes paradigm")

Teenager brings poop power to Kenyan school ("the advantage of knowing & doing; boy changes paradigm") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it

When Leroy Mwasaru's school in western Kenya faced a sewage problem, the teenager and a group of friends set out to fix it.

When Leroy Mwasaru's school in western Kenya faced a sewage problem, the teenager and a group of friends set out to fix it.

It all started after tractors clearing land for the construction of a new dorm at the Maseno school near Kisumu encountered pit latrines. During the building process faeces started leaking into a nearby stream. 

"There was uproar from the local community," Mwasaru recalls. "It was the only source of fresh water, and nobody wants faeces in their water." 

At the time, the school was using firewood in the kitchen. Forests around the school were being eroded by the school's growing demand for timber, and smoke was damaging the lungs and eyes of the cooks. 

Mwasaru came up with a plan to solve the problem by using human waste to power the gas stoves -- all whilst keeping up with homework and exams. 

"There were some people who thought it would not work -- the attitude was very negative," says Mwasaru, who is now 17. "We came up with workshops in the school and in the community to convince people, and the response became more positive."

In total, it took about a year for the "Human Waste Bioreactor" to go from idea to working facility.

Storage pits had to be dug, and the team had to collect cow dung and food waste which they used instead of human waste during the prototype phase.

The team's idea impressed Innovate Kenya, who awarded the teens funds to purchase a digester, which helps with the process. Gas produced in the pit was then filtered through a pipe into the kitchen, and used on the stoves to cook food. 


Bert Guevara's insight:
Waste-to-fuel in its most basic level can lead to greater things.

"Progress has been made in extracting biogas, but Mwasaru has gone back to using cow dung rather than human waste whilst working on the next step.
"When urine is mixed with solid waste, acid in the urine breaks down the biogases," Mwasaru explains. "We need to develop the most cost-effective way and energy efficient way to use the human waste." 
"To achieve this, the team has designed a toilet which separates solid and liquid waste. While it's just on paper at the moment, the team is working with iHub Kenya to develop a prototype which they hope to build in March."
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7 Steps Towards A Zero Waste Lifestyle ("refuse, reuse, reduce, refurbish, recycle")

7 Steps Towards A Zero Waste Lifestyle ("refuse, reuse, reduce, refurbish, recycle") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
There are some inspiring examples of individuals and families that have achieved some dramatic results. The Johnson family in California for example has only generated a handful of trash in six months. Bea Johnson and her family have dubbed their California home the Zero Waste Home. Be sure to also check out the video on the Zero Waste Home at the conclusion of this post.
Follow these tips for getting started on a zero waste lifestyle.
1. Refuse unnecessary items 
Avoid bringing unneeded items into your home by refusing them at the source.
2. Embrace the free movement
Many items that you do not need may be of value to someone else. Some cities have embraced the free movement and have systems in place to promote sharing, such as free piles or swaps. The Little Free Library is a movement that encourages neighborhood literacy and resource conservation through free book exchanges. Community groups and churches can have a sharing closet, where people can swap items such as clothing or household items and unclaimed items can then be donated.
3. Recycle clothing
Did you know that clothing is nearly 100% recyclable? If your clothing is too worn out or stained to be reused, it is a good candidate for recycling.
4. Organize a swap
Do you have clothes that no longer fit or have become unappealing? Do you have lots of books or toys that you no longer use?
5. Use freecycle or craigslist 
Set-up a lending network with friends
Do you have a group of friends or colleagues that share your passion for saving resources and money? Do you only use your ice skates, tent, and rototiller infrequently?
6. Start a work recycling program or compost pile
7. Go paperless
8. Decline paper catalogs and junk mail
Bert Guevara's insight:
Going zero waste is a continuing discovery of ways and means. Every person has preferences and habits. Your determination will determine the changes in your lifestyle.
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Empower Energy Ltd's curator insight, March 11, 4:09 AM
A great article on how you can move towards a zero waste lifestyle and help to create and share a more sustainable way of living with others!
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The world's first food waste supermarket has opened ("why throw when you can still sell discounted?")

The world's first food waste supermarket has opened ("why throw when you can still sell discounted?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
A charity has opened Denmark's first ever food surplus supermarket.

The store in capital city Copenhagen called Wefood will sell produce at prices 30 to 50 per cent cheaper than normal supermarkets.

Per Bjerre from the NGO behind the market, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, said: "WeFood is the first supermarket of its kind in Denmark and perhaps the world as it is not just aimed at low-income shoppers but anyone who is concerned about the amount of food waste produced in this country.

"Many people see this as a positive and politically correct way to approach the issue."

Wefood have deal with Føtex (one of the biggest supermarket chains in Denmark) for bread and other products.

The surplus store also has agreements with an importers of citrus fruits, a butchers, and a producer of organic fruit and nut bars.

Volunteers pick up the produce from the suppliers.

Wefood is hoping to help reduce the 700,000 tonnes of food waste Denmark produces every year.

The Danish Minister for Food and the Environment, Eva Kjer Hansen said: "It's ridiculous that food is just thrown out or goes to waste.

"It is bad for the environment and it is money spent on absolutely nothing.

"A supermarket like WeFood makes so much sense and is an important step in the battle to combat food waste."

In the last five years, Denmark has reduced the amoung of food waste it produces by 25 per cent.


Bert Guevara's insight:

A creative way to address food waste -- will it work in the Philippines?

Actually, local supermarkets are repackaging food waste. Be observant and find out how.


"WeFood is the first supermarket of its kind in Denmark and perhaps the world as it is not just aimed at low-income shoppers but anyone who is concerned about the amount of food waste produced in this country.

"Many people see this as a positive and politically correct way to approach the issue."

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Ombudsman probes local gov’t execs over illegal dump sites ("failure in implementing the SWM act")

Ombudsman probes local gov’t execs over illegal dump sites ("failure in implementing the SWM act") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday officially started its probe of around 600 local government officials throughout the country over illegal dump sites and other violations of the Ecological

The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday officially started its probe of around 600 local government officials throughout the country over illegal dump sites and other violations of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

During the ceremonial filing of affidavit-complaints of the National Solid Waste Management Commission at the Ombudsman central office, the complainants led by commissioner Romeo Hidalgo of the Ecowaste Coalition said the officials violated Republic Act No. 9003.

A total of 50 complaints were filed, covering local officials in 50 local government units over 13 administrative regions.

The complainants said mayors, vice mayors, and local legislative officials “conspired in committing the violations of R.A. No. 9003,” noting that they have “the mandate to establish policies and having control over the funds of the city.”

The filing was part of the Environmental Ombudsman’s program launched in 2013, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau. The Ombudsman launched a three-year campaign “to increase awareness of, and promote voluntary compliance with R.A. No. 9003,” directing LGUs to conduct “respective self-assessment as to their compliance status and to voluntarily implement corrective actions.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

The finger-pointing begins!


"A total of 50 complaints were filed, covering local officials in 50 local government units over 13 administrative regions.

"The complainants said mayors, vice mayors, and local legislative officials “conspired in committing the violations of R.A. No. 9003,” noting that they have “the mandate to establish policies and having control over the funds of the city.”

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E-waste - A priority emerging policy issue (a chemical-free world by 2020?")

Hazardous Substances in the Life Cycle of Electronics and Electrical Products (HSLEEP)/E-waste - one of five priority emerging policy issues in the sound man...
Bert Guevara's insight:

E-waste 101.

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Don't toss that overripe avocado! 7 ways to salvage it ("check other uses before throwing away")

Don't toss that overripe avocado! 7 ways to salvage it ("check other uses before throwing away") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
An avocado's ripeness comes during a limited window of time. If you miss the window, these 7 recipes will come in handy.

A serving of an avocado is packed with nutrients like potassium, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins and vitamin C. The fat in an avocado is mostly the healthy, monounsaturated kind that is good for cholesterol. Avocados are great turned intoguacamole, tossed into a salad, or turned into fries.

You may have a few extra avocados hanging around this week, perhaps some you picked up for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. The frustrating thing about this versatile fruit is that it isn’t always ripe when you need to use it. If it hasn’t ripened, the flesh is hard and unappealing. If it’s too ripe, the flesh can be mushy or brown. Hitting that optimum ripeness — when the flesh is firm, but with some give to it — is a common problem.

There are tricks to ripening an avocado, like sticking it in a paper bag with an apple or banana. If an avocado has gotten too ripe, it may not be good for slicing on top of salads or chopping up into salsa — foods that call for ripe but firm avocados. It’s not useless though. There are lots of uses for overripe avocados, as long as they aren’t too brown. (A little bit of brown can simply be cut out.)

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is kitchen recycling!

1. Chocolate Avocado Pudding: As long as the avocados haven’t gone brown yet, mushy avocados are fine for this recipe because they go in the blender.

2. Avocado Cucumber Soup: The avocados in this recipe in this are also put in a blender. This soup requires no cooking; it’s served chilled.

3. Spinach Smoothie with Apple and Avocado: Healthy and creamy, an overripe avocado adds to the creaminess of a smoothie.

4. Chocolate Caramel Avocado Brownies: Hide some healthy stuff in your brownies. The overripe fruit will help these keep their fudgy consistency.

5. Avocado and Coconut Popsicle: With coconut milk and fresh tarragon, these are unusual but tasty treats.

6. Corn and Avocado Fritters: Not a usual fritter filler, but if avocados can pop up in pudding and popsicles, why not fritters?

7. Cucumber and Avocado Face Mask: This gets blended to a paste-like consistency, so very soft avocados are perfect.

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PIPE pavilion is made from over one thousand recycled cardboard tubes ("upcycling anyone?")

PIPE pavilion is made from over one thousand recycled cardboard tubes ("upcycling anyone?") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Khayam University architecture students upcycled 1,014 cardboard tubes into an undulating pavilion.

Farnaz Fattahi led a group of 28 Khayam University architecture students in the construction of the PIPE pavilion, an undulating sculpture made from 1,014 recycled cardboard tubes. As an exercise in upcycling, the project promotes the idea of minimizing waste and pollutants through creative reuse. The temporary pavilion measures 2.9 meters in height with a width of 6 meters.

The undulating shape symbolizes the “detachment of industry from nature” and corresponds to the perceived decrease in value of the cardboard tube after it’s served its industrial purpose. The pavilionrediscovers the pipe’s potential by creating a sheltering space. “The holistic design creates an architectonic space within the created semi enclosed arc promoting a spatial quality allowing the users to pause and realize the view of the embraced landscape,” writes Fattahi.

Bert Guevara's insight:

An example of upcycling cardboard tubes.

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Tesco plastic bag use 'down 80%' since 5p charge ("charging changes behavior, leads to reduction")

Tesco plastic bag use 'down 80%' since 5p charge ("charging changes behavior, leads to reduction") | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
The number of plastic carrier bags taken home by Tesco shoppers in England has dropped by 80% since the 5p charge was introduced, data suggests.

The government brought in the charge on 5 October to help reduce the amount of plastic waste.

Tesco declined to say how many 5p bags had been bought but said it was down 78% on the month before the charge, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The chain is to give the proceeds from plastic bag sales to charity.

The number of carriers bags given out by seven major supermarkets in England rose by 200 million in 2014 to exceed 7.6 billion - the equivalent of 140 per person and amounting to 61,000 tonnes in total.

Tesco's market share suggests it is likely to have handed out in excess of two billion single-use bags in 2014.

The supermarket said it had also seen a 50% increase in the amount of shoppers opting for "bagless" online deliveries.

Rebecca Shelley, Tesco's communications director, said the charge had "clearly had a huge impact" and the company was on target to donate £30m to charity over the year.

"In clothing, since the legislation was introduced, we have seen a reduction of around 50% on clothing bags usage," she added.

England was the last part of the UK to adopt the 5p levy following successful schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The British Retail Consortium said the number of carrier bags now used by UK shoppers indicated there had been a significant reduction.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The policies should address behavior and not the package. This experience in Europe proves my point.


"Nevertheless, we must not let an obsessions with carrier bags get in the way of the wider and more important green goals on which retailers are working incredibly hard and making significant progress including reducing packaging, carbon emissions, food waste and waste to landfill," a spokesman said.

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UN News - Biodegradable plastics are not the answer to reducing marine litter, says UN

UN News - Biodegradable plastics are not the answer to reducing marine litter, says UN | Global Recycling Movement | Scoop.it
Widespread adoption of products labelled “biodegradable” will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment, accord to a United Nations report released today.
Bert Guevara's insight:

In my last public hearing on "Life Cycle Analysis", I came out with this same prescription (as the UN) that we get rid of biodegradable plastics and go to full recovery and recycling of "real" plastics. One-use disposable plastics and the litter-bugs are the real enemy.

The solid waste problem is a behavioral problem.


"... complete biodegradation of plastics occurs in conditions that are rarely, if ever, met in marine environments, with some polymers requiring industrial composters and prolonged temperatures of above 50°C to disintegrate. There is also limited evidence suggesting that labelling products as “biodegradable” increases the public's inclination to litter."

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