Waste Management

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Airlines Experimenting with Biofuel

Alaska Air is dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint, and they hope that biofuel is the way to do it. So far they have purchased enough fuel for 75 flights between Washington DC and Portland, OR; although the fuel is up to six times as expensive as regular jet fuel, consumers will not see any extra cost to their tickets based on fuel used in this trial run.

December 1st

Have Fun! Will Recycle: MIT Students Engage in Recycling Game

Would you call recycling fun and challenging? Are you motivated by your positive environmental impact? Probably not. A Boston company called Greenbean Recycle is trying to make the act of recycling a fun, competitive and engaging game for students at MIT. Greenbean’s Reverse Vending Machines is a convenient, ‘smart’ recycling receptacle that rewards you for your actions.

Greenbean recycling improves community recycling with modern technological solutions. We show you instant recycling impact. And in our greenbean challenges teams compete for recycling superiority.

Users can deposit their recycling earnings via PayPal or elect to give to a charitable organization of their choice.

November 11th

Oregon Residents Fear New Composting Plan

On Halloween, Portland, Oregon is unleashing a new curbside composting plan that has some residents a little scared. The city council had a successful trial period in four neighborhoods and they will expand the pilot to all single-family homes and buildings with no more than four residences.
There are a few reasons behind the new composting plan, the first being, of course, that it is more beneficial for the environment than throwing compost into landfills. It reduces carbon emissions, and the compost can ultimately be used as fertilizer instead of just going to waste. There are also the financial reasons – it is cheaper for the city to compost available items instead of driving them out to landfills. However, not everyone is happy with the new initiative.

November 4th

Got Vacant Land? Chicago Aviation to Install 60 Acre Solar Farm at O'Hare

What do you do with vacant area in and around airports without much utility?

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has some great ideas. How about a massive solar panel installation, and an alternative fueling station for private and commercial vehicles at O’Hare International Airport? A new composting program for some restaurants operating at Midway International Airport can’t be too bad either!

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino to announce the new sustainability initiatives that will make Chicago’s airports greener than ever during the kickoff of the 2011 Airports Going Green conference in Chicago on October 31st.

November 2nd

EcoATM Makes Electronic Waste Management Easy and Profitable

Ever wondered how to recycle your old cellphones or other home electronics, without the hassle, while making some money out of it? You are not alone. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average U.S. household now owns 26 different consumer electronic devices for a staggering total of nearly 3 billion devices in all, many of which are no longer in use.

Almost all consumer electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic and a broad variety of other materials that pose a threat to the environment and health. Now multiple these hazards by 3 billion! Concerned now?

October 31st

Mike Biddle's Plastic Separation Technology Can Transform the Supply Chain of the Plastics Industry

Mike Biddle calls himself the "Garbage Man" and thinks of garbage piles as ‘above ground mines’. Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled — compared to almost 90% of metals — because of the massively complicated waste management issues, the problem of finding and sorting the different kinds.

Frustrated by this waste management system, Mike has developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic. In 1992, Mike Biddle, a plastics engineer, set out to find a solution. He set up a lab in his garage in Pittsburg, California, and began experimenting with complex-plastics recycling, borrowing ideas from such industries as mining and grain processing.

October 24th

Trash to Cooking Fuel: Recycled Paper Can Replace Firewood in Haiti, Save Forests

Growing and cooking food presents different problems in different parts of the world. In poverty and disaster stricken Africa, energy to meet cooking needs is a complex problem that has led to complicated environmental, economic and social situations.
In disaster stricken Haiti, International Lifeline Fund’s program, is working to wean the country off this lethal addiction. Throughout Haiti, 95% of the population relies on wood and/or charcoal for cooking. This cooking method has ravaged the environment, and poses a huge economic cost to families as well. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the cost of charcoal accounts for approximately 40% of the income of the typical Haitian family.

ILF’s initiative in Haiti seeks to address these urgent problems by providing fuel saving stoves that is designed to run on either wood or briquettes that is recycled paper compressed into briquettes. This is part of a two-part solution to the problems of fuel demand and excessive waste. When using briquettes made from waste, stoves save 100% of wood or charcoal that would have been previously used. When briquettes are unavailable and wood is the only option, the stoves save 60-80% of wood as compared to cooking on a traditional fire or charcoal stove.

October 15th

PepsiCo's Dream Machine Recycle Rally Aims to Improve Beverage Container Recycling Rates

PepsiCo announced yesterday the official start of the Dream Machine Recycle Rally for the 2011/2012 school year. The Dream Machine Recycle Rally is a national program that aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling among students, grades K-12, and gives participating schools a chance to earn rewards and compete for prizes.

The Dream Machine Recycle Rally is part of the broader Dream Machine recycling initiative – a multi-year collaboration between PepsiCo, Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful, that utilizes www.greenopolis.com. Through the Dream Machine recycling initiative, PepsiCo aims to create strategic partnerships to help increase the U.S. beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018 by providing greater on-the-go access to recycling receptacles.

October 12th

University of Arkansas Students Launch Start-up to Manufacture Biodegradable Plastic

cycleWood Solutions Inc. was formed in July 2010 by four graduate students at the University of Arkansas, who launched a startup company that would manufacture biodegradable plastic shopping bags. They harness the technology developed by University of Minnesota biochemist Simo Sarkanen, The founders formed the company after creating a business plan around the technology for an entrepreneurship class, whose aim was to build a viable business.

October 6th

Vadxx Energy To Repurpose Plastics Into Fuel in Akron, OH

The City of Akron, Ohio recently announced a contract with Greenstar Recycling (a local recycling facility) for processing the recyclable material picked up at the curb.Greenstar Recycling is partnering with the City of Akron to increase recycling in Ohio’s fifth largest metropolitan area and will construct a “state-of-the-art” recycling facility within the corporate limits of Akron. But this is no ordinary curb-side recycling or facility. This facility will include innovative technology that converts recovered plastic into synthetic crude oil. These services will be provided jointly by local company Vadxx Energy, LLC, and Greenstar.

October 3rd

First 'Knowaste' Diaper Recycling Plant Opens in the UK

Eco-friendly parents who cringe every time they use a throw-away diaper can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. At least British parents. The first diaper recycling plant opened in UK yesterday.
The facility, which will also recycle feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products, is the first of five planned over four years by Knowaste, an organization which specialises in absorbent hygiene product waste recycling.
Knowaste’s recycling process is the world’s first, environmentally friendly, and cost effective solution to meeting the global challenge of disposing Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHPs): nappies, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products.

September 13th