User: flenvcenter Topic: Waste-Independent
Category: Disposal
Last updated: Feb 11 2016 04:36 IST RSS 2.0
 
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This Japanese town aims to produce no trash by 2020 10.2.2016 TreeHugger
Touted by many as the world's 'first zero-waste town,' Kamikatsu has an impressive waste management program from which the rest of the world could learn a lot.
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The Other Fires of Ferguson: The "Flint" of St. Louis 10.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Next door to Ferguson, the town of Bridgton, Missouri is about to become another symbol of a system that fails the most vulnerable citizens who fall through the cracks of economic and racial disparities. While the political fight for justice for people of color still rages in our local municipalities, the ravages of toxic waste on the health of those too poor to relocate or have a place at the power tables is costing more precious lives The thousands of tons of radioactive waste in the Westlake landfill are contaminating the air, the groundwater and the trees of the area. The toxic nuclear waste originated in the 1940s and 50s when Mallinckrodt Chemical Works processed uranium for nuclear weapons. This waste was illegally dumped in the landfill in 1973 and has been polluting the waters of Cold Water Creek and the playgrounds where children have been swimming and playing for generations. You can read more about the situation here: These toxic waters will contaminate the Missouri River, make their way ...
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The Racist Roots Of Flint's Water Crisis 3.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The contaminated water  disaster flowing through one of Michigan’s poorest, blackest cities is tainted by poverty and racism. Since April 2014, residents of Flint, a city that is almost 57 percent black and incredibly poor , have been drinking and bathing in water that contains enough lead to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of “ toxic waste .”  No single person shoulders the blame for this situation, but thanks to widespread mismanagement a largely black and brown community now faces the disproportionate effects of systemic neglect. And to many, Flint’s water crisis fits into a historical trend of  environmental racism  in the U.S., which for  decades  has allowed polluters to prey on communities of color, in part because of weak environmental regulations.  “There’s a philosophy of government that has been writing these places off -- places like Flint get written off,” Flint's Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) told The Huffington Post. “And, to me, even though those people ...
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How Modular Construction is Keeping Waste Out of U.S. Landfills 2.2.2016 Environmental News Network
When we think about the overflow of our nation’s landfills, we probably picture limiting our food waste; recycling plastics, glass and paper; and keeping out potentially harmful hazardous waste. What we probably don’t consider is one of the largest sources of waste generation, construction and demolition (C&D) waste.  It is estimated that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the national solid waste stream is building-related waste, with only 20 percent of C&D waste being recycled.
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To Compost or Not to Compost: A Helpful List 27.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Composting keeps waste material out of landfills, avoiding the production of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). It also eases the burden and extends the life of landfills that are stressed to handle the waste our lifestyles create. With projects like New York City's residential compost program and proposals like Seattle's to fine residents for food scraps in garbage bins, we believe that sustainability is really making a way into urban daily lives. Separating organic waste for compost is an important step in reducing our waste, and it's great for a city to facilitate this process. Don't get discouraged if your neighborhood or city doesn't have an organic waste collection system. You can still separate your organic waste to give to your local composting facility ( visit this site to find one close to you ) or even start your own compost to provide some nutrient-rich to your household garden or plants. We came up with a short list to remind you of what food and ...
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Environmental Justice: What the Candidates Missed in Flint, Michigan - and the Rest of the Country 26.1.2016 Truthout - All Articles
As the contaminated water crisis unfolded in Flint, Michigan, the resulting uproar among presidential candidates and the mainstream media did little to acknowledge that environmental racism is a widespread and systemic problem that the government has failed to act on for years. Esther Calhoun and her neighbors in Uniontown, Alabama, have filed a civil rights complaint challenging a massive landfill in their community that has become a dumping ground for toxic coal ash and sludge. (Photo: Chris Jordan Bloch / Earthjustice) Fight back against the spread of misinformation perpetuated by the mainstream media. Help Truthout grow stronger by making a tax-deductible donation today! Esther Calhoun lives far from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, but suspects that water contaminated with lead is also poisoning her hometown of Uniontown, Alabama, a community she describes as "poor and elderly" and about 90 percent African American. Like many of her neighbors, Calhoun's father and grandfather were sharecroppers ...
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Civil Rights Probe Examines Coal Ash Impact on Poor and Communities of Color 20.1.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Too often toxic coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power, ends up in poor, minority communities. U.S. civil rights officials are launching a deeper look at federal environmental policy to find out why.  The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a hearing this Friday, January 22, on environmental justice and the Environmental Protection Agency. The focus is the impact of coal ash, a toxic waste product of burning coal that often contains harmful metals such as lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium.  Depending on exposure, such contaminants can cause cancer and harm most human organs, and kill or sicken wildlife. Coal ash is the second largest source of industrial waste in the country, after mining, according to a joint report from the nonprofit environment law organization, Earthjustice, and the Physicians for Social Responsibility. The Commission intends "to shine a light on the civil rights implications of toxic coal ash, as well as other environmental conditions, on communities most in need of ...
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Did the EPA Fail to Protect a Black Community from Environmental Racism? 20.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Over the last 14 years, a landfill has been consuming Ronald Smith's hometown. The aptly named Stone's Throw Landfill is situated in the leafy countryside of Tallassee, Ala. Around 4:00 a.m. most mornings, a processional of trash-transporting semis thunder over old local bridges, down narrow rural roads and past Smith's home. Vultures perch on his neighbors' roofs and feral dogs trot by to get to the refuse on the other side. What was once a family-owned junkyard for a community of a few hundred has now become one of the largest landfills in the state, accepting everything from household rubbish to blocks of asbestos to even septic sewage. "Every landfill in the state of Alabama is in a Black community or in an economically depressed community," said Smith, a 63-year-old pastor who returned to the neighborhood, known as Ashurst Bar, to care for his mother and defend his family's property. "The whole reason they're there is because the communities can't defend themselves. It's the path of least ...
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How to freeze food without plastic 19.1.2016 TreeHugger
Say good-bye to a freezer full of Ziplocs, Tupperware, and plastic wrap. There's another, much greener way to freeze food.
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Will Styrofoam Get the Plastic Bag Treatment? 4.1.2016 Environmental News Network
Say farewell to Styrofoam take-out containers in the nation’s capital. It’s been a few years in the making, but Washington, D.C. has finally enacted a firm ban on polystyrene food and beverage containers. Henceforth, all restaurants will have to provide biodegradable alternatives if they want to send their patrons home with leftovers.
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Big Water vs. the National Parks: The Fight Against Bottled Water Goes Federal 28.12.2015 Truthout - All Articles
(Photo: Crushed Water Bottle via Shutterstock) Major beverage corporations are fighting the National Park Service's efforts to ban the sale of bottled water in national parks. But while the industry lobbies against bottled water bans, public interest groups are advocating for better public water infrastructure, citing bottled water's negative environmental impacts. (Photo: Crushed Water Bottle via Shutterstock) In mid-December, Congress passed a provision within a $1.8 trillion budget bill requiring  the National Park Service to file a report justifying a ban on selling bottled water at a number of parks around the country. Meanwhile, the bottled water industry promoted a rider in the appropriations bill prohibiting use of federal funds to support banning bottled water in national parks. So far, over 20 parks have gone  bottled-water-free, including the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce Canyon, and Fort Sumter National Monument. This is another development in the ongoing fight  between the ...
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How Tomorrowland Trashed Today 24.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
As a child of the sixties growing up in Los Angeles, I remember being mesmerized by the GE Carousel of Progress, an attraction in the heart of Tomorrowland at Disney's Magic Kingdom. The musical peepshow into our future lured wide-eyed consumers into its theatrical belly of aspirational consumption by showcasing modern conveniences designed to make our lives easier. Little did we know that a mere fifty-year's later, GE's promise of convenience would mutate into an addiction of disposability, inducing nothing short of a global health crisis. The age of convenience has given birth to a throwaway culture, one in which manufacturers design and develop products for obsolescence and consumers embrace their expendability. It's what Story of Stuff creator, Annie Leonard, refers to as the "Take, Make, Waste"system of industrial production and consumption. With seven billion people in the world--projected to swell to nine billion by 2050--what on earth will we do with all the discarded products and packaging? ...
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Now What Episode 10: Trash Powered 21.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This episode of Now What is, on one level, a story about All Power Labs. APL is a group of genius misfits - Burning Man artists, brilliant engineers, and welders with a rebellious streak - and to properly understand them, a bit of backstory is required. Originally, they ran an illegal art compound on the outskirts of Berkeley, CA. The city didn't like that much and cut their power in an effort to evict them. Rather than cave in and move out, they built their own power generators based on old World War II technology. It's a pretty impressive municipal 'fuck you,' and an even more impressive scaleable power solution when you consider a) its carbon negative footprint and b) its reversal of top-down power dynamics by using portable generators to build a grid from the ground up. Pretty soon, the APL gang was growing their power experiments beyond their own lot and far beyond Berkeley, manufacturing biomass generators at scale and working with organizations around the world to put them in the hands of folks ...
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You And Your Kitchen Scraps Could Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 18.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Composting food waste instead of burying it in a landfill produces far less methane. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a ...
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Science says you should compost your food scraps 17.12.2015 TreeHugger
If you think your kitchen waste is harmless in the landfill, read this.
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Garbage: The Back End of the Renewable Economy 14.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Like many, I believe that the Paris climate agreement will be seen as a turning point, when the world community finally agreed to address the climate crisis. One cannot understate the importance of the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and the work of communities, cities, states and nations has now been codified into an international set of norms and expectations. That helps the front end of the economy where goods and services are made and the middle part of the economy where goods and services are used. But what about the back end of the economy where the stuff we use goes to die? Well, don't expect a fancy conference in Paris to deal with the ugly, smelly and disgusting problem of solid waste management. Solid waste management is a challenge for large urban areas around the world. Removing garbage from residential, institutional and commercial locations in cities is a major logistical and operational task. Waste management is usually a function of local government, and is often a ...
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This Japanese Town Is On Target To Produce Zero Trash 12.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
We need to do some serious trash talking about Kamikatsu, Japan. Since taking on a rigorous recycling program, this southeastern town of 1,700 people is on target to produce zero waste , according to a documentary produced by the Seeker Network. After noticing the deleterious effects of incinerating its garbage, the town adopted a mandatory sanitation program that’s nothing to stick your nose up at. Since 2003, all residents now wash, clean and sort their trash into 34 categories. The intensive process has ensured that 80 percent of all waste gets recycled, reused or composted, and 20 percent is sent to landfills. But by 2020, Kamikatsu plans on having no use for landfills. Since the town has no garbage trucks or collectors , residents are responsible for composting at home and bringing the rest of their discards to the city’s recycling center, where the monitors make sure everything is being handled properly.  While residents admit that the program is “hard work” they’re already seeing the benefits of ...
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One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure 6.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This blog post was written by Administrator Team Lead, Kimberly Weller. Here at Schools for Sustainability Inc. , we dream of a waste free world. In this world, all food scraps are transformed into nutrient rich compost yielding healthy crops, all aluminum cans are converted into new cans, building facades or bicycles, all plastic bottles are transformed into furniture, clothing, or home décor. We envision a future where, the word "recycled" means artfully crafted into a sleek, innovative, valuable product. Where the idea of what is recyclable, is limitless. In this world, one man's trash, is literally, another man's treasure. However, in reality, our climate continues to change, as corroborated by mounting scientific evidence. Temperature rises reached record heights in 2014, which is now deemed the warmest year in U.S. history. Excessive consumption of resources and the magnitude of waste we generate is a major culprit. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate roughly 4.4 ...
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New York Compost riffs on the city’s iconic muckrakers 4.12.2015 TreeHugger
The classic daily newspaper box gets updated by a New York artist.
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Pro Surfer Stops Sea Monster from Reaching Beach 1.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Ocean Trash is a modern day, scientifically documented Sea Monster. The photos are not fuzzy. Anyone with a camera can capture images of this beast on any beach around the world. Most Ocean Trash is plastic that never biodegrades, and it is killing wildlife and poisoning our food chain when it is consumed by aquatic creatures. A few facts about the beast from 5 Gyres , an international research, education and advocacy group that has conducted plastic pollution research in every ocean: "Most of the things we buy use disposable plastic: packaging, cosmetics, straws- even fishing nets. Many plastics are designed to be used only once, leading to our landfills and beaches being awash in these single-use plastic. We currently recover only 5-10% of the plastics we produce. 50% are buried in landfills and some are remade into durable goods, but much of it washes out to sea. Our ocean is a network of currents that circulate water around the world- called gyres. These five massive, slow rotating whirlpools ...
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