Waste Not

The latest in the growing number of efforts directed at reducing, repurposing and ultimately eliminating waste in all its forms.

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How a Tasty Turkish Treat Can Help Heat the Country's First Eco-City

Ever thought twice about those pistachio shells that we so readily discard? Luckily Turkey, one of the world's largest producers of pistachios, has —and the country is planning to use the shells, currently waste from production of its beloved baklava, to create biogas to generate heat for its first eco-city.The planned city will be built in Gaziantep province (known informally as Antep) in southern Turkey, which happens to be the center of pistachio production, growing more than half of the country's 'green gold.' The new city will cover 3,200 hectares (7,900 acres), and house roughly 200,000 people.

EKOCYCLE's CUBE 3D Printer Upcycles Plastic Bottles Into a Range of New Products

This week, EKOCYCLE and 3D Systems (3DS) unveiled the EKOCYCLE CUBE — a 3D printer that upcycles post-consumer plastic bottles into items of your design.EDS says the Cube “is not just another tool for making, it is a revolutionary tool for RE-making, and encourages and helps us to change the way we think about recycling.” The printers are expected to be available online at Cubify beginning in the second half of the year.

I:CO Now Recycling Textiles from Over 800 American Eagle Stores Across US, Canada

Last week, global closed-loop textile recycling company I:CO announced an expanded partnership with American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO) to roll out its clothing and shoes recycling program in all of American Eagle’s 823 stores across the United States and Canada.As of June 14th, customers are now able to drop off used or unwanted clean clothing, shoes and textiles from any brand into the specifically marked I:CO boxes at any North American location. Participating customers will be rewarded with a text code for $5 off a pair of AEO jeans to be used in store that day. All proceeds from the program will be donated to the Student Conservation Association, one of AEO’s national charity partners.

New Home of SF 49ers to Use 85% Recycled Water

Recycled water will account for roughly 85 percent of all water used in Levi’s Stadium — the new home of the San Francisco 49ers — and will be used for irrigation of the field as well as a 27,000-square-foot green roof, flushing toilets and cooling tower make-up water. Inside, the stadium is dual plumbed with recycled water used for flushing toilets.Following final testing by the City of Santa Clara Water and Sewer Utilities, Levi’s Stadium recently was connected to the city’s recycled water system, making it the first stadium in California to utilize the drought-proof water source. The milestone brings the facility one step closer to a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

Panasonic, DIRECTV, Microsoft, Sony, Xerox Form New Recycling Coalition

DirecTV, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony and Xerox are among the founding partners of the R2 Responsible Recycling Leader Program, which encourages companies to responsibly reuse and recycle electronics. The program is a coalition of 10 partners and includes Goodwill Industries International, Greeneye Partners, Keep America Beautiful, SourceAmerica and Wistron Corporation.The R2 electronics recycling standard and certification process is managed by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI).

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PDP, Trucost Offer Sneak Preview of Groundbreaking 'Valuing Plastic' Report at #SB14sd

On the evening of June 5, an advanced copy of the Executive Summary of Valuing Plastic: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry will be shared with the Sustainable Brands community during SB’14 San Diego.

Recyclebank Program Helps City Increase Recycling 323%

RecycleBank announced this week that, through recycling innovations and incentives programs, it has helped the city of Rochester Hills, Mich., increase its pounds of materials recycled by 323 percent since 2008.The company has worked with Republic Services and Rochester Hills to reward residents for taking more sustainable actions, such as recycling, with discounts and deals at local and national businesses. Rochester Hills also expanded its household recycling program and implemented single-stream collection, which allows residents to put all types of recyclable materials into a single bin.

Chevron Plant to Turn Fat, Oils and Grease into Energy, Save $27M

Chevron Energy Solutions has announced it will design and build a waste-to-energy plant at Broward County, Fla.’s wastewater treatment facility.The project will generate electricity from fats, oils and grease and is expected to generate almost 2 megawatts (MW) of power, reduce electricity usage by over 30 percent and save the county nearly $27 million in its first 17 years of operation.Chevron says the energy produced by the project will offset utility-purchased power and help achieve county-wide carbon-reduction benefits.

Sarda Helping Equip Dell, Master's Students to Continue to Lead for Sustainability

Bruno Sarda is Director of Sustainability Operations at Dell, where he oversees business integration, information strategy, measurement and reporting, as well as supporting advocacy, policy and objective-setting. He also manages Dell’s groundbreaking partnership with TGEN (Translational Genomics Research Institute) and leads the Global Context thread at Arizona State University’s Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership (EMSL) program.

British Companies Develop New Adhesive System That Makes Circuit Boards 90% Recyclable

Three British companies have created a circuit board that is 90 percent recyclable and reusable, with components that can be easily separated by soaking in hot water.The three companies — National Physical Laboratory (NPL), In2Tec and Gwent Electronic Materials — have developed an adhesive that helps manufacturers take apart electronic circuit boards and reuse their components to make new components. The three firms, which have received funding from the UK government's Technology Strategy Board with a view to help industry conform to European electronic waste regulations, call the innovation ReUse — Reusable, Unzippable, Sustainable Electronics.

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Strategic Sustainability: Turning an Insurmountable Issue Into a 'Decision Challenge'

George Basile is a professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU), a Senior Sustainability Scientist in ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and affiliate professor in the School of Public Affairs. He co-developed ASU’s new Executive Masters in Sustainability Leadership, where he serves as faculty lead in strategic sustainability. We spoke with him about his work across various sectors and reframing sustainability as a “decision challenge."

HP’s Recycled Plastic Ink Cartridges Helping Company, Customers Reduce Impact

HP announced last week that more than 75 percent of its ink cartridges and 24 percent of its HP LaserJet toner cartridges are now manufactured with “closed-loop” recycled plastic.The company says this represents a 50 percent increase in the number of HP ink cartridges manufactured with recycled content in the last year, giving customers more options for purchasing cartridges made with recycled content.As part of the company’s Living Progress strategy for driving human, economic and environmental progress, HP is helping customers reduce their environmental impact and reduce the overall environmental impact of product use.

ASU, Mayo Clinic, City of Phoenix Assisting Local School District with Waste Diversion

As one of the largest school districts in Arizona, Paradise Valley Unified School District (PV Schools) generates nearly 1,500 tons of waste per year.

Bacardi Reusing 2,300 Tons of Concrete Rubble to Build New Warehouses

Spirits giant Bacardi Limited announced it has built three new warehouses at its rum distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico using recycled concrete. The waste was derived from the demolition of six older structures on the 127-acre campus.“We took all the rubble from the demolition and reused it as backfill material in building our new warehouses,” says Julio Torruella, project director for Bacardi in Puerto Rico. “This was a zero-waste project designed to reuse steel and concrete, rather than sending material to the landfill.”Bacardi called it “a major cost- and environment-saving move” as construction crews recycled more than 2,300 tons of rubble, amounting to 153 truckloads of concrete, eliminating the need for the company to buy equivalent new material for construction.

Record Amount of Electronics Recycled in 2013

The consumer electronics (CE) industry recycled a record 620 million pounds of electronics in the United States in 2013, according to a new report by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).The total is more than double the amount (300 million pounds) of three years ago, as stated in the report, the Third Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative. The 2013 U.S. ecycling total is an increase of 35 million pounds over the 2012 level (585 million pounds).

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Apple Offers Free Recycling, Makes Clean Energy Commitments

In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, Apple announced it is now offering free recycling of all of its used products, and has pledged to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.To accompany the announcement, Apple unveiled a revamped environmental responsibility website and an introductory video narrated by CEO Tim Cook."Better. It's a powerful word, and a powerful ideal," Cook says to open the video. "It makes us look at the world and want more than anything to change it for the better. To innovate, improve, to reinvent. To make it better."

New Toolkit Helps US Businesses Cut Food Waste

An alliance of food manufacturers, retailers and foodservice operators has announced the release of a toolkit aimed at helping businesses in the food sector reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill.The Best Practices and Emerging Solutions Toolkit focuses on strategies food manufacturers, retailers and foodservice operators can employ to keep food out of landfills, and to reduce food waste at the source. The toolkit was produced by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA), a cross-sector industry initiative led by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

Unilever Fines Helping Improve Water Quality in Connecticut

In December, Unilever pled guilty to two counts of violating the Clean Water Act, for an incident on December 5, 2008 in which it illegally discharged thousands of gallons of wastewater from its former Clinton, CT, manufacturing facility.The company said the incident involved two non-managerial wastewater operators who bypassed portions of the facility’s wastewater treatment system. While Unilever voluntarily reported the bypass, it did not notify the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection within two hours of becoming aware of the bypass, as required by the facility’s discharge permit.

Over 75% of Unilever's Factories Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill

Unilever announced today that all of its European factories have joined those in North America in achieving zero non-hazardous waste to landfill. Along with similar achievements in countries from Argentina to Indonesia, this means more than three-quarters of the company’s global factory network no longer sends such waste to landfill, up from 20 percent just three years ago.

Portuguese Researchers Developing Waterless Process for Biofuel Production

According to the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), the global production of biofuels has increased by over 600 percent in a decade, to more than 100 billion litres in 2011. Sounds like good news, except for the fact that the overall sustainability of biofuels as a renewable energy source has been hampered by, among other things, the water-intensiveness of their production.

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