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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Dirtball's 'Green Jean' Needs Your Help to Tackle Plastic Bottle Waste

66 billion bottles of water are consumed (and ultimately tossed) each year in the United States alone. In order to make a dent in this staggering number, eco-friendly clothing company Dirtball is using Kickstarter to launch a new product, The Green Jean.

Apple Now Offering In-Store iPhone Recycling

Apple is now making it easier for customers to recycle their old iPhones and get new ones with its new in-store iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program according to a recent announcement. The program, which began in stores across the U.S. on August 30, allows iPhone users — with a valid iPhone contract — to trade in their used phone (as long as it is in working condition) for store credit, which can be used towards the purchase of a new one.

Nike’s New Shanghai Store Is 100% Rubbish

Sportswear giant Nike’s new concept store in Shanghai has been constructed using waste materials including more than 5,000 drinks cans and 50,000 old CDs and DVDs.Built by Miniwiz Sustainable Development, an architectural firm based in Taiwan, the building has been designed to be 100% adjustable using a suspension ceiling system to adapt to different retail setups during the course of a year.All of the building’s materials were ‘urban mined’ and recycled from consumer lifestyle rubbish. And no glue has been used, meaning that all materials can be 100% re-recycled separately, too.

Sprint Breaks Guinness World Record for Most Cell Phones Recycled in One Week

Sprint has long been the industry leader in cell phone recycling. Now the wireless carrier has a Guinness World Records® achievement to prove it.This week Guinness World Records recognized Sprint for shattering the record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week: 103,582 cellular phones, more than double the previous record.“We are committed to keeping old cell phones out of landfills and are so pleased that our customers supported us during this record-setting week, as they regularly do throughout the year,” said Jaime Jones, senior vice president of consumer sales at Sprint.

MillerCoors Decreases Water Use By 6%

MillerCoors reduced water use by 6.1 percent to a record low 3.82 barrels needed per barrel of beer in 2012, according to the 2013 MillerCoors Sustainability Report, released yesterday.By comparison, the nation’s second-largest brewer says some U.S. breweries use as much as 6.62 barrels of water to produce a single barrel of beer.

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GM Donation Insulates 400 More Coats for the Homeless

General Motors has made an additional donation of scrap sound-absorption material from its Chevy Malibu and Buick Verano models to a Detroit nonprofit for use as insulation in waterproof, self-heating coats that become sleeping bags for the homeless.

EcoDairy Harnessing the Hidden Power of Cow Manure

It takes two days to train a cow to milk itself. This may sound like a farmer’s utopia, but at Bakerview EcoDairy, a robotic milker is just one of many dairy farm innovations being put to use.Bill Vanderkooi, president and CEO of the farm, seeks out all of the latest technologies to help him run his operation, which hosts an onsite market and agricultural education center. Armed with a Master’s degree in animal science, Vanderkooi opened the 80-acre farm near Abbotsford, British Columbia, in June of 2010. He has since established himself as a pioneer among small-scale, sustainable farm owners.

Largest Vertical Farm in the US Becomes Zero Organic Waste Facility

Chicago land-based vertical farm FarmedHere, has launched a program to convert all of its organic waste into compost used to feed other urban farms across Chicago.Through a unique soil-free process that utilizes vertical farming technology, FarmedHere grows USDA certified organic greens that the company says are healthier, tastier, and fresher than traditionally farmed produce. Stacked grow beds – up to six high – are used to create vertical growing space. Instead of soil, water from tanks of hormone-free tilapia delivers nutrients to the plants through either an aquaponic or aeroponic system. These systems are combined with controlled water pressure, humidity and atmospheric pressure to create optimal growing conditions.

RecycleForce Keeps Electronic Waste Out of Landfills and Ex-Felons Out of Prison

Since 2006, Indianapolis-based RecycleForce has paid over $10 million in wages and employed 650 ex-felons to recycle over 20 million pounds of electronic waste. The non-profit social enterprise has a dual mission: to help people coming out of prison successfully transition back into civil society, and to keep as much electronic waste as possible out of Indiana’s landfills. RecycleForce deconstructs electronic waste and other recyclables provided by residents and corporate partners, separates the reusable materials, and disposes of the waste safely and cleanly.

Diageo Reducing Material Use to Achieve Zero Waste by 2015

Global beverage company Diageo says it is working towards zero waste to landfill targets at all of its sites by 2015, but is looking to make its waste management activities a higher priority via a five-pronged approach.The company's latest sustainability and responsibility report says it has reduced waste to landfill by 53.4 percent this year, contributing to an overall reduction of 77.9 percent against a 2007 baseline. This means that 81,099 tons of manufacturing waste is now being reused or recycled.

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New Global Brewers Survey Shows Industry Making Notable Reductions in Water, Energy Use

The Worldwide Brewery Industry Water and Energy Benchmarking Survey, which is carried out by Campden BRI and KWA on behalf of the Dutch Brewers Association every four years, reveals that breweries have reduced their energy usage by over 9% and water usage by over 17% over the last four years, according to Campden BRI.The survey shows that between 2008 and 2012 average water use has been reduced dramatically by over 17% from 5.2 hectolitres (hl) of water per hl of beer to 4.3. Average energy use fell by over 9% in the same period from 229 Megajoules (MJ) per hl of beer to 207 MJ/hl. Even the top 10% most water- and energy-efficient breweries achieved a further 9% reduction in both energy and water usage between 2008 and 2012.

Crayola's Colorcycle Program Turning Used Markers Into Clean Energy

JBI, Inc., a clean energy company that recycles waste plastic into liquid fuels, has announced it is partnering with Crayola on its "Colorcycle" program, which converts markers into clean energy.The program will be conducted throughout the United States in participating K-12 schools and encourages students to responsibly dispose of used Crayola markers through an in-school collection process. Markers will be sent to JBI, where they will be used as feedstock to produce diesel and other liquid fuels using JBI's Plastic2Oil® ("P2O") process.

Irish Marine Pilot Project Upcycles Abandoned Fishing Nets

A pilot project to manufacture commercially viable products from recycled polyethylene fishing nets has been completed successfully in a collaboration between Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM - the Irish Sea Fisheries Board) and Liverpool-based plastics recycler Centriforce Products, according to Centriforce’s website.

Researchers Discover Process to Absorb Toxic Metals from Water, Using E-Waste

A team of Hong Kong researchers has found a way to use ground-up circuit boards from discarded cell phones, computers and other gadgets to absorb toxic heavy metals found in water, according to Chemical & Engineering NewsEach year, around 20 to 50 million tons of electronic waste is produced worldwide, most of which is incinerated or dumped into landfills. Burning the plastic/metal combo in printed circuit boards releases toxic compounds such as dioxins and furans. In landfills, the metals on the circuit boards can contaminate groundwater.

Nokia Joins O2 Campaign to Ship Cell Phones Without Chargers

Nokia has joined O2’s “Chargers Out of the Box” campaign, which makes the Nokia 301 the first mass-market handset to ship without a charger. The handset will come with just a USB cable, encouraging customers to use existing mains chargers acquired through the purchase of existing mobile phones. Those who want a conventional charger can get one from O2 at a discounted price.While the Nokia 301 is the fifth phone to be included in the program, the other four have all been high-end smartphones. O2 claims that 82 percent of customers who have bought a charger-less phone have decided the USB cable is all they need.

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UK Engineers Develop Urine-Powered Fuel Cell

Researchers in the United Kingdom say they have created a fuel cell that uses bacteria to break down human liquid waste to generate enough electricity to charge a mobile phone.Currently, the amount of electricity produced is just enough to make one call on a standard Samsung mobile phone. The researchers say the fuel cell cost around £1 ($1.51) to produce, meaning the devices could provide a new form of cheap power generation. The bacteria used in the fuel cells are the same as those normally found in wastewater treatment plants.While the fuel cell is not much larger than a car battery, the researchers claim they will eventually be able to craft smaller and more portable ones.

Patagonia Launches New Program to Upcycle Flip-Flops

Patagonia has commenced a new remanufacturing program to continuously recycle its flip-flops, which could reduce production waste by nearly a third.The clothing company has partnered with small upstart firm PLUSfoam to create flip-flops that are 100 percent recyclable and can be upcycled into new flip-flops at the end of their life with no reduction in performance.

Environmental Groups Call on Rayovac to Help U.S. Consumers Recycle Their Batteries

Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE) — a nonprofit, grassroots group known for its advocation of electronic waste recycling — has announced a campaign to press battery manufacturer Rayovac to step up its efforts on recycling and waste reduction. The organization asked Rayovac in May to begin taking back its batteries for recycling; now TCE has been joined by 26 other organizations from across the country calling on Rayovac to provide recycling for its batteries in the U.S., as it does in Europe.

Canadian Coffee Company Releases Guilt-Free Single-Serve Coffee Pods

A Canadian coffee company says it has developed a more environmentally friendly alternative to the ever-popular, single-serve K-Cup pods, made a household name in recent years by the ubiquitous Keurig home coffeemakers.

UK Paper Company Might Just Rid the World of Paper Cup Waste

UK paper company James Cropper has developed technology that enables the recycling of disposable coffee cups into high-quality paper products. Last week, the company opened a £5m reclaimed fibre plant using this technology at its production mill in Kendal, Cumbria, which was inaugurated by the Queen and the Princess Royal, Kate Middleton.In the UK alone, an estimated 2.5 billion paper cups go to landfill. Until now, the plastic content of cups has made them unsuitable for use in papermaking — disposable cups are made of up to 95% high-strength paper with a 5% thin coating of polyethylene; James Cropper's recycling technology separates out the plastic, leaving paper pulp that can be used to make paper.

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