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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Key Takeaways from the NYC Food Waste Fair
More than 1,200 attendees and nearly 80 exhibitors gathered together at the NYC Food Waste Fair yesterday in Brooklyn, N.Y., to discuss the issue of food waste. Source: Waste360, 7/26/17

How a union bottle line worker revolutionized recycling for MillerCoors breweries
Kelly Harris' waste diversion plan helped eight of MillerCoors' major breweries earn landfill-free verification from NSF International in 2016. Harris also changed the culture at his Trenton, Ohio, brewery to such a degree that it reuses or recycles more than 99% of all its by-products. Source: New York Daily News, 7/26/17

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Arizona Breweries to Make Beer With Treated Wastewater
As part of what is being called the AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge, more than 30 Arizona breweries have agreed to make beer this summer with water from a portable system that treats wastewater. Source: Associated Press, 7/8/17

This Pickle Company Achieved Zero Food Waste By Turning Scraps Into Compost And Bloody Marys
Getting to zero food waste is very possible: it just takes a little creative thinking. Source: Fast Company, 7/24/17

IKEA's 7 imperatives for scrapping food waste
Last month, IKEA, which serves hot meals, take-home products and coffee to 650 million annual visitors at nearly 400 of its stores in 48 countries, publicized its goal of halving the food waste from those operations by August 2020. The "Food is Precious" initiative trains employees to use an electronic "smart scale" and data analysis tool to identify what is being wasted (and why) and to find creative solutions to reclaim the profit. Source: GreenBiz, 7/24/17

Monday, July 24, 2017
Biomimicry @ 20: A conversation with Janine Benyus
Nature holds the answers to successful corporate sustainability, says Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. When biologists are at the design table, she said, they "basically ask the question: What in the natural world has already solved the problem that we're trying to solve, and what can it teach us?" Source: GreenBiz, 7/24/17

Friday, July 21, 2017
Wisconsin moves to protect groundwater with rules limiting manure spreading
After years of complaints about manure spreading and its potential to harm drinking water, state officials are advancing first-ever rules to limit animal waste on vulnerable soils of eastern Wisconsin. Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/10/17

Thursday, July 20, 2017
GOP Effort To Make Environmental Science 'Transparent' Worries Scientists
Groups that represent industries from farming to fracking are supporting a legislative push to rewrite how government handles science when drawing up regulations.

And the whole effort has scientists worried. Source: NPR, 7/20/17


States Grapple with Implementing E-Waste Recycling Laws
Even though many of states are moving the needle forward on e-waste, some are running into barriers while working to implement these newly developed laws. Source: Waste360, 7/20/17

Release of treated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing contaminates lake
Hydraulic fracturing has enabled a domestic oil and gas boom in the US, but its rapid growth has raised questions about what to do with the billions of gallons of wastewater that result. Researchers now report that treating the wastewater and releasing it into surface waters has led to the contamination of a Pennsylvania watershed with radioactive material and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Source: Science Daily, 7/12/17

States Grapple with Implementing E-Waste Recycling Laws
To date, 25 states and Washington, D.C., have electronics recycling laws, most of which are producer responsibility statutes. Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Minnesota are among those that have recently taken action to deal with fast-accumulating electronic waste. But even though many of these states are moving the needle forward, some are running into barriers while working to implement these newly developed laws. Source: Waste 360, 7/20/17

Building virtual waterworks with this game could lead to improving the real thing
Faculty at Indiana University are building a video game to teach people about water systems and infrastructure. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 7/19/17

Plastic Is Everywhere And Recycling Isn't The End Of It
Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It's in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it.

Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it's literally almost everywhere. Source: NPR, 7/29/17


Clarkson University Researchers & Entrepreneurs Partner to Commercialize Technology to Convert Agricultural Waste for Energy Applications
After surveying the state of farming in the United States in 2015, Clarkson University researcher David Mitlin and chemistry Ph.D. student Jesse Pokrzywinski concluded there was a glut in milk and related dairy production. From working on a dairy farm in high school, Pokrzywinski witnessed milk being disposed rather than brought to market at a loss.

The researchers learned this was a problem at a national level, with millions of gallons being discarded every year. Over the next two years, Mitlin and Pokrzywinski developed a process to convert milk products and other agricultural wastes into extremely high surface area/low density carbons to be employed for energy storage, CO2 capture and other applications.

Together with Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Mario Wriedt's group, and with staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Mitlin published a high-profile paper on the material, "Unrivaled Combination of Surface Area and Pore Volume in Micelle Templated Carbon for Supercapacitor Energy Storage," in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Journal of Materials Chemistry A, a world-leading energy journal. Source: Clarkson University, 7/13/17


Water tainted with perfluorocarbons by U.S. military is focus of legislation
House of Representatives passes bill that would require study of health effects, impacts of potential drinking water regulation on development of substitutes. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 7/18/17

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