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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, July 23, 2015
HP to Power Texas Data Centers With Wind Energy
For years, clean energy developers could look to only a small handful of corporations as project partners or customers for their power. Mostly, there was Google, and a few other high-tech companies that worked directly with wind and solar developers to help green their energy use. Now, that appears to be changing. On Tuesday, Hewlett-Packard announced a 12-year contract to buy 112 megawatts from a wind farm that SunEdison is expanding in Texas. That is enough, HP said, to operate its data centers there, the equivalent of powering 42,600 homes each year. The deal follows a flurry of other recent agreements. Source: The New York Times, 7/21/15

Processors say Illinois law ignores CRT recycling options
An industry group has criticized a recently signed bill modifying the e-scrap law in Illinois, saying the state failed to account for existing recycling outlets for CRT glass. In a letter sent to the Illinois EPA on July 20, a group consisting of 13 electronics recycling companies, including some of the industry's most prominent, argues House Bill 1455 assumes "CRT glass is not recyclable." Information from regional glass processors shows "this is not the case," the group said. The following companies signed onto the letter: AVA Recycling, Cascade Asset Management, CJD E-Cycling, Com2 Recycling Solutions, Comprenew, ECS Refining, Electronic Recyclers International, E-Scrap Technologies, Genesis Electronics Recycling, Global Environmental Services, Novotec, Sims Recycling Solutions and Supply-Chain Services. Source: Resource Recycling, 7/23/15

Recycling containers added in forest preserves
Source: Chicago Daily Herald

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Federal court upholds EPA pollutant rule
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule on emissions of certain toxic air pollutants at manufacturing plants. Source: The Hill, 7/22/15

Michigan company using algae to reduce use of livestock antibiotics
While most people think of algae as a water problem, a Michigan company got its start designing technology that uses algae to filter wastewater. Current State talks to Geoff Horst, CEO of Algal Scientific, who was was a PhD student in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department at Michigan State University when he started the biotech company. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 7/22/15

Programmed Polymers Degradation for Base Material Reuse
Plastic made from plant sugars that you can break down with light and reuse over and over again? That's the subject of new research from presented at this year's Green Chemistry Conference. Source: Decoded Science, 7/16/15

EPA introduces new Safer Choice labels and recognizes five Chicago area partners
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman highlighted the benefits of the Agency's new Safer Choice label and congratulated five Chicago area Safer Choice award-winners at an event at the Loyola University Chicago Searle Biodiesel Lab. Source: U.S. EPA, 7/21/15

Levi's Expands Recycling Initiative
Levi Strauss & Co. has expanded its clothing recycling initiative to all Levi's mainline and outlet stores in the US. Source: Environmental Leader, 7/22/15

Net positive: Revolution, not evolution
A novel concept has been doing the rounds of the sustainability world in the last few years and gradually building momentum: "net positive," or the idea of a company leaving the world a better place than it found it. Source: GreenBiz, 7/21/15

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
MGM Resorts tells drought panel it's saved 2 billion gallons
Sin City may look like a lush water-waster as the state endures its fourth year of a severe drought, but casino-resorts say their fountains and greenery are well-crafted illusions. Source: Houston Chronicle, 7/20/15

Monday, July 20, 2015
How Big Water is trying to stop the National Park Service from cleaning up plastic bottles that are fouling the parks
The National Park Service thought it had a good strategy for reining in the discarded water bottles that clog the trash cans and waste stream of the national parks: stop selling disposable bottles and let visitors refill reusable ones with public drinking water. But Big Water has stepped in to block the parks from banning the plastic pollutants -- and the industry found an ally on Capitol Hill to add a little-noticed amendment to a House spending bill that would kill the policy. Source: Washington Post, 7/13/15

A Brief History of Household Recycling
Recycling programs might seem ordinary today, but it wasn't long ago that the vast majority of households sent 100 percent of their waste to landfills. These days, the most ambitious cities are adding "zero-waste" goals to a growing list of "green" policies. Will any of them truly arrive at a future without trash? If the past is any guide, the best ideas for how to get there will be the result of years of testing and tinkering. Source: CityLab, 7/20/15

The tech industry is threatening to drink California dry
With California thought to have only one year of water left, Silicon Valley data centers are trying to reduce their needs for cooling. Source: The Guardian, 7/20/15

Serving up plant-based plastics
Mold maker and manufacturer VistaTek LLC created an independent company, SelfEco, which specializes in food service items. SelfEco products are made with polylactic acid supplied by NatureWorks LLC. The company will introduce a new line of home and garden products this month at Cultivate'15, a horticulture show in Columbus, Ohio. Source: Plastics News, 7/10/15

Friday, July 17, 2015
Distillers Join the Fight Against Food Waste
These companies are turning ugly and overripe fruit into high-end spirits like brandy and liqueur. Source: Civil Eats, 6/24/15

Why We're All a Part of the Green Electronics Conversation
From material sourcing and production to recovery and recycling, stakeholders in the electronics space embraced the concept of a circular economy years before it was fashionable. Source: Triple Pundit, 7/14/15

The Greening Of Sports -- And Where We're All Headed Next
ESPN's Sarah Spain moderated a panel at the fifth GSA summit. In this post, she details what she learned as a result. Source: ESPN, 7/17/15

Resilience as economic driver? How climate action can curb inequality
It's sometimes hard to understand how fighting the negative effects of climate change relates to the economic success of America, including its most vulnerable citizens. We talk a lot about this at Urban Solutions, and it was articulated extremely well during a recent presentation by President Barack Obama's top budget expert. Source: GreenBiz, 7/15/15

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