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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Monday, May 16, 2016
Hennepin County studies waste habits to turn more trash into treasure
A study is looking into what appears in residents' garbage. Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5/13/16

How Eastman Chemical nudges designers toward sustainable alternatives
The company's Innovation Lab is equal parts research confab and marketing resource. Source: GreenBiz, 5/16/16

Friday, May 13, 2016
The vicious cycle that makes people afraid to talk about climate change
If you want to understand why it is that on a planet wracked by climate change, people still don't talk much about climate change, then this may be the key: They're people. Source: Washington Post, 5/12/16

Walmart grows the chemical footprint movement
With chemical disclosure on the rise, the mega retailer is one example of a company adjusting the way product ingredients are tracked and disclosed. Source: GreenBiz, 5/13/16

Industry responds to e-scrap export report
A recently released export tracking study from the Basel Action Network found that roughly one-third of low-value devices dropped off for recycling in the U.S. ended up outside the country. But industry leaders and researchers say the findings do not point to clear conclusions about the amount of e-scrap material sent overseas overall. Source: E-Scrap News, 5/12/16

Pennsylvania bill aims to fix e-scrap funding shortfalls
Legislation to update Pennsylvania's struggling e-scrap program has been introduced to the state's General Assembly. The bill comes from Rep. Chris Ross, a Republican who sponsored Pennsylvania's original e-scrap legislation that was signed into law in 2010. The latest e-scrap bill from Ross proposes adding a "supplementary program" to the state's Covered Device Recycling Act. According to analysis from Pennsylvania-based government affairs firm Crisci Associates, manufacturers would be charged with paying all of the costs associated with transporting and recycling material collected in the supplementary program. Source: E-Scrap News, 5/12/16

Dell Investigating E-Waste Management Following Watchdog Group's Misconduct Claims
Dell is investigating claims that it exported e-waste in violation of company policy, following a report from a watchdog organization about Dell's e-waste management. The company has had major success collecting and recycling e-waste. Dell has collected more than 1.4 billion pounds of e-waste since 2007, in part through its Reconnect program and its Asset Resale and Recycling Services program for business customers. This initiative allows companies to transport, resell and/or recycle any brand of owned or leased equipment, in an environmentally safe way, while protecting customer's data. The e-waste exporting claims stem from a Basel Action Network (BAN) report on a two-year study that involved placing electronic GPS tracking devices into old hazardous electronic equipment such as printers and computer monitors, and then watching where they traveled across the globe. Source: Environmental Leader, 5/11/16

Thursday, May 12, 2016
Obama administration announces historic new regulations for methane emissions from oil and gas
The Obama administration on Thursday announced a set of much-anticipated -- and first ever -- steps to regulate oil and gas industry emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas second only to carbon dioxide in its role in the climate debate.

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new rule that will target emissions from new or modified oil and gas wells -- and prevent 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by the year 2025, the agency said. Source: Washington Post, 5/12/16

Tracking the international journey of the United States' deadly e-waste
Jim Puckett of BAN explains how his organization caught recyclers and manufacturers red-handed in fraudulent e-waste exports. Source: Waste Dive, 5/12/16

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
6 things climate-conscious companies have in common
As more businesses set emissions goals in line with the latest climate science, best practices are bubbling to the surface. Source: GreenBiz, 5/11/16

Cleveland Clinic establishes $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund
Cleveland Clinic announced the establishment of a $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund -- the largest of its kind among U.S. health care systems, it says. Energy efficiency projects pull money from the fund, which then is replenished by reinvesting the savings from reduced energy consumption as well as rebates. Source: Crain's Cleveland Business, 5/10/16

6 things we learned about changing people's minds on climate
This blog post recaps climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe's April 20 Frontiers in the Environment and shares six insights from the talk. Source: University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, 5/4/16

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
When companies track their climate emissions
Voluntary greenhouse gas accounting has become common in the private sector, but is it helping? Source: Ensia, 3/28/16

What's in those new plastic pipes delivering drinking water?
Lingering questions leave some concerned about a new generation of plumbing material. Source: Ensia, 5/2/16

How can we reduce concrete's hefty carbon footprint?
Bit by bit, innovators are chipping away at this ubiquitous material's environmental downsides. Source: Ensia, 4/13/16

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