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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
5 Power and Cooling Myths You Should Stop Believing
Conventional wisdom isn't necessarily true, and this especially applies to power and cooling in the data center. Many popular IT beliefs are in fact myths, and clinging to these notions can impede energy efficiency or cost savings. Source: EdTech, 5/23/14

Can jaw-dropping visuals change the climate conversation?
To rapidly scale public support for innovative climate policies, we need to think creatively and invest quickly in pioneering storytelling methods that enhance public understanding of the current and future impacts of climate change. Source: GreenBiz, 5/28/14

Sustainable Feedstock Contracts
If you are a biodiesel producer, you already believe in sustainability. You already have your RFS pathway and are making the best biodiesel and highest profits possible. Sustainability is part of your DNA, but is it part of your feedstock contracts? Source: Biodiesel Magazine, 5/27/14

New, Fossil-Fuel-Free Process Makes Biodiesel Sustainable
A new fuel-cell concept, developed by an Michigan State University researcher, will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process. Source: FutureStructure, 5/21/14

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
As Dairy Farms Grow Bigger, New Concerns About Pollution
Dairy operations in the U.S. are consolidating, with ever-larger numbers of cows concentrated on single farms. In states like Wisconsin, opposition to some large operations is growing after manure spills and improper handling of waste have contaminated waterways and aquifers. Source: Yale Environment 360, 5/27/14

Friday, May 23, 2014
Dell Making Good on 'Legacy of Good' Plan with Carbon-Negative Packaging, Closed-Loop Plastics
On Tuesday, Dell announced new sustainability initiatives that CEO Michael Dell called "the next milestone" in Dell's 2020 Legacy of Good plan. The electronics giant announced it is the first in the IT industry to introduce carbon-negative AirCarbonTM packaging, through a partnership with Newlight Technologies. Dell also is the first to use UL Environment-certified, closed-loop recycled plastics in the manufacturing of computers, in partnership with design manufacturer Wistron GreenTech. The independent, third-party verification of a closed-loop plastics process establishes the first industry standard for closed-loop materials and supports a circular economy for IT. Dell's 2020 Legacy of Good plan includes 21 ambitious sustainability and social goals the company is committed to reaching by 2020. The overarching goal is to ensure that the good that comes from Dell's technology will be ten times what it takes to create and use it. Source: Sustainable Brands, 5/21/14

Thursday, May 22, 2014
New Jersey moves to ban CRT-to-ADC option
In its annual release of OEM collection obligations, the state of New Jersey made a significant announcement regarding CRT management. According to a letter sent out to electronics manufacturers and obtained by E-Scrap News, the state's e-scrap program will not allow OEMs to fulfill 2014 collection goals by sending CRT glass for processing as alternative daily cover (ADC). The CRT-to-ADC debate has sprung onto the e-scrap landscape in the months since Finland-based Kuusakoski Recycling announced a partnership with Illinois' Peoria Disposal Company for a technology that, according to the companies, opens the door to a safe landfill applicatoin of CRT glass. The strategy has caught the attention of many in the industry because it offers a disposal option that is cheaper than moving glass to traditional lead smelters. However, in March, R2 Solutions, which administers the R2 certification, announced it will not allow R2-verified firms to move glass to ADC operations. Source: Resource Recycling, 5/14/14

Rational Design and Development of Safer Chemicals
Molecular Design Research Network (MoDRN) is a recent initiative that will help scientists expand their molecular design "toolbox" by helping anticipate the potential toxicity of commercial chemicals. MoDRN is developing as a collaboration between four universities - Baylor University, George Washington University, University of Washington and Yale University, - with the goals of advancing our understanding of chemical hazards and enabling rational design of safer chemicals in the future. Source: ACS Nexus blog, 5/21/14

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
MI: Recyclebank Helps City Increase Recycling 323%
Recyclebank has helped the city of Rochester Hills, Mich., increase pounds of materials recycled by 323 percent since 2008. Source: Environmental Leader, 5/21/14

Management, Measurement & Metrics
Before choosing metrics, choose the problem you're trying to solve. Source: Environmental Leader, 5/21/14

Dell to use recycled plastics in new line of PCs
Dell is making a line of PCs using plastics obtained by expanding its recycling program. The company has expanded the hardware take-back program to more places worldwide, aiming to collect and reuse more extracted plastic and metals in PCs, monitors, hardware panels and other products. Dell's OptiPlex 3030 all-in-one, which will ship next month, will be the first product of that effort. Starting next year, more laptops, desktops and monitor back-panels will be made using recycled plastic, said Scott O'Connell, director of environmental affairs at Dell. The products will be certified as sustainable by UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Dell will save money by reusing plastic, but O'Connell did not say whether the savings will be passed on to customers through lower prices. But it will be easier for more people to recycle electronics and Dell will also provide a PC mail-back option, O'Connell said. Source: Computer World, 5/21/14

New Game Consoles to Cost U.S. Consumers $1 Billion in Annual Electric Bills
The latest-generation game consoles are on track to cost American consumers $1 billion annually in utility bills--$400 million of that in standby mode when no one is using them--and devour enough electricity to power all the homes in the nation's fourth-largest city of Houston, according to a report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC's extensive testing and analysis shows the new Microsoft Xbox One is the biggest energy user of the three most popular consoles, largely due to its voice command feature in standby mode, followed by the Sony PlayStation 4 with its inefficient controller charging. Although these consoles have incorporated important energy-saving features, in large part at NRDC's urging, their expanded capabilities result in annual electricity consumption two to three times higher than the most recent models of their predecessors. In comparison, the Nintendo Wii U is an energy sipper. Source: NRDC, 5/16/14

Interpol, Norway and Switzerland aid Ghana's fight against e-waste
The International Police Organization (INTERPOL), government of Norway and Switzerland have been assisting the government of Ghana to fight the electronic waste (e- waste) proliferation in the country, Joseph Oteng-Adjei, minister of Environment, Science and Technology, said here on Tuesday. Agbogbloshie, once a fertile wetland but now a slum in the capital, is designated the world's largest e-waste dump where broken down electronic appliances such as refrigerators, television sets, computers, radio-sets and many more. The minister noted that an in-country assessment had been conducted to establish the volume of e-waste generated domestically. Source: Global Post, 5/20/14

Ohio EPA Recognizes Six Companies with Environmental Excellence Awards
Ohio EPA has awarded six companies with the 2014 Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3)Silver Awards. The E3 program recognizes organizations committed to environmental excellence. Nominations for the 2015 E3 Silver Level are being accepted through June 27, 2014. Source: Ohio EPA, 5/14/14



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