Archive for the 'Recycling' Category

New GLRPPR Sector Resource on Electronic Waste

Friday, May 22nd, 2009 by

Recently Indiana became the 19th state in the U.S. to enact electronic waste regulations with the signing of HB 1589. The group of states with such regulations also includes Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois in the Great Lakes region. According to the Electronics Take Back Coalition, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New York will be considering e-waste legislation in 2009. At the local level, New York City also has electronic waste regulations. At the federal level, H.R. 1580, the Electronic Waste Research and Development Act, has been voted upon by the U.S. House of Representatives and been received by the Senate.

Given this trend, it seems appropriate to launch a resource collection on the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) site focused specifically on e-waste issues. The GLRPPR Electronic Waste Sector Resource will include links to relevant legislation, news, events, funding opportunities, and contacts. This resource list is under development, so if you are aware of resources for e-waste programs in your state, please feel free to send links to Joy Scrogum for potential inclusion in this new resource list. An RSS feed is available for the Electronic Waste Sector Resource so you can be aware of new resources as they are added.

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) a national network of pollution prevention information centers. Another P2Rx center, the Western Sustainability Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN) has also developed a P2Rx Topic Hub on Electronic Waste. This is linked to within the new Sector Resource on the GLRPPR site and is also available on the main GLRPPR Topic Hub page.

IDEM Honors Valparaiso as CLEAN Community

Friday, May 1st, 2009 by

Valparaiso residents have another reason to be proud of their community as their city government has achieved “CLEAN” status and is embarking on a new, positive environmental initiative through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) CLEAN Community Challenge.

The CLEAN (Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network) Community Challenge is a voluntary recognition program for units of local Indiana government that make significant commitments to environmental management. IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly presented a plaque and commemorative road sign to Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas during a CLEAN designation ceremony held at City Hall on April 13th.

“Valparaiso is a shining example for other communities through its commitment to increase recycling, improve educational outreach efforts and implement water conservation measures,” said Commissioner Easterly. “I applaud the entire Valparaiso community for its good work in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.”

CLEAN helps communities take steps to plan, develop, and implement a Quality of Life Plan, which focuses on reducing the potential environmental impacts associated with municipal operations. As part of the CLEAN challenge, Valparaiso has committed to achieving several environmental goals over the next three years. These include:  working to increase municipal solid waste diversion to 70 percent while increasing residential and business recycling participation to 75 percent; recycling 100 percent of municipally-generated fluorescent and mercury containing light bulbs; holding workshops to educate residents on rain barrels and rain gardens; constructing a rain garden on city property; and implementing five water conservation measures.

“I am very excited about the opportunity presented to Valparaiso through its participation in the CLEAN Community Challenge,” said Mayor Costas. “By meeting the CLEAN Community Challenge, Valparaiso is positioning itself to further improve our quality of life with an increased public awareness of environmental issues. Through a partnership between the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the City of Valparaiso, our residents will enjoy a healthier and cleaner community.”

The Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge is administered by IDEM in partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Finance Authority. Partner agencies provide financial incentives to Indiana CLEAN Community members, such as better terms and improved opportunities for state grant and loan dollars.

Learn more about the Indiana CLEAN Community Challenge at www.cleancommunities.IN.gov.

Indiana suspends some grant programs.

Monday, January 12th, 2009 by

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Like rest of nation, The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is trying to adjust to the current economic climate.

As all levels of government across the country grapple and adjust to
landmark budget reductions, IDEM is working to effectively manage grant and loan programs while safeguarding Hoosier tax dollars.

IDEM is temporarily suspending state-funded grant and loan programs for
business and local government recycling and pollution prevention projects. These loan and grant programs require local government and businesses to put up matching dollars, which may not be feasible at this time because of the economy. State grant and loan programs temporarily suspended include: Waste Tire grants, Recycling grants, Pollution
Prevention grants, Public Education Promotion grants, Household
Hazardous Waste grants, and Recycling Market and Development Program loans.

“Current programs and local recycling programs offered by local Solid Waste Management Districts should not be affected, and the public will still be able to find recycling services and information provided by IDEM and their local overnment,” said Thomas Easterly, IDEM
commissioner. “And the temporary change should have no adverse impact on
the numerous stewardship and pollution programs or federally-funded grant and loan programs IDEM facilitates.”

“IDEM is still continuing to provide free technical assistance on recycling efforts, and this base of knowledge is invaluable,” said Rick Bossingham, assistant commissioner for IDEM’s Office of Pollution
Prevention and Technical Assistance. “We strongly encourage businesses
and citizens to tap into this valuable state resource and wealth of information to identify and find alternative ways to conduct operations in a manner that is more efficient, yet environmentally-friendly.”

Additional information about IDEM and its programs can be found at www.idem.IN.gov.

About IDEM
IDEM (www.idem.IN.gov) implements federal and state regulations
regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive
programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids
business and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.

December 2008 Site of the Month: Consumer Reports Greener Choices

Monday, December 1st, 2008 by

It’s holiday time again, which means you’re probably going to buy at least one gift for someone, as well as items for celebrations and holiday meals. You may wish to consult Consumer Reports Greener Choices web site, which provides information to help choose more environmentally friendly products. Articles and “green ratings” are available for the following product categories: Appliances, Cars, Electronics, Food & Beverages, and Home & Garden.  Within these sections, you’ll find links to articles, information on conservation of resources (such as energy, water, fuel, etc.), resources for shopping greener, and information on recycling and disposal. The “Hot Topics & Solutions” section of the site includes the Eco-labels Center (which helps you interpret what product labels really mean), the Electronics Recycling Center, the Global Warming Solutions Center, and sections on Energy, Water, and Waste.

The “Toolkit” section includes calculators to help save energy, water, and money, as well as a Toxics Search tool to find out whether there’s a potential for exposure while using a particular product, and how that can affect your health. The “Community” section of the site includes links to Consumers Union campaigns, forums and resources for further information, as well as blogs on cars, food safety, green homes, and safety.

IL Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act

Thursday, September 25th, 2008 by

On September 17, 2008, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced legislation requiring electronics manufacturers to collect and recycle or reuse electronics products. At no charge to consumers, the law authorizes the use of a combination of incentives and mandates to reduce the ever-increasing amount of electronic waste – televisions, printers, computer monitors, computers, laptops, printers, fax machines and MP3 players – and their toxic substances, such as lead, cadmium, copper, flame retardants, and phosphorus, from being disposed in Illinois landfills.  It also gives manufacturers flexibility in the strategies they use to meet their goals, such as partnering with retailers and local governments to sponsor collections.  Manufacturers, recyclers, refurbishers and collectors must also register annually with the Illinois EPA. Effective January 1, 2012, landfills would be prohibited from knowingly accepting any of the covered electronic devices for disposal. SB 2313 is effective immediately.

For further information on SB 2313, as well as a link to the resulting Public Act (095-0959; the Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act), see the Illinois General Assembly web site.

P2 Go Bragh: Kiss Me, I Recycle

Saturday, March 15th, 2008 by

Cheers to the folks at Green Guardian for using the upcoming holiday to promote container recycling. GreenGuardian.com is a web site created to promote environmentally responsible purchasing and disposal choices among the citizens of Minnesota’s Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The site is sponsored by the region’s Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and is organized into sections geared specifically toward residents, businesses and children.

I receive their electronic Green Tips newsletter, and was pleased to see them taking the opportunity to tie St. Patrick’s Day to raising environmental awareness. The lead story in the latest newsletter was entitled “Kiss Me, I Recycle” and is an obvious play on the “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” slogan you’re likely to see emblazoned on t-shirts, buttons and hats starting this weekend. (Incidentally, the SWMCB web site provides a handy “Kiss Me, I Recycle” St. Patrick’s Day button template for anyone interested in wearing green and simultaneously promoting green activities.) As eluded to in my previous post, there are likely to be lots of bottles and cans associated with St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and the SWMCB and MPCA are trying to ensure that folks consider recycling and are aware of how to properly recycle as well as what can be recycled. The “Kiss Me, I Recycle” story links to a helpful can and bottle recycling guide on GreenGuardian.com. The guide not only tells you what and how to recycle (which is strictly speaking, not pollution prevention since it’s an “end of the pipe” sort of activity) but also highlights the energy savings associated with recycling, as well as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and water consumption that result from recycling containers as opposed to throwing them in the trash–all of which are important environmental benefits that are certainly complimentary to P2 activities.

This sort of campaign got me thinking about opportunities for similar outreach activities on college campuses. For example, I’ve heard that Mather House at Harvard University has a “green happy hour” for St. Patrick’s Day that involves the promotion of recycling, sustainability and waste reduction. I’m curious to know if other campuses have been involved in similar activities, perhaps on a wider scale. If you know of a “Green St. Patrick’s Day” event or promotion at a college or university, or if your organization, like SWMCB and MPCA, is tying environmental awareness campaigns to St. Patrick’s Day, please take a minute to share what you’ve done in the “Comments” section for this post.

Kiss Me, I Recycle

Be My Green Valentine

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 by

Check out last year’s “Red Roses, Green Hearts” post for great information on how to show your love for the environment this Valentine’s Day. As of 2/13/08, all the links included in that post are still active. That post includes information on organic flowers; green gift guides; organic and fair trade chocolate, wine and coffee; safety ratings for perfume and cologne; and green restaurants.

The Chicago Edition of Ideal Bite also reports that the InterContinental Chicago is offering a green valentine hotel package for $219 a night and up, February 14-16. They also recently featured information on Ellie Thompson, a Chicago jewelry designer that uses reclaimed metals and fair-trade gems to create wearable works of art, if you’re considering jewelry for your special someone. The national Ideal Bite also offers additional information on organic flowers.

New American Dream’s Conscious Consumer Marketplace can also help you find environmentally and socially responsible Valentine’s Day gifts, such as flowers, chocolate, and jewelry. TreeHugger has also compiled a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.

Finally, consider an electronic card instead of a paper one. For example, the National Wildlife Federation has Valentine’s Day e-cards available.

WI: Focus on Energy Offers Change-a-Light Incentive and CFL Fact Sheet

Friday, October 5th, 2007 by

While we’re on the subject of energy efficient light bulbs, note that Focus on Energy,Focus on Energy Logo Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, is currently offering instant cash-back rewards on select Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. The promotion began on October 1, and while supplies last, Wisconsin residents can buy the CFLs for as little as $0.99. For more information on participating retailers, contact Focus on Energy at 800-762-7077 or see the campaign web page. The campaign site also includes a nice little calculator to estimate your yearly savings based upon the number of standard bulbs you replace with CFLs.

If you’re concerned about mercury content in CFLs, Focus on Energy also has a helpful publication entitled “The Facts About Mercury in CFLs” that could convince you the benefits of CFL use outweigh the risks. This fact sheet includes a chart that compares the mercury content of CFLs to that of other common household products, such as float switches in sump pumps and watch batteries. Proper disposal and cleanup of broken CFLs are also covered.

New GLRPPR Sector Resource: Pharmaceutical & Personal Care Product (PPCP) Wastes & Impacts

Friday, September 7th, 2007 by

GLRPPR is pleased to announce the availability of a new compendium of resources on Pharmaceutical & Personal Care Product (PPCP) Wastes & Impacts. This compendium focuses on the environmental impacts of pharmaceutical and personal care product residues in the environment, as well as on how to properly dispose of such products to avoid environmental contamination. As with any Sector Resource, expert contact information and lists of relevant events and funding opportunities are provided, as well as relevant Help Desk questions and answers. An RSS feed is available. This sector resource includes a link to the recently released Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant guide Disposal of Unwanted Medicines: A Resource for Action in Your Community, which also happens to be the GLRPPR Site of the Month for September 2007.

This new Sector Resource is a work in progress, so subscribe to the RSS feed or check the web site frequently for updates. If you have suggestions for resources to include, please email them to Joy Scrogum.

Teleosis Institute Releases Drugs in Our Water Brochure

Friday, July 6th, 2007 by

Drugs in Our Water brochure The Teleosis Institute has a released a new brochure called Drugs in Our Water. The brochure provides a basic overview of the problem of pharmaceuticals and personal care product residues in waterways; some simple tips for consumers as well as pharmacists and health care providers; and a description of the Green Pharmacy Program.

Thanks to Evin Guy for notifying GLRPPR about this resource.