Archive for the 'Waste Reduction' Category

ISTC Receives Pair of National Environmental Awards

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has received a pair of national environmental awards. Awards were received for the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) and by Dr. Tim Lindsey.

MVP2 Awards

The 2010 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards presented by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) celebrate the successes of innovators in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability. These prestigious awards were presented recently at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  ISTC is a unit of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch–Waste Free, That Is

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 by

Laptop Lunch Box

My daughter started kindergarten last week and next week my son is off to preschool for the first time. We’ll all look back on these days fondly sometime in the future, but for now, I’m having some typical Mommy back-to-school blues. In the interest of combating those blues, I decided to focus on some greens–specifically in the form of green tips related to schools and students. In this post I’ll discuss how to reduce waste associated with school lunches; look for more discussions on green ideas and examples for K-12 and beyond in the days to come.

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Indiana Businesses Achieve Significant Environmental Reductions Since Joining ESP

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 by

Hoosier businesses have implemented environmental improvement projects and achieved monumental results as members of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP).

There are 46 ESP business members across the state, each committed to implementing or maintaining measurable environmental improvements, such as reducing water or energy use, decreasing solid or hazardous waste, or reducing air emissions. In an effort to recognize each company’s proven commitment to continual environmental improvement, ESP members recently met with IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly and five assistant commissioners.

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International E-waste Design Competition Turns Refuse into Resource

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 by

Electronic waste, or “E-Waste,” generated by computers, TVs, cameras, printers, and cell phones, is a growing global issue. According to the U.S. EPA, Americans currently own nearly 3 billion electronic products and as new products are purchased, obsolete products are stored or discarded at alarming rates. About two-thirds of the electronic devices removed from service are still in working order. However, only about 15% of this material is recycled while the vast majority is disposed in landfills. The Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), hosted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), is pleased to announce the International E-Waste Design Competition, in which participants will explore solutions to this problem at the local level and beyond, by using e-waste components to create appealing and useful products.

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Call for Papers Goes Out for the Electronics & Sustainability: Design for Energy & the Environment Symposium

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 by

The Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), hosted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a unit of the Institute of Natural Resources Sustainability on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a consortium dedicated to the development and implementation of a more sustainable system for designing, producing, remanufacturing, and recycling electronic devices. Members of the consortium include academia, non-profit organizations, government agencies, manufacturers, designers, refurbishers, and recyclers. Specific elements of the SEI include programs for research, education, data management, and technical assistance. SEI conducts collaborative research; facilitates networking and information exchange among participants; promotes technology diffusion via demonstration projects; and provides forums for the discussion of policy and legislation.

Americans own nearly three billion electronic products and continually purchase new ones to replace those deemed “obsolete,” even though about two-thirds of the devices are still in working order. To address this burgeoning e-waste problem, SEI will hold the Electronics & Sustainability: Design for Energy & the Environment symposium on February 23 – 24, 2010 at the I Hotel on the University of Illinois campus. Topics to be addressed will include environmental toxicology, life cycle analysis, product design, existing and proposed policy (local, state, national, and international), and more. Designers; electrical engineers; chemists; materials scientists; electronics manufacturers, recyclers, refurbishers, and remanufacturers; government representatives and policy makers; pollution prevention technical assistance providers; relevant non-profit organizations; and others are invited to take part in this symposium.

SEI invites industry and academic practitioners to submit abstracts of their recent research, projects, and design thinking for presentation, publications, or both Proposals can be made for symposium participation in one or more of the following categories: a paper, presentation, panel discussion, or poster display.

For more information about the symposium and/or to access the call for papers, visit: www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu or contact Wayne Duke, Conference Coordinator, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820-7465, 217-333-5793, fax: 217-333-8944, wduke@illinois.edu.

For more information about the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI), contact Dr. Tim Lindsey, PhD, Associate Director, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820-7465, 217-333-8955, fax: 217-333-8944, tlindsey@istc.illinois.edu.

Documents recently added to GLRPPR sector resources

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 by

These publications were recently added to GLRPPR’s Sector Resources. This list is also available as an RSS feed at http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/library_docs/SectorRSS.htm.

Lead-Free Wheels
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:15:14 GMT
The Lead-Free Wheels Program is partnering with retail tire outlets to make lead-free wheel balancing available to consumers when they purchase new tires. They are also actively working with numerous state and local fleets to phase out the use of lead wheel balancing weights. Site also includes information on sources of lead-free weights, wheel balancing, and lead-free alternatives. A project of the Ecology Center (Michigan).

National Lead Free Wheel Weight Initiative (NLFWWI)
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:11:37 GMT
The National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) National Lead Free Wheel Weight Initiative encourages the transition from the use of lead for wheel weights to lead-free alternatives. Wheel weights are clipped to the rims of every automobile wheel in the United States in order to balance the tires. These weights often come loose and fall off. They are either washed into storm sewers and end up in waterways or are gathered during street cleaning and placed in municipal landfills. The weights are susceptible to atmospheric corrosion. Currently, there are no regulatory controls governing the use of lead wheel weights.

Google PowerMeter
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:10:19 GMT
Google PowerMeter shows consumers their electricity consumption in a secure Google gadget. Google is currently testing the product with utility partners in the US, India and Canada.

Know the Number
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:08:42 GMT
The Carbon Counter displays the running total amount of long-lived greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere, measured in metric tons.

Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:06:51 GMT
The Electronics Environmental Benefits Calculator is intended to assist institutional purchasers, including Federal Electronic Challenge (FEC) program participants, in quantifying the benefits of environmentally sound management of electronic equipment. The Calculator estimates the environmental and economic benefits of purchasing EPEAT-registered products, in addition to improvements in equipment operation and end-of-life management practices. Currently this tool is designed to evaluate EPEAT-registered desktop (with a CRT or LCD) and notebook computers. For end-of-life, users can calculate the benefits of reuse and recycling of computers as well as mobile telephones.

TranAtlas
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:03:18 GMT
This interactive map uses a Google Maps interface to display: Existing and planned alternative fueling stations; Alternative fuel production facilities; Light-duty vehicle density; Roads and political boundaries. Users can customize the map display, print, and query the underlying data.

Climate Change Portal
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 20:00:46 GMT
This portal includes links to reports and other technical literature on the subject of climate change and how it affects water supply. Developed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, so the focus is California, but there is a lot of good, general information here.

Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 17:10:10 GMT
The report summarizes the science and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts in different regions of the U.S. and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health.

Practice Greenhealth
Wed, 17 Jun 2009 20:11:09 GMT
Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Members include hospitals, healthcare systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment.

Top 25 Green Energy Leaders
Wed, 17 Jun 2009 15:05:40 GMT
It is no longer enough to just conserve energy. More and more corporations, government agencies and entire cities are making large, long-term commitments to ensure that the power they do use comes from renewable sources. To recognize these trendsetters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publishes a quarterly list of the top American users of green power: organizations that generate their own renewable energy, buy it from suppliers, or purchase offset credits to compensate for their traditional energy use.

Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Decision-Making for Alternative Biofuels
Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:58:54 GMT
The specific aims of this program are to develop and apply methods to study the life-cycle health, environmental, resource, and economic impacts and performance of the various pathways from biomass to fuel use. This program will produce a comprehensive framework for assessing both the benefits and impacts of biofuel technologies for environmental quality, human health, natural resources, and local, regional and global economies. This effort includes methods development, data collection, information management, and decision-support tools.

GoodNanoGuide
Thu, 11 Jun 2009 21:53:17 GMT
The GoodNanoGuide is a collaboration platform designed to enhance the ability of experts to exchange ideas on how best to handle nanomaterials in an occupational setting. It is meant to be an interactive forum that fills the need for up-to-date information about current good workplace practices, highlighting new practices as they develop.

Green Building Sherpa
June 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm
An online directory of environmentally friendly products, services and information pertaining to building design, construction, management + operation.

Flexible Solar Power Shingles Transform Roofs From Wasted Space To Energy Source
June 9, 2009 at 9:59 am
A transparent thin film barrier used to protect flat panel TVs from moisture could become the basis for flexible solar panels that would be installed on roofs like shingles.

Climate TechBook
Tuesday, June 09, 2009 8:43 AM
The Pew Center’s Climate TechBook serves as an information resource on technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from across the economy, including: overviews of greenhouse gas emissions from the key economic sectors: electricity, transportation, industry, residential and commercial, and agriculture; technology overviews for broad technology areas, such as buildings and biofuels; and fact sheets that provide background information about specific technologies, the current status of the technology, cost information, policy options to promote the technology, and obstacles to further development and deployment.

Overview of P2 GHG & Cost Savings Calculators

Friday, June 5th, 2009 by

It’s the final day of the GLRPPR/Region 7 Conference in Indianapolis, IN. On the agenda for this afternoon is a webinar presented by Natalie Hummel of the U.S. EPA providing an overview of two new measurement tools developed by U.S. EPA Headquarters. The GHG Calculator is designed to assist P2 managers, staff and grantees in calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from established conversion factors in the following categories:

  • Electricity Conservation (GHG reductions from electricity conversation or reduced use of energy)
  • Green Energy (GHG reductions from switching to greener or renewable energy sources)
  • Fuel Substitution (GHG reductions from reduced fuel use, substitution to greener fuels)
  • Greening Chemistry (GHG reductions from reduced use of GWP chemicals)
  • Water Conservation (GHG reductions from reduced water use)
  • Materials Management (GHG reductions from green manufacturing processes and waste management scenarios)
  • Cross Reference to other applicable tools (A reference table that provides end users an overview of applicable GHG tools and models)

The P2 Results Database, a web-based tool, designed to collect and quantify P2 progress related to air, water, waste and energy reductions from non-profits, local, state, and federal entities plays a significant role in demonstrating P2 benefits on a regional and national level. A critical part of the P2 Results Database is documenting cost savings that result from government, businesses and facilities implementing P2 activities. This database uses a P2 cost calculator to quantify cost savings based on established methodologies and sound research. Over the last several months, the Pollution Prevention Program worked to update and redesign the tool to enhance functionality and better document cost benefits over time. Today’s webinar will also provide an overview of the cost calculator tool.

If you were unable to attend this week’s conference and/or the webinar provided today, or if you would like to recommend the webinar to your colleagues, the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN) will be providing a similar webinar on June 18, 2009. See the GLRPPR calendar entry for the WSPPN webinar for details and a link to the event registration page.

For more useful calculators and links to your regional module of the P2 Results Data System, see the GLRPPR P2 Measurement & Calculators Sector Resource.

Spotlight: Clean Manufacturing Technology Institute

Thursday, June 4th, 2009 by

Continuing our focus on Indiana P2 programs, the Clean Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI), based at Purdue University, provides technical assistance, outreach, education, planning services and research to facilitate the adoption of pollution prevention/clean manufacturing strategies by Indiana manufacturing facilities.

CMTI offers assistance in all manufacturing sectors, but has special expertise in plastics (including fiber reinforced plastic), wood products, metal finishing, metal and plastic coatings, foundries and motor vehicle parts manufacturing.

CMTI co-founded (in 1996), and continues to manage, the Coating Applications Research Laboratory (CARL) on the Purdue campus. The lab allows manufacturers to test state-of-the-art coating and curing technologies under the guidance of CMTI engineers expert in their application. CMTI also offers ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) services businesses and government entities. Training and energy efficiency assessments are also provided by CMTI.

Check out the CMTI web site for an archive of Technology Transfer/Pollution Prevention Case Studies. You can also browse the CMTI Clearinghouse Bibliography online.

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.

Illinois Governor Signs Executive Order to Reduce Goverment Operations Impact

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 by

On Earth Day, Governor Pat Quinn signed Exeuctive Order 11. This Executive Order covers the topics of Waste Prevention, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Water Quality and Conservation, Sustainable Transportation, plus Education and Outreach. The Green Government Coordinating Council is responsible for the implementation of this Executive Order. The P2 Programs at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (on behalf of the University of Illinois) were involved in crafting the Executive Order and will be involved in overseeing the progress of the Order throughout state government, as well as colleges and universities in Illinois. To read the entire Executive Order visit http://www.glrppr.org/docs/GOVExecutiveOrder11.pdf.