We have written on the subject before but its so easy to lose track of such thing. Thus, lest we forget some of the maladies facing us and the generations who follow, this story from Lindsey Hoshaw at the New York Times, demands a read, a reaction, and a share. Here is the beginning. Go to this URL to finish:
“ABOARD THE ALGUITA, 1,000 miles northeast of Hawaii — In this remote patch of the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from any national boundary, the detritus of human life is collecting in a swirling current so large that it defies precise measurement.
Ocean trash has abundant plastic.
“Light bulbs, bottle caps, toothbrushes, Popsicle sticks and tiny pieces of plastic, each the size of a grain of rice, inhabit the Pacific garbage patch, an area of widely dispersed trash that doubles in size every decade and is now believed to be roughly twice the size of Texas. But one research organization estimates that the garbage now actually pervades the Pacific, though most of it is caught in what oceanographers call a gyre like this one — an area of heavy currents and slack winds that keep the trash swirling in a giant whirlpool…….. Read more of this >>
On the positive side, V-16 engines at the DADS landfill run on captured methane to generate enough electricity for 3,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gases. Photo: grmeyers
This Sunday’s Denver Post runs a thought-provoking column by Susan Greene that is worth reading. The subject: trash management in Denver compared to other cities.
Greene writes, “I’m talking trash — heaps of bags, lawn trimmings and boxes in cans and Dumpsters across town. Most of us city folk toss garbage with no fees and no clue where it’s headed.”
I recommend reading her column. Many of us in Denver believe we are leading the way in cultivating a greener lifestyles, including practices such as wasting less and recycling more. Not quite true, it appears.
“Denver lost funding for its pilot compost program, which managed to slash household trash 38 percent, and will end that project this spring. Progress is stalling in a town that recycles 22 percent less than the U.S. average.”
The comparison showing Denver recycles 22 percent less than the US average hit me the hardest. I hoped we were leading the pack and we aren’t even close concerning the measures of recycling and wasting less. All of us need to start regarding sustainability issues more seriously.
California LNG Plant at Altamont Source: Len Butler, Waste Management
According to joint venture partners, Linde North America and Waste Management, construction on the world’s largest plant to convert landfill gas into clean vehicle fuel is nearing completion. Project details were shared today during a presentation at the National Biomethane Summit in Sacramento, Calif. The joint venture partners are installing systems to purify and liquefy landfill methane gas.
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If you have wondered whether or not garbage patches, gyres, and trash vortexes exist in the oceans, read Ole Nielsen’s blog, OleLog.
North Pacific gyre source: OleLog
Nielsen reports: “Can you imagine what happens when marine garbage ends up in such a vortex? It will never leave it again, all plastic will circulate, new plastic come by and circulate. Ships continue dumping their garbage at sea, and you end up with the world’s biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean.
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Although some are ready to proclaim the end of the non-biodegradable plastic bottle, some scientists take issue with the reality of such claims. Among those questioning PET biodegradability is Ramani Narayan, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor from the Department of Chemical Engineering & Material Science. Read more of this >>
View of Denver City & County Building from State Capitol. Pictures courtesy of www.aviewoncities.com
The City & County of Denver has partnered with Best Buy and Guaranteed Recycling Xperts (GRX) offering Denver residents an easy way to recycle their electronic items such as old televisions, monitors and computer components. Read more of this >>
Boulder, Colorado is home to the University of Colorado
Students at the University of Colorado are used to reaching environmental milestones. The first student-supported windpower program, first student-built biodiesel refining equipment, and the first student-run recycling program are just a few of CU’s national achievements. CU has just reached an important internal milestone however, by recovering the 500th cell phone from its collection program sponsored by the Wireless Alliance.
As director of CU Recycling, I believe this this is a significant accomplishment. And it represents the beginning of recovering more phones. College students in particular generate a lot of phones because their coverage plan often changes when they move to Boulder. They also demand the latest technologies. As a result, students need to be the best recyclers in the country.
Numerous reports have been released about the lack of cell phone recycling that is really taking place. Some estimate that only a small percentage of cell phones are recycled in the US. According to CTIA, (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) the largest wireless trade association in North America, there are currently over 270,000,000 active cell phone plans in the United States. Yes, that’s 270 million, and there are currently just over 306 million people living in the United States. Looking at these numbers, it seems that everyone carries a cell phone today.
The University of Colorado Environmental Center has several locations to recycle cell phones: in the Alfred Packer Grill at the University Memorial Center, in the Darley Commons at Williams Village. Cell phones can also be taken to the Environmental Center, room 355 of the UMC.
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Good News from Denver Recycles:
Live Green Electronics Recycling Event
March 7, 2009
7:00 a.m. to noon
“Do your part to help the environment by recycling your old television, computer monitor and other used electronic equipment at the “Live Green Electronics Recycling Event” on Saturday, March 7th. This event provides a rare opportunity for residents to responsibly recycle old electronic equipment for FREE, thanks to generous sponsorships from LG Electronics, 9News, Comcast, Waste Management of Colorado, and the City and County of Denver. Electronics recycling is expensive and normal recycling costs average about $25 for a TV and $12 for a computer monitor.
“Responsible recycling of electronics helps to prevent lead and other chemicals from leaching into the groundwater and into our atmosphere. Televisions and computers monitors contain 4 to 8 pounds of lead each, as well as many other metals and toxic materials. Recycling old electronics also saves energy and valuable resources.
“Please note that you do not need to replace your television as a result of the February 17, 2009 switch to digital broadcasting. Only residents using an antenna with their television (either rooftop or “rabbit ears”) will be affected by this change and purchasing a converter box will prevent the need to replace a television. Televisions connected to Comcast cable, satellite or other pay TV services will not be affected. If you choose to replace your TV, take advantage of this one time opportunity to responsibly recycle for free.”
For more information and to find specific drop off locations visit www.9News.com and click on the Live Green section. For more information about recycling, visit www.DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles.
Been wondering how well you and your do at managing trash? Two friends of Rob Clemens, Aaron and Jesse launched this Trash Project blog., saying:
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