Plastic, Waste decay and Recycling.

Plastics and other man-made products take longer to decompose than the natural occurring compounds. Let us find creative and innovative ways to re-use, reduce and recycle our waste. Organics such as banana peel and apple core can be decay and used in the production of Biomass energy, such as Biogas and also as manure for the soil.

The Leafy Agenda

In my country, we call waste “taka” or “taka taka”.

Poor waste management is rampant and it results in extensive dump-sites the height of anthills; some extending on large tracts of land. This waste continuously pollutes both water and food sources,and this untreated water is used for human consumption through drinking, cooking and also in Agriculture, to irrigate the crops on the fertile Kenyan soil . At the source, there  tends to be little or no segregation of waste hence all types of waste are combined at the dump-sites. This in turn impedes proper disposal and recycling of waste in the municipalities.

Food safety concerns are high with food and waterborne illnesses such as Cholera, typhoid and Dysentery infections thriving excellently in polluted water. Data from the PLOS Medicine Journal indicates Diarrhea, which is defined as passing three or more loose or liquid stools per day, kills roughly 1.5 million…

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14 ways to reduce your food waste

In developing countries the majority of food losses occur at the farm level, particularly during storage, where food is often ‘lost’ after it has been harvested. In the developed world, however, food is most often ‘wasted’ when it is thrown away by retailers and consumers.

One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

Reduce food wasteWorld Environment Day, the theme being food loss and food waste, got us thinking about practical ways we can reduce the amount of food we throw away. In developing countries the majority of food losses occur at the farm level, particularly during storage, where food is often ‘lost’ after it has been harvested. In the developed world, however, food is most often ‘wasted’ when it is thrown away by retailers and consumers.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimated that some 32% of all food produced in the world in 2009 was lost or wasted. The World Resources Institute converted this figure from food weight to food calories and found that some 24% of food is lost or wasted, that’s 1 in 4 food calories that are never consumed. As the Institute points out it is not just a loss of food but a loss of money and a waste…

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What Waste Means

Recycling seems to be top of the list when it comes to priorities and possible solutions that could impose themselves over waste. Recycling involves the transformation and reuse of already used material – be it raw material or not. But what if recycling would be applied in the reuse of already used information? What if some – by thinking recycling-wise – would try to build their kingdom on already thrown away data?

Information Intelligence Blog

…and Possible Solutions

What is waste nowadays? Well, waste is not simply rubbish, that’s for sure. Waste is one of the hot issues of the day, whether we are talking about household waste and the recycling of it, whether we talk about nuclear waste and the risky consequences of not being handled with very special care, or whether we are dealing with economic waste and the reduction of it, especially in the context of current economic crisis.

Recycling seems to be top of the list when it comes to priorities and possible solutions that could impose themselves over waste. Recycling involves the transformation and reuse of already used material – be it raw material or not. But what if recycling would be applied in the reuse of already used information? What if some – by thinking recycling-wise – would try to build their kingdom on already thrown away data?

If…

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Food Waste in the Hospitality Industry

Though lots of attention and encouragement has been given to composting and donating leftover food, the first step we can take is to reduce the amount of food produced. Reducing food portions will help immensely and play an important role lessening the waste. Not only is it a good cost control measure to do an inventory of all of your food products, but it will also ensure that perishable food does not go bad before you get to use it. By putting in place and respecting an organized inventory process, waste of easily perishable food can go down. This will also help in reducing food costs greatly.

Stop Food Waste

Introduction

 Every year, 475 pounds of food waste is produced by the average person adding up to more than 70 million tons in our landfills. Not only does the waste attract vermin, it emits odors and liquids that are toxic to the environment. As a result, the methane gas generated from the waste is 20 to 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Food waste has become a big issue in all types of businesses.

 This is especially true in the hospitality industry. Haute cuisine, all you can eat buffets, and in room dining are all an integral part of the hospitality experience. But what happens to all the leftovers once guests are done eating? Most of it will be hauled off to landfills at a great cost to the establishment and an even greater cost to the environment.

Our report will look at and provide statistics on…

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Cities Worldwide Seek to Produce Recycled Energy

Public transportation like subway or buses in Sweden’s Hammarby sjostad city are running by 100 percent recycled energy. Hammarby sjostad is known as “the city with zero carbon emission.” It is easy to spot people putting bio-gas in their vehicles at every gas stations in Hammarby sjostad city.

Environmentally Confused – Burn or Recycle?

Sweden has had strict standards limiting emissions from waste incineration since the mid-1980s. Most emissions have fallen by between 90 and 99 per cent since then thanks to ongoing technical development and better waste sorting.

Journey of Mixed Emotions

The recycling movement in 1990s-era Vancouver started as a lukewarm way to protect the environment. Then the issues started heating up until it was a sizzling hot topic.

Everyone I knew became a star recycler. We learned how to sort properly, and although I did not always compost, I really tried to be environmentally responsible in other ways. Up until 2001, I was doing my undergraduate degree in biology and I felt it was my duty to understand the issues and be proactive.

In 2005 (give or take) I read Michael Crichton’s book State of Fear. Although there is controversy as to his thesis behind this fictional story, he had some great points about whether we were all jumping on the global warming bandwagon without all the facts. Almost 10 years later I still feel that way on a daily basis.

I am conditioned to recycle. I am often pulling…

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Sustainable Waste | How is waste managed at DMU?

Since April 2001, De Montfort University has been running a recycling scheme to help the environment. The scheme started with recycling paper and reusing envelopes. In December 2002 the scheme was extended to include the collection and recycling of cardboard waste, glossy paper and newspaper. In 2004, 149 tons of paper, cardboard and glossy paper were recycled, an increase of 12% on the previous year. Further expansion took place in 2005 with the recycling of cans and plastics which resulted in 164 tons being collected. In 2006 the recycling of CD’s/DVD’s was started. The key performance indicator set in 2009 required that by the end of 2012 60% of waste is to be recycled on campus, with the general waste reducing by the same amount.

The paper recycling scheme set up by the Estates Department has seen over 10,750 bags of waste paper, the equivalent of 2,420 trees, collected annually…

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Waste Management in Rhode Island

The Providence Environment

Hello readers! I come to you today to talk about waste. I know it’s definitely not the most appealing topic, but it’s such an environmental concern that I think the public needs more education about. My professor for this environmental studies class said something really interesting today when we were talking about the idea of “social sustainability.” This viewpoint advocates for people to “wallow in their own filth” more to really see what they’re creating and how it’s affecting the environment. We in more developed countries are so used to having other people take care of our trash FOR us. We don’t have to deal with the nastiness that is disposing of the pounds of trash we generate each day. So maybe if we DID have to deal with it, we’d see just how much waste we produce with our current lifestyle, and would then be more likely to…

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Waste Management in Stockholm

Misc. on land use planning (with a bias on Copenhagen)

I just came across an article in “City, Culture and Society”, dealing with Urban growth and waste management optimization in Stockholm and Adelaide. In Figure 2 in the results section the authors show a comparison of waste management systems in the two cities. However, for Stockholm they present only national data, assuming that this is also representative for the capital. Well, that striked me a bit because I am working with city data quite a lot and was wondering if there isn’t better data out there. In the database Urban Audit, maintained by Eurostat, you can find data for over 300 cities in Europe to a lot of different issues. Stockholm is one of the cities covered and waste data from 2008 was available, so I produced the graph below – in the same style as done in the mentioned article.

If you have access to the article

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Waste Management in Surrey

Surrey News

Surrey has saved millions of pounds on its landfill tax bill by more than halving the amount of waste it buries in the ground.

In the three year period from 2007/08, the county council reduced the amount of waste it sent to landfill from 64% to 33%.

That means Surrey buried around 200,000 tonnes less waste* in 2010/11 than it did three years earlier.

Currently landfill tax cost £64 per tonne, so the county council would have to fork out £12.8 million in taxes alone to bury 200,000 tonnes of rubbish in the ground.

The reduction in landfill use is in part down to the good work Surrey has done in reaching a 50% household waste recycling target almost a decade ahead of schedule.

It can also be attributed to the fact Surrey residents threw out almost 76,000 tonnes less rubbish in 2010/11 than they did in 2007/08.

John Furey…

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Food Waste in Singapore

222 million tons

According to the UN study quoted in the first entry on this blog, consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia throw away an average of 13 to 24 pounds of food a year – which, compared to the 210 to 250 pounds of food the average North American or European consumer throws away each year, is amazing.

As I was in Singapore in March, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to do a little research into food waste there. The first thing I wanted to figure out was if Singapore, with the (by far) highest GDP per capita in Southeast Asia, was typical for the region when it comes to food waste. I wasn’t able to find any rigorous studies on household food waste per capita. What I did find was a two-week study of 150 families that found that the average household food waste…

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Trends in Food Waste Management

Food waste is an untapped energy source that mostly ends up rotting in landfills, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Food waste is difficult to treat or recycle since it contains high levels of sodium salt and moisture, and is mixed with other waste during collection. Major generators of food wastes include hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, residential blocks, cafeterias, airline caterers, food processing industries, etc.

In United States, food waste is the third largest waste stream after paper and yard waste. Around 12.7 percent of the total municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the year 2008 was food scraps that amounted to about 32 million tons. According to EPA, about 31 million tons of food waste was thrown away into landfills or incinerators in 2008. As far as United Kingdom is concerned, households throw away 8.3 million tons of food each year. These statistics are an indication of tremendous amount of food waste generated all over the world.

The proportion of food waste in municipal waste stream is gradually increasing and hence a proper food waste management strategy needs to be devised to ensure its eco-friendly and sustainable disposal. Food waste can be recycled via:

  • In-vessel composting (IVC): A treatment that breaks down biodegradable waste by naturally occurring micro-organisms with oxygen, in an enclosed vessel or tunnel;
  • Anaerobic digestion (AD): A treatment that breaks down biodegradable waste in the absence of oxygen, producing a renewable energy (biogas) that can be used to generate electricity and heat.

Currently, only about 3 percent of food waste is recycled throughout U.S., mainly through composting. Composting provides an alternative to landfill disposal of food waste, however it requires large areas of land, produces volatile organic compounds and consumes energy. Consequently, there is an urgent need to explore better recycling alternatives. Anaerobic digestion has been successfully used in several European and Asian countries to stabilize food wastes, and to provide beneficial end-products. Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany and England have led the way in developing new advanced biogas technologies and setting up new projects for conversion of food waste into energy.

Of the different types of organic wastes available, food waste holds the highest potential in terms of economic exploitation as it contains high amount of carbon and can be efficiently converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Food waste can either be used as a single substrate in a biogas plant, or can be co-digested with organic wastes like cow manure, poultry litter, sewage, crop residues, abattoir wastes, etc.

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