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Landfill closures result in increased recycling - Casper Star-Tribune Online ("it's mind conditioning")

Landfill closures result in increased recycling - Casper Star-Tribune Online ("it's mind conditioning") | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

''Bills went up $4.35 per month and residents grumbled, but everyone knew the stakes. “The council’s idea was if we could pay for it up front and get it out of our garbage, we wouldn’t have to increase rates later,” said Kathy Lenz, Sundance’s clerk and treasurer.


And it worked. The town has reduced its garbage by 50 percent, and less garbage means lower bills.''


Via Bert Guevara
Eleen Murphy's insight:

A positive example of how recycling can save money.

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 24, 11:09 AM

When landfilling hurts the pocket, citizens realize that recycling makes a lot of "dollar" sense.

"Recycling programs don’t always pay for themselves. But if it costs $30 a ton to recycle, and $100 a ton to truck waste to another landfill, the savings add up, he said.

“Slowly we’ve made changes so we make money,” Holloway said. “We shipped 66 percent more recyclables so far this year than in 2013. That’s stuff that’s not going to the landfill.”

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Lessons Learned from San Jose, CA: Building Anaerobic Digestion Facilities for Municipal Organics

Lessons Learned from San Jose, CA: Building Anaerobic Digestion Facilities for Municipal Organics | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
New high-solids anaerobic digestion and composting facility in San Jose with Deputy Director of the Environmental Services Department at the City of San Jose, California, Jo Zientek. Jo shares her experiences, challenges and advice on
Eleen Murphy's insight:
Episode 26 of The Organic Stream podcast is out! This week, we speak with Jo Zientek of the City of San Jose about their new high solids anaerobic digestion/composting and biogas facility in order to learn about their experiences, their challenges and successes in the development and operation of the facility. A long process, and many lessons learned.

Really great interview and excellent information in this episode, take a listen!

Thank you to Zero Waste Energy Development Company LLC, and Republic Services for making this episode possible.
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Could Present Architecture’s Green Loop Composting Park Concept Be the Future of NYC Sanitation?

Could Present Architecture’s Green Loop Composting Park Concept Be the Future of NYC Sanitation? | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
Present Architecture presents its Green Loop concept to tackle NYC’s garbage problem with added parkland.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

Very interesting!

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This is Rubbish uses drama to prevent food waste | Resource Magazine

This is Rubbish uses drama to prevent food waste | Resource Magazine | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
This is Rubbish’s Edible Education project to use theatrical performances to help prevent food waste.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

An example of food waste outreach and education that thinks outside the box.

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UK Must Embrace Organic Waste to Hit Recycling Targets – ISWA Blog

UK Must Embrace Organic Waste to Hit Recycling Targets – ISWA Blog | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
ISWA President, David Newman argues that the UK must look at best practice for organic waste management if it is to significantly increase recycling rates.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

"Also, the dismissal by some speakers of the very idea of a landfill ban on organics, which has worked excellently in driving composting and AD elsewhere in Europe, shows the key limitations to non-market driven solutions to UK waste management thinking.  Yet everyone was concerned recycling rates in the UK have remained flat for the last three years at around 43%- without organic waste, it will be hard to improve this."

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Editorial: A smart move by the City Council on composting

Editorial: A smart move by the City Council on composting | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

"The Seattle City Council last week wisely put the city on a path toward less of it with a simple law that prohibits garbage from containing more than 10 percent food waste."

Eleen Murphy's insight:

Good to see a slow and steady change take place. Giving plenty of time for education and credits to ease the transition and make sure everybody is on board when the new law comes in is a good strategy.

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California becomes first state to ban single-use plastic bags at grocery, convenience stores

California becomes first state to ban single-use plastic bags at grocery, convenience stores | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

"Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways.


A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015."

Eleen Murphy's insight:

Let's do this around the world.

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Plan to stop food waste becomes a dead letter: Barroso and the food lobby

Plan to stop food waste becomes a dead letter: Barroso and the food lobby | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
Jose Manuel Barroso and his Secretary-General of the EU Commission Catherine Day have blocked an internal communication proposing an action plan to reduce food waste. According to Green Belgian MEP Bart Staes, burying the internal communication entitled "Building a Sustainable European Food System” was ‘a cynical war on common sense’ from the side of the Commission.

Via Joan Marc Simon
Eleen Murphy's insight:

"...a spokesman for the Commission, said: "This is a classic Bart Staes Commission-bashing. President Barroso has taken this decision because it was felt that in the little time left --that is six weeks before the end of its mandate--, this Commission could not take such a major initiative and has decided to leave it for the next college.”


"This is not true”, Bart Staes told New Europe. “The paper was ready and presented for the first time in the Commission already end of April. It could have been adopted in spring, but they buried it already then.”

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Joan Marc Simon's curator insight, September 17, 10:03 AM

Europeans want to reduce food waste => Contrary to what he claims, Barroso's move promoted euroscepticism instead of stopping it.

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Parties file suit over recycling contract in Indianapolis

Parties file suit over recycling contract in Indianapolis | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

"RockTenn, a Norcross, Georgia-based papermaking and recycling company; Graphic Packaging Corp. (GPC), a Chicago-based papermaker; and Cathy Weinmann, a resident of Indianapolis, have filed a suit against the city of Indianapolis’ Public Works Department over its award of a large contract to the waste and recycling firm Covanta. The contract calls for Covanta, Morristown, New Jersey, to build and operate a large mixed waste processing facility in the city adjacent to Covanta’s existing waste-to-energy (WTE) plant."

Eleen Murphy's insight:

"Other opponents of the contract say Covanta will focus its efforts on using the material collected from the city for its WTE facility, causing fewer recyclables to reach end markets. Additionally, opponents say the collection and processing of recyclables mixed with waste will result in lower quality material, ultimately making potentially recyclable material only usable for the WTE plant."


This is a step backwards for Indianapolis. Collecting mixed waste to be fed into a Waste To Energy incineration facility destroys the hard work already done to promote separate collection and support true sustainability. 


Covanta are also constructing the controversial WTE incinerator in Dublin, Ireland, that local councillors and residents have been campaigning against for years.

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San Francisco Stalls In Its Attempt To Go Trash-Free

San Francisco Stalls In Its Attempt To Go Trash-Free | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
San Francisco has gotten kudos from the global press for its efforts to eliminate waste. Mayor Ed Lee has boasted that his city diverts a greater percentage of its waste from the landfill than any ...
Eleen Murphy's insight:

San Francisco has achieved great successes throughout their journey and are now facing a stumbling block. While there is an important discussion to be had about what categories should be counted in order to give a true comparison between communities, creating an environment of competition and pressure to out-perform other cities can potentially damage the great work being done.

 

There is also a distinction to be made here between constructive criticism and negative press, which only seeks to add controversy where there should be solidarity and support on our (sometimes rocky) road to zero waste.

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Lichfield and Tamworth stop collecting food waste.

Lichfield and Tamworth stop collecting food waste. | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council stop accepting food waste in organics bins due to costs.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

Bad news from the UK. Only 20% of people used their compost bins, therefore the council decided it was not a cost effective option. 20% participation rate is quite low - perhaps there were possibilities to increase the numbers?


Most worryingly, the council is advising people to wrap their food waste in newspaper or additional bin bags in order to combat odour and maggots. 

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Banning food waste: companies in Massachusetts get ready to compost

Banning food waste: companies in Massachusetts get ready to compost | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

Massachusetts recently enacted the most aggressive mandatory composting program in history. How are companies adapting?"

Eleen Murphy's insight:

Interesting follow up on the commercial food waste ban in Massachusetts that's soon to start. The government seem to be proactive in fostering innovative ways to divert the leftovers (over 800,000 tons) and spurring the growth of small compost and AD operations with grants and loans.

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French MPs propose forcing supermarkets to hand over all unsold food to charity - Telegraph

French MPs propose forcing supermarkets to hand over all unsold food to charity - Telegraph | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
Group of French MPs want to make it compulsory for all big supermarkets to donate all unsold but still edible food to charities
Eleen Murphy's insight:

Additionaly: "Officials of the European Commission recently tabled proposals to allow national governments to extend the list of foods that do not require best-before dates, in a move which they believe will mean 15 million tons less food a year is discarded by households wrongly worried that it is no longer fit for consumption."

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Understanding the Global Problem of Food Waste ("reduction in waste very viable")

Understanding the Global Problem of Food Waste ("reduction in waste very viable") | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
This infographic breaks down what we throw away into food groups. (Great food waste infographic by @willyblackmore. Reduction may be key but Hungry Giant can help reuse food waste.

But what exactly does that proliferation of food waste look like? Are we talking about tens of thousands of expired yogurt containers or hundreds of tons of sad, slightly limp heads of lettuce?

Working with global food waste data from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, Popular Science has made an infographic that rather beautifully shows where the waste streams across the food and supply chains emanate from. The biggest losers, so to speak, are fruits and vegetables (44 percent lost) and roots and tubers (47 percent lost). Despite all the sour milk we’ve thrown away in our lives, dairy has the lowest amount of loss (16 percent).

As the waste lines frustratingly show, much of the vegetable waste happens on the farm, where harvests can go awry for any number of reasons—including walk-bys, the industry term for a field that’s never picked because the labor costs would be higher than the value of the harvest.

But an equally thick line exists at the consumption end of the spectrum, highlighting the need for a change in attitudes at home (and in retail) to help curb what is globally a 1.4 billion ton problem.


Via Bert Guevara
Eleen Murphy's insight:

Great infographic to give us a real sense of what we are wasting. Not surprisingly, fruits and vegetables are at the top of the list.


We need to change our attitudes to food and food waste, not only in the home but in the food and farming industries as well. The truth is that we cannot afford to waste food, and support needs to be available to farmers so they can make the most of their produce.

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, September 7, 11:28 AM

The highest rate of food wastage is in fruits and vegetables, followed by roots and tubers, and then fish. What can we do about it?

While hunger and poverty remains, wasting food is like stealing from the tables of the poor. (Pope Francis)

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Waste falls off political agenda in UK

Waste falls off political agenda in UK | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
It’s been a tough month for those in the waste sector. The party conferences fired the starting gun in the race to 10 Downing Street and yet waste and resource management was left on the sidelines, writes freelance writer David Burrows. Most telling perhaps was the failure of the environment secretary Liz Truss to even mention waste, recycling or resource management. Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle also sidestepped environmental issues in favour of talking about food, farming and the countryside.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

A good summation of the situation for England regarding zero waste, unfortunately with no silver lining at present. With the inquiry into waste management being conducted by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, perhaps solutions can be found to change the current course.

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What the Garbageman Knows

What the Garbageman Knows | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

As Sayyid Ahmed collects trash in Peter Hessler’s Cairo neighborhood, he reveals the contradictions of life in modern Egypt.

Eleen Murphy's insight:

Fascinating insight into the world of trash in Egypt, highlighting the unique waste collection system of Cairo, shaped more by tradition than laws or regulations. Chiefly run by the Zabbaleen people of Cairo, the garbage collection and recycling rates were some of the best in the world (up to 80% recycling) until civil unrest began in 2009. Just as Sayyid Ahmed does in this article, the garbage collectors of Cairo go out every day to knock on doors and ask for waste, negotiating their own contracts without the help of government.


Last year we spoke to Malcolm Williams on The Organic Stream about his trip to Cairo to work with the Zabbaleen, and his insight into the incredible workflow of the Zabbaleen, the hardships they’ve endured, and the reasons for their success in maintaining such a great recycling system. Take a listen here!

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Businesses find cash in composting organic trash - Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Businesses find cash in composting organic trash - Dubuque Telegraph Herald | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
MILWAUKEE -- Melissa Tashjian was saving money to remodel her kitchen. She bought a dump truck instead.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

Interesting article highlighting a number of successful compost businesses in the US. It states that once cities adopt city-wide collection programs, it can undercut the viability of small, entrepreneurial ventures.


This is a legitimate concern and David Buckle echoed a similar sentiment in our Community Composting podcast episode. Will large-scale organics collection programs threaten small-scale operations, and is this a cause for concern?

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Preston (UK) to withdraw food waste collections in 2015

Preston (UK) to withdraw food waste collections in 2015 | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
Preston City Council’s cabinet agrees to discontinue the city’s food waste collection service in a bid to reduce costs.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

This is an unfortunate step backwards for Preston. The main reason for the change once again is cost - the council could apparently save £90,000 by collecting organics mixed with residual waste and sending it to a mechanical biological treatment facility.

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Fox News' Senior Judicial Analyst Falsely Claims Compost Ordinance "Unconstitutional"

Fox News' Senior Judicial Analyst Falsely Claims Compost Ordinance "Unconstitutional" | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
Seattle has an awesome #composting initiative to help reduce food waste. Naturally, Fox calls it "unconstitutional" http://t.co/pw0YP3wCvn
Eleen Murphy's insight:

On the wrong side of history.

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An Approach To Expanding Commercial Composting Operations

An Approach To Expanding Commercial Composting Operations | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
TOS#23: Jeff Ziegenbein explores with us how best to expand a commercial composting facility without compromising quality or risking your business. We discuss the reasons for expansion, technological advances that help with processing and odour control, how to secure financing, and much more.
Eleen Murphy's insight:

The new episode of The Organic Stream is out! This week, we're in Los Angeles talking to the project manager of the Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority Jeff Ziegenbein about how best to expand your composting facility without compromising quality or risking your business.

We discuss the reasons why composters may need to expand, the technological advances that can help with processing and odour control, how to use a phased approach to growth in order to secure financing and to maintain production quality, tips on dealing with regulations, and much more.

Thanks to If You Care for making this episode possible.

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Updated: Compromise Deal Reached on Oakland Garbage Contract

Updated: Compromise Deal Reached on Oakland Garbage Contract | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said this morning that a tentative deal has been reached to settle the dispute over the city’s garbage contract. Under the...
Eleen Murphy's insight:

It seems the city's attempt to move away from working with large-scale hauling companies has been unsuccessful this time around. As this story shows, there are many challenges in negotiating contracts for waste services.

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EU legislation on packaging & packaging waste top of the agenda

EU legislation on packaging & packaging waste top of the agenda | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

By Jenny Eagle+, 08-Sep-2014

EuroPack kicked off the 10th anniversary of its summit in Lisbon, Portugal, this week with Europen (European Organization for Packaging and the Environment) discussing EU legislation on a packaging and packaging waste directive.

Eleen Murphy's insight:

Interesting discussion taking place on the future of packaging in Europe. Regulating the type and amount of packaging would dramatically reduce the amount of waste generated by industry and consumers.


But will the push for eco-packaging legislation sideline the other important functionalities of packaging, and how will it be implemented?

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EXCESS NYC: ArtSpace, New Haven, CT

EXCESS NYC: ArtSpace, New Haven, CT | Compostory.org | Scoop.it

Why don't you compost? 
EXCESS NYC (Brooke Singer + Ricardo Miranda Zuñiga) with Brad Armstrong at Vagaries of the Commons ArtSpace, New Haven, July 25 - September 13, 2014
Poster Design by Jerome Harris 
Installation photos of ExcessNYC at Artspace.

Eleen Murphy's insight:

Interesting artistic piece that dispels the myths and arguments against composting - a great example of how art and activism can be combined to help support #composting and turn the naysayers around.

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Ljubljana; first EU capital to adopt a Zero Waste strategy

Ljubljana; first EU capital to adopt a Zero Waste strategy | Compostory.org | Scoop.it
The Slovenian capital and three other municipalities, Vrhnika, Borovnica and Log Dragomer join the European network of Zero Waste municipalities September 8, 2014   The mayor of Ljubljana, Mr. Zoran Janković announced today the commitment [...]
Eleen Murphy's insight:

Great news from Slovenia!

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DCC report recommends Poolbeg incinerator proceeds - Waste Management World

"A report issued today by the council's chief executive Owen Keegan states that the waste project is needed and makes commercial sense.

The decision comes after a favourable value for money audit yesterday by the National Finance Development Agency


Plans for a Poolbeg incinerator, which date back to 1996, have been consistently opposed by local politicians because of its size and its central location."

Eleen Murphy's insight:

It's a real shame to see that this incinerator will go ahead, after so many years of opposition.


A major argument for its construction is that Ireland needs to export its waste to other countries to be incinerated. While recycling is not an instant solution for the waste being generated at the moment, it is a growing trend in Ireland and funds should be invested in encouraging recycling as opposed to building incinerators.

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