Pollution prevention

New Web Series Highlights Pollution Prevention Accomplishments

Via EPA’s Greenversations Blog.

For many toxic chemicals and industry sectors, reported TRI releases have trended downward considerably in recent years.  In such cases, TRI’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Search Tool is a great resource for identifying the P2 activities or other environmentally-friendly practices that have contributed.

To spur discussion of these practices, we looked at how the metals industry reduced their use, waste generation, and releases of a recognized carcinogen (trichloroethylene). We examined the P2 information that fabricated metals facilities submitted to the Toxics Release Inventory, and also followed up with one of the facilities with the largest reductions to find out more about what they did.

Check out our findings in our first P2 Accomplishments Bulletin and let us know what you think. Should EPA offer more of these analyses? Which other chemicals and sectors are worth highlighting from the standpoint of P2?

New York State Pollution Prevention Institute awards $455,000 in research and development projects

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) has awarded approximately $455,000 to fund six research and development projects focused on applied research designed to stimulate solutions that will help New York state companies remain competitive while reducing their environmental footprint.

As part of its ongoing research and development program, NYSP2I annually solicits proposals from faculty and staff at the institute’s partner universities—Rochester Institute of Technology, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Buffalo—that support research intended to develop innovative green technologies for organizations to implement. NYSP2I’s efforts are driven by business and organizational needs and are designed to solve specific issues where the solutions result in transferable practices and technologies.

Current research and development priorities include the elimination or substitution of toxic chemicals, overall waste reduction as well as energy-and-water efficiency opportunities in priority manufacturing sectors around the state.

Projects were selected based on their potential to reduce the environmental footprint of New York state businesses.

“This marks the sixth consecutive year that the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute has funded research and development grants selected through a competitive application process,” said Anahita Williamson, NYSP2I director. “We’re proud to once again advance important research efforts that will further develop innovative solutions in sustainability and pollution prevention.”

The following projects were awarded funding from NYSP2I:

  • “Transforming food waste digestate into fertilizer for controlled environment food production,” Susan E. Powers and Stefan J. Grimberg, Clarkson University
  • “Liquid-phase electrical discharge plasmas for inactivation of pathogens and spoilage organisms in fruit juices and milk,” Selma Mededovic, Clarkson University
  • “Increasing the reliability and efficiency of wind turbines by reducing gearbox friction and wear,” Patricia Iglesias Victoria and Michael Haselkorn, RIT
  • “Performance enhancement of bioplastic blends,” Carlos A. Diaz, RIT
  • “Microbial fuel cells for prevention of food processing wastewater discharge,” Thomas A. Trabold, RIT
  • “Feasibility study of antifouling membranes for wastewater reuse,” Haiqing Lin, UB

About the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) is a partnership between the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University at Buffalo and Clarkson University, with a statewide reach. The goal of NYSP2I is to make the state more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy through pollution prevention. Pollution prevention is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.

Go to http://www.nysp2i.rit.edu to learn more about NYSP2I and its research and development program.

Corporate Sustainability Practices: Waste & Recycling

Download the document.

When it comes to waste, everyone knows the 3-R mantra: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. But it’s tough to follow the 3 Rs when products, packaging and materials aren’t designed with end-of-life in mind.

GreenBiz Group and Waste Management recently conducted a joint research effort to identify current trends in waste reduction and recycling. The research was undertaken to identify insights into how waste and recycling decisions are made by sustainability executives, the metrics they are employing in their drive toward waste reduction, and the actions they plan to undertake in the future.

How to brew beer better: Less water, less energy, more innovation

In the latest P2 Impact column for GreenBiz, Paula Del Giudice highlights the changes that breweries are making to reduce their environmental footprint.

You can view previous P2 Impact columns here.

 

Waste Management Phoenix Open Achieves Zero Waste

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has, for the second consecutive year, diverted 100 percent of waste away from landfills amid this year’s record attendance of 563,008 fans.

As part of its Zero Waste Challenge, the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open earned UL Environment’s landfill waste diversion, or Zero Waste to Landfill status, a certification proven through transparent reporting and detailed data.

Ready for chemical alternatives assessment? The IC2 can help

In the most recent P2 Impact article over on GreenBiz, Topher Buck from NEWMOA discusses how The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse’s guide helps states and companies promote better product design and prevent regrettable substitution. Find a complete list of articles in this series at http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.

Defining “Zero” Waste

Read the full post at The Circular File.

The front page of the just-released draft zero waste plan for my home state—Maryland—boldly announces its goal to reduce, reuse and recycle nearly all waste generated in the state by 2040. The draft certainly contains some admirable proposals. Yet, as I read it, I realized that the plan didn’t seem to be able to make up its mind whether it was a waste management plan or a materials management plan. And in those two words—“waste” and “materials”—lies all the difference in the world.