At Hilton, U.S. Navy, recycling goes to the mattresses

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

What do the U.S. Navy and a major hotel chain have in common? Both are huge consumers of mattresses — and both are involved in pioneering mattress recycling campaigns.

Mattresses are hard to get rid of, once they’ve reached the end of their usefulness. Their size and unwillingness to be compressed or crushed means they can take up a lot of landfill space. And they also are hard to incinerate. Discarded mattresses can easily become infested with bedbugs and other parasites, which makes donating them a non-option.

The Case for Clean Subsidies

Read the full post at the HBR Blog Network.

In the absence of any real prospect for carbon taxes, it makes sense to support subsidies that ease the necessary shift to low-carbon economies. This not only helps businesses in the renewable energy industry. It can also help businesses in other industries by easing their shift to use of cleaner sources of energy. Thus it makes sense to change WTO rules to make an exemption for green subsidies that further the fight against climate change.

Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites

Download the document. Cost is $52.20 for a hard copy.

Across the United States, thousands of hazardous waste sites are contaminated with chemicals that prevent the underlying groundwater from meeting drinking water standards. These include Superfund sites and other facilities that handle and dispose of hazardous waste, active and inactive dry cleaners, and leaking underground storage tanks; many are at federal facilities such as military installations. While many sites have been closed over the past 30 years through cleanup programs run by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. EPA, and other state and federal agencies, the remaining caseload is much more difficult to address because the nature of the contamination and subsurface conditions make it difficult to achieve drinking water standards in the affected groundwater. This report estimates that at least 126,000 sites across the U.S. still have contaminated groundwater, and their closure is expected to cost at least $110 billion to $127 billion. About 10 percent of these sites are considered “complex,” meaning restoration is unlikely to be achieved in the next 50 to 100 years due to technological limitations. At sites where contaminant concentrations have plateaued at levels above cleanup goals despite active efforts, the report recommends evaluating whether the sites should transition to long-term management, where risks would be monitored and harmful exposures prevented, but at reduced costs.

Offsetting a Carbon Tax’s Costs on Low-Income Households

Download the document.

Imposing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions would reduce the damage from climate change but would also impose a larger burden, relative to income, on low-income households than on high-income households. This paper evaluates two broad groupings of options for reducing the regressive effects of a carbon tax; one group of options would affect large segments of the economy, for example by reducing payroll taxes, and the other group of options would be targeted at low-income households, for example by providing an additional payment to households currently receiving electronic transfer benefits. Each option is evaluated based on the percent of low-income households that it would affect, whether it would provide comparatively larger benefits for lower-income households, its administrative costs, and its implications for economic efficiency, specifically whether it would increase incentives to work and invest and whether it would preserve the incentives to reduce emissions that the carbon tax would create. The broad based options could potentially provide support for a relatively large share of low-income households, but some of those options would provide relatively small benefits to those households. Options specifically targeting low-income households could be most effective in reaching households that do not file income taxes or that do not have earnings. Three of the seven options considered would increase the incentive to work or invest and all but one of the options would preserve the incentive to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

Kimberly-Clark Professional Introduces Products With Alternative Fibers

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Kimberly-Clark Professional announced last week that it is the first major tissue manufacturer to introduce products that contain non-tree fibers to the North American market. The new products are part of its Kleenex and Scott lines, and will be showcased at Greenbuild 2012. The new products include 20 percent non-tree fibers – bamboo and wheat straw. Both bamboo and wheat straw meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s definition of “rapidly renewable” fibers since they grow back in less than 10 years.

Behind the New Green Product Line at Walgreens

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Walgreens has launched its own line of “green” household products to be sold under the brand name “Ology.”

The Ology brand includes everyday household products: baby and personal care products and household cleaners formulated without the use of harmful chemicals, energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, and paper products that are 100 percent tree-free and produced from renewable sources. Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, will sell Ology products exclusively at its stores.

Live from the UN Climate Talks in Doha, Qatar

TckTckTck and OneWorld are in Doha, Qatar for the UN Climate Talks (also known as COP18) from November 26 – December 8. As delegates from 194 countries gather to work on a fair, ambitious and legally-binding global climate deal, follow their progress on Storify.