Day: March 11, 2016

Deluges increasing in world’s wettest and driest regions: study

Read the full story from Reuters.

Extreme downpours are increasingly hitting both the wettest and driest regions of the world and global warming will raise the risks of bigger cloudbursts for the rest of the century, a study showed on Monday.

 

Dead animals, needles and shards: Recycling’s bizarre inner workings

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

I have a confession to make: I’m intimidated by those three-bin waste-sorting stations. They make me nervous, even as a professional waste specialist. You’d think I’d know whether the waxed carton goes in the recycling or the compost or the trash — but the truth is, I’m usually as confused as anyone else.

We’ve all stood over a trash can, contemplating what items belong where. And we’ve all had questions such as, “I thought glass was recyclable, but it isn’t pictured on this sign. Can I still put it in?” or “This container is biodegradable, but there’s no compost bin. What do I do?” It wasn’t until a recent visit to a management recycling facility (or as the waste industry calls it, a MRF) that I started to understand why the act of “throwing away” is so complicated.

I visited Waste Management’s MRF in the outskirts of Philadelphia as part of a waste sorting project for our team at a local university. Bon Appétit Management Company Executive Chef Matt Morett and I wanted to learn which of our disposable products were recyclable. But I learned a lot more as well, including a few incorrect assumptions we’ve all made about recycling.

Seven Lead-Poisoned Families File Flint Class Action Lawsuit

Read the full story from NBC News.

Flint mom Melissa Lightfoot says her youngest child, Payton, is one of the top students in her kindergarten class, but she is “so scared that could all change next year.”

That’s because the 5-year-old — along with her two older siblings — was found to have high lead levels in her blood after the Michigan city switched to a more corrosive water source in 2015.

The little girl described by her mom as the “diva of the family” has since been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, just like 8-year-old sister Kamryn and 13-year-old brother Tra’Vaughn.

“This is real,” Lightfoot, 33, told NBC News on Sunday. “This right here is scary.”

Lightfoot’s family is one of seven who filed a class action lawsuit on Monday, seeking to hold a raft of city and state officials responsible for the lead-poisoning crisis that has made Flint into a symbol of government failure and environmental disaster.

No Reputational Penalty for CEOs on Environment Lawsuits, Study Finds

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

This could be good news for former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, who resigned after the automaker admitted using “defeat devices” in vehicles to beat emissions tests. Chief executives whose companies are embroiled in lawsuits over serious environmental issues either experience no reputational damage or find themselves better off, according to new research.

In a study of almost 10,000 cases filed in US federal court over an eight-year period, researchers in the University of Adelaide’s business school investigated the flow-on effect for CEOs after their companies were sued for contractual, environmental and IP lawsuits. The findings have been published in the Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics.

Man’s use of nutrients has exceeded planetary boundaries

Read the full story at EnvironmentalResearchWeb.

To achieve food security within safe planetary boundaries, we must redistribute nutrients in residues, soils and sediments around the world. That’s according to a team who looked at historical and current use of phosphorus and nitrogen in Finland and Ethiopia.

Welcome to the Wild West of green bonds

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The need to mobilize capital for green causes and adaptation initiatives to follow up on the Paris climate conference is raising many questions about the verification and assurance of what qualifies as green and how the proceeds of these bonds are allocated.

There is a growing urgency to standardize the market mechanisms and ensure the environmental integrity of these new financial instruments. Various stakeholders, from the underwriting banks to investors, have a role to play.

The increasing attention to green bonds already has aroused criticism and scrutiny. One major theme that emerges is the higher cost of green bonds. The Cost of Being Green (PDF) Barclays’ report from September claimed that investors had been paying 20 extra basis points. This is a trend that has been increasing over time, while the tranches have had the same yields as other bonds.

Obama administration pays out $500m to climate change project

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The first chunk of a $3bn commitment made at the Paris climate talks ‘shows the US stands squarely behind climate commitments’, the State Department said.

Deniers Have Launched a Losing Debate Over a ‘Hiatus’ in Global Warming

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Research published in the journal Nature Climate Change rarely sparks celebration in the right-wing blogosphere. But that’s how it went down last month, as climate change skeptics heralded a recent paper that “proves a 15-year hiatus in global warming” and rebuffs the “venomous charlatans” who peddled the climate change myth to a gullible public.

Alas, if only that were true.

Despite the self-congratulatory chorus on the right, the paper published last month actually found that global warming has continued over the last 15 years—just more slowly than in previous decades. And this finding is nothing new. For years now, reputable scientists have debated the exact rate of global warming since 2000, a micro-level disagreement that hinges on variables as esoteric as the historic reliability of thermometers.

Webinar: Changes in the Waste Stream — the Future of the Curbside Material Mix

Thu, Mar 31, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6194107920140187650

Recycling is fundamentally about supplying raw materials to buyers. This reality has been beset by two major trends in the last decade. The first is the “evolving ton,” which has led to precipitous changes in what Americans put in their recycling rollcarts. Compounding that problem is the ongoing decline in end market-value for recyclables and other commodities.  In addition, seemingly ever-increasing recycling rate goals are conflicting with a growing shift from traditional weight-based perceptions of program success to a more holistic assessment of the material stream. All of this leads to the question: How will this affect your recycling program now and for years to come?

The webinar speakers will give a broad overview of what you can expect in your programs as the material mix, commodity values and goals collide.

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