International Compost Awareness Week and Illinois Compost News

Read the full post at the ISTC Blog.

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW), falling on May 7-13 this year, is celebrated during the first full week in May annually. The event began in Canada in 1995 and has since grown as more and more organizations and individuals become aware of food waste issues and recognize the value of composting as a waste reduction strategy with multiple environmental benefits. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Compost! Healthy Soil, Healthy Food.” Learn more at


Webinar: Disaster Preparation through Pollution Prevention

Wed, Jun 7, 2017 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at

Could your business cope with a major flood, snowstorm, or power failure? Do you use hazardous chemicals? Surveys show that many businesses have not prepared for disasters by taking precautions such as emergency planning, having adequate insurance, & arranging for emergency power.

This webinar for Massachusetts businesses will show you how to manage hazardous chemicals safely so that they are not at risk of release during a flood or other natural disaster. Registrants will receive a presentation with links to on-line resources.

Learn how to:

  • Use online maps to quickly find out if you are in a floodprone area, 
  • Assess your flood risk & elevation onsite,
  • Reduce risk & save money by switching to less hazardous chemicals & using energy more efficiently,
  • Comply with regulations for managing hazardous wastes & materials, and
  • Find financing & technical assistance.


U.S. Laboratory Finds Plastics-to-Fuel Technology Helps Reduce GHG Emissions

Read the full story at Waste360.

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy, has determined that using pyrolysis to convert non-recycled plastics into ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel results in energy and environmental benefits. These include reductions of up to 14 percent in greenhouse gas emissions, up to 58 percent in water consumption, and up to 96 percent in traditional energy use when compared to ULSD from conventional crude oil.

Mountains of waste could lead to new US manufacturing, jobs

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Waste material from the paper and pulp industry soon could be made into anything from tennis rackets to cars. Scientists have discovered how to make high quality carbon fiber from lignin.

Silent Saver Under Attack: Why We Need the Building Technologies Office

Read the full story from ACEEE.

Are you happy to have cheap, efficient light bulbs that don’t flicker and hum? How about a large refrigerator that uses less electricity than the old incandescent bulb? A small government office has played a key role in all of these innovations and now helps the average American family save almost $500 each year in lower energy bills.

Yet this silent saver is under attack. Like ENERGY STAR® and other effective federal energy efficiency programs, the Building Technologies Office (BTO) would be slashed in the administration’s proposed budget for 2018. It may not be “sexy,” as the last president once called insulation. But few offices are more important to consumers.

Our recent fact sheet shows how BTO helps consumers save money, creates jobs, fosters innovation, makes businesses more competitive, and helps states and local governments. BTO is one of 11 program offices in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office, which in turn is a small part of the Department of Energy.

At a cost of less than $2 per household, BTO is helping you save almost $500. Actually, that’s just in appliances, equipment, and lighting covered by efficiency standards that BTO issues. BTO helps throughout what I call the virtuous spiral of energy efficiency market transformation.

Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic Are Piling Up On An Otherwise Pristine Pacific Island

Read the full story from NPR.

More than 37 million pieces of plastic debris have accumulated on a remote island in the South Pacific, thousands of miles from the nearest city, according to estimates from researchers who documented the accumulating trash.

Turtles get tangled in fishing line, and hermit crabs make their homes in plastic containers. The high-tide line is demarcated by litter. Small scraps of plastic are buried inches deep into the sandy beaches.

It’s the highest density of debris reported anywhere in the world, scientists say. Their research on trash accumulated at Henderson Island, largest of the the Pitcairn Islands, was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ikea’s solution to peak stuff? Invest in plastics recycling plant

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Furniture giant commits to reducing use of virgin raw materials but experts raise concerns about supply chain domination.