Old landfill to recycle materials, serve as pollinator habitat

Read the full story at Niagara This Week.

Those old shingles workers are tearing off your roof and old wooden pallets left over from shipping materials could soon find a new use, thanks to the big brains at Walker Environmental.

The company already takes all the kitchen scraps and yard waste that Niagara residents put to the curb for the region’s waste contractor and turns it into useful compost at its facility on the Niagara Falls-Thorold border. As well, it runs other renewable energy businesses.

But Walker now has approval from the province’s environment ministry to turn its old east landfill on the border of those two cities into a unique resource recovery area, diverting materials from precious landfill space.

This Northwestern Alum’s ‘Greenhouse-in-a-Box’ Protects Farmers From Climate Change

Read the full story from ChicagoInno.

Climate change is already impacting the way we grow crops, both directly, through extreme weather events and irregularities in long-standing climate patterns, and indirectly, through increased incidence of pests and pathogens, according to a 2014 National Climate Assessment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

One tested solution that protects farmers from extreme weather: greenhouses. These small scale operations, while prevalent in the developed world, can cost upwards of $5,000, not including maintenance costs. So what about the developing world, home to 78% of the world’s harvested croplands, where farmers cannot afford such prices and effects of climate change are most pronounced?

That’s where Kheyti comes in. Kheyti (Hindi for “farming”) is a social impact startup that has developed a low-cost and modular (hence “in a box”) greenhouse solution that fits in about 2,000 square feet of land (typically 2-5 percent of most small-sized farms). Kheyti’s greenhouse has shown to grow seven times more food with up to 90 percent less water, according to the startup. With firm belief in a sustainable development model, Kheyti also bundles services like installation training, smart farming education, affordable loan financing, access to high quality seeds, and linkage to a ready and fair marketplace.

Reversing course, Trump administration will not delay an Obama ozone rule

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

One day after 16 states sued, the Trump administration reversed its effort to delay Obama administration regulations to curb air pollution that forms smog.

With no mention of the challenges from states such as California, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who previously said he would delay the Oct. 1 implementation date of a rule to lower the level of ozone emissions from fossil-fuel burning, said in a statement late Wednesday that he would now work “with the states through the complex designation process.”

Recycling dirty aluminum foil might not be practical — but it could be used to make biofuel

Read the full story from Waste Dive.

  • Dirty aluminum foil can be converted into a catalyst for biofuel production, according to a researcher at Queen’s University Belfast. Recycling aluminum from all feedstock is critical, according to the paper, (published in Scientific Reports), because bauxite mining, the main source of aluminum, is environmentally damaging.
  • The researchers were able to dissolve the foil in a solution that turned it into crystals, and then used a second mixture to purify the crystals into pure aluminum salts, according to Mental Floss. Those pure salts can be used in creating alumina catalyst, which is a key ingredient in making dimethyl ether (DME), a diesel substitute.
  • According to the author of the paper, producing the alumina catalyst from dirty aluminum foil costs about $142 per kilogram (just over 2 lbs.), while the commercial cost for the alumina catalyst is around $360 per kilogram — demonstrating significant savings.

What You Need to Know About the Hidden Health Cost of Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

Fossil fuel companies receive billions of dollars in government subsidies each year. A major argument for ending those subsidies these days, is the effect that carbon-based pollution has on the atmosphere – what scientists now say causes climate change.

But new research suggests that there is another compelling reasons for halting reconsidering that funding that our tax payer dollars cover: our health.

According to a study by the European not-for-profit organization, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), fossil fuel subsidies from G20 countries amount to $444 billion per year. That amount, say researchers, is actually small compared to the health costs that are incurred as a result of fossil fuel industries. Researchers found that the use of fossil fuels resulted in health-related costs of more $2.76 trillion across the globe, or six times the total cost of those government subsidies.