Day: March 2, 2018

The Importance of Excluding Words When Setting Up Google Alerts

Read the full story from ResearchBuzz.

I have written a considerable amount about the importance of picking good words when creating Google Alerts and when doing other search exercises. I have also written a lot about Google Alerts itself. I have written less about the importance of excluding words, and I want to fix that today.

This city fights crime with gardening

Read the full story in Science.

The best tool to fight crime may be a lawnmower. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which shows that sprucing up vacant lots by doing as little as picking up trash and cutting the grass curbed gun violence in poor neighborhoods in a major U.S. metropolis by nearly 30%.

Number of Cities Powered Mostly by Renewables Has Doubled Since 2015

Read the full story at e360.

More than 100 cities across the globe get at least 70 percent of their energy from renewable sources, roughly double the number in 2015, according to new research by the environmental data group CDP.

Wind and solar power could meet four-fifths of US electricity demand, study finds

Read the full story at Science Daily.

The United States could reliably meet about 80 percent of its electricity demand with solar and wind power generation, according to scientists.

EPA previews what’s next for Sustainable Materials Management program

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s sustainable materials management activity continues under the Trump administration, with new reports and areas of interest in the works, according to presentations at this week’s Measurement Matters Summit in Chattanooga, TN. That includes the 2015 Facts & Figures report, due out later this year on a new interactive website.

The agency is also working on Version 15 of its widely used Waste Reduction Model (WARM), due out in 2019. Following updates in Version 14 that connect it with openLCA software and change multiple material categories, future editions are expected to look at other criteria beyond greenhouse gas emissions. Water and land use, eutrophication and human toxicity were some of the possibilities mentioned.

Ron Vance, chief of the Resource Conservation Branch, also outlined scoping priorities for future years. That includes finding ways to measure recycling efficiency, developing a national litter rate, calculating a national contamination rate for material leaving MRFs, and gaining a better understand of infrastructure capacity and material flows.

From Utah’s Red Rock Desert, A Call for Protecting Our Public Lands

Read the full story at e360.

President Trump has ordered vast portions of two national monuments in Utah stripped of protections. But these lands – expanses of sandstone canyons and mesas dotted with sacred Native American sites – are our public commons and should not be open for business.

After uproar, EPA’s Pruitt says he plans to fly coach: ‘There’s a change coming’

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, facing ongoing criticism about his taxpayer-funded, first-class travels, says he plans to spend more time in coach.

EPA’s Air Sensor Toolbox Offers New Tools for Community-led Air Monitoring

Read the full story from U.S. EPA.

EPA has developed two new tools for the Agency’s Air Sensor Toolbox that, for the first time, enable citizen scientists and others to more effectively collect and interpret air quality data in their communities using low-cost air sensors.

The new tools are the Instruction Guide: How to Evaluate Low-cost Sensors by Collocation with Federal Reference Monitors and the Excel-based Macro Analysis Tool for Air Sensor Data, which allows users to compare data from low-cost monitors to the data being collected by regulatory-grade air monitors. By comparing low-cost sensors with regulatory monitors that have undergone rigorous review and approval by the EPA, citizen scientists will gain a better understanding of the reliability of the data they collect.

Food Diversion Effort Drives Legislative Action and Infrastructure Development

Read the full story at Waste360.

As food waste diversion and prevention become ever-pressing issues, some states are adopting legislation that is driving the efforts of local governments and industries in the space. Further, these states are looking hard at building infrastructure to achieve their goals.

China places battery recycling responsibility on car manufacturers

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

China will require producers of electric vehicles to be responsible for establishing facilities to collect and recycle old batteries, as reported by Reuters. The rules are a part of China’s efforts to crack down on e-waste.

The industry ministry set up “interim” rules requiring manufacturers to establish supply chains for recycling and set up service outlets where old batteries can be collected, stored and transferred to specialist recyclers. They must also establish a network for consumers to conveniently repair or exchange batteries.

The extended responsibility also includes developing ways to track who discarded batteries belonged to, and providing technical training for car makers to store and dismantle spent batteries.

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