University YMCA announces August 2018 collection days for Dump & Run sale

The University YMCA has announced August 2018 collection days for its annual Dump & Run Sale.

Drop Off Collection Dates & Times

  • August 14, 15, 16, and 17 from 9am-3pm
  • late drop off day Wednesday August 15: 9am-7pm
  • Drop off hours Saturday August 18: 9am-noon

They do NOT accept TVs, non-working electronics, sofa beds, and any chemicals. See for full list. Free pick-up day for furniture and bikes: August 8 and 9 from 9am-4pm. Request a pickup.

Sale Dates

Located at the Stock Pavilion, 1402 W. Pennsylvania Ave.

Saturday, August 25, 2018:
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. $3 admission
International U of I Students get in free with ticket.

Sunday, August 26, 2018:
11:00am – 2:00 p.m.: $3 bag sale and 1/2 price furniture
2:30-3:00 p.m.: “Free sale”

Want to shop early? Volunteer 6+ hours for first dibs during the August pre-sale! Sign up today.

Looking for more places in Champaign-Urbana that accept donations? See the C-U Donation Guide.

Once Polluted and Reviled, the Chicago River Bounces Back

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Mayors and city planners have long dreamed of making the Chicago River a busy, dazzling waterfront. It might have finally happened. This summer, I explored the riverfront in Chicago’s Loop to see the transformation.

Nitrous oxide from Tibetan permafrost packs global warming punch

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

Permafrost, the perennially frozen layer of soil found in cold regions, releases the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane as it thaws—a problem becoming more prevalent with global climate change. But permafrost researchers have often overlooked emissions of nitrous oxide, a gas with 300 times the warming power of CO2. Now, a new study estimates that thawing areas of Tibetan alpine permafrost are releasing so much N2O that their emission rates rival those from the largest known terrestrial sources of the gas (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b02271).

Summit highlights tribal environmental health

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

Attendees at the third Tribal Environmental Health Summit June 25-26 shared their latest research on issues that affect environmental health among Native Americans. The meeting, which took place in Corvallis, Oregon, was hosted by Oregon State University (OSU) with grant support from NIEHS.

More than 130 individuals participated, hailing from tribes, universities, and government agencies. The event allowed scientists to network and explore career paths, while stakeholders learned about issues that affect tribal communities.

Water Recycling Projects Continue Improving Agricultural Water Supplies

Read the full story at AgNet West.

Water recycling projects in California are nothing new, but continued improvements and investments will be an important feature of water conservation moving forward. Multiple research projects are looking at various aspects of increasing the use of recycled water in agricultural production. As technology continues to advance and water regulation continues to increase, the overall value of recycled water will be further enhanced.

New Mapping Tool Visualizes 30 Years of Mountaintop Removal

Read the full story at e360 Digest.

From 1985 to 2015, coal companies blasted an average of 21,000 acres of Appalachian land every year in search of coal — an area about half the size of Washington, D.C., according to a new satellite mapping tool that allows users to track mountaintop removal over the last three decades in 74 key coal-mining counties.

Harmful dyes in lakes, rivers can become colorless with new, sponge-like material

Read the full story from the University of Washington.

Dyes are widely used in industries such as textiles, cosmetics, food processing, papermaking and plastics. Globally, we produce about 700,000 metric tons — the weight of two Empire State Buildings — of dye each year to color our clothing, eye shadow, toys and vending machine candy.

During manufacturing, about a tenth of all dye products are discharged into the waste stream. Most of these dyes escape conventional wastewater-treatment processes and remain in the environment, often reaching lakes, rivers and holding ponds, and contaminating the water for the aquatic plants and animals that live there. Even just a little added color can block sunlight and prevent plant photosynthesis, which disrupts the entire aquatic ecosystem.

A team led by the University of Washington has created an environmentally friendly way to remove color from dyes in water in a matter of seconds. The technique was described in a paper published online in June in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental.

Inside Levi’s ambitious plan to cut its carbon footprint

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Two years ago, a factory in Bangladesh that sews jeans for Levi Strauss & Co. partnered with the company in a new experiment: Working with experts from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s lending arm, it looked for ways to save energy, from swapping lightbulbs to installing new washing machines. In a year, the factory and five others that took part in the pilot in India, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam cut carbon emissions by an average of around 20% and collectively saved $1 million.

It’s work that Levi’s now plans to scale up as it aims for a new goal–cutting its emissions as a company in line with the Paris climate agreement, as the latest corporation to set targets under the Science Based Targets Initiative, a nonprofit-led project that helps companies set climate goals. By 2025, the company plans to use 100% renewable energy in all of its own facilities, cut emissions in those buildings by 90% compared to Levi’s footprint in 2016 and–in a move no company has tried before–it also plans to cut the emissions in its supply chain by 40%.

Managing water and protecting the environment: Professor provides local farmers with another tool to assist in water quality

Read the full story from Southern Illinois University.

By 2050, an estimated 9 billion people will be dependent on the earth’s farms to feed them. But as the need increases, so do environmental challenges. That’s why researcher and professor, Jon Schoonover, is diligently working to provide local farmers with sustainable water quality practices.

Technique tracks carbon as soil microbes munch plastic

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

To keep weeds at bay and retain soil moisture, farmers apply plastic “mulch” to their fields. But these thin polymer films are tough to collect again, and accumulating plastic can reduce soil fertility. Biodegradable plastic mulches avoid those issues and are gaining prominence. Researchers have now developed what some experts say is the most comprehensive method yet for tracking where carbon from one of these polymers goes in soil.

To distinguish polymer carbon from soil carbon, Michael Sander and colleagues at ETH Zurich used a mulch film, poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate), with 13C at certain spots within the polymer. They filled glass bottles with polymer samples and 60 grams of soil. Over six weeks, the team followed release of isotope-labeled CO2—a sign that soil microbes had metabolized the polymer—with cavity ring-down spectroscopy. They tested different polymer samples with isotope labels in each of three different subunits (shown). The microbes broke down all the polymer components, but the rate of isotope-labeled CO2 release differed depending on where the label was within the polymer. On the basis of NMR studies, the team concluded that the difference was largely due to different rates of enzyme hydrolysis for the various polymer subunits (Sci. Adv. 2018, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aas9024).