Fighting climate change at the sink: A guide to greener dishwashing

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

If you’re an environmentally conscious consumer, you’ve probably heard that today’s highly efficient dishwashers use less energy and water than traditional hand-washing techniques.

While that’s true in most cases, there’s one manual washing technique—the two-basin method, in which dishes are soaked and scrubbed in hot water and then rinsed in cold water—that is associated with fewer greenhouse gas emissions than machine dishwashing.

That’s one of the surprising findings of a new study from University of Michigan researchers that includes a list of tips for greener dishwashing. The study was published online Feb. 12 in the journal Environmental Research Communications and is the result of a collaboration between U-M researchers and Michigan-based Whirlpool Corp.

Webinar: Advances in the Development of Environmentally Friendly Pyrotechnic and Propellant Formulations

February 27, 2020, 11 a.m. CST

Register here.

Join SERDP and ESTCP on for a webinar on technological advances to reduce hazardous waste streams during the production of energetic materials for DoD munitions. First, Mr. Matthew Puszynski from Innovative Materials & Processes will discuss his efforts to develop improved components for fuze assemblies that are more effective while replacing hazardous materials in the manufacturing process and in the munition itself.

Second, Mr. Mike Miller of Resodyn Corporation will discuss results from his work to develop a safer and cleaner manufacturing process for rocket propellants, explosives and pyrotechnic formulations for DoD munitions using Continuous Acoustic Mixing (CAM) and Clean-In-Place (IP) capabilities.

A military perspective on climate change could bridge the gap between believers and doubters

Read the full story at The Conversation.

As experts warn that the world is running out of time to head off severe climate change, discussions of what the U.S. should do about it are split into opposing camps. As experts warn that the world is running out of time to head off severe climate change, discussions of what the U.S. should do about it are split into opposing camps. The scientific-environmental perspective says global warming will cause the planet severe harm without action to slow fossil fuel burning. Those who reject mainstream climate science insist either that warming is not occurring or that it’s not clear human actions are driving it. 

With these two extremes polarizing the American political arena, climate policy has come to a near standstill. But as I argue in my new book,“All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change,” the U.S. armed forces offer a third perspective that could help bridge the gap.

I’ve studied military and security issues for decades. Although President Trump has called climate change a hoax and worked to reverse the Obama administration’s climate initiatives, senior U.S. military officers have long been aware of warming’s detrimental effects.

Turning human bodies into compost works, a small trial suggests

Read the full story in Science News.

Breaking down bodies into dirt may be an environmentally friendly alternative to burial or cremation.

2.5M Pounds Of Radioactive Waste Illegally Dumped In Oregon Landfill

Read the full story from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The Oregon Department of Energy has issued a notice of violation to a hazardous waste facility for accepting more than 2 million pounds of radioactive materials east of the Columbia River Gorge.

Domestic plastics recycling capacity is expanding

Read the full story in Plastics Recycling Update.

Recycling operations across North America are adding additional processing capacity, taking in a growing amount of material displaced by export market upheavals.

Report argues most plastics, especially #3-7s, falsely labeled as recyclable

Read the full story in Waste Dive.

  • A new Greenpeace USA report argues U.S. companies are incorrectly labeling many plastic products as recyclable. The report, “Circular Claims Fall Flat”, states only PET #1 and HDPE #2 bottles and jugs are truly recyclable, and that full-body shrink sleeves on those items can also limit their recyclability

  • The survey indicates many MRFs only accept those two types of plastics due to insufficient market demand and processing capabilities. The survey of MRFs nationwide was conducted in partnership with The Last Beach Cleanup. 

  • Polypropylene (#5) is a notable focal point. The packaging industry has invested in marketing it as recyclable, but Greenpeace found mixed results. According to the report, only 53% of surveyed MRFs take the items and only 31% of U.S. residents have access to polypropylene collection. 

  • Investment Dollars Flow Into Circular Economy As Concerns Over Plastic Trash Grow

    Read the full story at Karma.

    Money is pouring into the so-called circular economy, as businesses and investors seek to profit from keeping trash out of landfills and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

    The false promise of “renewable natural gas”

    Read the full story at Vox.

    It’s no substitute for shifting to clean electricity.

    INSIGHT: Burning Garbage Is No Part of a Cleaner Future

    Read the full story in Bloomberg Environment.

    A recent House proposal says burning municipal waste is a form of clean energy, but Roger Ballentine, president of Green Strategies, begs to differ. He says burning trash isn’t a way to get to net zero energy and hurts the already declining recycling industry.