How a union bottle line worker revolutionized recycling for MillerCoors breweries

Read the full story in the New York Daily News.

It all started with a long look at the company trash.

The year was 1997 and MillerCoors Trenton Brewery technician Kelly Harris had just read a sustainability report from his company that said the organization wanted to reduce what it put in landfills by 15% over the next five years.

“I looked at what was in the dumpster on the way to the compactor and then to the landfill, and realized pretty much everything in there was recyclable,” said Harris, 51.

“I knew we could do better — but we needed a plan.”

Analytics Lounge, NFP

Analytics Lounge is a 501(c)(3) community lab dedicated to:

  • Providing an environment in which we host discussions related to chemistry, engineering, biology, manufacturing and entrepreneurship.
  • Providing a shared space and access to test, measurement, prototyping, and analysis equipment.
  • Providing an informal environment that encourages teaching and learning in the spirit of self-directed education, and encourages not just citizen science, but citizen-led science.
  • Recycling used and unwanted lab equipment.

Webinar: What the Tech? Learn Basic Electronic Component Function with the Illini Gadget Garage

July 27, 2017, 10-10:45 am
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/331629583625614595

Computers and smartphones are really complex machines, right? Well, if you know a little bit about them, they’re not all that intimidating. We’re going to break it down for you in our “What the Tech?” series of workshops, providing a basic walk through of different computer components and what they do.

Retailers, brands see green for back-to-school shopping

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

For the back-to-school season, many parents and their kids are thinking green.

Concerns about the environment have them looking for secondhand clothing or fashions made from reused material — but price still rules. Shoppers want quality and style in backpacks, jeans and the like without spending a lot more money.

Retailers like H&M, Target and J.C. Penney are coming out with more clothes that use waste from all sorts of sources, like recycled denim or leather, nylon waste, remnants of old garments, or even plastic bottles.

Connecting blighted Great Lakes cities to boost economy

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

The Great Lakes connect many blighted cities in a network that could supply recycled building materials.

Data collection at the front of new Recycling Partnership pilot in Atlanta

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

  • The Recycling Partnership has launched its latest contamination reduction pilot in Atlanta with a new “Feet on the Street” campaign along four recycling routes. The eight-week program is sponsored by a grant from the national nonprofit worth an estimated $240,000.
  • Training began this week for city employees who will be inspecting residential recycling carts, noting the amount and type of contamination, and tagging any problem carts with “oops” tags, including information on what to fix. Plastic bags are the city’s top priority, along with food, liquids, electronics and other items that are unwelcome at the local material recovery facility operated by Pratt Industries. All of this data will be recorded using Rubicon Global’s app as part of a separate and ongoing technology pilot with the city.
  • Cascadia Consulting Group will also be providing a new level of data analysis with detailed before-and-after waste characterization studies to track the pilot’s effectiveness. Based on these results, Atlanta then plans to roll out a citywide campaign about contamination and participation in 2018.

Circular economy isn’t a magical fix for our environmental woes

Read the full story in The Guardian.

One of the tenets of the circular economy is the idea that closing material and product loops will prevent primary production. But recent research published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology concludes that circular economy activities can actually increase overall production, “partially or fully offset[ting] their benefits”.

This suggests that the circular economy suffers from a similar rebound effect to energy-efficiency strategies. Just as more efficient coal plants can lead to lower coal prices and therefore higher demand for coal, more efficient use of materials can make products cheaper and therefore more appealing. While technical changes succeed in lowering the per-unit impact, overall the environmental benefit is largely offset by economic growth.