Superworms capable of munching through plastic waste

Read the full story from the University of Queensland.

Researchers have found a species of worm with an appetite for polystyrene could be the key to plastic recycling on a mass scale.

Recycling renewables: A special series

As the world rolls out more solar panels, wind turbines and batteries, we’re cleaning up electricity — and generating a lot of equipment that will ultimately need to be recycled. The clean energy sector has drastically lower impacts on the environment than fossil fuels, but still needs to do its part to conserve resources and curb waste. In this week of special coverage, Canary Media reports on the technologies, policies and companies that can make clean energy even cleaner.

Articles in the series include:

Webinar: Development of Battery Collection Best Practices and Labeling Feedback

Jun 30, 2022 11 am CDT
Register here.

EPA is hosting virtual feedback sessions to provide input on new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law initiatives about end-of-life battery collection and labeling. This session is for all stakeholders involved in the battery lifecycle to provide input on new battery recycling initiatives. This includes:

  • battery manufacturers;
  • battery retailers;
  • battery recyclers;
  • consumers and businesses that purchase batteries;
  • companies in the electric vehicle management chain; and
  • tribal, state, and local government agencies.

EPA is seeking feedback on:

  • What types of batteries should EPA include in the best practices for collection (e.g., small consumer batteries, electric vehicle and grid storage batteries, industrial batteries, etc.)?
  • What are the current barriers to safe and effective battery collection and recycling?
  • What practices exist to improve battery collection and recycling, especially to increase the safe recovery of critical minerals?
  • What types of communication and outreach activities are most useful to reach key battery stakeholders?
  • What existing labeling programs should EPA use to inform a new labeling program?

How to recycle a 150-foot wind turbine blade? Haul it to Louisiana, MO

Read the full story from St. Louis Public Radio.

In the small community of Louisiana, Missouri, it’s not uncommon to see what looks like massive white wings traveling down the road, strapped to flatbed tractor-trailers.

Once a bustling commercial port, the historic Mississippi River town 90 miles north of St. Louis has become a hub for an unusual commodity: used wind turbine blades. Shipments from nearly every corner of the U.S. arrive daily at the Veolia North America recycling plant, the last stop for turbine blades at the end of their lifespan.

Testing curbside food waste collection

Read the full story at Biocycle.

Residents in Ohio city who don’t compost at home or use the drop-off sites noted they would be more willing to participate in food waste diversion if there were a curbside option.

In My Opinion: What teens suggest about recycling’s future

Read the full story at Resource Recycling.

Envirothon is North America’s largest high school environmental education competition. Held May 6, the Oregon Envirothon was one of many such events taking place around the country to select teams to advance to the national Envirothon competition, which is scheduled this year for late July at Miami University in Ohio. 

In the leadup to the competition, the high schoolers studied a variety of ecological issues, which this year included waste and recycling. They faced questions I suspect most adults would struggle to answer: What is the difference between recycling and waste prevention? What does the idea of “the Global North dumping its dangerous waste on the Global South” actually mean? 

Chemical recycling of plastic gets a boost in 18 US states—but environmentalists question whether it really is recycling

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

As the tide of plastic waste rises, the US public is turning to elected officials for solutions. Legislators in 18 states have passed laws to encourage the chemical recycling of plastic, also known as advanced recycling. These laws deem chemical recycling facilities manufacturers, not waste-handling facilities. This classification can pave the way for government financial incentives and less-stringent regulation. Environmental advocates say the laws promote the processing of discarded plastics into home heating oil or other fuels through processes that are polluting and amount to incineration, which is not recycling as the public understands it. But the chemical industry says market demand for more recycled content in plastic means chemical recycling facilities are increasingly selling their products to polymer makers for feedstock. The industry is also using the state laws as backing as it seeks to loosen federal Clean Air Act regulation of facilities that use pyrolysis and gasification, two processes used for chemically recycling plastic.

These rogue glass recyclers want to create new sand for Louisiana’s coast

Read the full story at Gizmodo.

Glass Half Full is the only glass recycling facility in New Orleans and they’re producing coarse sand that they hope can restore eroded shorelines.

Coca-Cola United partners with O-I

Read the full story at Glass International.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company United has partnered with O-I to capture more recycled glass from its production site in Georgia, US. The recycled glass will be remade into glass bottles.

Glencore partners with battery recycling startup

Read the full story at E-Scrap News.

Glencore has signed a supply agreement with and agreed to invest $200 million in Toronto-based lithium-ion battery recycling startup Li-Cycle.

The global mining and metals refining company signed a deal to supply manufacturing scrap and end-of-life lithium-ion batteries to Li-Cycle, a publicly traded company. Glencore, which supplies metals used to make batteries, also signed a non-binding term sheet that could lead to contracts to buy and sell various battery materials with Li-Cycle.