Blame ‘Amazon Effect’ for proposed bump in S.F. garbage bills

Read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco prides itself on being ecology-minded, having outlawed everything from plastic bags to foam meat trays. But those lofty environmental ideals are going up against a culture that’s increasingly focused on convenience.

Many city dwellers have little time to cook or shop, so they order meals and groceries online, and buy outfits from Internet styling services that deliver to their doorsteps. The fallout from these new forms of consumption is readily apparent in the lobbies of apartment buildings, which are often littered with boxes.

New York unveils state methane reduction plan with focuses on food waste, landfills

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Dive Brief:

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a new multi-agency “Methane Reduction Plan” that is part of the state’s goal to reduce energy sector emissions 40% by 2030, based on 1990 levels. According to the plan, landfills account for 58% of the state’s methane emissions and 5% of overall emissions.
  • Recovering or recycling organic waste from large generators is listed as the state’s top priority for reducing emissions from landfills. This is said to include support and funding from multiple agencies for food donation networks, composting facilities and anaerobic digesters.
  • As for landfills themselves, the report cites proposed revisions to the Part 360 permit system that would require the installation of horizontal gas collection wells in newly constructed landfills or cells. The state also plans to review strategies for active or closed sites and review its guidance in comparison to the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas reporting criteria to identify any potential regulatory updates.

More people, more trash? Rethinking waste from New York to Beijing

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

It would be difficult to find a more fundamental urban environmental issue than solid waste disposal. It is clear that effective waste management is essential to the development of sustainable cities. Many cities around the world are implementing innovative measures to deal with waste and are increasingly incorporating waste management into sustainability plans.

14 Charts from the EPA’s Latest MSW Estimates

Read the full story at Waste360.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual analysis of municipal solid waste (MSW) figures with its annual Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts Sheet.

Land of Waste: America’s Landfills and Waste Production

Via SaveOnEnergy.com.

The average American tosses 4.4 pounds of trash every single day. It may not seem all that astonishing on the surface, but with 323.7 million people living in the United States, that is roughly 728,000 tons of daily garbage – enough to fill 63,000 garbage trucks.

That is 22 billion plastic bottles every year. Enough office paper to construct a 12-foot-high wall from Los Angeles to Manhattan. It is 300 laps around the equator in paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons. It is 500 disposable cups per average American worker – cups that will still be sitting in the landfill five centuries from now.

Approximately half of the 254 million tons of yearly waste will meet its fate in one of the more than 2,000 active landfills across the country – and you probably live, work or socialize closer to one than you may think.

Digging Up The Roots Of Modern Waste In Victorian-Era Rubbish

Read the full story at NPR.

Tom Licence has a Ph.D., and he’s a garbage man.

When you think of archaeology, you might think of Roman ruins, ancient Egypt or Indiana Jones. But Licence works in the field of “garbology.” While some may dig deep down to get to the good stuff — ancient tombs, residences, bones — Licence looks at the top layers, which, where he lives in England, are filled with Victorian-era garbage.

Studying what people threw away 150 years ago, Licence is getting to the bottom of an important issue: how much we throw away, and how to change that.

Hennepin County studies waste habits to turn more trash into treasure

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Hennepin County is digging through your trash.

A handful of men and women in hard hats and jumpsuits are sorting almost two tons of garbage in a downtown Minneapolis warehouse. The stink wafts from the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center’s tipping floor and is nauseating behind closed doors, but they’ve gotten used to it.

The sort is part of a weeklong study to figure out what people are throwing away. Or more importantly, how we can throw away less and recycle more.