Going Green Blog

Wilmington, Delaware skyline

The Wilmington, Delaware skyline. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons A new $35 million waste-to-energy facility will process wastewater and landfill gases to produce energy. It will be the first facility in the U.S. that captures two sources of biogas and converts it to both electricity and heat. It could be the model of other similar plants across the country.
Roll-off dumpster truck

If you’ve never rented a dumpster before, and you need one for a cleanout or home renovation, it’s important to know the legalities involved. In some cases, this means obtaining a permit from your local building permit office.
Plasma technology could be used to reduce waste by way of gasification

Plasma torches used in plasma gasification plants. Image courtesy of PyroGenesis Canada Inc. One of the newest and most innovative methods for handling municipal waste is a process called plasma gasification. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. It’s also very expensive to build a plasma gasification facility, so that’s a major drawback. However, it’s probably the cleanest, most eco-friendly waste management option to date.
Rippl Mobile App from the Ocean Conservancy

A new mobile app launched this past weekend in conjunction with the annual International Coastal Cleanup to make it easier for people to make sustainable and eco-friendly choices while on-the-go. The app is a product of non-profit organization Ocean Conservancy, the organizer of the International Coastal Cleanup. Rippl, the name of the new app, provides customizable green living tips and a host of other features. It lets users set personal goals and sync their calendar with the app for a more personalized and user-friendly experience.
Waste Management CNG Garbage Truck

Via: CleanGreenFuel.com Neighborhood garbage trucks are typically not the most environmentally friendly vehicles, but that’s changing. Many cities are switching to waste haulers that use alternative fuels, such as Clean N’ Green (CNG), to improve emissions and save money on fuel costs. Some of the biggest players in the waste hauling industry, such as Waste Management and Republic Services, have been utilizing eco-friendly trucks for several years. It makes sense for the environment and for the company’s bottom line.
Zen Robotics Recycling Robot System

Another example of how robots are taking over the world! Well, the world’s first robotic recycling system isn’t out to takeover humanity (…I don’t think), but it can help save it. Baetsen Recycling based in Son, the Netherlands has made plans to integrate a robotic recycling system created by the tech experts at ZenRobotics. It will no doubt be the most technologically advanced system of its kind.
Bokashicycle Food Pulverizer

There are food processors…and then there are food pulverizers! A Nevada-based company called Bokashicycle recently introduced its 3 HP Electric High Throughput Food Waste Pulverizer. This thing takes food scraps and shreds, pulverizes, and tears them into smaller pieces ideal for composting. It’s an innovative way to reduce the amount of food waste entering landfills. The Food Waste Problem Food waste is the single largest material category reaching landfills and incinerator facilities in America.
Teamwork poster

Decluttering your home prior to putting it on the market is one of the best ways to increase its value and help it sell more quickly. A 2012 survey of real estate professionals across the country showed that cleaning and decluttering is the most effective way to increase the value of a home.
Pierre-Augusta Renoir painting found in a dumpster

Image courtesy of The History Blog What one woman nearly tossed into the garbage may turn out to be a lost painting by Pierre-Augusta Renoir valued at up to $100,000. The painting was sold as part of a small lot at a Virginia flea market to an un-named woman who bought it because she liked the Paul Bunyon doll and plastic cow included in the small box of “junk”. I’d say it was $7 well spent!
Internation Coastal Cleanup Event at Lake Eerie

(2012) On Saturday Sept. 15th, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will host its annual Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) in several locations along the southeast shoreline. The event is held every year in September. The public is invited to participate in the event. The event has attracted more than 8,000 volunteers who have donated their time to help cleanup Lake Erie’s shoreline.
Toys from trash

Remember the old Lincoln Logs, erector sets and Legos you played with as a kid? Ron Aarons, a LEED-certified architect and loving grandfather, certainly does. He has created his own version of these all-time classic children’s toys, but with a unique twist. His “toys” are made exclusively from recyclable materials.
Trash to liquid process produces biofuel

Augusta, Maine may soon be the first city in the U.S. to build a trash-to-liquid plant for turning garbage into liquid fuel, primarily biodiesel. The ground-breaking facility would be situated near the Hatch Hill landfill. Is this the future of municipal waste handling in the U.S.? City official are still in the preliminary stages of approving the project, but high gas prices and shrinking landfill space is helping to move plans forward.
Arava Leela Mohana Reddy holds three strips of flexible lithium-ion battery material and one piece of silicon scrap (left)

Arava Leela Mohana Reddy holds 3 strips of flexible lithium-ion battery material and one piece of silicon scrap (left) Waste silicon, an element used in virtually any type of electronic device, can now be transformed into paper-thin, bendable batteries. A team of researchers at Rice University and Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium discovered a way to reuse old silicon to produce lithium-ion batteries with 10 times more lithium that traditional batteries.

Images courtesy of Greening Forward and The Energy Recovery Council There’s been a shift in recent years from traditional coal and nuclear power plants to more sustainable alternatives like waste-to-energy (WTE) plants. Are these “greener” facilities actually producing cleaner emissions compared to traditional power plants?
Convert trash and water to biofuel

What to do with all the 250 million tons of trash that arrives at U.S. landfills each year...bury it, burn it, extract the methane? These things are all being done at modern landfills, but a new partnership between Waste Management and Renmatix may allow garbage to be converted to sugars for producing biofuel. Renmatix is an innovative company with plenty of experience turning biomass into sugars. Its patented process uses super-heated water to breakdown biomass material into its most basic components which are then used to produce biofuel and other chemicals.