In the News

  • 06 Jan 2012 12:49 PM | Anonymous
    Leslie Kaufman, New York Times

    SAN FRANCISCO   undefined  From the cotton field in rural India to the local rag bin, a typical pair of blue jeans consumes 919 gallons of water during its life cycle, Levi Strauss & Company says, or enough to fill about 15 spa-size bathtubs. That includes the water that goes into irrigating the cotton crop, stitching the jeans together and washing them scores of times at home.

    The company wants to reduce that number any way it can, and not just to project environmental responsibility. It fears that water shortages caused by climate change may jeopardize the company’s very existence in the coming decades by making cotton too expensive or scarce.

    So to protect its bottom line, Levi Strauss has helped underwrite and champion a nonprofit program that teaches farmers in India, Pakistan, Brazil and West and Central Africa the latest irrigation and rainwater-capture techniques.  It has introduced a brand featuring stone-washed denim smoothed with rocks but no water. It is sewing tags into all of its jeans urging customers to wash less and use only cold water.
  • 04 Jan 2012 12:39 PM | Anonymous
    By: David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times

    Yadkinville, N.C. -- Loyd Bryant used to pump manure from his 8,640 hogs into a fetid lagoon, where it raised an unholy stink and released methane and ammonia into the air. The tons of manure excreted daily couldn't be used as fertilizer because of high nitrogen content.

    The solution to Bryant's hog waste problem was right under his nose - in the manure itself.

    A new waste-processing system - essentially a small power plant - installed on his 154-acre farm uses bacteria to digest the waste and burns methane to produce electricity. It also converts toxic ammonia into forms of nitrogen that can be used as fertilizer for more profitable crops.

  • 04 Jan 2012 12:37 PM | Anonymous
    By Mary Owen


    A project that converts methane from a Will County landfill into energy that can power 4,000 homes and generate more than $1 million annually for the county is now online.

    The $9 million methane-gas-to-energy plant at the Prairie View Recycling and Disposal Facility is a joint partnership between the county and Waste Management, which handles waste disposal for many local communities. The county contributed $3.1 million in stimulus dollars to construct the plants and connect to the ComEd power grid.

  • 04 Jan 2012 12:35 PM | Anonymous
    Written by Denise Civiletti

    Got a new computer or TV for Christmas and want to get rid of your old one? Or is that old 19-inch dinosaur still collecting dust on its metal cabinet in your basement?

    Disposal of your old electronics got a bit trickier in the new year for many New Yorkers.

    Under a new law that took effect Jan. 1, both private and public haulers are prohibited from collecting electronic waste, except for recycling. Haulers are now prohibited from disposing e-waste at landfills and waste-to-energy facilities in New York.

  • 22 Dec 2011 3:40 PM | Anonymous
    By Reid Lifset

    Available in full at the Huffington Post Green Blog:

    'Tis the season of gadgetry, and one of many innovations emerging on the consumer market is electronic textiles. These e-textiles, or "smart" textiles, integrate electronics capable of collecting and sending information into the fibers of clothing. Imagine: a motherboard woven into a holiday sweater. An antenna in your skullcap.

    Imagine, also: soaring mountains of e-waste, as the United Nations has described the 50 million tons of electronics disposed of every year. Imagine how e-textiles will contribute to these mountains, their obsolescence a factor of both advancing technology and the rapid cycles of seasonal fashion.

    The standard model is to invent first and consider environmental consequences later. Equally standard are calls to get it right next time -- to be proactive for the next technological innovation.

    An article published recently in Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology identifies e-textiles as the next "next time," undertaking the first analysis of their end-of-life implications. The results predictably illustrate that reliance on business as usual won't do the trick.

  • 22 Nov 2011 1:33 PM | Anonymous

    At the Mind and Life Institute annual conference entitled Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence, there was an entire morning session devoted to the topic of Industrial Ecology, in conversation with the Dalai Lama. The link to the conference website is below, and if you go to Morning Session 3 with Greg Norris, there is a link to the Utube footage of this video-taped talk.


  • 22 Nov 2011 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Anthony Pratt seeks $300m from government to flick switch on waste-to-power scheme

    by: Damon Kitney From: The Australian November 23, 2011 12:00AM 

    THE Pratt family's $3 billion Visy paper, packaging and recycling empire is seeking federal government support to help bankroll a revolutionary $300 million project to turn household garbage into energy that would generate 3000 jobs across the economy.

    The project would involve construction of a $200m waste-to-energy plant, the first of its type in Australia, designed to generate 75 megawatts of electricity that would be sold into the electricity grid or directly to third parties.

    Fuel for the plant would come from waste transfer stations or landfill sites in capital cities, where Visy is planning to spend $100m to build a number of so-called pellet plants to shrink garbage into fuel for the waste-to-energy facility.

    The garbage will be dehydrated to the size of a cork, which has the burn value of low-grade coal, and then fed into the clean energy plant to turn into energy.

    Visy is seeking $100m for the project from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, or ARENA, the new independent statutory body established to provide financing assistance for projects that strengthen renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

  • 22 Nov 2011 1:30 PM | Anonymous

    Plant would convert waste to energy

    A new Eugene company wants to use farm and food byproducts to make gas and generate electricity

    A Eugene company is proposing to build a bioenergy plant off Highway 99 near Junction City that would turn waste straw, vegetable and fruit waste, and manure into electricity. The plant would compost the waste and burn off the resulting gas to generate electricity.

    The plant, proposed by Green Lane Energy Inc., is the topic of a public hearing to be held by the state Department of Environmental Quality on Tuesday.

    The DEQ is proposing to issue a solid waste treatment facility permit for the project.

    “This operation is unlikely to pose impacts to the environment and the public health,” the DEQ analysis concludes in recommending approval. “The operation beneficially utilizes the ‘waste’ materials to generate ‘renewable green power’ and reduces the waste stream into the environment.”

    Green Lane is headed by Dean Foor, a Eugene engineer and consultant with expertise in biogas plants. The plant would be built on several acres of farmland on the east side of Highway 99, about halfway between Eugene and Junction City.

    The land is owned by members of the Posner family, who also own Lane Forest Products, a Eugene mulch, compost and landscaping materials firm.

    The state is proposing to let the facility accept dairy manure, ryegrass straw, used cooking oil and grease, food processor residue and food waste from companies and homes.

    Efforts in Eugene and elsewhere to collect and compost food wastes, rather than dump them in a landfill, have been increasing steadily. Eugene earlier this year launched a program for the collection of food waste from commercial establishments for composting. Lane Forest Products and Eugene-based Rexius are taking the food waste and using it in compost.

    It was not immediately clear whether the Green Lane Energy plant would be using Eugene’s food scraps.

    Foor and the Posners did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    The plant would have a waste material intake and storage area, concrete tanks where material would be mixed and would decompose and produce methane gas, and a burning unit that would use the gas to generate electricity, according to the DEQ’s analysis. The electricity would be fed into an existing nearby line in the electric grid. The plant would generate some liquid and solid wastes that would be sold as fertilizers or compost, the DEQ analysis said.

    The state’s analysis states that the plant would operate on average more than 23 hours a day, seven days a week, and that much of the daily operation would be automated.

    The bioenergy plant would sit next to an existing Lane Forest Products yard-waste compost plant, where Junction City’s leaves and other yard waste are composted, according to the DEQ. That plant has been in operation since 2006.

    Details of the bio­energy plant undefined including its cost, how it would be funded and who would buy the power undefined were not immediately clear.

  • 22 Nov 2011 1:28 PM | Anonymous

    Coral Springs is preparing to take its recycling program up a few notches and will consider a recommendation by its consultant to provide an economic incentive to single-family residents.

    The city hopes to achieve a 75 percent recycling rate by 2020, but there is quite a distance to be traveled before it reaches its goal. According to a study conducted by the city's waste consultant, HDR Engineering, the recycling rate of single family homes in 2010 was 9.1 percent while it was 5.7 percent in multifamily homes. The commercial recycling rate in the city was 22.6 percent.

    The city's solid waste and recycling strategic plan, which was established in 2010-2011 after the legislature asked state and local government bodies to ensure that they achieved the 75 percent goal, will be implemented in three phases. At a recent city commission meeting, officials were given an idea of where the city stands today and also briefed about the steps that are needed to achieve the 10-year goal.

  • 22 Nov 2011 1:27 PM | Anonymous

    ALBANY, N.Y. undefined Environmental groups are pressing state regulators to reject a petition seeking renewable energy subsidies for trash-burning power plants, saying the incinerators are big polluters that destroy paper, plastic and other materials that should be recycled instead.

    The Public Service Commission is expected to rule on Covanta Energy's petition at its meeting Thursday in Albany. Covanta, based in Morristown, N.J., operates 44 energy-from-waste plants in the United States, including seven in New York.

    Covanta has asked the PSC to add trash burning to the list of renewable energy technologies eligible for state subsidies. At a news conference Tuesday, the New York Public Interest Research Group and several other environmental organizations said they've asked the commission to reject Covanta's petition, saying incinerators generate air pollution and toxic ash.

    Covanta spokesman James Regan disputed the groups' claims, saying the company presented evidence to the PSC that waste-to-energy plants using the latest technology are cleaner than some sources of energy eligible for subsidies. The petition only applies to new plants, not existing ones, he said.

    In a report released Tuesday, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a coalition of environmental groups, said the incinerator industry is pursuing a strategy across the nation seeking clean-energy subsidies. The report said most federal energy subsidies that benefit trash incineration are intended to foster the development of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and small hydroelectric plants.

International Society for Industrial Ecology | Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies | 195 Prospect St. New Haven Connecticut 06511 USA | Contact us at 203.432.6953 or email

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