School green programs, like recycling and composting, have a far-reaching impact. From reducing waste to nourishing leadership skills in students, these programs improve not just local communities, but also the planet — and that makes Earth Day the perfect opportunity to start one. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to help create a program from the ground up.
Police, firefighters, EMTs, and other emergency services personnel handle the toughest jobs in our society. They shouldn't have to worry about the risks of waste handling, too. Simply taking out the trash may not seem like a dangerous task, especially for first responders who protect the populace from more direct threats. In fact, though, there are a range of risks that emergency services workers face in the course of day-to-day waste handling.
If you were designing an entertainment complex with a waste stream that's hard to handle, you couldn't do much better than a golf course. These oases of relaxation (or frustration, depending on how your game is going) combine all the worst challenges in the waste handling industry: Tremendous distances between garbage cans, food waste from the clubhouse restaurant, and no ending — ever — of grass clippings and other yard waste.
Not too long ago, a Queensland, Australia school district incurred serious costs due to injured maintenance workers. Each injured employee required an average of 46 days of sick time and the district ended up paying an average cost of $4,470 per employee. The culprit? Manually lifting trash bins to empty them into dumpsters.
On the inaugural Global Recycling Day, let's all remember that there's a greener way to tackle spring cleaning. Unwanted items from your closets and drawers can be taken to speciality recycling centers that accept hard-to-recycle items like electronics and clothing. Find a location here!
City parks offer a refuge from concrete and cars, but managing waste to keep green spaces green can be more of a challenge than you'd think. The majority of visitors never see or think about the complex waste management challenges these public spaces face — which is just how park managers like it. If visitors have trash collection on their mind, it's likely that something amiss, like an overflowing trash can, has caused it.
The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) faces a waste management quandary: it aims for a zero-landfill future, yet visitors deposit over 100 million pounds of waste there every year. To avoid sending enormous loads of trash to the dump, the NPS must find ways to recycle, reuse, and compost as much waste as possible. And even with major challenges, such as existing in remote, rural locations, the NPS is well on its way to eliminating its reliance on landfills. Here's how they're doing it.
Any teacher who has tried to build a recycling or composting system in an unsympathetic school district understands the difficulty of challenging an existing school waste management program. Resistance can come from anywhere: coworkers, administrators, or even fellow teachers.
At the typical casino, waste management presents several challenges unique to the industry. Facilities may be open 24 hours a day while food service departments create tremendous amounts of trash, recycling, and compost at peak times. The daily ebb and flow can make scheduling difficult for management and keeping up with multiple waste streams stressful — and even dangerous — for workers.