The United States General Services Administration (GSA) coordinates federal agency workplaces and private-sector services, ensuring that U.S. government workers have access to everything from offices to supplies to waste-disposal contracts. This central role gives the GSA a unique power to shape waste-handling practices across the entire spectrum of federal bureaucracies (and, sometimes, those with whom they do business).
Every year, visitors to U.S. national parks generate more than 100 million pounds of waste — enough to fill the Statue of Liberty 1,800 times, according to the National Parks Conservation Association. What makes up this tremendous waste stream? More importantly, are there ways to divert more of it from unsustainable, methane-emitting landfills and into carbon-zero systems?
From university sports facilities to the Super Bowl itself, stadium managers continue to pursue ambitious waste-diversion goals. The gold standard of a zero-waste-to-landfill system has emerged as the ultimate prize in stadium sustainability — but as with any materials-management strategy, zero waste is a mixed bag of benefits and challenges.
The largest outdoor music festivals bring hundreds of thousands of revelers together to eat, drink, dance — and discard their waste. Clearly, not every water bottle makes it into the recycling bin
There’s plenty of work to go around at a commercial composting facility. At a time when skilled work is hard to find, that creates staffing challenges for every compost producer. Besides, workers with skill and expertise in the day-to-day tasks of an industrial composting operation are rare in any labor market.
The success of a commercial composting operation rests on the ability to efficiently handle bulk materials. We know from studies of more conventional manufacturing facilities that material handling can contribute between 15 and 70 percent of operating costs — and it seems likely that composters will find themselves closer to the higher limit than the lower.
Between the holidays of Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, households produce an average of 25 percent more waste than at any other time of the year. Every week during the holiday season, we add 1 million tons of waste to the nation’s landfills. Clearly, municipalities and environmental agencies haven’t yet educated individuals in their communities on how to reduce waste, whether through diversion to recycling or composting operations or, better yet, reducing the volume of generated garbage in the first place.
Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs represent a powerful strategy for limiting landfill-bound content in municipal waste systems. As residents respond to the incentives built into a PAYT strategy, though, haulers, material recovery facilities (MRF), and other stakeholders within the sustainable materials management stream must be prepared to absorb the changes.
The sooner your kids get started cooking, then, the better off they'll be — and you can say the same about the planet. With that in mind, here are a few recipes that could help your child develop eating habits that are healthy, enjoyable, and environmentally friendly all at once.
Increasingly, university students and sustainability offices are pressuring their institutions to make the switch to zero-waste events. Even when events fall short of this goal — usually defined as 90-percent diversion from landfills — organizers who plan for zero waste drastically reduce the occasion's carbon footprint. Increasingly, university students and sustainability offices are pressuring their institutions to make the switch to zero-waste events. Even when events fall short of this goal — usually defined as 90-percent diversion from landfills — organizers who plan for zero waste drastically reduce the occasion's carbon footprint.