Hot Off The Press

By Marc Benjamin, The Fresno Bee, 9/29/201
It’s a welcome change from the direction the city had been headed in. Until two years ago, Clovis had been raising trash rates 4% annually since 2004 to pay for about $12 million in work to reduce methane and other gases at the city’s landfill, clean the landfill and expand it for future city growth.

…Under a new program, the city can offer smaller trash containers that cut trash rates a little more. Typically, elderly residents or people with small families have less trash and don’t fill a full-sized container. Since the city began using separate containers for recyclable items and green waste, garbage in regular trash containers has dropped, said Eric Zetz, the city’s solid waste director.

Clovis City Council Member Harry Armstrong uses the smaller trash container and said it’s more economical for both the city and customer.  There’s still the cost of having the truck stop at his home, but the savings comes in hauling less and allowing the truck to make more stops before going to the landfill, which is about 10 miles northeast of Clovis on Auberry Road.  “If people look at what they throw away, use the blue can (for recyclable items) as much as possible and just put in the gray can what they need to throw away, it will save the life of our landfill for quite a few years,” Armstrong said.

By Lauren Zumbach, Peoria Journal Star, 8/23/13
… To encourage people to recycle cigarettes, Sheckler found a company that could mass-produce fully recyclable pocket ashtrays – insulated foil and plastic cases that give smokers an easy way to store butts. They tested their idea for the first time at this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL, distributing 900 pocket ashtrays and asking people to dump them in bins they’d set aside. By the end of the weekend, they’d collected 7.5 pounds of tobacco waste – over 7,700 butts. Read more…

By Thomas K. Grose, National Geographic Daily News, 8/1/2013
Copenhagen, Denmark with a waterfront already famous for bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and offshore wind turbines, is adding another clean energy feature to its urban landscape: a ski resort. Perhaps the man-made slope will never rival the summits of Sweden or the Alps, where residents of Denmark’s capital city typically travel to ski. But it will draw attention to Copenhagen’s world-leading effort to cut fossil energy and waste. The ski slope will rest atop a $389 million, 60-megawatt power station fueled entirely by the city’s garbage. The Amager Bakke incinerator, now under construction, will contribute to Copenhagen’s ambitious goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025. When finished in 2017, it will produce heat for 160,000 households and electricity for 62,500 residences.

… Not everyone, however, thinks incinerators are such a hot idea. Nearby communities often fear air pollution from smokestacks and traffic impacts from trash hauling to the facilities. Some green groups, including Brussels-based Friends of the Earth Europe (FOEE), fear that burning trash for power stunts efforts to encourage recycling. “The only way to reduce CO2 emissions when it comes to waste policy is by preventing, reusing, and recycling,” said Ariadna Rodrigo, a FOEE resource use campaigner.  Read more… and check out Associated Groups for more on Friends of the Earth Europe (FOEE).