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Events
Innovation Series - March 17, 2009

The State of Energy Storage
Innovations, Development and Investments
in (trans) Portable Applications
Home Energy Efficiency Series: Part 3 "Residential Solar Hot Water and Wind" March 10, 2008, 7:30 PM, 1625 Mass. Ave, Lexington, MA
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston November 19-21, 2008.
EARTH DAY - April 22, 2008
Building Energy 08

The Practice of Sustainability: Tools, Actions & Solutions.
Massachusetts Power Shift
MIT Energy Showcase
Massachusetts
2008 Spring Benefit
June 1-5, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Ceres Conference 2008: Building Leadership, Creating Solutions
Date: April 29 - 30, 2008

Articles
People


 
Navy´s ship disposal policy comes under fire

By Jeremy Carroll | WRN reporter July 25 -- Two environmental groups have petitioned the U.S. EPA in an effort to end the practice of sinking old Navy ships as a means to dispose of them, the groups said. The Basel Action Network (BAN) and the Sierra Club said decommissioned ships contain a host of toxic chemicals and pose serious threats to the marine environment when sunk. The Navy´s SINKEX program, short for sink exercise, allows the Navy to fire on inactive warships to practice gunnery and torpedo accuracy while also disposing of unwanted ships at sea. In the petition, the groups ask the EPA to re-evaluate the sink-exercise program. Colby Self, green ship recycling campaign director for BAN, said that while the Navy´s 1999 agreement with the EPA forces the agency to strip the ships of liquid PCBs, it only requires them to make every effort to remove solid materials containing PCBs. 
$667 million WTE plant to use cleaner technology

b>By Shawn Wright | WRN reporter

July 25 -- Palm Beach County, Fla., is using waste-to-energy technology pioneered in Europe for what will be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States.

By the spring, the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of Palm Beach County will begin construction on a new $667 million facility – the biggest contract in the county´s history -- that will combust up to 3,000 tons of municipal solid waste per day and scrub its emissions using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. The project is scheduled to be complete by 2015.

"I think in terms of the size of it as a public works project, it is probably the single-largest project in Palm Beach County," said Marc Bruner, SWA´s chief administrative officer.

The county´s original solid waste plan was developed in 1983 and called for two waste-to-energy facilities. Because the existing landfill is on pace to reach capacity in 2024, it wasn´t until recently that the county´s Board of Commissioners had to decide whether to expand capacity at its existing waste-to-energy facility or construct a new landfill.

"It´s a long time coming for the Solid Waste Authority," said Marc Rogoff, project director for Tampa-based SCS Engineers, whose consultancy work has covered feasibility studies on more than 50 facilities worldwide. "They´re paying for the cost of long-term solid-waste disposal à buying down the future capacity for this county, which is probably the next 30 years that they won´t have to think about out-of-county disposal."

The new facility will produce 95 gross megawatts of energy and will be adjacent to the county´s Renewable Energy Facility No. 1, a WTE facility built in 1989 that will remain in operation. With two incinerators in action, capacity will go from 2,500 tons per day to more than 5,500 tons. That capacity will make it the largest single-campus WTE facility in the U.S.

 

Reaction to White House e-Waste plan

By Jeremy Carroll | WRN reporter

July 25 -- The long-awaited report on electronic stewardship from the Obama administration was met with mixed feelings from industry experts, with some calling it practical and others saying it didn´t go far enough.

The 34-page report, titled "National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship," was released as Obama administration officials gathered at Round2 Recycling Facility in Austin, Texas, on July 20, to discuss the findings of an interagency taskforce.

"This is an important effort because there are serious health, environmental and economic consequences to inaction on this issue," U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said during a conference call to discuss the report.

Several agencies including the EPA, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and General Services Administration issued the report, requested by President Barack Obama in November.

Officials from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) lauded the report, saying it took concrete, practical steps to address end-of-life electronics and how they could be reused.

"It is encouraging to see that the government is taking a strong position on the responsible management of these materials," said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, in a statement.

She said the group was more encouraged that the administration did not make a specific call for a ban of exports of e-waste. There are two bills in Congress that would ban exports to developing countries.

"Today´s announcement includes practical, effective steps that actually address bad actors instead of shutting down an industry," Wiener said.

Environmental groups the Basel Action Network and the Electronic TakeBack Coalition both said the report had some good recommendations on green design and using only certified recyclers for disposal, but failed on discussing e-waste exporting.

"We are very disappointed that the taskforce missed the opportunity handed to them by President Obama´s mandate to truly lead by example and ensure that all federal agencies do the right thing and not export obsolete used electronic equipment unless it is fully functional," said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronic TakeBack Coalition, a group that promotes responsible recycling of e-waste, in a statement.

The federal government will leverage its purchasing power to drive the electronics manufacturing and recycling industries toward more sustainable products and practices, the report said.

 

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