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WASTE RECYCLING INFORMATION
January 201

 Jump to WasteCare's Janaury 2013 Waste Recycling Blog

WASTE RECYCLING TITLES IN THIS MONTHS COLLECTION

Verizon Promotes E-Waste Recycling
Plastic Bag Ban Resurfaces In California
Washington Collects Holiday Styrofoam
Washington, DC Number One In Green Building
Composting On The Rise In New York
Recycling Cigarettes for Cash
Oregon Fines Company for Hazardous Waste
EPA Establishes Composting Center in Tijuana
Increases in Improper Disposal of Pharmaceutical Waste
Hawaii Starts Plastic Bag Ban
Washington State Reaches Recycling Milestone
Dean Foods Reduces Waste Disposal
Arkansas Provides E-waste Grants
C&D Recycling in Alaska
Developer Pays Fine for Clean Water Act Violations
Program Diverts Books From Landfills
EPA Offers Grants to Communities to Boost Recycling
Clover Technologies Strikes Gold With Recycled Cartridges
EPA Gets Serious About Illegal Pesticide Use
The EPA Electronics Recycling Challenge
Construction In Protected Wetlands Results In Fine
Pennsylvania Rewards Small Businesses For Pollution Prevention
Ohio State Scores With Zero Waste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Telecommunications company, Verizon Wireless is showing customers they take the issue of properly recycling electronics waste seriously. The company is sponsoring nine specialized e-waste community events across the country over the next several weeks and the kick-off event was held in late January at the company’s headquarters in Temple Terrace, Florida.

In 2011, Verizon reported that they collected approximately five hundred and thirty one thousand pounds of electronics waste that was earmarked for recycling and reuse. The goal of the new community events is to achieve a one hundred percent recycling rate or a zero-to-landfill goal, so that all electronics waste materials collected during the events will be recycled or reused.

Properly disposing of e-waste is often a concern for both individuals and businesses as proper removal of the data contained on cell phones, computers, and handheld devices is of the utmost importance. Verizon’s goal with the community events is to help members of these communities be able to dispose of their unwanted or unusable electronics in both a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Additional communities that will be hosting electronics recycling events include Albuquerque, New Mexico, Wilmington, North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and Ashburn, Virginia. The events are open to employees of Verizon as well as members of the community.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Is your business viewed as an environmental friendly one by the community you serve? Let people know about your efforts in proper waste management and recycling – you may acquire publicity and new customers as a result of it!


Plastic Bag Ban Resurfaces In California

The debate about instituting a state-wide ban on plastic bags has once again resurfaced in California with San Rafael Assemblyman Marc Levine introducing a bill banning all plastic grocery bags of a single use nature starting in the year 2015.

The bill is almost identical to a measure that was introduced last year but did not make it past the state Senate after receiving negative feedback from grocery stores and manufacturers of plastic bags.

The proposed legislation would require grocery stores earning more than two million dollars annually or retail locations with with greater than ten thousand square feet of space to stop providing customers with plastic bags.

Stores falling into this category would be required to offer reusable bags for sale and free paper bags made of recycled materials. After a year long grace period, stores will be allowed to charge a fee for paper bags.

The ban does not include the plastic bags used for vegetables, fruits, bulk grains and meat.

As more and more individual cities and towns in California have passed municipal plastic bag bans some feel public sentiment is turning to favorably accept the legislation for all municipalities throughout the state.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you do business in California, you’d be well served to start finding alternative solutions to plastic bags. It’s better to be ahead of the curve than caught unprepared!

 

Washington Collects Holiday Styrofoam

Clark County in the northwestern state of Washington held its first even holiday Styrofoam recycling event in early January of this year. The county believed that close to two hundred and seventy five residents participated and dropped off for recycling over three thousand pounds of Styrofoam.

The Clark County Environmental Services offices is responsible for coordinating community recycling events at various locations during the year. This was the first time that a special event was held for Styrofoam – an item that can be recycled but all too often ends up in the trash heading for a landfill.

The county estimates that these special events are responsible for collecting up to two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of recyclable materials and hazardous waste items with each individual country event collection approximately three thousand pounds of waste materials for recycling.

The Environmental Services Department has made an effort to collect waste materials such as oil because it has value on the re-use market. Other unwanted items such as furniture, textiles and housewares are donated to country social service agencires and not for profit groups.

County officials decided to launch the Styrofoam recycling collection event in January due to its high use a packing material for gifts purchased over the holidays. Due to the success, it is expected to become an annual recycling event.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your town is looking to reduce space and fees paid to landfills, increasing recycling efforts is a way to do it. Does your town make an effort to collect Styrofoam? Maybe they should!

 

Washington, DC Number One In Green Building

In a recent report published by the United States Green Building Council, the metro area of our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., comes in number one on the most recent list of locations acquiring certifications for green buildings from the the Leadership in Environmental Design and Energy program.

Washington, D.C. boasted almost thirty seven square feet of certified LEED space per resident last year. Runners up included the states of Virginia and Colorado. Other locations that were commended for their efforts in green building certifications included Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Washington state, California, Texas, and Nevada.

While Washington, D.C., topped the list in terms of certified LEED space per capita, the state of California has the largest amount of overall certified square footage for the prior year at over fifty four million.

Representatives from the District of Columbia Department of the Environment attribute the success to initiatives and increased awareness, in both the private and public sectors, to the importance of achieving green building certification.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re in the construction or remodeling business, it pays to be knowledgeable about green building certification. As more and more residential and commercial property owners seeks this designation, you’ll be able to make more green while helping clients “go green”.

 

Composting On The Rise In New York

Local government administrators in Sullivan County, New York are currently conducting research and evaluation of best-practices for composting food scraps and other organic wastes. After analysis of last year’s waste disposal practices for residents and businesses located in the county, it was determined that approximately seventeen thousand tons of organic materials and food waste was disposed of in the county landfill. This amount had stayed consistent over the past several years of data collection.

As it is expected that New York State government will pass legislation making state-wide waste regulations more stringent in the coming years, Sullivan County officials are considering a move to adopt a county-wide food and organic waste composting program similar to the one currently in place in bordering Ulster County. The Ulster County plan has been in place for several years and is considered success at reducing the amount of tonnage sent annually to regional landfills.

Sullivan County’s plan may include a collection and compost facility at the centralized landfill which would require individuals, business or wast haulers to bring organic waste in, an at-home program for residents who would like to compost at home, or a combination of both options.

The county expects that eliminating the seventeen thousand tons of food waste would save close to ninety thousand gallons of gasoline each year in waste disposal transportation costs.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: More and more municipalities are looking to add composting of food scraps and organic waste materials to their roster of services. Not only does it reduce space needed in landfills and fees paid in waste hauling, but some enterprising communities make money by selling the organic compost to buyers eager to nutrient-rich soil for their landscaping and gardens!

 

Recycling Cigarettes for Cash

New York State may become the first state in the nation to offer its residents a bottle-bill-deposit type law for cigarettes. The propsed initiatives would require a small deposit upon purchase of cigarette packs and then pay out a return when the filters or “butts” are returned for recycling.

Queens Assemblyman Michael DenDekker proposed the new recycling program, which would have a one cent deposit and return for each cigarette.

While the concept might seem a bit strange, non-profit groups around the country have recently started working with recyclers who use cigarette filters for re-manufacturing purposes - receiving cash for every pound collected. Because of this, DenDekker believes there is a legitimate market for the unwanted butts that either end up in the trash or as road-side litter.

The New York Commissioner of Health would need to formally approve of the program, and a minimum of one redemption facility would need to be established in each county. Part of the initiative also includes an educational campaign geared to inform smokers about the dangers and environmental consequences of improperly disposed of cigarettes.

Similar to bottle bills, the idea could also reward ordinary citizens and groups with a cash incentive for redeeming cigarette butts that have been disposed of as litter.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When it comes to managing waste and recycling, it always pays to be thinking “outside the box” and two steps ahead of your competition. Today’s crazy idea could very well become tomorrow’s reality!

 

Oregon Fines Company for Hazardous Waste

The Department of Environmental Quality for the state of Oregon has recently fined a Washington State business for improper disposal of hazardous waste.

As a result of the charge and findings, the company was required to pay approximately two thousand dollars in fines for improperly managing and identifying dry cleaning solvent. The chemicals and residues from dry cleaning operations are considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of according to regulations.

The business, Anderson Environmental Contacting, had deposited five hundred pounds of dry cleaning solvent generated from Alsco Linens in a Hillsboro, Oregon landfill. Representatives from Anderson had indicated to the landfill the waste material was non-hazardous. Had the chemicals been classified properly, Anderson would have been required to transport them to a certified and approved disposal facility designed specifically for toxic and hazardous waste.

As part of the settlement process, Anderson has also agreed to improve its policies and training so that employees can properly identify hazardous wastes and how to safely handle and dispose of them.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Hazardous and toxic waste is a danger to humans, animals, and the environment when it is not handled or disposed of properly. If your business works with substances classified as hazardous, it’s essential that you stay up-to-date on state and federal regulations. Otherwise, you risk endangering your community and incurring fines!

 

EPA Establishes Composting Center in Tijuana

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is helping to battle waste and improve recycling along the U.S. border with Mexico by providing a special grant to the border city of Tijuana to help establish an urban center for composting food waste and organic materials.

The Mexican not for profit group, Tijuana Calidad de Vida, is working with city officials from Tijuana to take organic waste materials supplied by city collection efforts and turn it into landscape grade compost.

It is expected that the new compost center will produce close to one hundred and fifty tons of compost material in its initial year of operation. The compost will in turn be used to plant trees and landscaping within the city, improving air quality and quality of life for residents, tourists, and businesses.

The composting initiatives is also expected to protect the watershed area between San Diego, CA and Tijuana by keeping the organic materials and food scraps out of regional landfills.

The grant is offered through the Border 2020 U.S.-Mexico Environmental program, which strives to improve environmental quality and public health in geographic areas along the border.

In addition to composting, the center will also work to increase public knowledge about the important economic and environmental benefits of recycling, re-use and composting.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Environmental and economic concerns don’t end at borders between counties, states, or countries. If your business is on a border, play it smart and see how improving your waste recycling and disposal can better the region as a whole. You might be able to save green and make some green at the same time!

 

Increases in Improper Disposal of Pharmaceutical Waste

The state of Wisconsin has determined that “take-back” programs for pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs have resulted in only two percent of unwanted and unused over the counter and prescription medications being collected for proper disposal. This latest news was recently released by a study conducted by the the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin Product Stewardship Institute.

The research study showed that the ninety eight percent of medications not brought back for disposal are generally flushed down a toilet, garbage disposal, or sink drain, thrown in the trash for general disposal in landfills, or left in bathroom medicine cupboards well past the effective expiration date. All of these actions can create both environmental hazards to both land and water sources or cause danger to pets, animals, or other humans should the drugs be consumed accidentally or by confusing with other medication.

It is believed that close to one-third of over thirteen million pounds of all classifications of pharmaceutical drugs sold in Wisconsin annually becomes unused and therefore must be properly disposed of. While many municipalities throughout the state have launched different kinds of voluntary drug collection programs, all of the programs face problems such as cost to administer and increasing public knowledge of the importance of disposing of their medications in a safe and proper manner.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you or your business works with medical and pharmaceutical waste, what opportunities exist or can be created to collect the millions of pounds of unwanted and unused medications? The person who comes up with a cost-effective solution will become one wealthy person!

 

Hawaii Starts Plastic Bag Ban

The big island of Hawaii has instituted a law that will gradually ban plastic bags. The new policy went into effect on January 17, 2013 and was announced by the Department of Environmental Management for the County of Hawai’i.

Under the new policy, all businesses located on the island are required to charge a small fee for single use plastic carryout bags. Businesses included in this mandate are grocery stores, retailers, restaurants, and farmer’s markets. The law provides businesses a year to transition into the new procedure and all single use plastic bags will be completely prohibited from the island by January 17, 2014.

There are a few exemptions and those include plastic bags used for meat, fish, bulk produce such as nuts and grains, fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, small hardware items, clothing, and prescription drugs.

City Council representatives said the measure was essential to protect the beauty and environmental sustainability of the island which has limited landfill resources.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: As more and more municipalities adopt plastic bag bans and regulations, your business would be well-served by coming up with strategies to address plastic bag usage before it is regulated. If you start now, you’ll be steps ahead of the competition!

 

Washington State Reaches Recycling Milestone

The northwestern state of Washington has announced that it has reached a milestone in its recycling efforts.

During the year 2011, Washington’s recycling rate exceeded fifty percent for the first time ever. The figures were released to the public from the Department of Ecology for Washington in late 2012.

The comprehensive waste diversion rate, which also factors in recycling, energy recovery, and product re-use, increased from fifty four percent in 2010 to fifty seven percent in 2011.

Residents and businesses recycled over one hundred and eight six thousand tons of material waste more than in the previous year, which resulted in a four percent increase. At the same time, landfill use decreased, as four percent less waste material was disposed of.

The state estimates that recyclables collection is over three and a half pounds per person per day. The individual amount is the highest ever for the state since it began measuring recycling efforts in 1986.

A spokesperson from the Department of Ecology said that much of the improvement in the recycling rate can be attributed to increased rates for cardboard, metals, newspapers, and e-waste. With metals recycling seeing the largest increases.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’ve set a recycling and waste reduction plan for your business, how are you keeping track of your financial and environmental successes? Making small changes and monitoring the results can help you achieve the best balance of saving money and saving the environment!

 

Dean Foods Reduces Waste Disposal

In the latest corporate and environmental responsibility report from Dean Foods, the Dallas, Texas based food and beverage company has indicated that the business reduced its total amount of solid waste needing to be sent to incinerators and landfills by more than twenty percent between the years of 2009 and 2011.

During the two year monitoring period, the amount of solid waste Dean’s facilities disposed of in regional landfills and incinerators was reduced from almost seventy thousand tons in 2009 to fifty five thousand tons in 2011. Based on the success in reducing its waste output while containing costs, the company has decided to implement a plan to increase its corporate goal of solid waste reduction to fifty percent by the year 2020.

Representatives from Dean also credit the success to enhanced recycling measures. Recycling throughout all facilities increased by over ninety one percent. Whereas close to eight thousand tons of waste was recycled in 2009, by 2011, over fifteen thousand tons of waste was recycled in 2011.5,239 tons during the same period, the company said.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When implementing new waste disposal and waste recycling plans, it’s important to plan well and evaluate your results. Start small, and when you start to see results, you’ll realize you can tackle more ambitious goals.

 

Arkansas Provides E-waste Grants

The Department of Environmental Quality for the state of Arkansas has awarded out six grants for the recycling of electronics waste totaling close to one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars. The recipients included both municipalities as well as businesses and not for profit groups.

The Solid Waste Management District for East Arkansas received seventy five thousand dollar to assist with the construction of a new facility to store equipment and electronics waste collected for recycling from businesses and residents in the six counties served by the district.

Other grant awards went to the Reams Group for acquisition and improvement to equipment used in the collection and dismantling of electronics waste; Solid Waste Management of Pulaski County for upgrading informational signs and brochures and for the improvement of e-waste collection sites; the city of Fayetteville received funds for assisting in the disposal of electronics waste; the Environmental Office of Benton County received funds to assist and improve the collection and disposal of electronics waste from businesses and residents; and the Solid Waste Management of White River District received an award to be used in creating educational materials for businesses and residents on ways to properly dispose of e-waste.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: While the awards might not always be big, there are ways to secure federal, state, and local grants to assist in the funding of recycling programs. If you have an idea for your town, business, or non-profit group, it’s well worth investigating!

 

C&D Recycling in Alaska

Doing business in the construction and demolition waste removal and recycling recovery in the northernmost state of Alaska requires a very different way of thinking and operating than in the lower forty eight states.

While Alaska may be a geographically large area, it’s also a very small business market with many populations and municipalities separated by hundreds of miles. With the winter season lasting considerably longer, and creating almost impassable travel conditions, transportation of waste materials and recyclables needs to be structured differently. Also, processing operations are often hundreds of miles away.

Due to the state’s limited system of major highways, some businesses transport C&D materials by plane to be processed in Anchorage and other businesses choose to utilize barges when the waters aren’t frozen over. This results in stockpiling waste materials for weeks or months at a time as well as incurring transportation costs that can be as high as one dollar per pound.

However, due to greater awareness, more businesses are now factoring in the cost of recovery and recycling materials instead of choose to simply dump them in on the open tundra – a practice that was commonplace for many decades.

It is expected that consumer demand for Green building certification on new residential and commercial construction, which requires contractors to recycle a particular percentage of their waste materials and debris, to drive the change in recycling and reuse behavior.

 

Developer Pays Fine for Clean Water Act Violations

Massachusetts real estate developers have recently agreed to pay fines for Clean Water Act violations as a result of the construction of a new residential housing development in the town of Uxbridge.

The charges were brought about by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a result of a routine inspection of the area. It was shown that the developers allowed storm water to be discharged without securing the required permits for several years and that ineffective measures were in place for ensuring that pollutants being released into the water were minimized.

Because the housing construction was occurring on more than one acre of land, the developers were required by law to apply for permits. As a result of this failure to comply, a fine of twenty four thousand dollars was levied against the business.

The necessity of the permits is due to the fact that rainwater coming from construction sites will carry sediments, oils and pollutants which can easily contaminate streams, ponds, and other water sources while clogging drains and causing flooding. A one acre home construction site has the potential to discharge as much as one hundred and fifty tons of sediment per year.

The EPA provides training materials to builders and developers to ensure that compliance is maintained and that all involved understand the importance of storm water regulations.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: The EPA makes training materials readily available to all so that your next construction project is executed in compliance to environmental regulations Failure to follow these rules can end up costing you more money than if you have simply followed the law!

 

Program Diverts Books From Landfills

Goodwill Industries of Columbus, Ohio is partnering with Green Marketing to provide extra use to unwanted textbooks, encyclopedias and other books while keeping them out of regional landfills.

The collaboration is designed to take unsellable books from Goodwill’s collection locations and transform them into paper towels, facial tissue, and toilet paper.

Since launching the initiative, donations of unwanted books have increased significantly at the nineteen Goodwill locations in the region. The organization stockpiles the books that have no retail re-selling value and when a large enough quantity is amassed, they contact Green Marketing to arrange a pick-up for hauling away. While the amount paid for the unwanted books is small – an average of fifteen dollars per ton – the cost savings for waste disposal of the books to a landfill is significant. Goodwill can now gladly welcome any unwanted book knowing that if it does not sell on the retail floor, then can still earn a bit for recycling.

Green Marketing recycles unwanted books throughout the United States through an affiliated company, Book-Destruction.com and hopes to roll its program out to other Goodwill locations who are interested in participating.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Green Marketing offers a great solution to organizations and businesses who may have an excess of books or paper products. Why pay waste disposal fees when you can possibly earn money through recycling?

 

EPA Offers Grants to Communities to Boost Recycling

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is providing grants to two low income municipalities in Puerto Rico to improve recycling and composting and to help with the reduction of water pollution.

The award of close to fifty thousand dollars will be provided to two non-profit organizations
Scuba Dogs Society and Leaders of the World, to provide education to lower-income municipalities about best practices in waste management and recycling and the dangerous consequences that improper or illegal waste disposal can have on citizen’s health and overall water quality. The money comes from the EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, which helps communities develop solutions to public health and environmental issues.

These grant funds will be used to move the community to increase their participation in waste recycling, reduction, and composting.

The two groups will split the award money evenly in educating both the youth population as well as individuals and business owners who earn their livelihood from fishing or other marine activities.

Launched in 1994, the small grants program has assisted over one thousand three hundred communities throughout the US and its territories as a way to bring environmental awareness to undeserved populations.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your community or organization is looking to improve waste disposal and recycling practices, consider grant programs such as this one from the EPA or your state environmental department. A good idea may attract funding and help to improve the quality of life for your residents!

 

Clover Technologies Strikes Gold With Recycled Cartridges

Clover Technologies, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of recycled printer cartridges has reached such a high consumer demand for its products that the supply of recycled cartridges it purchases from OfficeMax and Staples are no longer sufficient. In order to procure the needed waste materials, Clover has created Evolve Recycling, a subsidiarity responsible for procuring cartridges directly from consumers.

Depending on the printer cartridge, Evolve will reimburse customers up to ten dollar per piece. The company also provides shipping boxes and prepaid postage so consumers are relieved of all mailing costs.

Evolve may be a unique idea, but it was created out of necessity as its parent company needs a constant and reliable source of unwanted and used cartridges for its manufacturing process. Clover sells over two million re-furbished cartridges for ink and laser printers every month throughout North America so a decrease in cartridge collection can negatively impact future production and sales.

Re-manufactured printer cartridges are responsible for fifteen percent of the cartridge market, with steady year over year growth as both individual and business consumers desire less expensive printing options made from recycled materials.

Evolve currently collects close to eleven thousand unwanted cartridges per month from individuals and businesses. The company’s goal is to collect one million cartridges per month by the close of 2013.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business is feeling the squeeze from procuring waste materials from other re-sellers, consider trying the Evolve model and source directly from consumers. Recycling becomes attractive when there’s a “green” incentive!

 

EPA Gets Serious About Illegal Pesticide Use

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting serious about filing legal and criminal actions against businesses found to be importing or selling pesticides that have been deemed illegal to use due to their toxic or hazardous chemical nature.

Legal action is currently being taken against two businesses, Everyday Group based in Brooklyn, New York, and Daifuku Trading located in Englewood, New Jersey for selling illegal and unregistered pesticides. Federal law requires that all pesticides be EPA registered and have labels printed in English with instructions for safe and appropriate use.

A routine inspection of the facilities revealed that products being sold were mis-branded, improperly labeled, and imported from other countries without first notifying the EPA. Research has shown that pesticide use can result health concerns from skin irritation to cancer including causing medical problems with the body’s hormone and endocrine systems.

Over the last year, the EPA division covering New York and New Jersey inspected over two hundred and fifty retail locations and pesticide distributors and confiscated over twenty thousand units of illegal pesticides. It is the responsibility of the retailer and distributor to make sure that all pesticides being sold are in compliance with federal and state regulations.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Using or selling illegal pesticides puts the safety and health of your employees, customers, and community members at risk. Trying to save a few dollars buying unregistered chemicals can end up costing you and your business legal action, fines, and negative publicity!

 

The EPA Electronics Recycling Challenge

Earlier in 2012, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started the electronics recycling challenge, aimed at increasing the number of computers, cell phones, and other electronics and media devices, being recycled properly and safely. Many of the nation’s most popular electronics manufacturers and retailers immediately signed up and agreed to participate. Best Buy, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp Electronics, Sprint Nextel, Staples, Dell, Sony, and Nokia are all participants.

However, two of the largest names in the electronics industry did not agree to join – Apple and Hewlett-Packard (HP). The products they make – from the iPad to the iPhone to printers and computers, can be found in nearly every home or business. While both companies have refused to comment on their refusal to join, it is expected that the the companies’ took issue with the challenges requirement to only utilize R2 or e-Stewards certified electronics recyclers and that outcome data be shared with the EPA and the public.

Despite their refusal to participate, both brands do currently offer recycling programs for their products and will continue to work with the EPA to help address the concerns of environmental impacts caused by e-waste.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Recycling your businesses e-waste is an important concern – heavy fines await you if you try to dispose of computers improperly. Making sure the brand you buy has an established and convenient recycling program is something worth considering!

 

Construction In Protected Wetlands Results In Fine

The Department of Environmental Protection has recently fined a Pennsylvania man over one hundred and thirty seven thousand dollars for violating wetlands regulations by constructing a man-made pond that impacted a nearby trout fishery.

For two years, between 2009 and 2010, the man performed construction work on the land without obtaining the necessary permits for wetlands. The construction was for a recreational pond. As a result of the excavation, drainage, and re-configuration of the water-flow, two acres of protected wetlands were negatively impacted by removal of almost one thousand feet of running stream-water.

The Department of Environmental Protection served two compliance orders after routine inspections revealed the construction work had impacted the nearby trout-fishery. A further inspection reveled that the required construction activity plans that would illustrate compliance with the wetlands regulations were never filed and civil action proceeding were initiated.

In addition to the fine, restoration of the property and remediation of the damage must take place over the next six months.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: The Environmental Protection Agency takes wetlands regulations seriously! If you or a customer want a construction project to happen in this kind of area, it’s essential that you receive the necessary authorizations and permits. If you don’t, you can end up with legal proceedings, fines, and even having to spend more money to un-do the work that has already taken place!

 

Pennsylvania Rewards Small Businesses For Pollution Prevention

The State of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded over four hundred thousand dollars in grants during 2012 to assist fifty six small, independently owned businesses throughout the state invest in waste and pollution-prevention and energy-efficient projects.

The source of the funding comes fromPennsylvania’s Small Business Advantage Grant which is funded by the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act and is designed to assist businesses with one hundred employees or less and provides a matching grants of fifty percent up to implement projects that will reduce waste, pollution, or energy in excess of twenty five percent. Launched in 2004, the grant has been disbursed to over sixteen hundred small businesses.

Examples of past awards have been to fund upgrades to high-efficiency HVAC and insulation, energy-efficient heat pumps, high-efficiency lighting, and power units for large construction vehicles and cargo-delivery trucks to reduce idle engine time.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: While not every state may have a program such as Pennsylvania’s it never hurts to look and ask around. In addition to state grants, there may be federal or even private money that your small business could apply for.

 

Ohio State Scores With Zero Waste

Ohio State University has more than successful athletic teams to cheer about these days. The University recently announced that its one hundred thousand seat sports stadium has been designated a zero-waste facility.

The success is credited to strong working partnership between various departments across the university – a real team effort – to ensure that all administrators, staff, students, and visitors know how to play by the rules when it comes to recycling and waste diversion. At a recent game against rival, Purdue University, the attendance was over one hundred and five thousand people with an achieved landfill diversion rate of close to ninety five percent. Not content with a not-quite-perfect record, Ohio performed even better a few weeks later during a match-up against the University of Illinois – with a similar attendance rate, the recycling amount moved up to a little over ninety eight percent! The success is credit to improving the diversion for food waste – a very common trash bin item at sporting events.

While zero-waste state is often defined as achieving a ninety percent diversion rate, Ohio State realized that it could continue to cost costs if it surpassed that number. Most other zero-waste sports stadiums are considerably smaller that Ohio State’s but they served as a model to work off of as the University designed a plan that would work for them.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Setting up a recycling system at your business might seem like a daunting task – but when you take it one step at a time, you’ll see your diversion rate improve and your costs drop!

 

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