Bugs Eat Bombs

According to the U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., UFO's don't exist in the Nevada desert, just 3,850 tons of potatoes, 24,000 tons of steer manure, 1,200 tons of alfalfa and small concentrations of TNT. For 35 years, the Hawthorne Army Depot, Hawthorne, Nevada, used water in its munitions production and disposed of the spent liquid in unlined catchment pits next to its Nevada installation plant. Day & Zimmerman Hawthorn Corp. of Hawthorn, a contractor at the Army Depot, now is charged with cleaning up the contaminated soil.

Using a bioremediation process that combines a hay, water, manure, wood chip and potato compost with the explosive soil, the contractor says micro-organisms in the compost multiply and "consume" the explosives. Compost windrows are turned every 24 hours. And after 15 to 20 days, the soil is safe for the environment.

Sounds like these bugs are taking a bite out of bombs.

Source: Environmental Update

Privacy - It's in the Bag All your garbage may be in the bag, but it doesn't mean haulers have a right to peek at the contents. When a recent code set by Hamburg, N.Y., forced residents to place garbage in clear bags, one resident hauled the city into court, where a state judge ruled the practice a "clear" invasion of privacy.

According to the judge, citizens have the right to keep "the essence of their daily living activities" private. The ordinance was ruled an unconstitutional exercise of police power.

Nevertheless, Hamburg still defends the usefulness of clear bags - they allow trash collectors to determine which residents follow recycling rules.

The city plans to appeal. But in the meantime, it appears a trash "coverup" is clearly OK.

Source: the Associated Press

Toothbrush Take-Back Can't remember when to replace your toothbrush? Recycline Inc., Somerville, Mass., now has an easy reminder. People who subscribe to the company's program will receive a new toothbrush - made from recycled plastics - every three months, as recommended by the American Dental Association, Chicago.

And instead of throwing out that old brush, subscribers can use Recycline's postage-paid return recycling mailer to send back their used brush to the manufacturer. The company says it will recycle the toothbrushes for use in recycled plastic lumber.

The toothbrushes, called Preserve, come with a reusable holder that also is recyclable.

Brush away that plaque; don't brush off the waste.

Source: Recycline Inc.

Fantastic Plastic Visa International, the Austrian-based global credit card company, is the latest conglomerate to have a change of heart concerning the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products. After issuing a whopping 580 million cards worldwide in 1998, the company now supports using alternative plastics, according to News Canada, Toronto. By spring 1999, Visa recommended its card manufacturers, "in countries where banks require card products produced with more environmentally friendly material," substitute glycol-modified polyethylene teraphthalate (PET) for PVC.

Other corporations that also are following suit by switching from PVC to PET include General Motors Corp., Nike Inc., IKEA, Honda, The Body Shop, Sharp Co. and Tetra Pak.

Just one more reason to cut up your credit card.

Source: Greenpeace International