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Need to Know

10 Things You Need to Know for the Waste & Recycling Industry Today (August 27, 2014)

  1. EPA to clean up abandoned waste site that has plagued Houston neighborhood “The federal government said Monday it will step in to clean up an abandoned industrial waste facility that has afflicted a south Houston neighborhood for years. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to spend at least $500,000 to remove containers with hazardous chemicals - such as cancer-causing benzene and methyl ethyl ketone, a nose- and throat-irritating solvent - from the CES Environmental Services site on Griggs Road.” (Houston Chronicle)
  2. Michigan landfill operator suspends receipt of low-level radioactive waste “A Van Buren Township hazardous-waste landfill operator, slated to receive up to 36 tons of low-level radioactive waste from a Pennsylvania fracking company, announced Monday that it will suspend receipt of such materials from all oil and gas operations pending a review by the state. EQ, a USEcology company, made its determination as Gov. Rick Snyder announced plans to form a panel of experts to look at Michigan’s standards for disposing of low-level radioactive waste.” (Marcellus.com)
  3. EPA reaches agreement with Honolulu to continue cleanup at Waipahu Ash Landfill “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the City and County of Honolulu recently signed an agreement to begin work on the second phase of cleanup at the Waipahu Ash Landfill site on Oahu. ‘Honolulu’s latest agreement will allow the ongoing cleanup at the old ash landfill to proceed to the next stage,’ said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. ‘The work by the city to evaluate the site for remaining health and environmental risks is set to begin this month and will be completed over the next few years.’” (Green Living Guy)
  4. Trash burning worldwide significantly worsens air pollution “Unregulated trash burning around the globe is pumping far more pollution into the atmosphere than shown by official records. A new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimates that more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned in such fires, emitting gases and particles that can substantially affect human health and climate change. The new study provides the first rough estimates, on a country-by-country basis, of pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, and mercury that are emitted by the fires. Such pollutants have been linked to serious medical issues.” (Science Daily)
  5. Assembly rejects statewide plastic bag ban bill “The Assembly on Monday rejected legislation that would make California the first state to impose a ban on single-use plastic bags, but the bill could be heard again later this week. SB270 failed Monday on a 37-33 vote that crossed party lines after an hour-long debate largely focused on a 10-cent fee grocers can charge for bags.” (The Press Democrat)
  6. Organic Waste Added to School District’s Recycling Program “The Garnet Valley School District is building on its energy program with another strategy to increase sustainability. With a final agreement probable in September, the board heard a presentation on a Landfill Avoidance Program from Don Holland of ASI Comprehensive Waste Management. After a study and audit of the district’s waste stream, ASI has estimated a substantial increase in what can be diverted to recycling processes rather than landfills. Specifically, Holland cited organic food products generally tossed into cafeteria trash bins in all schools.” (Delaware County News Network)
  7. M'ville firm to pay EPA fine, spend $230K to clean hazardous waste “SeaCast, Inc., a metal casting facility in Marysville, has agreed to pay a fine and make improvements to reduce the amount of hazardous waste at its facility by 40 percent. As part of the settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency, Seacast will invest at least $230,000 to install and operate a production process ‘water blast’ system to clean its waste. ‘SeaCast has found a way to modify its production process and reduce its reliance on caustic cleaning solutions as a part of this settlement,’ said Scott Downey, manager of EPA’s hazardous waste inspection unit in Seattle.” (The Arlington Times)
  8. Recycling program continues to grow in Stillwater “The city of Stillwater currently offers residential curbside single stream recycling. Stillwater also has the Convenience Collection Center which takes all of the regular recyclables plus many more recyclable items. The city also offers commercial roll off recycling services.” (Stillwater News Press)
  9. Enhanced recycling program in Tuscaloosa will handle glass “Starting next year, Tuscaloosa residents will be able to add glass to the list of recyclable items that they can keep out of area landfills. The West Alabama Recycling Partnership, made up of the city of Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama and the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority, has been awarded a $213,606 grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to expand and enhance recycling programs in West Alabama.” (Tuscaloosa News)
  10. Contract Approved for Demolition of Old Recycling Plant “At a Monday night meeting, Des Moines city council members approved plans to demolish a burned out recycling plant. The facility on Scott Avenue was intentionally set on fire last September. Since then it’s been left untouched. Council members approved a $279,000 contract to a construction company to clear the area. The price tag will cover clearing the site, recycling metal and concrete left behind, and disconnecting the utilities and plumbing.” (WHOTV.com)
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