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Waste

The Death Throes of Printed Newspapers?

Written by , on July 20, 2011

Could the current scandals surrounding Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation organisation be a sign that printed newspapers are in their death throes? Dubious behaviour in a corporation and its management is often a sign of a failing business desperate for revenue. Printed newspapers are a relic of the industrial age and News Corporation seems […]  Read more »

Cleaning Up Fukushima with “Blue Goo”

Written by , on June 20, 2011

Japanese authorities are using a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that is then peeled off surfaces, taking microscopic particles of contaminants, including radioactive pollutants, with it to clean up the contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The "blue goo", or DeconGel, was discovered by accident in 2009 at the Hawaiian venture capital […]  Read more »

Solar Rubbish Dumps

Written by , on May 19, 2011

African Renewable Energies, a small London–based firm, aims to help poor communities in developing countries earn money and generate electricity from the innumerable rubbish tips around African cities. The idea is to cover landfill sites with thinfilm solar phovololtaic cells printed on to the flexible membranes used to cap landfills. Landfills in Africa are often […]  Read more »

Floating Islands Clean Waterways

Written by , on March 12, 2011

In 2000, Bruce Kania’s black dog, Rufus, jumped into a pond and came out red. Concerned for his dog and wondering what was going on, Bruce also saw a tremendous opportunity for invention, if he could develop a new and natural stewardship tool which could clean water and, in the process, improve life for all […]  Read more »

Recycling 100% of Plastic

Written by , on January 20, 2011

It is estimated that only about 12 percent of plastic sent to depots actually gets recycled. Because of problems such as glued-on paper labels and different types of plastic combined in one product, the rest goes to the landfill or is burnt. Scientists at the University of Warwick have now devised a system that could […]  Read more »

Overpackaging

Written by , on January 17, 2011

Why does this volume of ink need this much packaging? This is a HP 564 Colour  Ink Value Pack (which HP promotes as “avoiding wastage”) and a HP 564 Black Ink Value Pack, which contains the same ink as one HP 564XL cartridge but in three cartridges with three times the packaging plus a large […]  Read more »

Sustainable Sanitation for Slums

Written by , on November 26, 2010

It is estimated that around 2.6 billion people have no proper sanitation. A group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a low cost, modular sanitation solution which they call "Sanergy". The project, which would be operated and maintained by locals and the waste transported to nearby processing plants, through a network […]  Read more »

Pavement from Plastic Bottles

Written by , on November 22, 2010

Naji Khoury, an Assistant Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, has developed a cement-like material, called "Plastisoil", made from discarded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles which is mixed with soil. The mixture is then blended with a coarse aggregate and heated. The result is a hard yet non-watertight substance, similar to porous asphalt. With traditional […]  Read more »

Styrofoam Substitute from Milk and Clay

Written by , on November 20, 2010

Styrofoam is made from petroleum and is said to make up 25% of landfills. We recently wrote about a biodegradable styrofoam substitute made from mushrooms (see Are Mushrooms the New Plastic?). Now, scientists have created another biodegradable styrofoam-like material using mostly milk and clay. The research began with an accidental discovery at Case Western Reserve […]  Read more »

Are Mushrooms the New Plastic?

Written by , on November 10, 2010

Eben Mayer says that styrofoam makes up 25% of landfills. He believes that he has found an alternative to this "toxic white stuff" in mushrooms, as h e explains in this nine-minute video:  Read more »