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Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste
Dumpster diving. The term alone is guaranteed to put a smile on your face - whether it is one of actual enjoyment or disbelief, I am not sure. Yet this phenomenon, where people sometimes quite literally ‘dive’ in the dumpsters in their neighbourhood to hunt for thrown-away treasures, is seeing an uptake after some of its most famous proponents recently made headlines again. Food and perfectly good things thrown away With the loot varying from hundreds of left-over desserts to household equipment and sometimes even cash money, it is not hard to see why some have turned this somewhat peculiar hobby into a way of life. A fact is that we, as the collective world population, are throwing away too many perfectly good things. From food to clothes and from electronics to toys: consumerism has taken a turn for the worse, now that we discard items once we are ‘done’ with them, rather than after they have been used fully. Take the issue of food waste. Every year, an average one-third of the food that is produced in the world for the purpose of human consumption is wasted. Simply thrown away. I don’t want to risk sounding too patronising, but the old mom-trick is painfully relevant here: “You should eat your dinner, poor children in Africa would kill for it.”   And while it is a cliche of the worst kind, it unfortunately rings true. While some of us are having the luxury of discarding perfectly good food items, others are starving. The world’s wealth has always been distributed unequally - but so has the food supply. The billions and billions worth of food thrown out in the western world, simply because it is a day past the expiration date, is inexcusable.   Coming back to dumpster diving. A lot of people are claiming that they are doing it as a way of showing their outrage with consumerism and waste. Others just say that it is fun and addictive. There’s this Dutch guy, Theo Vreugdenhill, who claims that he merely tries to " save perfectly good food from the trash”. As he says, “I simply cannot stand by idly if good food is thrown away, only because there is a tiny dent in it, happens to be slightly damaged, or is nearing its expiration date. Especially when I look around and see how many people are struggling to get by. ” He is not doing it for himself, quite the contrary. He is a preacher in a local church and takes two full crates with him to service on Sunday, for those who are unable to provide in their own needs. The products that he finds? Quite diverse, actually: from cheese to beer, butter, yoghurt, fruit drinks, feta cheese, salads and fruit. Although he has also come across perfectly good vacuum cleaners and laptops in the past, which just goes to show how careless we are in what we throw away. Not everything can be found in the dumpster: most divers will agree that it are mostly perishable items, such as vegetables, fruit and bread. So you probably should not quite be ready to give up the day job and spent your days as a full-time dumpster diver: products like rice, peanut butter, soda, dish soap and detergent are pretty hard to come by.   Would you still want to try and find your inner dumpster diver and fill your fridge with leftovers? Then you can quite literally take the dive and plunge in the bins headfirst, although you could also try to talk to some shop owners yourself. Especially if your good cause stretches beyond feeding your immediate family, they might be very willing to hold on to that day’s excess for you and hand it to you in a bag instead of making you scour for it. Some other hints, as shared by experienced dumpster divers: Do not wear your Sunday’s best for the diving part - while it is not nearly as gross as many people suspect, it is not something that you want to do in your favourite shirt and jeans either. Only go dumpster diving at night, preferably after the shops are closed. This way, you avoid awkward situations with shoppers walking out of the store while you are digging around in the trash. Do not climb any fences or force open gates. Trespassing is not appreciated nor legal, so stay off private property. Stick to the curb-side. Always clean up after yourself. Leaving behind a mess of torn apart bags and scattered trash is bad taste and will most likely set some bad blood. Be a good neighbour and make sure that the people whose trash you are raiding do not mind. Be open about what it is that you are doing: you might get some funny looks from passerbys, who might even think of you as some homeless person. Talk to people who spotted you and explain what you are doing and what you have found.   Very practical: use a headlight, so that you can freely use your hands while digging; and make sure to bring plenty of bags and boxes and, preferably, a way of transporting your newfound treasures. Not quite ready to go out and dig in your community’s trash bins yet? Then you can do other things to cut back on your food waste. In order to actively encourage you to do so, you will be happy to find that there are quite a few apps that remind you to do so and give helpful hints. One of those apps is Too Good To Go , specifically designed for bargain hunters: businesses can post their leftovers in the app at steep discounts (adding up to at least 50-75%), after which shoppers can come in to collect the relatively fresh food at a great prize.   Another popular app is Olio , which allows you to share food with your local community. Handy if you are going on holiday, for instance. Your leftover food can be listed, along with a preferred pick-up point and pick-up time, and people in your community will be able to take it off your hands.   Unsung kind of does the same as Olio, except that it works with volunteers, in a charitable set-up. After posting your ‘offer’, one of the Unsung volunteers will come pick it up and deliver it to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Basically, the volunteers are the delivery guys who pick up your food and drop it off with people who need it the most. Finally, Eat Me prevents your food from going bad: it creates a timer for all the food that you have in your fridge. Scan the food as you put it in the fridge, after which it will alert you if it is about to go bad. A fun fact: this app was actually the idea of two teenage girls, who are still involved in the company. Look, I don’t care if you are digging through trashcans or donating your leftovers through one of the apps listed above. The essence remains the same: avoiding a situation where you have to throw away food while someone else in your community might be going hungry. And that is definitely something worth fighting - or dumpster diving - for. By: Metro/Sharai Hoekema Original article in Dutch  https://www.whatsorb.com/category/waste
Dumpster diving. The term alone is guaranteed to put a smile on your face - whether it is one of actual enjoyment or disbelief, I am not sure. Yet this phenomenon, where people sometimes quite literally ‘dive’ in the dumpsters in their neighbourhood to hunt for thrown-away treasures, is seeing an uptake after some of its most famous proponents recently made headlines again. Food and perfectly good things thrown away With the loot varying from hundreds of left-over desserts to household equipment and sometimes even cash money, it is not hard to see why some have turned this somewhat peculiar hobby into a way of life. A fact is that we, as the collective world population, are throwing away too many perfectly good things. From food to clothes and from electronics to toys: consumerism has taken a turn for the worse, now that we discard items once we are ‘done’ with them, rather than after they have been used fully. Take the issue of food waste. Every year, an average one-third of the food that is produced in the world for the purpose of human consumption is wasted. Simply thrown away. I don’t want to risk sounding too patronising, but the old mom-trick is painfully relevant here: “You should eat your dinner, poor children in Africa would kill for it.”   And while it is a cliche of the worst kind, it unfortunately rings true. While some of us are having the luxury of discarding perfectly good food items, others are starving. The world’s wealth has always been distributed unequally - but so has the food supply. The billions and billions worth of food thrown out in the western world, simply because it is a day past the expiration date, is inexcusable.   Coming back to dumpster diving. A lot of people are claiming that they are doing it as a way of showing their outrage with consumerism and waste. Others just say that it is fun and addictive. There’s this Dutch guy, Theo Vreugdenhill, who claims that he merely tries to " save perfectly good food from the trash”. As he says, “I simply cannot stand by idly if good food is thrown away, only because there is a tiny dent in it, happens to be slightly damaged, or is nearing its expiration date. Especially when I look around and see how many people are struggling to get by. ” He is not doing it for himself, quite the contrary. He is a preacher in a local church and takes two full crates with him to service on Sunday, for those who are unable to provide in their own needs. The products that he finds? Quite diverse, actually: from cheese to beer, butter, yoghurt, fruit drinks, feta cheese, salads and fruit. Although he has also come across perfectly good vacuum cleaners and laptops in the past, which just goes to show how careless we are in what we throw away. Not everything can be found in the dumpster: most divers will agree that it are mostly perishable items, such as vegetables, fruit and bread. So you probably should not quite be ready to give up the day job and spent your days as a full-time dumpster diver: products like rice, peanut butter, soda, dish soap and detergent are pretty hard to come by.   Would you still want to try and find your inner dumpster diver and fill your fridge with leftovers? Then you can quite literally take the dive and plunge in the bins headfirst, although you could also try to talk to some shop owners yourself. Especially if your good cause stretches beyond feeding your immediate family, they might be very willing to hold on to that day’s excess for you and hand it to you in a bag instead of making you scour for it. Some other hints, as shared by experienced dumpster divers: Do not wear your Sunday’s best for the diving part - while it is not nearly as gross as many people suspect, it is not something that you want to do in your favourite shirt and jeans either. Only go dumpster diving at night, preferably after the shops are closed. This way, you avoid awkward situations with shoppers walking out of the store while you are digging around in the trash. Do not climb any fences or force open gates. Trespassing is not appreciated nor legal, so stay off private property. Stick to the curb-side. Always clean up after yourself. Leaving behind a mess of torn apart bags and scattered trash is bad taste and will most likely set some bad blood. Be a good neighbour and make sure that the people whose trash you are raiding do not mind. Be open about what it is that you are doing: you might get some funny looks from passerbys, who might even think of you as some homeless person. Talk to people who spotted you and explain what you are doing and what you have found.   Very practical: use a headlight, so that you can freely use your hands while digging; and make sure to bring plenty of bags and boxes and, preferably, a way of transporting your newfound treasures. Not quite ready to go out and dig in your community’s trash bins yet? Then you can do other things to cut back on your food waste. In order to actively encourage you to do so, you will be happy to find that there are quite a few apps that remind you to do so and give helpful hints. One of those apps is Too Good To Go , specifically designed for bargain hunters: businesses can post their leftovers in the app at steep discounts (adding up to at least 50-75%), after which shoppers can come in to collect the relatively fresh food at a great prize.   Another popular app is Olio , which allows you to share food with your local community. Handy if you are going on holiday, for instance. Your leftover food can be listed, along with a preferred pick-up point and pick-up time, and people in your community will be able to take it off your hands.   Unsung kind of does the same as Olio, except that it works with volunteers, in a charitable set-up. After posting your ‘offer’, one of the Unsung volunteers will come pick it up and deliver it to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Basically, the volunteers are the delivery guys who pick up your food and drop it off with people who need it the most. Finally, Eat Me prevents your food from going bad: it creates a timer for all the food that you have in your fridge. Scan the food as you put it in the fridge, after which it will alert you if it is about to go bad. A fun fact: this app was actually the idea of two teenage girls, who are still involved in the company. Look, I don’t care if you are digging through trashcans or donating your leftovers through one of the apps listed above. The essence remains the same: avoiding a situation where you have to throw away food while someone else in your community might be going hungry. And that is definitely something worth fighting - or dumpster diving - for. By: Metro/Sharai Hoekema Original article in Dutch  https://www.whatsorb.com/category/waste
Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste
Dumpster Diving: A Hobby That Helps To Combat Food Waste
Recycling Asphalt Generates Massive Amount Of Electricity
REKO has started the construction of a new thermal cleaning installation in Rotterdam that will completely convert 1.2 million tonnes of residual materials into primary raw materials, electricity and heat. The realization of this project involves an investment of 125 million euros. REKO, Recycling Combination REKO B.V, is a producer of sand, gravel and fillers from mineral residues. The company mainly uses asphalt as raw material from road construction and roof leather from utility construction. REKO developed its innovative process specifically intended for the thermal cleaning of these mineral residues. This led to the first thermal cleaning installation that was commissioned by REKO in 2006. In this installation, all harmful substances present in the asphalt burn completely. The thermal cleaning process results in clean sand, gravel and filler - ready for reuse . Also, the installation provides hot waste gases from which energy is recovered in the form of steam, and later on, electricity via a steam turbine. Approximately 30 thousand megawatts of electricity are generated per year: the same amount that approximately 7,500 households on yearly basis. In the past 12 years, 7.2 million tonnes of clean sand and gravel have been produced for the Dutch construction industry. The largest recycle capacity in the world The new installation is considerably more efficient because it uses the most new techniques. Moreover, the 12 years of experience that REKO has gained in the field of thermal cleaning has been incorporated into this installation. The new installation not only uses less energy, but also generates considerably more energy. It can generate electricity for as many as 50,000 households. In addition, the installation is made suitable for supplying heat in addition to electricity. The REKO processing technology is a textbook example for circular economy, in which residual materials are 100% converted into new raw materials. With the new installation, REKO has the largest capacity in the world to fully recycle this type of contaminated building material. Recycling for a European market In the past, coal tar was used as a binder in the production of asphalt, which contains polluting polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, better known as PAHs. In the Netherlands, since 2001, tar-containing asphalt can no longer be used in the production of new asphalt. The tar-containing asphalt granulate must be processed in a way that the polluting components, such as PAHs, are completely destroyed. At the time, the Dutch legislator was the first in Europe with the requirement to permanently remove paks from the chain. This year, the Flemish government followed this example. REKO fulfills the government's objective of removing these harmful substances from the environment . The newest thermal cleaning installation is partly built considering the development of the international market. David Heijkoop, director of REKO: “Due to the size of our installation, in combination with the large-scale recovery of the energy released, we can reduce the costs for our customers. Also, the location of REKO in the port of Rotterdam provides an excellent starting position for the rest of Europe: we can supply over water. When realized that the Netherlands imports 20 million tons of sand and gravel as primary raw materials for construction from abroad every year, it becomes clear that we can partly meet that need," he adds.  REKO will soon be able to supply around 1.5 million tonnes of clean sand and gravel annually. Electricity and heat The thermal cleaning installation uses energy to ignite the combustible components in the asphalt and roof leather. Through the process, four to five times more energy is released then used. In the existing installation, that energy is used to generate electricity. The new installation makes this conversion to electricity much more efficient, and also supplies heat in the form of hot water. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is contributing € 1 million for the realization of this specific part of the installation. The installation will be able to flexibly choose to what extent the energy released during the cleaning process will be converted into heat and / or electricity. When the heat is not required, the installation will convert the energy into electricity. The work on the construction of the new thermal cleaning installation has already started. According to planning, the new installation will be commissioned in mid-2020. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/waste
REKO has started the construction of a new thermal cleaning installation in Rotterdam that will completely convert 1.2 million tonnes of residual materials into primary raw materials, electricity and heat. The realization of this project involves an investment of 125 million euros. REKO, Recycling Combination REKO B.V, is a producer of sand, gravel and fillers from mineral residues. The company mainly uses asphalt as raw material from road construction and roof leather from utility construction. REKO developed its innovative process specifically intended for the thermal cleaning of these mineral residues. This led to the first thermal cleaning installation that was commissioned by REKO in 2006. In this installation, all harmful substances present in the asphalt burn completely. The thermal cleaning process results in clean sand, gravel and filler - ready for reuse . Also, the installation provides hot waste gases from which energy is recovered in the form of steam, and later on, electricity via a steam turbine. Approximately 30 thousand megawatts of electricity are generated per year: the same amount that approximately 7,500 households on yearly basis. In the past 12 years, 7.2 million tonnes of clean sand and gravel have been produced for the Dutch construction industry. The largest recycle capacity in the world The new installation is considerably more efficient because it uses the most new techniques. Moreover, the 12 years of experience that REKO has gained in the field of thermal cleaning has been incorporated into this installation. The new installation not only uses less energy, but also generates considerably more energy. It can generate electricity for as many as 50,000 households. In addition, the installation is made suitable for supplying heat in addition to electricity. The REKO processing technology is a textbook example for circular economy, in which residual materials are 100% converted into new raw materials. With the new installation, REKO has the largest capacity in the world to fully recycle this type of contaminated building material. Recycling for a European market In the past, coal tar was used as a binder in the production of asphalt, which contains polluting polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, better known as PAHs. In the Netherlands, since 2001, tar-containing asphalt can no longer be used in the production of new asphalt. The tar-containing asphalt granulate must be processed in a way that the polluting components, such as PAHs, are completely destroyed. At the time, the Dutch legislator was the first in Europe with the requirement to permanently remove paks from the chain. This year, the Flemish government followed this example. REKO fulfills the government's objective of removing these harmful substances from the environment . The newest thermal cleaning installation is partly built considering the development of the international market. David Heijkoop, director of REKO: “Due to the size of our installation, in combination with the large-scale recovery of the energy released, we can reduce the costs for our customers. Also, the location of REKO in the port of Rotterdam provides an excellent starting position for the rest of Europe: we can supply over water. When realized that the Netherlands imports 20 million tons of sand and gravel as primary raw materials for construction from abroad every year, it becomes clear that we can partly meet that need," he adds.  REKO will soon be able to supply around 1.5 million tonnes of clean sand and gravel annually. Electricity and heat The thermal cleaning installation uses energy to ignite the combustible components in the asphalt and roof leather. Through the process, four to five times more energy is released then used. In the existing installation, that energy is used to generate electricity. The new installation makes this conversion to electricity much more efficient, and also supplies heat in the form of hot water. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is contributing € 1 million for the realization of this specific part of the installation. The installation will be able to flexibly choose to what extent the energy released during the cleaning process will be converted into heat and / or electricity. When the heat is not required, the installation will convert the energy into electricity. The work on the construction of the new thermal cleaning installation has already started. According to planning, the new installation will be commissioned in mid-2020. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/waste
Recycling Asphalt Generates Massive Amount Of Electricity
Recycling Asphalt Generates Massive Amount Of Electricity
Combing Plastic Waste Out Oceans: Competition For Boyan Slat
A problem that has been discussed frequently and intensively: the amount of plastic that winds up in the earth’s oceans. At this point in time, it adds up to more than 13 million tons that ends up in the water each year - which makes up 70% of all marine litter items.   An incredible and unbelievable number, that has spurred governments to take action. Recently, the EU passed legislation that is to drastically cut down the use of single-use products by banning those products from the market for which an alternative is readily available and affordable.   As explained by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans: “ Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food. Today's proposals will reduce single use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favourite products .” Getting rid of the plastic waste Although this is a great effort at reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in our seas, it does not change any of the waste that is already floating around - nor will it completely solve the issue. Thankfully, more and more initiatives are arising that seek to combat the problem. One of these originates from the young German architect Marcella Hansch, who came up with a closed-loop platform that would best be described as a comb. Hansch came up with this idea while diving in Cape Verde, where she saw more plastic than fish. She learned from closer research that if the current plastic trend continues, there would be more plastic in the ocean by 2050 than fish. Determined to prevent this from happening, she created a filter system and fine-tuned it during her years in university, taking on extra engineering courses and studying ocean currents and different types of algae. A closed-loop platform that does not produce waste Eventually, her design took on the shape of a closed-loop system that does not generate any kind of waste. The combination of a bulbous shape and a extensive system of underwater channels are supposed to calm the ocean currents, which allows the plastic - which is lighter than water - to float to the surface from the depths of up to 30 meters that it could have been dragged under to, after which it can be skimmed off by the platform. This does not require any kind of filters or nets. After picking up the waste , her ultimate goal was to recycle it - which proved to be quite a laborious task, as the plastic’s molecular structure has been destroyed by the influence of the salt water, making it nearly impossible to recycle. This is why she came up with the original plan of running the waste through a plasma gasification process, that would convert the plastic to hydrogen and carbon dioxide - with the hydrogen serving as a energy source for the fuel cells powering the platform. Simultaneously, the carbon dioxide could serve as a nutrient for the algae cultures growing on the platform. Unfortunately, this approach did not make its way into the final product - as it would not have worked, according to Hansch. Yet she and her team are fully dedicated to finding a workable solution. Meanwhile, they are looking to roll out the project to get it operational soon, through the NGO Pacific Garbage Screening, that runs on volunteers (mostly engineering students) and donations, alongside support from the university of Aachen.   Testing the ‘Waste Comb’ and prototyping The system is extensively tried and tested on its validity, efficiency and feasibility, leading up to the quick development of a prototype - that will be taken out in the field to experience the real, harsh conditions of ocean life in a ‘safer’ setting, to find out whether it can hold up. For this, the team is actively raising funds and investors to help it get started. Why it would be interesting to check out this initiative? Well, for starters, because it is a scientifically and logically sound idea to rid the oceans of the plastics that are currently weighing it down. And yes, there are a large number of alternatives out there - the Ocean Cleanup initiative, and the Great Bubble Barrier, just to mention a few - but as Pacific Garbage Sceening’s Hansch strikingly put it, “ there's enough plastic in the ocean for everyone .” https://www.whatsorb.com/news/update-the-ocean-cleanup-boyan-slat
A problem that has been discussed frequently and intensively: the amount of plastic that winds up in the earth’s oceans. At this point in time, it adds up to more than 13 million tons that ends up in the water each year - which makes up 70% of all marine litter items.   An incredible and unbelievable number, that has spurred governments to take action. Recently, the EU passed legislation that is to drastically cut down the use of single-use products by banning those products from the market for which an alternative is readily available and affordable.   As explained by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans: “ Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food. Today's proposals will reduce single use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favourite products .” Getting rid of the plastic waste Although this is a great effort at reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in our seas, it does not change any of the waste that is already floating around - nor will it completely solve the issue. Thankfully, more and more initiatives are arising that seek to combat the problem. One of these originates from the young German architect Marcella Hansch, who came up with a closed-loop platform that would best be described as a comb. Hansch came up with this idea while diving in Cape Verde, where she saw more plastic than fish. She learned from closer research that if the current plastic trend continues, there would be more plastic in the ocean by 2050 than fish. Determined to prevent this from happening, she created a filter system and fine-tuned it during her years in university, taking on extra engineering courses and studying ocean currents and different types of algae. A closed-loop platform that does not produce waste Eventually, her design took on the shape of a closed-loop system that does not generate any kind of waste. The combination of a bulbous shape and a extensive system of underwater channels are supposed to calm the ocean currents, which allows the plastic - which is lighter than water - to float to the surface from the depths of up to 30 meters that it could have been dragged under to, after which it can be skimmed off by the platform. This does not require any kind of filters or nets. After picking up the waste , her ultimate goal was to recycle it - which proved to be quite a laborious task, as the plastic’s molecular structure has been destroyed by the influence of the salt water, making it nearly impossible to recycle. This is why she came up with the original plan of running the waste through a plasma gasification process, that would convert the plastic to hydrogen and carbon dioxide - with the hydrogen serving as a energy source for the fuel cells powering the platform. Simultaneously, the carbon dioxide could serve as a nutrient for the algae cultures growing on the platform. Unfortunately, this approach did not make its way into the final product - as it would not have worked, according to Hansch. Yet she and her team are fully dedicated to finding a workable solution. Meanwhile, they are looking to roll out the project to get it operational soon, through the NGO Pacific Garbage Screening, that runs on volunteers (mostly engineering students) and donations, alongside support from the university of Aachen.   Testing the ‘Waste Comb’ and prototyping The system is extensively tried and tested on its validity, efficiency and feasibility, leading up to the quick development of a prototype - that will be taken out in the field to experience the real, harsh conditions of ocean life in a ‘safer’ setting, to find out whether it can hold up. For this, the team is actively raising funds and investors to help it get started. Why it would be interesting to check out this initiative? Well, for starters, because it is a scientifically and logically sound idea to rid the oceans of the plastics that are currently weighing it down. And yes, there are a large number of alternatives out there - the Ocean Cleanup initiative, and the Great Bubble Barrier, just to mention a few - but as Pacific Garbage Sceening’s Hansch strikingly put it, “ there's enough plastic in the ocean for everyone .” https://www.whatsorb.com/news/update-the-ocean-cleanup-boyan-slat
Combing Plastic Waste Out Oceans: Competition For Boyan Slat
Combing Plastic Waste Out Oceans: Competition For Boyan Slat
Waste In Oceans: Plastic Soup And The Great Bubble Barrier
The concept of the ‘ plastic soup ’, also known as the Great Pacific garbage patch or trash vortex, has become a rather infamous one over the last few years. As the word suggests, it is best imagined as a literal bowl of soup, filled with plastic and debris instead of vermicelli. The currents of the ocean are pushing a large field of trash around, concentrating it in an area of the ocean somewhere between Hawaii and California.   Back in 1988, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) of the United States already hypothesised its existence, after which the sailer Charles J. Moore became the first to accidentally witness it in 1997 - when he ended up in a stretch of floating debris on his way home from a yacht race. According to the best current estimates, the area would roughly be the size of Spain and France combined. A great danger to animal life and the ecosystem as a whole. FIGHT THE SOUP While pretty much everyone agrees that this is a problem that has to be combatted, the science and mechanics of how to go about doing so are far from definitive. This had made it a hot issue for young, innovative companies who want to do their part in making the world a better place. One of those companies is the Amsterdam-based start-up The Great Bubble Barrier .   Only a number of weeks ago, The Great Bubble Barrier won the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2018 - one of the largest annual international competitions that focuses on sustainable innovation. Founder Anne Marieke Eveleens took home a cheque worth half a million euros to further develop their “Bubble Barrier”, an innovation that uses an air bubble screen to prevent plastic and debris in rivers from reaching the ocean. USING THE BUBBLE BARRIER Approximately 80% of the plastic that floats around our earth’s oceans has gotten there through the rivers. As such, cutting off this passageway could drastically decrease the amount of new plastic entering the seas. This is why the working of this Bubble Barrier is pretty nifty. It employs a perforated tube that is placed on the riverbed, through which high-pressure air is sent. This does, in turn, create a curtain of air bubbles.   This curtain blocks both plastic waste on the surface - such as floating plastic bottles and packaging - as well as microparticles that are floating underwater. Besides blocking any garbage, it also guides it alongside the bubble curtain to the waterfront. The idea is that, through dedicated and swift collection procedures, it can be collected and subsequently recycled. SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE This solution is another example of great minds finding relatively simple solutions for complicated environmental problems, such as the plastic soup. Whereas most scientists tend to focus directly on the problem at hand - reducing the floating landfill that is already the size of a good part of Europe -, the solution of The Great Bubble Barrier focusses on ensuring that this will, in fact, not grow even larger, to an area that might encompass the whole of Europe.   Simultaneously, it prevents a situation that would most closely resemble a game of whack-a-mole; where a single clean-up effort might somewhat decrease the affected area, only to find that a fresh new supply of plastic and hubris has already joined the floating junkyard in the meantime. LOW IMPACT ON  ENVIRONMENT The solution itself has a relatively low impact on the environment, as it is merely a tube and high-pressure air that does the trick of blocking the debris. Furthermore, founder Anne Marieke Eveleens has already pledged to use some of her prize money to look into sustainable methods of trash collection.   Additionally, while using bubbles is great for blocking plastic, it is absolutely harmless - and perhaps even a natural occurrence - for sea animals and ships alike.   THE ROAD AHEAD Now that they have won the competition and pocketed the significant investment, the team is eager to get started. As one of their primary goals, they listed the introduction of a Bubble Barrier in a city in their native The Netherlands. Each of the major cities in this country boasts some kind of festival or festivity, during which a lot of garbage ends up in the channels - for example during King’s Day or during the Amsterdam GayPride. For 2019, The Great Bubble Barrier is looking to have a Bubble Barrier installed in at least one of these major cities, to lessen the pollution that is an unfortunate side-effect of these otherwise fun events. After that, the team is looking to expand its activities into Asia - after all, 8 of the 10 most polluting rivers in the world are in this continent. Just imagine the impact that a large number of strategically placed Bubble Barriers would have on the overall plastic soup.   So, excuse the pun: the promising bubble screen of this start-up will prove to be anything but a smokescreen.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/waste
The concept of the ‘ plastic soup ’, also known as the Great Pacific garbage patch or trash vortex, has become a rather infamous one over the last few years. As the word suggests, it is best imagined as a literal bowl of soup, filled with plastic and debris instead of vermicelli. The currents of the ocean are pushing a large field of trash around, concentrating it in an area of the ocean somewhere between Hawaii and California.   Back in 1988, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) of the United States already hypothesised its existence, after which the sailer Charles J. Moore became the first to accidentally witness it in 1997 - when he ended up in a stretch of floating debris on his way home from a yacht race. According to the best current estimates, the area would roughly be the size of Spain and France combined. A great danger to animal life and the ecosystem as a whole. FIGHT THE SOUP While pretty much everyone agrees that this is a problem that has to be combatted, the science and mechanics of how to go about doing so are far from definitive. This had made it a hot issue for young, innovative companies who want to do their part in making the world a better place. One of those companies is the Amsterdam-based start-up The Great Bubble Barrier .   Only a number of weeks ago, The Great Bubble Barrier won the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2018 - one of the largest annual international competitions that focuses on sustainable innovation. Founder Anne Marieke Eveleens took home a cheque worth half a million euros to further develop their “Bubble Barrier”, an innovation that uses an air bubble screen to prevent plastic and debris in rivers from reaching the ocean. USING THE BUBBLE BARRIER Approximately 80% of the plastic that floats around our earth’s oceans has gotten there through the rivers. As such, cutting off this passageway could drastically decrease the amount of new plastic entering the seas. This is why the working of this Bubble Barrier is pretty nifty. It employs a perforated tube that is placed on the riverbed, through which high-pressure air is sent. This does, in turn, create a curtain of air bubbles.   This curtain blocks both plastic waste on the surface - such as floating plastic bottles and packaging - as well as microparticles that are floating underwater. Besides blocking any garbage, it also guides it alongside the bubble curtain to the waterfront. The idea is that, through dedicated and swift collection procedures, it can be collected and subsequently recycled. SIMPLE YET EFFECTIVE This solution is another example of great minds finding relatively simple solutions for complicated environmental problems, such as the plastic soup. Whereas most scientists tend to focus directly on the problem at hand - reducing the floating landfill that is already the size of a good part of Europe -, the solution of The Great Bubble Barrier focusses on ensuring that this will, in fact, not grow even larger, to an area that might encompass the whole of Europe.   Simultaneously, it prevents a situation that would most closely resemble a game of whack-a-mole; where a single clean-up effort might somewhat decrease the affected area, only to find that a fresh new supply of plastic and hubris has already joined the floating junkyard in the meantime. LOW IMPACT ON  ENVIRONMENT The solution itself has a relatively low impact on the environment, as it is merely a tube and high-pressure air that does the trick of blocking the debris. Furthermore, founder Anne Marieke Eveleens has already pledged to use some of her prize money to look into sustainable methods of trash collection.   Additionally, while using bubbles is great for blocking plastic, it is absolutely harmless - and perhaps even a natural occurrence - for sea animals and ships alike.   THE ROAD AHEAD Now that they have won the competition and pocketed the significant investment, the team is eager to get started. As one of their primary goals, they listed the introduction of a Bubble Barrier in a city in their native The Netherlands. Each of the major cities in this country boasts some kind of festival or festivity, during which a lot of garbage ends up in the channels - for example during King’s Day or during the Amsterdam GayPride. For 2019, The Great Bubble Barrier is looking to have a Bubble Barrier installed in at least one of these major cities, to lessen the pollution that is an unfortunate side-effect of these otherwise fun events. After that, the team is looking to expand its activities into Asia - after all, 8 of the 10 most polluting rivers in the world are in this continent. Just imagine the impact that a large number of strategically placed Bubble Barriers would have on the overall plastic soup.   So, excuse the pun: the promising bubble screen of this start-up will prove to be anything but a smokescreen.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/waste
Waste In Oceans: Plastic Soup And The Great Bubble Barrier
Waste In Oceans: Plastic Soup And The Great Bubble Barrier
Municipal Solid Waste Management – How You Can Make a Difference
Every first Monday of October we celebrate World Habitat Day. First introduced in 1986, this United Nations event aims to “reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter”. Municipal Solid Waste Management is the main theme of this year’s celebration, and, as usual, I would like to use this opportunity to bring more awareness of the sustainability issues that are related to it and try to take a look at some of the solutions. So what is Municipal Solid Waste and how is it managed? Municipal Solid Waste consists of various types of refuse we encounter most often in our daily lives: household waste, construction and demolition debris, sanitation residue and waste from streets. There are two mains methods of managing solid waste – the centralised method, where all of the waste is collected and discarded without separation, usually into a landfill, and de-centralised method, where the waste requires prior separation into biodegradeable and non-biodegradable and is then disposed of based on its type. Once the waste is collected, there are several ways the municipality can dispose of it. In many parts of the world the most popular options are sanitary landfills and dumps. They are essentially the same – a place where all of the waste is collected in one area – with the only difference being that sanitary landfills are more concentrated and the waste’s contact with the environment is highly reduced. Dumps, on the other hand, are open areas that are exposed to the elements and animals and are often responsible for contamination of land and water. Another danger of dumps is the biodiversity impacts that they have: many species of animals that lived in the area get replaced by refuse-feeding species, such as rats and crows. These species will also spread disease and thus affect health of the residents in the area. Lastly, landfills harm the natural landscape and the smell makes them an unwanted sight in most residential areas. Another disposal method that is gaining popularity is thermal treatment. There are several types of thermal treatment, such as incineration, gasification, pyrolysis and others. This method allows to save space and is thus particularly beneficial in countries where land is scarce such as Japan. Incineration plants can also be constructed in a way that allows to harvest the energy released during the burning process and use that to generate electric power and heating. Many European countries rely heavily on this method, with Sweden actually importing trash from other countries to generate more energy. While this thermal treatment is a more sustainable alternative to landfills, there are concerns about its safety as harmful chemicals may get released into the air during the process. Many developed nations are moving towards the more sustainable thermal treatment and recycling , however according to World Bank over 90% of the waste in low-income countries is disposed of in unregulated dumps or openly burned. Effective waste management is expensive and requires specialised infrastructure, something many poor urban communities simply cannot afford. Lack of municipal resources pushes up demand for informal waste pickers and disposers - occupations that are highly dangerous and are often filled by women and children; air pollution, injuries and landfill collapses are only the few of the risks that they face on a daily basis.  And it’s not only the workers that are dealing with the waste directly that are affected by it. When waste is left untreated and unattended, it will inevitably start leaching toxic materials and pathogens into the soil and water. Many communities are left with no choice but to use the contaminated soil for farming and continue drinking the water, thereby consuming harmful chemicals. Communities that are located directly next to waste dumping sites often experience high occurrences of cancer, birth defects and various health issues. As treatment of contaminated soil and water requires use of advanced and expensive technology, it is nearly impossible to reverse the damage that was already done. Luckily, more organisations around the world are taking notice of the problem and are actively trying to help develop more affordable waste treatment methods and provide financing for waste management projects in poorer countries. While this will not help clean the areas that were already affected by waste, it will create safer disposals that will prevent further damage to the eco system. Reduce, reuse, recycle The reality is that we produce more and more trash every year and it is essential to improve the way solid waste is managed. This can be done on many levels – we should be changing the way we consume and produce various items, improving municipal governance systems, educating more capable city managers and changing our own daily habits. Naturally the best place to start making changes is ourselves, so let’s look at the ways we can contribute to better solid waste management. According to World Bank, in 2016 people living in cities produced 0.74 kilograms (1.63 lb) of waste per person per day. The first step one can take to help improve solid waste management is to produce less waste. Take a good look at what you buy and consume every week. Perhaps it is time to get yourself a nice shopper for your groceries or a stylish tumbler for your morning coffee (some coffee chains will offer you a discount for using your own tumbler!)? It is also worth researching what kind of packaging you might be able to return to the store – depending on where you live, you might be able to return glass or plastic bottles to the supermarkets and some farmers’ markets will be happy to accept empty egg cartons. Step two on the road to becoming more sustainable is reusing. This is probably something that you have heard a lot about recently when it comes to furniture and clothes – upcycling has definitely become a bit of a buzzword with many bloggers. The idea of taking objects that can no longer be used or repaired and using the parts to create something else is as old as time and it can take many forms. As an example, you could turn an old tablecloth that has stains in all the wrong places into a set of napkins, transform a picture frame into a vertical planter or use wooden pallets to make just about any piece of furniture you could think of. There are many very creative ideas to be found online and it is definitely worth taking some time to browse Pinterest or websites like www.upcyclethat.com before throwing something out. Who knows, perhaps you could turn old IKEA table into an amazing piece of art or discover a way to build a house out of pallets to keep all of your newly made pallet furniture in? Lastly, there is recycling. Normally recycling is presented as the most responsible way of managing waste, but it really should be the last step of the journey for an item. When something has already been bought and can no longer be used or transformed into something else – this is when it is time to recycle it. Recycling allows the items to be converted back into raw materials and objects, something that isn’t always possible to achieve at home. Every area will have different rules for separating recyclable materials, so please make sure to follow those as closely as possible – this is the only way you can be certain that they will get a second life. If you’re interested in this topic, click here to read more about one of the Seven Natural Wonders that is being overtaken by trash. And fashion is more your thing, click here to read why circular fashion is the trendiest choice you could make. Do you know of any waste management initiatives in your area? Or do you have interesting upcycling ideas? Share them in the comments!   https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/waste/recycling
Every first Monday of October we celebrate World Habitat Day. First introduced in 1986, this United Nations event aims to “reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter”. Municipal Solid Waste Management is the main theme of this year’s celebration, and, as usual, I would like to use this opportunity to bring more awareness of the sustainability issues that are related to it and try to take a look at some of the solutions. So what is Municipal Solid Waste and how is it managed? Municipal Solid Waste consists of various types of refuse we encounter most often in our daily lives: household waste, construction and demolition debris, sanitation residue and waste from streets. There are two mains methods of managing solid waste – the centralised method, where all of the waste is collected and discarded without separation, usually into a landfill, and de-centralised method, where the waste requires prior separation into biodegradeable and non-biodegradable and is then disposed of based on its type. Once the waste is collected, there are several ways the municipality can dispose of it. In many parts of the world the most popular options are sanitary landfills and dumps. They are essentially the same – a place where all of the waste is collected in one area – with the only difference being that sanitary landfills are more concentrated and the waste’s contact with the environment is highly reduced. Dumps, on the other hand, are open areas that are exposed to the elements and animals and are often responsible for contamination of land and water. Another danger of dumps is the biodiversity impacts that they have: many species of animals that lived in the area get replaced by refuse-feeding species, such as rats and crows. These species will also spread disease and thus affect health of the residents in the area. Lastly, landfills harm the natural landscape and the smell makes them an unwanted sight in most residential areas. Another disposal method that is gaining popularity is thermal treatment. There are several types of thermal treatment, such as incineration, gasification, pyrolysis and others. This method allows to save space and is thus particularly beneficial in countries where land is scarce such as Japan. Incineration plants can also be constructed in a way that allows to harvest the energy released during the burning process and use that to generate electric power and heating. Many European countries rely heavily on this method, with Sweden actually importing trash from other countries to generate more energy. While this thermal treatment is a more sustainable alternative to landfills, there are concerns about its safety as harmful chemicals may get released into the air during the process. Many developed nations are moving towards the more sustainable thermal treatment and recycling , however according to World Bank over 90% of the waste in low-income countries is disposed of in unregulated dumps or openly burned. Effective waste management is expensive and requires specialised infrastructure, something many poor urban communities simply cannot afford. Lack of municipal resources pushes up demand for informal waste pickers and disposers - occupations that are highly dangerous and are often filled by women and children; air pollution, injuries and landfill collapses are only the few of the risks that they face on a daily basis.  And it’s not only the workers that are dealing with the waste directly that are affected by it. When waste is left untreated and unattended, it will inevitably start leaching toxic materials and pathogens into the soil and water. Many communities are left with no choice but to use the contaminated soil for farming and continue drinking the water, thereby consuming harmful chemicals. Communities that are located directly next to waste dumping sites often experience high occurrences of cancer, birth defects and various health issues. As treatment of contaminated soil and water requires use of advanced and expensive technology, it is nearly impossible to reverse the damage that was already done. Luckily, more organisations around the world are taking notice of the problem and are actively trying to help develop more affordable waste treatment methods and provide financing for waste management projects in poorer countries. While this will not help clean the areas that were already affected by waste, it will create safer disposals that will prevent further damage to the eco system. Reduce, reuse, recycle The reality is that we produce more and more trash every year and it is essential to improve the way solid waste is managed. This can be done on many levels – we should be changing the way we consume and produce various items, improving municipal governance systems, educating more capable city managers and changing our own daily habits. Naturally the best place to start making changes is ourselves, so let’s look at the ways we can contribute to better solid waste management. According to World Bank, in 2016 people living in cities produced 0.74 kilograms (1.63 lb) of waste per person per day. The first step one can take to help improve solid waste management is to produce less waste. Take a good look at what you buy and consume every week. Perhaps it is time to get yourself a nice shopper for your groceries or a stylish tumbler for your morning coffee (some coffee chains will offer you a discount for using your own tumbler!)? It is also worth researching what kind of packaging you might be able to return to the store – depending on where you live, you might be able to return glass or plastic bottles to the supermarkets and some farmers’ markets will be happy to accept empty egg cartons. Step two on the road to becoming more sustainable is reusing. This is probably something that you have heard a lot about recently when it comes to furniture and clothes – upcycling has definitely become a bit of a buzzword with many bloggers. The idea of taking objects that can no longer be used or repaired and using the parts to create something else is as old as time and it can take many forms. As an example, you could turn an old tablecloth that has stains in all the wrong places into a set of napkins, transform a picture frame into a vertical planter or use wooden pallets to make just about any piece of furniture you could think of. There are many very creative ideas to be found online and it is definitely worth taking some time to browse Pinterest or websites like www.upcyclethat.com before throwing something out. Who knows, perhaps you could turn old IKEA table into an amazing piece of art or discover a way to build a house out of pallets to keep all of your newly made pallet furniture in? Lastly, there is recycling. Normally recycling is presented as the most responsible way of managing waste, but it really should be the last step of the journey for an item. When something has already been bought and can no longer be used or transformed into something else – this is when it is time to recycle it. Recycling allows the items to be converted back into raw materials and objects, something that isn’t always possible to achieve at home. Every area will have different rules for separating recyclable materials, so please make sure to follow those as closely as possible – this is the only way you can be certain that they will get a second life. If you’re interested in this topic, click here to read more about one of the Seven Natural Wonders that is being overtaken by trash. And fashion is more your thing, click here to read why circular fashion is the trendiest choice you could make. Do you know of any waste management initiatives in your area? Or do you have interesting upcycling ideas? Share them in the comments!   https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/waste/recycling
Municipal Solid Waste Management – How You Can Make a Difference
Municipal Solid Waste Management – How You Can Make a Difference
Waste

Waste, refuse, recycle: towards a circulair economy

Waste is something unwanted or are materials we cannot use anymore. Waste is any material or product which is worthless, defect or of any use. In the near past it had hardly any economic value anymore but nowadays there are plenty people and organisations which are recycling waste and make from the regained parts again valuable material for reuse. The Circular Economy at work.

Even better is a zero waste environment. That means no waste send to landfills. A zero waste lifestyle means: using less resources, eating healthier, saving money and less negative impact on the environment. Go for the 5 R’s: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.

By reducing waste we can make a big difference. If there was an urge to come up with waste reduction ideas and sustainable recycle solutions and share these topics globally it’s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about waste reduction your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally. 

Global Sustainability X-change, that’s what you can do together with WhatsOrb. What's in for me?

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