Converting Waste Toilet Paper Into Electricity. Water Online, September 12, 2017.
First techno-economic analysis of the ultimate waste recycling concept
Chemists at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Sustainable Chemistry research priority area, together with colleagues from the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development of Utrecht University, have published the first techno-economic analysis of converting waste toilet paper into electricity.
In the journal Energy Technology, they propose a two-step process and calculate a cost per kWh comparable to that of residential photovoltaic installations.
Waste toilet paper (WTP) is not often considered an asset. In fact, most people usually prefer not to think about it at all. Yet it is a rich source of carbon, containing 70–80 wt% of cellulose on a dry basis.
On average, people in Western Europe produce 10–14 kg waste toilet paper per person per year. Accumulating in municipal sewage filters, it is a modest yet significant part of municipal waste.
The ultimate waste has a negative cost
At the same time, waste toilet paper is a businessman’s dream because it is one of the few raw materials with a negative cost. While this may vary across countries and regions, in the Netherlands wastewater treatment facilities pay around 70 €/ton to get rid of WTP. It is therefore an extremely attractive resource since people will actually pay you to take it off their hands.
Read the complete article.
Lebanese designers keep waste from going to waste. Al-Monitor, June 2017.
In a country plagued by a garbage crisis ongoing since summer 2015, several Lebanese designers have rolled up their sleeves to save glass, plastic and rubber from already full landfills.
The carafes, water pitchers and glasses in this undated photo were made from used bottles. (photo by Cedar Environmental Consultancy)
The colorful and practical designs of NK by Nour Kays, Waste Studio and the Green Glass Recycling Initiative Lebanon make chic clutch bags out of plastic bags and maps and cups out of old bottles.
Local and regional initiatives in Lebanon have encouraged people to sort garbage at home or to dispose of plastic, glass and paper at recycling centers, but few nationwide measures have attempted to address the country’s garbage crisis on a larger scale.
In this vacuum, some artists and environmental experts have focused their time and energy on finding small-scale solutions
Read the complete article.
Entrepreneur who makes building materials from waste. Standard Digital, January 27, 2017.
Dr Aghan Oscar displays one of the tiles made at his factory using waste plastics.
With the high prices of steel, vandalism of metals and rotting of timber, experts in the built environment are coming up with alternative building technologies that are cheap, durable and free from vandalism.
One such expert is Dr Aghan Oscar, who is recycling waste plastic into building materials and selling them to developers who use them to provide affordable housing.
Dr Oscar produces the materials at his industry in Kariobangi South, Nairobi. Some of the products include lumber planks, paving slabs, manhole covers, ridge tiles, and fencing posts.
The company – Continental Renewable Energy Co Ltd (Corec) – was born in 2013. Dr Oscar has contracted Kariobangi youth to collect, clean, crush and sell scraps to the factory.
The fencing posts come in various sizes that sell for between Sh800 and Sh1,000 per post. He says they make about 100 posts per day and sell them to the Kenya National Highways Authority and individuals.
Read the complete article.
New York City Fights Scavengers Over a Treasure: Trash | Source: New York Times, Mar 20 2016 |
The video begins with ominous notes from a piano and an image of crime scene tape. The camera pans to men hunched over garbage pails, sifting for bottles, and a stoop-shouldered woman towing a shopping cart full of cans. Some might feel sympathy for these collectors, but the video makes clear that the New York City Sanitation Department, which made the video and posted it online, wanted them to be seen as something else: common criminals.
“Scavengers are putting the Department of Sanitation’s recycling program at risk, by removing the most valuable recyclables,” a voice-over begins. “Nobody wants to be perceived of as picking on the little guy, but the lone scavenger is now an organized, sophisticated mob of scavenger collectives that systematically removes valuable recyclables,” it continues. “Recycling is the law. Scavenging is a crime. Don’t allow scavenging to steal recycling’s future.”
The moment refuse hits the curb it becomes the city’s property — and the city’s problem. From there, materials like metals, cardboard and plastic are supposed to enter into the vast web of the recycling process, a network of carters and sorters, compactors and remelters. The theft of such items has long been an issue, taking a toll on the city’s curbside recycling, or diversion, rate. The problem has peaked and fallen over the years as prices for commodities have fluctuated.
Read the complete article.
Recycling is something in which we all have a role to play. It’s one of the easiest ways we can contribute to protecting our environment. When it comes to recycling at home, there often seems to be a mismatch between our good intentions and our actions and in many countries around the world, less than a third of us recycle at home.
How can we nudge people to incorporate better recycling habits into their daily routines at home? What tools, campaigns or services might we design to support habit changes that stick? Together with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) – one of the world’s largest independent bottlers of Coca-Cola products – we’re asking the OpenIDEO community to help us find creative ways to encourage people to recycle at home.
UN: Treated Waste Could be ‘Gold Mine’ | Source: Environmental Leader – Oct 10 2013
Recycling and waste treatment can be a “gold mine,” perhaps literally, according to a UN report that finds treated waste can be put to profitable use.
For example, 1 metric ton of electrical and electronic wastecontains as much gold as 5 to 15 metric tons of typical gold ore, and amounts of copper, aluminum and rare metals that exceed by many times the levels found in typical ores. As a result, printed circuit boards are probably the “richest ore stream you’re ever going to find,” according to the Guidelines for National Waste Management Strategies: Moving from Challenges to Opportunities.
Many waste products can be reused and, if waste is separated at source, the uncontaminated organic fraction can be composted or digested anaerobically, the report says.
Issue 50 April 6, 2012 | Focus on the Informal Sector and Solid Waste Management
The informal waste sector provides a much needed service in the developing world; the work of this sector reduces waste in communities, increases the reclamation and reuse of materials, and helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. This issue of the WASHplus Weekly contains recent reviews on the economics of the informal sector and the diseases and injuries that waste pickers endure. Also included are case studies from Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, the Philippines, and recent videos.
Please let WASHplus know at any time if you have resources to share for future issues of WASHplus Weekly or if you have suggestions for future topics. An archive of past Weekly issues is available on the WASHplus website.
Dec. 1, 2011 – Entrepreneur turns Pakistan’s tons of garbage into a handsome profit while saving the environment.
Clean” and “green” are words not usually associated with the streets of Lahore, but a garbage collecting business is changing the image of the Pakistani city.
And it is making millions of dollars in the process, by turning waste into liquefied petroleum products and fertiliser for farmlands.