Tag Archives: Waste Stream

Emerson Helps Milwaukee Turn Waste into Energy

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Recently, Emerson Electric Company has been airing a fairly strong television advertisement campaign on many channels again, resurrected from a few years ago. The gist of the advertisements is that Emerson is providing cities and companies with solutions to problems that have “never been done before.” Originally these commercials were developed back in 2009 as the “It’s Never Been Done Before” campaign and they can be seen on Emerson’s YouTube Channel and explained in this Emerson news release. As it relates to sustainability, there is one very intriguing part of this campaign that seemed very out of the ordinary. It was the way in which Emerson has helped the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin increase its initiative to produce a substantial amount of electricity through its wastewater program. What the City of Milwaukee had developed was a methane producing system in its wastewater treatment plants to create electricity. Microbes are introduced into the wastewater tanks, where they digest the sewage to expel methane. The methane is then captured and turned into energy. This process is nothing new and Emerson was not the one to develop this for Milwaukee. However, what Emerson did was show  Continue Reading »

Banning Hard to Recycle Materials

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis As we all know, there are materials out there that are so synthetic and manufactured that breaking them down into something that can be reused again is very difficult. The ability for these materials to even breakdown over time in landfills is barely there. This then provides a significant obstacle to sustainability initiatives, namely zero waste ones. However, most big businesses can easily do away with the materials to achieve zero waste because they control what comes in. But what about public facilities or whole cities that are attempting to step up their sustainability and lessen their impact on the environment? The much discussed Mayor of New York City (NYC) has proposed a solution to this, on top of his already highly publicized handling of high sugar beverages and smoking. In his last State of the City Address on February 14, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg proposed a ban on polystyrene foam, or the trade named Styrofoam. What this will do for NYC, Bloomberg proposes, is dramatically decrease the cost to taxpayers while increasing the sustainability and decreasing the overall environmental impact. NYC currently has to absorb the cost to collect and house  Continue Reading »

The Waste Management Phoenix Open Steps up Sustainability

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Being a huge golf fan I usually tune in to watch the professional tournaments every weekend. This past weekend of January 31 to February 3 was no different with the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Arizona being held. However, the difference is in the company sponsoring the tournament, Waste Management, Inc. The tournament is one of the largest attended tournaments of the year, bringing up to half a million spectators in the week long activities. It also produces a one-of-a-kind golf atmosphere with the stadium 16th hole, a huge attraction for these spectators. With all day events every day, the attendees need to purchase food, drinks, and possibly souvenirs. This produces an enormous amount of trash that would usually be thrown in garbage bins and sent to the landfill. Since Waste Management (WM) sponsors the Phoenix Open, you think they would have a real easy job to get all that trash to the landfill by getting their own trucks to pick it all up. Now we get into why this topic relates to sustainability. WM has taken the pledge to make this event a zero waste event, providing the closest to a  Continue Reading »

Going Landfill-Free

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis An important part to becoming sustainable as a business, and as an extension a society, is dealing with the mounds of trash that is accumulated and then sent off to be dumped into landfills. According to the EPA, Americans generated 250 million tons of trash in 2010. This works out to over half a million tons every single day and 4.43 pound per person per day. Only 85 million tons of this was composted or recycled, coming out to be a 34.1% recycling rate. Even though this seems to be a low figure, it has steadily increased since mid-1990. As a business, the waste generated in offices can consist of material that is easily recyclable, like paper and plastic. However, waste material generated in the manufacturing process of a business can create a recycling challenge. The big American car manufacturer that you may have heard of, General Motors, has taken this recycling initiative head on to create a sustainable manufacturing process. As of June 2012, GM added its 100th landfill-free facility in Lansing, Michigan. The landfill-free designation literally means that the facility does not put one item  Continue Reading »