Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban

February 7, 2018 by  
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On January 1st, China banned imports of 24 kinds of trash – and the move is wrecking havoc on Hong Kong . Reuters describes a “growing mountain of waste” piling up in a city that recycles little of its garbage. Doug Woodring, founder of the Hong Kong-based Ocean Recovery Alliance, told Reuters, “Hong Kong is a rich city with third-world quality recycling. It has been too easy to send unprocessed waste to China.” Every year, Hong Kong sends 5.6 million metric tons – two thirds of its garbage – into landfills . They used to export more than 90 percent of recyclables over to China – up until the start of the year. Reuters reports that mountains of cardboard and newspapers are piling up on Hong Kong’s docks as plastic trash heads to landfills. Related: China bans ‘foreign waste,’ causing recycling chaos in America The government says it doesn’t have the space to create a productive recycling industry. Critics say the city hasn’t done enough to upgrade its waste management system. Woodring, for example, told Reuters the government has depended too much on expanding landfills, saying in regards to recycling, “Hong Kong has the capability to build processing plants. There is plenty of land. The land has just been misused and misallocated.” Deputy director for environmental protection Vicki Kwok told Reuters the government is planning to increase the size of three active landfills. The government also plans to begin charging people for the things they toss out – but it could be two years at least before they implement the move. They also hope to open a facility in 2018 to turn food waste into usable resources or energy – however it will only be able to recycle 200-300 metric tons daily. That’s just a fraction of the 3,600 metric tons of food waste Hong Kong generates in a single day. The government has announced measures to fight the waste dilemma like funding local recyclers, according to Kwok, but green groups say the local recycling industry isn’t able to process all the junk once shipped off to China. Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Hong Kong faces ‘growing mountain of waste’ in wake of China’s trash ban

Plogging: Sweden’s new fitness trend combines jogging and trash pickup

February 5, 2018 by  
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Plogging is a fitness trend that will help get you and the environment in shape. The BBC reported Scandinavians dreamed up this environmentally friendly form of exercise that blends jogging and picking up trash, and it’s taking off around the world. Joggers are taking their workout to new levels as they simultaneously run and pick up litter . The BBC said not only do ploggers receive the benefits of running, but also of core-boosting squat movements to bend down and grab those bottles, cans, or other junk discarded on the ground. All you need to become a plogger is a workout outfit, a bag to collect garbage, and, ideally, a pair of gloves. Related: This startup is training crows to throw away cigarette butt litter Core77 reported environmentalist Erik Ahlström is one of the movers and shakers behind the trend. When he moved from Swedish ski resort town Åre to Stockholm , he thought the city looked like a dump. He organized jogging groups to run equipped with gloves and garbage bags in an effort to clean up the city. He called this activity plogging, according to Core77, from the Swedish words for “to jog” and “to pick.” Plogga gruppen i Sundsvall går på djupet. Bra jobbat! #sundsvall @plogga A post shared by Plogga (@plogga) on Jul 12, 2017 at 12:27pm PDT Many people tend to sigh when they see litter, but the thought of picking it up still grosses them out. The plogging movement could change that, per the website Plogga , by making it trendy to clean up trash. Plogga cites Ahlström as the creator of plogging and calls on other people to get involved. The organization will help people get started or speak to businesses or schools about the fitness trend. En strålande förmiddag på så många vis! #plogging med underbara människor (för övrigt sjukt mycket skräp på bara en kvart!!!!) och sedan fantastiska stigar kring Hellasgården och stopp för kaffe. Japp, strålande på alla sätt!! ???? #teamnordictrail #plogga #plogging @ecotrailstockholm2017 @teamnordictrail @erikahlstromsweden @mar_ado A post shared by Miranda Kvist (@mirandakvist) on Oct 30, 2016 at 5:59am PDT The craze has caught on around the world. Plogging teams and communities are popping up from Paris to the United Kingdom to Thailand . + Plogga Via the BBC and Core77 Images via Depositphotos and Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash På regnigt uppdrag med bästa PLOGGA gänget i Visby/Almedalen! #plogga #havsmiljöinstitutet #hållsverigerent #almedalen #radiogotland A post shared by Plogga (@plogga) on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:40am PDT Idag har vi ploggat (plockat skräp+joggat). Förenat nytta med nöje. Det kändes så bra att röra på sig samtidigt som vi gav naturen lite ??. Vi fick ihop två fulla påsar på bara 3km. Tänkte köra igen nästa helg. Någon som hakar på oss? @supermiljobloggen @efagervall @markusfagervall @mrultimategreen @hallsverigerent @plogga #plogging #hållsverigerent #ettskräpomdagen A post shared by IDA KJOS (@idakjos) on Sep 16, 2017 at 8:47am PDT Plogging- Environmental tidy up Swedish style ie running whilst pick up rubbish . #plogging ,#plogger ,#swedish ,#environment ,#cleanup ,#runner ,#byronbayrunners A post shared by Geoff Bensley (@geoffbensley) on Feb 3, 2018 at 11:38pm PST

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Plogging: Sweden’s new fitness trend combines jogging and trash pickup

Scientists uncover hidden Mayan city of 10M people in Guatemala

February 5, 2018 by  
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An international team of researchers have identified tens of thousands of previously unknown Mayan structures using a high-tech aerial mapping technology known as Lidar. Discovered in the jungles of Guatemala , the ancient structures include homes, pyramids, defense installations, large-scale agricultural fields, and irrigation canals, suggesting that up to 10 million people lived in the area at its peak. “That is two to three times more [inhabitants] than people were saying there were,” Marcello A Canuto, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University, told The Guardian . Those that did live there clearly altered the landscape far more dramatically than previously thought. The research team, which includes scientists from the United States , Europe, and Guatemala working in collaboration with Guatemala’s Mayan Heritage and Nature Foundation , used Lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, to virtually cut through the thick jungle . Lidar works by bouncing pulsed laser light off of the ground to unveil contours otherwise hidden. In addition to its use in archaeology, lidar also serves to assist the control and navigation of self-driving cars. Further areas of lidar application include seismology, laser guidance, and atmospheric physics. Related: Hidden passageway discovered at ancient Mayan ruins The recent discoveries in the Peten region of Guatemala have shown that in some areas of the now-thick jungle, up to 95 percent of land was used for agriculture . “Their agriculture is much more intensive and therefore sustainable than we thought, and they were cultivating every inch of the land,” Francisco Estrada-Belli, research assistant professor at Tulane University, told The Guardian . To do so, the Mayans drained swampland that even today is considered unfit for farming. The large scale of the projects demonstrates the coordinated effort required to complete them. “There’s state involvement here, because we see large canals being dug that are re-directing natural water flows,” Thomas Garrison, assistant professor of anthropology at Ithaca College in New York, told The Guardian . Despite the discovery’s massive size, it would have likely remained unknown without Lidar technology. “I found [an ancient road],” explained Garrison, “but if I had not had the Lidar and known that that’s what it was, I would have walked right over it, because of how dense the jungle is.” Via The Guardian Images via Ithaca College and Depositphotos

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Scientists uncover hidden Mayan city of 10M people in Guatemala

Rusty shovel heads transformed into delicate lace-inspired sculptures

February 27, 2017 by  
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Artist Denise Bizot has a gift for breathing new life into an unexpected medium—rusted shovel heads. The New Orleans-based artist retrieves discarded shovel heads from salvage yards and carves beautifully intricate lace-inspired designs into the rusted surfaces. She typically keeps the oxidized patina intact for the visual contrast between the weathered object and the delicate new designs. Formerly a drafter in the petroleum industry, Bizot returned to Loyola New Orleans to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on sculpture. Her interest in found objects , particularly metals, sparked her metalworking craft and love of transforming discarded junk and debris found in New Orleans into beautiful sculptures. In addition to her reworked shovel heads and other sculptures, Bizot also creates more functional pieces such as metal room dividers and handmade tables. Related: Artist sculpts lifelike grizzly bear from recycled cardboard “Like many cities undergoing gentrification , New Orleans is replete with discarded metal, miscellaneous street junk and salvage yards teeming with all sorts of debris,” writes Bizot. “For me, the idea of reclaiming, deconstructing and transforming “so-called junk” into works of sculpture is fascinating.” + Denise Bizot

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Rusty shovel heads transformed into delicate lace-inspired sculptures

Japan successfully orbits giant space junk collector

December 12, 2016 by  
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Around 100 million pieces of trash cast off from satellites and rockets are circulating in space, causing hundreds of potentially dangerous collisions each year. Now Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) just blasted into orbit a space garbage collector, constructed with the help of a 106-year-old fishing net manufacturer, to help remedy the mess we humans have created. Secure aboard the HTV6 or KOUNOTORI6 vessel, the space trash collector reached its destination successfully Friday. Now the world waits to see just how well the garbage gatherer works. Made of an aluminum and stainless steel mesh with the help of fishing net manufacturer Nitto Seimo , the gatherer’s tether should generate electricity as it passes Earth’s magnetic field to slow junk. Scientists think this action will cause the junk to move into lower orbits so it can burn up in our planet’s atmosphere without harming anyone on Earth. Related: Japan Prepares to Launch Giant Net into Orbit to Sweep up Space Debris The tether made with Nitto Seimo’s fishnet plaiting technology is 2,300 feet long. But engineer Katsuya Suzuki said ultimately such a tether would need to be much longer – as much as 16,400 to 32,800 feet long – “to slow down the targeted space junk.” For now, the shorter tether will test how the design functions, with more trials likely to follow. A JAXA spokesperson said they hope to start regularly using the trash collector by 2025. Garbage can rocket through space at as much as 17,500 miles per hour, damaging expensive equipment and putting astronauts at risk, as harrowingly depicted in the 2013 movie Gravity . JAXA researcher Koichi Inoue told Bloomberg, “We need to take action on this massive amount of debris. People haven’t been injured by the debris yet, but satellites have. We have to act.” The cargo ship carrying the innovative trash collector also ferried drinking water and six lithium-ion batteries to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries that currently store energy from the International Space Station’s solar array. Via Phys.org and Bloomberg Images via JAXA ( 1 , 2 )

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Texas Man Builds Incredible 60-Ton Junk Cathedral from Salvaged Materials – But the City of Austin Wants to Tear it Down

October 5, 2012 by  
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Screenshot from The Junk King by Evan Burns A Texan man named Vince Hannemann has been collecting other people’s junk in his backyard since 1989. Over the past several years, he has constructed a massive “Cathedral of Junk” , much to the amusement and fascination of locals – but now the city of Austin wants him to bring the landmark up to code. A recent video by filmmaker Evan Burns documents the incredible structure – check it out after the break! Read the rest of Texas Man Builds Incredible 60-Ton Junk Cathedral from Salvaged Materials – But the City of Austin Wants to Tear it Down Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: austin , cathedral of junk , junk , junk cathedral , junk king , Recycled Materials , texas , vince hannemann

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Texas Man Builds Incredible 60-Ton Junk Cathedral from Salvaged Materials – But the City of Austin Wants to Tear it Down

Space Scientists Develop Harpoon System to Capture Rogue Satellites and Clean up Space Junk

October 4, 2012 by  
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Space junk has rapidly become a major problem for the world’s space agencies. Decades of satellite launches and missions have left the Earth’s orbit filled with pieces of junk such as fuel tanks, lost tools and parts of derelict satellites. It has gotten so bad that space junk has become such a concern for NASA and the ESA, and they are looking at several ways to deal with it. One proposed idea from Astrium UK is to develop a system to harpoon rogue or redundant satellites and pull them out of the sky. The system would see the harpoon fired at any potentially threatening satellite from close range. A propulsion pack tethered to the projectile would then pull the junk downwards, to burn up in the atmosphere. Speaking to BBC News , designer Dr Jaime Reed, from Astrium UK said, “Space has become a critical part of our infrastructure – from weather forecasting and Earth observation, to GPS and telecommunications.” Space junk poses a real threat to these vital services if we do nothing about it, and so it’s very important we develop capture technologies to remove some of this material. Studies have shown that taking out just a few large items each year can help us get on top of the problem. The harpoon system comprises of a barbed spear about 30cm in length, which is mounted on a “chaser satellite” that would edge to within 100m of a junk object. Once the harpoon is hooked through the skin of the rogue satellite, thrusters would fire dragging it back into the atmosphere. Prof Richard Crowther, of the UK Space Agency’s chief engineer said speaking to BBC News: “If you’ve watched James Bond films over the years, you know that anything with a harpoon, with a laser, with a net in space has the potential to grab another spacecraft and destroy it. So, we need to build reassurance within the space community and demonstrate that the systems being proposed are peaceful in their nature but also peaceful in the intent and the way in which they are going to be used.” To put into context the danger of space junk, a piece of metal a mere 1cm in size can hit with the impact of a .22 bullet in orbit, while a piece of junk the size of a tennis ball can hit a space shuttle with the devastation of 25 sticks of dynamite. Currently, there are over one million pieces of junk between 1cm and 10cm in size, not to mention 5,200 derelict satellites. + Astrium UK Via BBC News / Sen.com

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Space Scientists Develop Harpoon System to Capture Rogue Satellites and Clean up Space Junk

The Sea Chair: Fishing away plastic waste

August 22, 2011 by  
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Ankit Sharma: The Sea Chair Designed by Alexander Groves, Azusa Murakami and Kieren Jones Innovation is said to be at work when we do something different and unique to benefit people and other life forms inhabiting our planet. Three people knew it well. Alexander Groves, Azusa Murakami and Kieren Jones, all graduates of the Royal College of Arts in London have turned a fishing trawler on its head and made a sea cleaning machine by searching the plastic waste, which they lovingly call the Sea Chair, this being in a chair like structure. So, watch out all you plastic in the sea, the chair is coming to chuck you out. Picture Gallery The Sea Chair The Sea Chair by Alexander Groves, Azusa Murakami and Kieren Jones What’s it about? Well, people generally go for fishing in the sea, but the trio can proudly say that they go to fish plastic. And besides making the sea a better place for those marine inhabitants, they are also doing a great deal for the two legs land walker, the human. With growing population, logic dictates that one needs more chairs, and humans are known to pollute water bodies from time immemorial. So, why not combine the two and viola!, you have the Sea Chair. Methodology: You must be wondering, how’s this possible? Don’t fear. You shall get all your answers. The machine encompasses a fishing trawler with an on-board factory which sorts out the plastic pellets from the other denser elements. It uses a floatation tank which filters the debris. The chair scoops along the shore, picking up plastics hither and thither and all the junk goes in the tank which sits peacefully atop the machine. The machine has been nominated for the Victorinox Time To Care Award. If you want to vote, then you can visit their site and make your vote count. The designers are hoping that they get the award, because this will make their machine a reality, and they can start production soon. Even if they end up in top three, they will get enough funding to start production. So, people make your vote count and pave the way for change. The plastic pellets are popularly known as ‘nurdles’ among the industrial community. The designers found that they were the most prevalent amongst the debris during their research trip to Porthtowan beach. Their minds ran this way: the plastic pellets are the raw materials for injection molding. Being small, they will not be scooped up by other ‘sea cleaning’ machines, and as they don’t make the pointer of the weight scale tilt away much, they will just float on the water surface. And according to the way nature works, take a thousand years to disintegrate. So, in an eureka moment, they decided to do something about it. EU has also decided to pay the fishermen by plastic, so this will enable them to live a better life, as the net used to scoop plastic does not harm marine life, and the plastic can be recycled into a sea chair. So, do cast your vote, and let’s walk along the road to a better world. Via: Dezeen

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The Sea Chair: Fishing away plastic waste

Ecopreneur Interview Series: Freally

April 25, 2011 by  
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Part 12 in a series where Krates Ng (co-founder of Mokugift the ecard service) interviews fellow ecopreneurs.

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Ecopreneur Interview Series: Freally

Seven fantastic ways to transform rubbish into storage

January 6, 2011 by  
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I don’t know about you but I’m itching to get a start on spring cleaning this year – or rather spring decluttering – and as well as getting rid of a whole bunch of stuff, I’d like to have better, neater storage for the stuff I have. Here are some of the ways I’ll be making recycled storage solutions from rubbish around our home: Cereal boxes (or scrap cardboard) into magazine files We have approximately eleventy-hundred tons of paper in the house at the moment – even if half can be thrown away, that’s a whole lot of stuff that needs filing

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Seven fantastic ways to transform rubbish into storage

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