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Recycling

Science

DARPA video outlines progress of Phoenix satellite re-purposing project

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released a new video showing the progress of its Phoenix project, which aims at salvaging parts from defunct communications satellites to build new ones. Based on a new class of nanosatellites and a robotic “tender,” its purpose is to use repurposed satellites to construct a new communications net for the military at low cost. Read More

Environment

Short Circuit project reuses unwanted kitchen appliances

In recent years, repairing and upgrading electronics has largely given way to a trend of disposable gadgets which fill up landfills – especially with regard to home appliances like coffee makers and toasters. However, French designer Gaspard Tiné-Berès proposes to repair and re-use discarded and damaged appliances, with readily available reclaimed materials providing the necessary components, and the bodies constructed from cork. Read More

3D Printing

The Filabot recycles scrap plastic into inexpensive 3D printing filaments

Desktop 3D printers have hit price-points that make them as affordable as color laser printers. But they also share the same problem – replacing the printing medium costs an arm and a leg. A kilogram of plastic filament costs about US$50, meaning the cost of turning your ideas into reality can quickly add up. But now the Filabot, a miniature plastic recycling plant, will provide a wide variety of plastic filaments from scrap. Read More

Good Thinking

SymTyre machine makes old tires flat-packable

Tires are one of those things that our society goes through a lot of, yet their disposal can be problematic. Being round and containing a large air cavity, they’re not exactly the most efficient things to store or transport. Those that don’t get recycled can end up collecting water and acting as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, or becoming part of giant “tire mountains.” A new device, however, is designed to cut them apart so they can be flat-packed – thus reducing the space they take up, and maximizing the amount that can be transported at once.Read More

Architecture

America's "greenest street" provides a blueprint for sustainable urban development

A streetscape that includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete has earned Cermak road in Chicago the title of “greenest Street in America” according to the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT). Opened in October 2012, the first phase two mile stretch is part of the Blue Island/Cermak Sustainable Streetscape project which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of reducing overall energy usage by 42 percent. Read More

Environment

Paper waste used to make "green" bricks

Paper waste has already been used to create things like foam and batteries – now, a team of researchers from Spain’s University of Jaen are making bricks out of the stuff. Although the finished products still need a little tweaking before they're ready for prime time, they could ultimately give traditional bricks a run for their money. Read More

Good Thinking

Machine uses artificial intelligence to sort dead batteries

While it’s definitely important to keep the heavy metals in discarded batteries out of the environment, the sorting of all of the different types of batteries that arrive at a recycling depot could no doubt get extremely tedious. It’s the type of job that often goes to a machine. Well, such a machine has been invented. Called the Optisort, it can recognize about 2,000 types of batteries, and is currently being used to sort one third of those recycled in the UK. Read More

Bicycles

Your old pop cans could end up in your new ReCycle

Some readers may recall our recent article on the Rizoma bicycle. Along with its carbon fiber build and almost US$5,000 price tag, one of its more striking features is the lack of a seat tube – the part of the frame that runs from the seatpost down to the bottom bracket. Well, if you want to save quite a few bucks, you may soon be able to get that same sort of frame made from recycled aluminum, on the decidedly quirky ReCycle line of city bikes.Read More

Environment

Lawn clippings used to make eco-friendlier fireplace logs

Every year, untold tons of lawn clippings end up in landfills – or at best, in compost heaps. US Department of Agriculture chemist Syed H. Imam, however, has come up with what could be a better use for them. He’s been making them into fireplace logs, that have some big advantages over conventional artificial logs.Read More

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