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Recycling

Tulane associate professor David Mullin (right), postdoctoral fellow Harshad Velankar (cen...

Hopefully, your old newspapers don’t just end up in the landfill. In the future, however, they might not even be used to make more paper – instead they may be the feedstock for a biofuel-producing strain of bacteria. Named “TU-103,” the microorganism was recently discovered by a team of scientists at New Orleans’ Tulane University. It converts cellulose – such as that found in newspapers – into butanol, which can be substituted for gasoline.  Read More

A new technology is able to convert paper mill waste into bio-foam (Photo: P199)

In a world increasingly concerned with waste, the smart manufacturers are identifying ways of utilizing the by-products of manufacturing and creating two products from one process. One example – a graduate student in agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a way of creating foam from the waste from paper mills, radically reducing waste from paper production and creating two products that are highly valuable and in demand.  Read More

Filling of Forward Osmosis Bag outer partition with 'dirty' solution from the Input Storag...

Atlantis may have taken off on the last ever space shuttle mission last week but that doesn’t mean it has finished racking up firsts. Along with ferrying its last batch of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), Atlantis is also carrying a urine recycling system that is designed to convert astronaut’s urine into a sports drink. The Forward Osmosis Bag (FOB) system will reportedly be tested by one of the four-man crew towards the end of the shuttle’s 12-day mission.  Read More

The Plastic2Oil plant in Niagara Falls, New York, converts non-recyclable plastic into fue...

While a lot of people may be doing their part for the environment by sending their discarded plastic items off for recycling, the fact is that much of the plastic currently in use is non-recyclable. In a not particularly eco-friendly process, some of this plastic is burned to generate electricity, while much of it simply ends up in landfills. Canadian company JBI, however, has developed a process that uses those plastics as a feedstock, and turns them into fuel.  Read More

It took three years of searching electronic junkyards to gather all discarded parts for Ma...

We tend to quickly forget about technology that's no longer shiny and state-of-the-art, which is part of the reason that piles of discarded electronics are becoming larger and larger. Polish sculptor Marek Tomasik, however, thought of a way of bringing them back to life ... sort of. He created an enormous and disturbing rectangular, walk-in sculpture made of several thousand discarded computer parts. The piece, entitled "Sometimes You Have To Be Open," is in the form of a room measuring 5m x 4m x 4.5m (16' x 14' x 15'), based around a wooden structure.  Read More

Scientists have devised a chemical method for recycling composite parts from discarded rec...

We've all heard about old metal car bodies being melted down for recycling, but what happens to the composite hulls and superstructures of past-their-prime recreational boats? Well, not much. Generally, they just end being sunk, burned, or put in a scrapyard. Sometimes, the composites are ground up and added as filler to virgin material. An alternative may be on the way, however, as researchers have discovered a new method for separating the composite components for future reuse.  Read More

Products such as the frame of this Trek Madone could find new life, as Trek Bicycle begins...

Carbon fiber may boast an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, and it looks cool, but it does have at least one shortcoming when compared to other building materials – it's difficult to recycle. Nonetheless, Trek Bicycle has begun a program that will see much of the company's waste carbon fiber being sent to a specialized recycling facility, where it will be processed for use in other products. According to the Cyclingnews website, the initiative should keep up to 54,000 pounds (24,500 kg) of the material out of landfills and in use, every year.  Read More

ZenRobotics staff, with the Recycler robot's picking hand(All images courtesy ZenRobotics)...

Standing around, sorting debris from construction or demolition projects for recycling ... it probably isn't anyone's idea of a good time. Given the risks posed by sharp or heavy objects and airborne particles, it's not a particularly safe way of making a buck either. That's where, perhaps someday soon, ZenRobotics' Recycler autonomous waste-sorting robot arm will come into play.  Read More

PepsiCo says it has developed the world's first 100 percent plant-based PET bottle

Mountain Dew’s green bottles could become even “greener” with an announcement from PepsiCo claiming it has developed the world’s first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based, fully renewable resources including switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. The bottle not only offers a significantly reduced carbon footprint compared to petroleum-based PET, but is also 100 percent recyclable.  Read More

Frogboxes are reusable plastic moving boxes, that users rent in the city they're moving fr...

Jerry Seinfeld once commented that when you’re moving, your whole life becomes centered around finding cardboard boxes. While some moving companies will sell boxes to you, after the move you’re then stuck with them, and end up either recycling them after just one use, or filling your basement/garage/attic with the things. If you don’t want to scrounge for free boxes or waste the ones you get, however, there is now an alternative – you can rent some reusable polyethylene Frogboxes.  Read More

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