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Households Fight Climate Change

This guest blog is courtesy of Greenmatch.

Lowering the Domestic Energy Consumption

Recent data from the UK government has shown that global thinking and local action go hand in hand in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The UK is leading the way in slowing down climate change with the help of domestic households - a strategy that is equally applicable in the US.

In the UK, the current amount of electricity generated per person is the lowest since 1984, which has been a key factor in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This decrease has largely been thanks to the use of renewable energy, such as solar panels and domestic heat pumps.

Domestic households in the US up to 21.1%…

Bridging the Data Gap is Essential for Incorporating Sustainable Materials Management into States’ Waste Reduction Models

This guest blog was posted by Ameripen on February 26, 2019.

All waste is not created equal when it comes to calculating environmental impact. It makes sense, yet too often we set waste diversion goals and policies based on a standardized approach. Figuring out how to compare wastes and impacts and accurately measure diversion success is a complex task and frequently debated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports use of a Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) framework, which focuses on minimizing resource consumption and adverse environment impacts throughout a material’s lifecycle, from extraction through processing, manufacturing, usage and eventually end-of-life management.

Applying an SMM approach has been one framework to help states explore impact versus diversion, but direction on how to apply it towards goal setting and policy making has been lacking. AMERIPEN sought to fill that gap. We were intrigued by the work of Dr. Tim Townsend at the University of Florida, who developed a model for applying SMM to state based waste characterizations to help set goals and direct policy focus for the State of Florida…

Why a Market-Based Tire Recycling System Shouldn’t Be Scrapped

This guest blog is courtesy of Paul Arellano.

Tire recycling is a mixed industry. There are government regulations that determine how to legally dispose of used tires, yet the system is still largely market-based. There are some who favor greater government control of the tire recycling industry. While it’s true that government regulation is a necessity, a market-based system shouldn’t be scrapped entirely.

Pros and Cons of a Market-Based System

Although a market-based system has its benefits, there is no doubt this industry would look very different without government involvement. Many businesses and individuals would probably choose not to recycle, but rather dispose of their tires in a landfill if there were no penalties for doing so. There might be less of a demand for rubber in the civil engineering industry if the government did not award tire recycling grants.

The current system has seen great success, however, and greater government regulation may not be necessary.

A 90% Success Rate

In…

Deconstruction Blight

This guest blog is courtesy of Mike Gable, Executive Director, Construction Junction, Co-Founder of Project RE_, and President of the Board of BMRA.  

My last post in December, summarized the work being done by Project RE_, a collaboration between the Urban Design Build Studio (UDBS) in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, Construction Junction, a nonprofit building material reuse retailer in Pittsburgh and a local job training organization called Landforce.  Soon the UDBS meets with a nonprofit neighborhood development corporation to present the house design that Professor John Folan and his students are developing with the added challenge of incorporating some of the material from the solar house deconstruction.  The house design also includes an innovative reuse feature utilizing ultra-high performance concrete panels that are “cast offs” from a local manufacturing facility. The UDBS is also exploring design for deconstruction.

I had the opportunity to sit down with…

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