Skip to Content



Green consumerism, 2020 style

The following guest blog was authored by Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor of GreenBiz.

For more than a decade, I’ve been tracking and compiling surveys of U.S. consumers on a wide range of environmental issues for an annual article like this one, typically published in the runup to annual Earth Day celebrations. (Here’s the first one, done in 2007 and the most recent, from 2019.) It’s always a daunting challenge: sorting through mind-numbing polling data to assess what’s changing and what’s not.

I’d also planned in this year’s installation to revisit my book, 

Our Medical Repair Database is Going Strong—but Still Needs Help

On March 18th, Kyle Wiens of iFixit posted an appeal to help the organization crowdsource repair manuals for ventilators and other medical equipment central to many for recovery from Covid-19. On March 26th, Olivia Webb posted an update, the text of which is reprinted here.

ISRI: More to Recycling than the Curbside Bin

Mention recycling to most people, and the image that is conjured most likely will be the journey from the curbside bin to the local waste transfer station. But in reality, most recycling activity in the United States occurs at industrial and commercial levels. NERC Advisory Member Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) plays an essential role in conveying timely information for the scrap recycling industry; the trade association “represents more than 1,100 private and public for-profit companies that process, broker, and industrially consume all scrap commodities.”

In its 2019 Recycling Industry Yearbook, ISRI describes the types of material that are defined as scrap. “Obsolete scrap consists of used and end-of-life materials and products. These include vehicles, appliances, electronics, cardboard boxes and other paper goods, bottles and cans, and clothing. Demolition sites are another common source of obsolete scrap.

“Prompt, prime, or new scrap comes out of the manufacturing process,” the report continues. “These…

Recycling Is About You and Me

Today's guest blog is authored by NERC board member Chaz Miller. The original post can be accessed here.

Fifty years ago, the first Earth Day focused America’s attention on our polluted air and water and our rat-filled open burning dumps.  Earth Day touched a nerve. At a time of increasing prosperity, Americans wondered why we didn’t live in a cleaner, healthier environment.

Earth Day lead to pioneering environmental legislation. The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act were all signed into law within four years. They are fundamental to the cleaner environment we enjoy today.

As for those dumps, Congress turned its attention to trash with the enactment of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1976.  In spite of its title, that law was primarily about municipal trash and hazardous waste. Open burning…