October 16, 2014: Garbology Weekly News

Garbology News badge.The University of New Mexico’s Lobo Reading Experience this year is also garbology, their common academic reading program. The goals of their project are:

  • To provide a common experience for all university community members to facilitate transition to a new academic year and create connections between classroom and out of class-room experiences.
  • To engage discussions between students, faculty, staff, and community members surrounding societal issues, and to share learning aspirations.
  • To integrate the book within course curriculums across campus providing faculty with a listing of ideas for faculty on how to incorporate it within their classes.
  • Develop a year-long comprehensive program within campus curricular and co-curricular activities, housing, parent association, new student orientation, and human resources that reaches all student, parents, and staff communities.
  • To create the value of reading as a university community.
  • To collaborate with the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services to promote literacy and reading as fun within the libraries, youth programs, and family centers.

These are in line with the goals of the Clark College program. Check out the Faculty Resources, related books, and more information on their project on their site.

The following is a summary of the news in and around the subject of garbology, our regular attempt to collect more resources, references, and information you may use in your classroom discussions.

Reminders and Nags

Book Club Meeting: The Clark College Garbology Book club will be meeting Friday, October 17, from 12-1:30PM in the Cannell Library (LIB 101). It is open to faculty and students. You do not have to have read the book.

Take the Poll: Please help us by completing the Poll: Will You Integrate Garbology into Your Class?.

Discussions: We have numerous discussions on the site for you to participate in to learn more about garbology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. See the Discussions category.

Ideas: Wondering how to incorporate garbology into your curriculum? Check out the list created by the brainstorming sessions from the Faculty Focus event on Clark Faculty Ideas for Garbology Projects.

Conference: The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2014 Conference & Expo is in Portland October 26-29. Registration is still available.

Garbology, Garbage, Recycling, and Related News

Conference: The annual conference for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) will be in Portland, October 26-29, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center. The announcement states:

“The annual Conference & Expo is a very important and ‘must attend’ event for like-minded higher education sustainability professionals to come together to learn, share ideas and best practices with one another and take back to their institutions,” said AASHE Executive Director Stephanie A. Herrera. “We are excited and proud to see this year’s conference come together in one of the most sustainable American cities in the country, and look forward to unveiling the location for the 2015 AASHE Conference & Expo.”

The AASHE Conference & Expo is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. Attendees from around the world will come together at AASHE 2014 to network and share new innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability on their campus and surrounding communities.

The event includes presentations from national experts discussing practices for transformative sustainability education, indigenous practices for sustainability, driving innovations simultaneously at the economy, community, and campus scale, and data to action – advancing sustainability investment decisions. the event also features the creator of “The Story of Stuff” and Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard, Environmental Professionals of Color and the Center for Diversity and The Environment founder, Marcelo Bonta, Anna Lappé, bestselling author and sustainable food advocate, and others. There are pre- and post-conference workshops available as well.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education is dedicated to encouraging and catalyzing higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation through higher education and offers extensive resources, events, awards, and publications, including a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) program to develop a standardized measurement for recognition of sustainability efforts in higher education. One such project on a campus was the Garbology/Recycling – Dorm vs Dorm Sustainability Competitions during the school’s Eco-Olympics.

To register and for more information, see the AASHE 2014 Conference & Expo website.

China: China Daily reports on “Laying Garbage to waste,” about the world’s largest incinerator, Lujiashan, in Beijing.

The world’s largest waste incinerator will start running at full speed next month after one year’s trial run. The incinerator in Beijing’s western suburb can process 3,000 tons of household garbage a day, that is, one-sixth of the daily domestic waste generated in the city.

The Lujiashan incinerator has been built by Shougang Group, one of China’s largest steel producers, in a deserted limestone quarry. Before Lujiashan started its trial run, more than 80 percent of Beijing’s household garbage was consigned to more than 30 landfills spread around the city, with about 10 percent being processed to make fertilizers.

The Lujiashan incinerator will receive sorted household garbage from Dongcheng, Xicheng, Fengtai, Shijingshan and Mentougou districts of Beijing, which will first be dumped into a 30-meter-deep treatment “pond” where it will be left to ferment for a week. The pond, making good use of the limestone quarry, can hold up to 40,000 tons of waste at a time.

India: Unlikely Startup Connects India’s Garbage Dumps to 3-D Design – India Real Time – WSJ: The Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time column reports on Protoprint, a startup using recycled plastic collected with India’s famous waste pickers, scavengers that dig through the trash to pick out recyclable plastics. A graduate from MIT started the business, training waste pickers to sort and pick through the trash for specific types of plastic, shampoo and cleaner bottles. The Protoprint-developed machine melts and mixes the plastic and extrudes it into filaments, which Protoprint buys at a higher rate than the scrap plastic business, raising the living standards of the waste pickers.

The Hindu reports on “The War on Waste,” a project in India to change behavior and encourage responsibility for waste handling and management.

Asha Muralidharan, along with a group of residents in MRC Nagar, has helped bring about a change to the leafy neighbourhood. Initially, her efforts to engage her neighbours in source segregation did not pan out. “We did not really get that much support, both from people as well as logistically,” she said.

But, the residents persisted and over time, with the help of conservancy firm Ramky Enviro Pvt. Ltd., which is on contract with the civic body, managed to implement an efficient system of source segregation. Today, around 3 tonnes of segregated waste is collected daily from the locality. Soon, the Corporation took notice and helped residents set up a compost pit.

Thirugnana Sambandam. director of Ramky Enviro Pvt. Ltd, says that waste generated in one’s house should be dealt with in the household “Almost 90 per cent of the waste that is sent to landfills can be avoided if residents source segregate as well as do composting,” he said.

Residents of Harrington Road are also in the forefront of such activities. A year ago, source segregation efforts started in the neighbourhood under the initiative of the Harrington Road Residents Association which works with Ramky as well. “More than 400 households source segregate their waste on Harrington Road. About 400 to 500 kilograms of waste is collected every day,” said a member of the association. Currently, all the waste collected from the area is sent to Corporation landfills.

Many community groups and NGOs are working on Garbology projects, including local and international school Garbology programs, to educate and create garbage management programs. One such program, “Be a PET (news article) is garbology campaign project to convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles into useful items through recycling. The image from the article is our picture of the week.

The Hindu - Man searches through mountain of plastic bottles as part of PET project.

The New Indian Express reports that the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” project has had no impact on the extensive piles of accumulated garbage in the community. The project was designed to clean the city of waste and garbage in Domlur, Marathahalli, and nearby areas due to a garbage contractor on leave and holidays. Combined with recent rain storms, garbage is piling up in and around the communities. According to one of the local commissioners, 250-300 additional tons of garbage has been generated and needs to be cleaned out.

Children walk through mounds of garbage near HAL – Decann Chronicle, India: In Murugeshpalya, children walk to and from school past “mountains of garbage” in four major dumps. The government officials are to segregate the garbage, and it just piles up, attracting dogs, cattle, and rats. Approximately 2 tons of waste are dumped daily and not properly handled, exposing the children and community.

There is so much garbage to deal with that as soon as one lot is moved out, another is dumped in its place,” [Mr Kirit Manek, Vice-President of a Bengaluru-based company and a resident of Chalagatta] said. “The stench is unbearable and there is no respite.”

A local NGO, the Namma Bengaluru Foundation, has gotten into the act in this area and hopes to have the contractor concerned blacklisted by the BBMP. “Since it is HAL and defence land, the law says that the BBMP cleans the area and presents them with a bill,” said Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, NBF.

The organisation is trying to create a network that has residents and resident welfare association point out trouble areas, which will then be brought to the notice of the authorities. “Why should citizens go around doing the BBMP’s work for them?” demanded Mr Pabbisetty. “Our plan is to bring the issue to the notice of the contractor and if he doesn’t respond, we will have him blacklisted.”

Canada: Victoria County easing residents into move to clear garbage bags, Cape Breton Post, Montreal. The county is using different colored bags to designate the type of garbage inside, but the usage of clear bags is causing a bit of confusion in the adoption process. The clear bags make many citizens feel like anyone can spy on their garbage, and others are just confused with the green, blue, and clear colored bags, as well as what garbage goes into which color. This is a struggle many communities face.

Garbology Educational and Study Projects

UW 360 Garbology/Anthropology Project study on the anthropology of garbology and their studies on the habits and rituals around recycling and garbage management. Includes examples of student videos and how the project developed and field study lessons learned.

Sustainable Today is the YouTube channel for Comcast Channel 11 show in Portland, Oregon. The entire site features extensive information and shows on sustainability, including a series on local waste management;

Garbology and experimental archaeology assignment review for online archeology class by teacher Brian Scanlan, analyzing what studying garbage to learn what it tells us about ourselves, class structure, and what we can learn about historical verses modern garbage studies. “Garbage never lies” is one of the student comments about learning about the history of cultures through garbage studies.

Garbology, Waste Management, Recycling, and Related Topic Videos

Waste Management company offers a tour of their Philadelphia Materials Recovery Facility featuring recycling with a “single-stream technology.” WM is the national garbage and recycling company that also serves the Portland and Vancouver metro areas.

Waste to Energy Systems & Technology for Recycling Waste Materials into Alternative Energy video on the MVR Technology of Advanced Thermal Recycling (ATR) technology, and how international cities like Hamburg, Germany, and cities in California facilities combine non-catalytic and catalytic reduction to recycle and reduce emissions compared to traditional practices. This is a commercial, company video produced by KleanTV of Klean Industries, specializing in technology for waste management, clean power production, and resource recovery internationally.

We need your input! If you have information, resources, references, or news items related to our campus-wide common read project, Garbology, please let us know. We’re working hard to bring you information to help you include the book and topic of garbology into your classrooms. Let us know how we can help, but we can’t do it without your help, too.