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Solving the Problem of Food Waste

                         

washingtonpost.com

The statistics are sobering: In the United States, 63 million tons of food are wasted every year.  Food waste accounts for 21 percent of all fresh water used in the United States, and takes up 21 percent of landfill volume.  Waste happens at every stage of the supply chain between farm and table.

With this in mind, Sub-Zero launched Fresh Food Matters, an initiative to empower people to think fresh about the food they eat - and to educate and inspire them on food’s far-reaching impact.  The first article in this series explored some of these causes in depth, and we look here at effective, actionable solutions.

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CLICK HERE - Food Cowboy

CLICK HERE - Zero Percent

CLICK HERE - Fresh Food Matters

 

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World Bank: 'Technical and engineering solutions not a silver bullet' for growing waste problems

Dive Brief:

 

  • The World Bank reports that the following five countries generate the most waste in the world:
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EPA Causes Massive Colorado Spill of 1 Million Gallons of Mining Waste, Turns River Orange

      

People kayak in the Animas River near Durango, Colorado, August 6, in water colored from a mine waste spill. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that a cleanup team was working with heavy equipment to secure an entrance to the Gold King Mine. Workers instead released an estimated one million gallons of mine waste into Cement Creek, which flows into the Animas River.  Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald/Press Association/AP

newsweek.com - by Zoe Schlanger - August 7, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was trying to protect the environment when it caused a major spill instead.

On Wednesday morning, the EPA said, it was using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine when it accidentally released 1 million gallons of mining waste into a creek, local station KOB4 reports. The waste spewed from the creek into the Animas River north of Silverton, Colorado, turning the water an opaque orange color reminiscent of boxed mac and cheese.

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Study Indicates Ebola-Infected Sewage May Require Longer Holding Period

INFECTION CONTROL TODAY                                          March 11, 2015
Storing Ebola-infected sewage for a week at 86 degrees Fahrenheit or higher should allow enough time for more than 99.99 percent of the virus to die, though lower ambient temperatures may require a longer holding period, according to a new study by researchers at Georgia State University's School of Public Health.

The study co-authored by Lisa M. Casanova, assistant professor of environmental health, and Scott R. Weaver, research assistant professor in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, used bacteriophage Φ6, a type of virus, as a stand-in to study how long Ebola and similar viruses can survive in latrines and other systems for collecting and disposing of sewage. Bacteriophage Φ6 has a lipid envelope, meaning it has structural similarities to Ebola and several other types of virus, allowing for a safe study that did not require use of Ebola itself.

"The places hardest hit by Ebola are the places that often have the least infrastructure for safely disposing of sewage and are using things like pit latrines," says Casanova. "They need the answers to questions like this."

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Ebola in Liberia: Keeping communities safe from contaminated waste

 WHO PRESS RELEASE                                                                                              Feb. 23, 2015

Every day, every bed in an Ebola treatment unit creates approximately 300 litres of liquid waste. Managing this waste has been a challenge in the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. WHO is working with partners to ensure this waste is effectively decontaminated and no longer poses a threat to health.

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U.S. Hospitals Unprepared to Handle Ebola waste, Experts Say

      

As Emory was treating two US missionaries who were evacuated from West Africa in August, their waste hauler, Stericycle, initially refused to handle it. Photograph: Michael Duff/AP

REUTERS      September 24, 2014

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. hospitals may be unprepared to safely dispose of the infectious waste generated by any Ebola virus disease patient to arrive unannounced in the country, potentially putting the wider community at risk, biosafety experts said.

Waste management companies are refusing to haul away the soiled sheets and virus-spattered protective gear associated with treating the disease, citing federal guidelines that require Ebola-related waste to be handled in special packaging by people with hazardous materials training, infectious disease and biosafety experts told Reuters.

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Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, an expert on public health preparedness at Pennsylvania State University, said there's "no way in the world" that U.S. hospitals are ready to treat patients with highly infectious diseases like Ebola.

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Waste-to-Energy Could Supply 12% of US Electricity

GraphAugust 19, 2014 - environmentalleader.com

If all of the municipal solid waste (MSW) that is currently put into landfills each year in the US were diverted to waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants, it could generate enough electricity to supply 12 percent of the US total, according to a study conducted by the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University.

According to the study, this shift also could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 123 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

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Baltimore's Water Wheel Keeps On Turning, Pulling In Tons Of Trash

      

Since the water wheel began churning in May, it has removed 40 tons of trash from Baltimore's Inner Harbor.  Clearwater Mills LLC

npr.org - by Julia Botero - June 23, 2014

Baltimore's Inner Harbor is a city landmark teeming with tourists, restaurants and — until recently — floating trash.

John Kellett used to walk by Pier 6 every day on his way to work at the Baltimore Maritime Museum on the Inner Harbor. He'd notice the trash floating in the water and hear tourists call the harbor disgusting — and it bugged him.

That's when he developed his idea: a big water wheel to collect the plastic cups, cigarette butts and Cheetos bags that flow into the waterway after rainstorms.

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A Look at the Sustainable Chicago Restaurant That Recycled and Composted Everything for 2 Years

Video: Some restaurants produce eight gallons of waste every hour. Thanks to a sustainability plan, Sandwich Me stretched that time...to two years.

 

 

ecowatch.com - Brandon Baker - June 3rd 2014

Quick—how much food, paper and plastic have you thrown in the garbage the past two years?

It’s a question you likely can’t answer, but whatever the amount,  it will certainly exceed the output of Justin Vrany and his Chicago café, Sandwich Me In.

Vrany estimates that an average restaurant dumps eight gallons of trash in a dumpster per hour.

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Microbial Fuel Cells Could Solve the Waste Management Problem in the US

hydrogenfuelnews.com - June 2, 2014

Wastewater represents an untapped energy resource for the US

A great deal of potential energy is wasted in the U.S. due to the country’s sewage system. Wastewater contains approximately 10 times the electrical power that is needed to process it, but the U.S. does not currently focus on converting this wastewater into energy. As much as 3% of the country’s energy is spent on processing wastewater without getting any kind of return in terms of electrical power. Microbial fuel cells may be the solution to this problem, as they can produce electricity through the consumption of waste.

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