Woolzies dries clothes without toxic chemicals

Woolzies dryer ballsFor many, the days of hanging clothes out on clotheslines to dry isn’t an option. It’s currently popular for clean clothes to smell like something – ostensibly as fresh sunshine or mountain streams. But it takes lots of chemicals to get that artificial scent you love.

Woolzies dryer balls are a better, greener alternative.

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Commercial recycling may become mandatory in California

Recycling bins may soon become mandatory fixtures for businesses in California

As someone who writes extensively about all forms of green, I was shocked recently to discover that here in my hometown, and the entire state of California, it isn’t mandatory for businesses or apartments to recycle – it’s an option. The fact that the recycling movement began here in sunny California back in 1973 makes it’s difficult to fathom why.

A  local city Supervisor for Recycling & Hazardous Waste told me that a majority of businesses here don’t recycle, choosing to load up their dumpsters and trash bins with all their recyclables instead. When offered recycling bins and pick-up for free, the collective thought was “no thanks.”

All that may be about to change.

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Illinois to test curbside e-waste pickup

The majority of cities across the U.S., though strangely not all, have curbside pick-up for recyclables. Some – including San Francisco, and Seattle – are now even experimenting by including  with compostables with their curbside recycling efforts.

Illinois is going one better, testing out a pilot program that focuses on curbside pickup of electronic waste products.

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Two companies caught by EPA trying to export hazardous discarded electronics to Vietnam

Two recycling companies were caught by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency trying to illegally export e-waste to Vietnam.

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EPA expands on clean-up rules for broken CFL

CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs) contain what the Environmental Protection Agency and major retailers consider a “small amount” of powdered mercury in them.

Today, the EPA has updated their policy on how to safely deal with a broken compact fluorescent light bulb, a backhanded way of telling consumers that “small” is still toxic and dangerous.

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Target charged with illegal dumping of hazardous products

Target has had a preliminary injunction filed against its retail stores by the city of Los Angeles and California state prosecutors for allegedly dumping hazardous consumer products that were returned or damaged. If found guilty, the retail giant faces civil penalties.

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Minnesota to test removing VOC's from landfill

landfillThe Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has created a pilot project to remove volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination from the closed Waste Disposal Engineering landfill in Andover, Minnesota.

The state is testing what it calls “soil vapor extraction technology” to remove and contain the landfill contamination from an underground hazardous waste pit. They anticipate the project will continue until the end of the year.

landfill 2“We are anticipating that this project will prove to be a success. If it is, we will focus on designing a permanent extraction system at the WDE site,” said John Moeger of the MPCA´s Closed Landfill Program.

This process of “cooling, condensing and compressing gases”, as the state calls it, will pull gas from the pit into the system and convert it into liquid. The liquid will then be recycled  or  used in a fuel blending process.

Intriguing idea. If it’s successful, it could be replicated at closed landfills around the country, providing an unexpected but steady fuel source. Stay tuned.