Archive | Consumer Waste

Way Found to Dispose of Plastic with BPA

CHENNAI, India, Feb. 1 (UPI) — Researchers in India report fungi might provide an eco-friendly way of decomposing polycarbonate plastic waste that contains bisphenol A.

Mukesh Doble and Trishul Artham of the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, (formerly Madras) said manufacturers produce about 2.7 million tons of plastic containing BPA each year. Polycarbonate is an extremely recalcitrant plastic, used in everything from screwdriver handles to eyeglass lenses, but some studies have suggested BPA may cause a range of adverse health effects. That has sparked the search for an environmentally safe way of disposing of waste plastic to avoid release of BPA.

In the new study, the scientists said they pretreated polycarbonate with ultraviolet light and heat and exposed it to three kinds of fungi. The researchers said the fungi grew better on pretreated plastic, using its BPA and other ingredients as a source of energy and breaking down the plastic.

After 12 months, there was nearly no decomposition of the untreated plastic, compared to substantial decomposition of the pretreated plastic, with no release of BPA.

The study is reported in the journal Biomacromolecules.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Consumer Waste, Recycling & Waste0 Comments

Radioactive Waste Including 5,408 Drums of Uranium Headed for Utah Landfill

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 22 (UPI) — Utah state officials say they are ready to supervise the movement of low-level radioactive waste received from South Carolina into a specialized landfill.

The 5,408 drums of depleted uranium from the federal government’s Savannah River cleanup site in South Carolina arrived by train Sunday and were to be offloaded Tuesday about 80 miles west of Salt Lake City under the supervision of state inspectors, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The waste will be kept at the landfill temporarily so Utah regulators can finish updating disposal requirements needed to permanently bury the waste. The aim, the newspaper said, is to ensure Utah does not get stuck with radioactive waste that cannot be effectively contained at the permanent disposal site run by EnergySolutions Inc.

Dane Finerfrock, director of the Utah Division of Radiation Control, told the Tribune his staff arrived Monday to look over the shipping papers and check the manifests against the content of a sampling of drums.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Consumer Waste, Hazardous Waste, Landfills, Nuclear, Radiation, Recycling & Waste, Waste Disposal0 Comments

Plastic Bags Recycled into Batteries at Argonne National Laboratory

ARGONNE, Ill., Dec. 22 (UPI) — Plastic bags found in abundance at grocery stores could be recycled into carbon nanotubes, a component in lithium ion batteries, an Illinois scientist said.

Vilas Pol, of Argonne National Laboratory 25-miles southwest of Chicago, developed the process as a way to turn plastic waste into an energy resource, the Southtown Star reported Tuesday.

With cobalt acetate as a catalyst, plastic bags were heated to 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit, which caused the carbon in the plastic to grow as nanotubes on the cobalt particles, Pol said, noting the process could be used on plastic water bottles and plastic cups.

The cobalt acetate, which is relatively expensive, could be recovered when the batteries were recycled, Pol said. Performing the process without cobalt acetate yields carbon spheres that could be used in printer ink.

Yet to be determined is how to collect enough bags to make the project cost efficient, Pol said. Recycling programs find the bags difficult to collect because they often get swept up in air currents, causing a problem for curbside collectors and recycling centers.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Consumer Products, Consumer Waste, Electronic Waste, Electronics, House & Home, Packaging, Recycling, Recycling & Waste, Science, Space, & Technology0 Comments

Aircraft Recycling & Salvage Companies are Having a Big Year

LONDON, Dec. 18 (UPI) — Airplane salvage companies, which operate much like junk yards for cars, are having a banner year in Britain and elsewhere, an international trade group said.

Sky News, a British news service, said airlines are rushing to recycle equipment as funds are scarce in an industry hit hard by the recession.

“The industry is in turmoil and airlines are struggling to manage their costs,” said International Bureau of Aviation President Phil Seymour.

A used jet engine can be worth as much as $4.8 million and times are tough. “If you are an airline trying to cut costs do you really want to be buying new parts from Boeing?” Seymour asked.

Air Salvage International, a British firm that has salvaged 25 planes this year, had “our best year in the 15 years we’ve been operating,” said managing director Mark Gregory

About 80 percent of a salvaged airplane can be re-sold. Breaking one down can take as long as two months, Sky News said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Aviation, Cars, Consumer Waste, Recycling, Recycling & Waste, Reduce & Reuse, Transportation0 Comments

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