Summer Environment Update!

Greetings, dear Readers (all nine of you),

It's been a while since our last posting, which looked at ioby's project focusing on the long-term effects of oil spills on the Gulf region (and which has been fully funded). But just because it's summer doesn't mean our amazing grantees stop working!

NRDC and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) released a joint report looking at the progress - and continuing hurdles - of New York's e-waste laws. The upside: the volume of scrap electronics collected in New York has increased substantially - over 44 million pounds of scrap electronics were collected in 2011 alone. The law also requires manufacturers of electronic equipment to create and finance a system for collecting, transporting, and processing old electronics, ensuring producers take responsibility for their waste. However, more can still be done, especially in the areas of consumer awareness and lack of usable data. You can read the analysis in detail here. And check out this site for information on where you recycle your old (read: from last year) iPad/iPhone/iMac/Android/cherished TI-85 from 10th grade.

Speaking of recycling - a new article (e-article, no paper harmed in the making of this report) published by GAIA and written by Ananda Lee Tan, Gary LIss, and Matt Leonard examines the negative effect support for incineration is having on recycling efforts around the country. Even though municipal solid waste incinerators are the most expensive form of energy generation in the U.S., and recycling can actually reduce municipal costs, incineration as a form of waste reduction is on the upswing. Read more about the hidden (and not-so-hidden costs) here.

So maybe that article bummed you out. And maybe you just binge ate a vegan stir-fry to make yourself feel better. But wait! Did you toss the leek-tops in the garbage? Did you, in disgust, throw out the remainder of the tempeh? Not so fast! You can take action, and get involved in NYC's ever-growing composting scene. You can get active with a local compost project or go to a composting workshop and start your own compost! If you're in Staten Island, you can also participate in a pilot program run by the Department of Sanitation to collect domestic compost. Composting has come a long way since the 1993 founding of the New York Compost Project, and while we still have a lot more to do - it's an exciting time to be excited about food waste!

Looking Ahead:

All this news got you fired up? Tired of relaxing at the beach? Then get ready for Energy Action Coalition's Powershift Conference this October! Over 10,000 youth leaders will convene in Pittsburgh October 18-21 to build the movement to fight fracking, divest from fossil fuels, build a clean energy future, and stop the climate crisis.