Smaller Reactors May Still Have a Big Nuclear Waste Problem

Smaller Reactors May Still Have a Big Nuclear Waste Problem

A Department of Energy-sponsored report estimated in 2014 that the US nuclear industry would produce 94 percent less fuel waste if big, old reactors were replaced with new smaller ones.

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

Of all the potential fixes for the climate crisis, none has captured hearts and minds quite like tree planting.If newly planted forests aren’t properly cared for and monitored, the trees can die and any carbon they stored will be released back into the atmosphere.

Europe Is in the Middle of a Messy Nuclear Slowdown

Europe Is in the Middle of a Messy Nuclear Slowdown

Its neighbor Belgium currently sources nearly 40 percent of its electricity from nuclear power but has committed to closing down its seven remaining reactors by 2025.Critics of Europe’s nuclear shutdowns say losing reliable sources of low-carbon energy is the last thing we should be doing when we need to reduce emissions.

How Hyenas Sanitize The City

How Hyenas Sanitize The City

“People use town during the day but at night, hyenas come from natural areas around town into the city to feed on carcass waste left out by people,” Sonawane says.

The Science Museum Wants Their Plastic Samples. They Refused

The Science Museum Wants Their Plastic Samples. They Refused

When a curator from the Science Museum in London asked Deonie and Steve Allen whether they would like their work to be added to the museum’s permanent collection of artifacts, they jumped at the chance.

A Water Crisis Reveals You Can't Recycle in the Arctic

A Water Crisis Reveals You Can't Recycle in the Arctic

“Most of the communities don't have the facilities to do proper plastic recycling,” says Susanna Fuller, vice president of operations and projects for Oceans North, an environmental organization that earlier this year published a groundbreaking report examining waste in Arctic Canada.

Are Green Jet Fuels Finally Ready for Takeoff?

Are Green Jet Fuels Finally Ready for Takeoff?

One engine was burning standard petroleum-based aviation fuel from a Texas refinery, while the other was running on gas produced entirely from leftover cooking oil and grease from a factory in Los Angeles.

Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

But new modeling published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that 84 percent of airborne microplastics in the American West actually comes from the roads outside of major cities.

How Food Waste Could Be Turned Into Climate-Friendly Jet Fuel

How Food Waste Could Be Turned Into Climate-Friendly Jet Fuel

The researchers demonstrated that with the right catalysts, both of these reactions work extremely well and produce a mix of hydrocarbons with properties similar to that of jet fuel.

The iPhone 12 Ships Without a Charger. Will It Curb E-Waste?

The iPhone 12 Ships Without a Charger. Will It Curb E-Waste?

That number will continue to spike up to 74 million metric tons by 2030, almost double the amount recorded in 2014.E-waste, which includes batteries, appliances, phones, screens, and cables, might seem like junk at the end of its lifecycle to the people tossing it out, but those items contain traces of valuable components like iron, copper, and gold.

Your Beloved Blue Jeans Are Polluting the Ocean—Big Time

Your Beloved Blue Jeans Are Polluting the Ocean—Big Time

Regardless, Athey and her colleagues landed on a startling figure: A single pair of jeans may release 56,000 microfibers per wash.This landed them at an even more startling figure: Those two plants alone could be unloading a billion indigo denim microfibers per day into the lake.

Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries a Cure for Nuclear Waste?

Are Radioactive Diamond Batteries a Cure for Nuclear Waste?

To power something that energy hungry, he says, means “the mass of the battery would be significantly greater than the mass of the vehicle.” Instead, the company is looking at applications where it is either impossible or impractical to regularly change a battery, such as sensors in remote or hazardous locations at nuclear waste repositories or on satellites.

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash

While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don’t cut it for solar panels.

A Billion More Tons of Plastic Could Blanket Earth by 2040

A Billion More Tons of Plastic Could Blanket Earth by 2040

“The job of the model was to integrate the data that we could collect for all of the different geographical archetypes around the world,” says Bailey.

You Don't Need Single-Use Plastic Bags. You Need a Mask

You Don't Need Single-Use Plastic Bags. You Need a Mask

Its economics are supposedly simple: A company has to make more money on the resulting recycled material than what it costs to gather plastic waste and process it.So it’s more tempting than ever to just pump out more virgin plastic and let the recycling industry languish.

Yet Another Consequence of the Pandemic: More Plastic Waste

Yet Another Consequence of the Pandemic: More Plastic Waste

If oil, and therefore plastic, is cheap to begin with—and the coronavirus crisis has thoroughly cratered the price of oil—it doesn’t make economic sense for a company to process and sell recycled materials if they end up being more expensive than the virgin plastic another company is making.

A New, Plastic-Busting Enzyme Can Break Down Water Bottles

A New, Plastic-Busting Enzyme Can Break Down Water Bottles

For natural materials, breaking down isn't an issue, as microbes have evolved ways of digesting them to obtain energy or useful chemicals.The microbes that currently digest PET break down that ring as well, making them unsuitable for recycling.

One Way to Potentially Track Covid-19? Sewage Surveillance

One Way to Potentially Track Covid-19? Sewage Surveillance

Since early March, Sinnott-Armstrong has been making the rounds of the Bay Area’s wastewater treatment plants, collecting samples that may offer clues to Covid-19’s spread around the region.

Gadget Lab Podcast: You’ve Got Microplastics

Gadget Lab Podcast: You’ve Got Microplastics

On this episode of the Gadget Lab podcast, WIRED science writer Matt Simon joins Mike, Lauren, and Arielle to talk about where microplastic comes from, how it gets into our bodies, and what, if anything, we can do about it.

Senators Try—Again—to Solve the Nuclear Waste Debacle

Senators Try—Again—to Solve the Nuclear Waste Debacle

Instead, spent fuel rods are sitting at 95 nuclear plants around the country in either “fuel pools,” where the waste cools down for a few years after the rods finish producing energy, or in special steel-and-concrete casks that sit above ground like nuclear garbage cans.

How can we use analytical approaches to generate urban climate investments in Africa?

How can we use analytical approaches to generate urban climate investments in Africa?

Figure 2: Community Emissions Profile for Cotonou, Benin (Source: EDGE Cities) Some recommendations include the promotion of solar rooftops, public transportation, green building standards for new construction, energy performance labels for existing buildings, improved solid waste and waste water treatment, and vehicle electrification.

The World's Recycling Is in Chaos. Here's What Has to Happen

The World's Recycling Is in Chaos. Here's What Has to Happen

Like most municipal recycling programs, those cities contract with Duong’s company to collect and sort recyclable waste at its materials recovery facility, where they are baled and sent to end-market processors.

Since China’s Ban, Recycling in the US Has Gone Up in Flames

Since China’s Ban, Recycling in the US Has Gone Up in Flames

“You may think burning plastic means ‘poof, it’s gone’ but it puts some very nasty pollution into the air for communities that are already dealing with high rates of asthma and cancers.” Hugging the western bank of the Delaware River, which separates Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Chester City was once a humming industrial outpost, hosting Ford and General Motors plants.

The Water in Your Toilet Could Fight Climate Change One Day

The Water in Your Toilet Could Fight Climate Change One Day

The Water in Your Toilet Could Fight Climate Change One Day Organic matter sits in open-air tanks where microbes feed on it and release CO2 as a byproduct.

Bracing for climate change – a matter of survival for the Maldives

Bracing for climate change – a matter of survival for the Maldives

The Bank has been working with the Maldives to increase the use of renewables and has invested in a $16 million solar power project on the islands of Male and Hulhumale in the Greater Malé region.

If Edible Insects Are the Future, We Should Talk About Poop

If Edible Insects Are the Future, We Should Talk About Poop

Best case: insects that eat something people don’t , or can’t —solving a recycling problem while freeing up land to grow food for humans instead of human prey.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Joins New Global Alliance Against Plastic Waste

Chevron Phillips Chemical Joins New Global Alliance Against Plastic Waste

The 25 current members include manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters and waste management firms, along with leaders in government and intergovernmental organizations “Compared to alternatives like glass and steel, plastics provide dramatic reductions in energy use, material consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s time to solve the problem of plastic waste in our environment and oceans,” concluded Lashier.

Time to ask the tough questions about transport and climate

Time to ask the tough questions about transport and climate

As we gather contributions from public and private stakeholders around the world, here’s where the conversation on transport and climate stands so far: Waste-to-energy technologies offer a promising alternative to more traditional renewable energy.

What a Waste 2.0: sharing lessons on solid waste management

What a Waste 2.0: sharing lessons on solid waste management

The World Bank has been actively supporting countries develop strategies, policies, infrastructure, and capacities in their solid waste management sectors. Japan is a global leader in the development and application of environmental policies in the solid waste management sector.

Reclaiming India's wastelands to fight climate change

Reclaiming India's wastelands to fight climate change

Reclaiming and bringing into production some of India’s wastelands could partially offset some of the projected crop production declines expected because of climate change.