EPA seeks to encourage recycling by removing RCRA oversight

EPA has long sought to encourage recycling, particularly of solvents and metals, by removing RCRA oversight and control over what use to be considered hazardous "wastes". The original proposal in 2003 focused on a defining a continuous process within an industry; the proposal was heavily criticized...

Participation in recycling programs may increase if solid waste agencies use single containers

Several decades ago, California, like many States, panicked at the thought that they would run out of space in existing landfills, and that few landfills would be constructed in the future. Therefore, they enacted aggressive programs to keep various waste-streams out of landfills; it was amazing the...

IMO adopts shipbreaking/recycling convention; critics are not impressed

To help with recycling of ships, last month the International Maritime Organization has adopted a convention that addresses the design, construction, operation, and preparation of a ship for recycling without compromising on safety and operational efficiency, according to the IMO. Ships sent for recycling...

Plastic garbage zones are not just in the Pacific

The plastic garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean has received substantial media attention. However, recent studies have shown that there are a number of such garbage patches, and that unfortunately they are larger than originally believed. The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to be...

EPA proposes new hazardous waste recycling regulations to address environmental justice concerns

EPA is has released for public comment its draft expanded environmental justice analysis of the 2008 definition of solid waste. The draft evaluates the rule’s potential impact on low-income and minority communities. EPA is also requesting public comment on the environmental justice analysis as...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York City Enacts Three More Recommendations From the Green Codes Task Force

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On December 27, 2011, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law three bills that enacted recommendations of the New York City Green Codes Task Force. The bills are aimed at carrying out long-term municipal plans...

As Much as 1/3 of Earth's Biomass Lives Beneath the Ocean Floor

They are referred to as intraterrestrials, organisms that live inside the Earth. Most live beneath the bottom of the oceans. Some live in the tens of meters of mud just beneath the seafloors; others, following fractures in rock, live hundreds of meters down. By some estimates, as much as one-third of...

Telling Legitimate Recycling From Shams

My post on “recycling” batteries by turning them into roadbed aggregate, via mill slag, raised the question of what constitutes “legitimate” recycling. The US Environmental Protection Agency has been struggling with this issue for decades; claims to turn hazardous waste inexpensively...

State Net Environmental Law News: Michigan Governor Snyder Rolls Out Expanded Recycling Plan

SNYDER ROLLS OUT EXPANDED RECYCLING PLAN: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) released a proposal last week that would double the amount of residential waste that Wolverine State residents recycle. "Michigan has a strong tradition of protecting and enhancing its environment," Snyder said in a...