Archives for the month of: March, 2013

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today that an online software system called Green Halo has helped contractors recycle thousands of tons of construction debris and stay in compliance with the County’s new Demolition Debris Diversion ordinance, announced President Preckwinkle’s Cook County office.

Cook County 1

The ecofriendly ordinance passed in February requires that at least 70 percent of C&D (Construction and Demolition) debris must be recycled, and an additional 5 percent of it must be reused on residential structures. To help make sure this Ordinance is implemented smoothly and to make the process easier for both parties, Cook County will be using Green Halo’s online Waste Tracking System to monitor and track C&D Projects and make sure that Recycling Requirements are met.

The County has made the Green Halo system available to contractors for free to simplify the way they track waste and recycling from demolition and construction projects. It also helps ensure recycling requirements are met.

Since November, the software has tracked more than 25.7 thousand tons of demolition waste that has been recycled or reused. It also locates the nearest recycling facilities, uploads recycling drop-off tickets and submits reports directly to the County. Contract administrator Tracy Alvord of Brandenburg Industrial Service Company said Green Halo system is “easy to follow” and can find nearby recycling facilities that accept hard-to-recycle materials such as carpeting.

“I’m proud Cook County is the first local government in the Midwest to use this business-friendly reporting system,” President Preckwinkle said. “We are saving time and money for contractors by switching to an electronic reporting system that’s easy and efficient.”

Since November, approximately 62 contractors have used Green Halo to enter a waste diversion plan, which takes an average of only five to ten minutes to input.

“Green Halo has eliminated hundreds of pounds of paper previously used by contractors and the County, saving money, trees, energy and time,” said Deborah Stone, director of the Cook County Department of Environmental Control. “And the easy access to reports means we are accountable for making sure there are real environmental benefits from our programs.”CookCountySeal-Heavy-Ring__BlueGold-small
Cook County is also the first local government in the Midwest to require the reuse of material as part of its ordinance. As a result of the ordinance, contractors have been able to glean high value lumber for reuse as structural beams in new houses, along with brick, doors and windows, kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

The groundbreaking demolition ordinance enacted last November is part of President Preckwinkle’s Sustainability Initiative, with the goals of reducing energy consumption, decreasing pollution, and creating livable and sustainable communities.

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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.


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Another great Green article from Green Halo
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We’re all used to plastic made from corn, but a new source for biodegradable plastics (and plastics not made from fossil fuels) might be tree sap.

Just like crude oil, sap from trees is sticky, viscous, and extracted by drilling. One day, the two substances may share a new feature in common: at the University of South Carolina researchers are figuring out the best way to use resin from conifers as the building blocks for plastic (albeit a more environmentally friendly version).

Tree Sap 1 According to lead researcher Chuanbing Tang, the resin’s richness in hydrocarbons (similar to petroleum) makes it a good fit for polymerization, the process whereby organic materials become plastic. Right now, those methods are in their infancy, unlike traditional petroleum-based plastics which have been given decades and millions of dollars in investment money to mature.

We’re able to make materials that should break down more readily in the environment. And while an advantage to using a renewable resource to make plastic may be that we’re never going to run out of it, the real benefit is environmental. “With a polymer framework derived from renewable sources, we’re able to make materials that should break down more readily in the environment,” adds Tang. Just like the corn-based plastics we’ve grown used to drinking iced coffees out of, plastics made from tree resin will be more susceptible to the bacteria responsible for decomposition.

So, the outcome could be less plastic bags tangling up marine life in the ocean, and more plastic bags in the compost pile.


Content provided by Scientific American

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at
 Follow Green Halo on Twitter at