Archives for category: Waste Tracking System

U.S. hospitals could have trouble handling and disposing of Ebola-related waste if they begin to treat infected patients, potentially threatening public safety.

The hemorrhagic fever is transmitted through bodily fluids and produces significant vomiting and diarrhea in people it infects.

These fluids would be considered biohazards and require special handling and disposal that few hospitals are prepared to carry out.

Green Halo Waste Tracking Hospitals Unprepared for Hazardous Ebola WasteAs health officials entertain the possibility that more Ebola cases could arrive in the United States, it’s a logistical problem hospitals are starting to consider.

The challenge was highlighted Wednesday in a report by Reuters, which chronicled how doctors at Emory University in Atlanta handled Ebola waste in the course of treating two infected missionaries.

Patients were generating “up to 40 bags a day of medical waste,” according to Emory assistant professor of medicine Aneesh Mehta. And the hospital’s disposal company, Stericycle, reportedly refused to handle the material at first.

So clinicians found a temporary solution: 32-gallon rubber containers with lids from Home Depot. Later, they used a special sterilizer to neutralize the waste before passing it to the company for disposal.

Reuters noted that few hospitals have the ability to sterilize materials on site like Emory.

“For this reason, it would be very difficult for a hospital to agree to care for Ebola cases. This desperately needs a fix,” Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Public Health Committee, told the wire service.

Federal health and transportation agencies are reportedly meeting to discuss and resolve the issue.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced the $189,000 fine against Sims Metal Management on Thursday September 18th over allegations that it polluted the San Francisco Bay with toxic metal debris. The EPA charged the company with allowing toxic dust from metal to fall off a conveyor system and into a creek that feeds into the San Francisco Bay since at least the early 1990’s. As part of a settlement agreement, the recycling company will be required to pay the cost of cleanup in addition to the fine.

EPA Fines Sims Metal $189K for Polluting SF Bay Green Halo Waste TrackingSims Metal spokeswoman Jill Rodby said the company has implemented a number of best practices around the conveyor and agreed to the settlement without acknowledging any wrongdoing.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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good_job_san_francisco

San Francisco, California achieved a remarkable diversion rate of 80% which is higher than any other U.S. city and they plan to be a zero-waste city by 2020! Talk about an extreme amount of planning, consideration and most importantly a great shift in habits.

Since 2009 the city’s municipal ordinance requires city-wide source separation of all organic materials, that means that urban food waste and composting measures were put into effect. There are also three bins for composting, recycling and lastly their (sometimes smaller) trash cart! Besides requiring San Franciscans to contribute food waste to compost, and the three bins which encourage recycling, the third effective phenomenon that has been seen in San Francisco is a reduction in the amount of convenience items such as plastic bags that shoppers use.

Now, the city has 20% more waste diversion to go to reach their goal of zero waste and our source has a good point that this last bit might be the most challenging. Although San Francisco has the right incentives, technology, habits and laws, there are still more convenience items in their waste steam that will be key in achieving zero waste.

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Our recent blog posts about San Francisco working towards zero waste:

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall–Who’s the Greenest of Them All?
San Francisco Bans Bottled Water on City Property
Cultivate Festival

 

 

Sources: http://bit.ly/UO3Zkg

and

http://bit.ly/1oR5dYq

This is the outside of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s new FLEXLAB

 

FLEXLAB is the world’s first energy use lab that will help builders and manufactures test entire building systems down to the component level on a significant scale.

This lab offers solutions for people who bring products to test out and want to use all of the lab’s equipment to do so, to people who want to bring their product to test out with their own machinery and equipment.

Current projects involve measuring energy usage for the Genentech building, PG&E and more!

The lab has 4 stations (shown in the video above) to accommodate a variety of testing scenarios including:

1. “Test-drive technologies”

2. “Individual circuits and meters”

3. “Lighting and plug-load elements”

4. “On-site training”

5. “Compression testing”

and more.

According to the FLEXLAB, there is a problem that buildings are designed to be energy efficient, but once they are being used they end up using a lot more energy than was planned. A new study even pointed out that energy efficient buildings sometimes use more than twice the energy than was expected based on their design.

Here’s an except from the lab’s website about what they offer:

FLEXLAB is the first test bed in the world that can evaluate the energy efficiency of major building systems, as an integrated system, under real-world conditions. Stakeholders can evaluate energy-efficient building technologies individually or as integrated systems in advance of building projects or retrofits, in order to:

  • Optimize integrated systems to maximize energy savings
  • Ensure occupant comfort and user-friendliness
  • Verify cost-benefit numbers
  • Train building operators
  • Build confidence in new technologies

 

( Source: http://flexlab.lbl.gov/ )

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Portland Montreal Pipe Line green halo waste tracking system

The Portland-Montreal Pipe Line (PMPL) carries crude oil between South Portland, Maine and Montreal, Quebec. The PMPL was built in the beginning of World War II to transport the oil shipments to Canada to central Canada. The Portland-Montreal Pipe Line was originally finished in 1941 which could transport oil to Montreal from The USA. Today the Port of Portland is the largest volume oil port on the Eastern Seaboards because of the PMPL.

At the beginning of 2008 the PMPL parties looked into expanding and/or reversing the flow of the PMPL since crude oil reserves are increasing in western Canada. The Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada for one have also been in the news a lot recently because they have bitumen or heavy crude oil. Since the modern method of oil production from heavy crude oil causes devastation to the natural environment and human health, the South Portland, Maine area recently made the decision to keep tar sands out of its port.

The PMPL Corp. says that “the ban won’t hold up in court”.

More from:

http://www.npr.org/sections/environment/

http://www.pmpl.com/

and http://updates.mainetoday.com/updates/021895.html

 

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Did you know that Chicago, IL has become the epicenter for LEED-certified buildings?

green halo waste tracking system leed building chicago illinois il green

How about the fact that landscaping designed to conserve water is called Xeriscaping and it’s big in Denver, CO?

green halo waste tracking system Xeriscaping denver colorado co

Freshkills landfill in New York, NY is a landfill that’s three-times the size of Central Park and it’s being worked on so that it can be turned into a park!

green halo waste tracking system freshkills park in new york

Portland, OR is home to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance whose mission it is to create healthy, sustainable communities by make bicycling safe, convenient and accessible.

greenhalo_systems_some_of_the_things_that_bicycle_transportation_alliance_offers_and_does

 

Source: http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/14/ranking-sustainability-programs-u-s/

and 

http://btaoregon.org/

 

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Here it is, a list of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint according to National Geographic and the folks @GreenHaloUSA

carbon footprint erase pan green halo green environment

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

1. Make your home energy efficient.
Your home can be responsible for creating twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as your car. Since half of the energy used in your home helps to heat and cool it, making your home as energy efficient as possible will take big chunks out of your carbon footprint. Steps you can take include: Getting a home energy audit; installing energy efficient windows; insulating your attic and walls; installing a programmable thermostat; turning your thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer.

2. Drive less.
Combine your trips in the car, so you don’t have to go out multiple times to the same location. When possible, use public transit, walk or bike to your destination.

3. Buy the highest gas mileage car for your needs.
Cars contribute 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels; the better your gas mileage, the less gas you burn and the fewer emissions you create.

4. Buy energy efficient appliances.
When replacing appliances, buy Energy Star qualified appliances (these use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances and can save you $80 or more per year).

5. Recycle.
Creating products from recycled materials uses up to 98 percent less energy than producing things from new materials.

6. Replace your light bulbs.
Switching to energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will save you $30 over the life of the bulb, because these they use about 75 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.

7. Buy local food.
Each ingredient in a U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles. If we all ate one meal per week of local, organic food, we’d save 1.1 million barrels of oil per week.

8. Eat less red meat.
Beef takes a lot of energy and resources to produce. Replace red meat with fish, chicken and eggs and cut your food carbon footprint by 29 percent. Go vegetarian to cut it by 50 percent.

9. Lower your water heater temperature from 140 degrees F to 120 degrees F.

10. Buy carbon offsets for the rest and make yourself “carbon neutral.”

green halo waste tracking system renewable energy windmill jazz

( Source: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/human-footprint/trash-talk2.html )

 

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This old fashion style video about sustainability is fully hosted on YouTube and it is a popular, educational and full-length movie!

The Treasure of San Buenaventura, An Environmental Sustainability Production can be viewed here:

This film takes place in the old west in 1880’s Ventura where mysterious occurrences start because a time traveling environmentalist from the future comes to San Buenaventura to start new environmental programs similar to the ones that are currently practiced.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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waste tracking wastetracking deforestation in indonesia

Indonesia is now the country with the highest rate of annual loss in primary forest in the world. The area of forest that was lost between 2000 to 2012 is 16m hectares, an area roughly the same size as Greece. Of the 16m hectares of deforestation, 38% of that or 6m hectares was primary forest (the most valuable in terms of carbon and biodiversity) and the “…loss of primary forest is increasing by an average of 47,600 hectares every year”.

This was caused in part by “…corrupt local politicians, police and even army officers are still involved in selling off forest land to be cleared for palm-oil and paper-pulp plantations, illegal logging and much else. The land is most often cleared by burning, creating the dense and deadly haze clouds that drift across the island of Sumatra to Malaysia and Singapore, creating an almost annual diplomatic and environmental row. Last year the air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia as a result of the haze was the worst on record.”

Source: http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/07/indonesia-and-environment#sthash.tzQ5NgWv.dpbs

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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beach clean up trash garbage beach green halo waste tracking system

Litter from the streets usually makes its way to the ocean and the chances of litter harming any of the wild life on its “way to the bay” are huge and it’s extremely devastating.

clean up trash garbage beach green halo waste tracking system

The U.S. Embassy Manila’s Public Affairs Section just released a wonderful guide on how to organize a clean-up. There are simple guidelines for what to do 1 week before the clean-up, how to organize the clean-up 2 weeks before the date, on the date, and after the date making this quick and easy! Another awesome thing about this document:

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/manila/19452/pdfs/Coastal%20Clean-up%20Toolkit.pdf

Is that it shows you what tags will attract people to help you and to help you gain visibility to spread the word. There are trending Twitter, Facebook and Instagram tags right now such as #OurOcean2014 and #PHcares4oceans that can make clean-ups this year different than previous years.

Please Tweet us @GreenHaloUSA if we inspired you to clean-up #OurOcean2014 !

 

Another great Green article from Green Halo
Track your recycling at www.greenhalosystems.com
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