Single-use plastics transformed into high-quality liquid hydrocarbons with new catalyst

by Raleigh McElvery, special to C&EN, OCTOBER 24, 2019

All too often, plastics serve a “one-and-done” purpose. Roughly 300 million t of materials are discarded each year after just one use, contributing to waste and pollution. Scientists and businesses have been teaming up to change this, devising ways to transform single-use plastics into products of even greater value. Now, researchers have devised a catalyst capable of selectively converting single-use polyethylene—even from a plastic bag—into lubricants like motor oil or waxes for use in detergents, cosmetics, and more… read more

A recent article in MSW Management from EEC|CCNY Alumna Annette Scotto explores the social issues associated with recycling. The article titled “Is Recycling a Fraud? Why Should I Bother?

The use of social media platforms to educate and inform the public on the processes of modern recycling” discusses how social media can be used to better educate the public on recycling.  Annette and her team determined that the convenient location of recycling bins and a robust education program would likely increase recycling the most compared to other factors such as incentives.  To read more please go to: https://www.foresternetwork.com/msw-management/article/21105814/is-recycling-a-fraud-why-should-i-bother

A recent article quote Professor Castaldi

Professor Castaldi was recently quoted in a recent Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) feature. The article by Alexander Tullo presents the issues associated with plastic waste.  The article “Plastic has a problem; is chemical recycling the solution?” published October 6, 2019 C&EN VOL. 97, ISSUE 39 details how new and existing conversion technologies are planning to process the plastic wastes that are not or cannot be recycled.  Currently about 9% of plastics are recycled because the public does not separate their waste enough, the markets for recycled material are weak and product performance dictates exacting properties which recycled material normally cannot meet.  To read more please visit https://cen.acs.org/environment/recycling/Plastic-problem-chemical-recycling-solution/97/i39.

Why WTE should be part of the solution for non-recycled plastic wastes

Professor Castaldi shares his thoughts and insights on how and why WTE should be part of the solution for non-recycled plastic wastes.  It is widely recognized that plastics collected for recycled do not all get recycled.  Currently, only about 9% of plastics that are collected for recycling actually get recycled, with the remainder going primarily to landfills.  Since the restrictions placed by China on waste imports, the problem of waste and how to best manage it has gotten more attention.  Although reduction, reuse, and recycling should be aggressively pursued, waste-to-energy needs to increase to enable the extraction of useful energy from the plastic waste that is currently going to landfills.

For more information, please listen to the following podcast at https://art19.com/shows/today-explained/episodes/19e20be2-5dff-4658-8a69-19731edeb2ad

Ms. Sarah Foster, Senior Research Associate

Sarah Foster is a Principal at the scientific consulting firm CPF Associates, LLC, in the Washington DC area.  She has a Masters Degree in Environmental Health Sciences from the Harvard University of Public Health and over 30 years of consulting experience in the environmental health science field.  She focuses on developing strategies for and conducting health and environmental assessments related to waste technologies, waste sites and industrial facilities.  She has managed or performed over 100 comprehensive risk assessment projects and other types of health and odor evaluation studies for municipal solid waste and hazardous waste landfills, waste-to-energy facilities, hazardous waste incinerators, transfer stations and contaminated sites.  She has extensive experience in multiple chemical, multiple pathway risk assessments, assessment of public health, occupational and odor impacts based on environmental and workplace monitoring data, risk and exposure assessments of indoor water uses, environmental fate and transport modeling, and risk communication.

Maryland’s looming waste crisis – an unintended consequence of uninformed environmentalists

Maryland Could See Waste Crisis
After stricter limits on waste-to-energy facilities in Maryland, the state could see a drastic uptick in the amount of waste that needs to be landfilled. If Maryland’s two WTE facilities close, it will add millions of tons of household waste back into the landfill stream. State projections, meanwhile, show that the state’s landfills will be full within 30 years at the current rate – if the WTE facilities close early, that rate would grow exponentially. State officials are hoping that improved recycling can offset the waste flow or municipalities would have to pay to send the waste out of state. At present, Montgomery County pays nearly $1 million annually to send waste to Pennsylvania or Virginia.
https://www.marylandmatters.org/2019/08/09/is-a-trash-crisis-looming-in-md/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202019-08-HB961 Castaldi_fnl

SB516-SB548 Castaldi_fnl

Radio event

Please tune in today, Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 3pm to WHCR-90.3FM to From City to the World, hosted by CCNY President Vince Boudreau.
President Boudreau will discuss sustainability and waste management with Professor Marco Castaldi, the Director of the Earth Engineering Center here at CCNY and a Professor in our Chemical Engineering Department.
On the second half of the show Cheryl Huber, the Assistant Director of Greenmarket, the country’s largest network of outdoor farmers markets will join the conversation. She will discuss her organization’s work with an emphasis on Grownyc’s Zero Waste program.
To listen to or watch From City to the World tune in to WHCR-90.3FM or go to www.whcr.org and click on the From City to the World banner at the top of the home page.