News

PAYT Webinar

Webinar: Zero Waste Connection
rethink

EPA Region IX will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, May 21st, summarizing the results from a recent PAYT Project.”Pay-As-You-Throw: Growth & Opportunity for Sustainable Materials Management” will include topics such as growth in PAYT; performance and cost-effectiveness compared to other incentives; optimal rate design; addressing issues related to small haulers, rural communities, multifamily buildings and commercial sectors; and more! Attendees will be able to see
materials and resources developed as part of the project, and participate in a Q&A session.Join the SMART & PAYT Group on the Zero Waste Connection to connect with Network members working on these initiatives.

To access the Zero Waste Connection you need to be a member.   New users can sign-up for free at www.ZeroWasteConnection.org.

 

EPA requires Southern California metal finishers to stop illegal hazardous waste releases, wastewater discharges

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today the resolution of a series of enforcement actions at five Southern California metal finishing companies which will collectively pay more than $223,700 in civil penalties for hazardous waste and Clean Water Act violations. The violations were uncovered during inspections conducted at facilities in the cities of Compton, Paramount, Ontario, and Sun Valley. Three facilities are located along the I-710 freeway corridor where the effects of pollution are disproportionately higher on local residents than in other areas of Los Angeles County.

“This multi-year effort in Southern California is part of EPA’s commitment to bring environmental justice to residents and workers in communities unfairly burdened by the risks from hazardous waste,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Metal plating facilities, often located close to neighborhoods, must ensure they comply with federal laws to prevent harm to the community and the environment.” Read more


EPA Administrator McCarthy announces LEED Platinum Certification of San Francisco City Hall

City Hall becomes the oldest building in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum Certification for existing buildings

San Francisco – Today, U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined City of San Francisco officials to announce the U.S. Green Building Council’s award of LEED Platinum Certification – the highest possible rating – to San Francisco’s historic City Hall. Completed in 1915, City Hall is the oldest building in the United States to receive LEED Platinum Certification for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance in (LEED – EBOM). This LEED classification highlights the potential for significant water and energy savings in existing buildings.

Platinum Certification of San Francisco’s 100-year-old City Hall is the culmination of a multi-year water and energy retrofit partnership between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), the U.S. EPA, and the City Administrator’s Office. An EPA grant of $700,000 supported the replacement of over 90 toilets and urinals in City Hall with high-efficiency models. This federal funding continues to support water efficiency retrofits at other Civic Center buildings, including 101 Grove Street. Operational and energy efficiency upgrades were funded by the local ratepayers.

“San Francisco has long been a leader and innovator at the forefront of solutions to combat climate change and reduce energy and water consumption,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “As the entire nation watches California endure its 4th year of drought, we all must do our part to use renewable energy, be energy efficient, and conserve our precious water resources.” Read more


Green Cleaning Program Training for San Francisco House Cleaning Services

SFE article for April newsletter

On March 25th, the San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) conducted a presentation for La Colectiva, a collective of women who provide house cleaning services throughout the City. SFE staff presented in Spanish during one of La Colectiva’s weekly meetings in the Mission district, which was attended by 40-50 women. La Colectiva prides itself on providing eco-friendly cleaning. Homemade recipes, highlighted in the Department’s Easy and Safe Cleaning factsheet, are very popular with the women of the collective.

SFE has trained more than 300 custodians on green cleaning products and practices as part of their Custodial Green Cleaning program. This expertise was used to highlight tips and techniques for green cleaning. The presentation motivated them to continue using their homemade products and encouraged them to adopt some of the green cleaning practices highlighted in the multi lingual videos shown to them. The modules covered included dusting and polishing, mopping, kitchen and restroom cleaning. The women were given various Green Cleaning resources like factsheets and flashcards they could take with them on the job.

After the presentation, the Department staff answered questions about products and tools, and learned more about health concerns and other unique issues the women face in their work. A big constraint the women face is using their clients’ products, which are not always green products. Future presentations will include tips to educate their family, friends and clients.

In the last year, SFE has honored many companies who successfully completed the Custodial Green Cleaning pilot program. Theirs is the first Green Business program in the nation focused on protecting custodial worker health by providing live hands on training and switching from harmful cleaning products to greener products and methods.

If you are a custodial/janitorial company interested in becoming a Green Business, please register and apply here, or call (415) 355-3700

To learn more about La Colectiva, please visit lacolectivasf.org

If you are interested in learning more, call (415)-355-3700.

 


Triple Regional P2 Roundtable

p2roundtable

Join the pollution prevention colleagues from the Mississippi River basin for a multi-regional roundtable that includes:

  • Training
  • Sharing of program innovations
  • Implementations and results of P2 projects
  • Networking with other P2 professionals as well as businesses interested in sustainability
  • Inspiration to lead and continuously improve your effective technical assistance program

The meeting will be held on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a leader in sustainability and business assistance in St. Louis. Training includes pollution prevention assessments for Craft Breweries – the fastest growing segment of food processing and Lean & Green Training for businesses.

This event is presented by the TRIPLE REGIONAL P2 ROUNDTABLE hosted by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR), Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC), and Zero Waste Network. Register by March 27.

For more information: http://nbdc.unomaha.edu/2015Roundtable/index.htm


Posted: March 5, 2015

Las Vegas Resorts Lead Zero Waste Efforts in Nevada

LAS VEGAS – MGM Resorts International was recognized today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its outstanding efforts in food recovery.

The entertainment and hospitality company received two national Food Recovery Challenge awards for reducing food waste and, in the process, conserving natural resources.

“MGM’s zero waste leadership has turned mountains of food scraps into compost to help fight waste and climate change,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

MGM Resorts and MGM Grand Las Vegas are two of the 32 recipients who received the 2014 Food Recovery Challenge Award, and the only recipients in Nevada. The award was given for achieving the highest percentage of potentially wasted food diversion and prevention.

Senator Harry Reid’s office also issued a certificate of recognition to the company for leading food recovery efforts in Nevada. Officials from the EPA and Sen. Reid’s office presented these honors to MGM Resorts representatives in a ceremony at ARIA Resort & Casino. A behind-the-scenes tour of the resort’s food recovery program was also given. Read more


New Green Chemistry Guide Available for Download

The City of Los Angeles and NPPR announce the availability of the Green Chemistry Guide collaborated on by renowned university professors, industry professionals and the City of Los Angeles’s engineers. This manual provides state agencies and technical assistance providers with tools and resources to better serve their clients who are looking for information and to support greening their operations, supply chains, processes, and products. WSPPN will announce a series of webinars to begin in May that will cover the content of the manual chapter-by-chapter.

Download Manual


EPA Awards Six California and Nevada School Districts $435,000 for Eighteen Cleaner School Buses

Posted: February 10, 2015

Awards $3 Million to Reduce Emissions from 76 School Bus Fleets Nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO –Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding five California School Districts $325,000 and one Nevada School District $110,000 to replace eighteen older diesel school buses with new, clean buses that are more than 90 percent cleaner.  Nationwide, 76 recipients will receive rebates through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to replace 210 school buses.

Nevada’s recipient, the Washoe County School District, will replace five school buses.  California recipients will replace four buses in the Town Ride, Inc. of Arcadia Unified School District;  two buses for the Culver City Unified School District, one bus for the Enterprise Elementary School District in Redding, Calif., five buses for the Clovis Unified School District, and one bus for the Southern Humboldt Unified School District in Miranda, Calif. Read more


EPA, States and Automotive Industry to Reduce Copper in Motor Vehicle Brake Pads

Jan. 21, 2015

Summary
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the automotive industry and the states signed an agreement to reduce the use of copper and other materials in motor vehicle brake pads. The Copper-Free Brake Initiative calls for cutting copper in brake pads to less than 5 percent by 2021 and 0.5 percent by 2025. This voluntary initiative also calls for cutting the amount of mercury, lead, cadmium, asbestiform fibers and chromium-6 salts in motor vehicle brake pads. These steps will decrease runoff of these materials from roads into the nation’s streams, rivers and lakes, where these materials can harm fish, amphibians and plants.

By the Numbers

California and Washington have already passed requirements to reduce these materials in brake pads. Prior to their enactment, dust from vehicular braking released an estimated 1.3 million pounds of copper into California’s environment in 2010 and about 250,000 pounds into Washington’s environment in 2011. Estimates for California show copper in urban runoff down as much as 61 percent thanks to changes in brake pad composition.

What They Said

“EPA is proud to partner with the automotive industry and the states to reduce the use of copper in motor vehicle brake pads, which means less of this material running off our roads and into our nation’s waterways,” said Stan Meiburg, acting deputy administrator for EPA. “The environment and public health in our country will benefit from this type of collaboration between the public and private sector.” Read more