Sustainability importance expands
Since the 1950s, the old-fashion notion of “conservation” has expanded to be called “sustainability” and has become the buzzword synonymous with grand visions of environmental responsibility and lifestyle.
The word has now entered the common lexicon and is often featured by government, environmentalists, green businesses, recyclers and waste handlers. In the realm of ecology, sustainability describes how the earth can endure, remaining healthy and productive.
Since 1987 the most widely quoted definition of sustainability is that of the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations, “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” ...read more
DOE proposes recycling metal from nuclear facilities
Metals recyclers are fighting to prevent the Department of Energy from releasing tons of metal from weapons plants and other nuclear facilities. Recycling of the metal, which would include desks and bookcases as well as structural steel, has been barred since 2000. The Energy Department said it can safely release the metal for recycling, but recyclers are worried their facilities, employees and products would be contaminated.
The department solicited input on the concept last December, generating an outpouring of opposition. The idea specifically is to give an undersecretary authority to release metals from radiological sites. The quantity of metal under consideration comes to about 14,000 tons, according to the department, and also consists of items such as spare parts and electrical cable. A department spokesperson said the proposal includes adequate safeguards. ...read more