|Is the United States on the road to mandatory composting?
In early agricultural societies, composting was not only an economically efficient method of disposal, but more significantly it also enriched soils and helped prevent pollution.
Over time, as population densities increased and waste streams became more complex with the introduction of manufactured goods and non-organic materials, and as municipal waste collection grew more sophisticated, the many benefits of composting were lost to the expediency and economics of landfilling.
But, over the past few decades, that has been changing in a big way. As people became more aware, the sustainability benefits of composting yard and food-waste have become more recognized and embraced by more and more individuals as well as many European and North American cities.
The movement towards composting has also been driven by the increasing popularity of organically grown foods and the realization that harsh chemical fertilizers are a hazard to human and animal health, and a major cause of water pollution. ...read more
Globalization impacts auto recycling
Today’s car buyers may not realize that, whether imported or American made, automobiles typically contain parts sourced from many countries. American icons such as the Ford Explorer SUV contain 50 percent North American made parts, while the imported Kia Sorrento contains 53 percent North American-made parts.
Another fact people may not realize is that when vehicles reach the end of their useful lives, the scrapped auto parts may also be shipped across the globe.
Globalization of automobile recycling is well underway and accelerating, with hard-to-foresee effects on American car recyclers. In part, it is impelled by growth in new vehicle production. The world’s car population passed 1 billion a few years ago and could reach 2.5 billion by mid-century. Last year, global manufacturers bolted together a record 60 million passenger cars.
Most growth, like most current production, will not be in the U.S. or traditional vehicle sources like Japan and Germany. In 2012 the U.S. produced just over 4 million passenger cars, according to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), a global carmaker association, while China alone made over 15 million. In a dozen years, China is forecast to produce 25 million cars annually. ...read more