Posts tagged waste
Story by Caryn Maconi, CUBuffs.com
LOS ANGELES – The No. 22 Colorado women’s basketball team had an opportunity on Friday night to gain a win over a ranked Pac-12 Conference opponent for the first time this season — but the Buffs couldn’t capitalize.
Shooting just 20 percent in the first half and 28.6 percent overall, CU fell to No. 18 UCLA 62-46 at Pauley Pavilion.
It was the Buffs’ third straight road game against a ranked opponent, having fallen to then-No. 7 California and then-No. 4 Stanford last weekend. Now 4-5 in the Pac-12 and 15-5 overall, CU has just one day to regroup before taking on Southern California Sunday at 10 a.m. MST.
Colorado was No. 1 in the conference in scoring defense going into Friday’s matchup, holding opponents to an average of 52.1 points per game — but UCLA’s forceful offense was too much for the Buffs to handle.
The Bruins (16-4, 7,-2) shot 55.5 percent from the field, improving from 44 percent in the first half to 70 in the second. Senior guard/forward Markel Walker led the Bruins with 17 points, and senior forward Alyssa Brewer added 10.
Junior guard Brittany Wilson and senior guard Chucky Jeffery led CU in scoring with 12 and 11, respectively. The Buffs, however, didn’t show their usual scoring depth, with all non-starters combined scoring just nine points.
Rebounding, though, was perhaps Colorado’s biggest struggle. The Buffs were outrebounded 25-16 at the half and 44-29 on the night. Four Bruins recorded at least six rebounds, while only one CU player had more than four.
The Buffs did force 29 Bruin turnovers while only committing 17. CU head coach Linda Lappe said that while that may have been the only positive on the stat sheet for her team, the inability to capitalize off of those turnovers was costly for the Buffs.
“They gave us plenty of opportunities,” Lappe said. “Obviously they weren’t really ever threatened by us, and so perhaps they gave away some passes that they wouldn’t have if the game had been closer.”
Lappe said her team was capable of much more than it showed Friday night, especially on the defensive end.
“We didn’t have any mental toughness tonight,” Lappe said. “I mean, we were really a shell of ourselves. We didn’t rebound, we didn’t really play defense, we didn’t play together.”
CU started with a bang in the first half, going up six on a Lexy Kresl three with 16:32 remaining. When UCLA’s Walker responded with a 6-0 run of her own, though, the Buffs were unable to recover. In the 10 minutes following Walker’s run, Colorado scored just three points, allowing the Bruin’s lead to grow to 14 with five minutes left in the half.
By intermission, CU had recorded only 15 points to UCLA’s 29.
The Buffs found some energy with a 6-2 run at the start of the second half, even closing the Bruins’ lead to 11 with 14:43 remaining.
Ultimately, though, an inconsistent CU offense paired with UCLA’s dominance on the boards prevented the Buffs from a successful comeback.
With 6:41 on the clock, UCLA’s lead had grown to 19 — and while Colorado would not stop fighting, the shots simply didn’t fall.
“We were off the entire night,” Lappe said. “We couldn’t make layups. We weren’t necessarily turning the ball over a ton, but we just couldn’t get stops. We were on our heels the entire night. When we did get a stop, they’d get an offensive rebound put-back, or they’d get to the free throw line because we’d bail them out. There are so many things to point to that I can’t even name just one.”
The Buffs have just one day to regroup before taking on USC and Lappe doesn’t plan to waste that time.
“We’ve just got to get back to the drawing board, we’ve got to figure out how to get ready for the next game,” Lappe said. “Play like we can play, play with a sense of confidence, understand what we’re trying to do. We’ve got to play together. We just have to get back to doing the things that we were doing to win so many games that we seemed to not want to do tonight.”
Boulder County, Colo. – After years of collaborative work with county staff, elected officials and local partners, Boulder County has released a draft of its Environmental Sustainability Plan for public comment and feedback prior to its adoption on Jan. 3.
Once adopted, there will be an extensive public review process to continue to tweak parts of the plan and develop an implementation strategy for each of the elements of the plan.
What: Public hearing to adopt the Environmental Sustainability Plan
When: Thursday, Jan. 3 at 11 a.m.
Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Boulder County Courthouse, third floor, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder (map)
Comments may also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The plan was drafted to articulate Boulder County’s vision to create a more environmentally sustainable community as well as provide a blueprint for achieving the county’s collective environmental sustainability goals. In addition, it’s intended that the plan will act as a launching point to help set communitywide environmental priorities and develop shared resources to achieve more regional environmental sustainability goals.
The plan addresses county internal operations as well as the environmental services provided for residents and businesses. It is broken into nine categories including air quality, climate, ecological health, energy and buildings, health and wellness, local food and agriculture, transportation, water and zero waste.
Each section concludes with policy priorities and actions that employees, residents and businesses can take to positively impact Boulder County. More specific timeframes, funding sources, selection of implementation leaders and/or partners will be addressed in an implementation plan, which will guide Boulder County employees in executing the strategies in the Environmental Sustainability Plan.
The next phase of the environmental sustainability planning process is to solicit feedback and insight from the community including key stakeholders and experts on what is missing from the plan and how to best carry out the strategies outlined.
For a copy of the plan, please visit: http://www.bouldercounty.org/sustainability/bc/pages/envsustainabilityplan.aspx
Reichert family will receive $20,000 worth of energy upgrades
Boulder County, Colo. – John Reichert and his family received a pleasant surprise today when the Boulder County Commissioners and EnergySmart staffers visited to award them the Grand Prize in the EnergySmart Home Energy Makeover.
The Home Energy Makeover grand prize, valued at approximately $20,000, includes a new energy efficient furnace, air sealing and insulation upgrades to the attic and crawlspace/basement, an energy efficient water heater, cooling system upgrades, and $4,000 to use for recommended energy upgrades of the homeowner’s choosing.
John and Kathleen Reichert live in Boulder with their son, James, 6. They purchased their home intending to make it a more sustainable place to raise their family. “Have you ever been caught by a six-year-old for putting an aluminum can in the trash?” John said. Shortly after moving in, however, John’s position at work was eliminated and Kathleen’s hospice-care salary didn’t allow for the planned upgrades.
The Reichert family made it through three rounds of selection to win the grand prize. In round one, their home was identified as one of the top fifteen poorest performing homes having received an EnergySmart assessment.
In round two, the Reicherts submitted a short essay explaining why they needed a Home Energy Makeover, which was selected as one of three finalists by a panel of local energy expert judges. In round three, the three finalists were interviewed and the Reicherts were chosen as the best fit for the award.
Earlier this week, four homes won equal second place prizes, including a new energy efficient furnace, home air sealing and insulation upgrades, and $1,500 to use toward a recommended energy upgrade of the homeowner’s choice.
Contest prizes were largely donated by local contractors:
• Grand Prize package: Solar City
• Insulation/air sealing: EcoHandyman, ThermalCraft Insulation, EcoSmart Homes, ERC Insulation.
• Furnace installations: Service Experts, SAC Mechanical
EnergySmart focuses on improvements that will reduce energy waste, improve comfort, and produce cost-savings for both residential and business participants. Services include energy assessments and expert advisor assistance with finding contractors and all available rebates and financing options for energy efficiency upgrades.
Since the program’s launch in January 2011, EnergySmart has helped more than 6,600 residents and 2,200 businesses throughout Boulder County.
EnergySmart is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy’s BetterBuildings grant program and is sponsored in partnership by Boulder County, the City of Boulder’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax, the City of Longmont, Xcel Energy and Platte River Power Authority. For more information, visit www.EnergySmartYES.com or call 303-544-1000 (for homes) or 303-441-1300 (for businesses).
Vote Obama – Government Oversight of Corporate Abuse Critical to Make Americans Safe
By Scott Hatfield
With serious differences on corporate and government accountability and the concentration of wealth and power at the very top, folks should be feeling compelled to vote for Obama. Here in Boulder, most people will vote and vote democratic. However, there are some compelling reasons to vote for Obama if you are a Green, moderate Republican, unmotivated, or middle of the road.
With Ruth Bader Ginsburg planning to retire in 2015, her replacement by a far right corporatist would have serious consequences for decades on a wide variety of issues. Whether it is a woman’s right to choose, global warming, campaign finance, toxic waste, voter intimidation and suppression, public lands extraction, public health, or civil liberties, cementing right wing control would be a blow to the rights of all Americans. With the appointments of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayer, the President has shown appropriate and reasonable judgment.
Government oversight and regulation of large powerful corporations plays a critical role in protecting the safety of the American people. For a wide variety of issues, the Republicans keep repeating that regulations are the problem. We need to act to prevent a corporate free for all. The top issue on regulations has been health care reform. Privatizing Medicare through a voucher system while removing oversight would raise premiums while unleashing corporate profits at the expense of the sick and wounded. Health care needs to be about healing people rather than absolving accountability for the powerful. The argument against Obamacare is the same as the argument against oversight of toxic material. With cancer overtaking heart disease as the nation’s top killer, the purpose of collusion between these disparate but connected industries reflects a self perpetuating cycle of disease as a top priority, not safety in the homeland. A lack of regard for corporate accountability pervades the Romney agenda across the board on environmental issues so important to Boulder and the quality of life everywhere be it water (#1 in CO), CO2, endangered species, public lands extraction, exploding chemical plants, or wilderness.
Most of the stated opposition to corporate accountability boils down to the economic burden on the rich and powerful corporate elite. This is especially glaring in the financial and economic sectors. For Romney, it is not a matter of the economy; it is a matter of whose economy. Republicans are all too happy to see larger and larger proportions of Americans living in poverty and despair. Again a complete lack of accountability is the mantra for the financial sector abuses that got us into this economic quagmire in the first place. Meaningful reform will not occur without oversight. Too many people have lost their homes, retirement funds, and jobs. The Wall Street giants have made their intentions clear. A regulatory regime on these bloated bankers is critical for an economy that provides a level playing field. We need a financial system capable of promoting the interests of a majority of Americans, not just those at the top. “Drill, baby, drill!’ will not get us out of the mess that Wall Street created, just ask the Frankenstorm Sandy.
Across the board, replacing any meaningful policy analysis with sound bites about burdensome regulations on large corporations will not solve our nation’s problems. If you want to get out of a hole, stop digging. While fighting multiple wars abroad under the guise of keeping the American people safe, the serious erosion of corporate responsibility at home on issues such as health care, toxic exposure and the environment, and the financial sector will do more to damage homeland safety than enemies abroad could ever hope for.
Scott Hatfield has been a member of the Central Committee of the Colorado Democratic Party and the Executive Committee of the Boulder Democratic Party since 1996.
Residents encouraged to secure trash and food sources to protect bears
With bears foraging for food in preparation for their winter hibernation, it is important that residents take measures to deter bears by securing any potential food sources on their properties. See the Inside Boulder News segment about recent bear activity.
Bear-proofing food items and trash is the best way for residents to minimize the chance that bears will show interest in their property. Common bear attractants include garbage, compost, fruit from trees, bird feeders, food from outdoor grills and pet food left outside.
City regulations require that curbside garbage/compost bins not be placed out for pick up until 5 a.m. the day collection occurs. Alleyway bins are exempt from these regulations.
To be safe, the city recommends that residents west of Broadway store all garbage and compost bins in a garage or shed until the morning of collection, or keep their waste in a bear-resistant trash container. Residents within Boulder city limits can contact their trash hauler for specific information about bear-resistant trash containers.
Bears that learn that people are a source of food are sometimes killed to keep the public safe. During the past six years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has killed five bears in Boulder because of nuisance behavior or a threat to public safety. Please do your part to ensure that bears are not unnecessarily attracted to your property.
If there is a bear in your backyard, the following tips are recommended:
- Keep your distance. Back away slowly from the bear, ensuring it has a clear escape path;
- Never run. Running may cause a bear to chase you;
- Never approach a bear, or get in between a cub and its mother;
- Never provide food to a bear. This teaches it to approach people for food;
- Do not let the bear become comfortable around your home; and
- Once you are safely inside, do your best to scare the bear away. Yell, clap your hands and make other loud noises to encourage the bear to leave.
If the bear is observed within the city limits, call the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-3333. To report past bear sightings and encounters, call 303-441-3004.
The city is currently conducting an Urban Black Bear Education and Enforcement Pilot Program in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. For more information about the pilot program, contact Urban Wildlife Conservation Coordinator Val Matheson at 303-441-3004 or visit www.boulderwildlifeplan.net.
For a detailed discussion about bears in the urban/foothill interface, watch the “Bears in Boulder” segment of A Boulder View.
County will allocate $50,000 for reuse, recycling and composting programs
Boulder County, Colo. – If your organization has been looking for money to fund a project that focuses on waste reduction, reuse, recycling and/or composting, then look no further.
The Boulder County Resource Conservation Division is allocating $50,000 for its 2013 Zero Waste Funding Program, and applications are now being accepted. The deadline for applications is 12 Noon, Monday, Nov. 19.
Zero Waste Funding initiatives provide an opportunity for businesses, organizations and individuals within our community to contribute to Boulder County’s long-term vision of moving towards Zero Waste. This vision is outlined in Boulder County’s Zero Waste Action Plan.
In addition to the programs supported in prior years, Boulder County is encouraging programs with an emphasis on demonstrated resource diversion (new tons diverted from disposal) for businesses, residents and governmental buildings. We will continue to accept and consider applications for programs that fall outside of this limited focus.
A pre-proposal workshop will be offered from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct.17, at the Education Room, Boulder County Recycling Center, 1901 63rd St., Boulder. Attendance is required for all applicants. The workshop will provide answers to questions about the program and the application process, as well as other details.
The minimum funding amount available for a project is $1,000 with a maximum of $10,000. Local governments, non-profit organizations, school districts, schools, private companies and individuals may apply as long as the scope of work is in Boulder County or the City and County of Broomfield and insurance requirements are met.
Proposals must be received at the Boulder County Resource Conservation Division office by 12 Noon, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 to be considered.Project funding will commence in January 2013. To obtain an application, email email@example.com or call 720-564-2226.
NSF awards CU-Boulder-led team $12 million
to study effects of natural gas development
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $12 million grant to a University of Colorado Boulder-led team to explore ways to maximize the benefits of natural gas development while minimizing negative impacts on ecosystems and communities.
Led by Professor Joseph Ryan of CU-Boulder’s civil, environmental and architectural engineering department, the team will examine social, ecological and economic aspects of the development of natural gas resources and the protection of air and water resources. A part of NSF’s Sustainability Research Network initiative, or SRN, the project will focus on the Rocky Mountain region, where natural gas development, as well as objections to it, are increasing.
“We all create demand for natural gas so we have to accept some of the outcomes of its extraction,” said Ryan. “Our goal is to provide a framework for society to evaluate the trade-offs associated with the benefits and costs of natural gas development.”
The SRN team assembled by Ryan includes air and water quality experts, social scientists, human health experts, information technology experts and a substantial outreach and education effort. The SRN team will be advised by an external committee that includes representatives of the oil and gas industry, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations, local governments, academia and Native American tribes. Preparation of the SRN proposal to the NSF was fostered by CU-Boulder’s Office for University Outreach, which supported the creation of the Colorado Water and Energy Research Center, said Ryan.
As part of the effort, Ryan said team members will review industry practices for hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals deep down well bores to crack rocks and free petroleum and natural gas for easier extraction. The team will evaluate the current state of drilling technology, the integrity of well bore casings and natural gas collection mechanisms and processes.
- Drill pads around the Roan Plateau
- Hydraulic fracturing requires large volumes of chemically treated water — most wells require between 3 million and 5 million gallons of water each, say experts. The fracturing fluid left in the ground, as well as the fluid that returns to the surface, known as “flowback,” present potential ecological and health risks if not handled properly, Ryan said.
While oil and gas extractions from hydraulic fracturing also result in atmospheric emissions of some greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds, natural gas is nevertheless seen by many as a “bridge fuel” that leads away from dirty coal combustion toward cleaner sustainability methods, said Patrick Bourgeron, associate director of the SRN and a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research.
As part of the project, a team led by CU-Boulder Professor Harihar Rajaram will be investigating the hydrologic processes tied to potential risks of natural gas and oil extraction, including groundwater and aquifer systems. The team also plans to assess the risk of natural gas and oil extraction to water quality and mitigation strategies that involve improvements in current water treatment technology.
Professor Jana Milford of CU-Boulder’s mechanical engineering department will lead a team monitoring and modeling the potential risks of natural gas and oil development to air quality. Professor John Adgate of the Colorado School of Public Health in Denver will spearhead a team assessing the potential risks of natural gas development to public health.
Other partners on the CU-led NSF project include the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Michigan and California State Polytechnic University Pomona.
Attitudes toward natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing vary widely around the West, said CU-Boulder Professor Mark Williams, a co-investigator on the project. One classic Colorado example is Boulder County and adjoining Weld County to the northeast. “The geology doesn’t change, the price of gas doesn’t change and the extraction methods are the same,” he said. “But for the most part, Boulder County opposes hydraulic fracturing while Weld County generally embraces it.”
Ryan said the network’s research findings eventually will be shared with the public through an extensive outreach and education effort led by SRN co-investigator and CU-Boulder Professor Patricia Limerick of the Center of the American West. The effort includes a “citizen science” component in which the public is encouraged to make science measurements, including air quality readings made with portable instruments compatible with smart phones, and share the results with the SRN research team.
“The citizen science aspect of this effort will result in a stronger connection between the public and the science used to make regulatory decisions,” said Professor Michael Hannigan of CU-Boulder’s mechanical engineering department and one of the co-investigators on the SRN project.
Natural gas production, especially the use of hydraulic fracturing, has become the subject of intense controversy, said Limerick. “Some people living in proximity to well sites are understandably worried and anxious, often feeling powerless as they confront a possible threat to their health and to the quality of their lives.
“Environmental advocates find themselves pulled between the climate benefits of natural gas, which releases significantly less carbon in combustion than coal, and the disturbances associated with natural gas extraction,” she said.
Outreach events will include periodic town hall meetings around the West. There also will be SRN meetings involving engineers, natural scientists and social scientists to stay abreast of the latest technologies and evolving socioeconomic factors regarding natural gas production, Limerick said.
“Unraveling complex processes involving Earth systems, especially the coupling of human activities and climate, depends increasingly on partnerships among natural science, philosophy and ethics, economics, social science, mathematics and engineering,” says Marge Cavanaugh, NSF acting assistant director for geosciences.
The CU-led research team and a second team from Penn State were chosen from more than 200 SRN proposals by the NSF as part of its Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program. The $12 million award to CU-Boulder is for five years.
Boulder County, Colo. – The Boulder County Resource Conservation Division is offering free composting workshops in Longmont, Lafayette and Boulder, as well a Soilsaver compost bin sale in Boulder.
Soilsaver compost bin sale
- Sunday, Oct. 7, noon-3:30 p.m.
Boulder County Recycling Center, 1901 63rd St., Boulder
Bins are $50 each, tax included, cash or check only
Register online at http://fallcompostbinsale.eventbrite.com
Backyard and worm composting workshops
- Sunday, Oct. 7, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Boulder County Recycling Center, 1901 63rd St., Boulder
Register online at http://boulderrecyclingcenterworkshop1.eventbrite.com
- Monday, Oct. 8, 6-8 p.m.
Church of the Nazarene, 300 S. Broadway, Boulder
- Thursday, Oct. 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Lafayette Public Library, 775 W. Baseline Road
Register online at http://backyardcompostlafayette.eventbrite.com
- Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-noon
Boulder County Parks & Open Space, 5201 St. Vrain Road, Longmont
Register online at http://backyardcompostlongmont.eventbrite.com
- Monday, Oct. 22, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Boulder County Recycling Center, 1901 63rd St., Boulder
Register online at http://boulderrecyclingcenterworkshop2.eventbrite.com
Contact Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-564-2226 for more information.
In addition to utilizing the new curbside compost bins, residents are encouraged to compost food scraps and yard waste at home. Keeping organics in backyards is an effective way to reduce household carbon footprints and provide quality compost for use in gardens. Come learn how to start and maintain a highly efficient backyard compost system by learning what to feed your compost pile, appropriate bins and methods for our region, tips and troubleshooting, and much more.
When organic materials such as food waste and leaves are sent to the landfill they are buried along with the trash and they break down in a way that produces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Composting does not create methane; it is a natural decomposition process that changes the food and yard waste into a beneficial soil amendment.
Top Hat Supply has thrived at the same downtown Boulder location for 45 years. Top Hat is among the oldest downtown businesses in Boulder. Excelling at customer service, product quality and cleaning solutions. We are proud to be a great resource for the people and businesses of Boulder County and beyond. Not so glamorous, but we love what we do. Helping people find the right product to meet their needs, without waste and with the most efficiency and least harm to our environment. We have solutions, green products, 45 years of experience, free same day delivery and a tremendous product line for such a small space.
1729 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
CU-Boulder to begin construction of
carbon-conscious campus utility system
The first phase of construction on a University of Colorado Boulder campus utility project — which will provide efficient heating and cooling while significantly reducing the university’s carbon emissions — begins this week with utility work and construction staging on the south side of campus.
The project is expected to be complete in the winter of 2014 and involves three major components: renovation of the campus Power House on 18th Street; construction of a separate, new heating and cooling plant; and installation of new utility distribution systems.
“Safe, reliable and efficient energy is crucial for providing uninterrupted power that supports CU-Boulder’s educational and research mission,” said Steve Thweatt, executive director of Facilities Management. “This project will ensure that we can effectively consolidate the heating and cooling of a number of buildings on the Boulder campus while continuing to build our leadership in sustainability.”
The $91.1 million project, which is being funded through a combination of cash reserves and long-term debt proceeds, also will replace chiller and boiler equipment that is critical to campus operations.
Excavation will start at the beginning of September on the new heating and cooling plant, called the East District Energy Plant. Located near the Coors Events Center, the 72,000-square-foot facility will showcase energy efficiency concepts. In addition, the university is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, gold certification for the building. LEED certification is a U.S. benchmark for sustainable design and construction.
As part of this project, workers will begin digging at several locations around campus in September, including 18th Street and Kittredge Loop Road, to install piping to deliver chilled water needed for campus air conditioning systems. The installation will allow the Kittredge residence complex to have air conditioning for the first time.
Next fall, renovation will begin on the original campus Power House, built in 1909. The Power House includes a cogeneration plant and will have its equipment replaced and upgraded such that the facility will be able to meet approximately 50 percent of the campus’s electrical power requirements using natural gas — a method that produces fewer carbon emissions than the local utility.
“We anticipate that natural gas will be an economic energy source for the campus for the future, which can be implemented as appropriate,” said Campus Architect Paul Leef.
As part of the renovation, the plant’s exhaust waste heat will be recovered and used to provide both heating and additional electrical power without burning extra fuel. It is estimated that the renovated Power House facility, which will be renamed the West District Energy Plant, will have the capability to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 30,000 metric tons per year.
“The two plants will be connected such that when the entire system is online, the plants will work in tandem with the upgraded distribution system to deliver a high level of efficiency and reliability, helping the campus reduce its carbon footprint,” said Moe Tabrizi, director of campus sustainability.
No-sort recycling in CU housing and dining
helps make landfill diversion easy
Recycling bins located throughout Housing and Dining Services at the University of Colorado Boulder are now single-stream receptacles, helping to make landfill diversion as simple as can be.
The new system, implemented this week in residence halls, dining facilities and at the Center for Community, allows all recyclables to be tossed into one container, alleviating the task of sorting materials.
Recycling throughout the rest of the campus will remain a dual-stream system with “paper” and “co-mingled container” categories.
“The change balances the need for added convenience in the residence halls and dining areas while retaining the more valuable stream of materials — which is processed and sold, generating revenue for campus — from academic and administrative buildings,” said Edward von Bleichert, CU-Boulder environmental operations manager.
The improvement also presents a good opportunity to remind the campus community of what not to toss into recycling, according to officials.
While plastic bags are the biggest contaminant to the recycling process, loose shredded paper, coffee and soda cups — which have plastic linings — and neon or heavily dyed paper also are non-recyclable products.
“Now more than ever, we must pay attention to the types of materials we are throwing in the recycling bin to ensure that we keep a high-quality recycling stream leaving campus,” said Dan Baril, CU-Boulder recycling program manager.
The campus has a 2012-13 goal of reducing landfill waste per person to 147 pounds — down from about 175 pounds per person in 2011-12. It also has an overall landfill diversion goal of 90 percent. In order to reach the goals, the campus must continue to lower the amount of materials entering the waste stream, as well as double the amount that is collected for reuse, recycling and composting, said Baril.
Students started CU-Boulder’s recycling program in 1976. In addition to collecting and processing recyclables, the program teams with campus entities to offer a number of zero-waste events, including Ralphie’s Green Stampede. The stampede transforms Folsom Field into a trash can-free venue during football games — a first-of-its-kind program in the nation.
Some of the program’s student employees have been going around to Housing and Dining Services bins that previously were labeled by categories and retrofitting the receptacles with stickers that simply say “recycling.”
Valmont Dog Park, located at 5325 Valmont Road, will reopen to the public this Friday, Aug. 24, after being closed since early May for major renovations and improvements.
Valmont Dog Park improvements included widening the parking lot access, putting in a new entry plaza, fencing, surfacing, landscaping and water hydrants. A portion of the new park will also include an enclosed, irrigated turf area, low berms, a new 16-foot square shade shelter (to be installed later this fall), and two smaller shelters. The shelters are funded by the Capital Improvement Bond passed by voters in November 2011. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is anticipated for later this fall.
Additionally, the Parks and Recreation Department is now offering dog waste composting at the newly remodeled Valmont Dog Park as part of the department’s efforts to create a more environmentally sustainable community. The city will be providing compostable dog waste bags for use by dog guardians to pick up their dog’s waste and place it into a specially marked container at the main entrance of the dog park.
The dog waste compost container will be emptied periodically and its contents will be made into compost using a special high temperature composting technique. Placing dog waste in your yard compost bin is not recommended. Dog guardians are encouraged not to bring plastic bags to Valmont Dog Park anymore, but instead use the compostable bags provided by the city. Please continue to donate unwanted plastic bags at any public park, trails and the other three dog parks in town: East Boulder (5660 Sioux Drive), Foothills (west of Broadway between Locust Avenue and Lee Hill Road), and Howard Heuston (on 34th Street, south of Iris Avenue and east of 30th Street).
Information: Boulder Parks & Recreation Department, 303-413-7200.
CU-Boulder team wins nearly $780,000
‘Reinvent the Toilet’ grant from Gates Foundation
An interdisciplinary team of student and faculty engineers from the University of Colorado Boulder has won a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its proposal to develop a solar-biochar toilet for use in developing countries throughout the world.
The grant is part of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, or RTTC, initiated by the Gates Foundation to address a sanitation challenge affecting nearly 40 percent of the world’s population.
CU-Boulder, which was awarded one of four grants in the second round announced today, will receive nearly $780,000 from the Gates Foundation over a 16-month period starting Sept. 1. CU joins last year’s grantees Caltech and Stanford as the only U.S. universities to receive an RTTC award.
Environmental engineering professors Karl Linden and R. Scott Summers will join with chemical and biological engineering professor Al Weimer on the project.
Biochar is a highly porous charcoal made from organic waste. The idea proposed by the CU team involves using concentrated sunlight delivered through a bundle of fiber-optic cables to heat and decompose toilet waste for reuse in improving agricultural soils.
“This project integrates areas of expertise at CU in solar-thermal processes, disinfection and biochar that would not typically work together and creates a great team to tackle such a complex and important problem as sustainable sanitation solutions in developing countries,” said Linden, who is the principal investigator on the project.
Environmental engineering graduate student Ryan Mahoney and postdoctoral researcher Tesfa Yacob, who received his doctorate in civil engineering from CU-Boulder in May, along with Richard “Chip” Fisher, a professional research assistant in Weimer’s chemical engineering group, also will be involved. Two expert consultants round out the team, one focusing on solar-thermal design and one on sanitation and hygiene in developing communities.
A preliminary analysis indicates that a household-sized system for a family of four could be developed at a cost of 5 to 10 cents per person per day. An intermediate-scale system for community facilities also will be evaluated as part of the grant.
Linden and Summers are working on other environmental engineering projects for developing communities, including investigating hydrothermal biochar production and low-cost water filtration and treatment technologies. Weimer will add expertise in the area of solar-thermal processing and reactor design, which he has tested extensively for the development of alternative fuels.
“This project is also very student-driven,” said Linden. “Students with classroom and field-based experiences in our Engineering for Developing Communities program have provided some excellent ideas, expertise and enthusiasm to make this project possible.”
Environmental engineering doctoral students Josh Kearns, Kyle Shimabaku and Sara Beck are also contributing to the project.
A search for Conference on world Affairs lands lookers on dead link for most of the day. The schedule was not there and was only recently put up. That foul-up had to render the first day useless.
The All a Twitter panel discussion in the UMC was attended not by Boulders Twitter SM startup crowd but by mostly older people who were not exactly tweeps. This session was not what one would have expected. It was not start-up Boulder week, not Ignite Boulder and it wasn’t Twitter.
The panelists were an interesting mix too: Mark Frauenfelder Ross Haenfler Andy Ihnatko Sanho Tree . Sociology professor Ross Haenfler said he stopped tweeting and compared it to drug addiction and himself to a recovering addict. He then went on to say that most people on twitter waste enormous amounts of their life on social media. Not a glowing endorsement of TWitter or SM.
Boing Boing founder and Boulderite Ross Haenfler was certainly the biggest web superstar to attend the panel. Though Boing Boing significance and contribution was lost on the audience, it was also lost on the conference. He seemed concerned about the significance of multiple uses of tweets.
Andy Ihnako Chicago Sun times Geek reporter also talked about how twitter wraps around your mind and has the potential to enslave.
Sanho Tree is a leftist Fellow and social activist. He talked about social activism on Twitter.
The tone of this session was politically leftist with continuous barbs thrown at conservatives who use twitter. So much for CU chancellors new policy of fair and balanced. All of the panelists criticized main stream media for not covering the news. None of them could explain the business side of Twitter. They also seemed oblivious to the fact that Television and News papers lost their foothold to online advertisers such as Google and Facebook
The one saving grace of this panel was to point out just what a waste of a persons life Twitter can be. They couldn’t stress how addictive Twitter and Facebook are and impossible to manage. This was a surprise, but not to the gray attendees. Seemed they seen it all before in a younger life. And the young? They were nowhere to be seen. One would have thought the room would have been packed with 18 to 34 year olds. Maybe they were studying or at work. Maybe this panel should have been held at night in a bar or coffee house.
City manager approves business incentive for Biodesix
City Manager Jane S. Brautigam has approved a flexible rebate application for Biodesix for up to $60,000 in rebates. The rebates were authorized for sales and use taxes, and permit-related fees.
“The city is very pleased that Biodesix is moving its headquarters to Boulder and that the flexible rebate program will assist the company with its planned growth,” Brautigam said. “The city is committed to fostering a successful biotechnology industry in Boulder and welcomes Biodesix as a part of that community.”
A rapidly growing biotechnology company, Biodesix is focused on the development of diagnostic products for personalized medicine that inform treatment decisions and improve patient care. The company’s first product, VeriStrat, enables more informed decision-making for advanced lung and breast cancer patients by identifying patients who are likely to have good or poor outcomes after treatment with specific drugs.
In order to take advantage of Boulder’s growing biotechnology industry and proximity to its employees, Biodesix recently moved from Broomfield to a new facility at 2970 Wilderness Place. The company currently has 33 employees at its Boulder office and plans to add up to 40 more by the end of 2013. The rebate will help Biodesix as it continues its fast-paced growth and expansion in Boulder.
“We are delighted to have our corporate headquarters here in Boulder,” commented David Brunel, chief executive officer of Biodesix. “The city’s commitment to attracting and retaining technology-based companies is admirable, and we are proud to be among the growing biotech community here.”
The flexible rebate program uses social, community and environmental sustainability guidelines. Companies choose the guidelines that best fit their circumstances, but must meet minimum requirements in order to receive the rebate. Biodesix has met the necessary requirements. Of note, Biodesix’s new facility has shower and changing facilities, and secure bike parking for its employees. In addition, the company is implementing a zero waste program, will participate in the 10 for Change Challenge and requested EnergySmart training.
Biodesix’ flexible rebate application is one of six submitted to the city in late 2011. One 2011 application is pending. The city’s approved 2012 budget includes $350,000 in funding for 2012 flexible tax and fee rebates for primary employers.
The flexible rebate program is one of the city’s business incentives, covering a wide range of fees, equipment and construction use taxes. Under this program, the city manager may consider a specific incentive package for tax and fee rebates to meet a company’s specific needs. The company is then eligible for the rebate after it has made its investment and paid the taxes or fees to the city.