Collaborating Authors

Plastic waste is a problem – but some solutions are even worse

New Scientist

AS LEARNED commissions debate whether to declare a new human-dominated era of geological time – the Anthropocene – we are already making facts on and under the ground. Since plastics were widely introduced in the 1950s, we have dumped an estimated 4.9 billion tonnes into the environment. Most goes to landfill for future generations to unearth. But it is marine waste that has spurred public desire for action. Images from the BBC documentary Blue Planet II of marine wildlife snared by plastics are a visceral indictment of our throwaway culture.

DirecTV to Pay $9.5M to Settle Hazardous Waste Allegations

U.S. News

They said an investigation found that all 25 DirecTV facilities in California improperly disposed of batteries, electronic devices, aerosol cans and other hazardous materials that ended up in landfills.

US May Want to Keep Idaho Nuclear Waste Plant Running Longer

U.S. News

U.S. officials are considering extending the use of an eastern Idaho nuclear waste treatment facility beyond its scheduled closure this year so it can repackage radioactive waste brought in from other states before it's sent to a permanent disposal site in New Mexico.

Shipments to Nuclear Waste Repository to Resume in April

U.S. News

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant was forced to close in February 2014 after an inappropriately packed drum of waste ruptured, contaminating part of the underground facility in southern New Mexico. Some operations resumed in December after an expensive recovery effort.

The Toxic-Waste Drum Is Everywhere

The Atlantic - Technology

Of all the industries that have relied on the 55-gallon drum, it was the U.S. chemical industry, which came of age during WWII, that introduced the drum into the popular imagination. By mid-century, chemical factories had matured into massive operations spanning acres. They ran continuously, churning out synthetic plastics and other materials unprecedented in their novelty and utility, but also in the quantity of their byproducts. Unregulated production systems were allowed to generate unusable, often dangerous wastes. Along with the landfill and the retention pond, the 55-gallon drum was the waste-management technology of the 20th century.