USDA announces water and wastewater infrastructure funding for 60 rural communities

WASHINGTON — April 19, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development team announced new projects to improve water quality and safety in 60 rural areas across 33 states.

USDA will invest $183 million in the water and wastewater infrastructure projects through its Water and Environmental Program. One project includes the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and upgrade of another plant for the city’s 658 residents.

PR-EPA, food recovery, Earth Day, waste

Image courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA focuses on food recovery for Earth Day 2016

WASHINGTON — April 22, 2016 — The EPA observes Earth Day 2016 with a “Food Recovery” theme. The agency provides tools on its website to educate people on the the U.S.’ food waste and how it can be managed more sustainably.

The EPA provided a Food Recovery Hierarchy to show the most preferred form of reducing food waste is reducing the volume of surplus food generated.

New Utility of the Future program will support wastewater utilities

WASHINGTON — April 21, 2016 — With support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and WateReuse joined together to form the Utility of the Future (UOTF) Today Recognition Program, according to a press release.

The program will promote widespread adoption of the UOTF business model while celebrating the nation’s progress in the adoption of the model by wastewater utilities.

IBWA, bottled water, recycling, Earth Day

Image courtesy of the International Bottled Water Association

The program will also:

  • Encourage the adoption of UOTF principles (water reuse, watershed stewardship, beneficial biosolids reuse, community partnering & engagement, energy efficiency, energy generation & recovery, and nutrient & materials recovery) as the “Organizational Culture of the Future.”
  • Enable participants across a broad range of capacities and capabilities to collaborate, learn, and continue to evolve as a unified sector.

Public and private wastewater utilities may apply for the program by 5 p.m. EDT on June 17. Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony during WEFTEC in New Orleans in September.

Bottled water industry celebrates Earth Day ‘Trees for Earth’ focus

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — April 19, 2016 — The International Bottled Water Industry (IBWA) reminds people on Earth Day how the industry strives to be sustainable.

Chris Hogan, vice president of communications for IBWA, said that bottled water has the lowest environmental footprint of any packaged beverage.

  • All bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable.
  • IBWA and The Recycling Partnership supported $11 million in new recycling infrastructure.
  • Eight-four percent less energy is used in the manufacture of PET plastic bottles from recycled plastic than those made from virgin material.
  • PET plastic bottled water containers account for 3.3 percent of all beverage containers in landfills.

IBWA’s Material Recovery Program is a joint effort between business and the government to spur the development of comprehensive solutions to manage solid waste in U.S. communities.