Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CFL, battery and electronics recylcing

As a follow up to Daves Blog on 7/16, Waste Management has just launched, a streamlined online service for the recycling of universal household waste, including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), batteries, and eventually other household electronics. offers consumers convenient mail-in solutions to safely store and recycle heavy metal containing household devices, as well as resources to encourage household sustainability.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PCBs in Port Ewen water?

I just saw this in the news today. State Department of Health is apparently testing drinking water supplies up and down the Hudson to get baseline data before the dredging of PCBs from the upper Hudson begins next year. Low-level PCBs were found in Port Ewen's drinking water, as well as in most of the other community supplies that draw from the Hudson (I don't see Highland or Hyde Park on the list, which is odd, since Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck are also there, and presumably would be using the same treatment and drawing from the same general spots in the river). The concentration of PCBs detected is within federal drinking water quality standards, so presumably not something to worry about... Though I'd prefer PCB-free drinking water, myself.

When I was writing about the PCB issue for the Poughkeepsie Journal, I was always told by water treatment officials that PCBs could be detected in raw water, but that they were generally removed during filtration. It's not that there's a specific process that removes them chemically, but because they tend to adhere to sediment and sediment is removed, the finished drinking water tends to be PCB-free. The news story says the PCBs were found in "drinking water" which I would interpret as finished treated water, but it's a point I'd like clarified.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Green Best Practices for Local Governments

Here's a link to the NYS comptroller report Andy mentioned in the meeting.

Green Best Practices: How Local Governments can Reduce Energy Cost and Minimize Impact on Climate Change.

(This links to a Press Release. The report itself is a pdf, and there's a link on the page to download it. Here's the pdf.)

Quick read shows a lot of what we know: Efficiency is the first step, and second is producing your own alternative power. Some potential action items for us to explore - water and wastewater submetering, and peak load management.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

cfl cleanup

Attached is a link to the EPA page on cleaning up after a cfl breaks. As you can read, they (and we should) take this very seriously. I think the public desperately needs to be informed of the dangers of spreading mercury around their homes before it is too late. (think lead paint) The last time I was in Lowes in Lloyd there were broken cfls in at least two locations around the store. Perhaps it is time to reconsider the home improvement store as a fun place to take my children.