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What was once the Aral Sea at Muinak, Qoraqalpoghiston, Uzbekistan. Photo: so11e via Flickr.

Once a Sea - now it's the Aral Desert

Anson Mackay

16th October 2014

The Aral Sea is a well known environmental disaster zone. But this year, it got a whole worse, writes Anson Mackay, as its biggest basin dried up completely to expose a toxic, salty wasteland. With continuing irrigation and declining river flows due to climate change, the desert is only set to expand. more...
A loggerhead turtle lost among the garbage lies dead, baked under the midday sun. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Sea turtles run the deadly garbage gauntlet of Praia de Achados

Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd

6th October 2014

Out in the Atlantic off the coast of West Africa, the Cape Verde islands should be pristine, writes Simon Ager, a haven for sea turtles and other wildlife. But the beach where loggerhead turtles have nested for millions of years is buried under a deadly morass of plastic garbage. more...
The Edmonton waste-to-energy incinerator in North London is the largest in the UK, and produces up to 55MW of power. Photo: Fin Fahey via Flickr.

PFI waste incinerator contracts burn more money than rubbish

David Hall / The Conversation

22nd September 2014

A Parliamentary report reveals that £200 million has been wasted on failed 'public-private' PFI projects for waste management, writes David Hall. The obvious solution: to allow local authorities to build and operate their own, which is cheaper and more flexible. The only problem: under UK government rules, it's PFI or nothing. more...
This handsome tower was built from bricks made with farm and forestry waste bound together by fungal myceliae. Now, it's being composted. Photo: Sophie Morlin-Yron.

Farm waste and mushrooms challenge plastic, concrete, steel

Sophie Morlin-Yron

29th September 2014

Isn't it daft it is to use plastics that last for centuries to make short-life packaging? Now there's an alternative, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron - using fungi to bind farm and forestry waste into strong, non-toxic, complex forms. When the job is done, the material can be safely burnt or composted - and it even works for buildings ... more...
Contented cows feeding on grass in a field in Cumbria. Photo: Nowerx via Flickr.

Dairy - the case for greener, healthier, lower performing cows

Mark Eisler, Graeme Martin & Michael Lee

8th September 2014

With supermarket milk cheaper than spring water, it's time to rethink the modern dairy industry. It's not just the milk that's become a throwaway product - the high-octane Holstein cows that produce it are also in the knackers yard after just two or three lactations, the living waste of a loss-making, environment-trashing industry. more...
The Black Sea was awash with jellyfish - and very little else. Photo: Lewis Pugh.

We must protect our seas!

Lewis Pugh

30th August 2014

Lewis Pugh has completed long-distance swims in the 'seven seas' to promote his dream of a peaceful world of well-managed Marine Protected Areas, abundant oceans teeming with fish, turtles, whales, sea-birds and sharks. His shocking experiences in the water make that dream more urgent and compelling than ever. more...
Lalibai.

India: Women free themselves from a life of cleaning human excrement

Amy Braunschweiger / HRW

3rd September 2014

Women of an 'untouchable' caste in village India are rebelling against a life of cleaning human ordure, poverty and relentless discrimination, writes Amy Braunschweiger. Among them is Lalibai, who inherited her 'job' at the age of 12 - but has just helped to organise a protest march of 10,000 women across 18 states. more...
Salad leaves growing in Lufa's rooftop farm in Montreal. Photo: Lufa Farms.

Coming to a rooftop near you - the urban growing revolution

Rachel Dring / Sustainable Food Trust

30th September 2014

Could London, New York and other cities be self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables? Yes, writes Rachel Dring, by converting wasted roof space into gardens and greenhouses. Benefits include reducing waste; raising energy efficiency, sustainability and food security; and healthier, more connected citizens. more...
Give it love, not Coke - defaced Coca-Cola poster in Rishikesh, India. Photo: Axel Drainville via Flickr.

Coca-Cola forced out of $25 million factory in India

The Ecologist

27th August 2014

After a 15-year battle, local campaigners infuriated by pollution, over-pumping of groundwater and land-grabbing have finally forced the closure of Coca-Cola's $25 million factory near Varanasi. more...
William Gibbs and his wife live near the massive coal ash dump in Uniontown, AL. Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice.

Alabama - a community fights toxic waste, discrimination

Oliver Tickell

20th August 2014

When the US's biggest ever coal ash spill buried 300 acres of waterfront property in a white, middle class suburb, the waste was treated as a toxic hazard. But by the time it reached Uniontown, a black community in Alabama, that was all forgotten. Now they are fighting back. more...
Hazeltine Creek on Quesnel Lake after the tailings dam collapse. Floating on the surface: the stripped off the mountainside by the force of the spill. Out of sight: 14.5 billion litres of toxic mining waste.

Swapping red tape for caution tape: why Canada can expect more mining disasters

Carol Linnitt / DeSmog.ca

27th August 2014

This month a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine in BC breached, writes Carol Linnitt - spilling 14.5 billion litres of toxic mine waste into Quesnel Lake. A major source of freshwater and one of BC's premier fly-fishing destinations, the lake will never be the same again. But it's just the first big victim of Canada's wave of environmental de-regulation ... more...
Women at Isatou Ceesay's workshop for upcycled products. Photo: author supplied.

Gambia - recycling for women's wealth and independence

Louise Hunt

13th August 2014

Plastic waste, often burning, is a constant companion in Gambia, a poor country where few enjoy formal rubbish collection, writes Louise Hunt. Now a pioneering project to upcycle waste plastic is beginning to tackle the problem - and in the process enhancing women's social and economic status. more...

Waste: 1/25 of 280
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Aglogbloshie - burning off plastic to get to valuable metals. Photo: qamp.net via Flickr.

E-waste in Ghana: where death is the price of living another day

Nele Goutier

7th August 2014

Attempts to recycle E-waste and donations of old electronic devices are harming poor people's health and devastating the environment, writes Nele Goutier. Agbogbloshie, once an idyllic landscape of wetlands and small farms, is now the most toxic place in the world ... more...
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, March 2013. Photo: D Ramey Logan / Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away

Paul Brown

20th July 2014

The recent closure of five US power stations is forcing the industry to confront big questions about radioactive waste, writes Paul Brown. Who is to pay the mounting costs of managing the wastes and keeping them secure? And precisely where will be their final resting place? more...
Muckaty traditional owners Doris Kelly, Gladys Brown and Elaine Peckham celebrate victory in their battle to stop the imposition of a nuclear waste dump. Photo via Friends of the Earth Australia.

The nuclear war against Australia's Aboriginal people

Jim Green

14th July 2014

Australia's nuclear industry has a shameful history of 'radioactive racism' that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes have been evident in recent debates over uranium mines and nuclear waste, but Aboriginal peoples are fighting back! more...
Surveys off the coast of Europe revealed all kinds of human trash, including plastic bags (upper left and lower right), beer cans (lower left) and glass bottles (upper right). Photo: Pham et al.

Our garbage is polluting the remotest, deepest ocean

Sarah Zielinski

1st July 2014

Even creatures at the bottom of the ocean aren't sheltered from the detritus of human civilization, writes Sarah Zielinski. Everywhere they have looked, scientists have found plastic, glass and other trash littering the seafloor and collecting in canyons. more...
Improving public transport is one of the key measures that could cut GHG emissions, increase 'gross world product' by $2.6 trillion and save a million lives. Photo: Mumbai bus by Patrik M. Loeff via Flickr.

World Bank: tackle global warming and add $2 trillion to global economy, save a million lives

Chris Rose

30th June 2014

Tackling global warming with better public transport, increased energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean cookstoves, better waste management could increase global GDP by $2.6 trillion. The alternative is growing risk from harshening climates ... more...
The Bill would undermine regulation of waste from Mountain Top Removal coal mines. Photo: An MTR protest in West Virginia, 2012, by Mark Haller via Flickr.

House Spending Bill's huge dirty energy giveaway

Farron Cousins

24th June 2014

A Spending Bill now under debate in Congress would cut over $100 million from renewable energy, grant extra funds for dumping nuclear waste and fossil fuel research, exempt 'mountain top removal' coal from regulation, and limit the EPA's power to enforce clean water laws. more...
Nuclear submarines already have 'small modular reactors'. So if they're so cheap, safe and efficient, why aren't they already in civilian use? Photo: HMS Ambush by UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr.

Nuclear power - small isn't beautiful, safe, or cheap

Justin McKeating / Greenpeace

22nd June 2014

Nuclear power is neither beautiful, nor safe, nor cheap, writes Justin Keating - a message to the United States, where the Obama administration has pledged to waste over $200 million financing the 'Small Modular Reactor' (SMR). more...
Mixed messages: a warning sign at a fracking site in Pennsylvania. Photo: Ostroff Law / Wikimedia Commons.

Fracking boom depletes, pollutes US water supplies

Valerie Brown

20th June 2013

The US's 'dash to frack' for oil or gas, which has transformed the country's energy market, is seriously depleting and contaminating aquifers and surface water supplies, writes Valerie Brown. The choice facing America is plain - energy, or water? more...
From derelict fishing gear to carpet. Photo: USFWS Puget Sound Coastal Program / Joan Drinkwin via Flickr.

Carpet giant Interface goes for 'sustainability gold'

Sophie Morlin-Yron

27th May 2014

Interface's sustainability model shows how large industrial companies can slash their carbon emissions and other environmental impacts without compromising profitability, reports Sophie Morlin-Yron. The key is to aim high! more...
White Rot Mushroom, Trametes versicolor. Photo: Luke Detwiler via Flickr.

Fungi clean contaminated soils

The Ecologist

22nd May 2014

A new system for cleaning soils contaminated with industrial toxins harnesses the power of White rot - a common fungus that decays fallen wood in forests. Research in Finland shows it can also destroy dioxins and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons. more...
Bringing out the big guns for HS2, 21st November 2013. Too bad they're all wrong. Photo: BCC Birmingham News room via Flickr.com.

HS2 is a disastrous white elephant

Rupert Read

12th May 2014

HS2, the UK's £50bn+ high-speed rail project to speed travel between London and Birmingham - and eventually Manchester and beyond is colossal waste of money, writes Rupert Read. The resources should be used to fund sustainable local and regional transport schemes. more...
The mushroom cloud above Nagasaki, 9th August 1945. The 'Fat Man' bomb contained just 6.2kg of plutonium 239 and delivered a 21 kt blast. Photo: Charles Levy / Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear power undermines nuclear security

Dr David Lowry

2nd May 2014

Opponents of nuclear power rightly focus on issues of cost, operational danger and waste disposal, writes David Lowry. But they should not forget the towering 'elephant in the room' - nuclear security and the risk of proliferation and terrorist attacks. more...
The 2014 Goldmine Prize winners - official photo.

2014 Goldman winners - fighting coal, dams, palm oil, fracking, toxic waste

Sophie Morlin-Yron

28th April 2014

Six environment heroes, one from each continent, are honoured for their work today - fighting threats from giant coal mines to forest destruction, fracking, high dams, illegal development and toxic waste dumps. Sophie Morlin-Yron reports. more...

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