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Sep 25

Six ways to Cut Back on Food Waste for Climate Week

Posted on September 25, 2019 at 2:06 PM by Carlos Velazquez

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September 23-29 is Climate Week NYC, a series of events run in coordination with the UN and the City of New York that showcase actions people are taking around the world to reduce our impact on the climate and foster discussion on how we can do more.

Want to Take Action?

If you want to join the effort to take action on climate, food waste is a great place to start. In the U.S., 40% of food goes to waste, which accounts for 16% of our total methane emissions. Methane is a harmful greenhouse gas that has more than 25 times the environmental impact that carbon dioxide has.

We can lower our methane emissions and reduce our climate impact by cutting back on food waste.

How to Reduce Your Food Waste

Try out these 6 tips to put a dent in how much food you waste:

1. Shop smart. Only buy what you know you’ll use. Create a meal plan for the week and build a shopping list around that meal plan. Try using this meal planner from Eureka Recycling, or the EPA’s smart shopping list (PDF).

2. Store food strategically. Fasten a produce storage guide to your fridge door, such as this one from the EPA (PDF), so you know which foods keep best inside or outside the fridge.

Also, learn about where food should be stored within your fridge. Your shelves, drawers and doors are designed to hold different types of foods. Check out the NRDC’s Refrigerator Demystified infographic (PDF).

3. Eat food strategically. All produce has a varying shelf life. Try labeling your food to remind yourself which items need to be eaten first (these PDF signs from the EPA are handy), and freeze food that’s about to go bad so you can use it in the future.

Still having trouble eating food in time? Try the USDA’s FoodKeeper application for Apple and Android devices. The app provides expert-backed advice for storing and eating more than 400 foods and drinks, and can give you reminders to use items before they go bad.

4. Prepare food in advance. When you get home from the store, rinse and chop your produce so that snacking and meal prep is easier during the week. That way you’ll be more likely to follow through on making the meals you shopped for.

5. In California, best-by dates indicate freshness, not safety. Use-by dates indicate food safety. That means you can still eat food after its best-by date, but not after its use-by date. To learn more about how long you can keep food, visit StillTasty.com or EatByDate.com.

6. Have a fridge full of random items? Use an online tool to help you find recipes for them, such as Supercook or MyFridgeFood.


(Post courtesy of SanJoseRecycles.org)

Jun 14

Build your Career at the Capital Improvement Program

Posted on June 14, 2019 at 12:58 PM by Vitaly Litvinenko

The Capital Improvement Program to upgrade the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility presents a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity for engineers.

The 10-year, $1.4 billion CIP is the largest public works program in the South Bay and vital to the economic success of Silicon Valley. The RWF serves more than 1.4 million residents and 17,000 businesses in a 300-square-mile region that includes San José, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Cupertino and Los Gatos, among other areas. The RWF uses advanced tertiary treatment to discharge clean water into southern San Francisco Bay, supporting a diverse ecosystem that includes several dozen fish species.



Besides offering the opportunity to work on a legacy project, the CIP presents a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Members of the CIP tackle the challenge of upgrading a working wastewater facility that operates 24/7, 365 days a year, processing roughly 110 million gallons of effluent every day. The skills you develop at the CIP will take you far, whether you remain in the public sector or venture into the corporate world.

The CIP also presents opportunities for growth and career advancement. The culture within the CIP and the San José Environmental Services Department is supportive and collaborative, with numerous opportunities for training, growth and career advancement, as a new series of videos with four members of the CIP team shows.

Megha Prakash, an associate engineer with the CIP, talks in one of the videos about the assistance she’s received from both CIP leadership and peers.

“We have an incredible set of engineers who work here at the plant that are willing to go out of their way to provide support on projects as well as personal development,” Megha says. “That is something that’s unique to this department. There’s a culture of empowerment that helps you rise and helps others rise along with you.”

To see the videos and find job opportunities at the CIP, visit ESD’s careers page at www.sjenvironment.org/ESDcareers.
May 28

ESD partners pursue technological breakthrough to recycling challenge

Posted on May 28, 2019 at 1:40 PM by Vitaly Litvinenko

ESD Director Kerrie Romanow and ESD staff discuss BioCellection chemical process with the company co-founders Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao
ESD Director Kerrie Romanow, third from right, and ESD staff discuss BioCellection’s chemical process with the company’s co-founders, Miranda Wang, second from right, and Jeanny Yao, right
BioCellection is heating up! The biotech startup – and ESD partner – is pursuing a solution to the global challenge of hard-to-recycle plastics, such as plastic film. And the world is taking notice.

Last month the company’s co-founders, Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao, participated in a panel discussion as part of the Women in the World Summit 2019, a prestigious event in New York City organized by former New Yorker editor Tina Brown and headlined by Oprah Winfrey. (See the video produced for the event.) While in New York, Yao was interviewed on People Now.

On Tuesday, the Mercury News published an informative story about BioCellection and the progress of its pilot program.

In addition, Wang is a finalist for the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which recognize “exceptional individuals who have the courage and conviction to take on major challenges (and) extraordinary projects that make the world a better place.” (Learn more and vote for Wang on the awards webpage!)

The problem they’re tackling is huge. Scientists estimate there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. Their approach is extraordinary: using chemical processes to break down problem plastics and transform them into raw materials for use in other applications.

ESD is proud to partner with these inspiring women, who are working with City hauler GreenWaste Recovery to test and refine their technological process. To learn more about how that process works, check out this helpful CNN article (and accompanying video) from 2018.

We can’t wait to see what happens next!