Zero Waste Plans are the solution for smart cities

1. What is the social or environmental issue being addressed? Waste

CERO Cooperative is simultaneously addressing the problem of landfills receiving organic material, which generates methane and contributes to global warming and the challenge to find green jobs with acceptable wages and working conditions.

2. How is this being addressed?

CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is a commercial composting company providing effective commercial composting services:

  • Providing food diversion and pickup services for commercial clients
  • Transporting food scraps to local farms, where they are recycled into nutrient-rich compost products used to support the local agrucilture economy
  • Helping creating quality jobs for local community members, primarily immigrants and people of color
  • Prioritizing reasonable reasonable pricing to clients by a more direct and efficient process, saving their customers over $400,000 in trash hauling expenses

CERO Cooperative offers a unique business model in which every employee is also part owner. 

#sustainability #zerowaste #compost #watemanagement #mm5860

Source: “5 Reasons Why Your City Should Have a Zero Waste Plan” Next City, October 2020

3. Stakeholders

City leaders are responsible to pivot away from current systems and invest in zero waste, which would safeguard public health, create good jobs, build local economies and fight climate change.

Big companies to engage in these programs as main clients and waste generators. They will not only see theis cost decrease but will also be helping to a circular and green local economy.

Communities in general need to advocate and push their leaders to take part in these initiatives.

4. Next steps

  1. Create the channels: adapt regulation, form local cooperatives and build composting facilities
  2. Engage the stakeholders: require big companies in each community to engage and contact with local farmers
  3. Coordinate the whole system.

Help the enviroment with small farms

The software that equips family farms with data to unlock institutional markets, creating economies of collaboration.

1. Sustainability Problem: Sustainable Agriculture

Two critical problems: 1) extractive agriculture accelerating climate change and 2) wealth inequities faced by family farmers.

2. The solution

The Farm Fare creates a regional market that supports the economic viability of family farms, specifically those focused on regenerative agriculture practices.

  • They work to build coalitions among regional food hubs, encouraging these micro-distributors to come together to tackle the food system as partners rather than competitors;
  • They link neighboring hubs together with a platform that allows them to share information and resources and work collaboratively; 
  • They provide distribution service from hub to hub and from hub to wholesale customers within a region.

Source: “Farm Fare Wants to Help the Environment with Small Farms” TechOhio, https://weare.techohio.ohio.gov/2019/11/20/farm-fare-wants-to-help-the-environment-with-small-farms/

3. Stakeholders

Local goverments of agricultural areas who are looking to expand its local merchants to ensure that family farmers can receive federal tax credits.

Family farmers to access larger institutional markets, which supports rural livelihoods and incentivizes commodity and conventional growers to evolve their growing practices away from intensive plowing and chemical-based inputs.

Big companies in the food/hospitality industry who are seeking to reduce their enviromental footprint to supply their chains with local quality products.

4. Next steps

  • Farmers to invest in this new software and join this initiative to scale their agricultural capabilities
  • Organizations to plan and coordinate production on a regional scale.
  • Farmers to access larger institutional markets and gain exposure to promote local, sustainable and efficient products and supply chains

The iThrone that does not consume water or energy

What is the problem being addressed?

Globally, 2.6Bn people lack access to safe, dignified sanitation. Government under-investment into infrastructure, increasing urbanization and crisis-related displacement have resulted in large populations lacking access to safe, proper sanitation. Providing non-sewered communities scalable improved sanitation will incur huge economic costs (for piping, collections, treatment) and unsustainable stresses on local water resources. In non-sewered communities, people must resort to unsafe sanitation options like open defecation and shared pit latrines.

Category: Water, Energy, Health.

The innovative solution:

Image: change:WATER, http://www.change-water.com/solution

change:WATER Labs has developed a disruptive evaporative toilet to clean up off-grid and non-sewered communities by shrinking daily sewage volumes 85-99% onsite—its portable, low-cost and stand-alone toilets leverage super-water-absorbent polymers to passively vaporize liquid sewage, thus enabling complete sanitary containment, waterless and off-grid operability, and 10x reduced collections logistics.

No water.

No power.

No plumbing.

Source: “This Toilet Vaporizes Poop To Solve Sanitation Problems”, Fast Company, https://www.fastcompany.com/40550779/this-toilet-vaporizes-poop-to-solve-sanitation-problems

Stakeholders involved & next steps

This technology is highly impactful for underdeveloped societies. 40% of the world lacks access to safe sanitation, and this impacts every aspect of their lives and their future prospects. Poor sanitation traps them in poverty and hopelessness. The lack of a dignified toilet in fact perpetuates poverty and vulnerability.

Main responsibles to implement this technology should be ONGs and private households (if economic resources are available).

Cleaning contaminated water to create food

70% of frsh water is used to produce food. In the next 30 years, we will have to double our food production. If we don’t make a change, we are going to run out of water. One of the problem comes from the fish farms, that waste water with an excess of nutrients into the rivers, causing severe problems for the ecosystems and the quality of our water resources.

MicroTERRA is an innovative water solution that develops onsite water treatment systems with microalgae that transforms the wastewater into sustainable animal feed, while cleaning the water:

  • Lemna is a fast growing aquatic plant (can be harvested every 2nd dat) with high protein content (45% protein). It grows in the surfaces of water high in nutrients (i.e. fish farms). Lemna absorbs the waste of the fish, thus eliminating the need to change water.
  • Process: The wastewater from aquaculture tanks is fed into bioreactors to cultivate microalgae that feed on the nutrients. After the microalgae grow, they are harvested and used as a protein source for the fish feed. The water that comes out clean can be recycled back to the aquaculture tanks; thus saving water and preventing the disposal of untreated wastewater.
  • microTERRA’s process relies on the following innovation pillars:
    • selective biology for microalgae consortium adapted to produce more biomass
    • bioinformatics and sensors (IOT) to monitor the system remotely, reducing operation costs significantly
    • onsite and modular systems, meaning we have no transportation costs and easy to scaleup

This is a scalable, affordable and sustainable solution that will cover the growing demand for protein source while cleaning water resources. This system needs to be implemented by fish farms, that will see the benefit from saving costs in water use and additional revenues from selling the lemna as raw material for food producers.

ClearRoad provides cloud-based solutions for a smart roads management

Which problem are we facing?

The transportation sector is the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter in the United States, accounting for a 28% of total US of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2018. Cars, trucks, commercial aircraft, and railroads, among other sources, all contribute to transportation end-use sector emissions.

Goverments need to find effective mechanisms to raise awareness and cut down congestion. One of the best approached to address this issue has proven to be road tolling & pricing, a system that also enables goverments to capture revenue.

Sustainability problems: Energy, Civic Engagement, Safety and Health.

How can we address the problem?

As the road usage pioneer, ClearRoad has developed a version of congestion pricing that is affordable to most cities nd has the potential to reduce emissions up to 20 percent due to reductions in vehicles and less driving overall. This innovative technology is a low-cost version of historically high-cost yet proven programs from around the world. Specifically, ClearRoad leverages data and GPS (already being generated in cars) through machine learning and synchronization protocols. The result is flexible and adaptable road management tools for governments to reduce emissions and congestion, prioritizing community.

Additionally, ClearRoad is deploying a per-mile fee for electric vehicles (EV) as an alternative to current disincentivizing policies. Due to anticipated gas tax revenue shortages, 28 states have instituted surcharges to EV owners on their annual registrations, which can inadvertently suppress EV adoption by 25 percent.

Source: “NYC Has an Old-Timey Plan to Fix Its Traffic Future”, Wired, https://www.wired.com/story/nyc-london-congestion-charge/

Benefited organizational stakeholders: Goverments and Transportation Systems managers.

Next steps to implement smart road tolling & pricing:

  1. Verify in each city that the road programs in place work with ClearRoad’s platform
  2. Start Collecting data from users
  3. Adopt and implement a charging system of tolls or fees

Other sources: ClearRoad website https://www.clearroad.io/