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.

Sustainably Problem: Waste

Technology Solution: Wasteloop – Fully electric waste management system.

  • The sanitation trucks work silently and they don’t empty waste directly on site. By doing this, it reduces the energy consumed by 80%
  • By making the switch to this one stop shop for disposal, it would produce 99 % CO2 emission less emissions
  • The major plus is it can be profitable, it has low operation cost.


  • Public
  • Waste management companies
  • Energy Companies
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Government


With the help of the government funding and a private public partnership, there could be select locations in the state for each county with these waste bins available. After Department of Sanitation unloads the waste in one location and after it is filled a sensors would send a message for it to be delivered to the waste loop fully electric waste management system.


ECOPact – The Green Concrete


  1. EcoPact is sold at a range of low-carbon levels from 30%-100% less carbon emissions compared to the traditional concrete by using a circular business model by using waste from demolition of other projects
  2. Company integrates fine mixed granulate from construction and demolition material as an additive. Concrete mix is currently available in many European and South American countries
  3. Belfast Valley, a Baltimore-based contractor, is using EcoPact on Georgetown university 12 story residence hall building which is the first major construction project in Washington DC. to use the green products
  4. Products formation seem to not be much different than the traditional concrete except when temperatures fall at or below freezing where concrete sets slower than traditional concrete

Stake Holders

  1. Construction companies
  2. Contractors and developers
  3. Governments who set sustainability goals


  1. EcoPact to ramp up marketing the product at a larger scale
  2. Work with cement plant where the product is being marketed to make sure supply is available


Baltimore contractor pilots low-carbon concrete product

Neustark – removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in recycled concrete

Student Jessica Yu | Uni: JY3076

Sustainable Problem:

Cement production attribute to one of the largest GHG emissions globally. Cement production releases 5–6% of all carbon dioxide generated by human activities, accounting for about 4% of global warming. The manufacturing process of cement also causes pollution and can contaminate the water which causes adverse affects to human wellbeing and environmental health concerns.

Sustainable technology:

To address this, there is a push for smart and sustainable construction materials as well as alternative processes for cement manufacturing. Construction companies are looking for efficient manufacturing process and low-carbon sources.


  • Neustark is a swiss startup that removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and stores it in recycles concrete. (Stores about 10kg in each cubic meter of recycled concrete aggregate)
  • It uses principles of natural mineralization accelerating it to capture carbon more efficiently. It optimizes concrete usage to minimize cement usage in concreate manufacturing.
  • Neustark carbonation takes place before the granules are mixed with cement. The pH value of the finished concreate is the same as that of conventionally produced concrete.

Key Stakeholders:

  • Real estate Developers
  • Construction companies
  • Government Urban planning department

Implementation steps:

1.) Determine the ecological and economical potential of neustark based on the specific framework condition on the business that is considering using this technology

2.) Validate the key assumptions behind what could potentially be saved through the companies ‘lab scale concreate test’ series

3.) Rent their mobile unit to validate those test at large scale at their location of choice

State of Connecticut launches IT Optimization Process

  1. Sustainability Issue: Safety and Health. Currently there is no strong centralized team of IT experts to support State agencies and the public in Connecticut. In addition there is public demand for up-to-date technology especially in schools and hospitals. Technology has become a central need that we have seen especially through the aftermath of COVID-19.
  2. Name of technology solution: Through a press release in March of 2021 Governor Lamont of CT announced a plan to build a new information technology organization within the state government to deliver modern IT solutions to support state agencies and the public.
  3. Stakeholders who will be using this technology:
    • Government agencies, IT professionals supporting this new infrastructure, professionals that will need to manage this hardware, security, networks and storage. Agencies that will need to migrate their systems as a result of this plan, state-based collaboration to serve these enterprise platforms, the residents of Connecticut who will be a part of this change and hopefully benefit as a result of this economic and job growth. The state data center security is a priority.
  4. According to the articles related to this plan – this will be a year long process to build this new iT hub for state agencies. Once this is built the process to centralize will lead to the required collaboration with IT professionals, and the appropriate training to the professionals dedicating their services to work on a common platform that will communicate across State agencies instead of individual agency by agency processes. Third step will involve the training, roll-out and maintenance for this. The funding will also need to be allocated towards where the needs are. I’m also curious to see how this impacts low-income areas in Connecticut and school systems?

Another thing we have to consider is, will this proposal actually make the services for residents and employees more accessible and digital? Will this investment allow for quicker services at places that need it to the most like the DMV or voter registration? How will the follow-up be for this – how will it be measured, and will ordinary residents see the effects of this in their day-to-day lives?

Clean-Energy Skylight Makes Seawater Drinkable And Provides Free Light

Student: Jessica Yu | Uni: Jy3076

Sustainability Problem:

By 2050, it is predicted that 3 billion people will be living within informal settlements and 1 in 3 people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water . An informal settlement is housing that falls outside of government control or regulation. These communities are excluded from regular access to the benefits of urban development, including public services, infrastructure, public spaces and collective facilities. It’s clear that providing safe water for all is one of the most pressing problems in public health.

Technology Solution:

Designer Henry Glogau developed a no-cost lighting solution for homes in shantytowns – a skylight dubbed ‘Solar Desalination Skylight’ that provides free lighting and drinkable water.

  • The Solar Desalination Skylight works by evaporating seawater using heat from the sun. During the day, seawater trickles through a pipe into the bowl-shaped skylight. The salt and pollutants are removed and clean drinking water is extracting via a tap at the Skylight base.
  • At night, the remaining brine left over from the purification process generates an electrical charge to power a dim light.
  • As well as the functional performance, the desalinated water adds a morphing dappled effect that changes mood throughout the day, creating a soft ambiance for the living room space where family activities take place.



  • informal settlement communities in Antofagasta, Chile.
  • Local NGO (in this example TECHO)
  • Governments
  • Real estate developers


1.) Conduct research to understand the areas with the lowest-income household in the communities

2.) Ensure the areas of installation has sufficient enough sunlight and Seawater

3.) deploy community desalination workshops to educate how the installation would work


Waste, Water, and Wind

1) Sustainability Problem

Waste: Ocean waste is an ever-worsening problem, and since many plastic wastes do not decompose, we need to extract the trash in order to effectively mitigate the solution. This has to happen in parallel with waste reduction efforts in order to holistically address the pollution of our oceans.

2) Technology Solution

This solution can collect 3 tons of waste per hour, and is primarily self sufficient by using wind and solar energy. They believe that “400 vessels could eventually remove 33% of the world’s ocean plastic pollution”. While crew members sort the waste on board and much of it is retained to later discard, certain plastics are also ground down and incinerated to be used as a fuel for the ship – removing waste and powering the vessel for ongoing waste removal.

3) Stakeholders

A number of stakeholders will need to be engaged to drive this project forward:

  1. Engineering and investment stakeholders
  2. Environmental groups
  3. Waste facilities
  4. Coast Guard

4) Implementation

In order to roll out the program to convert urban orange waste into electricity one would need to:

  1. Conduct research to understand the highest concentrations of waste
  2. Work with engineering, investors, etc. to develop a working model of the boat
  3. Coordinate with Coast Guard to arrange tests and operations and ensure they feel the endeavor is safe



Taming Traffic with Tech! An Atlanta Suburb Case Study

Done by Jeremy Solomon, uni: js5636

  1. Traffic is certainly a widespread issues that is not specific to any particular location, however many regions are worse off than others when it comes to delays on roadways. Traffic causes frustration and stress, increased emissions from vehicles, and wasted time and energy (perhaps the precursor to frustration and stress). I would considers these issues of civic engagement (possibly?) and health + safety.


  • The town of Peachtree Corners, which is a suburb about 20 miles outside of Atlanta, has what they call a “Curiousity Lab” where they develop and implement smart-city-living measures, seems pretty cool and unique!
  • Through this Curiosity Lab, the town has partnered with Qualcomm and infrastructure firm Jacobs and are in the process of implementing Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2xE) technology on some of the town’s vehicle fleet and their roadways.
  • This technology sets out to dramatically improve road safety and roadway congestion. This is accomplished by altering traffic light patterns based upon real-time demand and congestion levels. Another cool feature is that it can alter traffic signals to help first responders move more quickly to emergencies.
  • Ford has made commitments to the effort by deploying C-V2X tech in ALL of its vehicles starting in 2022!

Article Title: Atlanta suburb deploys new tech to tame traffic

Website Name: Smart Cities Dive

Website Link:

3. Stakeholders include:

  • City Residents
  • First responders
  • Car Manufacturers
  • City/State/Federal Legislators to help further integrate this technology

4. I mentioned that city/state/federal legislators are stakeholders that will need to use or will be impacted by this technology. to that end, being that this is such a far reaching technology, I think that the first step would be to engage lawmakers to start encouraging and/or subsidizing the plan.

As the involved organizations presented in this article have done, the second step would be testing this technology at a small scale in private applications because there are some certain dangers involved if things don’t work perfectly in a public setting.

Thirdly, this technology would need to be beta tested also at small scale in “the real world” to ensure that there is a seamless transition from private lab testing to public testing.

Hydrogen-powered rockets

1) Sustainability Problem: Health and Safety (Radiation)

Rocket engines powered by mainstream hydrocarbon propellants release black carbon into the stratosphere, which is the second layer of the atmosphere. Because the particles are literally black, they absorb light and warm the stratosphere. These warmer temperatures accelerate the chemical reactions that deplete ozone, which we know protects us from harmful radiation. While total black carbon emissions from global space activity are not yet at high enough levels to have a significant impact, the global launch rate is experiencing a surge and is expected to continue increasing. Without any preventative or mitigative measures, the ozone depletion and corresponding radiation from aerospace activity could cause serious adverse effects for the human population.

2) Article Titles: “The Policy and Science of Rocket Emissions” and “Will hydrogen power the future of aerospace?”; Article Websites: and; Article Links:;

  • Hydrogen fuel is readily available and can be produced efficiently. (WHA International)
  • Hydrogen fuel burns cleanly and has the potential to have a 100% clean energy cycle if it is produced using renewable energy sources. (WHA International)
  • Hydrogen-based rocket fuel has no black carbon emissions and performs better as a propellant than other hydrocarbon fuels. However, it is more difficult to work with than other propellants because of its sensitivity. It is also low density, requiring a larger tank and more weight which is disadvantageous when trying to get the rocket off the ground. Finally, it requires much cooler storing temperatures. (Source: Martin Ross [my manager at The Aerospace Corporation, personal interview).

3) Organizational Stakeholders

Transitioning the aerospace industry to hydrogen fuel from hydrocarbon propellants will require research, acceptance and support, and changes in infrastructure. This means that the following stakeholders will be involved:

  • Aerospace engineers to adjust the actual rocket engines to use hydrogen propellant
  • Climate and atmospheric scientists to continue monitoring and researching the effects of rocket engine emissions on the stratosphere and other layers of the atmosphere not so well understood
  • Communication experts to translate the science to policy makers and make them understand the urgency of the situation
  • Policy makers so that policies can be implemented to make the transition
  • Aviation experts that have used hydrogen fuel to make connections between airplanes and rockets and this specific use case

4) Implementation Steps

As mentioned in the stakeholder section, making this transition will require lots more research as well as communication and changes in infrastructure, not to mention significant costs. Therefore, the following steps should be implemented:

  • Teams should be created to combine experts in aerospace, climate/atmosphere science, aviation, and policy. All perspectives should be accounted for and professionals from various fields should work together to implement the hydrogen technology to ensure that adverse effects in other areas are not being created.
  • Before implementing changes in infrastructure to accommodate hydrogen fuels only, research should be completed on other clean fuels to determine if there are even more ideal options. While hydrogen seems like a good fuel to use, there is always a need to continue searching for even better ones.
  • Financial modeling should be performed to determine how much it would cost to make the infrastructure and rocket engine modifications to accommodate hydrogen fuel.

Reducing Over-Fertilization

Jon Harper – jbh2175

Sustainability Issue: Fertilizer Eutrophication

            Fertilizer runoff from agriculture is a major contributor to the eutrophication (essentially creating too many nutrients) of waterways and the oceans.  This creates algal blooms which choke out other plant life and then die, and when they are decomposing the decomposers use up all of the available oxygen in the water creating hypoxic or even anoxic conditions, killing any aquatic life nearby.  Huge “dead zones” have been created just beyond the mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico, and many other areas worldwide.

Technology: Non-toxic stabilizer “N-Protect”

When fertilizer is applied, bacteria will often use up part of it in a process called “Volitalization” which creates ammonia gas and causes the available nitrogen in the fertilizer to not reach the roots of the intended plants.  Because of this, excess fertilizer is used to get enough to the plants, and/or toxic stabilizers are used to make the nitrogen accessible to the plants but not the bacteria.

Solvay has come up with an alternative to this with their “N-Protect” product.  This is a stabilizer which is non-toxic, and does not have the foul odor that conventional stabilizers have.  It also has a higher efficacy than conventional stabilizers, at 50% instead of 30%.  This means that less fertilizer has to be applied, and that more is taken up by the intended plants.  Both mean less runoff into waterways and less volitalization into ammonia which then gets captured in the water cycle in clouds and rain, also ending up in rivers and oceans.


-Agriculture industry

-Fertilizer supply industry


-Coastal and River-adjacent communities near ‘dead zones’


  1. Implement wider usage of the product
  2. Test rivers and ocean areas near applications to determine level of effectiveness at reducing eutrophication
  3. Consider legislation requiring a higher level of volitization reduction in fertilizers