An environmental resource for East Tennessee Business

B9315676599Z.1_20150109193107_000_GH29KPUDP.1-0.jpg

Mawuli Tse has already brought solar power to hundreds of residents in urban Ghana and other African countries.

Now thanks to a $100,000 grant, he's creating a solar product for street vendors in rural areas, reports Jamie McGee of the Tennessean.

The device uses solar panels, which can be attached to umbrellas often used by the vendors, to power mobile charging stations for customers.

Vendors may also use the system for light, allowing them to stay open later or for use at homes, Tse said.

Read the full story with video at The Tennessean: Nashvillian's solar device helps vendors in Africa

Photo:Mawuli Tse detaches a portable solar panel from the top of an vendor umbrella at his home in Nashville on Friday.(Photo: Jae S. Lee / The Tennessean)

Don't toss that tree! (or the lights)

1230_KCLO_treerecycle_0033_AL.JPG

Christmas is behind us and many festive trees will soon be stripped of their finery.

If your tree is artificial, then back into storage (we hope!) it goes. But for those who chose a live tree, Knoxville and Knox County have disposal options to keep them out of our landfills and some organizations will also recycle trees and other items. Above, News Sentinel photographer Adam Lau photographed trees dropped off for recycling at Ijams Nature Center.

Knox County residents can drop off their tree anytime in January for free at one of five Knox County recycling centers. Just remove all ornaments, lights, wire, string and other decorations before bringing them to be tree-cycled and reused as mulch and other soil amendments. This option is also open to city of Knoxville residents.

Locations of Christmas Treecycling

  • Dutchtown Convenience Center - 10618 Dutchtown Road
  • Halls Convenience Center - 3608 Neal Drive
  • John Sevier Convenience Center - 1950 West John Sevier Highway
  • Powell Convenience Center - 7311 Morton View Lane
  • Tazewell Pike Convenience Center - 7201 Tazewell Pike

Christmas tree collection for city of Knoxville residents is the same process as for brush collection. Remove decorations and put your tree on the curb. Keep in mind it may stay there for a while -- the regular two-week brush pickup schedule won't resume until Feb. 1, according to the city website.  For faster removal, city residents can also take advantage of the Knox County recycling options above.

Other recycling options can help you give back to community organizations, or earn you a discount on next year's decorations.

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Knoxville is one of the first 20 congregations to be designated a Certified Cool Congregation by Interfaith Power and Light for its energy efficiency efforts.

The certification is a culmination of 20 years of effort in the church's "Creation Care" initiative to reduce its environmental impact, writes Larisa Brass in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The congregation has upgraded the church's windows, lights and installed an energy management system that reduced its carbon emissions by 4.5 tons.

The church is also looking for ways to save energy that help it financially as well. A recent installation of a 5kw solar array added to the other upgrades mean the church saves about 30 percent on energy costs.

The solar installation was installed with a $16,000 grant through Knoxville's Solar America Cities program and offsets 5 percent of the church's electricity needs.

Environmental groups including the Tennessee Clean Water Network, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and others say an expansion of TVA's Kingston landfill could lead to coal waste leaking into the Clinch River.

TVA has filed for a major permit modification  with the Tennessee Department of Environment and conservation for the Kingston site and plans an expansion to store waste generated by the Kingston Fossil Plant.

Opponents say the site is unstable and not suited for a landfill due to sink holes and other karst geologic features.

As part of the permitting process, TVA submitted an updated operations manual for the site, which details preliminary expansion efforts begun in September 2013 and estimates Phase II of construction from 2016 to 2020 depending on TDEC approval.

TDEC will review public comment on the proposal through Tuesday.

Related items:

When moving into it's new home, the owners of Three Rivers Market made energy efficiency and sustainability a priority.

Much of the old building was reused and new portions incorporated energy-conserving materials inside and out. Three Rivers has also long participated in TVA's Green Power Switch program, purchasing renewable energy.

As of June of this year, the co-op will also participate in TVA's Green Power Providers program, and generate some of its own power with new 50 kilowat solar panel installation on its roof.

0506_kskj_curbside.JPG

Residents have an opportunity to recycle documents and safely dispose of old medications at this year's America Recycles Day celebrations 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 1, in downtown Knoxville on Market Square.

Photo: Wayne Bailey and Scott Harmon, hidden, public service workers with the City of Knoxville, deliver recycling cartsfor the free curbside recycling program. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

ZeroLandfill East Tennessee and Workspace Interiors are again working to collect expired project materials from the Knoxville-area design community this year.

zeroflyer.jpg

The organization invites area architects, interior designers, marketers and others to bring unwanted materials to its warehouse, 2820 Middlebrook Pike Ste. 104, September 16-18 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Items will be available to the public, artists, crafters and educators for upcycling in projects for free 9 a.m.-1 p.m. September 20, also at the warehouse.

Some materials accepted include:

  • Fabric
  • Paper products
  • Catalogues/magazines
  • Marketing materials
  • Windows
  • Stucco
  • Paint Chips

For a full list and more information visit the ZeroLandfill East Tennessee Facebook page. Volunteers are also needed and can find the signup there.

trailer.jpg

Knox County organizations aiming for lower or zero waste events can now get a free helping hand from Keep Knoxville Beautiful.

Thanks to a grant from the Alcoa Foundation, KBB now offers an Event Recycling Trailer that holds 35 recycling containers and bags to be set up throughout any event.

The group can also help with planning a reduced-waste or waste-free event, said Allison Teeters, KBB executive director.

In addition to the recycling containers, the trailer includes bags, event signage, instructions, a fold out table and stop litter information.

KBB is also accepting sponsors for the trailer, which will feature their logos on the back.

For more information or to schedule an event visit the Keep Knoxville Beautiful website.

In June of this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new guidelines regulating emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act.

The public can learn how these new regulations could affect Tennessee and the Southeast at the EPA Clean Power Plan forum, presented by the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee 1-5 p.m. August 26.

SPECTRUM-Solar-Fair-flyer-062314.jpg

The public is invited to learn about solar energy and its impact on Tennessee at the Community Solar Fair 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 19 at Knoxville Center Mall.

The University of Tennessee presents its SPECTRUM interactive solar exhibit, which illustrates how solar energy is powering states and creating new jobs across the U.S. and in Tennessee.

At 10:30 a.m., ARiES Energy will present information on installing solar panels on your home, including the process, pay-back period, impact on electricity bills, and more.


Learn about Tennessee Valley Authority's Green Power Providers program at 11:30 a.m. The program provides technical support and incentives for the installation of renewable generation facilities like solar to residential and commercial customers.

Children's activities and games will take place from noon to 1 p.m. The Muse Knoxville will be on-hand to provide fun STEM activities.

Representatives from all three organizations will be available for questions during the event.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Shelley Kimel published on January 12, 2015 12:52 PM.

Don't toss that tree! (or the lights) was the previous entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.