RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 15 (Tierramérica).- Mineral and industrial waste from construction is becoming raw material for new building through a technique developed by engineer Janaína Accordi Junkes, at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil.
"A combination of dust generated in the production of basalt and in polishing, mud from potable water treatment and red clay, discarded for esthetic reasons in the ceramics industry, form pieces that are placed externally in construction, imitating bricks," Junkes told Tierramérica.
"In addition to keeping the waste out of the environment, we are helping maintain stocks of clay, which, like petroleum, will run out someday," she said.
Her research, part of her doctoral thesis, won the Green Talents 2010 award from Germany's Ministry of Education.
Requesting More Funds Against Climate Change
MEXICO CITY, Nov 15 (Tierramérica).- Actions for adapting to and mitigating climate change need at least one percent of Mexico's gross domestic product (GDP), proposed a collective of environmental groups.
"We want more investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, public transportation, sustainable forest management and efficient agricultural irrigation," Sandra Guzmán told Tierramérica. She represents the Mexican Center for Environmental Law, one of the 11 organizations demanding more public funds for fighting climate change.
The groups last week sent their request to the legislative committees for Budget, Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Climate Change.
They are also calling on Congress to earmark the resources intended for climate adaptation and mitigation as a means to improve transparency.
Mexico's environment budget for 2011 is about 3.36 billion dollars -- a seven-percent decline from the 2010 budget.
A New Way to Collect Trash
TEGUCIGALPA, Nov 15 (Tierramérica).- The municipal government of the southern Honduran city of Choluteca decided to collect garbage using horse-drawn carts in the neighborhoods not served by the sanitation service.
This approach "does not pollute the environment with the emissions of the garbage trucks, and has helped generate enthusiasm among residents to help the drivers in cleaning up their neighborhoods," Mayor Quintín Soriano told Tierramérica.
Ninety cart drivers collect the solid waste and separate it at the incinerator that services this city of 150,000 people. The garbage truck system serves only half of the urban population.
Hunger Strike Against Fumigation
BUENOS AIRES, Nov 15 (Tierramérica).- On the eve of a predicted record soybean harvest, an Argentine forestry engineer, backed by environmental groups, began a hunger strike against crop fumigation with dangerous agro-chemicals.
Through his hunger strike, Claudio Lowy is calling attention to a report he presented last year to the People's Defender of the Nation, in which he demands a halt to the contamination through fumigation that he says affects as many as 12 million rural dwellers.
Consulted by Tierramérica, Esteban Roglich, of the National Network for Ecological Action in the northern province of Santa Fe, declared that the strike, which began Nov. 9 outside the Office of the People's Defender, "has the support of all organizations in the network." *Source: Inter Press Service.
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