Thursday, September 16, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Today Is Christmas Day
Date: December 25 (Traditional)
Purpose: Celebrates the Nativity of Jesus
Symbol: Use of the modernChristmas tree tradition began inGermany around the
Named for: Name originated as a contraction of the Old English words Cristes
Maesse (the Mass of Christ)
Related holiday: The day preceding Christmas is usually known as Christmas Eve
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
- Neighbourhood Charters- working with six priority neighbourhoods in Birmingham to develop cleaner, safer, greener neighbourhood charters. For more information about the programme so far click here to view a presentation.
- Anti Graffiti programme- Birmingham City Council and a variety of partners have developed a sustainable solution to deal with graffiti. The approach works in 4 ways: intelligence, enforcement, removal and prevention.
- Clean Priority Neighbourhoods- this project provides cleanliness survey data from the city's 25 priority neighbourhoods to support neighbourhood managers to prioritise and focus cleaning activities. A surveyor, travelling in an electric car, measures litter, fly-tipping, fly-posting graffiti etc.
- Secured sites- secures and regenerates fly-tipped and disused land across the city. Projects range from gating, fencing and lanscaping, to complete regeneration of sites into parks and wildlife gardens.
A new blast of chaos: Another volcanic ash cloud bound for Britain halts reopening of airports
- Aberdeen and Edinburgh airports open, Glasgow set to close again
- No flights from London airports before 7pm
- Met Office forecasts latest ash cloud will continue to disperse across England, Wales and Northern Ireland today
Passengers who were told flights would resume today had their hopes dashed after more cancellations were announced as a new ash cloud headed towards the country.
Flights later today will be limited to eastern Scotland as the volcanic ash cloud situation remains 'dynamic', air traffic control company Nats said.
All London airports remained closed today and there will be no flights before 7pm at the earliest in the rest of England, nor in Wales or Northern Ireland..
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The most-oft voiced solution to regulatory demands (also called unfunded mandates) is solidarity among water and wastewater utilities, and public campaigns that educate stakeholders about the cost-benefit equation of continued reductions in point source limits. As one utility manager said, “Is the cost incurred by utilities to remove phosphorous from wastewater effluent — and passed along to customers and ratepayers — really justified by the minimal degree of improvement that is realized in water quality?”
Transitioning to watershed-based water quality programs and approving a framework for water quality trading programs also were raised as solutions. Virginia adopted a water quality program as one way to reduce the nutrient pollution that has degraded water quality and aquatic life in Chesapeake Bay. By purchasing credits from other utilities that have excess allocation in their permits above the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous they are discharging, utilities can reduce capital spending on treatment plant upgrades to meet permit limits.
As a result of seasonal droughts caused by precipitation pattern changes caused by climate change and population growth in arid areas, utility managers say that water scarcity is requiring them to evaluate customer use and may require larger for new sources of supply. Until new sources are found or developed, many participants say they are restricting water use, which results in decreases in water revenue and will not help cover the rising cost of water supplies. They also said that complicating the issue are the difficulties of siting new sources, frequently because of environmental concerns.
Many attendees say they are finding new water sources in their wastewater supplies and are attempting to change the paradigm from wastewater disposal to provider of resources, such as energy, bio-solids and reuse water. For example, the Alexandria, Va., Sanitation Authority is working with the city to provide reclaimed wastewater for industrial use. The reuse project will encourage industrial development that otherwise would have been hindered by tight discharge standards to the Potomac River, as well as avoid a treatment plant expansion. On the West Coast, Los Angeles' Bureau of Sanitation is engaged in a similar provision of services, including using its own wastewater treatment by-products (methane gas) to co-generate power with its neighboring electric utility, which is run by the city's Department of Water and Power. Soon, the bureau will expand the process to directly receive organic wastes (like fats, oils and grease) from outside organizations and put them directly into the same digesters to produce even more energy.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
It is a tactic being deployed in many government fleets, says Darry Stuart, president of Wrentham, Mass.-based DWS Fleet Management Services, a firm specializing in fleet maintenance issues. “You should spec a truck to last 10 years at least,” he says. “You may think you're going to keep it for only eight years, but if you reach year eight and you're in an economy like we're in now, you'll want to be able to run it another year or two. That's the flexibility a properly thought-out spec'ing strategy gives you.”
In addition, proper maintenance can help vehicles last longer. Using the highest synthetic hydraulic or transmission fluid not only creates longer service intervals — thus lowering maintenance costs — but also provides longer warranty coverage from the manufacturer. “There's a direct correlation between the specs you choose to keep that truck on the street. You can't skimp on your specs if you expect to see a return on your , and that return is uptime,” Stuart says.
Palm Beach County has been following those guidelines for years. “Our goal is to buy as high quality a product as we can,” Weichman says. “We look at beefier components to give the truck more strength. So, when we reach a time like this, we can push our replacement cycle out beyond our nominal five to seven years — maybe out to eight or nine years.”
Even choice can significantly affect a fleet's operating budget, says Steven Hunter, a waste transfer station manager for Buncombe County, N.C. For example, the county previously transported 200 tons of trash a day from its transfer station to the county landfill, using seven tractor-trailers. Now, they can move 300 tons per day with the same equipment largely by buying self-sealing tires that reduce vehicle downtime.
The county's tractor-trailers were getting flat tires when driving over the refuse in the landfill, resulting in one to two hours of vehicle downtime if they had to call for service, which would add another $300 to $400. “On rainy days, it was common for nails, screws and other debris to cause three to four flats per day as tires would spin and pick up punctures,” Hunter says. By switching to self-sealing tires, flats were reduced by 75 percent, which meant more vehicle uptime and trash-hauling capacity.
Rex Victory, heavy equipment supervisor of Sedgwick County, Kan., stresses the importance of choosing the right vehicle for the application — one that is neither too light, resulting in more breakdowns under the stress of the work, or too heavy, when the extra cost is not necessary. “We've spec'd Class 7 trucks in the past for snowplow applications, and they've proved to be too light for our needs,” he says. “But full-size Class 8s offer more than we need and at a higher price tag.”
Sedgwick County maintains 680 miles of road surrounding Wichita and outlying areas — about 1,000 square miles. The county's 23 Class 7 and 8 trucks are equipped with snowplows for snow season, which lasts from November through March. The trucks are equipped with 13-yard dump bodies and 12-yard sand spreaders with power take offs to operate the snowplows. After snow season, Victory says the blades come off and life as a dump truck begins — hauling asphalt for road repairs and rocks for shoulder repairs.