UW electronics-recycling pledge: Prevent harm to people, environment

November 8, 2012

The University of Washington has become the first university nationally to sign the e-Stewards Enterprise Commitment, a pledge to be globally responsible in recycling electronic equipment.

The UW, which collects and recycles more than 90 tons of used electronic equipment a year, already uses a recycler that is e-Stewards certified. Signing the agreement formalizes the university’s commitment to that practice, according to Emily Newcomer, UW recycling manager.

Recycling wood waste

November 25, 2012

A team of UW researchers recently developed a new method of recycling wood waste, utilizing the technology as the basis for a company. The startup, entitled Carbon Cultures, generates charcoal from recycling wood waste and sells it to farmers, gardeners, or any other customer looking to improve their soil.

“We needed to get some value from the forest and thought of wood waste,” said Jenny Knoth, CEO of Carbon Cultures and Ph.D. candidate in environmental and forest sciences. “So why not do the disposal on-site?”

UW students win $100,000 for 3-D printer

October 29, 2012

After taking second place in the Seafair Milk Carton Derby using a printed boat made entirely of milk-jug plastic, the Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF) proved that 3-D printing was a budding technology. Now the group has proven its ability on the international level, winning first prize at the 3D4D Challenge in London last week.

The 50-member student group beat out six other finalists for the $100,000 top prize for their plan to use giant 3-D printers to turn create lightweight composting toilets and rainwater catchment equipment from waste plastic.

Students win $100K for 3-D printer to turn waste plastic into composting toilets, rainwater harvesting systems

October 25, 2012

A University of Washington team this week claimed top prize in the first 3D4D Challenge, an international contest to use 3-D printing for social benefit in the developing world. The three undergraduates won $100,000 to form a company that will work with partners in Oaxaca, Mexico, to build machines that can transform waste plastic into composting toilets and pieces for rainwater harvesting systems.

Matthew Rogge, a post-baccalaureate mechanical engineering student who presented the project in London, was inspired by years spent working in the Peace Corps.