Growing food with garbage – how fertilizing crops with food waste could solve the problem of finite landfill space

Much of the organic-rich waste (e.g. food scraps, yard waste) that ends up in landfills could be put to better use, like building soil fertility for crops. A recent study suggests that crops grown in soils that have been amended with a variety of landfill-destined organic waste products produce comparable yields to plants grown with conventional synthetic fertilizers.

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The long arm of invasive plants – how one invasive (Eleagnus umbellata, autumn olive) changes the soil microbial community

Invasive plants plague many parts of the US, from roadside environments to natural ecosystems. Research on one invasive plant, the autumn olive (Eleagnus umbellata), indicates that the soil microbial community changes based on proximity to the plant. Long-term changes in soil microbial communities might negatively impact restoration efforts.

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Generating electricity while microbes clean wastewater – how wastewater treatment plants could go from brown to green

Microbial fuel cells are structures that behave like batteries, but are powered by ever-present environmental microbes. Researchers in South Korea measured the ability of Microbial Fuel Cell prototypes to generate electricity while cleaning up wastewater. Results indicate that this technology could radically reduce the energy requirements of wastewater treatment facilities.

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