Is your Community Up to the Challenge?

Sustainable Materials Management tools for communities, builders and manufacturers.

Input-Output Modeling

What – Tools for analyzing economic and environmental impacts in over 400 industry sectors for community planning, business development and environmental education.

Material Reuse/Recycling

Why – To foster informed decisions while creating connections that turn waste streams into revenue streams that lower the cost of material input during production.

Decentralized Market Data

How – By combining local, regional and national data feeds with new modules developed using USEEIO, the US EPA's Environmentally-Extended Input-Output API.

Upcoming Events and Internships

In the Spring of 2020, Georgia communities will participate in our Life Cycle App Ideas Challenge to inspire and help set priorities. During the Summer of 2020, Georgia university students will receive paid internships to create modules with local and regional data. In the Fall of 2020, we'll expand on the new tools during the Code for America Sustainable Communities Net Zero Hackathon. Learn More and Register.

What's new: Amazon is using USEEIO to reduce their carbon footprint to Net Zero by 2040. - Overview / Details

Sustainable Materials Management Objectives

  1. Decrease the disposal rate, which includes source reduction, reuse, recycling and prevention;
  2. Reduce the environmental impacts of materials across their life cycle;
  3. Increase socio-economic benefits; and
  4. Increase the capacity of state and local governments, communities and key stakeholders to adopt and implement SMM policies, practices and incentives.
Intermodal Ports

Data Driven Decision Making

Smart & Sustainable Movement of Goods & Services

Connected Communities

Statewide Input-Output Modeling

Screenshot from EPA Georgia interface.   Module example to be pulled from a CSV file output from the USEEIO API.

Adverse Impacts Positive Impacts
Acid Rain (ACID)
Freshwater Ecotoxicity (ETOX)
Water Eutrophication (EUTR)
Global Climate Change (GCC)
Respiratory Effects (HRSP)
Toxic to Humans (HTOX)
Ozone Depletion (OZON)
Smog Formation (SMOG)

Resource Use
Energy Use (ENRG)
Land Use (LAND)
Minerals and Metals (MINE)
Water Use (WATR)

Waste Generated
Food Waste (FOOD)
Hazardous Waste (HAZW)
Muncipal Solid Waste (MSW)

Economic & Social
Jobs (JOBS)
Value Added (VADD)

Sankey Charts of Material Flow

View Chart Starters

Value-Added Products from Waste

Creative ways waste is being recylced...

In Brewing

Turning Beer Byproducts (leftover Barley) Into Carbon Nanotubes
Nov 26, 2019 - Scientists have created a low-cost renewable fuel for homes in winter, charcoal for summer barbecues, active carbon for water filters and treating poison, and carbon nanotubes for cancer treatment and drug delivery.

Capturing Carbon from Air using Carbon Nanotubes
October 25, 2019 - A significantly less energy-intensive way to capture carbon from air at virtually any concentration level.

Whiskey Makers Are Making a Play For Climate-Conscious Drinkers
Distilleries are touting water conservation, forest planting, butterfly waystations and bee protection.

In Paper Production

The expanse of the global lignin market is being driven by the increasing demand for carbon fibers in the construction and automotive industries. Paper mills currently discharge million of gallons of lignin effluent into waterways daily. Lignin is an organic, often pale-yellow, connecting substance found between and in plant cells. Lignin is the second largest renewable carbon source on the planet after cellulose. Lignin Market Valuation

Conversion of Biomass into Acrylonitrile, a Key Precursor for Carbon Fiber Manufacturing
"The catalyst used for the nitrilation chemistry is about three times less expensive than the catalyst used in the petroleum-based process and it's a simpler process. The chemistry is endothermic so it doesn't produce excess heat, and unlike the petroleum-based process, it doesn't produce the toxic byproduct hydrogen cyanide. Rather, the bio-based process only produces water and alcohol as its byproducts."  Related: An Alternative To Carbon Fiber from Fossil Fuels

LignoTech Florida - Owned by Rayonier Advanced Materials (45%) and Borregaard (55%)
"The 110 million USD investment represents a production capacity of 100,000 metric tonnes lignin measured as dry substance. In a planned second phase, the capacity can later be expanded by 50,000 tonnes."

Source: Recent Advances in Applications of Acidophilic Fungi to Produce Chemicals

How to use Lignin as a Fuel Cell, with no Carbon Emission
Hydrocarbon chains are broken down to energy-rich benzenediols. The popular conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS prevents carbon dioxide from forming.

Fast Growth Forestry - for Superwood, Nanowood and Transparent Wood

How to Grow a Forest Really, Really Fast
To establish a mature, native forest in ten times the normal rate of forests planted by humans, amend the soil to a depth of one meter, add a locally abundant biomass. Plant three to five saplings per square meter. "This grows into a forest so dense that after eight months, sunlight can’t reach the ground. At this point, every drop of rain that falls is conserved, and every leaf that falls is converted into humus. The more the forest grows, the more it generates nutrients for itself, accelerating further growth. This density also means that individual trees begin competing for sunlight — another reason these forests grow so fast."

Biosolids as Fast Growth Forest Fertilizer on Marginal Soils
Adding organic matter to soil reduces surface runoff and erosion, improves the capacity to hold water and nutrients while increasing yields (UGA). Urban sewage is easier to treat because it doesn't contain heavy metals from industrial activities that typically occur in rural areas. Deep-row biosolid applications allows for forest products at sites near treatment plants in urban areas. Deep-rooted plant material uptakes nitrogent to minimize leaching into groundwater. In Egypt, deserts are being reclaimed and eucalyptus trees are producing wood at four times the rate of pine plantations in Germany.

Super Wood - Stronger than most Titanium Alloys
Super wood is created by removing lignin from soft woods like pine or balsa, which grow fast and are more environmentally friendly. The process can replace slower-growing but denser woods like teak, in furniture or buildings.

Nanowood - Better Insulator than Styrofoam
Nanowood is produced by boiling out the lignin, treating with Hydrogen Peroxide, then freeze-drying the remaining pure cellulose.

Transparent Wood - Three Times Better Insulator than Glass
Infused with polymers and sturdier than traditional wood, transparent wood can be used in place of less environmentally friendly materials, such as plastics. As a daylight-harvesting roof, the aligned wood channels guide the sunlight into the house without relying of the sun’s angle.

Biofuels and Hydrogen

Hydrogen takes center stage in Atlanta as fuel of the future
In just two years, “a small band of believers has turned into a large band of implementers” - Bosch VP. Companies with 10 or more trucks can now justify having their own hydrogen refueling stations.

Source: US Energy Information Administration: Production of Hydrogen

New Catalyst efficiently produces Hydrogen from Seawater
Nov 11, 2019 - Potential for large-scale hydrogen production, desalination using inexpensive non-noble metal nitrides. Avoids generating ions that settle on the catalyst and render it inactive.

Harnessing Sunlight to pull Hydrogen from Wastewater
May 1, 2019 - Uses a silicon interface aided by bacteria (that generate electrical current when consuming organic matter) to split water and isolate hydrogen gas.

Solar Panel converts Moisture in the Air into Hydrogen Fuel
March 13, 2019 - Eash panel converts 250 liters of hydrogen gas per day using sunlight to split water vapor. Hydrogen is stored in underground pressure vessels to heat Belgian homes.

Recycling Processors (B2B)

Additional Maps - Landfills, Inert Waste, Transfer Stations

All The Places API

Location and product data will be harvested from existing websites and databases using the techniques developed for All The Places. Over 450 spiders and scrapers pull data nightly from sites that post their locations online. Material input-output requests can be shared using CSV files, HTML posts and API feeds.

Example: Your construction contract has a requirement to use 50% reclaimed lumber. Share a spreadsheet documenting how much lumber you need and when you need it. Groups like the Lifecycle Building Center retrieve lumber after film productions and can watch for taredown dates that fit your schedule.

In addition, census data from uszipcode datasets, will be combined with establishment and employment counts from the Complete ZIP Code Industry Detail Files to model impacts using the USEEIO API.

Publish your Inventory and Wishlist Data


Get Involved

Register to participate in our 2020 events and internships.

Edit on GitHub - Contribute to our code and datasets.

Waze Carpool - Find carpool riders and drivers near you.

Intro Objectives Map Starters