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Coastal Cleanup, Recycled Rubber, Code Questions, Panel Problems

Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.


Come Clean

Remove trash and debris from local beaches, rivers, and streams during California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 15. This annual event draws thousands of volunteers keen on helping the environment and marine life by pitching culprits like plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. For a volunteer site list and registration information, click here. It’ll be interesting to see how much garbage is collected (over 839,000 pounds of trash were tossed statewide last year) given increased state and local efforts to keep waterways trash free.


Paved with Smooth Intentions

Recycled rubber is being mixed into highway surfacing repair work, an approach keeping millions of tires out of landfills and cutting driving noise. Unlike concrete and its tire-vibrating grooves, rubberized asphalt adds elasticity to pavement to smooth out rides, according to an East Bay Times article. Find out where the rubber meets the road locally. While the article doesn’t address specific costs, road repair funding is a hot issue, which we’ve covered and will be voted on via Prop 6 in November.


Up to Code?

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), more commonly known as granny flats or in-law suites, are seen as one solution to ease housing woes. But building requirements like the 2016 energy code make it hard to get ADUs off the ground. So the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) is hosting a forum on Tuesday, September 25 with industry experts and government staff to explain energy code issues. Register here. Then dwell on our 2016 article highlighting efforts by BayREN and other entities to improve home energy efficiency.


Everything Under the Sun

Readers who’ve tapped into our renewables and solar energy coverage should check out a Science Daily update about air pollution’s effects on solar-panel output in urban areas. Researchers, who published findings in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, collected data in Delhi, India over two years and found air pollution there cut the power generation capacity of solar panels by 12 percent annually. In other energy headlines, California officials warned in the latest climate change assessment that higher temps will raise annual electricity demand for inland area homes. Explore the changes, including projections about worsening wildfires.


Monitor Notes is produced by Cecily O’Connor. To receive it by email, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email address in the box under “RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES,” and click the red “SIGN UP” button.

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