InSites is a quarterly newsletter that highlights the personalities and projects of the Waste Management Research and Education Institute (WMREI) of The University of Tennessee. WMREI is an affiliate of the EERC.

WMREI was created in 1985 as a state-funded Center of Excellence. Research areas include solid-, hazardous-, and nuclear-waste management; waste minimization; and pollution prevention.

Biotechnology is the focal point of the institute's technical research, while issues involving public attitudes and federal/state policies related to waste-management issues are the primary concerns of the institute's policy research.

For additional information about InSites, or to be added to our mailing list, please write InSites, WMREI, The University of Tennessee, 311 Conference Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-4134, call 865-974-1156, or fax 865-974-1838. Or, if you prefer, e-mail Constance Griffith

cbgriffith@utk.edu.


Release of Engineered OrganismMarks Biotechnology Milestone

by David Brill

The nation's first release of genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs) for use in cleaning up hazardous wastes will take place this fall on the Department of Energy (DOE) reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The project will allow researchers to study environmental conditions that influence microorganisms' ability to degrade contaminants present in the soil.

The project, a joint effort of the University of Tennessee's (UT's) Center for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), will involve release of an organism known as Pseudomonas fluorescens HK44.

The organism, which specifically targets naphthalene, one of several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present at DOE sites around the country, represents an existing organism that has been genetically altered to produce light as it degrades the contaminant.

PAHs, which are derived from fossil fuels, are widely distributed in the environment and are regarded as potential carcinogens.

Researchers suspect that eventually genetically engineered organisms can be selectively maintained to promote enhanced in-situ bioremediation of naphthalene and other contaminants lurking beneath the soil surface.

"Our primary expectation from this project is to develop an understanding of how you can actually control microbial processes in the environment to achieve maximum levels of degradation," says CEB Director Gary Sayler, who serves as co-principal investigator on the project.

If the project bears that out, DOE may soon begin to develop and release engineered organisms that target other PAHs as well as other contaminants, including heavy metals and radioactive wastes.

The project was officially launched in 1991 when Sayler collaborated with other CEB and ORNL researchers in drafting a proposal for submission to DOE.

At the time, CEB was conducting laboratory research on Pseudomonas fluorescens' ability to degrade waste.

The department approved the proposal in 1994, clearing the way for researchers to gain necessary clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under guidance established by the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The EPA granted approval in February 1996, making the project the first of its kind to gain such approval.

Currently, DOE is responsible for cleanup of more than 130 installations comprising more than 728,000 square miles, according to D. Jay Grimes, microbiologist and program manager with DOE's Office of Health and Environmental Research in Washington, D.C.

"Collectively, these installations contain more than 200 million cubic meters of contaminated soil," says Grimes. "If the project succeeds, we'll then transfer the technology to DOE's Office of Environmental Management, where it will be applied on a large scale to help address DOE's waste burden."

Though bioremediation doesn't represent the only means for destroying the contaminants present in polluted soil, it may represent one of the most cost-effective solutions.

"While these contaminants and many others can be rendered harmless through incineration, the cost of excavating and burning soil can be prohibitively expensive, never mind the fact that the process destroys the soil's productivity," says Robert Burlage, an ORNL microbiologist who serves as co-principal investigator on the project with Sayler.

"Bioremediation, by contrast, allows the remediation process to take place in the field with much less intervention and at a greatly reduced cost. And the soil that's left behind is safe and can be used for other purposes."

Though ambitious, the CEB/ORNL project represents an intermediate step between bench-scale experiments using the organism in the laboratory and full field release.

The organism will be released into six steel-lined tanks measuring 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet deep.

Known as soil lysimeters, the tanks were constructed on the Oak Ridge reservation in 1987 to investigate acceptable disposal strategies for radioactive wastes generated through weapons production at DOE's Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge.

Though constructed for that purpose, the lysimeters that will be used by the CEB/ORNL team have never been used.

The circular cluster of six lysimeters has an 18-foot-deep central core area from which researchers can monitor the progress of the organisms as they degrade contaminants in the soil.

As the organisms degrade the naphthalene, they emit light. Bundles of fiberoptic cables snake from various points within the lysimeters to photomultipliers, which will amplify the light and digitalize it for analysis by researchers.

The lysimeters are also equipped with other devices that monitor moisture, soil pH, temperature, and the presence of carbon dioxide and oxygen. These latter two compounds are influenced by the microorganisms' metabolic activity.

Soil samples will be examined to determine whether the engineered microbes are colonizing, increasing or declining in population, or mixing genetically with other microbes present in the soil.

Researchers will also assess the organisms' bioluminescence--or light emission--as a way of monitoring their persistence, migration, and activity.

The naphthalene-contaminated soil for the experiment was mixed off-site and left to age for three months, which, says Burlage, will allow it to better reflect soil conditions present at the nation's existing contaminated sites.

Prior to the release of the genetically engineered organisms, the lysimeters will receive a foundation layer of sand and gravel topped by a 3-foot layer of soil.

On loading day, the contaminated soil will be scooped by a small front-loader and dumped into the lysimeters in 4-inch layers. Once each layer has been laid in place, researchers will spray the surface with a solution containing the genetically engineered microorganisms before the next soil layer is loaded in.

Though researchers will monitor activity in the lysimeters for a year, they expect some of the more dramatic results to occur almost instantly.

"We expect things to begin happening immediately," says Burlage. "In fact, we anticipate that we'll witness a frenzy right off the bat as the organisms are exposed to a bounty of contaminants on which to feed."

After that, Burlage expects a significant die-off of microbes to occur before the organisms begin to colonize.

If the project succeeds, says Burlage, the next obvious step would be a full-scale field release.

EPA approved the project after carefully studying the project proposal and evaluating a variety of potential risks. Among them are concerns that the engineered organisms would escape the site, prove predatory to other microorganisms, or mutate into strains that might pose harm to the environment.

"Ultimately, we were able to assuage those concerns," says Burlage. "The fact is, we are using a common soil microorganism that has been given the ability to glow."

Though the researchers believe the organism to be environmentally benign, they have built a number of safeguards into the project's design to head off any unwanted consequences.

For one thing, the lysimeter area is protected by a high, barbed-wire-topped fence, which will bar access to any intruders. For another, monitoring wells situated downhill from the site will allow researchers to assess groundwater moving through the site to see if any bacteria are escaping--a risk that Burlage describes as "vanishingly small."

Furthermore, a collection pad is connected to the lysimeters by a network of pipes, which will allow the research team to drain the water from the lysimeter tanks and treat it with chlorine to kill all living bacteria.

For more information, contact Gary Sayler, The University of Tennessee, Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Building 1, Suite 100, 10515 Research Drive, Knoxville, TN 37932-2575 or call 865-974-8080.

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Volunteers Give New Life To Ailing Urban Creek

Though Knoxville's Second Creek has endured decades of environmental abuse, a group of volunteers has granted it a second chance.

by Elise LeQuire

Knoxville, Tennessee's Second Creek, a typical urban stream, rises north of the city, meanders south, and snakes through the World's Fair Park and the campus of The University of Tennessee before emptying into Fort Loudon Lake.

Along the way, the stream receives a number of environmental insults similar to those that plague urban waterways everywhere, including illegal dump sites, raw sewerage leaks, runoff from fertilizers and other chemicals from public parks and private lawns.

Though the stream has borne this environmental burden for years, its fate recently changed, thanks to a team of 20 volunteers with close ties to The University of Tennessee (UT).

The volunteers, part of an organization called the Community Action Committee (CAC) AmeriCorps, have pitched in to help conduct an intensive demonstration project to help save beleaguered Second Creek.

AmeriCorps was founded in 1994 by President Clinton to improve the environments surrounding urban neighborhoods. In exchange for nominal living allowances and educational awards of $4,725 per year, AmeriCorps volunteers pledge 1,700 hours of their time over a period of 11 months.

"One of our goals is to get community members working together to solve their own problems and to get to know their neighbors," says Lori Pejsa, AmeriCorps' local program director.

Now entering its third year, AmeriCorps has sponsored 13 teams in the state of Tennessee and 25,000 volunteers nationwide.

Though AmeriCorps teams address challenges as diverse as nutrition among school-aged children and structural improvements to urban homes, the Knoxville-based team is one of the nation's few that boasts a strong environmental component.

In fact, the Knoxville-based AmeriCorps Water Quality Team works shoulder to shoulder with Knoxville's Second Creek Task Force on a demonstration project that may someday serve as a model for improving other urban streams.

The Second Creek Task Force represents a coalition of local, state, and federal agencies and private volunteers. The coalition is under the leadership of Tim Gangaware, associate director of UT's Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), an affiliate organization of the UT's Waste Management Research and Education Institute.

The Task Force recently received recognition from the 1996 Urban Rivers Restoration Awards for its work on improving the health of Second Creek.

According to Gangaware, the Task Force grew out of earlier efforts to assess the health of the city's local waterways.

By focusing intensive efforts on one stream--Second Creek--he says, the task force moved the struggle to improve urban water quality from the abstract to the specific, from the drawing board to the field.

"We decided to make things happen through tangible projects that will help guide our restoration efforts," Gangaware says. And with the help of AmeriCorps team members, the task force has done just that.

The project began with a baseline collection of data to determine the true status of water quality in the creek, says Gangaware.

The Water Quality team has monitored chemical pollution, fecal coliform, and aquatic wildlife in the stream.

"Second Creek has been subject to the onslaught of the entire range of threats to a clean, free-flowing stream," Gangaware says. "For instance, sewerage comes from old and leaking lines, some of which are 50 or more years old."

The Knoxville Utilities Board, made more aware of the problem by the Task Force, is doing everything possible to improve or replace these lines, says Gangaware.

Nonpoint source pollution has also seriously degraded the creek and threatened its wildlife.

"Overuse of pesticides on people's lawns, oily runoff from parking lots, and detergents people use to clean pavement all contribute to the presence of chemicals in the stream," Gangaware says.

In responding to the stream's needs, the AmeriCorps volunteers not only conduct biological fieldwork and comb the creek armed with plastic bags looking for trash. They also work with local middle- and high-school students and in Knoxville's neighborhoods to increase awareness of the creek's health and steps they can take to reduce pollution.

This year, volunteers organized slide shows, a poster contest, and a city-wide Waterfest. They also stenciled storm drains warning city pedestrians: "Dump No Wastes, Drains to Stream."

Volunteers also invented Water Bingo, a board game for schoolchildren that features colorful illustrations of the various threats to the stream.

These and other programs were designed to reach local residents, many of whom were unaware of the many threats to urban water quality.

"Outreach and education are the most important aspects of our environmental work," says Michelle Hall, an AmeriCorps volunteer from Maryville, Tennessee, who has just completed her first year of service.

Along with the relatively light task of outreach, AmeriCorps volunteers also face a regimen of tough physical work.

"Though the volunteers can feel good about the contribution they make to environmental awareness, there's no question that they contribute just as much through challenging physical tasks," Pejsa says.

For some assignments, for instance, volunteers might spend hot summer days plucking tons of trash from polluted streams. For others, they might log hours equipped with collection nets counting insects and other forms of aquatic life present in Second Creek.

AmeriCorps volunteers, recruited locally, come from diverse backgrounds, with degrees ranging from the G.E.D.s to Ph.D.s, and ages ranging from 17 to 47, Pejsa says.

Equally as varied is their prior work experience, which ranges from monitoring air quality to waiting tables.

Regardless of the skills they possess when they enter the program, they're almost guaranteed to leave with new ones. For instance, volunteers associated with the Second Creek Project have gained skills in environmental involvement and problem-solving.

"Beyond our hands-on experience in stream restoration, we've gained the knowledge to be activists in the future, learning about grants and all the footwork involved in conceiving projects and seeing them through to completion," says volunteer Matthew Higdon from Fountain City, Tennessee.

And as team members leave to follow the courses of their own lives, they will leave behind a healthier urban river and revitalized community.

"Once the creek has been thoroughly analyzed, it will be possible for the Second Creek Task Force to move on to the second phase of the project," says Gangaware. "That will involve design and implementation of an action plan to fully clean it up, re-establish riparian zones, and make it a more-amenable recreational resource."

Part of the Second Creek Task Force's outreach is to encourage local communities to adopt a stretch of the creek through their "Adopt-A-Creek" program, which focuses on giving Second Creek CPR (Clean, Protect and Restore).

"It's like the adopt-a-mile program on our highways," Gangaware says. "We get groups to adopt segments of the creek all through Knoxville and report back to us several times a year if they see a problem. So far, 14 to 18 stretched of river have been adopted by local groups that range from retired telephone workers to Girl Scout Troops."

Adopt-A-Creek also sponsors an annual cleanup involving the Americorps team and other volunteers.

"This year, over 200 volunteers picked up more than 14 tons of trash at five sites on four urban streams," Gangaware says.

From wetland restoration, to planting trees to control erosion, to fishing trash from Second Creek, to recruiting volunteers and reaching out to area schools and communities, the AmeriCorps team has made waves in Second Creek and in the community.

Even now, some segments of Second Creek reflect a level of vitality that few would ever have anticipated, Gangaware says. Among the hallmarks of improved health are lush overhead canopies, snapping turtles, great blue herons, and wetlands that manage to crop up among the concrete channels of the city.

Thanks in large measure to the AmeriCorps team and dozens of other volunteers, Second Creek has gotten a well deserved second chance.

For more information, Contact Tim Gangaware, The University of Tennessee, WRRC, 311 Conference Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-4134, or call 865-974-2151. For information on the AmeriCorps program, contact Lori Pejsa, Program Director, P.O. Box 51650, Knoxville, TN 37950-1650 or call 423-546-3500.


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Pay-As-You-Throw Pricing Relieves Burden on Landfills

by Elise LeQuire

The bills pile up, and we may grumble, but we pay them: the water bill by the gallon, the electric bill by the kilowatt. Now, more communities are receiving...a garbage bill that reflects a fee based on the volume or weight of garbage that winds up in the landfill.

By pound or by volume, "Pay-As-You-Throw" (PAYT) unit pricing for waste disposal is an idea that is gaining force in many areas of the country.

Over the past few decades, the cost of waste disposal service has largely been invisible, covered by municipal taxes on a one-price-fits-all basis, says William M. Park, a professor of agriculture and economics at The University of Tennessee (UT) and a senior fellow at UT's Energy, Environment and Resources Center.

Now, however, solid-waste managers are focusing on a concept known as "full-cost accounting" to help reduce the widening waste stream and generate awareness among citizens of their crucial role in waste reduction and recycling.

In short, full-cost accounting forces communities to recognize the full cost of waste disposal--including licensing and land-acquisition fees for new landfills as well as the costs associated with closing old landfills that have reached capacity.

Unit pricing, which charges households based on the amount of garbage they dispose of, is one element of full-cost accounting.

Unit pricing can be applied to households through various schemes. In a rural setting, for instance, households can pay per bag of garbage hauled to a local drop-off center. Such centers are collection points for trash and recyclables typically located in rural settings.

Alternatively, they can be required to purchase special disposal bags in various sizes at local grocery stores or other convenient locations. Or they can simply buy a special sticker to attach to their own garbage bags.

Paying by the weight is somewhat more complicated, Park says, since it can be expensive to rig garbage trucks with sophisticated scales. In some cases, weight-based systems would require municipalities to buy new trucks.

Though unit pricing has yet to be implemented in Tennessee, the state's waste managers have had several opportunities to gain access to the latest information on the practice.

On September 11, for instance, state and regional waste managers participated in the second annual satellite videoconference on unit pricing and related themes sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Solid Waste.

Panels of local government managers addressed the topic of full-cost accounting at five down-link sites in Johnson City, Knoxville, Columbia, Nashville, Jackson, and Memphis.

Park also led a half-day conference on PAYT in Nashville in June. Primarily a brainstorming session, the conference was attended by city and county solid-waste managers, environmental groups, and private industry.

"This meeting was called to assess the climate for unit pricing in Tennessee," Park says. "We're at a point in Tennessee where we can begin to pave the way for unit pricing by increasing the general understanding of the true costs of solid-waste management and the benefits of recycling and waste reduction."

In March, the EPA co-sponsored a conference on the topic with the Internation?? City-County Management Association (ICMA) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The meeting sought to increase awareness in the Southeast of the PAYT concept, which already enjoys success in other areas of the country, particularly in the Northwest, the Upper Midwest, and the Northeast.

The conference drew more than 5 representatives from rural counties, state government, larger cities, and the private sector from Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

"Attendance at the Chattanooga conference reflects a latent interest in unit pricing, at least on the part of solid-waste managers," says Park, who gave a keynote address at the conference on the special waste-disposal problems facing rural communities.

Stricter federal regulations governing landfills, an increasing trend toward recycling, and escalating waste-disposal costs have helped spark interest in the unit-pricing movement over the last 10 years.

Consider, for instance, the case of Gates County, North Carolina, a community of 10,000, which has seen its disposal costs soar from $15,000 to half a million dollars since the 1970s.

And yet, Park says, "people still have the impression that waste disposal is free."

Overcoming that misconception is a key strategy in gaining local support for unit pricing.

"People will have to be educated to learn how they can gain control of their garbage bill," says Park.

The challenge may be different for residents of rural and urban communities, which have different traditions and needs regarding trash disposal.

"Typically, rural residents met their own garbage-disposal needs on their property and at a simple community dump," Park says.

At first, rural areas that switch to unit pricing may note an increase in illegal dumping on back roads or in commercial dumpsters. However, Park says the problem is usually short-lived as the community begins to accept the concept of a "garbage bill" and recognize that their efforts to reduce their volume of waste can save them money.

Tift County, Georgia, population 35,000, is a model community for unit pricing in the Southeast. Tift County has put in place what Parks describes as a "hybrid" unit-pricing system. Property taxes help support the cost of disposal, but residents must also buy specially marked garbage bags, which cost $1.50 for a 38-gallon bag, for disposal of their wastes.

The bags are available at grocery stores throughout the county, and their cost helps defray 63 percent of the county's total disposal costs. The county also encourages recycling at the drop-off centers where residents take their trash.

Once put in place, unit-pricing schemes cannot succeed, however, if local judges and law-enforcement officials refuse to enforce ordinances against illegal dumping, says Park.

The media can also do their part to support unit pricing by publicizing user fees and increasing public awareness of the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

But the most persuasive argument for unit pricing is the one that strikes residents in a particularly sensitive area--their pocketbooks.

"The key to gaining acceptance for unit pricing is to get across the equity argument," Park says. "The less garbage you generate, the less you pay, just as with the water or electric bill."

For more information contact William M. Park, The University of Tennessee, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, P.O Box 1071 Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1071, or call 865-974-7231.

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Nothin' But Net

UT researchers cast an electronic net that provides Tennessee students and teachers with vital information on solid waste.

by Lori Phan

Though the Internet has made it possible to visit the world's remotest corners, some of Tennessee's youngest Net-trekkers are following the electronic pathway straight into the trash heap.

In this case, their destination is a web site devoted to solid waste.

The voyage to the virtual landfill has been made possible by University of Tennessee (UT) researchers operating under the auspices of the Tennessee Solid Waste Education Project (TN SWEP) (see InSites fall 1995).

TN SWEP is a new environmental education project that includes a solid-waste curriculum and fulfills state educational requirements for grades K-12. The project, which was introduced this fall in Tennessee schools, was mandated by the Tennessee Solid Waste Management Act of 1991.

Among its other goals, TN SWEP seeks to educate students and teachers about issues related to solid waste through such tools as teacher in-service training, curriculum workshops, and classroom presentations.

The web site remains one of TN SWEP's primary mechanisms for carrying forward its environmental message to audiences both within the state and around the world.

The site's main web-weavers are Mur Muchane, associate director of UT's Office of Academic and Research Services and an assistant professor in the College of Architecture and Planning; Catherine Wilt, senior research associate at UT's Waste Management Research and Education Institute (WMREI); and Rosalyn McKeown-Ice, director of UT's Center for Geography and Environmental Education.

The web site emerged from a collaborative effort that joined the three researchers and tapped their respective skills.

Muchane, a computer and information technology specialist, oversaw the technical details of creating the website and remains the project's consultant on implementing technology and distributed network resources for enhanced teaching and learning.

Wilt is an expert on solid waste, having worked extensively with waste-related issues facing both Tennessee and the nation. Wilt, who serves on the National Recycling Coalition's (NRC's) board of directors, is vice-chair of the NRC's Communications and Education Committee and co-chair of NRC's Rural Recycling Caucus.

Meanwhile, McKeown-Ice, an expert on educational content, has researched how children assimilate information and how best to facilitate the learning process. McKeown-Ice's contribution to the web project focused on methods for using emerging telecommunications technology to support learning.

McKeown-Ice, president elect of the Tennessee Environmental Education Association, also played a major role in shaping the TN SWEP curriculum.

For Tennessee students and teachers, the junket into the world of solid waste begins on the TN SWEP home page, where web surfers glimpse a three-part logo that joins the seal of The University of Tennessee, a drawing of the state of Tennessee, and a trash can filled beyond its limits.

Below are icons marking links that lead along the web's individual strands. For instance, a recycling symbol leads to basic information on solid-waste issues, including waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting.

A schoolhouse icon leads to web pages created by individual Tennessee schools. One link leads to Granberry Elementary School in Nashville, for instance, where students report on a project that involved separating their food waste from the rest of their lunchtime trash and supplying a local farmer with hundreds of pounds of composting material.

Students at Cedar Bluff Middle School in Knoxville use their home page to report on participation in the Global Schoolhouse Project. Their goal: to devise a community action plan that will help reduce the intrusion of contaminants into surface water.

By clicking on an icon shaped like the state of Tennessee, students can explore the state's solid-waste statistics. There, students can learn, for instance, that every Tennessean throws away an average of 1 ton of garbage each year. Multiply that figure times 5 million Tennesseans, and you wind up with enough trash to fill UT's Neyland Stadium--the nation's largest, with a seating capacity of over 100,000--every two weeks.

Students can also ferret out national facts by clicking on an icon in the shape of North America. Here, students learn that Americans produce three times more garbage than their counterparts from 30 years ago, that each day U.S. businesses use enough paper to circle the Earth 20 times, and that each year American's throw away 75 million tons of durable goods (tires, appliances, and furniture) and nondurables (paper and clothing).

For a global perspective, students can use the TN SWEP web site to learn about "green" product design in Australia, read the Scottish environmental newsletter Green Diary, or receive a report from India on efforts to make paper from corn husks and sugar stalks. The site also provides the Norwegian perspective on waste, biodiversity, ozone-layer depletion, toxic contamination, and climate change.

Other web links allow students to peruse materials from the Tennessee's environmental education curriculum and view art created from garbage, an up-and-coming genre utilizing trash as its canvas and recycling as its theme.

"These and other programs available through the web site offer a valuable cultural lesson," Wilt says. "Students will be able to compare their own solid-waste practices with those of others, which will make them more aware of what's taking place both globally and in their own communities."

Although the web site leads to many destinations, its ultimate target is the classroom. Up and running since August 1995, the site was created to facilitate information exchange and networking for Tennessee's teachers and students.

"Prior to the birth of the Internet," says McKeown-Ice, "interaction among the students was often constrained by limited budgets and the miles separating their schoolhouses."

Today, given a work station and a link to the Web, students can undertake dialogues with counterparts in the next community, across the nation, or around the globe.

"One of the reasons we created this site is to help teachers and students avoid feeling isolated from what's going on in environmental education around the world," says Muchane. "This site gives them access to a wealth of materials."

According to McKeown-Ice, the web site will also serve as a great educational equalizer among rural and urban schools.

"In Tennessee, many rural schools don't have the huge libraries or extensive databases that the larger metropolitan areas have," she says. "But with one computer and a modem, schools have access to worlds of information that they normally would not be able to afford."

According to Wilt, the sites also affords Tennessee students a key opportunity to learn about cultures around the world and their attitudes about waste.

"This site is not just about scientific issues," she says. "There's a strong societal component that shows how people around the world think about, manage, and dispose of the wastes they create."

McKeown-Ice adds that the importance of the site goes beyond education. It will also help reduce the amount of paper and energy--not to mention time and money--required to fund, photocopy, mail, and await the reception of solid-waste education curriculum materials, which can run as long as 500 pages each.

"I've heard from people all around the world who are desperate for environmental information for their classrooms, libraries, and ecology clubs," says McKeown-Ice. "This site gives people interested in the environment easy, quick, and inexpensive access to that information."

Visit the TN SWEP web site at http://www-tnswep.ra.utk.edu/ For information, contact Catherine Wilt or Rosalyn McKeown-Ice, The University of Tennessee, WMREI, 311 Conference Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-4134, or call 865-974-4251.


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