<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Green News]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/green http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth https://www.nbcdfw.comen-usTue, 12 Dec 2017 18:02:44 -0600Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:02:44 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dallas' Recycling Facility Named 'Best in North America']]> Fri, 27 Oct 2017 06:17:24 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-recycling-center.jpg

The brand new, state-of-the-art recycling facility for the City of Dallas was just named as the Best in North America.

The recognition for Dallas’ material recovery facility (MRF) comes from the National Waste and Recycling Association.

The MRF opened in January 2017 and is operated by FCC Environmental Services.

The facility has the ability to process 140,000 tons of recycled materials — paper, glass, metal and plastic — in a year, and can handle up to 40 tons every hour. By that estimation, the MRF could process 14 Eiffel Towers in one year, or the Statue of Liberty in a little more than five days.

“The MRF met several important measures to win this award," read a City of Dallas news release. "Key points included innovation, types of material recovered and the quality processed, and sustainability measures put in place."

The facility handles recyclables for approximately 2 million people in North Texas who live in the cities of Dallas, Garland, Mesquite, University Park and Rowlett.

According to the City of Dallas, the MRF “is an important part of Dallas’ Zero Waste Plan, which aims to have 40 percent recyclable waste by 2020, 60 percent by 2030, and Zero Waste by 2040.”

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Bike Sharing Comes to UT Arlington]]> Thu, 07 Sep 2017 04:31:01 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zagster-8-uta-bike-share.jpg

Starting Thursday, there's a new way to get around the University of Texas at Arlington.

UTA's Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact was set to launch its new bike-share program on campus at the University Center Mall Thursday morning.

UTA students, faculty and staff can join in the program for $25 per year. Bikes are free for the first two hours of use and $1 for every hour after.

Zagster 8 cruiser bikes will be available at seven stations across campus. The bikes have built-in locks, automatic lights, reflectors and a basket.

More online: bike.zagster.com/uta

Photo Credit: Zagster]]>
<![CDATA[Voters to Decide on $70 Million Park Upgrades]]> Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:50:58 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/boys+ranch+park+bedford.jpg

A popular park in Bedford is looking for a $70 million upgrade.

Boys Ranch Park with its lake, sports facilities and water park could see some major changes in the next few years if voters give the project the go-ahead.

City Council voted to send the bond package to voters on a Nov. 7 ballot.

“This is for our 'Phase Next Project' at the boys Ranch Park,” Mayor Jim Griffin explained. “What we are trying to do here is combine the phases that our master plan looked at; phases two, three and four into one final phase.”

“With the city government, a lot of times things take many, many years to get accomplished,” Griffin added.

The bulk of the upgrades would one in the form of a new multi-generational facility and new sports facility.

“Provide more classroom space for Jazzercise, yoga and exercise rooms. We have very limited space in our current facility with very limited numbers of pieces of equipment and those types of things,” Griffin said. “I think this is an opportunity to really grow and expand on that.”

Other additions would include new baseball fields, a nine-court tennis facility capable of hosting tournaments, soccer practice fields and an area for concerts.

“We're trying to do an indoor water park component with that as well. We are trying to update our current water park which is an outdoor facility [by] relocating and redoing it,” Griffin said. “We've been told by our consultants that we are reaching the end of life in that facility in terms of having to redo a lot.”

Some voters now wonder where that $70 million would come from.

“We have a couple of options. We can add a portion of it into the debt and absorb it. That way and have tax payers pay a piece,” Griffin explained. “Or we can ask the taxpayers to pay the whole piece. I think it would be roughly four or five cents more if we the taxpayer absorb the whole amount.”

“The city of Bedford has done a very good job of being fiscally responsible and conservative with our debt so that continues to go down,” Griffin added.

Mayor Griffin said he thinks the park changes are key to quality of life in the area and keeping Bedford competitive.

"We are a suburban community between Dallas and Fort Worth. We're close to the airport. We have a lot of the reasons why people want to live here,” Griffin said. “In order for them to live here and grow their families and raise their families here, they are going to need to have things to be a benefit to their families."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Polar Bears Get Snow Donations]]> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:13:52 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+POLAR+BEARS+GET+SNOW+THUMB.jpg

High temperatures at a Finland Wildlife Center were making life uncomfortable for a family of polar bears. However, the child of an employee at a local ski resort had an idea on how to cool them off: the resort could donate excess snow they had saved up from last winter. After some initial hesitation, the bear family seemed much happier with the new addition to their pen.

<![CDATA[Last Orca Born in Captivity Dies]]> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:18:23 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+SEAWORLD+DEATH+THUMB.jpg

The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld’s former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company’s San Antonio park. Veterinarians were treating the calf for an infection, possibly pneumonia, but her health continued to decline. The park discontinued its breeding program in March 2016.

<![CDATA[Free Shade Trees for North Texas Oncor Customers]]> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:24:58 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/oak-tree.jpg

Oncor is once again teaming up with the Arbor Day Foundation to give away free shade trees for North Texas Oncor electric customers.

It's all part of the 2017 Energy-Saving Trees program.

All homeowners who have Oncor are eligible for two free shade trees just in time for the planting season.

Oncor says the program not only provides shade trees but the website also includes an interactive feature to educate customers on the best kind of trees and the best place to plant the trees in order to lower cooling costs in the summer and at the same time avoiding power lines.

Oncor will start giving away trees this coming fall.

Available trees included Texas Redbud, Bur Oak, Cedar Elm, Mexican Buckeye, Mexican White Oak and Pecan trees.

More: ArborDay.org/Oncor

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Macron Targets 'Make Our Planet Great Again' Site at US]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 18:18:13 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-683370816-Macron.jpg

In the wake of the United States' withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron fired back on Thursday with the launch of a new website titled "Make Our Planet Great Again."

On the site’s homepage, Macron calls President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement "unfortunate" but adds that the decision “only reinforced our determination.” He calls for those working on climate issues to do so in France. 

"To all the scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland," Macron said in a video address on the site’s homepage. "I call on them, come and work here with us to work on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment."

The site includes information for researchers, educators and students on applying for a four-year grant to study in France, according to Business Insider. Businesses and NGOs can also apply to receive funding from the French government.

"You will be able to stay in France at least for the duration of the grant, and longer if you are granted a permanent position," the site explains.

The site cost €22,000 (approximately $24,637) to build is produced and managed by Business France, according to Politico.eu.

By clicking on the "I Want to Make Our Planet Great Again" button on the homepage of the website, users can describe why they are fighting climate change. They can also detail current projects and "dreams" of carrying out the fight against climate change.

"The planet needs your innovative skills. So are you IN to change (literally!) our daily lives and make our planet great again?" the site reads.

The title, a play on President Trump's signature campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," reflects the increased efforts to combat climate change by France and other signatories of the Paris agreement. Macron first used the modified slogan in an address from the Elysée Palace on June 1, after Trump announced the withdrawal.

You can visit the Make Our Planet Great Again site by clicking here.

Photo Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[World's First 'Energy Positive' Store to Open Friday]]> Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:52:56 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/treehouse-store.jpg

Home improvement has long been synonymous with Home Depot and Lowe's. But a Texas-based green conscience start-up is aiming to make sustainable home improvement appeal to more than just environmentalists.

TreeHouse will open the world's first energy-positive home improvement store in Dallas Friday. Through the use of 539 rooftop solar panels and two Tesla Powerwalls the store will actually generate energy well in excess of its needs.

“This store runs on 100 percent sunshine,” Treehouse's Ben Kusin said, adding that the excess renewable energy that the store generates will be put back onto the power grid and made available for others to use.

The company is the first retailer authorized to sell Tesla's home energy storage battery.

"A home battery could make energy bills an archaic relic of a past system," said TreeHouse co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard, speaking at Tesla’s energy storage event in California. "You can now own your own production and storage of the energy you need. This takes us one step closer to completely powering homes without fossil fuels."

The store will be the retailer’s second location. It's flagship store opened in Austin in 2011. An additional store, planned for the Plano area, is due to open this fall. Dubbed the Whole Foods of home improvement, TreeHouse's expansion highlights a demand for eco-friendly products and a desire to reduce carbon footprint. 


Yet, President Donald Trump is expected to announce Thursday whether the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. White House sources tell NBC News that the president is leaning toward an exit. 

The 2015 agreement, which is not a binding treaty, was spurred by the overwhelming global scientific consensus that rising global temperatures over the last several decades are caused by man-made activity. The accord's goal is aimed at preventing the planet from warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which scientists warn could have damaging consequences.

The agreement calls on countries to make voluntary national pledges to reduce emissions. Despite Trump's decision, businesses like TreeHouse will forge ahead with eco-friendly alternatives.

"The home consumes the highest amount of our natural resources, such as water and energy, produces the largest amount of landfill waste, and is where we will be exposed to the greatest number of toxins in our lifetime," the company said. "By working to solve these problems, TreeHouse finds new routes to dramatically change the quality of our lives. We can build better shelters for ourselves, our communities, and our planet."

TreeHouse offers a carefully curated selection of products and services that promote healthful and sustainable living spaces, with an emphasis on performance and design. Every product is scored based on health, performance, corporate responsibility and sustainability.

“TreeHouse is reinventing home improvement with the twin goals of ecological and human health,” the company explains on its web site. “Our core principles are applied to everything in the store. From thoughtful and innovative products to comprehensive, high-quality services -- every element is designed to build a better home.”

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Revitalization of Fort Worth's Stop Six]]> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:16:45 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/stop-six-playscape.jpg

Fort Worth city leaders and non-profit groups are ramping up efforts to revitalize the Stop Six neighborhood of the city.

The area is seeing everything from new surveillance cameras to new playgrounds.

NBC 5 first told you about plans for a series of “playscapes” that Child Care Associates had planned for low income Fort Worth neighborhoods. The first was put into use this week in Stop Six at Southside Child Development Center.

“We took what was a standard little bit rundown playground for infants and toddlers and really transformed it into a natural playscape,” said Kara Waddell, Child Care Associates CEO.

Watching the children enjoy the new playground, it would be easy to forget why early childhood development specialists think this project is so important — especially in this area.

Child Care Associates recently released their study about the difficulties facing infants and toddlers in Tarrant County.

Findings in Tarrant County include:

• More than 14,000 children under the age of six lack health care coverage
• One in four children live with food insecurity
• More than 7,400 children under the age of six are homeless
• 50,000 women who are of childbearing age are living below the poverty line

The playscapes will be in economically struggling communities.

“We serve a lot of lower income children here in the Stop Six neighborhood and we call it a high potential neighborhood and we see a lot of potential in the children we are working with each day,” Waddell said.

The playscape has many features that include a stage to promote imagination and movement. A painting station and several stations are designed to enhance encounters with nature.

“It’s a powerful thing to have them outside,” Waddell added. “It’s really special to see. These families have the same experiences as everyone outside and enjoying nature.”

The Southside Child Development Center playscape is the first on many. The next is set for another lower income community in North Fort Worth.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Oncor Proposes Rate Increase for Solar, Wind Customers]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:20:30 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/solar-panels-GettyImages-98768488.jpg

Kermit the Frog was right – it’s not easy “Bein’ Green.”

The latest example in the struggle of going green is Oncor’s requested monthly minimum charge that the electric utility wants to put on customers who have installed what the company calls residential distributed generation, including rooftop solar panels or micro wind turbines.

The request will be addressed by the Texas Public Utility Commission at a hearing on July 31.

About 10,000 Oncor customers, approximately .00029 percent of the 3.4 million customers Oncor serves in North Texas, have installed solar or wind power at their homes.

Oncor is required to distribute electricity along its 122,500 circuit miles of transmission and distribution lines, and claims that the grid it maintains is designed to meet the peak demand needs of each of its customers – the maximum amount of electricity any one customer may require at any one time.

“Private rooftop solar panels do not reduce residential peak demand, they simply shift that demand to later in the day. Therefore, that residence still needs to be served by Oncor’s system that allows it immediate access to the grid with enough capacity to meet its peak demand,” said Oncor spokesperson Geoff Bailey in a statement to NBC DFW.

“Right now customers with residential distributed generation have reduced their electric delivery charges without reducing the cost to deliver it,” Bailey said.

Oncor claims that the personal savings that solar and wind customers are benefiting from have resulted in an increased cost to the rest of its residential customers, effectively raising rates by as much as $2 million.

With its proposed minimum monthly delivery charge – which might amount to more than $30 a month to many solar and wind customers – Oncor claims it will not increase its revenue.

“[Instead] it will only ensure that those who benefit from electric delivery are paying for it,” Bailey said.

Many proponents of solar power are not buying Oncor’s claims.

“As a solar energy advocate we think that’s a bad idea,” said Larry Howe, a representative of Plano Solar Advocates, a grassroots, volunteer organization of citizens whose mission is to increase awareness and use of solar energy.

Howe acknowledged that Oncor has been “very supportive” with energy efficiency initiatives. For example, Oncor stated it has invested $2 billion to build CREZ lines, which are transmission lines that run to the massive wind turbines in West Texas and the panhandle, in addition to spending $500,000 in energy efficiency credits since 2010 and $62 million in solar incentives.

But Howe said that, with its proposed monthly charge, Oncor is trying to recoup the money it is losing from those customers who, like him, have “gone green.”

“I think the challenge is in any industry where customers don’t need as much as what they’ve sold to you in the past they are going to push back, and that’s exactly what they’re doing,” Howe said.

Howe said he is concerned the proposed monthly minimum charge could be a disincentive for those who are considering adding solar or wind power to their homes.

“Singling out a particular group of customers I would consider it discriminatory,” Howe said. “I mean if you’re going to go after solar people that invested their own money in solar then why wouldn’t you go after the guy who puts in a LED light bulb or installs an energy efficient air conditioner because they’re also using less of your service as well.”

Although solar and wind customers make up a tiny fraction of its North Texas service area, Oncor estimates that as many as 400 to 500 people add those features every month.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Students Saving the Earth One Trashion Show at a Time]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:15:19 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/trashion-show-denton.jpg

The many items we throw away without hesitation will soon be on display.

It's all a part of a Trashion Show taking place this weekend. The outfits will be modeled by environmentally conscious Denton students. 

The designers are young yet mindful. They've used garbage to create their unique designs. But it's more than fashion, there's education behind it.

Each team has researched their material to find out what happens to it once it's thrown away, and how it affects the environment.

Scrap Denton is behind this push to reuse items, combining trash with fashion all while inspiring the youth.

"It's a fun way to educate the public about reducing waste," said Kari Meyercord-Westerman, Scrap Director. "You're learning something about their longevity and how they don't just go away. They sit in a landfill somewhere."

The sixth annual Trashion Fashion Show will take place at the Denton Redbud Festival this Saturday.

The event is free. The winners will have their creations displayed in Scrap for the entire month of May.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Green Initiatives of Top Companies ]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 19:00:25 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+Earth+Week+Companies+THUMB.jpg

In honor of Earth Week, NBC looked at 5 of the most valuable companies to see what kind of green initiatives they are engaged in.

<![CDATA[From Your Recycle Bin to China: 360 Recycling Plant Tour]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:26:04 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/360+Recycling+THUMB.jpg

What really happens to your recycling? Take a 360 video tour of the Burbank Recycle Center to see what happens to your recyclable waste and learn how you can be a more eco-friendly consumer.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Google Shakes Up 'Earth' for Earth Day '17]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:35:58 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4862340081.jpg

Google Earth is changing things up for Earth Day 2017.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Student Hopes to Save Bachman Lake]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 07:23:13 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bachman-lake.jpg

A Dallas high school student is working to make Bachman Lake clean and safe for those who use it.

Henry Roseman said the lake he loves is long overdue for dredging and the constantly collecting sediment has created a dangerous island of debris in the middle of the lake. We boarded a small boat with Roseman who took us to the area he is most concerned about.

“It looks like just a whole bunch of sticks and dirt, but if I pull up a little closer you will see it is only a depth of about two or three inches,” he said.

Roseman then exited the boat and was able to walk atop the compacted debris.

“The last time, they dredged it to a minimum depth of eight feet,” he said. “In 2002, when they finished the project, this section right here was eight feet deep.”

The Dallas Rowing Club, who uses the lake regularly, have placed buoys around the area to warn boaters and kayakers.

“The first problem and the most severe and immediate problem is for boater safety,” Roseman said as he maneuvered around branches and limbs in the water. “As you see all these sticks and such, I just had to pull our engine up.”

Roseman estimated it would take about $13 million to dredge the lake. He has made it his mission to figure out how so much sediment has found its way into Bachman Lake, but is also actively looking for an agency to step forward and take on the project.

Roseman has contacted Dallas City Council, but also the Federal Aviation Administration, who he hopes will work with Love Field on a project. With Bachman Lake so close to Love Field, he is concerned the increased number of birds on the debris island could pose a threat to safety of incoming and departing planes.

“I’m not an expert on aviation safety, but I did go and look at the FAA data,” he said. “From the 12 calendar months since the island was here, they’ve had 50 percent more bird strikes than the 12 calendar months before.”

While he is not sure what will be done, he is dedicated to finding a solution.

“The way I see it, there are two options. Either something will happen or we will end up with Bachman Park. They’ll just scratch the 'lake' part out,” he said. “The way this is working now, in a couple of months, you’ll be able to walk straight across the lake.”

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Freshman Brings Recycling to Collin County High School]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 08:01:58 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-02-01-06h23m41s200.jpg

The average high school goes through 250 thousand pieces of paper a year. That's why most high schools recycle.

There was one high school in North Texas that wasn't recycling. That is, until a freshman came in and decided to make a change.

After years without a program, Celina High School is finally recycling again and it's all thanks to freshman Sierra Smith.

"I was sitting there in class with a piece of paper or a water bottle and I had nowhere to put it," said Smith. "I was disappointed.”

So she did something about it.

“I researched to know what my options were, and then I communicated with the waste management company which is progressive waste.”

Sierra said the company told her they’d provide the outside bins but not the bins for inside.

“I had to get more than 100 bins on my own," said Smith.

Well, she got some help, from fellow students and the administration.

“She's a great kid, she's always thinking of others," said Dave Wilson, Celina High School Principal. "And it not only helps the school, it's a great way for her to kick off her high school career. The sky's the limit for her. I'm looking forward to what else she's going to do for us.”

For her part, Sierra remains humble.

“I feel like I took something that needed help and improved it, but I can't make a difference without other peoples support." she said. "So it's just a starting point."

It’s a starting point, but the school is off and running.

Wilson says, “It's a team effort, that's what's great about Celina, when there is something important the community rallies the school rallies and the kids rally and that's what makes it good."

If you're wondering where Sierra wants to go with her passion: she's actually a dancer, and thinks she wants to teach in the fine arts. She says that will give her an opportunity to impact and influence a younger generation in a positive way.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Badlands National Park's Climate Change Tweets Deleted]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:04:07 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Badlands+park.jpg

The Twitter account for the Badlands National Park in South Dakota published a series of tweets Tuesday on climate change. A few hours later, the tweets were deleted.

The first tweet, posted an hour after President Donald Trump signed executive orders advancing the construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, said: “The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm.”

Just moments later, the account posted another tweet: “Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years” — with the hashtag “#climate” added for good measure.

The next tweet said: “Flipside of the atmosphere; ocean acidity has increased 30% since the Industrial Revolution. ‘Ocean Acidification’ #climate #carboncycle” 

The last tweet said: "Burning one gallon of gasoline puts nearly 20lbs of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere." 

According to a National Park Service spokesman, the tweets were posted by a former employee who is not authorized to use the park's account. Tom Crosson, NPS's chief of public affairs, told NBC the park was not told to remove the tweets but "chose to do so when they realized that their account had been compromised."

"At this time, National Park Service social media managers are encouraged to continue the use of Twitter to post information relating to public safety and park information, with the exception of content related to national policy issues," Crosson added.

Tweeting about climate change isn't out of character for Badlands. The park's Twitter account feed addresses the national security implications of climate change, rising water temperatures and the decline of species driven by global warming. But it does contradict President Trump's stance on the issue. He has repeatedly claimed climate change is a hoax.

In response to the tweets being deleted, DNC national press secretary Adrienne Watson released the following statement: “Vladimir Putin would be proud.”

Tuesday's tweets followed a brief suspension Friday of the National Park Service’s Twitter account, as well as those of all its bureaus, over retweets the Department of the Interior deemed "inconsistent with the agency’s mission."

The prohibition came after the National Park Service’s official Twitter account, a bureau of the department, retweeted a pair of posts to its 315,000 followers. One of the tweets was a photo that compared the crowd gathered on the National Mall for Trump to the much-larger gathering that stood in the same spot eight years earlier for President Barack Obama's first swearing-in. The tweets were later removed from the feed, and the National Park Service apologized for sharing them.

A day later, Crosson said the agencies could resume tweeting “Now that social media guidance has been clarified.” It was not immediately clear what information was in the guidance. 

Photo Credit: Badlands National Park
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<![CDATA[Recyclables Dumped in Landfill After Plano Fire]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:44:16 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Plano+Fire+122816.jpg

The investigation continues into what caused a massive fire at Republic Services recycling center in Plano.

The impact of that fire stretches from Plano to Richardson and The Colony.

"They are looking for alternatives right now,” Plano representative, Steve Stoler said. “They are looking for a place where they can put those recyclables to be sorted and they tell us it’s going to be several weeks until they have a place."

Stoler explained the recyclable materials will still get picked up, but with a different destination.

"Instead of the commodities actually being recycled, for the next few weeks, they are going to be taken to the landfill," Stoler said.

Stoler said Plano’s population is approximately 275,000 equaling an estimated 115,000 households. For now, the recycling for those households must go to a landfill.

“We hate that this is happening because obviously we are a city that is a big proponent of recycling,” Stoler said. “We recycle 90 tons of product a day. The last two years we averaged 18,500 tons of recyclables.”

Stoler explained the city contracts with Republic Services who is actively searching for a solution.

“We're also unhappy that we have to take this to the landfill, but there are no alternatives at this point,” Stoler said.

In the meantime, Plano residents can bring clean cardboard to Texas Pure Products at 9901 Custer Road.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[North Texas City Named Most Polluted in Texas]]> Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:47:19 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sun_Heat_Generic_Hot_car.jpg

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is reviewing a plan to decrease air pollution in North Texas.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency within the state of Texas, Denton has had the highest ozone level in Texas for the last three years.

Within the United States, Dallas-Fort Worth is ranked at number 11. On average, North Texas has more high ozone polluted days than New York City, Newark and Houston.

For seven months, the EPA collected data outside of Denton Executive Airport and compared results cities across the U.S.

Ozone is produced with sunlight reacts to emission from power plants, emissions from utilities, and exhaust from vehicles, which includes 18-wheelers and construction tractors with diesel engines.

Research has found a correlation between high ozone levels and high health risks among adults and children. The American Lung Association states that “air pollution leads to premature death, asthma attacks, lung cancer, and cardiovascular harm.”

According to the Dallas County Medical Society, doctors found that a small reduction in ozone levels could have prevented 165 hospital visits, 350 emergency room visits, 120,000 school absences, and 77 deaths from lung and heart disease. The doctors, who were a part of this study, believe ”legacy” cement and coal-fire power plants need to be regulated.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Protection believes weather, exhaust from vehicles, construction equipment, and exhaust from aircrafts and trains are the main factors for Denton’s high ozone levels.

TCEQ submitted a proposal outlining the state’s plan to bring down the air pollution. The plan did not include additional regulations on power plants in Texas.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Grand Prairie Park Up for Vote, Development]]> Tue, 01 Nov 2016 07:39:38 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Grand-Prairie-Park-Development.jpg

People in Grand Prairie have the chance to decide whether the city can sell park land for business development.

Voters will take a side on Proposition 1, which proposes the sale of approximately 24 acres of the 172 acre Central Park development project.

The land, which sits along Texas 161 between Arkansas Lane and Warrior Trail, is city-owned park property.

However, if the Proposition 1 is not passed, the City of Grand Prairie still has the opportunity to lease the property, clearing the way for potential development of mixed business retail space.

By the end of 2017, residents could see restaurants (fast food chains or sit-down dining), retail shops, or a hotel.

The money gained from the sale of the land will go back to the park’s department.

To read the details of Proposition 1, head to the city’s website here.

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<![CDATA[Man Running Across US Stops in Dallas]]> Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:47:21 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/8D6A0321.jpg

North Texas is the latest pit stop for a man raising awareness for charity by running more than 3,000 miles across the continental United States in 100 days.

Levi Rizk, an ultra marathon runner and doctor, has been in Dallas this week as he continues his trek from Los Angeles, California to the nation's capital.

So far, Rizk has traveled from L.A. to Phoenix, and will continue on to Little Rock after leaving Dallas.

The cross-country trek aims to raise funds to create a mobile health clinic for children in Washington, D.C.

Online: www.runforhope.us

Photo Credit: HOPE Association]]>
<![CDATA[Fort Worth Celebrates The Blue Zone]]> Fri, 28 Oct 2016 10:22:19 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Fort-Worth_blue_Zones.jpg

Fort Worth is having a party Saturday and inviting people to step into the Blue Zone.

The party will celebrate those who took the pledge to join the Blue Zones Project and help make the city one of the healthiest in the nation.

"Fort Worth is by far the biggest blue zone in the country and really setting the pace for the rest of the country," said founder and author Dan Buettner.

"Over 30 restaurants are blue-zones approved, 64 employers, eight grocery stores, eight schools; the community as a whole is really wrapping their arm around it. And, remember the idea here is just to make the healthy choice, the easy choice," said Buettner.

The Blue Zones Project focuses on the Power 9 principles: Nine habits shared the world's longest living people. 

The nine with brief descriptions from Buettner include:

  • Move naturally: "They're nudged into movement every 20 minutes or so."
  • Know your purpose: "They have vocabulary for purpose, they know their sense of purpose and they live it out."
  • Down shift:"They downshift a little bit every day whether through prayer, meditation or nap."
  • 80 percent rule: Thinking not of what to add to your diet but what to take food out of your diet. Most Americans eat about 200-300 extra calories. So, saying a Little prayer before meals slows you down."
  • Plant slant: "We don't bad mouth any kind of food, but we know that the longest-living people, 90 percent of what they eat is plants. The cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world is beans. About a cup of beans a day will add 3-4 years to your life."
  • Wine at 5: "A glass or two a day seems to be protective. We're not trying to promote drinking, but if you drink a little bit,that's fine."
  • Right tribe:  "The biggest and most important is thinking about your social network, who you're hanging out with. Curate a group of 4-5 friends with whom you walk or have plant-based foods or with whom you live out your purpose."
  • Community: "Having a faith; we know people who show up to church at least 4 times a month live 4-14 years later than people who don't."
  • Loved ones first: Make family first. keep your aging parents nearby and invest in your children."

Buettner also says it's important to make changes to optimize your home.

"We can help you cut down the amount of junk food you eat by 40 percent by doing two things: One, creating a junk food drawer which is out of the way.

Next, take your toaster off the counter. Those two simple things, research has shown, will help lower your junk food consumption.

You can learn more ways to make healthy choices easier at the party Saturday.

The Blue Zones Project Power 9 party is free and open to the public. The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 29, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Panther Island Pavilion.

<![CDATA[Water Week: Using Wrong Sprinkler Could Cost You]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 06:58:12 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/water+sprinkler.JPG Using the wrong type of sprinkler nozzle could waste a lot of water. It's all down to the mist, which can evaporate in the summer heat.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Water Tips: How to Spot A Leak]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 08:06:43 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/water-meter.jpg We're all about conserving water this week on NBC 5 Today. A simple way to detect a leak in your home involves a quick trip to your water meter.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[How to Keep Sprinklers from Wasting Water, Money]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 06:28:12 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sprinkler6.jpg All week long, NBC 5 Today will bring you ways to save water, all while maintaining a beautiful lawn. Monday, we took a look at automatic sprinklers, which can consume a surprising amount of water. ]]> <![CDATA[Tips for Succulents]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 07:11:39 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2016-05-22-07h55m51s7.png Texas Agrilife Program Specialist Dotty Woodson shares easy tips for watering and caring for popular succulent plants. (Published May 22, 2016)]]> <![CDATA[Mother's Day Flowers]]> Sun, 08 May 2016 07:51:38 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dotty_Mothers_Day_Flowers.jpg If you want to get your mom something special for Mother's Day, Hydrangeas are a great option.]]> <![CDATA[Creative Ways to Stop Mosquitoes]]> Sun, 01 May 2016 08:02:24 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mosquito_fight.gif Dotty Woodson, Texas Agrilife Program Specialist, shares some creative tips to stop mosquitoes from invading your yard. (Published May 1, 2016)]]> <![CDATA[Dotty's Tips for Conserving Water]]> Sun, 17 Apr 2016 09:33:56 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dotty_irrigation.jpg Texas Agrilife Specialist Dotty Woodson shares some advice on how to conserve and save water. ]]> <![CDATA[Dotty Woodson: Irrigation & Plumbing Leaks]]> Sun, 13 Mar 2016 08:30:15 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dotty_Irrigation_021216.jpg Texas Agrilife specialist Dotty Woodson explains tips on identifying and fixing troublesome irrigation systems. (Published Mar. 13, 2016)]]> <![CDATA[Dotty Shares Tips for Insect-Eating Plants]]> Sun, 06 Mar 2016 15:02:24 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dotty_Sun_Am_030616_1200x675_638087235946.jpg Dotty Woodson, Texas Agrilife program specialist, shares some tips on insectivorous plants. ]]> <![CDATA[Dotty Shares Tips for Spring Flowers]]> Sun, 28 Feb 2016 09:21:25 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dotty_Summer_Flowers.jpg The weather has been so warm lately that garden centers have been filled with people wanting summer plants.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[When to Plant Fruit, Nut Trees]]> Sun, 17 Jan 2016 20:26:02 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dotty_Berry_Fruit_Nut_Trees.jpg Dotty Woodson from the Texas Agrilife Program joined NBC 5's Ben Russell in the studio Sunday morning to explain the best time to plant fruit and nut trees in January. (Published Jan. 17, 2016)

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Wind to Power GM Arlington Plant]]> Thu, 10 Dec 2015 16:18:25 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GM_Arlington_Plant_1210152.png

General Motors' next big idea is literally blowing in the wind. Thursday, the automaker announced it will use wind power to manufacture more than half of the SUV's it produces annually at its Arlington Assembly Plant.

GM signed a 14-year agreement with EDP Renewables North America, which will provide the power from a wind farm in South Texas. The fifteen 261-foot-tall turbines they'll  have access to can generate 115 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy. The company says that's enough power to build 125,000 vehicles.

"Our investment is helping accelerate the proliferation of clean energy in Texas and the use of wind as a reliable, renewable source of energy," said Jim DeLuca, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. "Our sustainable manufacturing mindset benefits the communities in which we operate across the globe."

GM estimates the shift will reduce the Arlington Assembly Plant's energy costs by $2.8 million each year and reduce the plant's carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million metric tons over the course of the agreement.

Plant officials say they expect to start using the wind power in the fourth quarter of 2016.

<![CDATA[Trinity Trash Bash Set for Saturday]]> Thu, 17 Sep 2015 08:52:35 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/trinity-river1.jpg

A record 6,000 volunteers are expected to help clean up the Trinity River in Fort Worth Saturday for the 24th annual Trinity Trash Bash.

The event, scheduled for Sept. 19, will focus on nine locations across the West Fork of the Trinity River in Fort Worth.

Trash pickup begins at 8 a.m. and will conclude at 11 a.m. with free lunch at Panther Island Pavilion.

According to event organizers, over 95 tons of trash have been collected over the event's 24-year history.

Volunteers can pick up their supplies on Thursday and Friday at the Trinity River Vision Authority offices located in downtown Fort Worth.

Photo Credit: MedStar]]>
<![CDATA[Caring for Black Diamond Crepe Myrtles]]> Sun, 16 Aug 2015 19:51:03 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/black_diamond_crepe_myrtle.jpg Texas Agrilife specialist Dotty Woodson returns to NBC 5 Today to explain how to care for Black Diamond Crepe Myrtles.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Trees Downed for Safety at Dallas Love Field]]> Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:11:35 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Planes_Trees_Dallas_Love_Field.jpg

Dallas Parks and Recreation workers cut down half a dozen Elm and Pecan trees at a popular Dallas lakefront park.

The work at Bachman Lake Park was expected to last into the afternoon, but many bikers and joggers weren't happy to see the trees go.

"It makes me very sad because the trees are part of this lake. The shadow; The shade– It’s beautiful,” said Franco Fabbri, who walks around the lake every daily.

Many folks like Fabbri say Bachman Lake Park is a hidden gem in Dallas: a lakeside park with lots of shade and a great trail for walking or running.

"You can sit and relax and enjoy the water. There’s not a lot of spaces in the area where you can do that," said Mandy Gildersleeve.

The park sits right against Love Field, and city workers have been forced to cut down many trees a few years ago because they limited pilots’ view of the runway.

Now there’s a new problem: New FAA regulations require more space around the radar towers set up in the park. The rules come amid an upgrade to the precision-guidance antennas that help pilots navigate in bad weather.

Therefore, six, large trees had to come down, according to the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department.

"It's sad because it takes so long to grow the trees and with it being so hot, it helps keep you shaded where people are walking or running or biking around the lake," Gildersleeve said.

People still plan on using the park, but maybe not so much in the heat of the summer sun.

"It takes away spaces where families can come and just sit under the shade and enjoy the beauty of the lake."

The Parks and Recreation Department made plans to replace the six trees in a different section of the park. Those new trees will be planted sometime in November.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Greenhouse Gases Biggest Threat to Polar Bears: Study]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:55:39 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-77960094polarbears71151.jpg Greenhouse gas emissions remain the "primary threat" to polar bears, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey. Polar bear populations will decline even if emissions are stabilized by the end of the century, the study said. Polar bears have been categorized as a "globally threatened species" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act since 2008. The two main threats to polar bears are melting sea ice and disappearing prey. The study concluded that polar bears would suffer whether carbon emissions grew at their current pace or peaked in 2040 and then declined. The only optimistic scenario would involve "immediate and aggressive" cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said.
Get More at NBC News

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lake Worth Reopens to Boat Traffic]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 04:21:38 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/7b537b2709484056b5a7dcc8f74ab5e2.jpg

Boaters can finally add Lake Worth to their summer plans beginning Thursday.

Lake Worth was set to open early to the public on June 11 as projected lake levels returned to a safe range.

Like many lakes in North Texas, Lake Worth has been closed to boat traffic in recent weeks due to flooding. The closures came under fears that boat wakes could potentially damage lakefront homes and structures.

Boaters are asked to use caution as floating debris from flooding remained a hazard. Many boat docks and tree stumps are hidden under water as levels continued to remain high.

Photo Credit: Greg Pate]]>