Balancing profit and purpose

Several local firms are among a growing number of certified B Corps pursuing a business model that requires high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.

A new way to age

The Village movement’s mutual support nonprofits are designed to help seniors live independently while combatting isolation and loneliness. Nationwide, there are 250 Villages, but none in Rochester—yet.

A Medicaid reform side effect

The unreimbursed burden of new paperwork for therapists has led to long waiting lists for children needing speech, occupational or physical therapy.

A conversation with the inventor of the digital camera

Kodak engineer Steven Sasson’s invention of digital photography and its aftermath still have many lessons for Rochester today. As Sasson says in an audio interview with the Beacon, nothing is forever, big changes are inevitable—and seemingly minor projects may someday become the basis for giant new industries.

The Finger Lakes region can do better than incinerating NYC trash

Michael Warren Thomas

I must admit it feels like insider sabotage to have a Rochester company propose one of the largest trash incinerators in the United States for tiny Romulus (population 4,345 in 2017) in the heart of the Finger Lakes. The region has spent most of the past decade trying to keep a billion-dollar Texas gas company from industrializing Watkins Glen. Circular enerG is attempting to inundate the Finger Lakes with an endless supply of garbage from outside the region, much of it probably from New York City. Our air, our soil, and our water will suffer the consequences of decades of trash burning if the region allows the construction of this facility. According to this proposal, nearly 3,000 additional tons of New York City trash would be burned in Romulus every day.

Why waste-to-energy municipal solid waste management is good public policy

David A. Elsperger

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that municipal solid waste totaled 262 million tons in 2015, up 26 percent from 1990. Reducing, reusing and recycling are proven methods to cut the amount of municipal solid waste, but a significant quantity is sent to landfills every year. Modern incineration technology can dramatically reduce the amount of municipal solid waste that needs to be landfilled and also generate electrical energy for nearby residents. The charts below show trends in municipal solid waste from 1960 to 2015, as reported by the EPA. The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization reports that food is the largest component of materials sent to landfills and the primary source of landfill gas.