Research + Tech

Pilot project uses mushrooms to decarbonize construction waste

Lendlease, New York; Mycocycle, Bolingbrook, Ill.; Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, Lebanon, Tenn.; and Rubicon Technologies Inc., Lexington, Ky., have announced the success of a partnered pilot project involving used asphalt shingles, mushrooms and mycoremediation technology to reduce construction waste.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 11 to 13 million tons of asphalt shingles end up in landfills each year. After seeing the large amount of waste generated by asphalt roofing shingles from a recent reroofing project at the Fort Campbell Army installation in Kentucky, the four companies proposed a solution to reuse the material in a new capacity.

“Every asphalt shingle from those 214 homes would have gone to a landfill,” says Sara Neff, head of sustainability at Lendlease Americas. “There was simply no viable use for them. We understand the importance of reducing our Scope 3 carbon by diverting waste streams from the landfill. After teaming up with Rubicon Technologies, Mycocycle and Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, we came up with an innovative idea using mycoremediation technology—combining mushrooms and shingles to break down waste materials and create a new byproduct that could ideally be reintroduced for reuse, furthering a circular economy.”

Shingle samples were gathered and transported to Rockwood Sustainable Solutions’ facility in Lebanon where Mycocycle, an environmental remediation company that uses fungi to decarbonize waste streams, performed what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind study, mixing the samples with three strains of fungi, a process called mycoremediation.

“Using mycoremediation to process waste so as to be further recycled and form part of the circular economy is its highest use,” says Joanne Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Mycocycle. “Our mycelium recycling pilots continue to see excellent results among a wide range of materials.”

Project team members presented the results of the project at the Greenbuild International Conference + Expo in San Francisco Nov. 1, 2022.

The team now is encouraging manufacturers in the building industry to continue to focus on the effect these new materials can have on reducing emissions while making the supply chain more sustainable.

Many organizations have had recent cloud-related security incidents

More than 80% of organizations have experienced a cloud-related security incident during the past year, according to a study from Salt Lake City-based cybersecurity company Venafi. Almost half of the organizations reported at least four incidents during the same period. The organizations are based in a variety of international markets, including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, U.K. and U.S.

Companies rapidly are adopting cloud-based applications. Organizations in the study currently host two in five applications in the cloud, and that number is expected to become three in five during the next 18 months.

More than half of all organizations in the study said they consider the risk of security incidents higher in the cloud compared with on-premises environments.

Operational and security concerns that emerge from moving to the cloud include hijacking of accounts, ransomware, data privacy issues and nation-state attacks.

Organizations most commonly encountered security incidents during runtime, unauthorized access and misconfigurations. All were cited by about one-third of respondents.

“Attackers are now on board with businesses’ shift to cloud computing,” says Kevin Bocek, Venafi’s vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence, in a blog post. “The ripest target of attack in the cloud is identity management, especially machine identities.”



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