Friday, March 14, 2008
The Old Dominion State appears ready to become the next U.S. state to implement a manufacturer-responsibility system for the recovery of used electronics. One measure already has been signed by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, while another waits in the wings. Having passed both chambers, House Bill 344 requires computer manufacturers to implement a program solely for the recovery of desktop and laptop computers, computer monitors and other computer-related display devices. The state-approved program may consist of several different recovery options, including:
A mail-back system, where consumers could go online, print a prepaid shipping label and ship the product free of charge
A physically staffed collection site
The use of collection events. Manufacturers also could recover used and moribund electronics by creating a joint management group that consisted of other producers, processors, re-use organizations, non-profit corporations or retailers, just to name a few. The most notable provision of HB 344, though, is that it forbids the state from imposing any advanced recovery or annual registration fees upon either the consumer or the manufacturer. The measure, however, does allow the state to issue penalties against manufacturers in violation of the act, including $10,000 as of the second violation and $25,000 for each subsequent violation. The program would take effect July 1, 2009.
Already receiving Governor Kaine's signature, HB 343 will prohibit the disposal of CRTs in a waste-to-energy or solid waste disposal facility, provided the locality has implemented a recycling program capable of handling CRT waste. The act takes effect July 1, 2008.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (Taipei, China) presented concept bamboo-clad computers at this year's CeBIT 2008 in Hanover, Germany. ASUS' green line of computers includes more than the use of alternative materials, it also highlights innards labeled for easy repair and recycling that are truly upgradable — a relative rarity for most laptops … While the New York City Council's new electronics recycling bills await their fate at the hands of Mayor Michael Bloomberg,
The New York Times has turned its attention to Big Apple citizens' reticence to recycle end-of-life electronics … Circuit City (Richmond, Virginia) is offering to trade newly-obsolete HD DVD players for a Blu-ray player for the next 90 days. The consumer electronics retailer did not say what would happen to the returned merchandise … e-Scrap Destruction (Islandia, New York) is offering locked drop-boxes for secure on-site scrap electronics storage and pick-up, an interesting solution that has been popping up more recently.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan) — also known as Panasonic — and the Kusatsu Electric Co., Ltd. (Shiga, Japan) have developed a recycling process that enables the recovery of metals from plastic environments, such as plastic-coated wires, while producing hydrogen chloride gas that can be easily neutralized with lime. The process utilizes the catalytic properties of titanium oxide (TiO2) which reacts with organic substances, such as plastics, decomposing and gasifying them, leaving the inorganic metals behind to recover them separately. Furthermore, the process does not require any additional heating, because the catalytic reaction generates the heat necessary for the gasification process. Panasonic is currently using the process to recover copper from degaussing coils that are covered with vinyl chloride tape found in cathode ray tube televisions. The company aims to completely eliminate mixed plastic waste, as well as share the new technology outside its corporate group.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORT - THE JERUSALEM POSTInterview: Rising above the crashing wavesBy TALIA KATZ Aviv Vaknin has had to struggle against the elements throughout his career. From a life threatening fall, to facing a surfing world that thinks his country is stuck in the middle of the desert, Vaknin is constantly defying expectations.The three-time Israeli surfing champion has travelled all over the globe, and he told The Jerusalem Post this week that the people he comes up against are largely unaware of the realities of living and surfing in Israel."The first thing they ask is if we have a sea - the media doesn't help, because if they are showing Israel they show war, and this is the stigma we have. But I try and explain that that isn't how it is. We have waves, we have McDonald's," he laughs."If they see an Israeli surfer, they ask all the time, 'You probably kill a lot of Arabs, don't you?' They ask if we ride a donkey. No man! We have cars, we have everything here. We are a civilized country."And the oddity of a surfer from the Middle East doesn't end there.
The unusual surfing conditions - smaller waves and the relatively underdeveloped industry - also make Israeli surfing a little-known sport locally and in the rest of the world.However Vaknin, 28, has turned these demanding conditions into international surfing gold. His fast-paced, maneuver-packed style and his most recent victories at the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Israel Surfing Association Open Championship leaves no doubt that he has made the most of the Israeli coastline."When I tour in other countries, people ask me why I surf so fast, and I have to explain that we have smaller waves and we need to surf fast to get as many maneuvers in as possible," he says.Vaknin has a fast, powerful technique, and excels at freestyle surfing.
His big aerials and turns have been captured on film for sponsors such as Red Bull and Creative, and a 15-year relationship with Billabong will see him sent to surf Jay Bay, Cape Town, in May.Taught by his brother Moti to surf when he was six years old, Vaknin has been competing since he was 11, when he won the 1991 Junior Israel Surfing Association Championship. His family supported his career move, but had their concerns."You're not earning a lot of money, and my parents kept telling me to go to university and become a lawyer," he quips."I was never a good student," he laughs. "To tell you the truth, surfing was my focus; I didn't have a lot of time to study and the result wasn't very good."Vaknin caught the surfing bug, and competed throughout high school and during his IDF service.
Crowned 1995 ISA Opens Champion, he surfed with the Israeli team at the World Qualifying Series throughout Europe and even in the US. He competed in the 1998 WQS Championships in California, placing 16th out of more than 400 competitors.And then, at 22, life took an unexpected turn. READ ON - MUCH MORE - JPOST.COM
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