Friday, April 25, 2008

Top 10 communities?

Is your municipal program in the top 10?

Municipalities across the U.S. and Canada are diverting e-scrap from landfills by providing opportunities for residents to drop off obsolete electronics for recycling. E-Scrap News is collecting data on the volume of e-waste being collected by municipalities and municipal program partners in order to compile a Top 10 list of municipal programs.
Two lists will be generated, covering both the top 10 programs in terms of overall volumes collected, as well as the top 10 programs based on pounds collected per capita. To do this, we need data from you, our readers, including:

Total tons of electronic scrap collected for recycling through the years
Number of years having offered the collection program
Population of the area served by your program.
This information will be shared at the upcoming E-Scrap 2008 Conference, as well as in one of our publications. If your program is in the top 10, we will contact you for a little more information about program dynamics.
Please submit the requested information via email to Henry Leineweber at by June 1st.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


2 big projects will amp up solar power in Southland

Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, at podium, announces that Southern California Edison(SCE) will build the nation's largest solar energy installation during a news conference on the roof of a ProLogis building in Fontana, Calif.
Edison plans a massive installation of photovoltaic cells on rooftops, and FPL Energy proposes a 250-megawatt plant.
By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 27, 2008
Solar energy is getting a big boost in Southern California with the unveiling of two projects that will be capable of generating a total of 500 megawatts of electricity, enough to serve more than 300,000 homes.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Southern California Edison plan to announce today the country's largest rooftop solar installation project ever proposed by a utility company. And on Wednesday, FPL Energy, the largest operator of solar power in the U.S., said it planned to build and operate a 250-megawatt solar plant in the Mojave Desert.

The projects would help California meet its goal of obtaining 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. In 2006, about 13% of the retail electricity delivered by Edison and the state's other two big investor-owned utilities came from renewable sources such as sun and wind, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

Energy experts were struck by the size of the two projects, which would bolster the state's current total of about 965 megawatts of solar power flowing to the electricity grid.

"Five hundred megawatts -- that's substantial," said spokesman George Douglas of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "Projects of that size begin to show that solar energy can produce electricity on a utility scale, on the kind of scale that we're going to need."

The Edison rooftop project will place photovoltaic cells on 65 million square feet of commercial building roofs in Southern California. The cells will generate as much as 250 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power about 162,500 average homes, based on the utility's estimate that one megawatt would serve about 650 average homes.

"These are the kinds of big ideas we need to meet California's long-term energy and climate change goals," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "If commercial buildings statewide partnered with utilities to put this solar technology on their rooftops, it would set off a huge wave of renewable-energy growth."

The project, subject to approval by state utility regulators, will cost an estimated $875 million and take five years to complete, Edison spokesman Gil Alexander said. The utility, a subsidiary of Edison International, plans to begin installation work immediately on commercial roofs in San Bernardino and Riverside counties and spread to other locations in Southern California at a rate of one megawatt a week.

The first of the solar rooftops, which will use advanced photovoltaic generating technology, is expected to be in service by August.

"This is a breakthrough. This is hugely accelerating to a scale that is the largest in the country -- a kind of virtual solar generation facility," John E. Bryson, chairman and chief executive of Edison International, said in an interview. "It's a big deal for the state of California; it's a big deal for the renewable-energy sector."

Rosemead-based Southern California Edison provides power to 13 million people in a 50,000-square-mile area of Central and Southern California.

FPL Energy's proposed 250-megawatt plant, dubbed the Beacon Solar Energy Project, will be situated on about 2,000 acres in eastern Kern County.

More than half a million parabolic mirrors will be assembled in rows to receive and concentrate the sun's rays to produce steam for a turbine generator -- a process known as solar thermal power. The generator will produce electricity for delivery to a nearby electric grid. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2009 and will take about two years to complete, the Juno Beach, Fla.-based company said.

"At a time of rising and volatile fossil-fuel costs and increasing concerns about greenhouse gases, solar electricity can have a meaningful impact," FPL Energy President Mitch Davidson said in a statement. "We believe that solar power has similar long-term potential as wind energy, and we are well positioned to play a leading role in the growth of this renewable technology."

Longer term, the company aims to add at least 600 megawatts of new solar by 2015. FPL Energy currently has facilities with a capacity to produce 310 megawatts of solar power.

Monday, April 21, 2008

ID Theft

Your Taxes are Done, Now What?

Whether you did your taxes yourself or took them to someone, you probably have a stack of paper for things you were saving but no longer need. This is also a great time to clean out your file cabinets of all the other documents you are needlessly saving. These documents left around pose a threat to your identity from a break-in as well as from people you know.

The IRS can audit your tax returns for three years but that increases to six years if you fail to report 25% of your income and there are no restrictions is you fail to file or file a fraudulent return.

Collect all of this paper and get it shredded to reduce your risk to identity theft.

Full retention schedule.

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles