Showing posts with label e waste disposal inc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label e waste disposal inc. Show all posts

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nike Builds Concept Store from Trash


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Nike's concept store in Shanghai was built completely out of trash and recylced materials by Miniwiz Sustainable Development. Photo: Miniwiz Sustainable Development

Nike’s concept store in Shanghai was built completely out of trash and recylced materials by Miniwiz Sustainable Development. Photo: Miniwiz Sustainable Development
When sports and athletic apparel retail giant Nike opened its concept store in China earlier this year, it took the idea of recycling to a whole new level. The Shanghai store, which was designed by the Taiwan-based architectural firm Miniwiz Sustainable Development, is called the Nike X158 Hyper Nature — and it’s made completely out of trash.
With no virgin materials to be found, the building has gained acclaim for its forward-thinking approach to construction. In addition to using all recycled materials, the construction was done without the use of any glue — which means the materials used to build the facility can all be re-recycled down the line.
Among the items used to construct the modern, urban building are:
  • More than 50,000 used CDs and DVDs
  • More than 5,000 drink cans
  • 2,000 post-consumer recycled water bottles, which were used to make nearly 7,000 feet of tension cables
In addition, the ceiling — which is made of the recycled compact discs and DVDs — is reinforced with a natural organic material called Rice Husk Si02.
Since forming in 2006, Miniwiz has built its reputation as a leader in creating such forward-thinking models of sustainability. Its products include PolliBricks, a wall system made completely of recycled PET bottles, and Natrilon, a fiber made from 100 percent recycled PET.
The company also makes iPhone cases, called Re-Cases, out of 100 percent trash products, and also designed the EcoARK, a nine-story building in Taipei, Taiwan, made from more than 1.5 million plastic bottles. The builiding features natural ventilation, solar power and even an exterior waterfall.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wastes - Non-Hazardous Waste ........................eWaste Disposal, Inc

[logo] US EPA

Wastes - Non-Hazardous Waste

Recent Additions | Contact Us Search:


 

Non-Hazardous Waste Quick Finder

Backyard Burning Construction and Demolition Debris Industrial Waste Guidelines Landfills Medical Waste MSW Transfer Stations MSW in the United States: Facts and Figures Waste Combustion

EPA defines solid waste as any garbage or refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities.  Nearly everything we do leaves behind some kind of waste.  In fact, in 2006, U.S. residents, businesses, and institutions produced more than 251 million tons of municipal solid waste, which is approximately 4.6 pounds of waste per person per day.  In addition, American industrial facilities generate and dispose of approximately 7.6 billion tons of industrial solid waste each year.

Choose from the solid waste types below to learn more.

  • Industrial waste is made up of a wide variety of non-hazardous materials that result from the production of goods and products.

Posted via email from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Electronic-waste recycling: The cup runneth over

Leave it to Oregon. The state where recycling is practically an article of religion is having headaches with its new electronic recycling law: Way too many old TVs, computers and monitors have flooded in since the law took effect in January.

Mind you, it's a problem the state doesn't mind having. The more the better, state officials say. But the biggest manufacturers group participating in the program, the Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Co., or MRM, wants to call a bit of a time-out.

Warning that e-waste will substantially exceed its state-mandated target if the stuff keeps coming in at the current rate, MRM said it will limit collections to designated network collection sites and won't reimburse for e-waste collected at special events organized by neighborhoods, church groups or county cleanup events. In addition, the company is asking collectors to limit their promotions for...... http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/05/recycling-electronic-waste-landfills.html

Friday, July 10, 2009

High Sierras: The Woods are Full of Gun-Toting Narcofarmers

Marijuana patches have sprung up on a third of California's national parks and nearly 40 percent of all national forests. Where hippies once grew just enough weed to peace out, traffickers now cultivate more than 100,000 plants at a time on 30-acre terraces irrigated by plastic pipe, laced with illegal pesticides, and guarded by Mac-10s and Uzis.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tarbell Realtors big eWaste and Shreding event 4-25-09

 
 
 
 
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IRS "dirty dozen" beware phony non profits

Beware of IRS’ 2009 “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams

IR-2009-41, April 13, 2009

Video: English American Sign Language Text

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued its 2009 “dirty dozen” list of tax scams, including schemes involving phishing, hiding income offshore and false claims for refunds.

“Taxpayers should be wary of scams to avoid paying taxes that seem too good to be true, especially during these challenging economic times,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. “There is no secret trick that can eliminate a person’s tax obligations. People should be wary of anyone peddling any of these scams.”

Tax schemes are illegal and can lead to problems for both scam artists and taxpayers who risk significant penalties, interest and possible criminal prosecution.

The IRS urges taxpayers to avoid these common schemes:

Phishing

Phishing is a tactic used by Internet-based scam artists to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal or financial information. The criminals use the information to steal the victim’s identity, access bank accounts, run up credit card charges or apply for loans in the victim’s name.

Phishing scams often take the form of an e-mail that appears to come from a legitimate source, including the IRS. The IRS never initiates unsolicited e-mail contact with taxpayers about their tax issues. Taxpayers who receive unsolicited e-mails that claim to be from the IRS can forward the message to phishing@irs.gov. Further instructions are available at IRS.gov. To date, taxpayers have forwarded scam e-mails reflecting thousands of confirmed IRS phishing sites. If you believe you have been the target of an identity thief, information is available at IRS.gov.

Hiding Income Offshore

The IRS aggressively pursues taxpayers and promoters involved in abusive offshore transactions. Taxpayers have tried to avoid or evade U.S. income tax by hiding income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or through other entities. Recently, the IRS provided guidance to auditors on how to deal with those hiding income offshore in undisclosed accounts. The IRS draws a clear line between taxpayers with offshore accounts who voluntarily come forward and those who fail to come forward.

Taxpayers also evade taxes by using offshore debit cards, credit cards, wire transfers, foreign trusts, employee-leasing schemes, private annuities or life insurance plans. The IRS has also identified abusive offshore schemes including those that involve use of electronic funds transfer and payment systems, offshore business merchant accounts and private banking relationships.

Filing False or Misleading Forms

The IRS is seeing scam artists file false or misleading returns to claim refunds that they are not entitled to. Frivolous information returns, such as Form 1099-Original Issue Discount (OID), claiming false withholding credits are used to legitimize erroneous refund claims. The new scam has evolved from an earlier phony argument that a “strawman” bank account has been created for each citizen. Under this scheme, taxpayers fabricate an information return, arguing they used their “strawman” account to pay for goods and services and falsely claim the corresponding amount as withholding as a way to seek a tax refund.

Abuse of Charitable Organizations and Deductions

The IRS continues to observe the misuse of tax-exempt organizations. Abuse includes arrangements to improperly shield income or assets from taxation and attempts by donors to maintain control over donated assets or income from donated property. The IRS also continues to investigate various schemes involving the donation of non-cash assets, including easements on property, closely-held corporate stock and real property. Often, the donations are highly overvalued or the organization receiving the donation promises that the donor can purchase the items back at a later date at a price the donor sets. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 imposed increased penalties for inaccurate appraisals and new definitions of qualified appraisals and qualified appraisers for taxpayers claiming charitable contributions.

Return Preparer Fraud

Dishonest return preparers can cause many headaches for taxpayers who fall victim to their ploys. Such preparers derive financial gain by skimming a portion of their clients’ refunds and charging inflated fees for return preparation services. They attract new clients by promising large refunds. Taxpayers should choose carefully when hiring a tax preparer. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. No matter who prepares the return, the taxpayer is ultimately responsible for its accuracy. Since 2002, the courts have issued injunctions ordering dozens of individuals to cease preparing returns, and the Department of Justice has filed complaints against dozens of others, which are pending in court.

Frivolous Arguments

Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage people to make unreasonable and unfounded claims to avoid paying the taxes they owe. The IRS has a list of frivolous legal positions that taxpayers should stay away from. Taxpayers who file a tax return or make a submission based on one of the positions on the list are subject to a $5,000 penalty. More information is available on IRS.gov.

False Claims for Refund and Requests for Abatement

This scam involves a request for abatement of previously assessed tax using Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. Many individuals who try this have not previously filed tax returns. The tax they are trying to have abated has been assessed by the IRS through the Substitute for Return Program. The filer uses Form 843 to list reasons for the request. Often, one of the reasons given is "Failed to properly compute and/or calculate Section 83-Property Transferred in Connection with Performance of Service."


Abusive Retirement Plans

The IRS continues to uncover abuses in retirement plan arrangements, including Roth Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). The IRS is looking for transactions that taxpayers are using to avoid the limitations on contributions to IRAs as well as transactions that are not properly reported as early distributions. Taxpayers should be wary of advisers who encourage them to shift appreciated assets into IRAs or companies owned by their IRAs at less than fair market value to circumvent annual contribution limits. Other variations have included the use of limited liability companies to engage in activity which is considered prohibited.

Disguised Corporate Ownership

Some taxpayers form corporations and other entities in certain states for the primary purpose of disguising the ownership of a business or financial activity. Such entities can be used to facilitate underreporting of income, fictitious deductions, non-filing of tax returns, participating in listed transactions, money laundering, financial crimes, and even terrorist financing. The IRS is working with state authorities to identify these entities and to bring the owners of these entities into compliance.

Zero Wages

Filing a phony wage- or income-related information return to replace a legitimate information return has been used as an illegal method to lower the amount of taxes owed. Typically, a Form 4852 (Substitute Form W-2) or a “corrected” Form 1099 is used as a way to improperly reduce taxable income to zero. The taxpayer also may submit a statement rebutting wages and taxes reported by a payer to the IRS. Sometimes fraudsters even include an explanation on their Form 4852 that cites statutory language on the definition of wages or may include some reference to a paying company that refuses to issue a corrected Form W-2 for fear of IRS retaliation. Taxpayers should resist any temptation to participate in any of the variations of this scheme.

Misuse of Trusts

For years, unscrupulous promoters have urged taxpayers to transfer assets into trusts. While there are many legitimate, valid uses of trusts in tax and estate planning, some promoted transactions promise reduction of income subject to tax, deductions for personal expenses and reduced estate or gift taxes. Such trusts rarely deliver the promised tax benefits and are being used primarily as a means to avoid income tax liability and hide assets from creditors, including the IRS.

The IRS has recently seen an increase in the improper use of private annuity trusts and foreign trusts to divert income and deduct personal expenses. As with other arrangements, taxpayers should seek the advice of a trusted professional before entering into a trust arrangement.

Fuel Tax Credit Scams

The IRS is receiving claims for the fuel tax credit that are unreasonable. Some taxpayers, such as farmers who use fuel for off-highway business purposes, may be eligible for the fuel tax credit. But some individuals are claiming the tax credit for nontaxable uses of fuel when their occupation or income level makes the claim unreasonable. Fraud involving the fuel tax credit is considered a frivolous tax claim, potentially subjecting those who improperly claim the credit to a $5,000 penalty.

How to Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity

Suspected tax fraud can be reported to the IRS using Form 3949-A, Information Referral. Form 3949-A is available for download from the IRS Web site at IRS.gov. The completed form or a letter detailing the alleged fraudulent activity should be addressed to the Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888. The mailing should include specific information about who is being reported, the activity being reported, how the activity became known, when the alleged violation took place, the amount of money involved and any other information that might be helpful in an investigation. The person filing the report is not required to self-identify, although it is helpful to do so. The identity of the person filing the report can be kept confidential.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Feds Agree on Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan

Less than a week after the Interior Department published the findings of a report claiming that 25% of the nation’s electricity could be supplied by offshore wind farms, the Department also reached an agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over how the two agencies would handle the permitting and licensing of all types of renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of the United States.

On Thursday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff signed a memorandum of understanding (pdf) that establishes a streamlined process by which Interior’s Minerals Management Service and the FERC will lease, license and regulate all renewable energy development activities on the OCS.

According to Interior Secretary Salazar, the agreement will spur the development of clean, renewable energy, which he called, “the growth industry of the 21st Century,” adding that, “Our nation’s economic future demands we lead that competition.”

Simply put, MMS will be in charge of regulating all offshore renewable energy projects, accept hydrokinetic projects like wave and tidal power. The memorandum of understanding explains the division as follows:

MMS has exclusive jurisdiction with regard to the production, transportation, or transmission of energy from non-hydrokinetic renewable energy projects, including wind and solar. MMS also has
exclusive jurisdiction to issue leases, easements, and rights-of-way regarding Outer Continental Shelf
lands for hydrokinetic projects.
FERC has exclusive jurisdiction to issue licenses and exemptions from licensing for the construction and operation of hydrokinetic projects on the Outer Continental Shelf and will conduct any necessary analyses, including those under the National Environmental Policy Act, related to those actions.

Monday, February 16, 2009

British, French nuclear submarines collide

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British Royal Navy nuclear submarine and its French equivalent collided while on operations in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, defense ministries in Paris and London confirmed Monday.


The British Royal Navy submarine HMS Vanguard.

Both vessels, HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant, were armed with nuclear warheads and suffered damage as a result of the collision, which is understood to have occurred on February 3 or 4.

"Two "SNLE" (nuclear submarines), one French and the other British, were, a few days ago, on standard patrols in the Atlantic. They briefly came in contact in a very slow speed while they were immersed. There is no casualty or injury among the crew. Neither the nuclear deterrent mission nor the nuclear security have been compromised," the French Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

In an earlier press release issued on February 6, the Ministry of Defense said the vessel's sonar dome had been damaged in a collision. The vessel was able to return to its base at Ile Longue in Brittany, northwest France, accompanied by a frigate.

The UK's Ministry of Defence also confirmed the incident. In a statement, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathan Band said the collision occurred during "routine national patrols."

"Both submarines remained safe and no injuries occurred. We can confirm that the capability remained unaffected and there has been no compromise to nuclear safety," Band said.

HMS Vanguard returned to its home base at Faslane in Scotland under its own power on February 14. The UK's Sun newspaper reported that the vessel was towed back into its home base at Faslane in Scotland "with dents and scrapes visible on her hull." It is normal procedure for the vessels to be towed into dock, according to the Ministry of Defence press office.

Both the UK and French nuclear deterrent operations depend on complete secrecy, despite both countries' membership of NATO. But naval analyst Richard Cobbold told CNN that procedures would be in place to ensure that French and British submarines were routinely kept apart.

"Either one of these submarines was doing something different or somebody made a mistake -- but we don't know that," Cobbold said.

Both submarines were equipped with state-of-the-art sonar technology, but Cobbold said it was possible that neither was aware of the close proximity of the other vessel.

"Modern submarines are very, very quiet. In many types of water conditions they might not hear the approach of another submarine," he said.

But with both nations keeping at least one nuclear-armed submarine constantly at sea for the past 40 years, he said it was no surprise that they had eventually ended up in the same area of ocean.

"Even in an ocean the size of the North Atlantic the submarines are eventually going to be in the same patch of water at the same time," he said.

In a statement issued Monday, the UK-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament described the incident as "a nuclear nightmare of the highest order."

"The collision of two submarines, both with nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons onboard could have released vast amounts of radiation and scattered scores of nuclear warheads across the seabed," said CND chair Kate Hudson.

"The dents reportedly visible on the British sub show the boats were no more than a couple of seconds away from total catastrophe."

Hudson said the incident was the most serious involving a nuclear submarine since the sinking of the Russian Kursk in 2000 with the loss of the vessel's entire 118-man crew.

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HMS Vanguard, which was launched in 1992, is one of four submarines which make up the UK's nuclear deterrent. Its firepower includes 16 Trident II D5 missiles capable of delivering multiple warheads to targets up to a range of 4,000 nautical miles.

The 150-meter vessel carries a crew of 141 and is powered by a uranium-fueled pressurized water reactor. Vanguard Class submarines routinely spend weeks at a time underwater on patrol in the North Atlantic.

But contact with naval commanders and government officials, including the defense secretary and the prime minister, are maintained at all times by a "comprehensive network of communications installations," the Royal Navy Web site said.

Le Triomphant was launched in 1994 and entered service in 1997 and carries a crew of 111, according to the GlobalSecurity.org Web site. Its weapons include 16 M45 missiles capable of launching multiple nuclear warheads.

The UK has maintained a nuclear arsenal since 1956, with at least one nuclear-armed submarine somewhere at sea continuously since 1969.

In 2006 the government approved plans to update the Trident deterrent program. A new generation of submarines is due to be ready to replace the Vanguard Class submarines by 2024. But the program, which is expected to cost around £20 billion ($29 billion), has been heavily criticized by anti-nuclear campaigners

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Gang Comes to Los Angeles: Solar-Panel Installers

LOS ANGELES -- When Albert Ortega was released from prison four months ago, he was determined to turn his life around. So he went green.

Mr. Ortega sports tattoos of an Aztec warrior on his back, a dragon on his chest and the name of his former gang, the East Side Wilmas, rings his biceps. Drug trafficking kept him locked up for most of the past seven years, he says. But after serving his last term, for 18 months, he heard about a solar-panel installation course.

"I wanted a new way of life," says the tall, brawny 34-year-old. "Solar puts me on the cutting edge."

A training program in East Los Angeles is teaching ex-cons to install solar panels so they can improve their skill set and market themselves for the new green economy. WSJ's Russ Brit reports.
In the race to train America's "green-collar" work force, a group composed mostly of former Los Angeles gang members on parole is an early participant. Their training is funded by Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles nonprofit that helps people with criminal pasts find employment.

President Barack Obama has made the production of renewable energy one of the pillars of job creation. All sorts of people are now rushing to acquire skills to launch careers in the budding sector.

For years, Homeboy Industries put former felons to work at a bakery and cafe it runs in East Los Angeles. Last summer, founder Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest, was approached by a supporter about the idea of preparing them for the green economy.

Because job-placement for ex-convicts is especially difficult in a recession, "I leapt at the opportunity," says Father Boyle, who started Homeboy two decades ago.

Homeboy joined forces with the East Los Angeles Skills Center, a public vocational school that offers a hands-on program to teach the design, construction and installation of solar panels. The course is one of only a few such programs in California and commands a months-long waiting list.


Albert Ortega
The center created an intensive course for Homeboy. "I loved the idea of doing something for these guys," says Brian Hurd, the senior instructor who designed it. "My best student ever was a Homeboy referral" in a construction course, "who needed a second chance."

Homeboy, funded by individuals, community groups and revenue from its businesses, pays the $131 tuition for each student; it also pays participants an hourly wage of $8. The class meets for two months, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"I was so motivated, I would fall asleep with the books on my bed," says Mr. Ortega. Determined to get into the course, he phoned or visited Father Boyle for two weeks, until he was asked to take a drug test. Mr. Ortega passed and was offered a spot in the class.

"I knew I was good at wiring," says Mr. Ortega, who once installed car-stereo systems. "I was always good at math."

On a recent morning, some 30 tattoo-coated students sat at desks in a basement classroom, taking notes as their instructor scrawled algebra equations and geometry problems on a chalkboard. Then they figured out such things as the area of a house's roof and the angle at which solar panels should be mounted on it.

Manuel Delgado, 42, who dropped out of high school, said he struggled at first. But, four weeks into the class, he's doing "real good," he says. "I got 76% on my last math test."

Another student, Jessica Espinoza, 23, says she couldn't find a job after being locked up for two years because she helped a felon escape from a courthouse. "The minute they saw I went to jail, employers didn't give me the time of day," she says. "Hopefully I can take what this school gave me and make a career in this new industry."

In the afternoon, the students donned protective goggles and got to work on solar panels and electrical circuits in the workshop. At one station, they drilled holes through aluminum rails where panels are mounted; others drove bolts into metal racks. A few studied the layout of a roof to figure out sizing for pipes.


Miriam Jordan / The Wall Street Journal
Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles nonprofit, helps prepare students to enter the 'green-collar' work force
Mr. Ortega helped his classmates wire up a panel. One was Ken Chung, a general contractor who decided to train for a career in solar energy after his business of building homes and pools began to dry up.

After months searching for a training program, Mr. Chung decided the Homeboy course would give him the skills he needed. But when he informed his wife that most of his classmates would be ex-felons, she was worried. "I told her, 'Honey, just give me a week to try and see,' " he recalls.

On his first day, he says a fellow student asked: "What were you in for?" Mr. Chung, a 45-year-old Malaysian immigrant, didn't understand. "I asked him to repeat the question."

The East L.A. Skills Center offers a night class in photovoltaic installation (the official name of solar-panel installation) that is open to the general public, but there's a long waiting list. That's why some "regular folks" have been clamoring to get into the Homeboy class, says Ed Ruiz, the instructor. "Most of them take one look and say 'no thanks,' " he says.

Doug Lincoln, 61, who once managed luxury-car dealerships, was offered admission to the Homeboy course after he inquired about a faster-paced class. On hearing it was mainly for ex-cons, "I thought it was a joke," he says.

Now, Mr. Lincoln is about to graduate. He plans to start a solar-panel-installation firm, he says, and hire some of his former Homeboy classmates. "These guys are more motivated than hundreds of employees I've managed," in the car business, he says.

Mr. Chung, the contractor, has also thrived in the class. He and Mr. Ortega get together for lunch on the weekends, either tacos or Chinese noodles. "Albert has taught me many things," says Mr. Chung. They challenge each other to design solar-energy systems for homes and then critique each other's work. "I know about his kids. He knows about mine," says Mr. Ortega.

Last month, Mr. Ortega passed an exam that qualifies him to install solar panels nationwide. He says he has already been approached by employers. But he says he is waiting until Feb. 16, when he's off parole, before starting work, because until then he can't travel out of Los Angeles County. When that happens, he says, "I'll be just another citizen."

Several of his classmates who completed the course are already working, earning about $15 an hour; experienced installers can make upwards of $30 an hour. Philippe Hartley, general manager of Phat Energy, a Los Angeles solar company, has hired several Homeboy graduates. The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to start hiring some graduates of the program to install 50 megawatts of solar power on its campuses. "Being former gang members doesn't preclude them from building a career in solar technology," says Veronica Soto, a school-district director.

Others are also interested. "We expect to hire out of the program as quickly as they can get them to us," says Gabriel Bork, a vice president at Golden State Power, a solar-panel installation company. "These guys are much better trained than many others I have hired."

Write to Miriam Jordan at miriam.jordan@wsj.com

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jaguar photographed in central Mexico, first since 1900

February 11, 2009—The largest cat in the Americas is alive and well in the heart of Mexico, scientists say.

Three photographs of a male jaguar and exactly 132 poop samples (including the one above, released February 10) are the first known evidence of the predator since the early 1900s.

The big cat was snapped by a camera trap in the Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve.

Jaguars have disappeared from much of Mexico as humans have chopped up their habitat and sometimes killed the animals for the illegal wildlife trade.

Concerned that the big cat was locally extinct, an expedition team set out into the 260 square mile (674 square kilometer) reserve between 2002 and 2004.

The team talked to villagers within the study area, but no one had reported seeing the elusive animal.

That may be because the cats, which were photographed at 6,053 feet (1,845 meters), are forced by their diminishing habitat to travel across higher ground, said study leader Octavio Monroy-Vilchis of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico.

—Christine Dell'Amore

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Computer Donation = Computer Dumping

Most of us have heard of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. These are practically the commandments of environmentalism. They are meant to go in that order, leaving recycling as a last resort after reducing and reusing. But with computers and electronics, apparent reuse through donations does not guarantee proper recycling.

Often when computers are donated, with good intentions to maximize their use, there is a bad end result – the computer is eventually dumped.

People want to donate used computers to those who are less fortunate, to those who cannot afford to buy new equipment. When generous individuals get a new computer, let’s say for the holidays, they may still think highly of their old computer and see it as a valuable item for someone in need. After all, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” For a long time, I had felt the same way. What happens when that donation finally goes caput?

Let’s think about this logically. To properly recycle electronics and ensure that toxic components do not end up contaminating the environment here or abroad, it does cost money. This is hazardous material here.

Do we expect that computer donations will be recycled the right way? Or does an image of monitors, keyboards and desktop units piled high on a sidewalk come into your head?

The reality is that these items are not built to last, and many times donating them is just transferring the burden of disposal on to a needy individual or school that does not have the resources for proper recycling.

If you are trying to do right by the community and our environment, would it be more responsible to make sure these toxic items that are of limited use are not ending up in our drinking water or the air we breathe?

Let’s keep lead, mercury, and cadmium out of our landfills and make sure that computers are recycled properly!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dolphins are capable sea chefs, scientists say

Dolphins are the chefs of the seas, having been seen going through precise and elaborate preparations to rid cuttlefish of ink and bone to produce a soft meal of calamari, Australian scientists say.

A wild female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin was observed going through the same series of complicated steps to prepare cuttlefish prey for eating in the Spencer Gulf, in South Australia state.

"It's a sign of how well their brains are developed. It's a pretty clever way to get pure calamari without all the horrible bits," Mark Norman, the curator of mollusks at Museum Victoria and a research team member, told the Canberra Times newspaper.

The research team, writing in the science journal PLoS One, said they repeatedly observed a female dolphin herding cuttlefish out of algal weed and onto a clear, sandy patch of seafloor.

The dolphin, identified using circular body scars, then pinned the cuttlefish with its snout while standing on its head, before killing it instantly with a rapid downward thrust and "loud click" audible to divers as the hard cuttlebone broke.

The dolphin then lifted the body up and beat it with her nose to drain the toxic black ink that cuttlefish squirt into the water to defend themselves when attacked.

Next the prey was taken back to the seafloor, where the dolphin scraped it along the sand to strip out the cuttlebone, making the cuttlefish soft for eating.

Norman and study co-author Tom Tregenza, from the University of Exeter, said the behavior exhibited between 2003 and 2007 was unlikely to be a rarity.

"In addition to our observations, individual bottlenose dolphins feeding at these cuttlefish spawning grounds have been observed by divers in the area to perform the same behavioral sequence," they said in the study.

"The feeding behavior reported here is specifically adapted to a single prey type and represents impressive behavioral flexibility for a non-primate animal."

A separate 2005 study provided the first sign dolphins may be capable of group learning and using tools, with a mother seen teaching her daughters to break off sea sponges and wear them as protection while scouring the seafloor in Western Australia.

The mammals used the sponges "as a kind of glove" while searching for food, University of Zurich researcher Michael Krutzen told New Scientist magazine.

Other researchers have observed dolphins removing the spines from flathead fish prey and breaking meter-long Golden Trevally fish into smaller pieces for eating.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Colourful pigs evolved through farming, not nature

Pigs evolved bright coat colours rapidly after domestication thanks to the human a penchant for novelty, a new gene analysis suggests.

Farmers selected and bred the brightly coloured pigs to distinguish them from their brown and black wild cousins and probably also because they preferred the unusual colours.

At the other extreme, the gene analysis shows that wild pigs today are evolving through natural selection to maintain camouflage colours to escape detection by predators.

"Every time a gene mutation arose in the wild causing coat colour to change, it was eliminated immediately," says Greger Larson of Durham University, UK, and joint leader of the analysis with Leif Andersson of Uppsala University in Sweden. "So if a black piglet showed up, that was the one picked off by a predator."

Pig a colour
Domestication overrode natural selection with artificial selection from around 10,000 years ago, when humans began to domesticate pigs and other animals such as dogs, favouring animals with mutations resulting in brightly coloured coats. "What it comes down to is the real human penchant for novelty," says Larson.

To establish how colours might have arisen in pigs, the researchers analysed DNA from 68 domestic pigs of 51 breeds, and 15 wild boar. All samples were from animals in Europe and Asia.

In each sample, they examined variations in the gene melanocortin receptor-1 (MC1R) in melanocyte skin cells, which orchestrates the manufacture of melanin pigments. In each species, the gene governs coat colour by dictating the balance between production of dark coloured eumelanin and red-yellow coloured pheomelanin.

They found about 10 mutations in the domestic and wild pigs. But the mutations in the wild pigs were all "silent", insofar as they had no physical effect on the protein produced and therefore on the colour of the animal's coat. This shows that in the wild, colour change was selected against to avoid losing camouflage. "When you mess with the gene, you get over-expression of dark or light melanins, which alters the colour," Larson explains.

Tickled pink
By contrast, all the mutations in the domestic pigs altered coat colour. Black pigs overproduce eumelanin, for example, and pink pigs stop making melanin altogether, resulting in a "default" pink colour.

Some of the domesticated pigs had as many as three mutations in their MC1R, each new mutation adding something that couldn't have arisen without the previous ones. For example, in pigs which are pink with black spots, for example, three mutations are needed, and the mutation causing the black spots had to have come last, following on from mutations which gave the pink background colour.

This provided the clinching evidence that the coat colours were selected for after domestication, says Larson, because pink pigs wouldn't have survived long enough in the wild to have allowed the third mutation to arise. "It shows there was a big difference in the selection regimes practiced by Mother Nature and by humans," says Larson.

The analysis also revealed that black pigs in Europe owe their blackness to different mutations from the black pigs in Asia. "It proves independent domestication of pigs on two continents," says Larson.

David Fisher, who studies melanocytes as director of the melanoma programme at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says the study was sound. "It's not difficult to imagine the potential advantages during animal domestication of being able to have an easily recognisable body feature, such as coat colour," he says.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Want to support GREEN this football season?

Check out ;http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/gogreen/news.asp



2008 PROGRAM UPDATE

Since initiating the GO GREEN program in 2003, the Philadelphia Eagles have made enormous strides in reducing the organization's impact on the environment by:

Running on 100% clean energy after purchasing 14 million kilowatt-hours of renewable wind energy.

Replacing over 1 million plastic cups annually with cups made from a corn-based material, eliminating the consumption of over 14 tons of plastic.

Substituting approximately 16.6 tons annually of additional plastic, foam and paper flatware and dinnerware (plates, bowls, etc.) with sustainable post-consumer product alternatives like corn-based bio-plastics.

Implementing energy conservation programs reducing electricity consumption at Lincoln Financial Field by more than 33%.

Replacing plastic bottles with aluminum bottles which has less of an environmental impact when recycled.

Recycling over 175 tons of waste, 19% of refuse.

Installing three state-of-the-art solar panels that track the sun throughout the day and produce 10kW of energy.

Converting to 100% post-consumer recycled paper for all soft-tissue products, which will yield an additional annual savings of 10 tons of paper, or about 170 trees.
Implementing an employee reimbursement program to encourage employees to switch from conventional power to wind energy. The participating employees are eliminating the emissions of 283 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Recycled over 550 tons of mixed metal, plastic, paper and cardboard.
Reducing the printing of the team's Media Guide from 12,000 to 5,000 copies; saving 5,800 pounds of paper.


All of the Eagles GO GREEN efforts since 2003 equate to........read the above link for more

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles

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