Showing posts with label enviroment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label enviroment. Show all posts

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three Quarters of Americans Support Investment in Clean Energy

Written by Timothy B. Hurst

Throughout his campaign, though more fervently towards the end of it, Barack Obama made it clear that investing in renewable energy and focusing on building a new energy economy would be a centerpiece of his agenda should he have won. And now that he has, the results of a new Zogby poll suggest he’s got the public mandate to do it.

According to the post-election survey, 78% believe investing in clean energy is important to revitalizing America’s economy. Of those, 50% said they strongly agree clean energy investment is vital to the nation’s economic future.

Support for clean energy investment is particularly strong among younger voters - 87% of those age 18-24 and 80% of those age 18-29 believe this type of investment is necessary to help improve the U.S. economy. While the vast majority of Democrats (96%) and independent voters (77%) view clean energy investment as a key means to boost the U.S. economy, more than half of Republican voters (58%) also said the same.

The results also indicate that most voters want their elected officials to focus on global warming - 61% said they agree their elected officials should make combating global warming a high priority, an increase from 58% of voters who said the same in 2006.

Some of the most striking findings were that the desire for a greater political emphasis on global warming has increased 10% among African American voters from 78% in 2006 and to 73% among Hispanic voters from 64% two years ago.

The results of this poll suggest the political calculus has changed somewhat. Pollster John Zogby says that clean energy has emerged as part of voter expectations for getting the economy back on track. “Support for action on global warming, already strong in the 2006 election, was even stronger in 2008, particularly among young voters that are the future electorate,” he said.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Exciting - And Green - Ways To Get Around

Whether you're aiming to reduce your carbon footprint, save some money on petrol or just beat the traffic blues, there are some cheap, green and exciting ways of getting around that can replace your motor car.

read more | digg story

Monday, June 2, 2008

eWaste and Best Buy

Best Buy Launches E-Waste Recycling Program
June 2, 2008 · Print This Article

Announced today Best Buy is testing a free program that will offer consumers a convenient way to recycle their obsolescent TVs, computers and other gadgets. This is the most extensive free electronics recycling program offered by a large retailer. This is in response to all the E-Waste Best Buy has helped create over the years.

The test will inlclude 117 stores in eight states, and depending on the success of the program it may be expanded to all 922 stores nationwide. You can read further on about Best Buy and their recycling program and states involved here.

It is initiatives like above that are going to play a major role in diverting all the harmful substances in electronics from our landfills. Computer companies are also making efforts through offering services to help ensure E-waste does not make it to the dumps. Knowing that computer companies are making a conscious effort and now with the major retailers getting involved you get a feeling things are starting to head in the right direction. You can check out our page on how to recycle your electronics and the benefits involved below.

E-waste and Recycling

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Recycling Advocate - April 16, 2008 - Volume 13, Number 3

Bottle Bill Expansion Advances

CAW sponsored legislation that aims to update the state's Bottle and Can Recycling Law by expanding the program to include all plastic bottles among other measures, passed out of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee 5-2. SB 1625 (Corbett) now heads to the Appropriations Committee.

Toughest Plastic Bag Reduction Measure in Nation Moves Out of Committee

CAW sponsored AB 2058 (Levine) passed out of Assembly Natural Resources committee April 14 with a 5-3 vote. The bill will require retailers to meet a tough plastic bag diversion mandate--as high as 70%--if they wish to continue freely distributing plastic bags. If the benchmark is not met, retailers will only be able to hand out bags if they charge a fee of not less than 15 cents. A similar approach has reduced plastic bag consumption in Ireland by over 90%.

Other CAW Bills Pass Out of Committees

CAW sponsored AB 2505 (Brownley) passed out of Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee April 15. The bill proposes to phase out the use of PVC resin in certain consumer packaging. Consumer packaging represents the largest segment of PVC in the solid waste stream, as it is virtually non-recyclable. PVC consumer packaging also presents a human health threat as it can contain high levels of phthalates and heavy metals, and is a costly and potent contaminant in the recycling stream of other, non-toxic alternative plastics.

AB 2640 (Huffman) passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee April 14 with a 5-3 vote. The bill will assist in reaching the CIWMB's goal to divert 50% of organics from landfills by 2020 by creating a program to support and handle this organic waste. AB 2640 will next be heard in the Appropriations Committee.

Vote in our Poll! Question: Plastic bags cost $250/household in retail costs and taxes. What fee level will motivate consumers to bring their own bag?

Monday, March 24, 2008


E-waste is growing by more than bits and bytes as outdated stereos, TV sets and VCRs make way for newer technology. As these products pile up in garages, attics and basements, electronic waste (e-waste) recycling efforts have become a priority for businesses and municipalities.

To take action on burgeoning e-waste, Houston-based Waste Management Inc., began to offer e-waste recycling several years ago under its Phoenix, Ariz.-based Recycling America subsidiary. Simultaneously, the company has focused on large commercial accounts, such as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other commercial businesses, to expand its electronics recycling.

Services now are provided to public, private and nonprofit customers in 20 states through a network of more than 50 collection depots and four regional processing centers. Recycle America's electronics recycling program, branded eCycling in March 2002, is expected to recycle more than 40 million pounds of e-waste by the end of the year.

Recycling America's collection services include curbside collection, typically through bulky goods and drop-off programs for electronics. The company also has hosted than more 40 special collection events this year in California, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota and several other states.
Processing costs range from $0.15 per pound to $0.35 per pound, depending on the commodity, customer needs (e.g., product identification, proprietary destruction, ability to resell) and material quantities. Rebates also are offered for precious metals, working and resalable equipment and components, and other select e-waste streams.

Recycle America faces challenges with electronics recycling. Even with the economies of scale and strong commodity marketing capabilities, the company has difficulty with certain markets that change frequently or are underdeveloped.

“The U.S. electronics recycling industry must overcome immature markets for materials such as cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and plastics,” the company says.

Despite the challenges, Recycle America encourages other businesses and municipalities to develop their own e-waste recycling programs. Doing so will help reduce a city's or company's disposal costs, better manage resources and minimize future liabilities from storing potentially hazardous products, according to the company.

The eCycling program, which began in 1996, has grown three-fold this year compared to 2001 and nearly eight-fold since 2000, particularly with municipal and government contracts, according to the company. Recycle America expects high growth from municipalities and limited commercial growth until an economic recovery is in full swing.

To prepare for growth, Recycle America is adding to its number of existing e-depots and e-waste consolidation facilities. Also, the company has focused on developing partnerships with other recyclers to deliver service through an integrated network of local and regional facilities.

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.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Jamaican Cane and Enviromental Farming

Jamaica sugar estate tries harvesting cane without burning to boost yield, qualityJamaica sugar estate tries harvesting cane with environment in mind

Monday, February 11, 2008

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A Jamaican sugar estate has started harvesting green cane to improve the quality of the crop and cut environmental damage from the old practice of burning fields during harvest, a government statement said Sunday.

Roughly 100 cutters at the government-run Frome Sugar Factory in rural Westmoreland parish are now reaping fresh, green cane instead of the traditional burned cane. Under the old system, farmers burned cut cane lying in the fields to destroy the sugarless leaves and to fertilize the soil with ash.

But there now is increased global demand for green cane, which costs the Sugar Company of Jamaica less energy to process and stays fresher longer. Environmentally, there is no air pollution from burning and less need for chemicals to kill weeds that sprout in the burned fields.
"Within three to four days, the burned cane starts to spoil," said Lucius Jackson, a Westmoreland farmer who provides cane to the factory. "The green cane will last up to six days, and the juice stands up just the same."

The European Union, the chief market for Jamaica' struggling sugar industry, has called for all imports to be derived from green cane by 2010, said Aston Smith, vice president of operations for the Frome plant.

Jamaica's state-owned sugar company has been squeezed by deep cuts in EU subsidies for producers in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific and will be privatized later this year after years of amassing debt.

In 2005, the Jamaican government announced a plan to restructure the sugar industry to focus production more on ethanol and molasses. But the majority of Jamaica's cane harvest still is used to produce sugar.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

E Bay and e Waste

TO KEEP DISCARDED COMPUTERS and other electronic products out of the nation's landfills, San Jose, Calif.-based eBay Inc. and a group of computer, governmental and environmental organizations have launched an e-recycling campaign. Called the Rethink Initiative, the project seeks to promote e-recycling awareness and to facilitate the safe disposal of electronic devices.

The focal point of the campaign is an eBay-run Web site ( that educates consumers about e-waste. Consumers can use the site to find an e-recycler located near them and to review a checklist of questions to consider when selecting a recycler. To prepare computers for recycling, the site provides a program that erases hard-drive data.

The Rethink Initiative also encourages consumers to resell their unwanted electronic devices or donate them to a charity. The program's Web site contains information on how to do both.
The initiative comes at a time when Americans are disposing of electronic devices in significant quantities. While unused electronic devices are often left in garages, closets or storage rooms, roughly 2 million tons of e-waste makes its way into landfills each year, according to the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington. Electronic devices often contain toxic substances such as lead and mercury, and environmental groups argue that it is dangerous to place them in landfills. Some states, such as California and Maine, have banned cathode ray tubes from landfills.

Chaz Miller, state programs director for the Washington-based Environmental Industry Associations, says there is no evidence that toxic substances leach from e-waste when placed in landfills. Still, he applauds the Rethink Initiative, calling it a “creative attempt” to remove electronics from the waste stream. “It's a great idea,” he says. “Let's see how it works.”
Other members of the Rethink Initiative are Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif.; Apple, Cupertino, Calif.; Gateway, Irvine, Calif.; Hewlett-Packard Co. Palo Alto, Calif.; and IBM Corp., White Plains, N.Y. The EPA is a participant as well. A complete list of the members also is available on the project's Web site.

The Rethink Initiative launch is not the only e-recycling news to emerge in recent weeks. The EPA's Plug In to eCycling Program has announced the results of four pilot projects held last year to test the viability of collecting used electronics in retail settings. The EPA provided technical services for the pilots.

In one month-long test, 115,000 pounds of used electronics were collected for recycling by Staples stores throughout New England. Another month-long pilot in the Pacific Northwest captured 197,000 pounds of televisions at Good Guys electronic stores. In a series of day-long collection events in Minnesota and Wisconsin held last summer and fall, 357,500 pounds of electronics were collected, primarily at Best Buy and Target stores. In the fourth project, Office Depot and Hewlett-Packard operated a more-than-two-month program that gathered more than 10.5 million pounds of electronics at Office Depots nationwide.

“The programs were successful,” says Dave Deegan, EPA spokesman. The agency is evaluating the pilot results to help outline future projects, he says.

The EPA also recently awarded eight contracts to small businesses to provide e-recycling and disposal services for federal agencies and buildings throughout the nation. Traditionally, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has handled the disposition of used federal electronics, says Oliver Voss, a service center manager for the EPA's Office of Acquisition Management.
Agencies will still be able to use GSA to get rid of old equipment. However, unlike the GSA, the EPA's contracted firms will provide an audit trail to show where the equipment ends up, Voss says.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Less Taxing

ANOTHER ELECTRONIC (e-waste) recycling bill has landed on Capitol Hill. U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jim Talent, R-Mo., have introduced the Electronic Waste Recycling and Promotion and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (S-510). The multi-pronged legislation, introduced in March, would provide tax credits to businesses and consumers. The bill is designed to reward the recycling of computers and display screens, such as monitors and televisions, and could lead to a ban on the disposal of certain electronic devices in municipal landfills.

Under the bill, businesses that collect e-waste from consumers and recycle at least 5,000 display screens and/or computers per year would be eligible for a $8 per unit tax credit. Consumers that give at least one display screen or computer per year to a qualified recycler would receive a $15 tax credit.

If passed, the bill also would impose a ban on the disposal of computers and electronics containing a display screen larger than 4 inches in landfills and incinerators. The ban, which would begin three years after the bill is signed into law, only would take effect if the administrator of the Washington-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that a majority of households have access to e-waste recycling.

Furthermore, the legislation would order the EPA administrator to study the feasibility of creating a nationwide e-waste recycling program that would preempt any state's program. The bill would mandate that the federal government recycle each display screen and computer unit that it purchases.

In introducing the measure, Wyden and Talent cited concerns about the environmental effects of landfilling computers and televisions. Approximately 2 million tons of e-waste make their way into landfills each year, according to the EPA. Environmental groups worry that toxic substances in e-waste could harm human health and the environment. However, there is “no evidence whatsoever that e-waste causes an environmental or a health problem in a Subtitle D landfill,” says Chaz Miller, state programs director for the Washington-based National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA).

NSWMA does not support bans on landfilling e-waste, according to Miller, but he says that the use of tax credits to stimulate e-recycling is “an interesting approach.” He says that NSWMA often does not take an official position on a bill until hearings are held.
John Skinner, executive director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., says his organization will support the bill only if it is altered to provide financial incentives for local governments that collect obsolete electronics. For instance, the bill could be amended so that local governments could receive the tax credits and then sell them to a taxpayer, he says.

In January, U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., introduced the National Computer Recycling Act (HR-425), which would impose an upfront fee on the sale of computers and other electronic devices to fund an electronics recycling grant program.

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