Showing posts with label ewaste disposal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ewaste disposal. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Highway and Road Transportation in Orange County California

Workers on Big California Bridge Tackle Oil Wells, Seismic Issues

Project managers cope with commuters, cargo trucks, trailers, trains and more.

Surrounded by workers, Nik Pecci, project safety manager with PMCM Consulting Engineers for the $1.5-billion Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project—which is revitalizing a 50-year-old link in Long Beach—gestured in several directions: “I’ve got all these [port] tenants here, I’ve got a massive bridge over here. I have to build this thing intertwined with one of the busiest ports in the world. I constantly have  commuters, cargo trucks and trailers and trains.”
And that’s just what’s on th......

Friday, December 26, 2014

Can Recycling Increase Your Attractiveness?

shutterstock_95091373Who knew that recycling could make people consider you more attractive? Usually when I’m at a restaurant or and at party and ask “is there somewhere that this can be recycled?” the response I get is “Are you serious? Relax.” but according to the results of a poll by PepsiCo I may be hanging around the wrong people.
During a survey of 1,140 Americans, PepsiCo found that many Americans over the age of 18 find recycling an attractive, mate worthy trait. Hooray!
The study found the following:
- 40% of people said they would have a more positive opinion of someone if they learned they recycled
– 21% of people said they would be turned off if they found out on the first date the other person didn’t recycle.
– 2 in 5 respondents want a significant other who cares about the environment
Improved sex appeal (attractiveness) is a pretty powerful incentive. For many people increasing attractiveness may be a more powerful incentive then increasing sustainability and doing our part to protect the environment.
Of course, the numbers still need to be improved upon. Only 2 in 5 people want a significant other who cares about the environment?  I personally would appreciate higher numbers, but websites like Glamour and Yahoo found PepsiCo’s findings significant enough to share.
Though only 40% said that finding out the other person recycled would...READ MORE.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nike Builds Concept Store from Trash

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.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Finding a home for unused medical supplies, eWaste Disposal, Inc

Courtesy, MedShare Volunteers sort surplus medical items into barrels at a MedShare distribution center.

When a hospital completes a surgery, examination or other procedure, there are generally leftover materials — gloves, gauze, syringes — that were prepared for the procedure but never used.

Those materials are often disposed with red bag waste, but several organizations are attempting to recover these items and redistribute them to hospitals in need.

MedShare, one of the largest medical surplus redistributors, in its last fiscal year collected 550 tons of surplus medical supplies and redistributed them to hospitals in developing countries, medical mission teams and free clinics in the U.S. Founded in 1998, the non-profit organization currently operates two volunteer and distribution centers, one in San Leandro, Calif., and the other near Atlanta, Ga., that together work with more than 80 hospitals to recover surplus supplies and equipment.

Hospitals generate an estimated 2 million tons of waste per year. A study of the San Francisco Bay Area showed hospitals were the third-largest waste producers among 48 studied types of businesses, said Chuck Haupt, executive director of MedShare's western region.

MedShare works with the hospitals surrounding its distribution centers to divert more than 5,000 types of medical supplies, and also accepts working equipment that has, for example, been replaced by a newer model, along with donations from national manufacturers and distributors.

A common challenge in recovering medical surplus is that a large portion of items collected are unusable. Donated supplies may be expired, or equipment is too expensive for a hospital in a developing country to maintain. MedShare aims to minimize that challenge by educating their partner hospitals on what items can be donated.

"We work with the hospital executives to develop a diversion program that benefits the hospital, and benefits the local community, and certainly benefits the recipients that we ship aid to," Haupt said.

MedShare sets up recycling barrels in hospitals wherever a large amount of supplies are used — operating rooms, emergency rooms, etc. — and trains staff to know which items can be recycled. The contents of the bins are then collected by MedShare, which asks hospitals for a donation to cover transportation and other costs.

All supplies are weighed upon reaching a MedShare distribution center, where volunteers then sort the items and prepare them for shipment. Occasionally, hospitals will still donate items that are expired or otherwise unusable, but that is "a very small percentage," Haupt said.

To ensure materials will be properly used, MedShare requires potential recipients to submit an application for aid. In addition to hospitals in developing countries, the organization also supplies traveling medical groups and domestic clinics. The application includes a series of questions intended to verify that recipients are trained in using the items and authorized to accept charitable aid. If approved as a partner, recipients then have access to MedShare's unique online ordering system, where they can pick out exactly what they need.
"What makes us a little bit special is that what we do is establish an online database that's analogous to like," Haupt said. "After we establish a partnership with an overseas hospital in the developing world, they will ... go online and order exactly what they want from us. ... Most aid organizations, while they're doing good, they could do better by allowing the recipient to order what they need to treat their patients."

Top-requested items include basics like surgical and examination gloves, sterile suture and gauze. Haupt said that in hospitals without adequate supplies, he's seen surgeons working without protective gloves, or closing incisions with fishing line. There is also "a tremendous need" for items like diagnostic equipment and imaging equipment, he said.

"The things that we take for granted here in the U.S., they just don't have access to these supplies and equipment and services," Haupt said.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Throwing trash all in one bin works in some cities

At a so-called dirty mixed-waste materials recovery facility, equipment and workers separate paper, glass, plastic, metal and other commodities so residents don't have to sort them into different bins.

It's called mixed waste processing, and it's an alternative way some cities have tried to increase recycling rates. (Ignácio Costa)

When South Pasadena homeowners recycle, it's as easy as throwing their tuna cans and soda bottles into the trash can along with their food scraps and meat wrappers. It's called mixed waste processing, and it's an alternative way some cities have tried to increase recycling rates.

In 2000, just 6% of South Pasadena's single-family residential waste was being recycled under a voluntary program that had residents sort recycling into a separate container. That percentage shot up to 25% in 2001 after the city decided to let waste and recycling go into one bin bound for a so-called dirty MRF, or mixed-waste materials recovery facility, where sorting equipment and trained workers separate paper, glass, plastic, metal and other commodities on the back end instead of the front.


Why recycling in Los Angeles is so confusing


"We didn't do well with the volunteer system. All the recyclables that went into the trash can were being missed," said South Pasadena public works assistant Diana Harder. "Now the recycling program is automatic. Residents don't have to worry about it."

Nor do they have to pay extra. Single-family households pay $36.49 monthly for the service, about the same as single-family residents in L.A.

The stakes have been high since 1990, when California instituted AB 939, a law that required municipalities to reduce the amount of waste taken to landfills by 25% by 1995 and 50% by 2000 or be fined $10,000 a day. Recycling wasn't mandated, but the law prompted cities to institute source-separation programs similar to the one in effect in L.A., where residents are provided separate bins for green waste, trash and recycling.

"We all started the same way with a two- or three-crate system for newspaper, glass and plastic food and beverage containers. That was it," said Dennis Chiappetta, executive vice president of Athens Services, a waste collection, recycling and disposal company based in the City of Industry that serves 19 cities, including Riverside, West Hollywood and South Pasadena. For all the work that residents did, less than 5% of residential waste was diverted from landfills in 1990, he said.

Now, about 40% of what's put in a mixed-waste bin is recycled, Chiappetta said. With yard clippings separated into a green waste bin, landfill diversion in the cities that Athens services rises to at least 50%, and sometimes almost 80%, he said.

CalRecycle, the state agency responsible for regulating disposal and recycling in California, does not keep track of how many cities process their recyclables as mixed waste. But cities of radically different demographic stripes, from West Covina to Beverly Hills, have adopted the approach.

The latter used to ask its residents to sort recyclables into separate bins, but it switched to mixed-waste processing in 2004. Just 13% of Beverly Hills' waste was recycled in 1995. Now the city has a recycling rate of 35% and an overall landfill diversion rate of 78%.

Still, not everyone agrees that mixed-waste processing is a better system. Critics say higher rates of contamination can decrease the value of the recycled materials. The L.A. Bureau of Sanitation prefers its blue-bin system because contaminated materials such as soiled paper cost more to manage, transport and ultimately deposit in a landfill, a spokesman said.

"It's something we grapple with," said Coby Skye, a civil engineer with the environmental programs division of the L.A. County Department of Public Works, which implements the county's recycling program. "It's a trade-off between contamination and participation. The benefit of having everything go in one bin is you have 100% participation whether people want to recycle or not, or whether they know what goes in the right bin or not.",0,971510.story

Monday, May 19, 2008

Medical Records: Good or Bad

Here are two stories covering the good and bad of personal health records (phr). While the idea of having all your medical records in one place sounds good on paper, I am unconvinced that it is worth the loss of privacy it comes with. It isn't the fear of the system being hacked as much as the number of people who will have access to it.

For the system to be of any value every doctors office, laboratory, clinic, and hospital in America will have access. That means every health care worker has access and no system with that many people can be secured.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How to Escape From a Black Hole

Written by Nancy Atkinson

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. And in the 1970's physicist Stephen Hawking asserted that any information sucked inside a black hole would be permanently lost. But now, researchers at Penn State have shown that information can be recovered from black holes.

A fundamental part of quantum physics is that information cannot be lost, so Hawking's claim has been debated. His idea was generally accepted by physicists until the late 1990s, when many began to doubt the assertion. Even Hawking himself renounced the idea in 2004. Yet no one, until now, has been able to provide a plausible mechanism for how information might escape from a black hole. A team of physicists led by Abhay Ashtekar, say their findings expand space-time beyond its assumed size, providing room for information to reappear.

Ashtekar used an analogy from Alice in Wonderland: "When the Cheshire cat disappears, his grin remains," he said. "We used to think it was the same way with black holes. Hawking's analysis suggested that at the end of a black hole's life, even after it has completely evaporated away, a singularity, or a final edge to space-time, is left behind, and this singularity serves as a sink for unrecoverable information."

But the Penn State team suggest that singularities do not exist in the real world. "Information only appears to be lost because we have been looking at a restricted part of the true quantum-mechanical space-time," said Ashtekar. "Once you consider quantum gravity, then space-time becomes much larger and there is room for information to reappear in the distant future on the other side of what was first thought to be the end of space-time."

According to Ashtekar, space-time is not a continuum as physicists once believed. Instead, it is made up of individual building blocks, just as a piece of fabric, though it appears to be continuous, is made up of individual threads. "Once we realized that the notion of space-time as a continuum is only an approximation of reality, it became clear to us that singularities are merely artifacts of our insistence that space-time should be described as a continuum."

To conduct their studies, the team used a two-dimensional model of black holes to investigate the quantum nature of real black holes, which exist in four dimensions. That's because two-dimensional systems are simpler to study mathematically. But because of the close similarities between two-dimensional black holes and spherical four-dimensional black holes, the team believes that this approach is a general mechanism that can be applied in four dimensions. The group now is pursuing methods for directly studying four-dimensional black holes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Green Gadgets


Don Willmott , Forecast Earth Correspondent

There's nothing like a room full of smart people to get tough problems solved faster. On Friday, February 1, hundreds of green thinkers will assemble in New York at the Greener Gadgets Conference to hash out issues of design, resource consumption, and recycling. Representatives from big electronics manufacturers such as Nokia, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard will be on hand to explain—and perhaps defend—their e-initiatives, and a mix of scientists, marketers, and designers will all weigh in with their thoughts. It should be fascinating.

Note that the keynote speaker will be Chris Jordan, a noted photographer who has gained fame for his astonishing large-scale images of mountains of e-waste, everything from cell phones to shipping containers. Click through his slide show, and you'll be humbled. As he puts it, "The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits. As an American consumer myself, I am in no position to finger wag; but I do know that when we reflect on a difficult question in the absence of an answer, our attention can turn inward, and in that space may exist the possibility of some evolution of thought or action. So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake." Wow.

Also on hand at the conference will be ReCellluar, who will be standing by to collect old cell phones for recycling. Visit their site for a quick ZIP Code-based way to search for a cell phone donation/recycling site near you. After looking at Jordan's photos, you'll definitely be motivated to clear out that junk drawer.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Searching for Videos on Skype?

Robert McMillan, IDG News Service Fri Jan 18, 9:10 AM ET

A programming error in eBay's Skype communications software could give cyber-criminals a new way to sneak their malicious software onto a victim's PC.

The flaw, which was reported Thursday by security researcher Aviv Raff, has to do with the way that Skype makes use of a Windows Internet Explorer component to render HTML. Because Skype does not apply strict security controls to the software, an attacker could run scripting code on the victim's system in a dangerous fashion and ultimately install malicious software.
The problem is that Skype runs the IE component with the less locked-down "Local Zone" security setting. Because of this attackers are able to do "all sorts of things... [such as] reading/writing files from the local disc and launching executables," wrote security researcher Petko Petkov, in a Thursday blog post about the issue.

For an attack to work, the bad guys would first need to find a trustworthy Web site that contained a common programming flaw called a cross-zone scripting error. This bug would give them a way to trick Skype into running their malicious script as if it came from a trusted Web site.

In a video posted to his blog, Raff showed how a cross-zone scripting flaw on the Web site could be exploited to launch the calculator program in Windows, using Skype's "Add video to chat" feature.

"The user simply needs to visit DailyMotion via Skype's 'Add video to chat' button and stumble upon a move which contains the cross-site scripting vector," Petkov wrote.
Worse, attackers could flood the site with maliciously encoded advertisements in order to boost their likelihood of infecting a victim, he said. "This type of attack is very easy to pull and it requires almost zero preparation."

The flaw affects the latest version of Skype-- version Raff said. Older versions of the software may also be at risk. "Until the Skype guys fix this vulnerability, I recommend that you stop searching for videos in Skype," he wrote.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Steve Jobs

Jobs Airs Apple's Plans in Macworld Keynote

By Paul HartsockMacNewsWorld Part of the ECT News Network 01/15/08 8:05 AM PT
As Macworld 2008 got under way, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced an iTunes movie rental store, as expected. The rollout will take time, though. Apple plans to have 1,000 movies available for rental by February, but studios insisted that titles may not appear in iTunes until 30 days after they're released on DVD.
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As throngs of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) devotees crowded the Moscone Center in San Francisco and even more remained waiting in line outside, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to tell a packed room about the computer maker's plans for following up what was a tremendous year for the company.
2008 will usher in an ultra-portable MacBook, which the company has dubbed the "MacBook Air."
Its 13.3-inch display -- the same size as the display on a standard MacBook -- doesn't stand out as considerably tiny, though that configuration allows it to have a full-sized keyboard, according to Jobs.

Light on Toxins

Apple apparently concentrated instead on a slim device profile: It weighs just 3 lbs. and measures .76 inches at its widest and .16 inches at its thinnest. One model uses the same 1.8-inch hard drive as the iPod classic; another more costly model is available with 64 GB of flash memory. The track pad supports some of the same multi-touch capabilities touted by the iPhone. The device, Jobs said, ships in two weeks and starts at US$1,799.
Jobs also talked up the MacBook Air's environmental friendliness, noting that the display is free of mercury and arsenic.
Also on Apple's list of new hardware is Time Capsule, a complement to the Time Machine data backup feature found in OS X Leopard. Time Capsule is a wireless hard drive available in 1 TB and 500 GB configurations that can be accessed and updated wirelessly. It doubles as an 802.11 WiFi base station.
The 500 GB version sells for $299, while the 1 TB model goes for $499. Both ship in February.
Movie and TV Moves
Apple's media delivery strategy entails a push into new outlets. At the keynote, Jobs announced an iTunes movie rental store, as expected.
However, the number of studios involved in the deal extended well beyond most rumors. Jobs claimed every major studio has signed on to some degree -- including MGM, Lion's Gate, Sony and even Universal. As reported earlier, 20th Century Fox is also on board. Movies rented through the service can be ported to iPods and iPhones.
The rollout will take time -- Apple plans to have 1,000 movies available for rental by February, but studios insisted that titles may not appear in iTunes until 30 days after they're released on DVD.
Apple TV also received a significant refresh through a software update that will apparently allow owners to use the device without a Mac or PC. Content can be browsed and selected using a Cover Flow interface directly through the television. Apple TV also cut the price to $229.
iPhone Bones
As for the iPhone, Jobs started by claiming it has captured a 19.5 percent share of the smartphone market, second only to Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) . In 200 days, he said, 4 million iPhones have been sold.
A new iPhone is not in the cards for Macworld, but Apple has thrown existing users a few bones by way of software.
New software available for the devices includes a maps feature, developed in conjunction with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Skyhook, that indicates the user's approximate location. The offering is similar to a Google Maps feature that's been available for users of other smartphones since 2007.
iPhone users may now customize their home screens to display images other than the standard multi-button interface that comes with each new iPhone.
New applications are in the works for the WiFi-enabled iPod touch, including mail, maps, stocks, notes and weather applications. The software will come included in every new touch sold; however, current owners of the devices will have to pay $20 for it.
All new updates, Jobs said, are available immediately through iTunes.
A Little Less Wow
"The usual wow," summarized attendant Dan Sokol. "That Air notebook, I've got to get inside. The backup device, not so wow. A little expensive and not enough hard drive for me. For other people, I'm sure it will be fine," he told MacNewsWorld.
"There were a couple of good surprises. The rental movies -- we'll see how that goes."
Sokol thinks the amount of time one can keep a movie once it's started viewing, however, should be longer -- a weekend, perhaps.
However, he noted, this year's keynote did not quite live up to 2007's. "You can't follow an act like this one," he remarked, holding up his iPhone.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kansas ewaste

Kansas begins program to better dispose of electronic waste
By: Brie Handgraaf

With a quick turnover on modern technology, landfill operators find it difficult to properly process electronic waste."There are many materials in electronic goods that are hazardous, such as lead and mercury," said Rebecca Clark, senior in biology.Clark is president of Students for Environmental Action at K-State. "Keeping these hazardous substances out of our landfills is good for both the environment and for human health," she said.As part of a new program, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will use grant money to set up e-waste collection centers across the state."Overall, KDHE and other elected state officials want to promote the recycling of e-waste rather than dispose of it in landfills," said Bill Bider, director of the KDHE's Bureau of Waste Management. "KDHE hopes that the state-sponsored collection centers will complement and further stimulate the growing private sector that processes e-waste into marketable materials."Recycling is a growing business with strict regulations."E-waste management is important to maintain the environment and public health," said Rebecca Roth, senior in anthropology. "I hope that appropriate recycling measures are taken so the chemicals don't make it into the water supply."Through the new e-waste program, recycling centers must obtain permits to process electronic waste."The requirement to obtain solid-waste-processing facility permits will lessen impacts as well by ensuring that workers safely handle e-waste and prevent releases of hazardous constituents to nearby populations," Bider said. "Permits also require financial assurance, which means the taxpayers of Kansas would not be financially responsible to dispose of or recycling e-waste that might be abandoned at these facilities."Bider said convenient recycling centers would decrease the chances of improper dumping and lessen the risks for environmental contamination."By safely recycling e-waste, we are directly affecting our air and water quality both in a local and global level," Clark said. "If all of Manhattan properly disposes of e-waste then we reduce the hazards of local groundwater contamination as well as the need to mine these materials in other areas around the world."For more information, go to or

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