Showing posts with label san onofre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san onofre. Show all posts

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, November 21, 2008

Phone Makers Monitor Charger Energy Consumption


Mobile manufacturers launch star rating system comparing the energy consumption of chargers


November 19, 2008 - Espoo, Finland - A group of mobile manufacturers has launched a common energy rating system for chargers, making it easier for consumers to compare and choose the one that saves the most energy. The star rating system developed and supported by LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson is one of a series of measures being taken by the industry to reduce the environmental footprint of its products.

Many consumers are unaware that chargers consume electricity when disconnected from the phone but left plugged into the wall socket. Around two thirds of the energy used by mobile devices is wasted in this way. Manufacturers are addressing this by continually improving the efficiency of their chargers and in making it easier for consumers to pick the ones using the least energy.

The new rating system indicates how much energy each charger uses when left plugged into the wall socket after charging is completed. The ratings covers all chargers currently sold by the five companies, and range from five stars for the most efficient chargers down to zero stars for the ones consuming the most energy. If the more than three billion people owning mobile devices today switched to a four or five star charger, this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium sized power plants.

People will be able to visit the websites of each manufacturer to view and compare the results for every charger. The ratings are based on the European Commission's energy standards for chargers and the internationally recognized Energy Star standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. The ratings will be reviewed regularly and developed further in order to drive constant improvement.

Many of the manufacturers are also working on other ways to reduce energy consumption. Most major producers have begun introducing visual alerts into their devices to remind people to unplug the charger from the mains when the battery is fully charged.

The group of manufacturers was initially created as part of a European Commission Integrated Product Policy pilot project looking at how different industries could reduce the environmental impact of their products and inform consumers of better choices. Nokia proposed the mobile phone sector to the Commission and was joined by a number of manufacturers, operators and others in the industry.

Phone Makers Monitor Charger Energy Consumption

Mobile manufacturers launch star rating system comparing the energy consumption of chargers


November 19, 2008 - Espoo, Finland - A group of mobile manufacturers has launched a common energy rating system for chargers, making it easier for consumers to compare and choose the one that saves the most energy. The star rating system developed and supported by LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson is one of a series of measures being taken by the industry to reduce the environmental footprint of its products.

Many consumers are unaware that chargers consume electricity when disconnected from the phone but left plugged into the wall socket. Around two thirds of the energy used by mobile devices is wasted in this way. Manufacturers are addressing this by continually improving the efficiency of their chargers and in making it easier for consumers to pick the ones using the least energy.

The new rating system indicates how much energy each charger uses when left plugged into the wall socket after charging is completed. The ratings covers all chargers currently sold by the five companies, and range from five stars for the most efficient chargers down to zero stars for the ones consuming the most energy. If the more than three billion people owning mobile devices today switched to a four or five star charger, this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium sized power plants.

People will be able to visit the websites of each manufacturer to view and compare the results for every charger. The ratings are based on the European Commission's energy standards for chargers and the internationally recognized Energy Star standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. The ratings will be reviewed regularly and developed further in order to drive constant improvement.

Many of the manufacturers are also working on other ways to reduce energy consumption. Most major producers have begun introducing visual alerts into their devices to remind people to unplug the charger from the mains when the battery is fully charged.

The group of manufacturers was initially created as part of a European Commission Integrated Product Policy pilot project looking at how different industries could reduce the environmental impact of their products and inform consumers of better choices. Nokia proposed the mobile phone sector to the Commission and was joined by a number of manufacturers, operators and others in the industry.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Proper Disposal and Recycling of E-Waste

by Justin K. Holcombe



Used electronic devices, known as e-waste, are increasingly becoming a larger part of our waste. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to those who want to recycle their old electronic items.

To address the increasing amount of e-waste, many state and local governments, electronics manufacturers, and non-profit organizations have created comprehensive recycling programs. Several states, including California, Maine, Maryland, Texas and Washington, have even enacted laws requiring the collection of certain electronics.

E-waste recycling options vary across the country. So, the first step to determine what options are available in your area is to review information about your local recycling program. This information is available on Earth 911 (using the recycling locator database at the top of this page), some local government websites and the following websites:

E.P.A. Product Stewartship
National Recycling Coalition
E Recycling Central (includes a list of questions to ask recyclers)
Basel Action Network
Computer Take Back Campaign
In addition to “traditional” recycling programs, some electronics manufacturers and retailers also offer e-waste recycling. Many manufacturer-sponsored programs will accept and process their brand for free. Some accept other brands for a small fee.

After determining what options are available, it is important to determine whether a recycler is operating under strict environmental controls and high worker safety protections. A few general questions to ask include:

Is the recycler certified (such as an ISO 14001 environmental management certification) and does it follow a set of industry recognized guidelines?
Does the recycler actually recycle most of the e-waste materials collected (It is best if the company can recycle 90 percent or more of the materials)?
Does the recycler have written procedures for removing and disposing of mercury lamps in electronic products? Many manufacturer and government sponsored programs have extensive online information detailing the way in which recycling is handled.
In addition to choosing a recycler, it is also important to prepare your e-waste for recycling. For computer recycling, one important concern is to erase all data from the computer before sending it off for recycling.

However, this should be a factor regardless of what one does with an old computer because electronic data can be retrieved from hard drives. There are many options (such as software) to ensure that the data is permanently erased.

In fact, many recycling firms will scrub the hard drive and certify that all data has been erased. Before sending your computer to a recycler, check to verify that this option is available.

Manufacturer Specific Programs
Apple
Dell
Hewlett-Packard
Acer
Toshiba Trade-In and Recycling Program
Gateway
Lenovo/IBM (will also accept other e-waste of other computer manufacturers)
Sony
Panasonic
Epson
Retailer Programs
Circuit City (Easy-trade in program)
Best Buy
Staples (accepts computers, monitors, laptops, and desktop printers, faxes and all-in-ones)
EPA Plug-In Partners (lists manufacturers, retailers and service providers that offer recycling of e-waste)
Donation
EPA–lists options for donating or recycling e-waste
Techsoup–lists non-profit organizations and recyclers of e-waste
Goodwill (some locations accept computers)–website includes tips on how to donate computers
Cell Phone Recycling/Donation
Motorola (accepts all brands for free)
Nokia (accepts all brands for free)
Call to Recycle
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (donation of cell phones)
Call to Protect
Verizon Wireless (accepts phones at Verizon stores)
AT&T Wireless (accepts phones at AT&T stores)
T-Mobile Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail)
Sprint Wireless (accepts phones in stores and by mail; recycling proceeds go to charity)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tape Rotation

Offsite Tape Storage and Tape Rotation

If a disaster strikes is your company's data safe? Do you store all of your data in one location? How long would it take you to recover and get back to business? A media vault or tape vault service helps protect your data in the event that disaster strikes.
Off-site tape storage vaults are climate controlled locations with very strict tolerances for temperature and humidity to prolong the life of the tape. These locations also have the fire protection and physical security you expect with any off-site storage facility.

Our uniformed security professionals pickup your backup tapes on a regular schedule to minimize lost data. They will also bring an old one to be used again. The tapes are scanned for tracking and to document their location on each step of the process. Tapes are then transported in a secure vehicles to our media vault facility. This tape rotation assures you of having a recent copy of your data.

In the event that your tape is needed anytime day or night, simply notify us and we will deliver the tape to your disaster recovery location.

Record Nations makes finding the right tape rotation service easy. We get you up to four competitive quotes with one simple request.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Digital Trash

AMERICANS WILL THROW OUT more than 12 million tons of electronic equipment next year according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., estimates. Without programs to recycle this electronic waste (e-waste), the old computers, televisions, cell phones, and other devices made of plastic, metal, glass and toxic chemicals will begin to choke the nation's landfills.

To prevent this problem, the EPA has conducted several electronics recycling (e-cycling) pilot programs in conjunction with local governments and retailers. The lessons learned from these pilots can aid in establishing permanent e-cycling programs nationwide.

The first EPA pilot tested the effectiveness of curbside collection and drop-off e-waste locations in Mid-Atlantic states between Oct. 1, 2001, and Dec. 30, 2002. Pilot participants included the EPA's Philadelphia office; environmental agencies from several states and the District of Columbia; local solid waste departments; electronics manufacturers; electronic recycling companies; and private waste management companies.

The participants shared the e-cycling program's $1.9 million price tag, with the largest share — $1.4 million — falling on state environmental agencies and local governments. “This was the first time we came up with a system of shared financial responsibilities to pay for, collect and deliver recyclable electronics,” says Claudette Reed, a scientist in the waste and chemicals management division of the EPA's Philadelphia office.

By sharing the burden of managing e-cycling programs, the EPA hopes the cost of hosting such programs will be viewed as reasonable by all groups involved.

According to the pilot's final report, the undertaking also yielded five lessons. First, aggressive advertising is critical to the success of an e-cycling program. In the pilot, local governments targeted advertisements at residents using television, newspapers, Web sites, flyers, posters and utility bill stuffers. During the 15-month pilot, the Delaware Solid Waste Authority alone spent $40,000 on advertising.

The pilot also taught the EPA that residents are generally willing to pay small end-of-life fees in the range of $2 to $5 to help pay for e-cycling.

The EPA also learned that permanent collection programs are more cost-effective than single-day collection events.

Additionally, a pilot program can serve as a catalyst for local governments to create permanent e-cycling programs. For example, the success of the pilot led officials in Lebanon County, Pa., to establish a permanent curbside electronics collection program. In Frederick County, Va., a successful drop-off event has led to plans for a series of e-cycling events.

Finally, the pilot confirmed that a high volume of residential and small-business electronic devices is available for collection and recycling.

Another EPA pilot begun in the Pacific Northwest now is operating nationally, thanks to Del Ray Beach, Fla.-based Office Depot and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) based in Palo Alto, Calif. In this pilot, Office Depot agreed to take back old electronics through its national store network. HP then joined the program to see how it might contribute to current company recycling efforts, which break down old products for reuse.

While results have not yet been reported for this pilot, Katharine Osdoba, product stewardship team leader for the EPA, notes two points of interest. To date, recyclers have not found ways to make e-cycling profitable. If manufacturers can receive the materials directly and reuse them to manufacture new products, the economics may work better, she says. The EPA also is hoping that manufacturers interested in recycled electronic materials will begin working on green product designs to reduce toxic materials and make recycling easier.

In a third pilot, the EPA is exploring whether retailers are practical collection points for e-cycling. The EPA, office product retailer Staples, based in Framingham, Mass., and the nonprofit Product Stewardship Institute operated the program. In this pilot, consumers returned used electronics to Staples, which transported the materials to central warehouses for pickup by recyclers. “Finding ways to move materials to a point where recyclers can pick [them] up in bulk has been a problem,” Osdoba says. “We're waiting for data on the pilot to see whether this approach might work.”

In the meantime, California and Maine have decided not to wait for pilot results and passed legislation governing e-waste. The California legislation mirrors existing state legislation for recycling tires, batteries and other difficult-to-recycle products. In California, consumers purchasing electronics products will pay recycling fees to retailers at the point of purchase. The fees will go to state environmental regulatory agencies, which in turn fund recycling programs and enforcement.

Maine's legislation takes a different tack. It will begin as a traditional state-funded recycling program. However, within a few years, the program will be funded by manufacturers instead of the state. “This is consistent with programs in Europe and Japan,” says Kevin McCarthy, vice president of government affairs with Houston-based Waste Management Inc.

Today, the search for e-waste solutions is just a few years old. It began when the EPA formed the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative (NEPSI) in 2001. Members include electronics manufacturers, retailers, recyclers, and state and local governments.

NEPSI aims to develop ways to collect, reuse and recycle used electronics, and to suggest incentives to stimulate source-reduction, reuse, recycle, reduce toxicity and increase recycled content in product design. Additionally, the organization has attempted to discuss financing mechanisms for e-cycling, but this has been a contentious issue.

Nevertheless, NEPSI discussions and pilot programs similar to those conducted by the EPA are characteristic of the development of national regulatory programs, Osdoba says. As groups and pilot programs define options, states will draw on that information to develop legislation. After several states have weighed-in on the issue, the federal government likely will develop national legislation defining minimum e-cycling standards, using the most sensible state programs as a benchmark. With federal legislation in place, states then will be able to enforce or raise the minimum standards to suit their needs, she says.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Waste Management

Waste managers want to combine software systems to automate tasks, increase productivity and overcome problems.


As a scale supervisor for transfer stations operated by Helena, Mont., Kathy Goroski wants a single software application that will handle scale transactions, collections and routing. For years, she's had no luck.

Why, she asks, isn't there a software application that automates all of the information tasks associated with a solid waste management operation — from collection through disposal? Today, her vendors are working out the final details of an integration project that will automate many of those tasks by enabling different software systems to talk to each other.

Waste operation managers across the country are demanding a connection of systems to automate expensive, time-consuming manual tasks. They want the various software applications at work in their organizations to combine forces, swap data and solve costly productivity problems.

Integration in Helena

In Helena, Kathy Goroski's transfer station scales process solid waste for 60,000 residential, commercial and roll-off customers. For years, the facility has used Wilmington, N.C.-based Carolina Software Inc.'s WasteWORKS to automate and record scale house transactions.
Not long ago, the city purchased RAMS-Pro, an application developed by Alpine Technology Corp., Colorado Springs, Colo., to handle route management, billing and other administrative functions. The product provides an automated route manager that re-balances service routes. It also smoothes the wrinkles that solid waste billing systems confront, such as managing letters to customers and handling spreadsheets that tabulate sales quotes.

The system also integrates related tasks. If, for example, a receptionist transfers a phone call to customer service, the account automatically appears on the representative's screen. In addition, the program checks container inventories and generates work orders to have containers delivered. But the system doesn't have scale-house capabilities, Goroski says.

“One day Kathy asked me: ‘Can RAMS-Pro talk to WasteWORKS?’” recalls Jon Leeds, a vice president of Carolina Software. “We talked with Alpine and discovered that we had similar philosophies about data integration and decided we could make it work for Helena.”
Leeds says local governments, haulers and disposal facilities would all benefit from considering how they would like to manipulate information and then working to create partnerships between suppliers rather than purchasing packages and discovering that the two systems can't be made to talk to each other.

While Goroski awaits the integrated software, she is making plans to mine and organize data in ways not possible without the integration. For instance, she wants to evaluate the city's solid waste programs and pricing. Helena residents pay $161 per year for solid waste services, entitling them to once-a-week pickup of a 90-gallon container (additional containers are covered under a pay-as-you-throw program), bulk waste pick-ups and a permit to self-haul two tons of solid waste to the landfill.

“In the past, we have not been able to track how many residents use the bulk-hauling service and the landfill permit,” Goroski says. With the software integration, “I'll be able to track tonnage brought in on permit and bulk orders and determine how often customers use those services.”

“It's possible that a large percentage of our residents use just the weekly collection and never call the bulk truck or use the landfill permit,” she adds. “If that's true, it might be possible to lower residential rates by $40 per year by doing away with the landfill permits. If just a few people use the permits and bulk pick-ups, then we shouldn't charge everyone for those services.”

The integration also will enhance billing services for commercial, roll-off and landfill customers alike. Right now, the city's Solid Waste Department piggybacks on the city's water bills, a system that has worked poorly. Property owners traditionally pay water bills, while tenants pay for waste collection, so the city is, in some cases, sending bills to the wrong person, Goroski notes.
In addition, since there is no room to provide service details, the city can't justify fees on the invoices. As a result, customers call and ask for details. Roll-off customers, for instance, want to know the daily charge, the number of hauls and the tonnage. “We have the details, but we can't put them on the bills,” Goroski says. “So, someone has to take the time to look up the information and provide it to customers.”

The new system will provide two-sided paper bills with details about both collection and transfer station services made possible by the integration. After the integration, Helena also will provide customers with online billing services.

Efficiency in Sacramento Co.

In Sacramento County, Calif., a private contractor processes the county's single-stream recycling collections. The county wants a weekly report from the contractor summarizing the tonnages collected. Up until last year, the contractor exported the data to an Excel file using its own scale-house software. Then, county personnel entered the data by hand into the county's WasteWORKS scale-house software.

Now, the two systems communicate to automatically enter the information into the county's program, says Doug Kobold, program manager for the county's Department of Waste Management and Recycling.

Kobold is planning another system integration. On the collection side, the county uses Routesmart from Columbia, Md.-based Routesmart Technologies Inc. to optimize routes. “It would be great to use information from the scale-house system to give [the routing system] a way to balance routes based on tonnage as well as on a map,” he says.

Kobold also has a small consulting business and is working with a hauling company that wants two of its systems to talk to each other about the commercial and roll-off sides of the business. One system is a routing software package with a billing component. When a truck makes a pick-up, the pick-up is entered in the billing module as a transaction. The second system is the scale-house system that tracks tonnage at disposal sites.

Sometimes, the billing module in the routing system needs tonnage information from the scale-house system to complete its billing work. For example, roll-offs that dispose of more than four tons generate an extra charge. Right now, tonnage data for disposal transactions must be keyed into the routing system.

Kobold's plan is to set up both the routing system and the scale-house system to export relevant data, which a spreadsheet can then combine and make available to the billing system as needed. “Another goal is to get the reporting to a level acceptable to regulators,” Kobold says. “This will require procedures that will send certain tonnage information to one system for reporting purposes and certain tonnage information to the billing system. Tonnages used by the billing system, however, will not be used for reporting.”

Automating Analyses

Last year, Hillsboro Garbage Disposal Inc. in Hillsboro, Ore., converted to PC Scales' Tower 6.0 routing, billing and accounting software. One of the first projects Information Technology Director Jason Barnes set for himself was to use the system's reporting capability to evaluate route profitability. However, the only way to get relevant real time route data from another system into the software was to enter it by hand. “We didn't want to get caught up in mass data entry that can occur when using incompatible software applications,” Barnes says.

So, Barnes integrated Tower 6.0 with the Routeware Back Office software, which works in conjunction with Routeware's on-board computer system. “The on-boards give us the actual time of service we need to evaluate route profitability and efficiency,” he says. “Additionally, we can analyze profitability at the individual customer level using drive time to location, time spent servicing containers and time spent traveling to the next customer.”

The integration has made it possible for data to move back and forth between the two systems. As a result, Hillsboro can view the data using reporting features from either application. “This eliminates the need to manually import and export data between the two applications,” Barnes says.

Helena's Goroski probably won't get her wish of one all-encompassing solid waste software capable of operating on an enterprise level. The market seems too small to support such an undertaking. Still, vendors across the industry are talking to customers about integrating their products with others. To facilitate those integrations, many software application packages are becoming less proprietary and more capable of combining forces.

Michael Fickes is a Westminster, Md.-based contributing writer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Toll Road

By: Kyle Moreno
February 6, 2008

It's been a week for the record books. Super Bowl Sunday rolled into Super Tuesday and finally, Big Wednesday. Anticipating a super-sized turnout at the mid-week critical toll road hearing, the California Coastal Commission traded in the usual Oceanside City Council Chamber for a XXL lot at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Good idea. People came out in droves. At the highest point, an estimated 2,500 Save Trestles supporters swarmed in and around the centrally located Wyland Hall, flanked with slogan-riddled t-shirts and rally signs.

"It's great to see," said former world champ Pete Townend, who mingled with the crowd. "These are the real people who recognize San Onfore State Park's true value in their lives, not a bunch of paid sign holders in orange shirts who look like they've never seen the beach."

Townend was referring the significantly smaller showing of road workers who supported the 241-extension.Current WCT Pro CJ Hobgood echoed similar sentiments: "I'm really honored to be a part of the surfing family. Now, just waiting to see if this nuts presence will yield some results."It did. Just after 11pm Pacific Time, after 14 hours of presentations from members of Save Trestles campaign, the TCA, and personal testimonies from public, the Commission voted 8 - 2 against the proposed 241 Toll Road extension, stating its inconsistency with the California Coastal Act.The packed-house erupted in cheers."Huge," said Carlsbad's Taylor Knox after the decision. "This was such a huge victory towards saving something that, once it's taken away from us, can never be put back."

"This was such a huge victory towards saving something that, once it's taken away from us, can never be put back."

--Taylor KnoxSanta Monica's Graham Hamilton drew cheers earlier in the night when he used his public testimony to reject suggestions that the surfers simply want to guard their local territory from inlanders: "My opposition would be just as sharp if it crossed Yosemite or bisected Joshua Tree. The idea of building a toll road through a state park is not only ludicrous, it's lazy."The 16-mile road, if approved, would run through San Onofre, threatening scenic views, endangered species, and a world-class break.Thomas E. Margro, the TCA's chief executive officer, said he will appeal the commission's decision to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

For now, though, the surf-spot's defenders can breathe a little easier."The war isn't over," wrote longtime Trestles supporter Bob Mignogna in a Thursday morning email to fellow activists. "But clearly, the biggest battle, thus far, has been won."

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