California’s Recycling Program is a Success!

In a recent article Tom Knudson of the The Sacramento Bee wrote about the failure of the California Monitor Recycling Program.  You can view the article at :

Fresno Bee Article Link, Click Here

There are a couple of core problems with Mr. Knudson’s article.  Obviously we are all aware of modern reporting techniques to get the most shock value, and I understand Mr. Knudson’s motivation for writing the article in that manner, but some of the information is missing.

Here are the key mistakes in his article.

1)  The electronics recycling fee:  Everyone who purchases a new monitor, TV, or other device that is part of the California recycling program is charged up to $25 PER UNIT purchased.  Just think of all the people who have purchased a device in California only to take it overseas or out of state.  The percentage of these purchases HAS TO out weigh the fraud estimated in the recycling program.   The state and recyclers are working very hard to make sure that collectors stay honest.

2)  Historical purchases in California:  Since the dawn of the TV, exactly how many televisions have been resold to out of state companies or individuals as a “Used TV”?  California is a huge marketplace for both new and used products.  California is STILL exporting thousands of tons of used TV’s and monitors that are being re-used around the planet.  Re-use is part of the recycling triangle.

3)  Californian’s moving out of state:  If you visit Oregon or Washington State, you will find almost as many California natives as you will Oregonians or Washingtonians.  How many millions of TV’s and monitors have moved with the Californians as they took jobs or retired in other states?

When it comes right down to it, recycling works if there is a cash flow and business that promotes the proper handling of materials.  If we did not have the best recycling program in the nation, we would probably be seeing televisions and monitors on every street, in every alley and in every river, creek or culvert.  Mr. Knudson’s article was simply an attempt to gain readership and not a true and accurate accounting of the California recycling program for monitors.

If you need immediate proof of why the California Monitor Recycling Program WORKS, call any recycling company in any other state and ask them if they will recycle your monitor.  Don’t be surprised when they tell you that they will charge you $20 or $30 to recycle your monitor.  That is why most of the monitors in other states are going directly to landfills where the toxins can leach into the water table.  ONLY California has had the courage, insight and intelligence to create a recycling program that WORKS.  Any article about a few million dollars in fraudulent recycling claims is not seeing the big picture.  California should be very proud of its willingness to take problems like monitor recycling head on instead of burying their heads in the sand like other states.

If you want to learn more about the program instead of just reading hype about what is not perfect about the program go to the following pages:

State information on the monitor recycling fee when purchasing a new device.

The California Initiative that handles the problem of toxic waste.

Best practice for handling CRT monitors.

So before you start complaining to your the state, take a closer look.  This program works better than anyone had imagined.  We are handling our own waste responsibly and we should be proud of it.  Don’t take the word of a reporter who is looking to shock the world.  Research for yourself and understand the truth about the success of our state’s ingenious program.

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California e-waste program a model gone wrong

It seemed a perfect symmetry: California, the world’s high-tech capital, would lead the way in recycling the debris of our digital revolution.

But five years after its launch, the state government-run electronic waste program stands out not as a model of the green innovation for which California is famous but as an example of good intentions gone awry.

By paying more than $320 million to collect and recycle computer monitors and televisions, the state has built a magnet for fraud totaling tens of millions of dollars, including illegal material smuggled in from out of state.

“I don’t think anybody could have forecast the greed that has poisoned the program,” said Bob Erie, chief executive officer of E-World Recyclers north of San Diego and once an enthusiastic supporter of the state effort.

None of the many states that followed California took on e-waste recycling as a government program; instead they made industry responsible for its own waste.

California officials have long been aware of the problems with their approach, too; they met with recycling industry officials two years ago at a private club in Los Angeles to discuss solutions, including whether the state should be in the e-waste business at all.

But nothing has changed. Instead, The Bee found:

— Recyclers and collectors have submitted $23 million in faulty and fraudulent e-waste claims that have been rejected by the state. But state and industry officials estimate that other ineligible claims, totaling as much as $30 million, may have inadvertently been paid.

— More than two dozen e-waste firms have been investigated for fraud by the state Department of Toxic Substances Control over the past two years, but none has been fined or prosecuted.

— Even though California officials know that illegal e-waste is flowing into the state — and acknowledge that public funds are being wasted recycling some of it — no state official has traveled out of state to investigate.

Setback: BP cap in limbo over gov’t questions

NEW ORLEANS – BP’s work on capping the Gulf of Mexico gusher was frozen Wednesday after the federal government raised concerns the operation could put damaging pressure on the busted well that could make the leak worse.

An administration official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the talks with BP, said the government was acting out of “abundance of caution” and didn’t want potentially dangerous pressure tests on a tighter containment cap that has been placed over the well to go ahead until BP answers questions about possible risks.

At the same time, BP on its own halted the drilling of two relief wells that are designed to be a more permanent solution to plug the well.

The delays were a stunning setback after the oil giant finally seemed to be on track following nearly three months of failed attempts to stop the spill, which has sullied beaches from Florida to Texas and decimated the multibillion dollar fishing industry.

The administration official said Energy Secretary Steven Chu, U.S. Geological Survey chief Marcia McNutt and other government scientists met with BP Tuesday in Houston and had a number of questions about the plan to test the integrity of the well. Chu and other officials want to ensure that putting downward pressure on the well will not cause further leaks, the official said.

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Update on Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill – 05 July

BP today provided an update on developments in the response to the MC252 oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico.

Subsea Source Control and Containment

Two containment systems continue to collect oil and gas flowing from the Deepwater Horizon’s failed blow-out preventer (BOP) and transport them to vessels on the surface.

The lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap, installed on June 3, takes oil and gas to the Discoverer Enterprise where oil is collected and gas flared. The second system, which began operations on June 16, takes oil and gas to the Q4000 vessel on the surface where both oil and gas are flared.

On July 3, a total of approximately 25,198 barrels of oil were collected or flared by the two systems and 57.0 million cubic feet of gas were flared. Specifically, the LMRP containment system connected to the Discoverer Enterprise collected 17,022 barrels of oil, and the Q4000 flared an additional 8,176 barrels of oil. To date, the total volume of oil collected or flared by the containment systems is approximately 585,400 barrels. Information on the volumes of oil and gas that are collected or flared is updated twice daily on BP’s website, www.bp.com.

8 Ways Gadgets Have Gone Green

8 Ways Gadgets Have Gone Green

 

Flash back to 1989: Did we ever imagine a world in which we carried in our pockets palm-sized devices that connected us to everything from our friends to the Internet super-highway?

The technology of twenty years ago has evolved into sleek, ingenious, energy-efficient machines today. But electronics’ functions and design aren’t the only things that have changed. Today our ever-changing vernacular and familiarity with technology are commonplace; “tweeting” is a commonly used verb, and computer keyboards are as familiar as the back of our hands. Technology is no longer entertainment – it’s an essential.

But now the electronics industry is moving into a new direction that’s coated with an eco-friendly lining. “Green” is the new buzzword, and technology is doing everything to grab a piece of the pie. Here are eight ways our favorite gadgets have gone green:

Photo: Flickr/alongfortheride

Remember these clunkers? Today’s TVs are energy efficient, serious space-savers. Photo: Flickr/alongfortheride

1. Recycled Materials Are Abundant

You may not realize how many virgin materials are required to manufacture your PDA. According to the EPA, “cell phones are made from valuable resources such as precious metals, copper and plastics – all of which require energy to extract and manufacture.”

Samsung’s Reclaim is the first cell phone in the U.S. to be made in part from bioplastic, a material that’s uncommon in the electronics industry. Released in August, the phone is made from 80 percent recyclable materials. The corn-based bioplastic makes up 40 percent of the outer casing, and is PVC-free.

Recycled materials aren’t just for cell phones. Canon recently released a line of calculators made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.

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8 Ways to Green 4th of July

8 Ways to Green 4th of July

 

The Fourth of July is right around the corner! Summer’s hottest holiday will no doubt call for backyard barbecuing, fireworks and maybe even a dip in the pool.

Here’s how to throw a little green into your mix of red, white and blue.

1. Ditch the disposable party ware

They’re popular and easy. Disposable plates, cups and utensils are convenient for parties with a lot of guests. The down side, they’re not so convenient for the environment.

To avoid this, do your best to use normal tableware that can just be washed and reused. If you must go the disposable route, clean them up (they’re often washable) and use them at your next big gathering.

We also love the “bring your own plate” theme. The hodgepodge of different dishes can serve as talking points at your party. An added bonus: Turn it into a dish swap. Bring your own dish and leave with a different plate for your collection.

The same idea works for glassware. Instead of charging a “keg fee,” a party-goer’s ticket is his or her own glass.

2. Get outside!

The best way to reduce your party’s footprint is to calculate its energy usage. The No. 1 way to avoid added costs to your electric bill is to utilize the outdoors – perfect lighting, temperature and truly inherent green setting.

Host your barbecue at midday when the light is bright and fills your crowd with energy. Or fight soaring temperatures and take advantage of the cooler evening weather. It’s a great way to enjoy nature and reduce the energy costs of using indoor facilities.

3. Use propane for grilling

Before diving into this one, we want to point out that we are not trying to step on any grillmaster’s toes. The debate between charcoal and propane is a tough one: Which one produces more flavor? Which is cheaper, faster? And most importantly, which is more eco-friendly?

We consulted a recent study by Environment Impact Assessment Review to answer this one. Drum roll, please…

According to the study, “the overwhelming factors are that as a fuel, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is dramatically more efficient than charcoal in its production and considerably more efficient in cooking.”

The two grilling methods were defined by their overall footprint, with charcoal using 998 kg of CO2, almost three times more than propane, which weighed in at 349 kg.

ScienceDaily reports that as fuel, LPG is “dramatically more efficient than charcoal in its production.” When purchasing a propane tank, make sure there is a trade-in option. Most retailers will let you bring in an empty tank in exchange for a decent discount on your next tank.

4. Save (and reuse) your decorations

If you’ve hosted Independence Day celebrations before, you know the décor is often the same: streamers, party favors and table toppers all in bold red, white and blue.

Sadly, most people often use these decorations once and then throw them out. But they can be reused year after year! So, this year, after the party’s over, take the time to store and save your decorations. You or someone you know can use them again next year, which helps to save on a bit of unneeded trash.

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