Old computers pose e-waste of mega-proportions

We all know how to get rid of old files on our computers by sending them to the recycling bin. But what about getting rid of our old computers themselves? That's the issue raised in a recent article in The Baltimore Sun which notes that with technology spawning faster and cheaper computers every few years, so-called "e-waste" could soon become a problem of megabyte proportions. Especially concerning is that thousands of discarded monitors contain tons of toxic lead necessary to shield users from radiation. And when you consider as many as 600 million computers in the U.S. are obsolete, [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:53+00:00July 1st, 2008|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Old computers pose e-waste of mega-proportions

Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

Having to sort tin cans, plastic bottles, and stinky leftovers is no fun for anyone. But a new technology in Australia called the UR-3R may just end up disposing of this old-fashioned recycling by hand. According to freelance author Chris Prunty, garbage trucks bring waste straight to the new facility, where huge magnets pick out the metal, and a conveyor quickly sorts organic from inorganic waste. The organic material, like old foodstuff, is fed into percolators to be turned into compost, while the glass, paper, metal, and plastic is recovered for future use. It's still a bit pricier than [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:53+00:00June 25th, 2008|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

Recycling: Organic idea in small Canadian town

When you think of items to place in the recycling bin, you no doubt think of tin cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. But for the folks in spruce grove in Alberta, Canada, recycling also includes egg shells, corn husks, and old leftovers. This is because of the town’s new curbside “organics” recycling program, where residents can take material that once was alive, place it in a special aerated cart, and send it to a local composting facility. This novel program has already diverted over 13,000 metric tons of residuals from the local landfill, which has then been sold to [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:54+00:00March 7th, 2008|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Recycling: Organic idea in small Canadian town

Recycling rates dropping across U.S.

A decade ago or so, no earth-friendly activity was more popular than recycling. But now, with the alleged garbage crisis no longer making headlines and Americans finding other priorities, recycling has taken a downturn across the nation. According to an article in USA Today, Americans recycled two-thirds of our aluminum beverage cans in 1992, but now, that number is less than half. Plastic bottle recycling has also declined, from 37% in 1995, down to just over 20% today. With many states dramatically missing the high recycling targets they set for themselves in the 1990's, it appears reality is settling [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:54+00:00October 26th, 2007|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Recycling rates dropping across U.S.

Mercury worries dim benefits of florescent lights

Sales of compact florescent light bulbs have burgeoned in recent years as more and more environmentally-conscious Americans seek to take advantage of their energy savings and extended usability. But with increasing numbers of florescent bulbs making their way into landfills, a new problem has emerged with regard to the release of mercury, and this has some health officials concerned. According to CNET News, an average florescent bulb contains about five milligrams of mercury, which while not very much, is nevertheless still a threat for groundwater contamination. Crash efforts are thus being undertaken to spur more recycling, and environmentalists are [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:54+00:00May 22nd, 2007|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Mercury worries dim benefits of florescent lights

Old computers pose e-waste problem

We all know how to get rid of old files on our computers by sending them to the recycling bin. But what about getting rid of our old computers themselves? That's the issue raised in a recent article in The Baltimore Sun which notes that with technology spawning faster and cheaper computers every few years, so-called "e-waste" could soon become a problem of megabyte proportions. Especially concerning is that thousands of discarded monitors contain tons of toxic lead necessary to shield users from radiation. And when you consider as many as 600 million computers in the U.S. are obsolete, [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:54+00:00February 15th, 2007|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Old computers pose e-waste problem

Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

Having to sort tin cans, plastic bottles, and stinky leftovers is no fun for anyone. But a new technology in Australia called the UR-3R may just end up disposing of this old-fashioned recycling by hand. According to freelance author Chris Prunty, garbage trucks bring waste straight to the new facility, where huge magnets pick out the metal, and a conveyor quickly sorts organic from inorganic waste. The organic material, like old foodstuff, is fed into percolators to be turned into compost, while the glass, paper, metal, and plastic is recovered for future use. It's still a bit pricier than [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:55+00:00February 8th, 2007|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

Swedes take fresh look at recycling

Throw away your recycling containers and forget those trips to the bottle return center, because recycling household waste is a load of, well, rubbish. That, according to the Telegraph of London, which reports how five leading environmentalists in Sweden have reversed decades-old wisdom and now argue that burning garbage is better for the planet and the economy than recycling. The Swedish group said that the vision of a booming recycling market is still just a dream, and note that collecting household cartons is quote “very unprofitable.” they also pointed to technological improvements that have made incineration much cleaner, and [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:55+00:00December 22nd, 2006|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Swedes take fresh look at recycling

Bottle bills to pop up in state legislatures

Bottle bills, which place a roughly five cent deposit on beverage cans and bottles, have long been controversial. Indeed to date, only eleven states have seen fit to pass them. Nevertheless, according to Environment and Climate News, a number of state legislatures including Illinois, Tennessee, and West Virginia are seeking to enact such laws in the near future. Proponents claim these bills reduce litter and foster recycling, but opponents note they burden consumers and businesses, undermine local curbside recycling efforts, and serve as a tax on the poor. With battle lines being clearly drawn, we can expect to see [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:55+00:00September 27th, 2006|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Bottle bills to pop up in state legislatures

Recycling rates dropping across U.S.

A decade ago or so, no earth-friendly activity was more popular than recycling.  But now, with the alleged garbage crisis no longer making headlines and Americans finding other priorities, recycling has taken a downturn across the nation.  According to an article in USA Today, Americans recycled two-thirds of our aluminum beverage cans in 1992, but now, that number is less than half.  Plastic bottle recycling has also declined, from 37% in 1995, down to just over 20% today.  With many states dramatically missing the high recycling targets they set for themselves in the 1990's, it appears reality is settling [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:55+00:00August 2nd, 2006|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Recycling rates dropping across U.S.

Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

Having to sort tin cans, plastic bottles, and stinky leftovers is no fun for anyone.  But a new technology in Australia called the UR-3R may just end up disposing of this old-fashioned recycling by hand.  According to freelance author Chris Prunty, garbage trucks bring waste straight to the new facility, where huge magnets pick out the metal, and a conveyor quickly sorts organic from inorganic waste.  The organic material, like old foodstuff, is fed into percolators to be turned into compost, while the glass, paper, metal, and plastic is recovered for future use.  It's still a bit pricier than [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:55+00:00January 9th, 2006|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

Swedes take fresh look at recycling

Throw away your recycling containers and forget those trips to the bottle return center, because recycling household waste is a load of, well, rubbish.  That, according to the Telegraph of London, which reports how five leading environmentalists in Sweden have reversed decades-old wisdom and now argue that burning garbage is better for the planet and the economy than recycling.  The Swedish group said that the vision of a booming recycling market is still just a dream, and note that collecting household cartons is quote "very unprofitable." they also pointed to technological improvements that have made incineration much cleaner, and [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:56+00:00November 25th, 2005|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Swedes take fresh look at recycling

Recycling: Organic idea in small Canadian town

When you think of items to place in the recycling bin, you no doubt think of tin cans, plastic bottles and newspapers.  But for the folks in spruce grove in Alberta, Canada, recycling also includes egg shells, corn husks, and old leftovers.  This is because of the town's new curbside "organics" recycling program, where residents can take material that once was alive, place it in a special aerated cart, and send it to a local composting facility.  This novel program has already diverted over 13,000 metric tons of residuals from the local landfill, which has then been sold to [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:56+00:00October 21st, 2005|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Recycling: Organic idea in small Canadian town

Market solutions to waste

Is more government regulation necessary to increase recycling by industrial manufacturers?  Well not according to research done by associate professor Pierre Desrochers of the University of Toronto and the Montreal Economic Institute.  Comments Desrochers: "The profit motive has always enticed industrialists to find new ways of channeling as much of their waste as possible back through the economy, instead of dumping it in the backyard, the river, or the atmosphere.  Even Karl Marx acknowledged that turning waste products into something valuable was the second best way to increase profitability after large scale production.  So the best way to promote [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:56+00:00August 16th, 2005|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Market solutions to waste

Interview on e-waste

Recently, a bill in Congress was sponsored to charge consumers a fee on the purchase of computers and TVs to fund a nationwide recycling program. But a new study by Competitive Enterprise Institute Adjunct Scholar Dana Joel Gattuso says that government recycling mandates are the wrong way to go. "The best outcome for consumers and the environment is for government to get out of the recycling business altogether. Despite good intentions, government mandates only create barriers to successful private efforts to recycle and reuse electronics. Much of the waste can safely be landfilled, while the rest can and is [...]

By |2012-11-29T19:06:56+00:00May 4th, 2005|Just the Facts Radio|Comments Off on Interview on e-waste
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