Thursday, April 30, 2009

press release

Electronics Recycling Volumes Climb 7% in 2008,
According to Newly Published Index

Las Vegas, Nev. – April 30, 2009 – Today at the ISRI Electronics Recycling SUMMIT®, the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) announced the publication of their 2008 per capita collection index (PCCI) for electronics recycling. The PCCI is an index that measures collection volumes of used electronic equipment in six ongoing electronics recycling programs across the United States. Based on the NCER’s data gathering and analysis, the 2008 PCCI value was 7% higher than in 2007.

“We have been gathering these numbers from the same collection programs for the last three years in order to measure the overall trends,” said NCER Executive Director Jason Linnell. “As anyone who runs electronics collection programs will tell you, volumes are increasing. Our PCCI indicates a 23% increase in pounds collected from 2006 to 2008. This suggests that consumers with access to these recycling programs are participating in increasing numbers and volumes; and we expect to see these collection rates continue to increase as consumers become more aware of options for recycling electronics through industry voluntary and state-mandated programs.”

A rising PCCI, such as this new 2008 number, indicates an increase in the collection of e-waste across the programs included in the index and suggests a similar trend nation-wide. The jurisdictions included in the index are the states of California, Maine, and Delaware; a large municipality in Hennepin County, Minnesota; and two smaller municipalities in Branford, Connecticut and Frederick County, Virginia. For a complete explanation of the assumptions and calculations behind the PCCI, please see:

In addition to the PCCI, the NCER, as the premier organization in the U.S. actively tracking and analyzing key data in this field, has recently published several new reports about the state of electronics recycling in the U.S. The reports are available on including:
· Maine 2008 E-waste Collection Overview Chart – based on information provided by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, this chart breaks down the percentage of monitors and televisions returned under the Maine law in several key categories. As in previous years, televisions represent the great majority – over 70% - of returned products. See:
· Oregon State Contractor Program First Quarter 2009 Results – the NCER was selected in 2008 to administer the Oregon E-Cycles State Contractor Program. NCER has developed an extensive collector network in the state and has collected 802,368 pounds of covered electronic devices in the first quarter of their program. Complete details and other updates on the State Contractor Program are found at
· National Electronics Recycling Infrastructure Clearinghouse (NERIC) State Fee Analysis – through a joint project with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the NCER is provided several new analyses of the emerging state-based electronics recycling systems, such as registration fees and projected manufacturer compliance costs. See:

At the ISRI Electronics Recycling SUMMIT®, NCER Executive Director Jason Linnell moderated an expert panel on the issues and challenges associated with the new state electronics recycling laws. The NCER noted that 18 states one major city now have mandatory electronics recycling laws in place, equating to slightly over half of the U.S. population.

For additional information about the NCER and any of their research projects call 304-699-1008 or visit


About the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER): The NCER is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization based in Parkersburg, West Virginia that is dedicated to the development and enhancement of a national infrastructure for the recycling of used electronics in the U.S. For more information about the NCER, visit their website at

Thursday, April 23, 2009


How Green Is Apple: Cleaning the Supply Chain

Jeff Bertolucci,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 7:40 AM PDT

Like most electronics manufacturers, Apple doesn't actually make its own products. That can make it hard to assess the environmental impact of its production processes.

In the case of notebooks, for example, Apple--like Dell, HP, and virtually every other computer vendor, confusingly dubbed Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)--designs its systems but then outsources the assembly to contract manufacturers, also known as original design manufacturers (ODMs). While most of these ODMs have headquarters in Taiwan, their factories are usually in mainland China, where labor costs are lower and environmental standards are lax.

According to research analyst David Daoud of IDC (an analytical firm owned by Macworld parent company IDG), 95 percent of all laptops are manufactured in China, and 85 percent of those are produced by a handful of companies you've likely never heard of, including Quanta, Compal, Wistron, and Inventec. Most of the companies that supply these ODMs with their raw materials and components are also based in Asia.

Apple's Supplier Code of Conduct requires that its partners use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. But how do Apple and other OEMs really know that contract manufacturers and their suppliers meet such requirements? How does an OEM know, for example, that the internal cables in its laptops are truly free of PVC, or that there's no arsenic in the display glass?

Apple says it audits all of its suppliers, and that this information is made public on its Web site. The company's 16-page Supplier Responsibility 2009 Progress Report (PDF), published in February, summarizes those auditing efforts. For instance, Apple representatives physically inspect manufacturing facilities, talk with senior management, and even conduct confidential interviews with "randomly selected employees from the line."
According to Greenpeace electronics and e-waste expert Casey Harrell, companies understand the potential for negative PR if they lie about their environmental policies. He confirms that both OEMs and contract manufacturers typically spot-check parts and processes along their supply chains, to make sure everything is in order. Global agencies like the European Union and Greenpeace do their own spot-checks, too, but not very many. "It's a very expensive process for us to take apart a computer and do extensive testing on it," Harrell says.

So on this count, we have to--and, apparently, can--trust Apple.

Toxic Content

As for the toxic content of its products, observers say Apple's claims that it's cleaned up its act are also believable. Those claims are included in individual reports for each of its products.

For example, according to the report on the 17-inch MacBook Pro (PDF), that notebook is free of BFRs, which are often added to plastics used in electronics and other products. BFRs, which can harm hormone and immune systems, pose the greatest risk when electronic devices containing them are produced or destroyed. That's a problem when open piles of e-waste are burned--a common practice in Asia and Africa. Recent studies, including one by the Australian government, found BFRs in the dust that collects on DVD players, stereos, and other home electronic devices.

The MacBook Pro is also free of PVCs. When created or burned, PVC releases dioxins, which can cause cancer and can damage immune and reproductive systems. And since PVC is often mixed with toxic chemicals that can evaporate, or off-gas (that's where the famous new-car smell comes from), it's a potential threat to consumers, too.

Furthermore, Apple reports that the displays in the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air are free of mercury and arsenic. Its notebooks also now use a recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure, mercury-free LED backlights, and a power-stingy design that uses a fraction of the power that a 60-watt light bulb uses.

Apple has also significantly reduced the PVC and BFR content of its desktop computers, too. And the company Apple is also making its iPods and iPhones greener: the headphones, USB cord, and internal wiring of the iPhone 3G, for example, are all free of PVC. And Apple has reduced the size of its packaging (much of which is made from recycled material) across its product lines, conserving on manufacturing and reducing packages' shipping weights. "Apple is a leader in consumer electronics, in the phase-out of toxic PVC and brominated flame retardants," acknowledges Harrell.

While Greenpeace is pleased with Apple's latest efforts, it's far from laudatory. In its March 2009 Guide to Greener Electronics, the group ranked Apple 10th among major electronics manufacturers, ahead of Dell and HP. (Those two were dinged for no longer having stated timelines for eliminating BFRs and PVC from their products.)

Yet Apple earned just 4.7 points out of a possible 10--dramatically lower than competitors Samsung and Nokia. That low score was largely due to Apple's reluctance to open up more about the environmental impact of its overall corporate operations. "They could elevate their score quite easily with just a couple of fixes," says Greenpeace's Harrell. "They could do a greenhouse-gas inventory of their supply chain, which they probably have done. But they haven't talked about it."

That tight-lipped attitude doesn't sit well with other watchdog groups like Ceres, a coalition of environmentalists and investors that urges companies to adopt greener practices. In a 2008 report rating technology companies' climate-change strategies (PDF), Ceres gave Apple a score of 28 on a 100-point scale. By comparison, Dell earned a 77; HP, a 62.

The Ceres report acknowledged Apple's efforts to remove toxic chemicals from its products, but knocked the company for not releasing more details about its "carbon footprint," the amount of greenhouse gases that it generates in regular operations. The companies that scored higher in the study "choose to make public an overall emissions footprint for their operation," says research analyst Megan Good, one of the report's authors, "and Apple hasn't done that." In addition, Apple hadn't set up a specific executive committee or a task force to address climate issues, which many of those other companies have done.

Apple counters that it does indeed break down its emissions by facility (PDF), and that other reports available on its environmental page detail the company's energy and water usage, as well as its transportation, waste, and recycling programs. It also documents greenhouse-gas emissions created at each stage of its products' lifecycles, including manufacturing, transportation, consumer usage, and recycling. We contacted Ceres again, to see it had reexamined Apple's policies since it published its 2008 report; the group says it had not.

[Jeff Bertolucci is a technology and business writer in Southern California.]

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



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Examine income, ethnicity, race, religion, age, house values, rent, occupation, employment, ancestry and much more! Easily download data for use in Excel, SAS, SPSS, STATA and GIS programs. Quickly create professional looking PowerPoint presentations with our slide-show export tool.

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Monday, April 20, 2009


Green-Marketing Revolution Defies Economic Downturn
Sustainable-Product Sales Rise as Eco-Friendliness Goes Mainstream and Value Players Join the Trend

By Jack Neff

Published: April 20, 2009

Based on number of new package-goods products bearing claims such as "sustainable," "environmentally friendly" and "eco-friendly."
Source: Datamonitor's Product Launch Analytics

BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- Green marketing is turning out to be surprisingly recession-proof.

Datamonitor shows 458 launches so far in 2009 of package-goods products that claim to be sustainable, environmentally friendly or "eco-friendly." If that pace holds all year, it will triple the number of green launches last year, which in turn was more than double the number in 2007. Seventh Generation CEO Jeffrey Hollender said his company's sales were up 50% last year and 20% in March year over year despite Clorox, Church & Dwight and now SC Johnson entering the space. "The good news is that in general these products are faring better than most categories," he said. "A lot of people would be desperate to have 5% growth."

Related Story:
State-Parks Group Thrives in Recession
Consumers are still buying sustainable lines despite their higher cost. Nielsen Co. data show sales growth of organic food at 5.6% year over year in December from a year ago, though that's down from the double-digit pace of years past, and its SPINS tracking service showed sales at natural-food stores up 10.9% to $4.2 billion last year. Though growth slowed in the fourth quarter, it was still more than 7% in December, far healthier than the rates at even top-performing grocery retailers such as Walmart or Costco.

"It looks like this green trend is going to survive the recession," said Tom Vierhile, general manager at Datamonitor's Product Launch Analytics.

"If you go back 10, 20, 30 years, other green movements ultimately have had the air taken out of them by recessions," said Aric Melzel senior brand manager at Kimberly-Clark's Scott paper company. "This one is acting differently than we've seen in the past. In looking at national tracking studies, it does appear that this time the green mind-set is very much being more solidified."

'Respectful stewards'
Mr. Vierhile's read is that the interest in green products has reached beyond the vanguard of eco-enthusiasts. Indeed, Information Resources Inc. research found sales of green products growing fastest in the 52 weeks ended Jan. 25 in a predominantly Hispanic segment labeled "respectful stewards" and a predominantly white-male segment labeled "proud traditionalists." Sales actually remained flat in the "eco-centric" segment with the highest interest in green issues.

Part of the secret to green products' survival, Mr. Vierhile said, is manufacturers' desire to save on commodity costs. What's also helped is retailers -- particularly Walmart -- furthering the cause by working to keep green products affordable, as well as the entry of private-label and value-brand marketers into the category.

The test of whether green can really go mainstream is shaping up with a new offering from Scott: toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and wipes made from 40% to 80% recycled content. The launch is from a $2 billion-plus global value brand that reaches 41 million households, or one in three U.S. consumers. You can't get more mainstream than that.

The premise is that consumers don't have to sacrifice either performance or price to make a positive environmental impact, said Mr. Melzel. The launch springs from research showing Scott's value-minded consumers still want to minimize the environmental impact of their products: 86% said they're interested and 41% said they're very interested in products with recycled content. Mr. Melzel said he believes recycled products can become a $500 million business, or about 5% of the $10 billion retail paper-products business in the U.S., up from less than 1% today.

Walmart is looking to go Scott one better with White Cloud private-label toilet paper from 100% recycled fiber. And while the retailer hasn't been beating the sustainability drum in its PR efforts as loudly as in the past, it has put some substantial weight behind its Earth Month marketing and merchandising efforts, billed as bigger than last year, with ads from Martin, Richmond, Va., touting 10 green products for under $10 and rollbacks on products such as Clorox Green Works and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Tide Coldwater.

Cleaners grow
K-C, which this month is launching Huggies Pure & Natural, positioned as having more natural ingredients and post-consumer content than other products, found one sure sign of consumer interest during pre-launch buzz building. When Edelman, Chicago, reached out to 500 mommy bloggers about the product line, they generated close to 200,000 requests for samples, said Huggies Senior Brand Manager Tim Abate.

Sales of water-filtration devices and filters -- which have been positioned as a more eco-friendly alternative to bottled water by Clorox Co.'s Brita and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pur in recent years -- soared 22.2% and 15.2%, respectively, in the four weeks ended March 22, according to Information Resources Inc. data from Deutsche Bank, continuing the torrid double-digit pace they've been on the past two years despite the recession and relatively high price points.

Green cleaners, too, continue to grow as more mainstream manufacturers, such as SC Johnson with its recently launched Nature's Source lineup, pile into the category. Clorox Green Works became the best-selling natural-positioned cleaning brand during its first year last year, said Jessica Buttimer, global domain leader for the brand, and roughly tripled an already robust green-cleaner-category growth rate of 35% in 2006 and 2007 to 108% in 2008. "In recent months, with the economic downturn, we are seeing some slowing growth in certain product categories where we've lapped our launch," Ms. Buttimer said. "But in categories such as natural liquid dish soap, growth continues to be strong at 143% [for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 22, relative to total dish-soap growth of 7%]."

Seventh Generation's Mr. Hollender said he does believe bigger players in the organic- and natural-products space are seeing their growth slow. An informal survey he did of five players in the $150 million to $500 million sales range have seen year-over-year growth in the single digits this year vs. double-digit growth last year -- but all were still growing, he said.

With more mainstream marketers expanding into more categories, Mr. Hollender said, every consumer-package-goods category will soon have some kind of green alternative. "Increasingly, it will be a choice between light green and dark green," he said.

Four tips for green marketers
1. Combine environmental with economic sustainability.
Consumers define sustainability more broadly than the environmental concerns marketers mainly have tended to focus on, and they care more about social and economic issues such as poverty, employment and health care more than environmental concerns by a substantial margin, according to research by shopper-marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi X. The agency is pitching the idea that green marketing is tired but that "blue marketing," which encompasses environmental with other social causes, will work better.

2. Retailer support matters.
With 298 different environmental certifications for consumer brands, consumers often don't know what to believe regarding green claims, said Curtis Munk, VP-insights for shopper marketing at Saatchi X. As a result, they look to retailers to be the arbiters, placing the most trust in more-green-positioned retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, but also some others, such as Walmart, that have been working hard to burnish their green credentials.

3. Opportunities remain.
Research by Nielsen's concept-testing service Bases shows that environmentally focused Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability consumers have above-average purchase intent for personal care, pet products, and refrigerated, shelf-stable and frozen foods but perceive only average current product availability in those categories.

4. Address skepticism about price and quality more than the actual green claims.
Bases found more than 80% of consumers in all categories—including 89% of those most inclined to buy green but also 80% of those unconcerned about green claims—found green claims completely or somewhat believable. Only 9% to 16% of consumers said they believe green products aren't as green as claimed—fewer than half the proportion who said they completely believe such claims. Yet a vast majority of consumers said they believe green products cost more and don't perform as well as others.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


--but has good ideas on green phones:

Design & Manufacturing | Batteries | Energy | Packaging | Recycle | Policies

Motorola is committed to doing the right thing in all aspects of its business. This includes working to continually improve the environmental profile of our products.

The product Eco Facts provided here reflect consideration for the materials used in components and manufacturing, how much energy is consumed during use of the products, what happens to the product at the end of its useful life and policies and management systems in place to ensure ongoing improvements. This includes confirmation from Motorola suppliers that products are manufactured according to our environmental specifications. We will update these Eco Facts as we continue to make progress on our path toward managing our environmental impact.

For more information on Motorola corporate responsibility, visit


The following substances are not present in this product:

* Asbestos and asbestos compounds
* Chlorofluorocarbons and halons (Class I and II Ozone Depleting Chemicals)
* Halogenated dioxins and furans
* Polychlorobiphenyls and derivatives (PCBs and PCT's)
* Deca BDE

The following controlled substances are not present above specified minimal limits1:

* Ethylene glycol monomethyl and monoethyl ethers (and their acetates)
* Cadmium and cadmium compounds
* Chromium (VI) compounds(including those in leather and textiles)
* Lead and lead compounds (including those in batteries)
* Lead in cable jackets
* Mercury and mercury compounds(including those in batteries)
* Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

1 Minor variations may occur in a product's substance content

Motorola rarely purchases components containing tantalum. The small quantities used are derived from legally mined coltan.

For more details on Motorola's supplier material requirements, please read about our materials disclosure process.

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Batteries containing hazardous2 materials are not used in this product.

Comprehensive battery recycling information is available online3.

2 Defined by the European Union Directives 91/157/EEC and 2006/66/EC as containing lead, cadmium and mercury at a specified rate.

3 Do not throw away the battery of this product. Dispose of used batteries in accordance with national recycling legislation; this is the most environmentally efficient way to get the components recycled.

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Motorola is committed to providing energy-efficient chargers and, in 2000, voluntarily signed the European Union's Code of Conduct for mobile phone power supplies. Motorola meets the EU Code of Conduct requirements for such products worldwide and, since signing this commitment, has reduced the average standby power of its chargers by at least 70 percent. The next EU Code of Conduct target of 0.25 watts for standby power of mobile phone chargers takes effect on 1 January 2009, and 31 percent of our current chargers meet it. After this date, all of our new chargers released to the market will meet it. In fact, all of our new charges will feature standby power rates of 0.1 watts, with some even lower.

Selectable software settings for energy savings are available in this product. This product also includes software to remind the customer to unplug their charger from the wall to save power while not in use.

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The packaging and manuals used for this product are recyclable.

Recyclable packaging and manuals are marked with internationally recognized recycling logos.

The packaging for this product meets the Europen Union packaging directive for minimum sum concentration of heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium).

Arsenic and arsenic compounds as a preservative in wood products (e.g.
wood crates) are not used in this product.

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Appropriate plastic components are marked with information to facilitate

Product is covered by a consumer-friendly take-back program, depending where sold.

Comprehensive recycling information is available online.

Product recyclability is 65 percent or greater.

Contains recycled content such as copper, magnesium and aluminum.

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Motorola has a documented environmental policy approved by management.

Motorola regularly publishes an environmental report.

Motorola has environmental requirements for suppliers and subcontractors.

Motorola has documented processes and a data system to collect and manage environmental information on its products.

Motorola is registered by a third party to the ISO14001 Environmental Management System standard.

Motorola is included in sustainable investment funds (FTSE4Good, DJSI, etc.).

Motorola participates in the Chicago Climate Exchange to reduce the level of greenhouse gases.

Since January 1, 2007, Motorola Mobile Devices has restricted the use of brominated flame retardants in all newly designed charger housings.

Since November 1, 2007, Motorola Mobile Devices has banned exposed nickel on the surfaces of its newly designed products.


Report available here


available here!,29307,1870162_1822148,00.html

And Time magazine's story:

Thursday, Jan. 08, 2009
E-Waste Not
By Bryan Walsh

Even though holiday sales were down at least 2% from 2007, millions of Americans awoke Christmas morning to new computers, TVs and iPhones. (I didn't, but thanks for the pens, Mom.) Many of those gifts were replacements or upgrades, which prompts the question, What should you do with your old cell phone and other electronic equipment?

If you're like some 80% of Americans, you'll simply toss your obsolete gizmos into the trash. After all, that Jurassic 15-in. (38 cm) computer monitor doesn't look as though it's packing up to 7 lb. (3 kg) of lead. Every day Americans throw out more than 350,000 cell phones and 130,000 computers, making electronic waste the fastest-growing part of the U.S. garbage stream. Improperly disposed of, the lead, mercury and other toxic materials inside e-waste can leak from landfills. (See pictures of China's electronic waste village.)

If you're part of the 20% trying to do the right thing by recycling your e-waste, there's something else to worry about. Old phones and computers can be dismantled to get at the useful metals inside, but doing so safely is time-consuming. Thus, many electronics recyclers ship American e-waste abroad, where it is stripped and burned with little concern for environmental or human health. And authorities rarely stop the export of potentially hazardous e-waste. The U.S. is the only industrialized country that refused to ratify the 19-year-old Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to regulate the export of hazardous waste to developing nations. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the export of only one type of e-waste--cathode-ray tubes in old TVs and monitors--and a report last August by the Government Accountability Office dismissed the EPA's enforcement as "lacking."

The same report included a sting investigation that found that 43 U.S. recycling firms were willing to ship broken monitors with cathode-ray tubes to buyers in foreign countries without getting the required permission from the EPA and the receiving nations. Yet some of these companies had been trumpeting their exemplary environmental principles to the public. "At least three of them held Earth Day 2008 electronics-recycling events," the report notes.

A lot of exported e-waste ends up in Guiyu, China, a recycling hub where peasants heat circuit boards over coal fires to recover lead, while others use acid to burn off bits of gold. According to reports from nearby Shantou University, Guiyu has the highest level of cancer-causing dioxins in the world and elevated rates of miscarriages. "You see women sitting by the fireplace burning laptop adapters, with rivers of ash pouring out of houses," says Jim Puckett, founder of Basel Action Network (BAN), an e-waste watchdog. "We're dumping on the rest of the world."

Puckett and other environmentalists are pushing for a full ban on e-waste exports. They're hopeful that the new Administration will prove receptive; as a Senator, President-elect Barack Obama co-sponsored a bill that in 2008 became a law barring the export of mercury.

In the meantime, green groups are pressuring electronics manufacturers to take responsibility for the afterlife of their products. The strategy is working. By reducing toxic metals like mercury and using fewer small pieces of aluminum and glass, companies like Apple now design their laptops to be more easily recycled. Sony has pledged to work only with recyclers that pledge not to export e-waste. And Dell, which since 2004 has offered free recycling for its products (customers arrange shipping online), recently announced an in-store recycling program with Staples. To confirm that its recyclers are really recycling, Dell uses environmental-audit firms to check up on its partners.

So how do you ensure that your old phone doesn't end up poisoning a kid in China? If it's still working and in good condition, you can sell it to which markets such phones to poor customers overseas. If it's broken, don't put it in the garbage with the wrapping paper and the fruitcake. Instead, find out if your retailer or manufacturer offers free recycling. If not, BAN has put together a list of "e-stewards," U.S. recyclers the group has accredited; check them out at

But one tiny activist group can't stop the mountain of e-waste Americans are producing, a mountain that will only grow when cable companies stop broadcasting analog signals on Feb. 17 and render obsolete the millions of rabbit ears used on old TV sets. Some TV manufacturers, like Sony, are offering free take-back programs, but if you really want to be e-green, try this: get a coupon from Uncle Sam for a discounted digital converter, and don't upgrade your old TV (or phone or computer) for a little while longer. It may not be in the generous holiday spirit, but it certainly fits the new recessionary one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

from michigan live

Study shows turning off computer at night saves energy, big bucks
Posted by Melissa Burden | The Flint Journal April 13, 2009 14:53PM

GENESEE Michigan -- It's as simple as hitting a button. Doing it daily can save big bucks over the course of a year.

A study recently released by software company 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy found U.S. organizations waste $2.8 billion a year in energy costs by leaving computers on overnight.
Flint Journal extras Energy saving tips for homes and businesses

• Turn off copiers and computers at night and on the weekends.

• Set fax machines and printers for sleep mode when they aren't in use and network one printer for multiple users.

• Use ovens, dishwashers, washers and dryers and office equipment in the early morning or late evening.

• Replace older appliances with more updated and energy efficient models.

• Dial down your thermostat in the winter and dial it up in the summer to save on heat and air conditioning costs.

• Install a programmable thermostat.

• Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label.

• Air dry dishes in the dishwasher instead of using a drying setting.

• Plug electronics into power strips and turn off the power strips when the equipment is not in use.

• Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees.

• Wash full loads of clothes and dishes only.

• Read more energy and money saving tips at and

Sources: Michigan Public Service Commission and U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

While your business or household may not reap those eye-popping savings, making sure your computer is shut down at the end of the day and on the weekends can shave energy usage and money off your electricity bill.

About six months ago, Manufacturers Equipment & Supply Co. employees began shutting down the company's 50 computers six nights a week to save money, said Chris Schollar, manager of business performance for the Flint-based industrial parts distributor.

"We just basically made it part of the end of day procedure," he said. "Nobody had any problems with it."

On the one night the computers aren't powered off, an anti-virus check is done, Schollar said.

Schollar didn't have electricity savings figures available, but said he got the money-saving idea from reading a publication the company receives.

1E's Web site,, has an online energy savings calculator where you can get an estimate on how much your business or household could save by powering down computers at night.

Even hitting the power button on one computer that you often leave on during the work week and sometimes over the weekend can save you $34 a year.

If you have 20 computers that are sometimes left on in the evening and over the weekend, the savings grows to $526 a year.

Luke Petherbridge, an environmental science senior at the University of Michigan-Flint, said he has been shutting down his computer at night for years.

"It does save you quite a bit of money and it also saves you quite a bit of computer problems," said Petherbridge, 23, of Grand Blanc.

Petherbridge, who is helping with an Earth Day event from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday at the U-M Flint Pavilion, said he has practiced energy saving practices for years.

He said he shuts off lights when he leaves rooms, turns the TV off when it's not in use and uses compact fluorescent light bulbs.

"My energy bill is a lot lower than it used to be," he said.

And it's not just individuals and businesses looking to save energy and money.

School districts across Genesee County have partnered with energy consultants to learn how to save cash by turning lights out when leaving the classroom and turning back heating and cooling systems once students leave.

The Goodrich School District partnered in July 2008 with Energy Education Inc. and hopes to save $1 million in energy costs over four years.

Rick Bell, the district's energy manager and a business and computer science teacher at Goodrich High School, said until last July the district left computers in its labs running 24/7.

But by shutting the computers down at the end of the school day and over the weekends, the energy savings for one lab of 35 to 40 computers is about $230 a month, Bell said.

"It's a huge saving when you really calculate it out," he said.

The recent energy study found that almost half of U.S. workers who use a computer at work normally don't shut them down at night and 1E's Chief Executive Officer Sumir Karayi urges employers to set up procedures for turning off computers.

"A computer uses energy even when it appears to be idle," Karayi said a news release. "Shutting down PCs when not in use will help businesses to significantly reduce costs while preventing tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into our atmosphere."

Businesses such as HealthPlus of Michigan Inc., based in Flint Township and Flint-based Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc., say their employees already power down computers at the end of the day.

"It is standard procedure for HealthPlus employees to shut down computers when leaving for the day to reduce power consumption," said Becky MacDonald, HealthPlus manager of network services and support.

MacDonald said the health insurer has about 500 computers companywide, but cost savings for turning them off at night weren't available.

The company also is increasing its electronic delivery of reports to reduce power used by printers, MacDonald said. Producing electronic reports to staff has cut printing costs by about $30,000 a year, HealthPlus says.

At Citizens Republic, the company doesn't have a formal policy but spokesman Brian Smith said it's common practice and employees are encouraged to shut their computers down at night.

"We've been doing it for many years," Smith said. "As far as savings, we can't put a number on it."

Citizens Republic also has lights that automatically shut off at night in parts of its downtown Flint headquarters and when light bulbs burn out, they're replaced with low energy bulbs, Smith said.

"We're always looking for ways to manage energy expenses," he said.


Published on April 13th, 2009
The Trash Art Movement: What’s Something Creative You’ve Done?

by Lori Brown

If you follow Earth911’s news and feature stories, you’ve probably seen a few articles lately about art made from trash, or “Trart,” as one of our readers called it. From portraits made of used cassette tapes to 16-foot tall hands made of a town’s household waste, we think this creative expression of reuse is pretty cool!

Having long been crafted by creative artists using everything from glass to plastic bags, trash art now finds itself in the spotlight of galleries and the center of art expos nationwide. Trash art, or recycled art, are common art forms these days, proving that some of the most interesting and creative works can be born from the most abundant of materials: garbage.
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Handcrafted from recycled yacht sails, Ella Vickers' collection saves 20,000 yards of sailcloth from the landfill each year. Photo:

Boston’s Down:2:Earth 2009 expo, which took place April 3-5, featured products and art made from almost everything imaginable.

* Ella Vickers’ collection of bags and accessories made from recycled sailcloth was a hit.
* Tara Lynn, who crafted the eco-friendly gown for Miss Vermont 2008, displayed her clothing created from vintage pieces and repurposed materials collected over years of yard sale shopping.
* John Bassett’s recycled glass and found objects sculptures were displayed, sold as wall hangings and stained glass windows.

Trash People

One of the most famous trash art installations comes from German artist H.A. Schuldt and his “Trash People.” In 1996, Schuldt installed one thousand life sized “Trash People” in the Amphitheatre of Xanten, and the idea was born to send them traveling around the world.
The Trash People in the foreground of the Matterhorn Photo:

The Trash People in the foreground of the Matterhorn Photo:

Since 1996, the “Trash People,” made of aluminum cans, electronic waste and other discarded objects, have traveled to some of the world’s best-known landmarks in a series called “Archaeology of the Present.” Displayed at the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids at Giza, the Red Square in Moscow and even Antarctica in 2008, H.A. Schuldt aims to raise awareness of the volume of garbage left by humans over the course of a lifetime.

While we can’t all be H.A. Schuldt, we probably all have done some creative things with trash. Leave a comment and let us know how you are recycling trash to art.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


National policy on e-waste

The decision of the Federal Government to formulate a national policy on electronic (e)-waste management, though long overdue, signifies government's readiness to address growing concern over health and environmental hazards posed by the indiscriminate importation of used electrical/electronics by unscrupulous Nigerian businessmen into the country. As part of the process to develop a national policy framework for addressing the problems of e-waste, the Federal Government had convened a sensitisation workshop in 2008 where e-waste was identified as the fastest growing waste stream in the world. While government was still procrastinating on the menace, Greenpeace, a global environmental advocacy group, released a statement in February which declared that "Nigeria is one of many destinations for the developed world's toxic e-waste."
Since then, a flurry of activities designed to meet the damaging revelation head-on have been ongoing; the latest being a so-called stakeholders meeting in Abuja last month. Dr. Ngeri Benebo, director general of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (Nesrea), told the audience at the meeting that the Federal Government has initiated a number of actions to combat the scourge of e-waste dumping in the country including the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee on e-waste management to proffer lasting solutions to the problem. Before the meeting, Nesrea had raised alarm over the dumping of e-waste at the Alaba International Market in Lagos.
Investigations by the body had also revealed that the problem was traceable to the large influx of second hand electronic/electrical equipment into the country. It is for this reason that the new national policy on e-waste management which, when operational, will restrict the importation of certain categories of second-hand electronic equipment into the country. According to Dr. Benebo, "all imports of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEE) that qualify as WEE under the Basel Convention including those identified by the national definitions in Nigeria could be prohibited. Nigeria can impose additional requirements regarding age and packaging in order to ensure that the material sent into the country as second hand electrical/electronic goods are not hazardous wastes."
It is inexcusable that nearly two years after the Basel Action Network, a pressure group that monitors the trade in hazardous waste, published a report which claimed that some 500 containers with 400,000 second-hand computers were unloaded every month in Lagos ports, the government has yet to establish sound legal and regulatory framework capable of putting a stop to the odious practice. Although Article 2(1) of the Basel Convention on the Control of trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal did not give a universal definition of waste by describing it as "substances or objects which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law, Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia proffers a more detailed definition of e-waste as "all secondary computers, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, and other items such as TVs and refrigerators, whether sold, donated, or discarded by their original owners."
Dr. Benebo is right in describing e-waste as an emerging hazardous waste issue in Africa with absence of national infrastructure to recycle the materials as well as legislation to regulate the sector. The national policy on e-waste management should fill this gap for Nigeria. It should ensure that the incidence of dumping of e-waste from the developed countries is minimised to the barest minimum if not eradicated.
Successful implementation of the policy would, however, require the support of Nigerians because the ravishing poverty afflicting a vast majority of the citizenry means that most Nigerians cannot afford brand new products. More importantly, the requisite equipment that can aid detection must be procured while the officials who will be deployed to the borders are also given the necessary training.
The need for Nigeria to take these steps cannot be over-emphasised. For instance, when a chartered toxic-laden ship tried to offload its slops in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2006, the Amsterdam Port Services recognised its contents as toxic and consequently denied the crew of the ship the request for berthing at the Amsterdam port. Nigeria must put in place structures that are able to reduce the entry of e-waste and toxic waste to the barest minimum. As Greenpeace discovered, the days when Western electronic companies shipped toxic waste to poor countries are by no means over. This is why government agencies saddled with the responsibility of checking the trade in hazardous waste from Europe to developing countries like Nigeria must be vigilant.
The world's waterways are still filled with ships looking to unload toxic waste in vulnerable countries. The latest dimension to dumping of hazardous waste which consists of the dumping of unwanted mobile phones, computers and printers, which contain cadmium, lead, mercury and other poisons means that target countries must ensure that the dangerous wastes are not allowed on their territories.
Because millions of computers become obsolete in the developed world every year, the menace of hazardous waste to the African continent remains potent and real. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that worldwide, 20 million to 50 million tonnes of electronics are discarded each year. Less than 10 per cent gets recycled and half or more ends up overseas. As Western technology becomes cheaper and the latest machine comes to be regarded as a disposable fashion statement, this dumping will only intensify.
The public should also be educated on the dangers of burning damaged or disused electronics because improper disposal of e-waste can release hazardous chemicals and heavy metals into the environment, making certain areas toxic.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Last modified: Wednesday, April 8, 2009
IU Bloomington and IUPUI to host free electronic waste recycling days

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April 8, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Electronic Waste Collection Days, a free electronic waste recycling drive hosted by Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will take place in both Bloomington and Indianapolis on April 30 through May 2.

The program will be open to all public and private schools, universities, businesses, and non-profit organizations on Thursday, April 30, and Friday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program will be open to the general public on Saturday, May 2, also from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Bloomington, the collection event will take place in the parking lot to the north of Memorial Stadium. The drop-off location for Indianapolis will be the parking lot directly south of the Indiana State Fairgrounds at the corner of 38th Street and Coliseum Avenue. The event locations are sponsored by IU Athletics and the Indiana State Fairgrounds, respectively.

Complete information, including maps, hours and a list of accepted items, is available at Due to the volume of drop-offs expected, businesses and other organizations are asked to register in advance at

IU Bloomington and IUPUI departments must follow special drop-off instructions provided at

Toxic materials are extremely common in e-waste. Lead, for example, can be found in cathode ray tubes in many televisions and computer monitors. If improperly disposed of, e-waste can cause harm to the environment beyond the negative impact of adding clutter to landfills.

"Millions of pounds of electronic waste from Indiana residents and businesses end up in landfills every year," said Kristin Hanks, sustainable computing graduate assistant at IU Bloomington. "Unfortunately, most people don't know where to drop off used electronics or even what's recyclable. But I think if you give the public an opportunity to do the right thing, they will."

"With the digital television conversion approaching, we knew that this would be the perfect time for a well-orchestrated e-waste collection event," added Laura Knudsen, graduate student at the IU School for Public and Environmental Affairs and member of the IU Campus Task Force on Sustainability. "There's never been a program quite like this in Bloomington."

The event is not without precedent in Indianapolis: IUPUI holds a Tox Away Day e-waste collection event every spring for members of the campus community to dispose of toxic waste including electronics.

"The ongoing success of that event indicates that the greater Indianapolis community is hungry for more e-recycling opportunities," said Knudsen.

None of the electronics will be processed for resale. Anything that could potentially contain sensitive data, such as cell phones or computers, will be shredded. We strongly recommend that you back-up and over-write your data prior to dropping it off at the event. One hundred percent of the equipment dropped off will be recycled and kept out of landfills. Recycling services are provided by Apple.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste, in 2007 only 18 percent of electronic products that had reached the end of their lifecycle were recycled. In addition, the EPA estimates that about 235 million electronic products sit unused in homes nationwide.

Other universities have conducted similar events across the country. The University of Hawaii collected 1.7 million pounds of e-waste in 2008 and the University of Michigan collected 145 tons of e-waste in 2007.

Items that are acceptable for collection include:

Computer systems and accessories

* CRT monitors
* LCD displays
* CPUs
* All-in-ones
* Laptops
* Servers
* Switches
* Hubs
* UPS Systems
* Keyboards & Mice
* Speakers
* Hard drives
* Optical drives
* Wires and cables

Handhelds devices

* Cell phones
* Pagers
* PDAs
* Two-way radios

Audio & video equipment

* Televisions
* DVDs
* VCRs
* Stereos
* Radios
* Camcorders
* Cameras
* Games systems

Office Equipment

* Fax machines
* Photo copiers
* Printers
* Scanners
* Surge protectors
* Telephones
* Typewriters
* Adding machines
* Microwaves

Items NOT allowed include:

* Hazardous materials of any type
* Batteries not integral to computer systems
* Contaminated equipment of any type
* Cracked or broken CRT screens
* Light bulbs
* Smoke detectors
* Household appliances
* Hairdryers
* Styrofoam
* Cardboard
* Paper

Tuesday, April 7, 2009



HP's 2008: Millions of Pounds Recycled, Emissions Reduced, Green Design Embraced
By GreenerComputing Staff
April 6, 2009

2008 was a busy year for Hewlett Packard's green efforts: in addition to reducing its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent over 2007 figures (that's in absolute terms; relative to revenue HP cut emissions by 13 percent in 2008), the company made big strides in e-waste recycling, green design of IT products, and supply chain emissions reporting.

The report, which is online at, breaks down the company's CSR investments into six categories: global citizenship, ethics & compliance, human rights & labor, environmental sustainability, privacy, and social investment.

On the environmental front, one significant achievement was the collection of 34,000 tons of electronic equipment for reuse, and the recycling of another 120,000 tons of electronics that would have otherwise gone to landfill. Those numbers bring HP up to 1.7 billion pounds (850,000 tons) of total electronics recycled. In 2004, HP set a goal of recycling 1 billion pounds of e-waste by the end of 2007, and the company beat that goal by 6 months, hitting the 1 billion pound mark in July 2007.

Other notable achievements from HP in 2008 included its victory in Wal-Mart's green design challenge, which HP won by reducing the packaging by 97 percent for one of its notebook PCs. On the IT side, the company announced that it had saved $1 billion by overhauling and consolidating its IT platform, cutting total spending on IT hardware in half and saving 60 percent of the energy used in its data centers while boosting overall computing capacity by 250 percent or more.

HP also released in May a new printer, the Deskjet D2545, which is made from 83 percent recycled plastic, uses recycled and recyclable ink cartridges, and which comes in 100 percent recyclable packaging.

On the supply-chain and emissions front, in January 2008, HP shared its green supply chain guidelines with the world, aimed at helping organizations of all sizes develop strong CSR programs; and in September, HP became the first IT company to post its first-tier supply chain emissions, while urging other IT companies to do the same.

HP's full report is online at
Source URL:

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The green gadgets test


David Tusing on Saturday, April 04, 2009

Green is hot right now and consumer electronics makers better keep up. In its latest edition of Guide to Greener Electronics, environment campaign group Greenpeace has asked manufacturers, especially laptop makers, to "come clean on green issues".

"Producers only go green when they feel public and consumer pressure to do so," it said. "The phase-out of toxic substances is an urgent priority to help tackle the growing tide of e-waste."

The guide, updated every three months and published this week, ranks 17 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.

The non-profit organisation had strong words for laptop makers HP, Lenovo and Dell, who they claim "had promised to eliminate vinyl plastic (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products by the end of 2009.

"Now they've told us that they won't make it this year," the report said, and added: "Of the world's five top PC makers, only Apple is truly kicking the habit."

Greenpeace also praised Dutch electronics giant Philips for what it called a "dramatic about-turn on recycling and take-back".

"It's jumped from 15th to fourth place in one go. Following public pressure, the company has significantly improved its position on taking financial responsibility for the recycling of its products when they become e-waste.

"Exposing electronics companies to public pressure is helping to green the industry," Greenpeace said. "They could do much more."

Here's the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, with each company rated out of 10:

7.5: Nokia

Keeps top spot with new CO2 emissions reduction targets. Nokia stays in first place with an improved total score of 7.5. It now scores maximum points for its comprehensive voluntary take-back programme, which spans 84 countries providing almost 5,000 collection points for end-of-life mobile phones. However, it needs to start using recycled plastics beyond just packaging.

6.9: Samsung

Up two places with clear support for global climate change cuts. Samsung leaps to second place, up from fourth from the last Guide and increases its score from 5.9 to 6.9, scoring relatively well on all criteria. Since November 2007, all new models of LCD panels are PVC-free.

5.7: Sony Ericsson

Down one place with more work to do on recycling. Sony drops one place to third with a reduced score of 5.7, losing a point for its limited definition of the principle of Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR), which measures how efficiently a company deals with e-waste that is created from their own products that are thrown away. But it's the first company to score almost top marks on the chemicals criteria, missing this target by having unreasonably high threshold limits for BFRs in products that are allegedly BFR-free.

5.7: Philips

Biggest mover, up 11 places due to big recycling policy improvements. Philips soars up the ranking from 15th place to fourth, scoring 5.7. Philips also scores a point for its voluntary take-back and for reporting on the recycling rate of the electronic waste (e-waste) it collects in Europe and now needs to demonstrate its commitment to taking responsibility for its own e-waste by expanding its take-back programme and improving the information that it provides to its customers.

5.5: Sony

Up two places with better product energy efficiency reporting. Sony moves up to fifth and increases its score to 5.5. It gains points on the energy efficiency of its products by reporting that all new models of TVs released in 2008 meet the latest Energy Star (ES) requirements.

5.5: LG Electronics

Loses points for delaying toxics phase out for all products. LG Electronics remains in sixth position, although its score drops from 5.7 to 5.5, losing points for backtracking on its commitment to have all its products free of PVC and BFRs by 2010. Now, only mobile products will be free of these toxic substances from 2010; the timeline for eliminating them in TVs and monitors has been delayed until after 2012.

5.3: Toshiba

Loses points for poor CO2 reduction target and missing energy efficiency data. Toshiba drops to seventh place with a reduced score of 5.3, losing points on the chemicals and energy criteria. The reporting of the energy efficiency of its PCs is unclear and on TVs, Toshiba reports only on the efficiency of US TVs; the data on models exceeding the latest ES standard is confusing.

5.3: Motorola

Down one place, needs to improve on waste and energy. Motorola drops from seventh to eight place, with a score of 5.3 points, losing points on reporting its recycling rate and on energy, for failing to publish its third party verification certificate of CO2 equivalent emissions. However, it also gains points on energy for reporting that from November 1, 2008, all newly designed Motorola mobile phone chargers meet and exceed by 67 per cent the new Energy Star v.2.0 requirements for standby/no-load modes.

4.9: Sharp

Unchanged – gains point for new US recycling scheme, loses one for weaker commitment on global emissions reduction. Sharp moves up the ranking from 10th place to ninth with an unchanged overall score of 4.9 points. It gains points for improved chemicals management and it also provides a timeline of fiscal 2010 for eliminating phthalates and antimony.

4.7: Apple

Up four places, good on chemicals elimination, improved on recycling but still poor on energy. Apple's score increases to 4.7 points and the company leaps to tenth position – up from 14th. All Apple products are now free of PVC and BFRs with the exception of PVC-free power cords, which are in the process of being certified. The company needs to be commended for running a bold advertising campaign highlighting the green credentials of its MacBooks.

4.5: Acer

Score drops slightly due to poor e-waste. Acer has dropped slightly from 4.7 to 4.5 points, but it stays in 11th place. The company is not penalised for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and BFRs in all products by the end of 2009 as internal communication with Acer reveals that it believes it can still meet this commitment.

4.3: Panasonic

Down three places due to poor definition of precautionary principle and energy efficiency reporting. Panasonic falls from ninth to 12th place and its score drops to 4.3 points, as a result of losing points for its confusing definition of the Precautionary Principle, a moral code or responsibility to intervene and protect the public from exposure to harm.

3.7: Dell

Continues to drop, penalty point for breaking commitment to phase out of toxics by end 2009. Dell has been dropping down the ranking from fifth place to eight and to 12th in subsequent guides and is now in 13th position, with a reduced score of 3.7 points. Dell's score has plummeted due to the penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in all its products by the end of 2009. Dell no longer has a timeline for eliminating these nasty substances.

3.1: Lenovo

Penalty point for breaking commitment phase out of toxics by the end of 2009. Lenovo climbs to 14th position despite its score dropping to 3.1points, encumbered by a penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in all its products by the end of 2009. Lenovo has now moved the timeline for meeting this commitment to end of 2010.

2.7: Microsoft

Score drops due to bad performance on e-waste. Microsoft rises to 15th position although its score drops to 2.7 points, as it loses a point for failing to clarify how its recycling data is calculated. It reports that it financed the collection and recycling of e-waste equivalent to 17 per cent of worldwide sales in 2007.

2.7: HP

Penalty point for breaking commitment to phase out of toxics by end 2009. HP drops from 13th to penultimate (16th) position weighed down by a penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in computing products by the end of 2009. Although it still communicates this timeline on its website, in a call with Greenpeace in February 2009, the company admitted that it would be unable to meet its commitment.

0.8: Nintendo

Remains in last place, with an unchanged score. The Japanese giant, headquartered in Kyoto, remains in last place with a pitiful 0.8 points out of 10, scoring zero on all e-waste criteria.

Although it is endeavouring to eliminate the use of PVC, it has not set a timeline for its phase out. Nintendo discloses carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its own operations and commits to cutting CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases by two per cent over each previous year. However, Nintendo admits that an increase in business led to a six per cent rise in CO2 emissions in 2006.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

modern ghana news, april 2 2009

Ministry to stem dumping of toxic waste in Ghana
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, on Thursday said his Ministry in collaboration with relevant institutions would “get tough” on persons and institutions engaged in the shipment and dumping of toxic wastes in the country.

He made the remark during a forum and exhibition to mark the 20th anniversary celebration of the operations of Omanfofor Company Limited, a subsidiary of Canon South Africa in Ghana.

Omanfofor was incorporated in Ghana in 1989 as the sole dealer and distributor of Canon Business Solution (CBS) products. The company had since been at the forefront of the distribution of world branded ICT solutions.

Mr Iddrisu noted that dumping of toxic waste within the environs of Agbogbloshie, a suburb of Accra, recently attracted international concern, adding that, it was time that all stakeholders, including dealers, manufacturers, the state, responded to the menace.

“In that regard my Ministry in collaboration with the relevant institutions would take stringent measures to prevent the shipment and dumping of toxic waste in the country,” he said.

He noted that most electronic equipment was extremely hazardous to both human and the environment once disposed of, adding that computer companies had a share in the responsibility for the improper disposal of old electronic devices.

The Minister charged all ICT related organisations in the country to join in the effort to stem the importation and dumping of electronic waste in the country.

He recalled the “remarkable” contribution of Omanfofor to the growth of the use of ICT in Ghana, saying that, Omanfofor had become a household name in Ghana through the efficiency of its products including Canon copiers, fax machines, printers, document readers, scanners, cameras, calculators, UPS, anti-viruses, Dell desktop, laptop and servers among other things.

Mr Iddrisu was however worried that, foreign manufacturers benefited more from the local consumption of Omanfofor and other ICT products, saying that there was the need to also develop human capacity in the country to manufacture and or assemble ICT equipment for local consumption.

He said the introduction of the Government Assisted PC Programme (GAPP), Community Information Centres, Technology Parks and Development of Incubatord were intended for that purpose.

The Minister also observed the proliferation of fake ICT equipment on the market and assured the genuine dealers that in addition to the four ICT legislations recently passed by Parliament, the Ministry was preparing supplementary bills purposely to support the industry and protect genuine operators like Omanfofor.

“I believe this initiative will create the needed enabling environment for foreign direct investment in the industry, as well as whip up local initiative in computer programming, software development and hardware manufacturing, in line with government policy,” he said.

Mr Iddrisu also noted that dealers in ICT products were not noted for social responsibility activities and urged Omanfofor to set the pace in making some contribution to the community it operated in.

Ms Vivian Baitie, Managing Director of Omanfofor said the company was currently working with its collaborators to undertake a project through the Ministry of Education to ensure that all school children in Ghana got computers as a matter of right and not luxury.

Mr Gian De Vallier, Managing Director of Canon South Africa assured the minister that Canon products were toxic free and that high standards were adhered to from the host country before Canon products were exported to anywhere in the world.

He said the turnover of the company for 2008 was US$45 billion; higher than that of 2007, which stood at US$39.3 billion.

He urged Ghanaians to patronise Canon products saying that, they were of the highest quality, user friendly, well designed, stylish and connectivity ready.

Canon employs 131,000 people in 239 subsidiaries around the world and is ranked 182nd based on sale revenue, 124th based on profits and 100th based on market capitalization on the Fortune 500 global companies’ rankings.