Friday, August 29, 2008

MediaPost Article on Sony

Sony Recycles Ads To Make Point About E-Waste
by Laurie Sullivan, Friday, Aug 29, 2008 5:00 AM ET
Sony Ad Sony Electronics and Waste Management Recycle America are teaming up to raise awareness of the importance of recycling electronics.

To that end, the companies will stage an event in Boston on Sept. 13 wherein the first 2,000 consumers to drop off their old electronics at Gillette Stadium receive a free "environmentally friendly" cloth tote.

And Sony is recycling an old television ad promoting what looks like one of its first Beta video recorders and players. Superimposed near the end are these words: "We're recycling our old 1970s commercials to remind you to recycle your old electronics." TV and newspaper print ads will run over the next couple of weeks prior to the Boston event and then roll out to other markets such as Phoenix, Austin, Texas, and Atlanta.

"We realize e-waste has become a big barrier to recycling because many of the items you want to recycle are large," says Stuart Redsun, senior VP corporate marketing at Sony Electronics. "Some U.S. states don't have programs to take back old VCRs and televisions."

Doug Smith, director of corporate environmental affairs at Sony Electronics, says that with help from Waste Management, Sony has opened about 155 recycling drop-off locations since September. The objective is to have a free and convenient network for electronics waste.

The electronics company says the promotion fits nicely into its ongoing Take Back Recycling program, which provides free recycling for Sony products. At the Boston event, Sony will open free recycling to other brands, Smith says.

With plans to bring several other electronic manufacturers into the program, Waste Management introduced the electronics recycling program with Sony Electronics a year ago, and recently added LG Electronics to the mix, says Wes Muir, director of corporate communications for Waste Management.

Along with Waste Management, Sony has collected about 9.2 million pounds of electronic waste.

Citing statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Muir says about 2 million tons of cellular phones, televisions, printers, and computers are collected annually, but there are 5 million tons in basements, garages and attics being stored that can be recycled, Muir says. Not surprisingly, electronic waste is the fastest-growing commodity in the waste management system considering the number of gadgets being introduced monthly. Design and delivery cycles on smaller electronics are sometimes fewer than six months.

For example, on Thursday Sony unveiled three new Walkman players and a 10-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-T500 camera with an HD movie recording feature. The Walkman series S, E and B players provide easy content transfer software with drag-and-drop features for non-DRM music, videos and podcasts, while the Sony Cyber-shot offers wide and full- screen 720p movie recording at 30 frames per second in fine and standard and VGA recording modes.

Monday, August 25, 2008


ACN Mini Think Tank Fellowships: Eco-Performance and Arts-Based Methods.
Part of the Earth Matters Symposium, University of Oregon, Eugene, May 21st to 31st 2009

Art Culture Nature invites you to share your practice, and research process together! We offer ten fellowships.

This sub-section of the Earth Matters on Stage Symposium ((
is less interested in research conducted prior to the conference on dramatic works about ecology and environmental instability. The aim is rather to investigate arts-based methodologies and analyses of process in relation to eco-arts. We hope to reach artists and scholars who are interested in sharing inventive methods in the field of performance and eco arts. We invite dancers, dramatists, poets, musicians, visual/performance artists, sculptors, community artists, theorists and multimedia artists to apply to our mini-think tank.

We will meet over the span of a few days early in the symposium, and the selected fellows will run mini-workshops for their peers (and we will provide details of exact dates, potential sites and meeting places for this after the selection, as much depends on the mix of people). This is a place to do, play and be, not (only) to tell, although we will also set up structures that allow us to share textual material and reflect on our experiences together.

Each fellowship will be $300. You are expected to register for the larger symposium (about $75), and can use the rest of the fellowship to offset travel and accommodation costs.

To apply, please send a short statement of interest, a CV, and documentation of your previous work (DVDs, CDs, articles (PDF preferred), URLs, etc) to both and, and the material via snail mail to: Petra Kuppers, 2550 Dana Street, Apt. 8FG, Berkeley, CA 94704. All material will become part of an arts and ecology archive, so try not to send material that needs returning! Deadline: December 10th. We will inform fellows by the end of December.

Think Tank Organizers,
Molly Hacker and Petra Kuppers

Saturday, August 23, 2008


The Globe and Mail

Criminals expected to profit from e-trash


With reports from The Canadian Press

August 23, 2008

The growing amount of laptops, portable phones and other electronics being tossed away in Canada is creating new trafficking opportunities for organized crime, the country's law-enforcement officials are predicting.

The warning is contained in the 2008 annual report of the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, under a section devoted to emerging and future threats.

"The illicit trafficking and disposal of 'e-waste' - computers, televisions, cell phones - is driving a burgeoning environmental and human health crisis in several developing nations in Asia and, increasingly, in Africa," the report says.

"Criminal networks can profit by collecting e-waste in developed countries such as Canada and selling it to 'recyclers' in developing nations."

Things will get worse between next year and 2011, the report says, because millions of North American television sets will be made obsolete by digital broadcasting.

"One of the reasons organized crime has been as successful as it is, is that they're very adaptable and it's not like they've given up any of their traditional markets," RCMP Commissioner William Elliott said at the unveiling of the report in Montreal.

"If it wasn't lucrative, organized crime groups wouldn't be involved in it."

Environmental groups have long complained that Canada allows the shipping of electronic waste to Asia, despite its obligations under the Basel Convention, the international treaty that restricts the exports of hazardous materials.

Canadians throw away an estimated 140,000 tonnes of electronic junk in a year, said Josh Lepawsky, a geography professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland who is doing research on the international trade of e-waste.

Statistics Canada figures also show that the personal computers and televisions thrown away each year in Canada contain massive amounts of toxic metals, including 4,750 tonnes of lead, 4½ tonnes of cadmium and 1.1 tonnes of mercury.

Prof. Lepawsky estimates that half to three-quarters of Canadian e-waste earmarked for recycling actually ends up in Asia or Africa.

Estimating the size of the illicit trafficking is trickier. "You have to rely on customs documents. So if they're altered, assuming they even exist, as an investigator, it'd be very hard to trace that," he said. "We know it exists, but how big it really is, it's hard to say."

While China has banned the import of electronic waste, members of the Basel Action Network, a Seattle-based watchdog, spotted a shipment of used computer equipment from Vancouver in Guangdong province in 2002. The printers still carried tags from Air Canada and the Department of National Defence.

In 2004, customs officers in Hong Kong, inspecting what was supposed to be a container full of metal scraps from Vancouver, found instead 625 used computer monitors and television sets, along with other undeclared computer accessories and compact discs.

In the Port of Vancouver late in 2006, Environment Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency seized 50 containers bound for China and Hong Kong that carried thousands of used computer monitors.

The CISC report also warns that careless disposal of computer drives also create an opportunity for organized crime to cull government, corporate and personal information.


August 23 2008

HEALTH HAZARD: IT companies are under no obligation to manage their waste because there is no legislation.

Bangalore: Bangalore’s innumerable IT (information technology) and related companies produce 11,000 tonnes of e-waste every year. But most of this finds its way to backyard recyclers in the by-lanes of Bangalore — and very little goes to the authorised e-waste managers who are competent to neutralise the waste.

Bangalore has three recyclers recognised by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. But, “sadly, IT companies are under no obligation to manage their waste because India does not have legislation for e-waste,” said P. Parthasarathy, Director, E-Parisara Pvt. Ltd., one of the three authorised recyclers.

Of the 1,350 IT, BPO (business process outsourcing) and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) companies in Bangalore, only around 50 have come forward to manage their waste through E-Parisara.

Many of the others prefer to sell their e-waste to the “highest bidder” from unauthorised e-waste traders as they offer a better deal, said Mr. Parthasarathy who was speaking here on Friday at a meeting on “Alternate energy and environment” organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

The Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) “Guidelines for environmentally sound management of e-waste” was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in March 2008, but as they are only guidelines, they do not bind companies to manage their waste, he said.
Ranks third

According to the CPCB guidelines, Bangalore ranks third among the top 10 cities that generate e-waste in the country.

Mumbai ranks first, followed by Delhi. These guidelines were prepared as no specific environmental laws exist for e-waste and “none of the existing environmental laws have any direct reference to electronic waste or refer to its handling as hazardous in nature.”

As a result, E-Parisara’s 1.5 acre unit in Dobbspet, which has the capacity to recycle three tonnes of e-waste every day and hopes to achieve a 10-tonne capacity in five years, is “struggling to break even”, said Mr. Parthasarathy. “We are not receiving an adequate amount of e-waste. We need more companies to cooperate,” he said.

Bangalore’s e-waste comprises computer monitors, keyboards, CDs, mobile phones, fluorescent tubes and medical devices. “Electronic equipment are being discarded at a greater rate than ever before because of advances in technology, changes in fashion and machinery reaching the end of their lifespan,” he said.

Lead, mercury and arsenic are only some of the deadly compounds that e-waste can release, each of which can result in serious health hazards. They are carcinogenic and can affect immunity and the reproductive system.

As for the public sector, while institutions such as BHEL, Bharat Electronics Ltd., the Indian Institute of Science and the Bangalore Institute of Technology give their e-waste to E-Parisara on a regular basis, several other government institutions do not do so.

“For instance, no one has any idea what government departments of Telecom, Railways, Civil Aviation, and Defence — all of which rely on electronic equipment — are doing with their e-waste. They are most likely going to backyard recyclers or informal sector traders,” Mr. Parthasarathy said.

There is pressure on Ministry of Environment and Forests from non-government organisations, recyclers and the industry to come up with legislation to make e-waste management mandatory for all companies that produce it, he said.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Attero Recycling Raises Series A Funding of US$6.3 Million

Last update: 12:55 a.m. EDT Aug. 21, 2008
NOIDA, India, August 21, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Attero, a Noida based start-up in the business of E-Waste Management, today announced that it has attracted US$6.3 million (approx Rs. 25 crore) in funding from venture capital firms NEA-IndoUS Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson . The company will use the proceeds of the financing to establish a state of the art E-Waste Recycling facility in Roorkee and grow the business.
Attero is setting up an automated and integrated Electrical & Electronic Waste recycling plant in Roorkee spread over an area of more than 100,000 sq ft. The plant will process WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) such as used computers, cell phones, network gear, TV etc. in an environmentally friendly manner with very high recycling efficiency. Attero was started with a mission of removing E Waste from our society.
"We at Attero believe that recycling is a simple step towards a better future. We look at E-Waste as an important resource that can be made useful instead of shunning it as a social and environmental burden." said Nitin Gupta, CEO, Attero Recycling Private Limited. "With this funding, we look forward to bringing a safe, efficient and hassle free solution to the E-Waste problem and open up this potentially huge market in India. We are delighted to have investors like NEA-IUV and DFJ partner with us in this venture."
"Close technical collaboration with a leading US company for mechanical separation, a first-of-its kind indigenous metallurgical process being developed in-house, a highly automated facility for integrated E-Waste recycling at Roorkee are just some steps taken to process E Waste efficiently." said Dr. Kumar Shiralagi, Managing Director, NEA-IndoUS Ventures. "E-Waste is a growing problem with the rapid rise in consumption of consumer electronics and the increase in their obsolesce rate. We are delighted to partner with Attero in their quest to recycle E-Waste in a highly efficient and environmentally safe manner."
"Attero is the first company in India setting up an end to end E-Waste recycling facility. Attero offers consumers a convenient way to ensure millions of obsolescent unwanted gadgets don't poison the nation's dumps." said Mohanjit Jolly, Executive Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, India. "With the ever increasing awareness of health and environment, there has never been a greater need for a company that can not only handle complete processing of E-Waste but also provide client friendly services like pickup of E-Waste from premises and complete data security, a company that cares as much about the customer needs as the environment. We are ecstatic about not only what Attero has accomplished but what the prospects are."
Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the country, with many consumer electronics ending up being disposed off in a harmful manner. This is an environmental concern and a waste of our natural resources. Efficient and environmentally friendly recycling of this waste is imperative. India generated 3.3 lakh tonnes of E-Waste in 2007 and is going to touch 4.7 lakh tonnes by 2011, as per a study released by MAIT-GTZ.
About Attero:
Attero is a Noida-based start-up in the E-Waste management space founded by Nitin Gupta and Rohan Gupta. Attero brings to the market a convenient, highly efficient and safe solution to counter the growing E-Waste problem. The company offers product pickup from anywhere in India thus reducing the customer's need for storage and the ensuing problems. Customers are constantly updated with regular reports of the status of the consignment from receipt to final disposal. Attero conducts regular audits to ensure compliance with the Health Environment and Safety standards. At Attero, we believe that every contribution can make a difference to reducing the e-burden on society and protecting nature from the growing E-Waste menace. The company is proud of the fact that it cares for the society and is working towards a cleaner and safer future for all. Attero's team comprises of some of the best brains in the business having studied in best in class colleges worldwide like IITs, RECs, London Business School etc. and has got the backing of two of the leading Venture Capital firms, namely, NEA-IUV and DFJ. For additional information, please visit
About NEA-IndoUS Ventures:
NEA-IndoUS Ventures is a venture capital firm based out of Bangalore, India and Silicon Valley US. The firm is dedicated to creating technology and technology enabled innovative companies out of India that serve both the Indian and the global markets. The firm invests in early and mid-stage companies. The firm's partners have the unique experience and expertise to nurture entrepreneurs and actively help the development and scaling of promising companies. In addition, a significant partner in this fund is New Enterprise Associates (NEA) who is a sponsor and active advisor. This network of collective relationships and experience is an invaluable asset to entrepreneurs and portfolio companies. For additional information, visit
About Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Draper Fisher Jurvetson is the preeminent venture capital firm with global presence through a network of partner funds, with offices in more than 33 cities around the world and over US$5.5 billion in capital commitments. DFJ's mission is to identify, serve, and provide capital for extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who are determined to change the world. Over the past twenty years, DFJ has been proud to back more than 300 companies across many sectors including such industry-changing catalysts as Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Athenahealth (ATHN), EnerNOC (ENOC), Interwoven (IWOV), Four11 (acquired by YHOO), Parametric (PMTC), and Digidesign (acquired by AVID).
DFJ's India portfolio includes DVD rental company, electric car maker Reva, mobile payment company mChek, internet ad network Komli, and out of home TV company LiveMedia.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


More solid research--thanks to Kate Oakley for telling me about this

16 July 2008

New research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) reveals that the public favour Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) over other emission reduction policy options for individuals and households.

The survey by ippr to determine public response to PCT showed that respondents were less opposed to the idea of personal carbon credits than other alternatives, although it was still only supported by a minority of people. Respondents were also asked their opinions on carbon taxes, which would apply a levy to energy costs at the point of sale, or a similar cap-and-trade system to PCT but applied directly to energy providers.

In a survey of more than a thousand people, PCT won more support (31%) than the other policy alternatives presented. ippr says the research demonstrates that PCT is potentially more politically acceptable than previously thought.

Although less than a third of respondents said they supported or strongly supported PCT, this compared to 23% who supported a corporate cap-and-trade approach and 19% who supported a carbon tax.

ippr Senior Research Fellow, Matthew Lockwood, said:

“These results surprised us. In order to meet carbon emissions targets politicians face tough choices. Our research show that the public may be more receptive to PCT than other proposals and suggest politicians should give serious consideration to this option.

“The advantages of the scheme are that it gives people more personal responsibility and is transparent. Half our respondents thought that PCT would make people think more about their energy use and emissions. A third liked it because they thought the principle that everyone gets the same number of credits is fair.”

ippr says the survey has important implications for the development and delivery of any potential PCT scheme. It recommends that any potential PCT scheme should:

be presented as a benefit rather than a ration
ensure transparency and openness on how a scheme would operate, be funded and where any profits might be spent
be delivered by a trusted third partner, not a government department.

Although the PCT fared better in terms of potential support than carbon tax or upstream tax systems, widespread reservations on PCT were expressed including fears about personal data being collected, unequal outcomes and the impact on people less able to afford extra credits and concerns about difficulties in policing the scheme.

ippr interviewed 1,081 people for the survey in an online poll. ippr also hosted three workshops and held 17 stakeholder interviews.

Notes to editors

Under PCT, each year every person in the country would be given the same number of ‘carbon credits’ which they would have to spend when they bought petrol, diesel, electricity, coal, gas, heating oil or a flight. People who used more than their allocation could sell any spare credits and those who exceed their allowance would need to buy extra credits. People could increase their spare credits by saving energy in their homes, installing insulation, choosing energy saving appliances, choosing cars that do not use a lot of fuel and by driving and flying less.
ippr’s research was conducted as part of a larger project assessing the strengths and weaknesses of personal carbon trading. The survey was commissioned by ippr from e-feedback, who polled 1,081 people in February 2008. The design of the questionnaire was informed by a focus group held in London with 15 members of the public in mid-February.
ippr also held three deliberative workshops on PCT and alternatives in Newcastle, Bristol and rural Suffolk in May 2008, and interviewed 17 experts from civil society, business and politics.


When Big Blue sees green
Posted under Alternative Fuels, Environment, Science (general), Videos

By Alexander Villafania

The effect of the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries can be likened to the effect of the information technology revolution today. It created new industries and new skills that changed the way people lived. Yet, both periods in history also had their share of negative impact: pollution.

The industrial revolution saw an increase in use of petroleum products and chemical compounds that seeped into the ground, polluting water and soil. IT industries, with the constant replacement of old equipment for better ones, is also causing a new generation of garbage and it could get worse as the demand for IT products continues growing.

Some companies have already taken steps to alleviate the problem of electronic waste. At the recently held IBM Service Management Summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Big Blue showcased one aspect where the company could help reduce problems caused by the IT industry. Although it was not widely promoted, the company released its “green strategy” paper aimed at its clients that are building their IT infrastructure. The paper is about 15 pages long and suggested several implementation strategies that clients and partners can take to tackle potential environmental solutions. The paper, ostensibly entitled “IBM Software: A Green Strategy for Your Entire Organization,” was created in June 2008 as part of the company’s campaign for its Tivoli software.

Some of the solutions provided are simple, manpower-related environmental austerity measures, which includes reducing commuting through increased online collaboration (IBM once preached about the effectiveness of having mobile workers), turning off lights when not in use, and reduction of paper consumption by using electronic forms instead. Other practices on an infrastructure scale that IBM is suggesting include optimization of hardware power consumption, shifting workloads from over-utilized servers to underutilized ones, proper cooling systems depending on the machine (some equipment fail when they come to their overheating points), and even properly managing digital data to enable quick access and reducing heat.

IBM also stressed in the paper several reasons why it is important for companies, from the smallest mom-and-pop shop to the largest conglomerates, to have a steady and focused environmental strategy. One particular issue of note is increased power consumption by IT equipment, and with the realization that prices of oil will continue to go higher, IBM stressed that their customers must take measures to reduce power consumption while running at full operational capacity.

John Frech, director for IBM Tivoli Worldwide sales strategy, said that having an environmental strategy to follow will have a positive impact not just on the environment but also on the company’s operational capacity. He said their software products have been tested to allow for some energy-efficient operations, as well as maximizing the life of their equipment. He added that by giving office administrators all the tools they need to ensure full operational capacity, the company is saving on energy consumption and thus, the environment.

IBM also dedicated a website specifically for their IT strategy. Other companies also have similar projects, among which includes Microsoft’s Environmental Solutions, HP’s Eco Solutions and Intel. This already shows how IT companies are taking responsibility for the potential impact of the IT industry on the environment and how companies like them can become leaders in saving the environment.


19 Aug 2008
How Green Are We?

Author: Chris Fernando

With rising energy costs and the threat of global warming, many individuals and businesses alike are now recognising the benefits of using technology to reduce their carbon footprint and to minimise waste. Even local organisations have started realising the importance of such initiatives.

Abu Dhabi for instance, is constructing what would supposedly be the world's first zero-emissions city. However, we are only humans – we have a tendency of embracing and then discarding fads with alarming speed. But global warming is no fad. It's a real problem, and it grows worse by the day.

Attitude Needs to Change
“‘Going Green’ is no longer a catch phrase,” proclaims Krishna Murthy, the Deputy Managing Director for Acer Computer Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META. “It is rather a new way of conducting business. Organisations have a social responsibility to care for the planet and leave behind a greener earth for the coming generations to enjoy,” he explains. “This planet will survive only if we work together for sustainable development. We must be ready for our competitiveness in tomorrow’s market, which is to be shaped by sustainability issues.”

According to Nicole Maria Meier, the Marketing Manager at D-Link Middle East, the fact that we are living in an oil producing rich country, might lead to the illusion, that energy resources and raw materials are infinite. “However, once legal systems and recycling facilities are in place and education programmes are being conducted, the overall awareness in this region will be enhanced. This will ultimately lead to consumers being more aware of choosing equally energy-efficient and pro-environment products,” she adds.

While the attitude of consumers needs to change, the education about green technologies available on the market should start from vendors. Epson for instance, contributes to the fight against global warming through actions that ultimately lead to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. “Apart from our ongoing efforts to minimise the energy consumed by our products during use, we are reducing emissions from our production processes and are reducing energy consumption by streamlining our logistics,” says Khalil El-Dalu, the General Manager at Epson Middle East. He claims that Epson was recently recognised for its environmental initiatives when it was awarded the Minister of the Environment award at the 9th Ozone Layer Protection / Global Warming Prevention Awards.

Going green into the future is a must and will become integral in all aspects of our lives, including the workplace environment. The reason for this is that global warming is a growing concern and a reality and is everyone's responsibility to take action and play a part in reducing the damage inflicted on our environment.

“Helping businesses to operate in an environmentally friendly manner is one way that Xerox demonstrates a real commitment to sustainability. To achieve this and make it a reality, Xerox dedicates a significant portion of its R&D investments on innovative programs that deliver on measurable results and products that are truly 'green',” comments Dan Smith, the Office Marketing Manager at Xerox Developing Markets Operations.

According to Smith, Xerox has identified four main areas where they want to take a leadership position both in its business and in showing its customers how they can make their businesses more sustainable. These include climate protection and energy, preserving biodiversity and the world’s forests, preserving clean air and water and waste prevention and management.

“We strive to reduce waste in our operations and in the use of our products for our customers as well as for our company. We responsibly manage the disposal of waste by implementing recycling measures,” says Smith. “Xerox has been recognised for its ongoing efforts in protecting the environment on several occasions, including Climate Protection award from the US, EPA and is listed on Dow Jones Sustainability Index and FTSE4Good Index Series which recognises well-respected citizenship practices.”

Green Products Now Available
John Ross, the General Manager for Middle East, India and North East Africa at OKI Printing Solutions is of the opinion that global warming is a serious issue that is topping the political, social and economical agendas. “It’s a global issue that requires collective efforts from governments, enterprises as well as individuals. Understanding the criticality of the issue and its consequences on the coming generations and the earth would lead to the adoption of serious actions and a change in behaviors among the public which should be sustained in order to preserve the earth we live in,” he adds. According to Ross, OKI does not use any hazardous substance as all the company’s equipments are compliant with the EU directive RoHS – Restriction of Hazardous Substances.

Many companies have also started producing eco-friendly products. Samsung Electronics for instance launched two environment-friendly mobile handsets, W510 and F268 at World IT Show in Seoul. The W510 is Samsung's first mobile phone with 'bio-plastic' made from natural material extracted from corns. Samsung claims that it has been making an effort to develop more renewable and eco-friendly material compared with common plastic produced from petroleum.

Moreover, when producing W510, Samsung did not use any heavy metals, such as Lead, Mercury, and Cadmium, and applied water-soluble coating. Samsung’s F268 with all the accessories including charger and headset does not contain BFRs (Brominated Flame Retardant) or PVC.

In addition, Samsung F268 has an alarm function to encourage users to unplug their charger when the devices are fully charged. The product also is following the Energy Star requirements as well, which is strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy.

“Samsung is striving to continue to be a strong corporate citizen that contributes to environmental sustainability," says Geesung Choi, the President of Samsung’s Telecommunication Business. “Now we are trying not only to launch more environmentally-conscious products with more renewable material and less energy consuming, but also to expand proactively set up a phone recycling system"

According to power management company APC, it is aware of the effects of climate change and green is really the subject of the moment. A spokesperson from APC claims that green IT is not a marketing gimmick as there are real cost savings and efficiencies to be gained. APC adds that large IT organisations can reap direct and significant value by going green.

The company also says that the data centre is where CIOs (Chief Information Officers) can get quick wins, because 40 to 50 percent of power consumption in an organisation can be attributed to IT. The company had recently launched its new AP7856 metered rack PDU that addresses the need of customers who struggle to provide adequate power while maintaining space or cable management and access to removable blade components. The AP7856 according to APC is the first and only vertical mount Zero-U rack PDU available that permits full access to HP c-class blade hot-swap components when installed in a typical 600mm enclosure.

HP’s Compaq dc5800 Business PC meanwhile provides power and flexibility as well as a variety of environmental features that allows it to meet the most stringent environmental requirements of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Gold registry. According to HP, it currently tops the industry in the number of Gold-listed products in the EPEAT registry, which helps businesses evaluate, compare and select technology products based on their environmental attributes, such as meeting the US Environmental Protection Agency’s latest ENERGY STAR energy efficiency requirements.

“HP’s ongoing efforts to design for the environment has spanned decades,” says Louay Helaby, the Business Desktops Category Manager at HP Middle East. “HP leverages the expertise built from this long-standing commitment to continually develop smart ideas for its desktop and other product lines that can help business customers not only be more productive, but also reduce both operating costs and their effect on the environment.”

Genius meanwhile sells the Slimstar 820 Solargizer a keyboard that uses solar energy to power itself, rather than using the batteries. “It is an innovative product as it does not require batteries to operate the keyboard. It helps to provide a less-polluted environment caused by disposal of batteries. In a year, millions of batteries are discarded, thus causing severe damage to our health and to the environment. Furthermore, the mouse that comes with the keyboard features an innovative power saving technology to provide an extended battery life of up to 15 months, thus saving money on frequent purchase of batteries,” explains Bijoy Thomas, the Marketing Manager at Genius Computer Technology Ltd.

According to Bittu Mattam, the Product Manager for Laser Printers at Canon Middle East, many ‘green’ products in fact work out to be cheaper in the long run and this is an important message that needs to be communicated to both consumers and businesses. “We need to substantiate and prove to customers that environmentally responsible technology can help save them costs,” adds Mattam. “This could be through energy saving which in the life of the product, negates the price advantage non-green products enjoy in the beginning while contributing to environmental safety. For instance our i-SENSYS laser printers offer a 75 percent reduction in power consumption compared to devices with conventional roller-fixing systems”

Motherboard and graphics card manufacturer Gigabyte meanwhile has launched its latest range of motherboards featuring an advanced proprietary software design called Gigabyte Easy Energy Saver. The application allows users to adjust CPU power depending on workload, delivering just the right amount of power needed for a particular computing task. The new technology is coupled with Intel's highly efficient 45nm CPUs, thus providing exceptional levels of power savings and enhanced power efficiency without sacrificing computing performance.

“One click of the Easy Energy Saver button and users are able to instantly take advantage of power savings, without a confusing setup or complicated calibration processes,” explains Tim Handley, the Sales Manager of Gigabyte United Asia Sales Division. “Not only can users see real-time CPU power consumption in Watts, but once Easy Energy Saver is enabled, users can see how much power they are actually saving. Users can also enjoy energy savings in Stealth Mode, by turning off the Easy Energy Savings User Interface. With its intelligent Click and Forget design, users only have to select their preferred energy saving settings once. After that, they can completely turn off the Easy Energy Saver utility, helping to minimise CPU resources while still enjoying power savings benefits.”

Local Initiatives is Key
Taking cue from initiatives on eco-friendliness by companies and organisations from around the globe, many companies in Middle East and Africa have started local initiatives to lower the impact on the environment. Dubai Internet City for instance, has joined hands with Dubai Media City and Energy and Environment Park (ENPARK), members of TECOM Investments, to raise awareness on recycling as a sustainable solution to alleviate pollution in the UAE. The initiative is part of Dubai Internet City’s recently launched corporate social responsibility programme, in coordination with the Radisson SAS Hotel. Dubai Internet City will collect and recycle waste material from 32 bins located throughout TECOM’s free zone clusters.

The proceeds from this initiative, which will be conducted with the support of Union Paper Mills, will be donated to the Dubai Autism Centre, a non-profit organisation that serves children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dubai Internet City also recently installed solar power street lights in the zone as an initiative to encourage sustainable energy and environmental protection in the region. Other TECOM Investments’ entities have also launched similar initiatives to protect the environment. Dubai Media City has set up a permanent recycling centre behind DMC Building No.3, while the Dubai Knowledge Village has installed the region’s first-ever solar power tracking device to utilise renewable energy sources.

“Lately we have been participating in a massive recycling drive, organised by Dubai Internet City, a member of TECOM. We donated our old desktop PCs, printers and laptops to worthy causes. Through the promotion of our new Green Ethernet products, we are constantly increasing the awareness among the various target groups of business, consumer and special interest magazines,” explains Meier. “When it comes to re-using our products, D-Link participates in the Returned Merchandise Authorisation (RMA), a programme that converts returned merchandise into products that can be resold and reused. Possible actions in this respect could include the trade-in of used D-Link products, where – during a limited period of time – customers can receive a certain amount off each qualifying product when they retire their existing products and ‘trade-up’ to select D-Link products.”

According to an IPSOS survey commissioned by printer manufacturer Lexmark, printing is an enterprise-critical process, but can be one of the biggest contributors of waste in the business. The report claims that on an average, a European employee still prints out 31 pages per day. Also, 51 percnet of companies in Europe do not have an environmental working policy, while 61 percent of people say they waste the same, or more, paper than they did two years ago. “Lexmark is committed to help businesses become greener and reduce their printing costs through a wide range of high-performance, eco-friendly and optimised output solutions,” explains François Feuillet, the General Manager at Lexmark International Middle East.

Feuillet also claims that Lexmark’s unique commitment to the environment starts with the end of life of its products. “We are committed that 100 percent of our products and cartridges are reused and recycled. We do also commit to a zero landfill policy and zero incineration of our collected products. As such, we have not yet found a recycler in the region that can fit our stringent recycling policy. This is why we transport our waste back by boat and multimodal transportation back to our recycling facility in the Netherlands. Once proper recycling solutions are available, we will be fully committed to maintain the recycling of waste as close as possible to our customers' place.”

Murthy adds that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business issue and the license to operate in the 21st century. “As a leading global PC brand, accordingly, this is what Acer’s integrated CSR strategy is based upon. Following Acer’s inaugural year of sustainable development in 2006, we have comprehensively and thoroughly reviewed our actions for sustainable development. By means of integrating and embedding CSR into our business operation and participating proactively the global CSR initiatives, we have demonstrated Acer’s commitments and determination for CSR. An attempt was also made to contribute continuously to the global sustainable development,” he adds.

Viewsonic meanwhile believes that a green approach to its products is not only beneficial to the environment but to its customers as well. “High performing, environmentally friendly products not only deliver the performance users need, but through power conservation and eco-friendly features, customers will use less energy, lowering their overall costs and their total cost of ownership,” says <<>> at Viesonic. “All Viewsonic LCD monitors are ENERGY STAR certified and a large percentage of our display line is EPEAT Silver certified. In addition, a large percentage of our products are also RoHS compliant, which bans more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. We also adhere to MPR-II standards in response to health concerns about electromagnetic fields given off by monitors.”

How Do We Stay Green?
According to Ashish Panjabi, the Chief Operating Officer at Jacky’s Electronics, the first factor is education. He says that companies need to be aware that most people are still ignorant when it comes to matters regarding the environment in this part of the world. “Secondly, we need to have facilities for staying green. There is a real lack of recycling facilities in this region – be it for paper, plastic, bottles, batteries or any other product that can be re-used. Thirdly, we need to have some level of standardisation. For these standards to exist, a consolidated effort of the governments in the region is required as implementation is difficult in isolation. This means that in the United Arab Emirates for instance, something has to be agreed upon federally instead of at an Emirate by Emirate level. The ideal option would be for something at the GCC level to be implemented such as that in the automobile industry where companies have GCC specifications for imports of all vehicles into the region,” he claims.

Asus claims that it applies and supports product recycling in many regions. For instance, on Earth Day 2008 (22nd April), Asus and Intel, together with 3C retailer Tsann Kuen Enterprise, announced plans for a collaboration to help the environment through a "PC Recycling for a Brighter Future" programme. This was to show how the IT industry has taken the initiative to work together for collection and recycling of old laptops, PCs and LCD monitors in a bid to help the environment. “In the ‘PC Recycling for a Brighter Future’ programme, consumers were encouraged to recycle their older devices at dedicated drop-off points, such as Asus Royal Clubs, Tsann Kuen 3C chain stores and DF Recycle – where a discount voucher was issued for each unit of desktop computer, laptop computer or CRT/LCD monitor handed in,” explains Marvis Hsiao, the Sales Director at Asus Middle East.

Kyocera meanwhile publishes an annual Sustainability Report on its website to disclose information on environmental preservation and social contribution activities. Since 2004, Kyocera has been hosting Sustainability Report Meetings in Japan to promote dialogue with local constituent communities. “These sessions include reports on the business, social and environmental activities of the Kyocera Group; facility tours; and open discussion,” explains Takuya Marubayashi, the Manager of the Middle East and Africa Department at Kyocera Mita Europe BV. “In addition, on a more practical level, our employees are constantly reminded and encouraged to print sensibly, use double-sided printing as much as possible, re-use paper for internal draft printing when printing single-sidedly, use (network) colour scanning for electronic distribution and archiving of documents, use water sparingly, activate the energy-saving mode on printers, copiers and MFPs and switch off lights and equipment (PCs and peripherals) when leaving the office.”

Recycling firms are the need of the hour. These companies take technology products from companies and collection points, using the still-voluntary environmental management system set forth by the International Organisation for Standardisation under the ISO 14001 guidelines, and breaks them down into their basic components and reusable materials. Such companied don’t burn or bury anything in landfills – instead, they reclaim materials for reuse, from plastic scrap (for use in wood-plastic composite lumber) to refined precious metals (for making new electronics). Computers are the easiest tech items to break down into reusable materials, whereas monitors and televisions have the lowest recycling values.

Global warming and its consequences are very real. However, with growing awareness, governmental regulations and good corporate denizens the world over, the momentum is growing. “As a good corporate denizen, Brother has long ago formulated its environmental friendly policies. These are simple to understand and are being applied rigorously. Simply put there are the 5 R's. These are Recycle, Refuse, Reuse, Reform, and Reduce,” comments Ranjit S. Gurkar, the General Manager at Brother Gulf. “Green ideas are everywhere. However, to sustain it in the long run, one has to make changes in one's lifestyle and attitude. The reuse of material has to become automatic, be it a plastic bag, or an envelope. Bio- degradable materials in manufacturing has to be the first choice whenever possible. Further, it has to be an integral part of primary school education. In addition, new ideas must be welcomed, recognised, rewarded, shared beyond national borders and implemented.”

Also, we need to be more aggressive and realistic. The next global environmental treaty should set standards for manufacturing, product life spans, power consumption, and recycling. We need a long-term alternative to shipping garbage from one place to another. And we must cut back our consumption drastically. Does that mean enacting laws against heating above 70 degrees and air conditioning below 70? Maybe. It also means that each of us needs to think about our carbon footprint holistically. It's not just about our cars, heating systems, and AC. It's the products in our hands, in our pockets, on our desktops, and right in front of us.

Ten Tips to Stay Green for Data Centres
- by Mahesh Vaidya, CEO, ISIT AE

Replace old disk arrays and drives with more energy efficient higher capacity arrays and drives. In one case, 11 old disk arrays were replaced with one new disk array resulting in 81 percent less power, 93 percent less space, 16 percent higher capacity, reduced complexity, and lower management costs.

Consolidate storage. In one example, tens of file servers across multiple locations were consolidated into one enterprise class NAS at the main data center with branches accessing this central NAS using WAN and application optimisation technologies.

Improve storage utilisation with thin provisioning and storage virtualisation. In some cases using thin provisioning we have found storage utilisation improve from about 40 percent on an average to more than 80 percent. In addition to this, storage virtualisation could be used to improve utilisation further, especially across multiple disk arrays.

Use Solid State Disks instead of hard disks to improve throughput and reduce latency. In some cases, it also reduces power consumption even up to 95 percent of comparable FC disks. It also results in considerable space saving.

Data Duplication / Capacity Optimisation. Using these technologies we have seen 20X to 30X disk capacity savings hence reducing power and space requirements. You could use these technologies right across multiple tiers of storage. For instance, primary storage, secondary storage, backups and archives.

Use high capacity tape technology. Tape is a zero power media and when it comes to greening storage, tape is a major value-add.

Data classification and migration from high power consumption storage to lower ones – for instance, FC to SATA and then to tape. In some cases SATA drives consume half the power of comparable FC drives. Data classification also helps to identify and eliminate duplicate data, orphaned data, unwanted data and data that is stored against corporate policy.

Use Flexible Clones / Snapshots. This capability makes it possible to allocate many individual, writable copies of data in a fraction of the space that would typically be required.

Use data protection technologies such as Dual Parity RAID. This enables you to protect against disk failures using fewer drives. For instance, compared to RAID 10, which has 50 percent efficiency, Dual Parity Raid has 86 percent efficiency.

We also strongly recommend server virtualization, which would drive up the server utilisation from 5-15 percent on an average to about 80 percent. In a particular case, approximately 100 servers were consolidated into ten servers having a major impact of power consumption.



E-Scrap Recycling at the Top of the Agenda

2008-08-19 14:18:01 - The People's Republic of China wants to increase its standards for recycling computers, televisions, refrigerators, etc. It is gradually drawing up a legal framework for this. In addition, manufacturers of electric and electronic goods will be made responsible for disposal of their products in the future. Within the framework of IFAT CHINA 2008, which will take place in Shanghai from 23 to 25 September, the German Ministry of the Environment is planning a bilateral panel discussion about environmentally-compatible treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment.

According to Chinese estimates, there are between one and two million tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment in the People's Republic every year with an expected increase of five to ten percent annually. In addition to old domestic equipment, there is also a great quantity from Japan, Russia, the USA and Western Europe for recycling and disposal in China. A research group at Hong Kong Baptist University estimates that approx. 70 percent of all used computers, cellphones and other electric and electronic equipment to be recycled from the world end up in China. This is actually illegal, because the People's Republic forbids the import of waste electrical and electronic equipment in 2002.
These great quantities of materials are often recycled employing insufficient environmental, safety and health standards. Consequently, the Chinese government is planning to pass new legislation concerning recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment on one hand, by the creation of legal framework conditions, and on the other hand by setting up modern recycling centers.
As the Federal German Agency for Foreign Trade (bfai) reported, China is putting a lot of hope in the administrative rules for controlling pollution caused by waste electrical and electronic equipment, which took effect in February of this year. According to it, the Chinese Ministry of the Environment is drawing up a list of qualified recycling companies for waste electrical and electronic equipment, in which companies with a foreign investment share can be included. The technologies they use must correspond to national environmental standards, and checks at regular intervals are planned. In addition, supplying waste electrical and electronic equipment that has not been treated properly to companies not on the list is forbidden.

According to the bfai, an administrative regulation is currently being formulated concerning the recycling of household appliances. If it is enforced strictly, it will put a stop to illegal recycling activities, because it will stipulate precise details about the setting up of systems for waste collection depots, recyclers and waste disposal companies. The few currently existing, modern recycling facilities in China are still more or less pilot projects and are faced with an insufficiently organized system for collecting waste.
The question of costs is also supposed to be regulated by the administrative rule concerning the recycling of household appliances. Among other things, manufacturers of electric and electronic products will be required to contribute to covering recycling costs.

The German Ministry of the Environment is very interested in continuing and intensifying the existing collaboration with China in several areas of environmental management; this also concerns the regulated disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment. With respect to the size of the Chinese electronics market, the use of energy-saving and resource-saving waste disposal technologies in China will have global environmental policy significance. Because the German waste disposal industry has acquired an excellent reputation with respect to its orientation to innovation and technology, there are excellent business opportunities on the Chinese market for German companies involved in recycling business. Following a Chinese-German workshop about environmentally compatible treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment at the beginning of this year in Beijing, another bilateral panel discussion is planned on this topic at IFAT China. The objective of this workshop is to expand exchanges between the two countries about the implemented legal and technical standards as well as the framework conditions for successful further development of treating waste electrical and electronic equipment to the greatest extent possible. Participation of high-ranking representatives of the Chinese government and Parliament Undersecretary Astrid Klug as well as representatives from the business world is planned at the workshop.

South African Music v E-Waste

Johnny Clegg exposes SA`s e-waste

By Candice Jones
Posted: 19 August 2008
SA is generating vast quantities of electronic waste; however, the impact
of e-waste in the country is hidden.

According to Johnny Clegg, local musician and e-waste evangelist, delivering a keynote address at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2008, in Cape Town, there is a close connection between the dumping of e-waste and poverty.

Clegg said the large quantities of scrap metal that PCs produce created a new sector within the informal economy, known as metal and PC board scavengers. "The metal that people can salvage from the computer parts represents cash in hand for them. When they turn in a hard drive or metal to a dealer, they can at least put food on the table."

While SA has better regulation to protect against the illegal dumping of electronic goods, there are still those who are dumping, burning and shredding in areas that are not designated for these activities, he said.

Clegg`s presentation illustrated several dumping grounds in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria, which are close to agricultural areas and are affecting drinking water and food production.

While SA`s legal system does not specifically qualify the law around e-waste, it does provide for the disposal and destruction of toxic elements, he noted. "People have been and will continue to be prosecuted for illegal disposal."

Companies that are caught dumping illegally could be fined, which in turn will bring bad publicity, he added. "If companies are listed, they will experience falling stock prices."

It`s a goldmine

Clegg commented that part of the disposal opportunities for PC motherboards comes in the form of "shredding". When people shred mainboards, the toxins contained in them are mixed and released into the environment.

According to him, the process is also often used for illegal gold and platinum production. While one ton of excavation will produce one ounce of gold, one ton of e-waste can produce up to six ounces of gold. "The gold is then exported along with the shredded waste and a market is created for it."

Copper is also a large local market and is often associated with the burning of the waste, said Clegg. He added that people could get around R20 for 1kg of copper.

While many African countries, like Ghana and Nigeria, are being affected by dumping from Europe and the US, disguised as donations, SA has managed to escape this. The country also does not export e-waste into other African countries, he said.

According to Clegg`s figures, SA is estimated to produce around 50 000 tons of e-waste a year. The US produces 2.5 million tons and Europe around 10 million tons. Of that, around 95% can be recycled, but the problem is the cost, he explained.

However, the more the e-waste recycling and disposal industry grows, the less it will cost, he concluded.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Your Flat Screen Has (Greenhouse) Gas
By Emily Udell, In These Times
Posted on August 15, 2008, Printed on August 15, 2008

Vegging out in front of your flat-panel TV may pose more danger than turning your brain to mush.

A chemical used in the manufacturing of flat-screen televisions could rival some of the world's most potent greenhouse gases in its harmful effects on the environment, according to a June study published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The production of nitrogen triflouride, or NF3 -- used to produce flat-panel display screens -- has increased over the past decade to meet the rising demand for consumer electronics like liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs. Global production of NF3 now outstrips the 2005 emissions of synthetically produced greenhouse gases, such as perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), the report found.

"NF3 has a potential greenhouse impact larger than that of the industrialized nations' emissions of PFCs or SF6, or even that of the world's largest coal-fired power plants," write Michael Prather and Juno Hsu, the study's authors.

They call NF3 the "missing greenhouse gas" because it's not covered under the Kyoto Protocol -- the international agreement established to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted the treaty in 1997, NF3 was produced only in small quantities, primarily for rocket fuel and lasers.

The Kyoto Protocol -- which the United States has not ratified -- was based on data from 1995, and covers carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, the three major greenhouse gases attributed to human activities. But NF3's impact on global warming was not considered until the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the study says.

Prather and Hsu estimate that some 4,000 tons of NF3 will be produced this year and that the amount could double by 2010 if companies like DuPont and Mitsui Chemicals expand production.

In November, industrial chemical manufacturer Air Products, the largest NF3 producer, announced that it would ramp up its production in the United States and Asia.

Global shipments of LCD TVs are expected to nearly double, from about 100 million units in 2008 to almost 194 million units in 2012, according to market research firm iSuppli, which attributes that growth to falling prices and an increased demand for the high-definition display format.

Kert Davies, research director at Greenpeace International, says he's concerned that the switch from analog to digital television next February will catalyze an uptick in electronic waste as people discard their old TVs and simultaneously create a purchasing bubble for flat-panel TVs.

"Now that we're aware of global warming, we should not do anything to exacerbate it," Davies says. "For any of these manufacturing processes, there is also a safer alternative and that includes climate safety."

At a recent G-8 summit in Japan, President Bush and other leaders pledged to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But many environmental advocates -- groups such as the National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club -- say the pledge is vague and doesn't go far enough because no targets were set for the next decade. And a lot can happen in 10 years.

Despite the increased production of NF3 over the past decade, documentation of its abundance in the atmosphere does not exist. Prather and Hsu's study warns that recording the impact is essential and that the list of greenhouse gases covered by Kyoto must be expanded during the second commitment period for the agreement, which is slated to begin in 2012.

"NF3 triggers the radar that there may be other surprises coming in global warming," says Davies. "We must be vigilant about new industrial gases that contribute." Emily Udell is a reporter for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky. She co-hosted and co-produced In These Times' radio show "Fire on the Prairie" from 2003 to 2006.

Emily Udell is a reporter for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky. She co-hosted and co-produced In These Times' radio show "Fire on the Prairie" from 2003 to 2006.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Greenpeace in India

Activists of environmental pressure group Greenpeace staged a demonstration against e-waste here today.

The activists of the environmental watchdog put life-size cut outs imitating mobiles and televisions. They also put up banners carrying their demand to electronic major Samsung for taking back e-waste.

“We are demanding that the Samsung should give pan Indian take back service to all its customers. Presently Samsung is offering take back for only mobile phones that is only for 8 collection centers in India that is not enough. So the company should set up more collection centers across the country,” said Abhishek Pratap, a Greenpeace activist.

The environmental group said that the company should adopt waste disposal policies that do not pose threat to its workers and the ecology after reports that tones of waste is being passed on to an unauthorized recycling dealer.

E-waste, which generates hundreds of hazardous substances including lead, cadmium, mercury etcetra, is one of the most rapidly growing environmental problems of the world.

In India e-waste management assumes greater significance not only due to generation of e-waste in the country but also because of its dumping by the developed countries. (ANI)

Aotearoa/New Zealand and E-Day

eDay 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008, 11:32 am
Press Release: Computer Access NZ

Media release
13th August 2008
For immediate release

eDay 2008 has potential to divert 1,000 tonnes of e-waste from landfills

Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest growing type of waste being sent to landfills globally, New Zealand being no exception.

The Computer Access New Zealand Trust (CANZ) today announced another eDay (free computer recycling day), for the weekend of October 4th and 5th 2008, with the aim of diverting 1,000 tonnes of e-waste from landfills in up to 30 regions – a substantial increase from the 12 regions that participated in 2007.

The annual eDay event is the only community-driven e-waste recycling event for dropping off computer items including monitors, CPUs and printers, at no cost to the public.

“While the Product Stewardship Bill is making good progress in Parliament, it is still likely to be two to three years before industry-supported schemes for recycling e-waste are fully operational. eDay is helping to plug the gap and buy New Zealand a little more time without generating new problems in our landfills,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, Chairperson of CANZ and organiser of the event.

Securing funding for eDay is the biggest challenge for CANZ, a not-for-profit trust. The programme relies on support from a wide range of partners, including computer manufacturers and related IT industries, computer retailers, community trusts, local authorities and central Government.

“We have received interest from over 30 regions that are keen to host local eDays. We are excited to announce that eDay will take place on a larger scale this year, but we are conscious that without further funding we cannot commit to all areas of New Zealand at this stage,” Mr Zwimpfer says.

CANZ has already received funding support for eDay 2008 from the Ministry for the Environment through the Sustainable Management Fund and recognition in June with a prestigious Green Ribbon Award for ‘Community Action for the Environment’.

Mr Zwimpfer says he is encouraged by the support from government and the high level of community support received to date. “This acknowledgement and support from government along with community funding from Pub Charity and the Community Lottery Board has given us the confidence to proceed. The support from local and regional councils in each eDay area will also ensure that eDay 2008 is just as successful as last year’s event,” he says.

Industry support is being led by Dell, who introduced the idea of community-driven free computer recycling days to New Zealand in 2006, as well as The Laptop Company, Toshiba and Trade Me. “We want to thank Dell in particular for their enthusiasm and eagerness to be a part of this event for the third year in a row. We are also grateful for the early support from The Laptop Company, Toshiba and Trade Me. We look forward to similar positive responses from others in the IT industry,” Mr Zwimpfer says.

National transport operator KiwiRail is confirmed as an eDay transport partner. KiwiRail will be freighting containers from local collection centres to regional consolidation centres. “We are excited to have KiwiRail as a partner providing a sustainable transport option for the event. We will be announcing other transport and logistics partners shortly as well as recycling partners. We are evaluating proposals to find the most effective recycling solutions while ensuring compliance with best international practice,” said Mr Zwimpfer. “We are insisting on detailed information about the recycling processes used by eDay partners.”

In 2007 eDay diverted 415 tonnes of computer waste from landfills. More than 6,900 carloads of e-waste was dropped off at 12 venues over two days with more than 26,000 computer items diverted from being dumped in New Zealand's landfills.

eDay gives people the chance to dispose of their old computer equipment and mobile phones quickly in an environmentally-friendly way, and is aimed at raising awareness about the environmental and health dangers of e-waste dumped in landfills.

Participating eDay regions are listed in the attachment. Updates will be posted to the eDay website, as venue details are confirmed in each region. Volunteers wishing to help out at an eDay in their area are invited to sign-up online at the eDay website.

CANZ and eDay are initiatives of the 2020 Communications Trust. The 2020 Communications Trust has been supporting the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in communities throughout New Zealand for more than 10 years.

Monday, August 11, 2008


No waste disposal in public, private places from September 1

by Ananda Kannangara

The Government will ban the disposal of waste in public or private places from September 1.

The rules and regulations in this connection were circulated last week among all local government institutions by the Solid Waste Management Division of the Western Provincial Council (WPC) on the directive of WPC, Chief Minister Reginald Cooray.

Accordingly, every Municipal Council should place biodegradable and non-biodegradable containers in suitable places to enable the public to get rid of their daily collection of waste.

Thereafter, an industrial, medical or healthcare establishment will separate the toxic and clinical waste and store and dispose it in accordance with the National Environmental Regulation Act, published in the Government Gazette of February 2008.

The Chief Minister said that the biodegradable waste collected daily other than electronic waste, construction, clinical, toxic and hazardous waste will be used to manufacture fertiliser, generate electricity and make floor tiles from the lava from waste.

Cultural-Studies Scholar Kelly Gates

--sent me this good slideshow to share

A Moving Report from Accra

See this site for video on e-waste in Ghana


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Op-Ed by Rick Maxwell and Me in the Argentine Paper Pagina 12

Pagina 12
La ventana|Miércoles, 6 de Agosto de 2008
medios y comunicación
La mano visible
Los medios atraviesan la vida cotidiana de las personas y traen consecuencias de las más diversas para la vida de los ciudadanos. R. Maxwell y T. Miller advierten sobre los residuos peligrosos derivados de la industria mediática.
Por Richard Maxwell * y Toby Miller **

La tecnología es un índice de la modernidad y una señal de su caos. Es una mezcla de la magia y la razón, de la esperanza y la arrogancia; un espectro perfecto y monstruoso al mismo tiempo. La tecnología tiene una genealogía del milenarismo, de la racionalidad y de la redención. Ha llegado a ser casi una religión secular, ofreciendo la transcendencia en el hic et nunc, por parte de la máquina, y no de la actividad político-económica. Los derechistas han usado la idea de armonía mediática global para desviar la atención lejos de la redistribución del dinero de la elite, mientras los izquierdistas crean sus propias utopías sin reflexionar sobre la situación macroeconómica. La tecnología mediática –supuestamente– ofrece comunicación sin fronteras y con placer total. Pareciera que cada desarrollo tecnológico que se deriva de la satisfacción de esos deseos también facilita nuevas posibilidades democráticas.

Las nuevas industrias electrónicas, informáticas, y mediáticas forman parte de una nueva economía de “industrias creativas”, una utopía posfabricación para los trabajadores, consumidores y ciudadanos, donde los subproductos son los códigos y no los desechos contaminantes del industrialismo. Sin embargo, el Instituto de la Investigación Político-Económica de la Universidad de Massachusetts ha incluido cinco empresas mediáticas dentro la lista de las compañías más contaminantes de los Estados Unidos. ¿Por qué?

Hay muchísimos residuos peligrosos derivados de nuestros dispositivos mediáticos, como solventes y metales pesados (el plomo, el zinc, el cobre, el cobalto, el mercurio, y el cadmio) que pueden contaminar agua, aire y tierra. Casi todos los dispositivos digitales requieren este tipo de minerales. La acumulación global del equipo electrónico ha creado riesgos para el medioambiente y la salud, a causa de su composición química y su potencial para depositarse en los vertederos de basuras y las fuentes del agua. En China, Nigeria y la India, por ejemplo, muchos jóvenes preadolescentes trabajan sin protección para sacar metales valiosos de los televisores y computadoras descartados por el Primer Mundo.

El Convenio Basel, firmado en 1992, prohíbe el transporte del material peligroso entre miembros del acuerdo, como México y Corea del Sur. Sin embargo, algunos contaminadores muy poderosos, como Japón, Canadá, y los Estados Unidos, contravienen el convenio mandando sus residuos electrónicos a través del mundo. En los EE.UU., el estado de California exportó en 2006 un millón de toneladas de sus desechos electrónicos a siete destinos conocidos: Malasia, Brasil, Corea del Sur, China, México, Vietnam y la India. Hoy miles de empresas pequeñas en la China importan setecientas mil toneladas de residuos electrónicos ilegalmente. En América latina, sabemos que México y Brasil reciben esta contaminación, y sospechamos que Chile, Haití, Venezuela y Argentina también lo hacen.

Al destacar los efectos desastrosos de los residuos de la tecnología, cuestionamos el estatus venerable de las películas, la prensa, las telecomunicaciones y los demás. Los medios no son simplemente sitios de placer, de la propiedad capitalista, del control político o del servicio público. Son sitios donde se gesta la contaminación de nuestro propio futuro. No están meramente representando la sociedad. Están cambiando la Tierra. Si queremos detener la crisis ecológica, tenemos que plantear preguntas incómodas dirigidas a creencias asentadas en una sociedad dependiente de los medios de comunicación. ¿Cómo garantizamos la distribución igualitaria de recursos culturales e informáticos –esencial para mantener las instituciones democráticas– sin promover más el declive medioambiental? ¿Qué escala de medios de la comunicación sería suficiente para la sociedad y al mismo tiempo sostenible por la Tierra? Resultaría clave ampliar la participación en el proceso de la toma de decisiones acerca de estas cuestiones vitales.

* Catedrático. Universidad de la Ciudad de Nueva York.

** Catedrático. Universidad de California.

Wonderful George!

Gerge Monbiot's fabulous latest offering in his Guardian column takes on shibboleths about green citizenship:

I'd rather be a hypocrite than a cynic like Julie Burchill
Give me a posh, preachy eco-activist over a narcissist without a moral compass any day
* George Monbiot

o George Monbiot
o Wednesday August 06 2008 12:36 BST

In her new book, Not In My Name, Julie Burchill reserves her grandest fury about hypocrites for environmentalists. We are, she (and her co-author, Chas Newkey-Burden) say, pious, sexless and contemptuous of humankind. We are all are posh and rich, and have found in environmentalism a new excuse for lecturing the poor. We tell other people to live by rules we don't apply to ourselves.

Like all stereotypes, these claims are lazy, familiar and sometimes true. Burchill knows nothing about environmentalism, and, almost as a point of pride, hasn't bothered to find out, but when you use grapeshot you are bound to hit someone. Yes, many prominent greens are posh gits like me. The same can be said of journalists, politicians, artists, academics, business leaders … in fact, of just about anyone in public life. But it is always the greens who are singled out.

In truth, while the upper middle classes are, as always, over-represented in the media, the movement cuts across the classes. A recent ICM poll found that more people in social classes D and E thought the government should prioritise the environment over the economy (56%) than in classes A and B (47%).

Environmentalism is the most politically diverse movement in history. Here in the Kingsnorth climate camp, I have met anarchists, communists, socialists, liberals, conservatives and, mostly, pragmatists. I remember sitting in a campaign meeting during the Newbury bypass protests and marvelling at the weirdness of our coalition. In the front row sat the local squirearchy: brigadiers in tweeds and enormous moustaches, titled women in twin sets and headscarves. In the middle were local burghers of all shapes and sizes. At the back sat the scuzziest collection of grunge-skunks I have ever laid eyes on. The audience disagreed about every other subject under the sun – if someone had asked us to decide what day of the week it was, the meeting would had descended into fisticuffs – but everyone there recognised that our quality of life depends on the quality of our surroundings.

The environment is inseparable from social justice. Climate change, for example, is primarily about food and water. It threatens the fresh water supplies required to support human life. As continental interiors dry out and the glaciers feeding many of the rivers used for irrigation disappear, climate change presents the greatest of all threats to the future prospects of the poor. The rich will survive for a few decades at least, as they can use their money to insulate themselves from the effects. The poor are being hammered already.

In reality, it is people like Julie Burchill – who is, incidentally, far richer than almost any green I have met – who treats the poor with contempt. So that she can revel in what she calls "reckless romantic modernism", other people must die. But at least you can't accuse her of hypocrisy: she cannot fail to live by her moral code, for the simple reason that she doesn't have one.

Sure, we are hypocrites. Every one of us, almost by definition. Hypocrisy is the gap between your aspirations and your actions. Greens have high aspirations – they want to live more ethically – and they will always fall short. But the alternative to hypocrisy isn't moral purity (no one manages that), but cynicism. Give me hypocrisy any day.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wacky Tobaccy

Turning Those Old Electronic Circuit Boards Into New Park Benches

ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2008) — Scientists in China have developed a new recycling method that could transform yesterday's computer into tomorrow's park bench.

Their study, which focuses on decreasing environmental pollution through resource preservation, reuses fibers and resins of waste printed circuit boards (PCBs) that were thought worthless to produce a variety of high-strength materials.

Zhenming Xu and colleagues point out that as more electrical and electronic equipment has become obsolete, the issue of electronic-waste removal has intensified. PCBs account for about 3 percent by weight of all electronic waste, Xu says. Although metals from the circuit boards, such as copper and aluminum, are recycled, landfill disposal has been the primary method for treating their nonmetallic materials, which have been difficult to recycle, the paper says.

In the study, the researchers developed a process to recycle those nonmetallic materials, which they say could be used to produce diverse items like sewer grates, park benches and fences. The recycled material could also be a substitute for wood and other materials since it is almost as strong as reinforced concrete. "There is no doubt that the technique has potential in the industry for recycling nonmetallic materials of PCBs," Xu says.

Journal reference:

1. Guo et al. A Plate Produced by Nonmetallic Materials of Pulverized Waste Printed Circuit Boards. Environmental Science & Technology, 2008; 42 (14): 5267 DOI: 10.1021/es800825u