Tag Archives: recycling

More on E-waste

As we have discussed in class, e-waste is an enormous issue within the developing world. This is why the EU set an ambitious goal for 2021: to collect 65% of the electronic equipment and lamps used globally in the past three years and recycle it.[1] Unfortunately evidence from a scientific research project suggests that this will be impossible if governments do not add legal measures.

This project maps the e-waste flow in the Netherlands by tracking the origin and destination of electronic products. This has proven hard to handle, as there are a number of things that can happen to an electronic product once it is sold.

-Resold

-Collected (by one of the two government programs)

-Recycled (by national recyclers on second-hand shops)

-Exported illegally

During the e-conference held on March 15th numerous representatives from places like the UN, Japan, and the U.S. discussed the findings of the study. From there it was concluded that more e-waste could be collected if various measures were put into place.

This article outlines various suggestions including “a registration mandate for collectors and recyclers” as well as, “mandating that local governments and small retailers hand in a certain amount of e-waste each year”. Most importantly it was suggested that all goods shipped to developing countries for reuse must be certified that they are in good working order.

Although the goal set by the UN has been criticized for being “too soft too slow” this study does suggest the goal is over ambitious without assistance from the government.[2]  Stephane Arditi stated that, “The main problem is the fact that we don’t have a proper collection system or an economic system to incentivize proper collection and treatment of e-waste.”[3]

Clearly there is work to be done if the amount of un-recycled e-waste is to be lowered.

The original study can be viewed here


[1] Defreitas, Susan. “EU E-Waste Message: Gonna Take More Work.” Earth Techling. 23 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2012. Link.

[2] “EU E-waste Recycling Goals Criticized.” UPI. 18 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2012. Link.

[3] Ibid

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The Delaware Tribe: Helping the Economy and Conserving Resources

In 2009 the Delaware tribe of Andarko, Oklahoma invested a great sum of money in the conversion of a former carpet manufacturing warehouse into a Green Tech facility. This past year, they received a federal grant to expand and improve the facility. The executive director of the Delaware tribe’s economic development group, Jerry Kennedy, explains their goal in the renovation of this property: “We’re trying to make it where it’s kind of an incubator center for start-up businesses that are hopefully focused on green technology… to help with the planet as well as to help here with employment in Anadarko” (Herald Times News -Post no longer available).

The main improvement resulting from last year’s renovations is the solar array installed on the roof of the complex. Since its installation, the Green Tech facility has cut its energy use by one third. However, the tribe’s leaders have plans to spread this method of conservation. A study is being organized to host several solar panel manufacturers in this warehouse, with the hope that one or more of the companies will decide to produce these solar panels permanently in the warehouse. According to Kennedy, the Delaware Nation Economic Development Authority projects the creation of over 150 new jobs as a result of the opening of the new Green Tech facility. If this project is successful, another 300 to 500 employees will be hired within the decade.

Kerry Holton became the tribe’s president in 2006. Two years later, the tribe adopted a new platform for economic development, centered around renewable energy. Holton’s goal is to end the tribe’s dependency on grants and casinos by diversifying its economy. With the establishment of these new companies and manufacturers, the tribe not only will be working to conserve the planet’s resources, but also providing jobs to unemployed local residents, and drawing businesses from around the country, stimulating Andarko’s economy, and creating a reason for Oklahoma natives to stay.In addition to the GreenTech project, the Delaware tribe has also been working cooperatively with local schools, organizations and the city of Andarko, with the help of state funing, to develop a recycling and energy conservation program.

Carla Hall, executive director of the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce, hopes that these measures to improve the economy will create a domino effect, leading to improvements in other sectors that have recently been suffering, such as housing, retail and other industries. Hall expects great success from these project proposals.