5 Tips for Better Waste Management Choices

If you have a load of waste that needs to be disposed of then you’ve come to the right place. Cleaning up can take days and be costly and convoluted if you don’t know what to expect from the removal process. Here, we take a look at the things that you will need to know before you get your waste disposed of efficiently and cost-effectively.

Our top five waste management tips before getting around the experts are:

1. Examine the contents of your waste carefully

You will need to examine what’s in your waste collection carefully. Take note of any larger items, liquids and chemicals. Each of these must be disposed of in a different manner so you’ll need to outline this with your waste removal service before they come to pick up your contents.

2. Estimate your waste load

Waste is mainly measured by weight. This means heavier items will cost more to dispose of than lighter items. Where possible, estimate the weight of your load, or list the heavy items. The same may also be true with the amount of cubic metres of waste that you have – estimate again your cubic meterage. The larger your load, the more it may be to dispose of.

3. Check your access routes to your waste

If your waste is in a tough to get to spot then you will need to express this with your provider. If workers are required to manually transport the waste to a more accessible spot then you need to let the company know in advance. If waste is located in a difficult to access spot consider moving it with a wheelbarrow first, or outlining to the company the means that will be needed to move it.

4. Bundle or bag up as much of your waste as you can

To make the job easier for the removalists, bundle up your waste into lots. Put like and like materials together and make each lot easy to remove. We recommend using tough bags and string for smaller materials. Larger materials do not need to be bundled together – they can be picked up as is.

5. Outline your availabilities for pickup

If you run a tight schedule then you may not have time to sit around waiting for your waste disposal person to show up. Make sure that you indicate what times you will be available so that no one is left waiting around. Some companies only run during specific hours so you’ll need to find this out in advance.

Make sure you’re prepared before the waste removalists come. Following these five tips will help for a smooth transaction when the handover occurs – saving both you and the company a lot of headaches.

Deal With the Electronic Waste Like a Boss

What is electronic waste and why should you care about it?

Electronic waste is the result mostly of the fast-developing technology which makes the previous one (usually 3-5 years old) completely unusable. Therefore we buy what’s considered as “the new thing on the market” and the old piece of technology gets carelessly thrown away. Usually at a landfill.

Who cares you would ask? The nature does, especially the soil, in which toxic emissions from the e-waste soak and pollute everything else as a chain reaction, mostly the water that we drink. Now, after I probably managed to convince you how serious the issue with the e-waste is, let’s see how we can do something about it.

Don’t buy whatever you see.

Electronic gadgets are getting more tempting every day due to its constantly increasing usability. However, the fact is you don’t really need anything more than a PC and a smart phone nowadays. Having this gives you the opportunity to do whatever may be required from you. Buying more means you’re going to dispose of more electronics which will pollute the environment really hard when multiplied by a few billion.

Donate or give away your old electronics

Buying a new mouse or keyboard just because you get sick of the old one, or because you’re a devoted gamer who is perfectionist in terms of having top quality electronics doesn’t mean the old appliances should be disposed. If they are still working the best thing is to donate them to an institution or to individuals who can’t afford it. They’ll really appreciate it and it’s highly possible to receive a huge satisfaction from helping someone in need.

Do this if you are a Chinese

The Chinese government along with the biggest player in the IT field there – Baidu (the most popular Chinese search engine) established a partnership so they can deal easily with e-waste. 1.3 billion appliances are being disposed there per year and if that is not controlled effectively the country will have to take serious damage from it. What they did was to develop an application called Baidu recycle 2.0 (current version). Using it will allow you to take a photo of the e-waste at your home and upload it instantly. Afterwards you receive a message from a waste removal company that comes at your house and pays you to get rid of your waste.

Educate yourself

No matter what kind of waste is on your way you have to be prepare for it. Read about this subject and try to be as informed as possible because this affects your life significantly. Learn more about electronic waste management and always be convinced that you are familiar with the additional information about it. Spread the knowledge you gained from this article to your friends and family and make them think about this because in the future this is one of the biggest challenges the Earth is going to face.

If you are not a Chinese make sure to leave the electronic rubbish collection to the professionals from the rubbish removal services. Companies like this one will undoubtedly make you forget about the e-waste at your home. Wherever you may leave there are similar services that have experience and won’t disappoint you.

Global E-Waste On The Rise, Despite Recycling Factories

Until the StEP (Solving the E-waste Problem, Reference No.1) initiative of the United Nations University (UNU) & the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) got busy in real earnestness, with the e-waste problem and developed a successful prototype recycling factory, piles of e-waste (electronic waste) that were steadily growing the world over, posed a grim, sinister portent to all concerned – environmentalists, governments, the healthcare industry, electronics manufacturers, academics and so on (for a detailed discussion on e-waste, read relevant parts of Reference No. 2 or other sources on the web). The cause for their fears was solid. e-waste, that is comprised primarily by trashed computers, mobile phones and their accessories, are rich in toxic substances/ chemicals – mercury, cadmium, arsenic & hexavalent chromium to name just a few. Not being amenable to the waste disposal processes known before SteP’s solution (pl see Reference No. 2 titled “Recycling – From E-Waste To Resources”, for details), they defied every possible method of being disposed off safely. And, consequently, e-waste kept piling up, unstoppably, all over the world.

The potency of e-waste to cause incapacitating/ severe health hazards in humans as well as irreversible damage to world environment had been known for sometime. Consequently those in the world that were aware, cheered up when SteP’s prototype factory saw the light of day! The prototype had been proven by running small, pilot factories successfully and may be easily adapted to suit any world location. So, watchers may have imagined that the end of the e-waste crisis was near, since all that apparently remained was the implementation of SteP’s solution on a large scale, all over the world and as quickly as possible!

So far, so good! However, to the huge disappointment of an expectant world, implementation projects, bogged down by a set of non-technical issues, are struggling either to take off or to make any significant progress. The major issues thwarting progress are: advocacy, institutionalisation, legislation & sustainability. And while stakeholders are trying to clear these roadblocks, precious time is being wasted. The result? Not only has e-waste growth not been contained by the numbers of recycling factories setup, but according to figures available with StEP, (using 2013 as base year), e-waste will grow and reach 133% its 2013 volume by 2017.

I will attempt to briefly explain the bottlenecks mentioned above before closing.

ADVOCACY:

In many nations, government & the general public are still not sufficiently aware of either the severity or scale of the e-waste problem. (Had sufficient people been aware, there would have been a public outcry for remedial action, everywhere, by now!). Hundreds and thousands more people in every nation need to be made aware of the problem quickly, and those that already know need to be reminded.

Governments, preoccupied with their home tasks, often seem to forget the e-waste problem. Environmental agencies, NGOs, local groups and citizens need to remind them frequently about what is at stake. Governments also need to be reminded periodically that their responses to the e-waste problem in the past have NOT been adequate. They need to drop complacency and get ready to tackle e-waste in a big away, immediately, before available time runs out and the e-waste problem turns into a crisis.

LION’S SHARE (OVER 85%) OF RECYCLING CARRIED OUT BY THE INFORMAL SECTOR:

According to available data, global e-waste recycling is mostly carried out by the unorganized, informal sector in Asia. This has resulted in poor recycling performance. Lack of established, standard processes has led to a disadvantageous diversity in processing methods, ad-hoc processes, machines, tools used etc. Adequate numbers of skilled/ trained staff are not easy to find. There is no guarantee that proper safety measures are practised or that outputs of recycling(*) checked to ensure that levels of residual toxic substances are below approved limits. The result is a frittering away of the power that would have been available if one resorted to organized recycling – inability to upscale/ down-scale rapidly, enforce workplace safety, ensure ‘green’ & efficient processes, economies of scale, monitoring & control activities, quality of processes & outputs etc. Therefore, the ownership of the recycling sector needs to change into the hands of a more powerful entity – one that has the power to unify, standardize, make plans, provide infrastructure & resources, technical support, find/ train skilled workers, enforce standards/ quality etc. easily.

The only suitable candidate for such a position is the government, in most countries. Governments need to take ownership of the recycling sector and scale it up to the size required to effectively take on the e-waste problem in their respective countries speedily.

INSTITUTIONALISATION:

Even after the accumulated world backlog has been cleared, e-waste will continue to be generated, in sufficiently large quantities as to form a regular stream of waste (according to UNU, the world average, per-capita e-waste generation for 2014 was 7 Kg, world population being 7 billion and; this will rise, in the foreseeable future). Thus, the continuous, long-term requirement of e-waste recycling facilities. And, by consequence, just like any other sector of established industry, e-waste recycling needs to be institutionalised as an independent industry sector, in its own right, enjoying the same privileges as others viz. various sectors under the “manufacturing industry” category, VARs (value added resellers), OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and so on.

It also follows, quite naturally, that to become an independent industry sector, a formal institutional and legal framework must be created to support it.

SUSTAINABILITY:

Sustainability of recycling factories requires that they generate profits from their operations. This, in turn, means that a certain minimum volume of input e-waste must be guaranteed to each factory and outputs of recycling(*) find markets where they can be sold to generate adequate profits.

The above is a list of the most typical and important stoppers encountered to date. However, StEP advises users not to blindly adopt these factors as they are. Each country must also take into account their specific environment, conditions, laws, policies etc. as part of the adaptation exercise in order to effectively identify/ tackle the roadblocks specific to them.

(*) The term “output of recycling” has been used rather than “product” since the recycling industry is still in a stage of infancy. Once these outputs are perfected to match input requirements of upstream industry(ies) where they will be used, have industry recognized descriptions and specifications etc. they would qualify to be named as “products”.

Open Space, Conservation, and Preservation

The mountaintop view was thrilling. While witnessing the valley from the mountain I saw a different perspective; one of open space, conservation, and preservation. I thought about how large our city spreads over so many miles and how blessed we are with abundant open space.

To see expanses of greenery in our suburban setting vs. a more urban concrete landscape made me feel proud that our community knows that this is a healthier environment.

In our city and our county, our planners and voters preserved open space for the enjoyment of its community members to wander, dream, inspire, and to release our worldly concerns. It’s working.

Pockets of open space are broad and sometimes small but just the right size for people to have enough elbow room to share some greenery, sunlight, shade, wildflowers, boulders, wildlife, grasslands, and woodlands. In our region, we do not have to travel a great distance to find this green relief.

We preserved most of the ridge tops without housing or office buildings growing on them. Instead, they are ridges with forests, woodlands, grassy meadows, and hiking trails for humans, dogs, horses, and bicyclists to exercise, relax, decompress, and to play.

We have local nature organizations that preserve open space for native plants and wildlife in the form of marshlands, which are a vital chain in a healthy ecosystem. While others return former dairy cow meadows into green belts surrounding communities. We secured natural woodlands, pockets of redwood forests, beaches, streams, creeks, and lakes for future generations to visit and recreate.

It is an ongoing business to conserve and preserve our natural environment in our community. We are all responsible for these natural landscapes to maintain a healthy ecosystem, which includes humans, not merely wildlife and natural habitats.

In the last century, we reserved large parcels of open space while some most recently as the last month by forward thinking people.

Through our conservation, we saved bird nesting sites, wildflowers, butterflies, elk preserves, clapper rails, native grasses, sand dunes, redwood trees, and additional forms of wildlife and habitat species that are thriving in their environment and playing their role in the natural ecosystem.

“In matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” –Thomas Jefferson.

Take some time to see a different perspective, your new view will be inspiring in matters of principle through conservation and preservation of our open space.

Does Your Company Reduce, Reuse and Recycle? It Should!

The saying has been around for decades, but there is more to it than sorting through your trash at home, rinsing bottles and cans and placing a container by the road.

When it comes to recycling plastic, many companies in the U.S. and abroad are ignoring the process and using the “simpler” method of sending plastic waste to the landfill. They may be aware of the environmental benefits to recycling, but not the financial benefits it can bring to their company. Otherwise, they’d be doing things differently.

A recent study showed that nine million tons of plastic waste will end up in our oceans in 2015 alone; Proof-positive that the majority of industries are uninformed about recycling benefits.

Scarily, this amount could increase by ten times as much in the coming years. Most can agree this isn’t ideal for our planet’s health, but many will fail to take the steps necessary to prevent it.

Recycling Companies Keep Working for Change

On a brighter note, the industry is booming for companies recycling plastic, there is steady increase in their clientele throughout the western U.S. and Canada.

By reducing waste companies can turn the future of our planet into something promising. They carries an impressive logistics ability that allows them to pick up tons of plastic from companies and pay them for it, preventing it from ending up in a landfill.

They also recycle the plastic into sustainable, reusable and raw forms, available to companies for less than usual. They can choose pellet, pulverized and regrind forms of plastic that’s been repurposed into high-quality resin perfect for producing a variety of products.

An Endless List of Uses

Recycling plastic is smart, and it can be used in so many things that companies fail to consider. Currently, these plastics are used in:

  • Toys
  • Building materials
  • Medical supplies
  • Automobiles

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities for the resins produced at companies. For more information on what industries work with them, you can contact the professionals at the company and they’ll be happy to tell you.

Putting a Price on It

Though prices for buying and selling recycled plastic vary according to influence by global markets, the benefit is clear. Any money your company is earning from what would have potentially been garbage is a plus.
On the other hand, getting a lower price on recycled resins as opposed to purchasing them new is a no-brainer. The more companies that realize this advantage, the sooner we see a better outcome for the environment.

Anything is better than absent-mindedly releasing dangerous toxins into the air we breathe. Clean air is priceless. More attention is necessary to bring this danger to the light, but also push the benefits of recycling plastic. Once companies realize what’s in it for them, they’ll jump on board.

It Can’t be Easier

Companies are willing to work with clients to create a plan that allows them to collect plastic for recycling on their terms for the final in convenience. It is no more difficult than throwing it away. Extensive logistics connections allow them to easily serve a variety of industries in their area, including medical and automotive.

Their combination of assets, experience and knowledge allows them to give top-notch processing capabilities, and will give your company a great reputation for doing their part to save the environment by adopting sustainable practices.

Organic Photosynthetic Solar Cells Over Silicon Solar Cells

As the great spectre of climate change continues to loom large over the future, the search for viable, renewable energy sources is becoming ever more important.

Solar power has long been seen as a vital ingredient in our clean energy future. With a little inspiration from nature, solar power might just have become an even more promising prospect than was first thought.
Photosynthesis is the solar energy storage process in which plants take sunlight, carbon dioxide and water and convert these into energy (in the form of sugar) and oxygen. The traditional view of photosynthesis is that long-wavelength light (far-red and infrared light, with wavelengths longer than 700 nanometres) contains low energy photons. We used to think that light at these long wavelengths wasn’t “energetic” enough to produce oxygen. In other words, we thought photosynthesis could only occur with the light we humans can see.

But the discovery of a new type of chlorophyll – called Chl f – changes the way we think about photosynthesis. This new green molecule has the greatest ability of any cholorophyll to absorb red-shifted light – that is, light with wavelengths longer than the human eye can detect. This discovery of chlorophyll f challenges traditional views about the physical limits of photosynthesis.

Explicitly, the overall chemical equation for plant photosynthesis is given by the following equation:

6CO2+6H2O+hV—->C6H12O6+6CO2

In this double replacement reaction, complex compounds are synthesized from smaller ones. In this particular equation, hv represents the amount of energy from one photon, while the process known as electron transfer begins after the photosynthesis is complete. One way to increase the electron transfer of chlorophyll is to replace the Magnesium (Mg) atom with another metal such as Copper (Cu) or Iron (Fe). Though introduction of too much of heavy metal may cause damage to sensitive plant tissues, the outcome will surely be effective.

Organic Photosynthetic solar cells (PSC) are designed to convert light in to electricity in four steps, similar to that of the natural process. First the maximum absorption of light; which in turn forms an excited state of electrons as the second step. Next, the excitation diffusion into regions, where charge separation occurs and finally this then leads to charge transfer.
The typical characteristic of a photovoltaic device are described as-

I=Io{exp[e/nkT(U-IRs)-1]+[(U-IRs)/Rsh]-Iph

This equation can be explained in the following terms: Io is the dark current, e is the charge of the electron, n is the diode ideality factor, U is the applied voltage, Rsh is considered the series resistance, Iph is the photoelectric current. The PSC can be synthesized into layers in following order-chlorophyll, a catalyst, argose, and graphene.

The ONE square inch prototype consists of light sensitive molecule, including the photosynthetic powerhouse chlorophyll, embedded in a water based gel sandwiched between Copper and plastic electrodes. Unlike traditionally, many of which contain toxic elements as Cadmium, biologically derived materials can be safely released into the environment after use. The cell’s flexibility could be made an ideal choice for covering irregular surfaces, large pieces could even be rolled up or folded for easy transportation.

It was estimated that the efficiency of a single solar cell produced from this method performed at less than 1% of that achieved by silicon cells. Although sensor data was unavailable, a current could be detected using an ohm meter. Even though this number is small, it does confirm the hypothesis that living chlorophyll can be extracted and used to transfer light energy into electrical energy.

However, varying the configuration of the cell, improved layering techniques, extracting chlorophyll from multiple sources and varying methods of extraction can be utilized to enhance the performance of a photosynthetic solar cell using chlorophyll. Hence as in the past solar panels and cells have replaced quite many electricity providing technologies in the past decade, now within a few years with the quest for better changes in lifestyle organic cells are sure to be on a rise.

The Advantages of Wind Power – What Are the Disadvantages?

With the fossil fuel industry in seeming crisis, many are wondering if Wind Power is the way forward to solve the fossil fuel crisis.

The problem with fossil fuels is that there is only a limited supply of these resources. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Also the effect of the over-consumption of these have led to many environmental issues such as air pollution, oil spills, and the destruction of natural habitats. Therefore many are advocating the promotion of using more eco-friendly sources of energy, one of which is harnessing the power of the wind.

It has to be said that the use of wind powered turbines is becoming a very controversial issue. Many environmentalists agree with the principle, but object to the way that wind powered turbines and generators make marks on the landscape. For example, in Scotland Donald Trump is objecting to a wind farm which will be in view of a golf course which he is developing.

However, from an environmental point of view, what are the advantages of using the wind as a power source?

Advantages of Wind Power?

The first advantage is that the source of the energy is completely free. The only investment is the installation of the wind turbine and then the regular upkeep. This means that money doesn’t have to be spent to regularly harness the power, unlike digging for coal, drilling for oil and extracting gas.

The second advantage is that investing in wind power is significantly lower than in fossil fuels. For example, a person doesn’t have to do much exploration to find out where a windy place is. Wind turbines come in all sizes, and this means that they can be purchased by an individual, if he has the space to place this on his own land. More and more in the developing world there is a push towards small villages and town installing their own wind turbines so that they can reduce the dependency on expensive fossil fuels.

Another advantage of using the power of the wind is that they only take up a relatively small area of land. So it means that the land on which the wind turbine is situated can also be used for other purposes, for example, agriculture, livestock and even recreation.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that wind powered turbines isn’t without its own disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Wind Power

One of the main disadvantages of wind power is the fact it’s not always available. Many governments build wind farms in places where there are already strong winds, for example, on hillsides and along coastlines. However even doing that cannot guarantee a constant source of power.

There are other disadvantages to wind power, but these are usually small and are based on location and an individual’s viewpoint. Many people who live close to wind turbines complain of the noise. There is also the issue of flickering shadows, which can be annoying to people at home.

There is one area of wind power where either side have their point to prove – the impact on the landscape.

Disagreements on using the Power of the Wind

The main disagreement seems to be the footprint that wind turbines and generators leave on the landscape. Many people are of the opinion that the countryside should be left unspoiled. Whereas others feel that the wind generators have become and interesting addition to the landscape. After all, they are they to protect the environment.