Saturday, February 19, 2011

e-waste & obstacles

-- Chatter --

Well, I'm exhausted. The research and outlines for the interviews airing on the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show in March are complete, registered, and early promotions are done. The Brummet's Muse Newsletter went out on the 15th... and about 15 things got knocked off our project list over the last week alone. While it feels good to have reached a point where I can take some time for other things today, it is with a slight tug in my heart - since there always seems to be so much more to do, and so many darn delays or obstacles to overcome. 

This morning's rush is slowing down, now that the house and office are tidied, the dishwasher run, the laundry folded and the dogs taken care of  - I can finally focus on the blog. I have some seeds to order for the gardening, a workout, and a dozen emails yet to deal with this morning so I'll not chat here long... Let's start with the quote of the day - one that may help me today as well :)

-- Quote of the Day --
Just being with nature you see so many amazing things that you miss so often in day to day life. …I see how small I am in the world; and yet how much a part of everything as well. Sometimes you have to take a vacation to get away, …when we have so much right here! …A lot of the challenges that we have in our life; we see them as these insurmountable obstacles to that we just can’t get around – and it is a matter of changing our perspective… and we realize it is not really what you think it is, it is an illusion to test you. …Going back to nature just simplifies the emotional ties they have with others around them… getting them back to that basic simplicity.”   

~ Steve McAllister 

Originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show interview titled:  Free of Limitations – which aired on Jan 18, 2010. 
*Check it out via the hyper-linked title (above). 

-- Positive Eco-News --

"A single cell phone battery, for example, requires 3.2 tonnes of colbalt ore." ~ Enrique Gili

You may remember some time ago here on the blog discussions about Recycle Bank and TerraCycle, two companies that offer rebates for "waste" that people send them. 

Today I'd like to highlight a similar company, but for e-waste... EcoATM - who works with retailers to offer coupons and sometimes cash for unwanted electronic devices. I learned of this through an article by Enrique Gili (EcoATMs Swap E-waste for Cash) that I received from the Zero Waste San Diego Group, of which I am a member. 

Anyway... the trial run in the San Diego region lasted for one year, and the results have people pretty excited. They use a new technology that is kind of like a vending machine crossed with an ATM banking machine. People deposit the item, and the machine calculates its worth. The company is specifically looking for cell phones, but accepts a few other items - and chooses these items based on the "estimated 12.2 billion dollars of recyclable materials" in phones alone. The cell phones are either refurbished and sold or given to organizations (such as ReCellular) that work with impoverished areas - or they are recycled for the valuable materials.  

EcoATM feels that due to the incredible impact on human rights and the environment, and the stats that show there are up to 150 million cell phones retired each year on this planet - this is a incredibly important project. This version of "urban mining" has the potential of producing 64000 tones of reusable materials. The problem is that less than 2% of these valuable items are recycled. If they go to the landfill, they will release things like copper, cadium and lead into the environment, causing havoc along the way. 

*For more information on this the article suggests that we visit: The Institute for Local Self-Reliance -

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