Fri, 14 August 2009
In this week’s podcast, PennFuture’s western Pennsylvania Outreach Coordinator Joylette Portlock takes you on an audio tour of eLoop LLC, an ethical electronics recycling firm in Plum Borough, just outside of Pittsburgh. You’ll hear Ned Eldridge, eLoop’s president and CEO; Penny Holden, vice president of sales; and Jimmi Burns, director of operations, describe the recycling process step-by-step. You’ll learn exactly how our electronic waste -- the fastest growing waste stream in the world – should be disposed of. Turns out our televisions, computers, cell phones, PDAs, printers, etc., are full of toxic chemicals that must be disposed of as hazardous waste, and precious metals and other valuable components that can be reused.
Unfortunately, there is no law in Pennsylvania banning all this electronic waste from our landfills. But that could change. Two e-recycling bills currently before the Pennsylvania General Assembly - HB 708 and SB 816. These bills will require manufacturers of electronics to take back their old products and arrange for them to be responsibly recycled. HB 708 has been approved by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and should be ready for a vote by the full House soon. SB 816 is currently before the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
In late June, PennFuture, eLoopLLC, and the Pennsylvania Resources Council held a special electronics recycling event as part of the Black and Gold City Goes Green Campaign. With just a few days notice, more than 350 Pittsburghers brought their old electronics to Heinz Field and paid to recycle three truckloads — about 20 tons — of old televisions, computers and more. The effort kept between six and seven tons of lead out of landfills.
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Fri, 5 October 2007
The United States started with a single curbside-recycling plan. Twenty years later, Americans recycle 32 percent of their total waste each year on average, as projected by Earth 911. Over time, recycling methods and the availability of facilities have grown. Today we are finding new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials that would typically end up in landfills. These aren't really new concepts, but the "throw-away" society of the 20th century is starting to come around-- everything old is new again.
Environmental health is but one great reason to recycle. In Philadelphia, PennFuture-led Next Great City project is demonstrating that focusing more on recycling has economic benefits for the city as a whole, since waste disposal costs come down as recycling rates go up.
In this podcast, PennFuture’s Joy Bergey conducts a series of interviews with Philadelphia-area businesses involved with recycling and reusing materials that most of us may not have thought possible. When we hear the word "recycling" we usually think of those things that are easily taken out to the curb: paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. But as Joy discovers, that's only the beginning. Listen in as she talks with folks from Elemental, Inc., Walk a Crooked Mile bookstore, and the Urban Nutrition Initiative about their contributions to recycling beyond the curb.
To learn more about Next Great City and other projects and activities at PennFuture, visit our Web site. There, you can sign up for more information and make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work. As always, we welcome your comments; just e-mail us at podcast (at) pennfuture (dot) org, or click on "Comments" below.