Well, quite frankly, you are right in one sense, but in another it is a simple matter to set up a mixed bed resin and an organic resin, and then run your 'effluent' through that. Out comes clean water, and what is left is a burnable residue which can be given to the recovery center that incinerates such trash.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Kind of like a water softener. In fact, the resin would be a mixed bed water sofener cartridge. Simple and clean and efficient.
You have a dry cartridge when done instead of buckets of glop to dispose of.
You bring up a key point in that different items are recycled/reused in different ways.
Originally Posted by film_guy
Here in NYC we have a very successful post-consumer based recycling program for ordinary metals and glass (e.g. cans and bottles), paper products and plastics (hey - you've got to get rid of those darn take-out soup containers).
These items are collected by the City and delivered to a sorting/recycling center run by a company in New Jersey. [As an interesting sidebar - this company got its start after WWII breaking down Liberty Ships - they moved into waste recycling in more modern times].
Most of these basic waste stream "commodities" are easily processed here in the USA [although some of the cardboard/paper may also go to China etc. - see my earlier post].
That is presently the extent of NYC's recycling program and it removes a considerable percentage of total waste from landfill needs. Note: it is primarily a landfill and incineration elimination strategy - both of which "cost" the City whereas the recycling company "pays" the City for "raw materials".
As to more hazardous items - the reliance remains on specific collection sites and voluntary compliance. That is why I think it is a bit of a specious argument to claim that because one's community has a recycling program - all is well.
It really depends on what is actually being diverted from the waste stream and successfully re-used.
As far as I am aware, the proper, non-environmentally damaging discarding of chemicals is probably more "advanced" at this point than it is for electronics.
This is mainly due to the fact that chemicals (including petroleum-based products) can be readily rendered neutral or re-distilled etc. without requiring significant transportation.
The new, massive presence of electronic waste as a result of the "digital revolution" is a very different situation. Little technology yet exists to effectively teardown a circuit board en masse and render it's remaining detritus into usable recyclables or neutralize it's deleterious effects. Hence the now well-known pictures of children in western China taking apart circuit boards by hand.
Finally, as to those who continue here to complain about mercury-based flourescent house bulbs replacing tungsten incandescents - how may time do we have to go on about this? Obviously, the discarding of these new bulbs will require a change in thinking from the old "toss and forget". But the energy savings possible by a mass-migration to these bulbs will stabilize, if not reduce, electric generation demand substantially.
Yes, there is no total win-win; but the damaging effect of increased carbon emissions is presently a much greater concern than is the risk of careless disposal of mercury carrying light bulbs.
And besides, if you don't want to use them, then just don't use them!
I agree that the average person does not want or care to recycle photochemicals, but I can buy those cartridges at Home Depot for about $10 each. But it is inefficient.
Originally Posted by jnanian
The overall picture is more complex.
The outflow of toxic materials from all analog processes WW is much less toxic than the outflow from dumps of electronic equipment and their manufacture. The manufacture of organics for analog photography is about equal to the manufacture of dyes for inkjet printing. The pigment inks are probably more toxic.
So, the balance we are looking for is effluent from photo processing for any reason vs the 'effluent' from manufacturing digital products and dumps for obsolete equipment.
But then, we have argued this over and over and over in the last few years and it is becoming tiresome as no one can 'prove' anything. We always end up at the same point.
As an aside - this evening I replaced the toner cartridge of the HP printer I use at home.
It's relatively new (1-1/2 years) and hasn't seen too much use so this was the first replacement.
I opened the box with the new cartridge and did the swap out. I was about to throw out the brochure inside the box when I realized that it felt "kind of heavy" for simple newsprint.
So I opened it and found a prepaid UPS return label attached to a multi-lingual brochure explaining how to return anything from one to twelve cartridges for recycling.
Who knows where they will wind up? But congrats are due to HP for at least trying to do the right thing.
Oh, and yes, I realize that "built into" the price I paid for the cartridge was the UPS charge etc. - but, so what? If its disposal is handled "properly" it's a sunk cost anyway and both HP and I can feel better for having taken the trouble.
It's the small steps that change the consciousness that are important.
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These are refurbed, refilled with toner, and sold. Many public schools in our area collect toner cartridges and get paid for them by the printer mfgrs. They do it as a fund raiser. Rather than sending it back for free, you might see if there's a good place locally that can make a couple of bucks off each cartridge you donate to them.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
Originally Posted by Lee L
Granted that - but I'm sitting in high-rise condo in the middle of midtown Manhattan. I'm just glad that I can get a freebie UPS pickup from the mailroom in the basement.
And, yes, I could also schlep the thing to a Staples store on my walk to work or find a "worthy youth group" etc. But the whole idea is to make it "painless" to the end user no matter how it's done. And that's a good thing.
One can hope that similar "ease of proper disposal" methods will be implemented for the CF bulbs as the burnouts begin to proliferate in the next few years*.
* CF bulbs have an expected life of 10 years or so. We first started to switch over about seven years ago - replacing incadescents as the died. Given a 10 year expected life - we should start to see "burnouts" fairly soon. Then the issue of proper disposal will become "real"!
That toner cartridge: Even about 7 or 8 years ago at the local Staples shop I could choose between a new (Canon) or a used (from a refurbishing company) cartridge for my Canon Copy Mouse.
Yes, there will be many Apug members around who have no acccess to any kind of recycling or breakdown service. But the same time I learn that there are more and more facilities arising even in the USA which here is considered a synonyme for throw-away.
Yes, that system of waste separation with already a dozen heaps or so in German homes costs a lot of money. But the German Joe has no legal way to evade this and thus has to pay. Thus as a German Joe I use this system to get rid of my lab waste.
I imagine that fewer people would do so in case they had to pay per item they deliver. Here, in many cases one has to pay extra for even very small amounts of building debry, thus still seeing it dropped illegally somewhere.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
The total percentage of CO2 in the planet's atmosphere is 0.054%. Human activity makes up less than 1% of that 0.054% (or 0.00054% total atmospheric CO2). If you want to slow global warming you would be better off boiling less water: 95% of greenhouse gas is water vapour.
I am more concerned about billions of households using billions of mercury containing lightbulbs and the future disposal/pollution problem this will cause.
Are there plans that you could reference or point us to that show how someone could construct such a 'scrubber'? ...something that someone with an access to a local or virtual Home Depot could construct?
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Last edited by wclavey; 07-26-2007 at 07:29 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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