Tackling the Fastest Growing Domestic Waste Stream Takes Circular Thinking

first_imgWith the summer time in full swing, most of us are thinking about vacation, beaches, and finding ways to escape on our next adventure. My idea of an adventure is embedding myself in nature by going on a nice long bike ride.It’s important to spend time with nature to remind us of its beauty, fragility and our responsibility to protect it. Advancing sustainability is a key focus for our 2030 vision. We have a responsibility to protect and enrich our planet together with our customers, suppliers and communities, and to embed sustainability and ethical practices into all that we do.Addressing the fastest growing domestic waste streamFor our part, we are focused on addressing the growing challenge of electronic waste. For those not familiar, e-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams on the planet. Estimates show approximately 50 million tons of e-waste is generated worldwide, but only 29% of it is recycled properly. Unfortunately, the other 71% is typically stockpiled in household garages, handled informally, or thrown into the landfill.We do our part to enable our customers to recycle responsibly, and this time last year, we shared news about a new partnership with the Basel Action Network (BAN) introducing an asset tracking pilot program to use technology utilized by BAN to provide greater transparency into our own US electronics recycling programs.1 year later: What have we learned? Well, for starters, we learned GPS-based asset tracking works, and we learned that the majority of our downstream recycling processes are operating as we expect. But the pilot program did expose some early vulnerabilities which helped us quickly take corrective action and addresses the operational gap.Additionally, the pilot has led to us making global tracking technologies part of Dell’s existing electronics disposition partner audit program. As I just shared, e-waste is a significant issue. The numbers above justify how we need more innovative solutions to meet the increasing challenge of recycling electronics. BANS’s e-waste tracking service is one way we are tackling the problem.Ensuring responsible recycling is only one piece of solving this problem.The bigger opportunity is to think circular from the very beginning and remove waste from the entire process. When waste becomes a design principle and an input into our manufacturing process, e-waste goes away. The most recent example of this is a collaboration with suppliers Seagate and Teleplan (a storage device recycling/recovery specialist). Together we’ve created a new closed-loop process to recover the rare earth magnets from recovered enterprise equipment. The magnets are then reformed for reuse in new hard-disk drives – most notably the Dell Latitude 500 series laptop. Not only is this a winning example of circular economy, but it’s finding ways to reuse rare earth metals, which have serious environmental and health consequences if not properly managed.As we embrace a new 2030 vision: Progress Made Real, our success will be dependent on new business models and new ways of partnering with customers, suppliers, manufacturers, or NGOs.  This is where the innovation happens and how we will get the scale to make progress real.last_img read more

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Flipping’ heck…why all these shoes have been washing up in Donegal

first_imgRunners and flip flops have been washing up along Donegal beaches for the past month after containers spilt off a Maersk Shanghai ship near North Carolina last year.FlipBeaches at other parts of the country including Valentia, Fanore and Connemara have also reported coming across the footwear.And they have also reached Cornwall in the UK, Brest and Brittany in France, the Azores, parts of Spain and Jersey. Liam MacNamara of Burren Shores Beachcombing and More told the Irish Times the companies responsible, Great Wolf Lodge and Just Speed have been contacted.“I have a contact in Florida who took up the case for me and he made contact with the companies . . . Just Speed and Great Wolf Lodge have confirmed that they had a shipment on that boat.”Nike have also been contacted regarding the lost containers but said “they weren’t aware of any containers that were missing”.Mr MacNamara is concerned at the potential environmental impact of plastic footwear in the oceans having seen bite marks on several pairs in Fanore. Nike have also been contacted regarding the lost shipments but said “they weren’t aware of any containers that were missing”.“Most of the soles themselves are made from plastic. The material side of it wouldn’t be overly harmful because that would break down, but the plastic of course never breaks down. And it just gets smaller and smaller, eventually it could end up in fish.”The clean-up now falls upon volunteers. In 2015, ink cartridges belonging to Hewlett Packard washed up on beaches and the American multinational company later made a donation to environmental groups as an apology.Flipping’ heck…why all these shoes have been washing up in Donegal was last modified: May 2nd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Local Roundup: Arcata Tigers advance to H-DN title game with win over Fortuna Huskies

first_imgMcKinleyville >> Bailey Cherms and Faith Schneider-Reuter scored a goal apiece and Skaidra Pulley recorded 12 saves as the Arcata Tigers defeated the Fortuna Huskies 2-0 in the semifinal round of the inaugural Humboldt-Del Norte League Soccer Tournament on Thursday at McKinleyville High School.Schneider-Rueter scored on an assist from Audrey Shelton and also assisted on Cherms’ goal. Though the Tigers were outshot by the Huskies 12-10, Pulley stopped all shots she faced to keep a clean sheet. …last_img

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Kinder, Gentler Dinosaurs Envisioned

first_imgSee if this statement by Tim Rowe [U of Texas at Austin] meets your mental picture of dinosaurs after a lifetime of movies: “We used to think of dinosaurs as fierce creatures that outcompeted everyone else,” he said.  “Now we’re starting to see that’s not really the case.  They were humbler, more opportunistic creatures.  They didn’t invade the neighborhood.  They waited for the residents to leave and when no one was watching, they moved in.”    This quote from an article in PhysOrg may not make for a very dramatic sequel to Jurassic Park, but it’s based on his team’s analysis of migration patterns of a new species of dinosaur from Arizona gently named Sarahsaurus.  “And so it’s starting to look like some of our ideas about how size and evolution work are probably in need of revision,” Rowe said, “and that some of the features we thought were tied to gigantism and the physics and mechanics of the bones may not be right.”Does Rowe know that dinosaurs were humbler, more opportunistic creatures?  No, because he wasn’t there.  Neither does Steven Spielberg know that they were terrors.  Who knows; maybe they were like large cows and sheep, and the predators were like large coyotes.  Maybe Alley Oop had to beat off Sue with a stick.  Make up your own scenario.  It’s as good as anyone else’s, because all such opinions about behavior are inferred from indirect evidence and are inherently subjective.  For best chance at fame, come up with a scenario that lends itself to a screenplay and keeps the animators employed.    The one thing that you can be sure of is that the opinions of evolutionists will continue to change, so that any of their claims today “are probably in need of revision” tomorrow.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Scientific Progress Is Spelled “Bio-Inspiration”

first_img(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Need fundamental insights into physics and technology? Look no further than the living world.Flexible Robo-Legs Could Help Helicopters Stick Tricky Landings (Live Science): In research funded by DARPA, “Helicopters of the future could use insectlike robotic legs to land in unlikely places — like the slopes of steep hills or the decks of rocking boats.”Making batteries with portabella mushrooms (Science Daily): Here’s a new organism for biomimetics aficionados: the big flat fungus vegetarians use as substitute hamburger. Researchers at UC Riverside “have created a new type of lithium-ion battery anode using portabella mushrooms, which are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and easy to produce.” Who would have dreamed this? The high porosity of mushroom tissue makes it ideal for anodes in batteries—environmentally friendly, too.‘Hedgehog’ Robots Hop, Tumble in Microgravity (Astrobiology Magazine): A picture of tumbling robots on Mars begins this story about a new concept for robots. “Hedgehog” robots have no wheels or legs. Instead, spikes on a cube shape allow them to hop, tumble, and work in any orientation. The article doesn’t say if experimenters from JPL, MIT and Stanford were inspired by actual hedgehogs, but their choice of name betrays some level of comparison with England’s furry mammals that can tuck into a ball shape and roll away from hazards.Deep-diving whales could hold answer for synthetic blood (Science Daily). This is a whale of a biomim report out of Rice University: “The ultra-stable properties of the proteins that allow deep-diving whales to remain active while holding their breath for up to two hours could help biochemists and other researchers finish a 20-year quest to create lifesaving synthetic blood for human trauma patients.”It’s Part Tank, Part Salamander, and Ready for Combat (Live Science). Amphibious vehicles take their inspiration from – what? — amphibians, of course. Salamanders are at home in water or dryness. Soldiers need to operate in both environments, not stopping when their vehicle climbs out of a river into irregular land. “While the primary purpose of Lockheed’s ACV system is to build a new generation of vehicles for the military, the company also said it believes the salamanderlike machines would be great at search-and- rescue missions, as well.”Molecular motors: Pirouetting in the spotlight (PhysOrg): Nano-engineers can’t hold a candle to the abilities of molecular machines found in living cells, but they’re trying their best. “German scientists have developed a new class of molecular motors that rotate unidirectionally at speeds of up to 1 kHz when exposed to sunlight at room temperature,” this article reports. About all they can brag about is controlling which direction the thing spins. “Given the complexity involved in the design of such motor molecules, it is really astonishing to [sic] that we gained complete control over the direction of rotation at the first attempt.” They admit they have a long way to go. Biological ATP synthase performs a function in either direction. The bacterial flagellum can stop and reverse direction in a quarter turn.Researchers design ‘biological flashlight’ using light-producing ability of shrimp (Science Daily): From the University of North Carolina: “Using the natural light-producing ability of deep-sea shrimp, the team of scientists developed the new imaging tool to help cancer researchers better track tumor development and treatment responses.”Need directions? Ask a lizard (PhysOrg): Lizards remain underutilized sources of bio-inspiration. We’ve seen a lot about geckos and chameleons, but what about garden-variety lizards? Able to walk on most surfaces from sand to rock, scamper about quickly with splayed limbs, and climb vertically up or down, they surely have additional secrets for scientists. This article tells about a Penn State biologist curious how plain lizards understand the limits of their territories without GPS. She developed a theory that “side-blotched lizards do possess the ability to engage spatial memory when navigating to a goal.”How orange peel could replace crude oil in plastics (PhysOrg): Plastic that pollutes the world’s oceans is a huge concern. If scientists could make biodegradable materials with the benefits of plastic, it would be a huge development for the environment while simultaneously reducing our dependence on oil. In orange juice manufacture, almost 50% of the fruit is discarded, but there’s gold in them thar peels. Limonene, a simple hydrocarbon in orange peel, is showing promise not only for plastics, but for pain relief drugs and many useful polymers. A fruitful strategy for extracting this substance looks very appealing.Magnetically assisted slip casting of bioinspired heterogeneous composites (Nature): This paper discusses progress in developing “bioinspired heterogeneous microstructures” that mimic the durable traits of oyster shells and teeth. Summarizing this paper, PhysOrg describes the difficulties researchers had trying to mimic nature. The authors have arrived at the proof-of-context stage toward manufacturing dental prostheses and other beneficial devices possessing the benefits of biological materials:There are few tougher, more durable structures in nature than teeth or seashells. The secret of these materials lies in their unique fine structure: they are composed of different layers in which numerous micro-platelets are joined together, aligned in identical orientation.The world’s nitrogen fixation, explained (Science Daily): Agriculture could benefit immensely from cracking the secret of nitrogenase, the bacterial enzyme that “fixes” nitrogen by breaking its tough triple bond so that it can combine with other atoms. Nature is much “friendlier” than industrial methods of producing fertilizer, which require high heat and pressure. Solving the mystery requires deep research into physical chemistry. This article describes how a group of Yale chemists “designed a new chemical compound with key properties that help to explain nitrogenase.” Next step: “With this insight into how nature fixes nitrogen, Holland and his colleagues hope to design synthetic catalysts that turn nitrogen into ammonia, the main fertilizer produced in the natural system.”Bio-inspired electron-delivering system for reductive activation of dioxygen at metal centres towards artificial flavoenzymes (Nature): If you make it past the abstruse title of this paper, you can learn that the chemical industry is looking into the liver for environmentally-friendly, sustainable chemical technology. This is not some kind of divination, but rather an attempt to understand how enzymes in the liver and in bacteria manage to transfer oxygen atoms to C-H bonds. This ability to “reduce” dioxygen (O2) as easily as living cells do it would be very useful for “bio-inspired oxidation catalysis” at ambient temperatures, leading toward green, sustainable technology.Environmentalists!  Get a load of this!  Biomimetics is knocking the wind out of the Darwin industry. Leave it breathless; it was generating pollution, anyway. The future is in green design inspired by green design, bringing more green into the pockets of good environmental stewards. This is a way for true environmentalists to join hands with intelligent design advocates, free-market entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and research scientists for the good of the planet.last_img read more

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