United States Postal Service Launches Electronic Recycling Program

With last month’s release of the iPhone 5, consumers worldwide are scrambling to get their hands on Apple’s most recent creation. With over 5 million new iPhones sold during the initial launch weekend alone, many consumers may now find themselves in a new predicament: “What do I do with my old phone?” While there are many options at your disposal, the United States Post Office has recently launched a new program that invites Americans to recycle their small electronic devices.

With the launch of this electronics recycling program, consumers will not only be able to recycle their electronic waste, but actually receive cash for the value of their items. According to Waste360:

 The Postal Service is working with MaxBack, an electronics recycling company that specializes in recycling unwanted electronics or buying them back. The USPS adds that shipping is free.

The USPS has a website, www.usps.com/ship/recycle-through-usps.htm, where consumers can search for their electronic device, receive a quote and mail the product. Once MaxBack receives the item, they’ll inspect it and send cash in return.

 Even if the product has no refund value, free recycling mail-back envelopes are available for customers from participating USPS locations to ship their small used electronics, such as cell phones, smart phones, MP3 players, digital cameras or used ink jet cartridges.

 In previous blogs, we have noted the dangers of E-waste, the scraps and remnants of obsolete digital technology. E-waste is different from other recyclable materials because it often contains harmful chemicals and materials. This new program from the USPS will offers Americans a convenient and environmentally friendly way to dispose of their obsolete devices, and possibly earn a little money in the process.

To learn how you can recycle your electronics with the United States Postal Service, visit the USPS website here: https://www.usps.com/ship/recycle-through-usps.htm






Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney.

October 10th, 2012

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2012. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net skdas@phinix.net

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“Blood Diamonds” to “Blood Minerals”

The world is certainly diamond-hungry. Many have pounced on this belief, including Hollywood, which was eager to glamorize our appetite for diamonds with “Blood Diamond” (2006). Whether or not accurate, the movie highlights the enterprise—a predominantly African industry steeped in violence and human rights violations. Recently, the SEC has also shed light on another growing ‘blood’ industry: minerals.

Blood minerals are largely mined in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers mine for the metals – copper, titanium, gold, etc – that companies use to manufacture our smartphones, cars and medical devices. While it is an industry not well known to Americans, this type of mining has been going on for over a decade, and has stirred war between the two neighboring countries.

Much conflict has arisen from mining – over the last 15 years, militant groups have killed approximately 5 million people. Last year, the SEC began deliberations on a law that would require companies to disclose the use of ‘conflict minerals’ to customers when purchasing mobile phones. Such a law would come into direct conflict with many US companies’ supply chain policies.

Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA) are two organizations that assist companies in tracing mineral sources and auditing their use of materials, namely “conflict minerals” (Fox New, 2012). GeSI has helped various companies, including many leading technology companies, such as AT&T, Sprint, Nokia, Verizon, HP and Microsoft. GeSI’s initiative is also multi-faceted: included is a Conflict-Free Smelter Program, which endorses the installation of smelters in Congo, factories that extract metal from its ore through a process of mining, refining and smelting.

In addition, the Enough Project, an organization that works to stop genocide and crimes against humanity, has started the campaign RAISE Hope for Congo. Part of RAISE’s initiative is to track the progress companies have taken to eradicate ‘conflict minerals’ from their devices. Some of our favorite manufacturers, such as Apple, Canon and Sharp, have much room for improvement.

We can now easily say that the world is also mineral-hungry. Many companies are resting on their laurels – instead of taking initiative by supporting new regulations and altering supply chain policies, companies are waiting for the SEC’s deliberations to become law.

While some believe that US tech companies would readily address the problem, a concrete ruling by the SEC is what these companies, regardless of compliance, need.

Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan , June 13, 2012

All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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What Chile, Chilean Mining Crisis and Freed Miners Have Taught the World?

Chile is beautiful country and I have a very fond memory of my visit with my son Som (his high school graduation and my first retirement present) on a Globus tour of Latin America (Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru) in 1999.

I have been glued to newspapers; internet and now CNN live broadcast to witness this great and miraculous recue of all 33 miners trapped for over two months.

As the world rejoices in happiness with tears and joy, I offer the following list of ten (10) management lessons learned from this crisis as my tribute and admiration for the people of the great nation of Chile.

  1.  Face  the reality with facts and  honest assessment of the situation
  2.  Engage  in open and honest communication immediately from beginning to end
  3.  Involve  all the stakeholders , advocacy and interest groups
  4.  Obtain  best solution resources available anywhere  without NIH syndrome
  5.  Assess all the gathered  information avoiding “pet” answers
  6.  Plan a  solid execution strategy  assessing all and risks and rewards
  7.  Execute the plan with clearly defined and accountable  leadership team  allowing them room for changes of directions as needed
  8. Communicate openly, quickly and honestly with transparency ( no overpromises )
  9. Treat   everybody equally and fairly ( The President of Chile was there  to greet  all the miners with equal enthusiasm )
  10.   Display hope , courage and optimism

My closing comments and thoughts for the mineral hungry world are:

Please reduce, reuse and recycle the use of products made from minerals.

Mineral we mine today across the globe are used in every day product we use such as electronics ( over 50 elements from periodic table of 112 elements in smart phones and lap  computers ), packaging products ( aluminum cans ) , cars we drive  ( steel, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, platinum , lead and zinc ) electricity we transmit ( copper and aluminum) .  Miners put their lives to risk to  mine these minerals for the industrial world and we don’t want to  dishonor their hard work for us  so that we can waste electricity ( from Coal ) or wear “ blood diamond”  ( rings for love and romance ) or engage in wars as shown in movie Avatar (  Mining UNOBTAINIUM mineral from imaginary Planet Pandora )  or use blood elements  (three T metals  Tin, Titanium and Tantalum as ably publicized by Kentucky native Ashley Judd )

Let’s remember what    Chief Seattle (1788-1866) Suquamish/Duwamish Chief said…

 ”We didn’t inherit the earth from our parents. We’re borrowing it from our children.”

The best tribute we can give to these brave Chileans miners and the proud people of Chile is to:

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

And didn’t even have to talk about carbon foot print, green house gases and climate changes……. that’s for latter conversation… stay tuned…

Posted by Dr. Subodh Das on October 13, 2010

skdas@phinix.net     www.phinix.net

Copyright © 2010 Phinix, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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