March 2015

The Green Matters e-newsletter is designed to give you a quick glimpse of important sustainability initiatives happening around the metro Atlanta region and beyond. Whether it's the latest research, new educational offerings, environmental stewardship efforts, or potential funding opportunities, this e-newsletter will help you stay abreast of what's happening in this important subject area.


5 Ways to Get People to Recycle More Electronics

recycle your electronicsApple sold a record 74.5 million iPhones in last year's fourth quarter. That "incredible quarter," as Apple CEO Tim Cook called it, was due in large part to the debut of the iPhone 6, which prompted millions of people to swap out their old smartphone for a new one. But trading in the old for the new is quickly becoming an almost yearly ritual for many: Rapid advances in technology mean that our cellphones, tablets and TVs are "obsolete" in 18 months. So what happens to all those gadgets once we're done with them?

They end up in landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in 2011 only one-quarter of all the electronic waste generated was recycled. At the same time, the United Nations reported that the world's electronic waste would grow by 33 percent, from almost 50 million tons to more than 65 million tons, between 2012 and 2017.

The good news is that 25 states and the District of Columbia have electronic recycling laws in place. The bad news is that despite these laws, e-waste is the fastest-growing municipal waste stream in the country, according to the EPA. Still, there are at least five things a state or locality can do to boost electronic recycling rates.

Continue reading to discover how…

Measure #57 – Community Nontraditional Recycling Program

Recycle your electronics

The Green Communities certification program recognize communities who have recycling drop off locations or regularly scheduled events for electronics, rechargeable batteries and cell phones.

DeKalb County, a certified Green Community at the Silver level, provides regularly scheduled recycling drop-off events for items such as electronics, cell phones and batteries. There are permanent recycling locations for electronics at the county's Central Transfer Station and the Seminole Road Landfill. Cell phone collection receptacles are provided at three county libraries. To date, the county has prevented more than one million pounds of recyclable electronic scrap from entering the landfill. The county also provides a website that details what can and cannot be recycled and why it is important to recycle electronics.

Electronics Recycling 101 – Repurposing Old Electronics

  • Outdated iPod to Home Multimedia Storage – Your iPod may lack its former battery power, but that doesn't mean you need to get rid of it. Hooking up an old iPod or mp3 player to new speakers transforms the portable player into a home stereo system. Or, use the iPod as a multimedia storage device. Download movies, pictures, music videos or slideshows onto the device and purchase an audio/video cable. Then, hook the player up to your television. Using an iPod as multimedia storage is a clutter-free way to improve your movie collection and repurpose an outdated music player.
  • Laptop to Digital Picture Frame – The computing lifespan of a laptop may be relatively short, but that doesn't mean the device can't serve other purposes once it's been replaced. Try turning your laptop screen into a digital picture frame, or set it up next to a desktop monitor to act as a second screen. All that extra real estate comes in handy when conducting research, working on graphic design, or creating a more organized workspace.
  • Television to Gaming Station – With new and more energy-efficient flat screens hitting the market almost daily, hanging on to your old TV set can be a struggle. But if your older model won't broadcast an NFL game with the same clarity as a newer version, resist the urge to ditch the set. Instead, give the TV to someone who is more concerned with watching movies or playing video games than following cable channels. Older sets still play DVDs or video games with solid picture quality.

Check out more ways to reuse outdated electronics

Green News from Near and Far

Atlanta plans to launch its new bike share program in 2015
As Solarize Tybee gains popularity, price drops

GT Parking Spotter Could Keep You From the Endless Hunt

Ford Announces E-Bikes for Urban Commutes

Cities and businesses discover that cycling pays

Highlights from CNN's 'United States of Trash'

Food waste is becoming serious economic and environmental issue

EPA Takes on the ‘Gas Guzzlers’ of Home Appliances

SmarterHouse helps homeowners discover budget-friendly energy efficiency improvements

Sunny Side East: Solar Takes Off in Eastern U.S.

Speed of light: Daytona, FPL team up on solar plant

The Evolving Politics of Climate Change

Walmart Unveils Virtual Sustainability Shop

Denver water use dips to 40-year low in 2014

Green Certified Multifamily Buildings to Receive Lower Interest Rates

What 'Tactical Urbanism' Can (and Can't) Do for Your City

Zero-emission buses make inroads in U.S. cities

Marin County Partners Launch App to Track Sustainability

Upcoming Sustainability Funding Deadlines

DOE State Energy Program 2015 Competitive Awards

Transformative Category 2: Working with Local Governments
Applications due – March 31

Healthy Food Financing Initiative
Applications due – April 24

HUD Secretary's Awards for Healthy Homes Nominations due – April 30

Nissan/GA Power Workplace Charging Rebate
Applications due – June 30

Closed Loop Fund for Recycling
Applications due – Open until funds are used

Georgia Power Incentives for Energy Efficiency Retrofits Applications due – Open until funds are used

Electronic Waste and Our Environment

31,140,000: Number of computers tossed into landfills in 2010

70%: Percentage of toxic landfill waste that comes from electronics

1: One ton of computer scrap contains more gold than 17 tons of gold ore

296: Number of jobs created per 10,000 tons of computers reused

Source & Infographic

Green Real Estate Network Breakfast
March 31 – Atlanta, GA

Evaluating Complete Streets Projects
March 31 – Webinar

Green Wednesday Lunch April 1 – Atlanta, GA

Creating Sustainability Programs That Stick Master Class Series
April 16 – Webinar

Earth Day Leadership Breakfast
April 17 – Atlanta, GA

National Food Waste & Hunger Summit
April 18 & 19 – Athens, GA

Atlanta Streets Alive – West End
April 19 – Atlanta, GA

Construction & Demolition Waste Recycling Training
April 21 – Atlanta, GA

EarthShare of GA Earth Day Party
April 22 – Atlanta, GA

BOMA Streetcar Tour of Atlanta Buildings
April 23 – Atlanta, GA

National UMC Caring for Creation Conference
April 24 & 25 – Decatur, GA

International Compost Awareness Week
May 3 to 9 – Everywhere!

National Bike to School Day
May 6 – Everywhere!

GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference
June 17, 18 & 19 – Atlanta, GA

International Sustainable Asset Management Conference
June 23, 24 & 25 – Atlanta, GA

Water Auditing Master Class Series
On Demand – Webinar

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