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  • Lorelle VanFossen 5:12 am on February 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advertising, corporate greed, experiments, laws, marketing, , technology, tracking trash, transmitters   

    Tracking Trash for Greed 

    In “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Big Data” by WIRED contributor Theo Priestley, an MIT lab created an experiment known ad “Trash Track” to track over 3,000 pieces of rubbish with transmitters.

    TrashTrack uses hundreds of small, smart, location aware tags: a first step towards the deployment of smart-dust – networks of tiny locatable and addressable microeletromechanical systems.These tags are attached to different types of trash so that these items can be followed through the city’s waste management system, revealing the final journey of our everyday objects in a series of real time visualizations.

    The project was started in 2012, and the experiments have spread to encouraging individuals to track their own garbage and the “removal-chain” of the garbage life cycle.

    It wasn’t long before big business found profit in tracking garbage.

    In 2013, the article explains:

    It came to light that a dozen of London’s recycling bins fitted with digital screens were tracking each smartphone and device that connected to them with WiFi. It allowed advertisers to deduce whether the same phone — although not necessarily the same person — is passing by. By recording the MAC address, it was then possible to track when a phone reconnects. The bins could track speed and location, potentially allowing personalized advertising that even adapts according to user behavior.

    The City of London has since taken this matter up legally because the Data Protection Act forbids this kind of snooping.

     
    • ajweberman 8:00 am on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      very very smart. I thought of the same thing. Should be available commercially.

  • Lorelle VanFossen 11:12 am on February 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: california v greenwood, dumpsters, dumspter diving, economics, , law, legal, philosophy, privacy, profit, pyschology, scavengers, trash profit   

    Dumpster Diving: Philosophy, Psychology, Community, Reward, and Laws 

    Last week, WIRED reported on Matt Malone, a professional dumpster diver in the United States earning a “six-figure salary as a security specialist” as his day job, and even more with his hobby.

    The article covers Malone’s fascination and income-producing hobby of making use of and selling other people’s trash, exploring the psychology, philosophy, security risks, planned obsolescence of corporate, and the legality of dumpster diving.

    Ten minutes later, when he’s again behind the wheel of the Avalanche, Malone continues to tell me about the material benefits of dumpster diving. If he were to dedicate himself to the activity as a full-time job, he says, finding various discarded treasures, refurbishing and selling them off, he’s confident he could pull in at least $250,000 a year—there is that much stuff simply tossed into dumpsters in the Austin area.

    …But, he quickly adds, his foraging isn’t just about dollars. It’s also about the knowledge he acquires and the people he shares it with. He prefers to be known as a “for-profit archaeologist.” After all, archaeologists have always studied garbage. The esteemed William Rathje, who established the Garbage Project at the University of Arizona, observed shortly before his 2012 death that refuse, more than anything else human beings produce, “gives us insight into the long-term values of a civilization.”

    As for Malone, the main insight he’s obtained from digging through our civilization’s trash is that most people don’t place a lot of value in value anymore.

    As a security specialist, he was asked to do a “zero-knowledge attack” on a Texas company, a security hack that steps away from the computer and into the garbage of a business. He uncovered thousands of confidential documents in the trash, and the company was impressed, as was he when he found computer equipment and other “trash” that still had life and financial reward.

    …Even so, his garage soon overflowed, and Malone decided he should make some space by staging a weekend yard sale.

    That sale provided several revelations. The biggest was what sold with the drive-by public. “I had all my cool stuff out front, a couple of very nice computers, mini choppers, some high-end printers—the big-ticket stuff—thinking, ‘This is what’s going to make me the money.’” It wasn’t. Instead, people flocked to “the small stuff”: the photo paper and toner he’d pulled out of the dumpsters at OfficeMax and Office Depot, the hand tools he’d found in the trash at Harbor Freight, the CDs from GameStop dumpsters, the assorted seasonal tchotchkes that had been tossed by the employees at Pier 1 and Cost Plus. “I eventually figured out that I had to sell the big stuff on Amazon or Craigslist,” Malone says. But all those small sales added up: By Sunday afternoon he had collected a little more than $3,000 in cash. “And that was when I realized, ‘This has the potential to be something.’”

    The article revealed the community of scavengers in the area calling themselves “scavenger entrepreneurs,” describing them as “overwhelmingly white and working-class hustlers that are “willing to share what they know more than just about any people I’ve ever met.”

    The 1988 California v. Greenwood Supreme Court ruling held that while there is a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment, it is “common knowledge” that trash that is “readily accessible to animals, children, scavengers, snoops, and other members of the public” has no protection under the law to prevent access or use. If the trash is left out, it is there for the taking. Some state and city ordinances instituted rules against dumpster diving but few are enforced.

    Hat Tip: Adam Coleman, CTEC, Clark College

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 11:24 am on January 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: compost, compost handling, fines, , , ,   

    Seattle Uses Stickers Before Fines on Garbage 

    The Atlantic labels Seattle’s compost stickers “Scarlet Letters” for their program to divert 38,000 tons of food scraps from landfills to compost facilities.

    One of the cities leading the charge in the effort to staunch food waste is Seattle, which passed a law last September that requires residents to compost leftover food. The law went into effect in January, but to educate Seattleites the city is using a particularly aggressive method: shame.

    If the city’s waste-management contractors encounter a house, apartment, or commercial property with garbage containing more than 10 percent recyclables or food, they tag the garbage bins with a bright red sticker. “I’m sure neighbors are going to see these on their other neighbors’ cans,” one contractor told NPR earlier this week. “Right now, I’m tagging probably every fifth can.”
    “The stickers are like getting an ‘F’ on a school paper.”

    “The stickers are like getting an ‘F’ on a school paper,” one Seattle resident wrote in an email, adding that some craftier residents were simply using their garbage disposals more to skirt the law.

    The sticker system will continue until July, at which time Seattle begins fining “households, landlords, and businesses for failing to sort food waste.” Fines range from $1 for houses and multiple residence apartments and buildings fined $50 for failure to comply with the composting regulations.

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 6:49 pm on December 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: comedy, jerry seinfeld, personal garbage, stuff   

    Jerry Seinfeld on Garbage 

    Just after audience members of the Tonight Show were given free big screen televisions, comedian Jerry Seinfeld talks about what people are going to do with another television and about people who are keepers, hoarders, over-organizers, and throwing things away, and how we deal with our stuff.

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 3:55 pm on November 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , marine pollution, micro plastic, microplastic, , , noaa, , ocean pollution, , ,   

    November 11, 2014: Garbology News 

    The following is a summary of the news in and around the subject of garbology, our regular attempt to collect more resources, references, and information you may use in your classroom discussions.

    Garbage Clean Up in the Ocean: This week’s news features recent news stories about the trash in our oceans.

    The Weather Channel showcased a video from NOAA divers returning from a 33-day mission to college marine garbage from the ocean floor around Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a UNESCO World Heritage site and among the world’s largest marine conversation areas, totally 57 tons of trash.

    The trash included a 28×7 foot “super net” from a fishing trawler weighing about 11 1/2 tons in addition to more than 8,000 pounds of fishing nets caught on the coral reefs, plastic debris including 1,469 drink bottles, 3,758 bottle caps, and 477 lighters, the latter commonly eaten by birds.

    NOAA estimated 904 tons of marine debris has been removed from the area since 1996 as part of their ongoing Marine Debris Program, which sent reports in regularly during the mission including 10/21: Bottle Caps, Lighters, and Birds Don’t Mix: Cleaning Up Marine Debris at Midway Atoll, 10/17: Where Are All of These Derelict Nets Coming From?, and The Final Count: 57 Tons of Marine Debris Now Out of the Monument. (More …)

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 6:51 am on October 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bio-waste, ebola, ebola waste, , , , , , , hazardous materials, , health and safety, images, india, medical waste, , , photographs, , ,   

    October 28, 2014: Garbology News 

    Ebola: The story of the spread of ebola shines a light on the issue of medical waste management. A viral video of a New York Police Office tossing away gloves in a public trash can made the rounds bringing shame and ridicule on police and caregivers even after it was found that the police officer had no contact with patient. News agencies are now questioning how medical waste is handled and how the public is protected from Ebola-associated waste.

    In Texas, a judge blocked disposal of the Ebola victim’s belongings in Louisiana where “six truckloads” were in planned to be transported from Dallas, Texas, across state lines. The State Attorney General, Buddy Caldwell, said he was concerned that the ashes from the Ebola patient could pose a danger to Louisiana’s population.

    The Insurance Journal reported that Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the first treating Ebola patients in the US, was caught off-guard when the company handling their waste refused to touch the Ebola-related waste.

    Ebola symptoms can include copious amounts of vomiting and diarrhea, and nurses and doctors at Emory donned full hazmat suits to protect themselves. Bags of waste quickly began to pile up.

    “At its peak, we were up to 40 bags a day of medical waste, which took a huge tax on our waste management system,” Emory’s Dr. Aneesh Mehta told colleagues at a medical meeting earlier this month.

    Emory sent staff to Home Depot to buy as many 32-gallon rubber waste containers with lids that they could get their hands on. Emory kept the waste in a special containment area for six days until its Atlanta neighbor, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helped broker an agreement with Stericycle.

    While U.S. hospitals may be prepared clinically to care for a patient with Ebola, Emory’s experience shows that logistically they are far from ready, biosafety experts said.

    Ebola waste disposal became a hot topic in the US House of Representatives last week. In that article, they offered the following statistics:

    Hospitals ultimately dispose of about 7,000 tons of waste each day, and across the industry spend nearly $10 billion annually to dispose of it.

    According to reports to the Washington Post, bed linens, carpet, and other soiled items must be burned in a high-temperature incinerator at 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the virus.

    Here is more news about bio-waste issues related to Ebola.

    Marysville Anti-Garbage Can Resident Followup: An article in the North County Outlook reports on the legality of the city to force a Marysville woman to use and pay for unwanted garbage and recycling services, with the city citing they have the right to require all residents to pay for such services as it is a health and safety concern. (More …)

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 8:17 am on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: classes, , , garbology history, garbology in the news, , garbology projects, garbology research, , garbology study programs,   

    October 22, 2014: Garbology News 

    Our featured news story comes from our neck of the planet, Marysville, Washington, where a woman is fighting city hall, literally.

    KingTV news story on Marysville woman protesting garbage bill and can.

    King-TV in Seattle reports on a woman in Marysville willing to go to jail rather than use her garbage can.

    She canceled her garbage pickup 20 years ago. Now that her Snohomish County home was annexed to the city of Marysville, she is required to use the provided 36 gallon garbage can and she refuses to use it, tried to return it, and refuses to pay the garbage bill for a can and garbage she says she does not need nor want. Because she has failed to pay her utility bill that includes sewer, water, and garbage, the city is threatening to turn off her services, and could have her arrested.

    Historical City and Garbage Image Collection: As highlighted in “Historical Images from Seattle Municipal Archives” on this site recently, the Seattle Municipal Archives on Flickr features images over the years of garbage trucks and sanitation workers. The images are public domain, though a citation is appreciated.

    The Intersection of Science and Policy: In the Corvallis Gazette Times, editor Mike McInally asks if academia is thinking too much, citing the Garbology Common Read project at WSU, that explores the issue of impartial research as “we grapple with increasingly complex issues that require scientific input,” and its impact on public policy as well as academia.

    Finally, peer inside yourself for evidence of what experts call “confirmation bias”: The tendency we all have (yes, even editorial writers) to give more weight to evidence that confirms our beliefs than to evidence that challenges them.

    Kathryn Schulz’s excellent book “Being Wrong” offers a broader discussion of this and the many other ways in which we can deceive ourselves. Writes Schulz: “We don’t assess evidence neutrally; we assess it in light of whatever theories we’ve already formed on the basis of whatever other, earlier evidence we have encountered.”

    We live in a world which increasingly requires a measure of scientific literacy. The good news is that it’s not outside our reach – but it requires a dose of intelligent skepticism, and that includes being willing to think deeper about our own beliefs.

    Student Garbology Site – Wordless Wednesday: While the student site is still in development in coordination with the CTEC 160 WordPress I class, we’ve created a weekly “Wordless Wednesday” meme for students once the site goes live, and instructors if they wish to use these in their classes.

    The idea is based upon the long-held blogging tradition for bloggers to publish an image on Wednesdays without commentary. They encourage their readers to respond to the image in the comments. Some readers are inspired to write poems, share stories, offer commentary and essays, or just add a few thoughtful comments – it’s an opportunity for a prompt, to create a discussion based upon a visual.

    If you would like to offer or recommend images to this project for the student site or for your class, please contact us.

    The following is a summary of the news in and around the subject of garbology, our regular attempt to collect more resources, references, and information you may use in your classroom discussions.

    Reminders and Nags

    Book Club Meeting: Please add Friday, November 21, from 12-1:30PM to your calendar for the next Garbology Book Club Meeting in the Cannell Library (LIB 101). It is open to faculty and students.

    Discussions: We have numerous discussions on the site for you to participate in to learn more about garbology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. See the Discussions category.

    Ideas: If your class has incorporated any or all of the Garbology book into your curriculum, we’d love to hear about it. If not, are you wondering how to incorporate garbology into your curriculum? Check out the list created by the brainstorming sessions from the Faculty Focus event on Clark Faculty Ideas for Garbology Projects.

    Garbology, Garbage, Recycling, and Related News

    Garbology Announced on The Independent:Clark Throws Book at Garbage” was the clever title for the announcement of the Common Read project for Clark. (More …)

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 1:16 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   

    October 16, 2014: Garbology Weekly News 

    Garbology News badge.The University of New Mexico’s Lobo Reading Experience this year is also garbology, their common academic reading program. The goals of their project are:

    • To provide a common experience for all university community members to facilitate transition to a new academic year and create connections between classroom and out of class-room experiences.
    • To engage discussions between students, faculty, staff, and community members surrounding societal issues, and to share learning aspirations.
    • To integrate the book within course curriculums across campus providing faculty with a listing of ideas for faculty on how to incorporate it within their classes.
    • Develop a year-long comprehensive program within campus curricular and co-curricular activities, housing, parent association, new student orientation, and human resources that reaches all student, parents, and staff communities.
    • To create the value of reading as a university community.
    • To collaborate with the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services to promote literacy and reading as fun within the libraries, youth programs, and family centers.

    These are in line with the goals of the Clark College program. Check out the Faculty Resources, related books, and more information on their project on their site.

    The following is a summary of the news in and around the subject of garbology, our regular attempt to collect more resources, references, and information you may use in your classroom discussions.

    Reminders and Nags

    Book Club Meeting: The Clark College Garbology Book club will be meeting Friday, October 17, from 12-1:30PM in the Cannell Library (LIB 101). It is open to faculty and students. You do not have to have read the book.

    Take the Poll: Please help us by completing the Poll: Will You Integrate Garbology into Your Class?.

    Discussions: We have numerous discussions on the site for you to participate in to learn more about garbology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. See the Discussions category.

    Ideas: Wondering how to incorporate garbology into your curriculum? Check out the list created by the brainstorming sessions from the Faculty Focus event on Clark Faculty Ideas for Garbology Projects.

    Conference: The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2014 Conference & Expo is in Portland October 26-29. Registration is still available.

    Garbology, Garbage, Recycling, and Related News

    Conference: The annual conference for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) will be in Portland, October 26-29, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center. The announcement states:

    “The annual Conference & Expo is a very important and ‘must attend’ event for like-minded higher education sustainability professionals to come together to learn, share ideas and best practices with one another and take back to their institutions,” said AASHE Executive Director Stephanie A. Herrera. “We are excited and proud to see this year’s conference come together in one of the most sustainable American cities in the country, and look forward to unveiling the location for the 2015 AASHE Conference & Expo.”

    The AASHE Conference & Expo is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. Attendees from around the world will come together at AASHE 2014 to network and share new innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability on their campus and surrounding communities.

    The event includes presentations from national experts discussing practices for transformative sustainability education, indigenous practices for sustainability, driving innovations simultaneously at the economy, community, and campus scale, and data to action – advancing sustainability investment decisions. the event also features the creator of “The Story of Stuff” and Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard, Environmental Professionals of Color and the Center for Diversity and The Environment founder, Marcelo Bonta, Anna Lappé, bestselling author and sustainable food advocate, and others. There are pre- and post-conference workshops available as well. (More …)

     
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