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  • Garbology Admin 10:31 am on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Recycle Your Cell Phones 

    By: Chelsea Olver


    Having the newest, best phone on the market is a statement for people today. It is now not only good enough to have the nicest clothes and shoes; you also need to have the latest tech. With companies like Apple, HTC, and Samsung releasing better phones every year, people are flocking the stores, some people waiting for days in line, trying to get their hands on the newest device and are flinging their own phones behind them.


    So what happens to their old phones? Some people sell them; others throw them in a drawer at home to waste away until they decide to throw them away somewhere down the line.


    Todays landfills receive four cell phones every second. Just one cell phone can pollute 40,000 gallons of water with toxins like arsenic, mercury, and lead. Cell phones also contain extremely valuable recyclable materials like gold, plastic, and copper. Unfortunately, even when we recycle our old cell phones, after we remove the valuable materials, there is still some waste (e-Cycle).



    There is a better solution: reusing our old cell phones, but that kind of makes the whole getting a new phone thing hard if we want to keep using the older model cell phones. So how do we reuse while getting the new phones that we all want? Most cell phone companies today want to buy back our old cell phones. They then refurbish the phones to sell them again, for people who want last years model, or they use them for parts to fix peoples broken phones. You can then buy them from the retailers website.


    Going through wireless providers is not the only way to get cash for your used cell phone. There are companies like Gazelle <link: > and EcoATM > that are willing to pay you for your old cell phone. They then turn around and sell them at a mark up. If you want to take the time to get the money for yourself you can sell your phone on EBay or Craigslist. Your phone doesn’t even need to be in great condition to get money for your phone. There are tons of people out there who like to buy broken phones to try and fix them themselves.

    Another solution is to donate your old cell phone to a good cause. There are a number of non-profit organizations that take cell phones and give them to people in need. This is the best solution because the phones are being given new life and won’t end up with any waste in our water or landfills. Cell Phones for Soldiers <link:> is a non-profit that sends cell phones to active duty military members and veterans, and 911CellPhoneBank> provides cell phones to victims of abuse and senior citizens.


    There are so many solutions for us to safely get rid of our phones and make sure they don’t end up in our landfills. Whether you decide to give your phone to a charity or if you trade it for cash, deciding to have your phone reused is the best for our environment.


  • janetteclay 8:45 pm on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Plastic Water Bottle Caps Don’t Have to Be Garbage is an interesting article on how we can remove one more waste item from our garbage.

  • Lorelle VanFossen 10:13 pm on March 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , city garbage management, educational books, england, , historical trash, , london, municipal garbage, reading material, , , victorian   

    New Book: Dirty Old London: A History of the Victorians’ Infamous Filth 

    NPR Radio did a special report on the new book by Lee Jackson, “‘Dirty Old London’: A History Of The Victorians’ Infamous Filth.”

    In the 19th century, London was the capital of the largest empire the world had ever known — and it was infamously filthy. It had choking, sooty fogs; the Thames River was thick with human sewage; and the streets were covered with mud.

    But according to Lee Jackson, author of Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight Against Filth, mud was actually a euphemism. “It was essentially composed of horse dung,” he tells Fresh Air’s Sam Briger. “There were tens of thousands of working horses in London [with] inevitable consequences for the streets. And the Victorians never really found an effective way of removing that, unfortunately.”

    In fact, by the 1890s, there were approximately 300,000 horses and 1,000 tons of dung a day in London. What the Victorians did, Lee says, was employ boys ages 12 to 14 to dodge between the traffic and try to scoop up the excrement as soon as it hit the streets.

    To the public health-minded Victorian, London presented an overwhelming reform challenge. But there wasn’t change until the city took over.

    “It takes decades for people to accept that the state perhaps has a role in how they manage their household, how they manage their rubbish, their toilet facilities even,” Lee says. “The state basically does intervene and it is that idea of a central authority that is actively concerned — what the Victorians would’ve called ‘municipal socialism.’ … That mission to improve people’s lives on a very day-to-day basis was carried on throughout the 20th century.”

    You can listen to the interview and read the interview highlights on NPR.

  • 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 11:40 am on February 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , clark college news, , ,   

    Next Book Club February 20 

    The Clark College Garbology Book Club meets next on Friday, February 20, 2015, from 12-1:30PM in the Cannell Library (GHL 205) (note there is a room change). This is the first book club meeting open to students.

    Lorelle VanFossen and members of her Fall WordPress Class (CTEC 160) will be presenting and discussing their work on the Garbology Common Read Project at Clark College student site as well as develop ideas for student participation and interaction.

    This is a great opportunity for you to learn how you could lend your expertise to the Common Read project as well personally, professionally, and through your classes.

    See you there!

  • 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 5:28 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , alice bradshaw, , artist, artwork, , environmental art, exhibits, galleries, , glossary, jargon, rubbish, rubbish artist, terminology, , ,   

    Alice Bradshaw: Rubbish Artist and Educator 

    Alice Bradshaw - Doodle - The Good Life - Apartment - April 2005 - photo courtesy of Paul Harfleet.

    Alice Bradshaw – Doodle – The Good Life – Apartment – April 2005 – photo courtesy of Paul Harfleet

    Alice Bradshaw, a prize-winning artist and academic specializing in rubbish and trash. Her work has been featured in museums, galleries, and festivals throughout the UK and Australia.

    Alice Bradshaw describes herself this way:

    I work with a wide range of media and processes involving the manipulation of everyday objects and materials. Mass-produced, anonymous objects are often rendered dysfunctional caricatures of themselves, addressing concepts of purpose and futility. I create or accentuate subtleties, blurring distinctions between the absurd and the mundane, with the notion that the environment the work exists in becomes integral to the work itself.

    Rubbish: A Research Project is study project by Rubbish by Bradshaw that is a long time study project. She shares her studies on the various forms of rubbish including crap, debris, detritus, dirt, discards, junk, leftovers, litter, refuse, rejects, shit, ruins, and others. Each one features a definition and quotes, citations, and references that may be of value to you and your classes.

    On the topic of garbage she shares:

    “I use the word ‘garbage’ […] because I think it’s really recognizable to people. I think that’s what most people call their waste or their discards. That’s why I use it; it’s not a statement of my political or ideological stance on the issue of discards. A lot of people feel very strongly about choosing the right word, and I really respect where that comes from. I think that what we call the things we throw away is very important and it does relate to the way that what we throw out is constructed as dirty and not okay to touch or to consider as having value or being a resource.”
    Heather Rogers – Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage (2005) The New Press.

    “A Dump: The whole world, everything which surrounds me here, is to me a boundless dump with no ends or borders, an inexhaustible, diverse sea of garbage. This whole dump is full of twinkling stars, reflections and fragments of cultures.” […] A dump not only devours everything, preserving forever, but one might say it continually generates something: this is where some kind of shoots come from for new project, ideas, a certain enthusiasm arises, hopes for rebirth of something, though it is well-known that all of this will be covered with new layers of garbage.”
    Ilya Kabakov – Documents of Contemporary Art: The Archive (2006) p.32/37

    “Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit.”
    Guy Debord – Formula for a New City, The Incomplete Works of the Situationist International, ed. Christopher Gray (1974)

    “A newspaper that you’re not reading can be used for anything; and the same people didn’t think it was immoral to wrap their garbage in newspaper.”
    Robert Rauschenberg in interview with by Dorothy Seckler, Archives of American Art (1965)

    Her other projects include:

  • 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.

  • janetteclay 10:42 pm on January 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Check out the Clark College’s bookstore window display… 

    Check out the Clark College’s bookstore window display of Garbology – on display through Friday, January 30.

  • Lorelle VanFossen 1:27 pm on January 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , class integration, consumerism, , faculty meeting, lunch, meeting, reducation, teach garbology, teaching garbology,   

    Garbology Faculty and Staff Book Club Friday January 16 

    The January Faculty & Staff Common Read Book Club is Friday, January 16, 2014, from 12:00 to 1:30PM in Cannell Room LIB 101. Bring your lunch, bring your mug – tea and light refreshments will be served.

    We’ll be discussing Garbology Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes and learning how others are incorporating the message of the book in their classes and departments.

    This month’s guest speaker: Erin Schoenlein, ABE Instructor, sharing how she used Garbology in her ABE class during Fall 2014, focusing on Consumerism, Waste & Reduction.

    Reading the book is not required. However, If you wish to read in advance – Chapters 3 and 12 of Garbology are suggested. Don’t have a copy of the book? Check one out from the TLC, in GHL 206.

    Mark your calendars – Future book club meetings will be held on:

    Feb. 20, Apr. 17, and May 15.

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