TED Conversations

Robert Lozano

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Mapped Directory of Toxic Waste repositories

Most countries do not have a policy for dealing with toxic waste. Millions of batteries, cell phones, and other toxic waste materials end up polluting waterways.

Why not have people post their toxic waste inventories through geo-localization so that recyclers can fetch boxes filled with toxic materials (batteries, etc.) and either recycle or dispose of them appropriately?

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    Mar 27 2014: good idea..how about just a map in general of toxic waste sites with names of who facilitated their existence
    • Mar 31 2014: I think the map would help a lot, but identifying the facilitators, no.
      Too great the fear of retaliation... The possibility of the injured finding the guilty,
      is enough for the enforcers to prohibit that knowledge from being easily found.

      Similar to how police/cops hide their home addresses and personal phone numbers.
      This goes for the elite most of all. The super-rich and their political doormats, who
      must hide from everyone, unless they're carefully exposed under guard of course.

      Too many injured citizen's with shoes to throw, or worse.
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    Mar 28 2014: Absolutely, infrastructure is a efficient tool when it comes to cleaning up waste. Not only would it help clean existing waste, it helps urban planners plan for more effective waste management. Seeing which areas create the most waste and focusing efforts in response.
  • Mar 27 2014: Brilliant idea, and I totally agree. The problem is that our governments do NOT want the public to have knowledge of where industries dump their garbage. If we knew, we would raise a resistance to whom our governments give 'incentives', 'deferred taxes' and other 'financial breaks' to. I won't fund a private dump site for toxic waste with MY tax dollars.
  • Apr 1 2014: cost, convience, habit, planning and execution.

    Good idea though. Like highways should not be littered but they are.
    • Apr 2 2014: I think it was Lyndon Johnson's wife who started the clean up
      of America's highway's advertising signs and thrown litter.

      It worked well until the Lobbyists got going, and the laws for
      Advertising Signs were modified. But, the little guys always
      seem to get the shaft, as today thrown litter has fines attached,
      and they're up to about $1,000 now. But, the highways look nice.
  • Mar 31 2014: If consumers separate the toxic from the garbage and DO update their online inventory of their bin, a recycler could optimally plan their run to make it cost effective to collect the bins. The collector can mark the collected spots through some app and reset the bin.
    • Apr 2 2014: I think some communities do that now.

      We have 2 dumpsters, one for garbage, and the other for paper and cardboard.
      There is a 3rd smaller container for grass and garden clippings, and other plant life.

      I have a home full of old office electrical equipment, old computers, and printers.
      I keep thinking I will find a solution for getting rid of those things, but I haven't
      done so, and now wish I had. I no longer drive, so I cannot just load the car and
      take the stuff to the recycler. And, I noted some years back, that the recyclers
      were wearing Has-Mat coveralls. (Is Has-Mat the right designation? I forget.)

      I have several old Bibles. Different Religions. Now that becomes a moral obligation
      to do the right thing. Why do we call these things Trash? Sounds a mite ugly.
  • Mar 31 2014: I agree, when I meant "people" i meant consumers. The way I see it, by establishing a route, anybody willing to pick up batteries and computer wastes etc would have a viable route. By implementing notifications a consumer can confirm that either the municipal government or somebody else did dispose, thus eliminating the improvised repository from the map.
    • Apr 2 2014: Robert,
      This would make a great little business for entrepreneur's willing to use door-hangers
      and face to face solicitations for boxing-pickup service appointments.
      Our same garbage companies may already offer a like service.

      There seems to be enough money in the recycling industries for this to have become
      somewhere a profitable business.
      • Apr 2 2014: the way i see it, we wouldn't be able to collect unbiased data of how real the problem is. Meanwhile, apathy and ignorance will hand Coca-Cola the water. We pay more for water than we pay for soda.... but I think there is a cost justification for it and it is because of all the pollution we are unaware. Do I want Coca-Cola (or any private corp. for that matter) to administer the water we have to drink to live? Well, if we don't do much to take the trash away from the water, we'll reap what we sow. Gillette doesn't have a global policy (nor energizer) to take dead batteries and we are fine with it! If we make it as easy and as cost-efficient as possible, then we can push the envelop. Right now I don't hear much discussion of social responsibility. I don't think we should keep waiting. Meanwhile we are dumping tons of crap in Somalia as if we had the right! Its funny how so many people have watched that film Capt. Phillips and none of the people I've asked remember the point made by the "bad" guy where he talked about the ships that come to dump tons of waste in Somalia. I mean, this is more serious than we think and without any real data we are speculating (and this is 2014).
  • Mar 31 2014: Robert, --- This would work in a lot of ways.

    For the public -- IBM, Microsoft, Apple, HP, and a raft of others, the Mapped Directory
    would describe the shores of Africa where those Corporations dump their Used Toxic
    Garbage, consisting of old computers and parts no longer needed.

    I have seen these Used Toxic Garbage Dumps in documentary films, and identified
    the tons of these very manufacturers old inventories... It is easy to understand those
    manufacturer's motives... However, there is just no excuse for what they do.

    To compare those Corporations who are ignoring the problems they've caused, with
    President Obama also ignoring the US Intelligence Community's lies and surveillances,
    is not much of a stretch.

    Robert, as you've suggested, and I will paraphrase --
    "Why not... (Mr. Obama)... dispose of them appropriately?"
    ps: they really are toxic to a whole world of peoples.
    • Apr 2 2014: Profits would have not been as unfathomable as they have been if they had to deal with the recycle-reuse part. Meanwhile the world remains asleep and entertained.
  • Apr 1 2014: I think the main obstacle is to encourage people to use it, but one can do a raffle or a contest of tablets for whomever updates the most repositories. It would be a good task for 10 year olds. I delivered newspapers @ 10. We could encourage kids to be our toxic waste police.
  • Mar 31 2014: Yes but what I am trying to create is a way of turning junk into revenue for a recycler.
    Suppose you live in a condo, you'd have a bin full of batteries, dead cell phones etc
    next to the garbage bin. The truck picks the garbage and ignores the toxic bin. A recycler should get an idea of what that bin holds prior to
    getting there to make the trip worthwhile and plot his route. If we make it a cost efficient run
    then we don't need the government to clean it up for us, let somebody elae turn it into
    something useful. If it works, then we fight to eliminate that tax while we enjoy cleaner waters to drink.
    Suppose it becomes a standard, we wouldn't need to be dumping anything in other countries.
  • Mar 31 2014: I cant imagine companies that produce items thathave toxic waste by products would be willing to post this information publicly. Every company, even the most wasteful, has a PR department boasting to the world that they "care" about the environment. I posted a conversaton not too long ago proposing a wiki style website (open source) focused on corporate responsibilty. This would be s place for environmental watchgroups, labor rights organizations, human rights organizations, and individuals could centralise their information for the purpose of empowering consumers to be more responsible and to increase accountability of corporations.