Entries in Environmentalism (3)

Tuesday
Feb012011

Meet Metech

A worker at Metech breaks down electronics into recyclable parts for further processingBy Patrick Naylis

Photography by Ross Evertson

Semi-trucks dominate the traffic in this part of Denver’s industrialized north side.  Inside a dusty100,000 square foot warehouse, a line of around 20 workers disassembles electronic goods.  They demolish electronic products ranging from 50’s era bakelite TV consoles to modern day hi-res flat screen monitors.  Behind them, hi-los scoot across the concrete floor carrying bins of sorted electronic components to waiting semi-trailers. 

This is Metech Recycling, an e-waste recycler that differs from other recyclers in the area.  Conscientious consumers brought their electronic refuse to Metech because they know it will be recycled responsibly.  They are certain it won’t be discarded in a municipal landfill or dumped on a poor nation in, say, West Africa, causing polluted air, aquifers, and soil.

Metech provides this guarantee as the basis of their business, and with the growth in disposable commodities causing environmental concern, it’s an important guarantee.

Americans buy a lot of new technology.  According to the Consumer Electronics Association, we spent $180 billion on electronic gadgets last year.  They seem to make our lives easier, save time, and offer more ways to communicate.  Consequently, Americans also trash a lot of technology: according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we produced 3.1 million tons of e-waste in 2008.

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Thursday
Aug052010

Living City Block

 

Llewellyn Wells stands next to solar panels on the roof of the Alliance Center downtown

By Kristin Pazulski

Photography by Adrian DiUbaldo

Green. Sustainability. Collaboration. The first two are buzzwords we are familiar with in today’s new developments, but collaboration? That is something Living City Block is bringing to the table.

Living City Block (LCB) is taking the goal of sustainability a bit further, by attempting to convert existing buildings with various owners into a fully sustainable community.

LCB is focusing on creating this energy producing community on just one block in Denver (specifically the square block between 15th and 16th Streets and Wynkoop to Blake Streets in Lower Downtown). Its goal is to retrofit this block, so that by 2014 the buildings and businesses on the block will be creating their own energy with no waste, and two years later will be creating more energy than they use.

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Thursday
May062010

Hot Town, Colorado

The flashpoint for a new boom cycle in uranium mining started in January, as President Obama called out for “a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” Following his speech, the White House outlined a program in the 2011 budget with $55 billion in loan guarantees to build new plants across the country. In Colorado, the result has been very partisan battle lines being drawn, and citizens from across the state pouring into the Western Slope region in a fight over the past, present and future of Colorado.

With the desperation for jobs on the Western Slope reaching a fevered pitch, pro-mining voices are now vying against the health concerns of residents and activists. However, unlike past fights over the issue, environmentalism and the tourism industry are now standing toe to toe against the uranium and vanadium economy.

 

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