GreenYes Digest V98 #120

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GreenYes Digest Fri, 15 May 98 Volume 98 : Issue 120

Today's Topics:
Computer Recycling and Reuse
Food Waste Residential Collections
New Math and Lumbering Futilities

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Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 12:13:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Roger M. Guttentag" <>
Subject: Computer Recycling and Reuse

>Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 09:11:56
>To: ZeroWaste <>
>From: "Roger M. Guttentag" <>
>Subject: Re: Computer Recycling and Reuse
>Cc: greenyes@ucsd
>At 03:53 PM 5/13/98 EDT, you wrote:
>>I am writing an article for the King County (WA) Business Recycling Newsletter
>>concerning recycling and reuse options for computers and other related
>>electronics. Does anyone out there have information on leasing alternatives,
>>buying with up-grades in mind and manufacturer responsibility? I would
>>welcome some additional input.......
>>Susan Fife-Ferris
>>Sound Resource Management Group
>>Seattle, WA
>Dear Susan:
>PC Magazine recently published an article about computer upgrading issues -
you can access this article through a search at the ZDNet site which is:
>In addition, go to the Dell Computer site which is and look at
the information they have on their consumer and business computer leasing
>Also, Toshiba recently unveiled a computer (Equium 7000 series) that they
claim is much easier to upgrade, especially with regard to replacing the
motherboard. Their website is: This may be an
important development since many significant computer upgrading really
hinges on replacing the motherboard - a task that most users are not
prepared to do themselves and which can be costly if you have a computer
technician do it for you. Not too long ago I looked into what it would cost
to have a 3rd party do upgrades on one of my computers. Everyone charges by
the hour (about $80 - $90 / hour) and no one was willing to quote me a fixed
price because of their concern of unexpected problems even for very routine
upgrades. The cost of the labor was almost 50% of the cost of the
components - and that assumed no problems.
>The biggest challenge facing anyone dealing with the problem of obsolete
computer disposal is that the cost of new computers - even those with the
latest chip such as the Pentium II - has fallen so dramatically (50% or
more) within the last year. This has accelerated the acquisition of new
computers by new and experienced users which, of course, will increase the
number of machines that will eventually become obsolete. In addition, this
has reduced considerably the economic differential between upgrading and
buying new. In my opinion, when this differential is only at best a few
hundred dollars this will usually lead to the purchase of a new machine
because then you have the security of knowing that the manufacturer has the
responsibilty for insuring that all hardware / software components are
properly integrated and functioning. You have no such security in an
upgrade situation.
>One factor you may want to consider is the potential impact of Intel's new
chip design under development, I believe it is called Merced, will have on
computer disposal rates. All current Intel chips are based on a -x86 design
archecture that goes all the way back to the first IBM PC's. The new Intel
chip I believe will be first departure from this design achitecture and
therefore there is a question of software compatibility with the new
machines and the ones using legacy hardware. As history has shown, software
determines hardware sales. So if there is no or limited backward
compatibility this could lead to a tidal wave of hardware replacement over
the next decade.
>With respect to manufacturer responsbility and take back: the torrid rate
of technical change in computers would seem to make the idea of computer
ownership look very risky and leasing much safer. However, the last time I
looked at leasing options I've concluded that it would still be cheaper for
me to buy. Leasing was presented to me as mostly an alternative way to
finance a purchase. If you have the cash there is no economic advantage to
lease. This may have changed but I don't know this.
>It would be nice if you could lease computers the way you can now lease
cars - however the latter works because the lease assumes a residual value
for the car at the end of the lease. However, it seems to me that the
residual value of even a newer computer model (about 2 - 3 years) is nothing
or nominal. A leasing program that provides a computer, tech and hardware
support, upgrade support and takeback / replacement services would be ideal.
Let me know if you find any programs like that. I would also be interested
in reading your article when it is published.
>Roger M. Guttentag
TEL: 215-513-0452
FAX: 215-513-0453
Read "Recycling In Cyberspace" in Resource Recycling


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 15:52:29 EDT
From: GaryLiss <>
Subject: Food Waste Residential Collections

Does anyone have good information on the collection of food waste from
residents? I've been asked to get information on the best way to do this in a
suburban area of California.

Please eail suggestions to me at I will share information I
get by email with anyone that responds.


Gary Liss


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 21:28:36 EDT
From: Jango <>
Subject: New Math and Lumbering Futilities

Hey all!

I got this from a friend. Thought it appropos...(yes, I know some of you
don't like jokes served up with your list, but maybe this isn't so much a
joke as a commentary...)


Subject:Teaching Math over the years (Joke--maybe)

Teaching Math in 1950:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1960:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1970:
A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The
cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. The
set "C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set
What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

Teaching Math in 1980:
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production
is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in 1990:
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do
you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation
after answering the question? How did the forest birds and squirrels
as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in 1996:
By laying off 402 of its loggers, a company improves its stock price
from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by
exercising his stock options at $80. Assume capital gains are no longer
taxed, because this encourages investment.

Teaching Math in 1997:
A company outsources all of its loggers. They save on benefits and
when demand for their product is down the logging work force can easily
be cut back. The average logger employed by the company earned $50,000,
had 3 weeks vacation, received a nice retirement plan and medical
The contracted logger charges $50 an hour. Was outsourcing a good move?

Teaching Math in 1998:
A logging company exports its wood-finishing jobs to its Indonesian
subsidiary and lays off the corresponding half of its US workers (the
higher-paid half). It clear-cuts 95% of the forest, leaving the rest
for the spotted owl, and lays off all its remaining US workers. It tells
the workers that the spotted owl is responsible for the absence of
fellable trees and lobbies Congress for exemption from the Endangered
Species Act. Congress instead exempts the company from all federal
regulation. What is the return on investment of the lobbying?

Originally from:
Daniel Sagalowicz
Worldwide Marketing Division 500 Oracle Parkway
Sr. Director of Strategic Marketing & Analysis M/S 5op-1042
Office (650) 506-6122 Redwood
Fax (650) 633-1271 CA,
Il n'est jamais trop tard pour bien faire (French adage)
It's never too late to do good.

David Biddle
7366 Rural Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119
215-247-2974 (voice and fax)


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #120