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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

CRT Glass Recycling Project

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

 

Ghosts of Technology’s Past

A major trend in technology is its (potential) positive benefits towards the environment and a sustainable future; products are running cleaner and having less environmental impact than ever before.  At Abt Electronics we believe the industry should follow the trend of the products and continue to move towards a sustainable future. Our Green Program includes an E85-ready delivery fleet, the elimination of paper catalogs, and even provides bicycles to employees who leave for lunch as an alternative to driving. A proactive program will lead us towards the future but what about all the “dead technologies” of the past and the waste they’ve left behind?

As televisions and monitors improve in performance in size, we are left with the remains of wide-bodied and bulky screens of technology’s past. A main component of these products was CRT, or “cathode ray tube” glass. When this technology was current, old screens were recycled into new ones, and the CRT glass recycling market flourished.  Now, in the age of LCD and LED displays, we find ourselves without a responsible solution for the removal of this legacy technology. We ask ourselves, “How do we responsibly and cost-effectively recycle billions of pounds of lead-heavy CRT glass?”

As part of the eCycling Leadership Initiative, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and InnoCentive, sponsored a contest to address the issue. Contestants were challenged to develop compelling economic and environmentally preferable solutions for CRT televisions and monitors and the winners were recently announced.

The Eco-Challenge received 57 solutions and three were chosen as winners. Robert Kirby, a mechanical engineer from New Mexico suggested incorporating the CRT glass into tiles and brick.  Another winner, Nulife Glass Processing Ltd., based in Manchester, U.K. proposed a solution already being implemented across the United Kingdom that involves extracting the lead from the glass without hazardous waste or emissions.

The most impressive solution was sent in by Mario Rosato, a Spanish environmental engineer and winner of four previous InnoCentive Challenges. Rosato proposed a closed-loop chemical process that separates the lead, in the form of hydrated PbO , from the glass. The hydrated PbO in then thermally decomposed to yield PbO, a lead commodity of high value in a variety of industries.

Each solution solves the growing problem of useless CRT glass and helps create, and promote a sustainable technological future. For more information on Abt Electronics’ green initiatives click here!

-Scott H.

Behind the Bolt: Mike Abt Goes Green

Monday, October 18th, 2010

“This is my religion…My goal is to get other businesses to be green,” the dedicated words spoken by Mike Abt, our Vice President, who has spearheaded the earth-friendly changes at Abt Electronics.  The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has released a comprehensive plan to help the counties and communities of the Chicagoland area to sustain resources and prosperity through mid-century and beyond.

A special “Portraits” section on CMAP’s website, profiles Mike and his efforts going back almost 20 years, when he began convincing his family and friends to take little steps to recycle.  He has continued to apply his unbreakable environmental habits even to the workplace.

Some of the waste reducing practices involved are the elimination of paper catalogues.  Most business is done through our web marketing.  A recycling center located just south of the main store opened 2 years ago and saves 3.5 million pounds of cardboard and paper from going to the local dump, over 240,000 pounds of Styrofoam from going to the landfill, and over 13 million pounds of appliances and electronics from ending up in a landfill each year.

“The best part about a family business is that if anyone thinks of an idea, we can implement it right away,” Mike says.  His own personal ideas have even led to the availability of numerous bicycles for employees to use whenever they want to leave the work grounds for lunch or even exercise.

Day after day, Mike continuously feels better in his efforts and strives to find new ways for the company to lessen their carbon footprint, which he believes will help leave this world beautiful and healthy for generations to come.

-Nick E.

Spring Forward

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Spring ahead with Abt. We are having a Pre-Spring Customer Appreciation Sale now through March 14th, the start of Daylight Savings Time.

Every year we lose an hour of sleep by setting our clocks ahead one hour, but we gain energy-saving environmental benefits. By better utilizing the daylight hours we save energy; everyday in March and April there is a potential to save energy equivalent to 100,000 barrels of oil. In California alone, people save a combined 11 million kilowatt hours of energy during Daylight Savings Time, enough to power 1600 homes. Just think of the collective impact on the environment. It may seem like a small amount, but over time it really adds up.

Each year when Daylight Savings Time approaches, the Abt sales specialists field hundreds of questions from customers on changing clocks and time keeping devices in the home.

It can be time consuming and frustrating if you are not familiar with how to change all of the different clocks in your home, especially because clocks aren’t the only time keepers that need to be reset. Many appliances and electronics in the home will need to be changed as well. Ovens, Microwaves, VCRs, DVD players, older TVs, watches, and clock radios will all need to spring forward. If you need help setting your clocks, come into the store or give us a call.

Come to Abt Saturday or Sunday for the Pre-Spring Customer Appreciation Sale and speak with a sales specialist with any of your questions.

-Kelly B.