An exhibit on E-Waste presented by the MPCA at the 2011 Minnesota State Fair as part of their Eco Experience facility.
In a world increasingly dependent on smartphones and laptops, the issue of responsibly disposing of these electronics is becoming more and more pressing. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reports that in the last year, Minnesota took in nearly 33 million pounds of electronic waste for recycling, making Minnesota a national leader in collections of e-waste for recycling.
What is electronic waste? E-waste, as it’s called, is what’s created when electronic materials are disposed. This can include cellphones, computers, printers, televisions, digital cameras, etc., and as technology continues to advance and we continue to upgrade our devices, the amount of e-waste we produce continues to rise as well.
Unlike throwing away a piece of paper, however, disposing of electronics can have a huge impact on the environment and on our health; e-waste contains high levels of lead, cadmium, and other chemicals that can pollute the ground and water supply if they aren’t properly disposed of. Electronic waste should always be taken to certified recycling facilities that are trained to manage these hazardous chemicals.
On his current trade mission to China, Governor Dayton is pleased to have two of Minnesota’s finest biomedical companies, 3M and Medtronic, joining him in as members of the delegation. In addition to fostering Minnesota’s trade relationship with China, this trip is a confirmation of Minnesota’s commitment to the exchange of both ideas and information as China and the United States move forward through the 21st century. There is perhaps no better symbol of that commitment than the biomedical field, a field which has unmatched potential to improve the lives of humans all across the earth.
In addition to embodying Minnesota’s spirit of shared progress, both 3M and Medtronic foster strong relationships with China. 3M has had a rubber and adhesives branch in China since 1984—3M China Ltd.—which has its headquarters located in Shanghai. 3M also has eight manufacturing sites and 26 business locations throughout China, and the company has invested over $750 million into the nation as of 2010. You can learn more about 3M’s work in China here.
Since over 60% of all management personnel in 3M are local, the Chinese branches employ primarily Chinese workers. And 3M’s relationship with China is mutually beneficial: according to 3M, the company’s presence in China has been crucial to the company’s overall profits.
Atmosphere Recovery Inc.
Ronald Rich isn’t exactly a novice when it comes to traveling in China.
The president and founder of Eden Prairie-based Atmosphere Recovery Inc. has been to the country four times – taking his most recent trip in March – and is already successfully selling some of his company’s products there.
But China is a huge market, and he is hoping that participating in the Governor’s 2012 Mission to China will open even more doors, particularly with government officials and industry leaders specializing in the renewable energy sector.
“I might learn some things on this trip that I didn’t know before,” says Rich. “By traveling with the governor, I’m hoping that it will help us get some introductions to people.”
Atmosphere Recovery, which Rich launched in December 1994, makes advanced gas analyzers that enable companies to reduce their energy usage and production costs. The analyzers help to monitor the complex mixtures of gases involved in making products, particularly in the steel, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and petrochemical sectors.
With diesel fuel prices climbing to $4 per gallon, there's now a loan program that can help Minnesota long-haul truckers save money, stay cool this summer, and reduce pollution on overnight rest stops.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offers low, 4 percent loans to owner-operated long-haul truckers and small trucking companies to purchase idle-reduction devices. These auxiliary power units, or APUs, are either small, 15-horsepower diesel engines or battery pack systems that can run air conditioning, heaters and electricity to power laptops while the truck’s main engine is shut off.
Technology has been a driving and innovative force in Minnesota’s economy. The state's deep and diverse technology base, which crosses many sectors and fuels Minnesota's economic engine, helps provide the tax base and economic support for Minnesota's high quality of life.
Minnesota is committed to promoting the success, sustainability, and global competitiveness of its technology industries. It has become a powerhouse of technological innovation, fostering groundbreaking collaborations across educational and industrial spheres.
The continued health of Minnesota’s technology sector is crucial to the future prosperity of our state.
To read the proclamation, click here.
Today the Minnesota Department of Commerce announced that Governor Dayton appointed 15 members to the Governor's Task Force on Broadband, which will be charged with developing policies to promote the expansion of broadband access in Minnesota — including an action plan for identifying and correcting disparities in urban, rural, and suburban communities.
“For the short- and long-term success of our economy, every school, business, and consumer in Minnesota must have affordable, high-speed access to information and the online marketplace,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “That is what the work of this Task Force is all about.”
Members of the Task Force represent a balance of broadband interests, including consumers, business and residential users, educational and health care institutions, traditional telephone and cable companies, wireless providers as well as metro and rural local units of government. The Task Force was established by Executive Order 11-27.
For a list of Task Force Members, click here.
The Governor’s Job Summit today also included Innovation Hall, which housed a series of booths that featured unique products, machines and technologies that showcased the inventiveness and creativity in Minnesota.
Walking through the Hall, experts, researchers and company leaders were on hand to describe and explain the exciting innovations on hand.
University of Minnesota researchers demonstrated how localized blasts of radiation via ultrasound would soon be able to treat tumors, cancerous tissue and more diseases in a completely noninvasive way.
For patients suffering from atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become blocked due to plaque buildup on artery walls, treatment options can be limited to drugs or an invasive angioplasty procedure. A new technology coming out of the University of Minnesota is hoping to give patients a new noninvasive treatment option.
The University’s Ultrasound Imaging and Signal Processing Lab (UISPL) recently developed a new high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology that performs noninvasive, real-time ultrasonic imaging and localized treatment. The University team was lead by Emad Ebinni, a professor at the University’s College of Science and Engineering, and was licensed to International Cardio Corporation (ICC), a Minnesota startup, in March.