News about Boyle Heights in Los Angeles tends to be about crime or gentrification. There’s little coverage of air pollution, lack of safe and green spaces, lack of access to affordable and healthy food options — or the residents and organizations that are determined to change this.
The California Owens Valley, the scene of decades of intense environmental hostilities and the subject of the famous Roman Polanski film “Chinatown,” once more finds itself at center stage. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which turned Owens Lake into a dry wasteland and created one of the most prodigious polluters in America, wants to turn its lake bed into one of largest sources of solar power in America.
U.S. actor Sean Penn, in Haiti to lead a recovery effort, said the problems there appear to be “insurmountable,” amplifying a United Nations’ emergency report that indicates projected fund-raising is at only 49 percent.
Like “The Island of Misfit Toys,” many old electronics this holiday season were shipped off to distant places after they are replaced. However, unlike the popular Christmas movie, most of this electronic garbage, or e-waste, won’t find a happy home in the end.
The truth is, most used electronics, which can contain high levels of toxins, will end up in landfills at home or abroad.
A study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that of 2.25 million tons of televisions, mobile phones and computers tossed in 2007, only 18 percent were recycled; the rest were thrown away, mainly in landfills.