Amazon Effect – Part 1

The city of San Francisco is about to put into effect a 14% increase in garbage-collection fees. The reason: the Internet. Well, not exactly the Internet itself, but on-line shopping and its attendant packaging.

As so-called brick-and-mortar stores lose business to Internet merchants, the increase in the waste & recycle stream is increasing proportionately. Cardboard, cellophane, polystyrene, clamshell containers, plastic shipping pillows are overwhelming recycling centers. San Francisco has banned plastic bags and foam trays, but the prohibitions don’t affect merchandise shipped from outside the city. (“The City” if you’re a SF resident.) The high-tech pedometer encased in its own packaging on the store shelf, is put inside more packaging to be shipped to you.

Recology, the company contracted to handle San Francisco’s waste – 625 tons of recycling per day – says it needs the increase to keep up with the volume and complexity of materials to be recycled. That reverse-osmosis-purified drinking water comes with three types of plastic: one for the bottle, another for the cap, and yes, a third for the label.

The Internet of Wh-a-a-a-t?

Remember the year 2000? I do. We expended time and effort to reassure business partners that we had made preparations to prevent all our systems from crashing at one second past midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999. We even had high-tech shorthand: Y2K. (Y2K – get it?) Today, we would expect a logo and theme music as well. All because the tech-wizards in whose genius we relied, didn’t know the year 2000 was coming. Guess what? They’re back. The subsequent tech generation is unleashing the Internet of Things. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Continue reading The Internet of Wh-a-a-a-t?