Information technology develops at such a rapid pace that electronic equipment very soon becomes obsolete. Computer disposal is a time-bomb waiting to go off. Various components of your old computer are highly toxic to the environment and it is estimated by the group, Local Self-Reliance, that about 75%% of obsolete electronic equipment is currently being stored. The day everyone decides to dispose of this clutter will be a black day for the environment.
Circuit boards, batteries, and color cathode ray tubes contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury and chromium. If simply dumped, these toxins can be released into the environment – into the ground and water through landfills, or in the form of toxic incinerated ash.
What should you do with your obsolete computer? Don’t trash it – there are many voluntary and non-profit making organisations dedicated to recycling your computer hardware, and you will not only be helping the environment, but may even be enhancing someone’s quality of life immeasurably. Over 112 million pounds of valuable materials were recovered from for recycling in just a single year. Reusable materials include steel, glass, plastic and precious metals. Ink cartridges, floppy disks, , CDs, speakers, keyboards and cords contain materials that could easily be reused. Ink cartridges can be re-used, speakers, etc. switched to a new computer. You could also start shopping for re-useable disks.
According to Mark Buckley, of Staples, which has a green policy on accepting old equipment 7 days a week in a drop-off scheme, for a handling fee of 10$, estimates that 13,000 computers are disposed of every day in the U.S. Staples saves many of the component parts and delivers hazardous materials such as CR tubes to Amandi Services, who have their own technique for recycling to form raw materials for making television components. Creative Recycling is just one of many organisations offering a comprehensive recycling treatment with the use of new technologies to enhance and complement the usual shredding and pulverising, which takes place in a controlled atmosphere enclosure with negative air pressure and extremely efficient dust filters. The system outputs glass, plastic and various metals. They have invested millions of dollars in equipment and aim to offer cost-effective solutions for governmental organisations.
Europe has been passing legislation on recycling, though few people have actually noticed the fact. About five years ago, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive was drafted, which forces the computer industry to pay for the safe recycling of redundant equipment. The directive came into effect on August 13. commentators feel that the costs will be passed on to the consumer, in an industry with extremely tight profit margins. The analyst Gartner calculates that about 50$ will be added to the cost of a new PC. consumers may be prepared to pay a small sum to be rid of their old computer, but the EU is also insisting on greener components in future, which in the short term will also increase manufacturing costs. In Britain there are few places for recycling computers, although Dell has just come up with a pioneer scheme for accepting old equipment. You can visit http://www.computer-recycling-center.com for more information about the recycling and disposal of computers.
So, think yourself lucky if you can drop off you old computer at a corner store – and don’t wait too long to do it, as it could cost more in the future.