Linked by Howard Fosdick on Wed 7th Jul 2010 16:58 UTC
Editorial Last month, I described how the computer industry encourages planned obsolescence in order to sell more product. This business model exacerbates the problem of computer disposal because it artificially shortens computer lifespans. This increases production and, ultimately, the numbers requiring disposal. One result is that e-waste -- electronics waste -- is one now one of our most pressing environmental challenges. Updated
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Good to bring this to attention
by Zaitch on Wed 7th Jul 2010 19:03 UTC
Zaitch
Member since:
2007-11-23

This is a really worthy topic.

In the UK at least, there was a programme on BBC3 recently called Blood Sweat and Luxuries: Gold and eWaste which covered this topic http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sch78 sadly iPlayer is not showing it right now, but it will inevitably be repeated

It was a real eye opener for me, and I regret I did not know more of this before. Hundreds, thousands of tonnes of used computers - most branded with corporate / government asset tags, including a lot from the UK, just dumped in Africa by so called legitimate recycling companies.

basically, these organisations handing off responsibility to 3rd parties without any sort of checking what they were actually doing.

Then kids were scrabbling about the huge dumps scavenging stuff, burning the toxic plastics and such like to extract tiny amounts of metal for resale, breathing awful fumes. it was utterly dreadful.

I agree repositioning and reusing old kit is the preferred option, but at some point, there is the end of a line, where even the reusers won't touch it, so provision needs to be made for kit at this point. It was scandalous to see all this western equipment dumped like this.

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