I was horrified today to find out what happens to our computers after we use them. Some people are getting rich (relatively) off the trade. And some people are getting cancer. Just some food for thought about these machines we all use.
We don't classify used computer gear as hazardous waste, even though we would use that classification for many of the component materials if they were by themselves. We don't have any laws to force manufacturers to design their machines with recycling in mind, or to force them to bear part of the cost for recycling. We have a president who doesn't seem to understand the very concept of pollution, and an SUV-driving population who couldn't care less that American pollution is causing entire Pacific island nations to sink below the waves. We simply DO NOT CARE. And it doesn't look like we're about to start caring any time soon.
by westernexposure at March 7, 2002 8:17 AM
Germany has the right idea, with it's manufacturing companies responsible for the entire life-cycle of their waste/product. They take it back as a trade in, do the stripping and recycling under controlled conditions, and the price of all of this is wrapped up in the cost of the product itself. Makes sense.
by jenn at March 7, 2002 10:59 AM
Jeez Adam, I agree that hazardous waste sucks, blah blah blah. But the people in China are offering to buy the "recycled" computers. They are the ones to blame for the polution. No one is forcing them to take them, in fact, they are getting rich off this, knowing that people in their villages are getting sick. How come anytime anything goes wrong anywhere in the world, America is to blame?
by mg at March 7, 2002 11:29 PM