Friday, May 2, 2008

Recycle your computer

Welcome to this little corner of the blogosphere where you can get informed about e-waste, the problem, and its possible solutions.
First you need to know that e-waste is a growing problem. Advances in the electronic industry make our computers, televisions, phones and other gadgets obsolete in a short period of time. So, what happens to all the gadgets that are no longer useful? The large majority of them (up to 87%) ends up in landfills and incinerators (these are US figures.) Most e-waste ends up being exported to developing countries with lax health and safety laws. Other "recycling" programs use plants operating in some federal prisons. E-waste contains materials harmful to humans and to our environment. If you want to find out more about this, please read this brief book on the subject.
So what can we do about it? There are many ways to get involved, and you can do so by clicking in some of the links at the bottom of this post.
I propose that we take responsibility for the electronics that we use. We should make an informed decision when disposing our electronics. By posting the button that I have created on your blog or website, you are taking a pledge to recycle your computer (TV, cell phone, you name it) in a safe, environmentally sound manner. Here is the button and its code:

recycle your computer

Here are some of the resources that I have found, so that you can fulfill your promise:

Computer Takeback Campaign A U.S. based site full of resources from statistical information to legislation and policy, and information about responsible recycling.
Greener choices U.S. based Consumer Reports' Electronics Reuse & Recycling Center, with the latest on your options as a consumer, and news about what the government and the industry are doing about e-waste.
Staple's recycling program U.S. based Stapples recycling program latest news.
Earth 911 U.S. based delivers actionable local information on recycling and product stewardship that empowers consumers to act locally, live responsibly and contribute to sustainability. Ideas that can be implemented anywhere in the world.
WEEE Directive for the European union A European Union directive that has been enacted into law. It imposes the responsibility for the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) on the manufacturers of such equipment. Also, the companies are compelled to use the collected waste in an ecological-friendly manner, either by ecological disposal or by reuse/refurbishment of the collected WEEE.
Take back my TV A U.S. site focusing on TV e-waste, which is getting out of control with the imminent change to digital television. Many opportunities to take action beyond recycling.

Please leave comments with additional information, and any feedback that you think will make this work better. Thank you for stopping by, and please do not forget to take your button/badge with you. If you will like to contact me directly, please send me an e-mail at: beatrymacias at yahoo dot com. Thanks.

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