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Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry

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DataMuncher
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
DataMuncher   5/24/2013 1:24:29 PM
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I don't think healthy smartphones get thrown away like they used to. My iPhone 1 still does iPod duty in my garage. With smartphones doubling as cameras, nav systems, entertainment sources, etc. they have a lot more intrinsic utility, even after the cellular service is turned off.

Peter Clarke
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
Peter Clarke   5/24/2013 1:38:55 PM
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@DataMuncher Agreed. And some people on two-year contracts don't upgrade. But the issue of what can be done about recycling of parts and materials within relatively short-life consumer electronics remains. Should companies design a more expensive product that can cost the planet less in terms of carbon footprint? Or will that just mean they lose out to the competitor who optimizes for consumer price/performance? And if the later is true should governments regulate to impose carbon footprint design considerations on all manufacturers?

benhoopes
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
benhoopes   5/24/2013 3:31:39 PM
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Peter, I am not sure that I agree that this interaction is really a proper basis to extrapolate a conclusion regarding American and European goals and views of e-waste and sustainability. Indeed, I did a bit of informal research (thank you, Google), and Qualcomm's 2011 Social Responsibility report was one of the first hits detailing, among other things, 486,000 lbs of e-waste recycling.

Peter Clarke
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
Peter Clarke   5/24/2013 4:18:25 PM
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Well the interaction was a hook to hang a discussion upon. I am not sure whether engaging in 486,000lbs of e-waste recycling in a year is a good or bad figure. The same report you cite reveals that Qualcomm had 21,200 employees in 2011, which equates to 22.9 lbs of e-waste recycling per capita for 2011. This doesn't seem a lot to me but others may be able to shed light on this.

benhoopes
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
benhoopes   5/24/2013 4:50:31 PM
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If the discussion that you wanted to set up was a discussion of recycling of e-waste across the industry, it should have been framed as such rather than broadly calling out Americans or Qualcomm based on but one interaction.

docdivakar
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
docdivakar   5/24/2013 6:48:23 PM
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Peter, it seems to me that the question was posed to a person at Qualcomm who was not the best-qualified to answer it. As @benhoopes comments above, Q does indeed pay proper attention to recycling eWaste. Granted one expects every one to be aware of their social and environmental responsibility including the said Q exec above, I wouldn't hold that against him! MP Divakar

Peter Clarke
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
Peter Clarke   5/24/2013 7:38:11 PM
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@docdivikar I'm not holding anything against James Thompson. The fact is that making precious metals more easily recoverable would be very difficult in modern IC and, as far as I know is not done. Similarly making the same ICs reusable in multiple generations of equipment is not done. After all, who would want a computer loaded with memory ICs considerably older than the machine itself. But these things are starting to be matters of concern.

Peter Clarke
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
Peter Clarke   5/24/2013 7:44:18 PM
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Well I also wanted to report the interaction. And I do make the point that it is the industry norm to encourage a 2 year replacement cycle.

docdivakar
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
docdivakar   5/24/2013 8:31:27 PM
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Understood Peter! I do give credit to the European initiatives where it is due, as in WEEE and RoHS. I think these efforts do not go far enough regarding rare-earth & precious metals recovery from eWaste. MP Divakar

pscalare
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re: Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
pscalare   5/26/2013 3:37:28 AM
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Exactly what precious metals are presnt in a modern IC? I would only expect alloy leadframes and minute amounts of aluminum and/or copper interconnect. I haven't seen gold used since the 1970's...

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