Electronic equipment can represent a serious threat to the environment, and the population, if disposed of incorrectly.
E-waste is the fastest growing segment of waste in the industrialized world. It annually demands as much transportation as a line up of delivery trucks halfway around the planet.
Recycling your devices helps you keep your house and enterprise free from e-waste clutter, contributing to a cleaner, healthier, and safer environment. Disposing of e-waste correctly is of paramount importance today. Both as conscious individuals, and as a part of an enterprise, we need to be responsible for the damage our discarded devices are causing to the environment. Responsible e-waste recycling means being careful about where we take our e-waste, understanding who is going to be dealing with it, and making sure we find a reliable channel to the end-of-life (EOL) products.
They charge you to recycle an LCD? In my community there is a hazardous materials recycling facility that is open 6 days a week and they will take anything from electronics to motor oil to old paint cans -- anything that shouldn't go in a landfill. For residents it's free.
My BS detectors also go off when I see numbers like in this article. EPA numbers supposedly show what "could be saved," in dollar amounts, by recycling phones. Saved how? By having the recycling done under the dangerous conditions described in the video?
Seems to me that recycling should be done fo the environment, without nonsensical figures about what could be "saved" in the process. More than likely, the whole truth is that recycling costs money, and that's why it doesn't happen unless it's forced to happen. If real savings could be achieved you would expect manufacturers to be begging for old phones. The fact they THEY dont should make anyone bent on hype to take a second look.
Also, there's the personality aspect of this. Pack rats never get rid of anything, and you can see clutter accumulating wherever they live. You have to kick them in the behind to make them get rid of old junk lying around. Not sure how this can be achieved.
I also endorse this analysis. I would add, though, that current practices in recycling of electronics are sort of bizarre. In my area, there are occasional "e-recycle" events where most items are accepted without charge, but all "TV Sets" require payment of a $10-$20 charge. This made a bit of sense when the vast majority of recycled sets were larger (over 23 inch diag) TUBE ones. The hazards involved in handling and minimal value of the recycled materials justified the charge. However, these days that "TV set" is likely to be an LCD, with no real hazard handling issues, and likely more materials recovery value. I have one of those (19" LCD) in my basement gathering dust, unserviceable and unrepairable. Not only would I have to pay to recycle it, I'd have to take a 30-mile or so car trip to the nearest "e-cycle" event, presuming I would even find out about it before it happened.
@RoboDevo: I couldn't have said it any better. Thank you. I too, bristle at the breathless hyperbole some authors feel compelled to write. It actually weakens any argument they were trying to make because my B.S. detectors are ringing off the wall drowning out any semblence of truth. The holier than thou attitude taken by many authors of this ilk suggesting that what we do on a normal basis is some kind of heinous crime further distances me from their message. They throw around numbers of how much of this or that can be saved. They NEVER say how much it COSTS. If there is money to be made, someone will do it. Right now, the make it worthwhile point seems to be child labor in horrific conditions. Therefore, it appears we should just carefully landfill them and get over it.
I generally do not enjoy reading articles that have big statements without numbers (and cited sources) to back up the statements. That said, I am sure that more electronics would be recycled if there was a financial incentive to do so. Perhaps, we are thinking about this the wrong way. What if every electronic device was sold with a recycle deposit, like glass/metal containers? Even if the original owner did not recycle someone would, just to get the deposit back. What was missing from the article was the business side. Granted the environment is important but at what cost? If it costs $20 to recycle a phone and yields $3 of material then the phone will not be recycled for free, someone will have to pay for it. While I deplore the use of children/underpaid labor in 3rd world countries, I am not the guardian of them (at least the last time I checked it was not in my power). The people of those countries need to police and regulate their own country otherwise we run the risk of being viewed as busybodies. If we care then we would be already recycling properly, currently I have a few old electronic boxes that are not recycled (due to cost) and have been looking for a recycle center that would take them for free in order to get the materials for resale; so far NO one is jumping up and I can only assume that the business model does not work. Bottom line, it is going to cost someone, some amount of money to recycle; I wonder if it is worth the cost to everyone or just a few?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.