PC Magazine Says Next Climate Deal Should Include Rules On Tech Equipment
PC Magazine runs an All Green issue this month. The magazine introduces a ‘Green Approved award’ for computers that raise the bar for environmentally friendly technology and calls for the next international deal on climate change to set standards for manufacturing, product life spans, power consumption, and recycling of technical equipment.
“We need a long-term alternative to shipping garbage from one place to another. […] It’s not just about our cars, heating systems, and AC. It’s the products in our hands, in our pockets, on our desktops, and right in front of us”, the magazine opines. The IT sector’s contribution to pollution is certainly a topical but under reported issue. Most of the hype about green IT originates from power savings through clever software, but there’s incredibly little being done about the use of highly toxic physical materials (plastic, LED screens etc).
At the moment the non-biodegradability of electronics products is becoming an issue because of the waste problem that is being created as landfills are overflowing and electronics equipment is being dumped in irresponsible ways in Africa and Asia.
Some recycling efforts are underway in the US. Companies and individuals can depose ethically of PCs and other equipment at various companies. One such company is called Intercon Recycling, which operates throughout the US and Canada and runs under ISO certified guidelines for environmental management businesses. Every item deposed at an Intercon Recycling outlet is broken down into its basic components and not a single item ends up in a landfill.
If you are looking to depose of your still functioning cell phone, pager or PDA, try to cash it in at CellForCash.com or donate it to Call2Recycle.org, CollectiveGood.com, donateaphone.com. Alternatively, you can drop them off at Staples office supply shops or even at the police station.
Just to give you an idea of the value of recycling; one recycled aluminum can saves up to 300 watt-hours. That is enough to run a 100-watt bulb for three hours! Making a new aluminum can from recycled aluminum only takes 5% of the energy it takes to create one from scratch. The same counts for the various materials processed in old PCs and electronics.