Monday, May 10, 2004

Enviromental Irresponsiblity Generator?

According to the Unitied Nations University and printed by Computer Shopper, in the June 2004 issue, "Building an average desktop PC with a 17-inch CRT monitor requires the outlay of 1.8 tons of raw materials - the same amount that goes into manufacturing a midsize automobile."

That is a shocking number to me. But what is more shocking is that a lot of PCs and monitors end up just being tossed into the landfills. Recycling aluminum cans may be easier, but this is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Right now, primarily, corporations are doing computer recycling, but in the consumer market there is no easy way to recycle your old PC.

Dell will take your old PC and will make this available to you at the time of purchase, of your new PC.

"You may recycle up to 50lb for $15. For example, the estimated weight of a PC is 30lb and monitor is 42lb, for a total of 72lb. The PC and monitor will need to be boxed separately, for a total price of $30."

Others have or are taking this approach as well, but many consumers wonder, "Why should I pay someone to take it when I can throw it away for nothing?"

Well Gateway customers have another option. Gateway has a trade-in program for customers who are looking to upgrade. Unfortunately, according to the customer support rep I talked to, this is not availible to owners of non-Gateway systems, though they have a donation program that will take any brand of PC, though I suspect (I didn't ask) that they'll require you to purchase a PC, asfter all they have to recover their costs some where. Recycling PCs is a very expensive process.

What about just throwing them away? I know some of you have thought that and wondered what the big deal is. Well aside from all the poisons and nasty materials in the computers, a heafty fine may be part of your 'free' dump. Depending on your state/locality you can get hit with a heafy fine.

Be responsible with your computer and monitor. It's an enviromental mess just waiting to happen. Donate to family, friends, the less fortunate, schools, a church or recycle it!

Check these Web sites for more recycling and donation options:
•? IAER (The International Association of Electronics Recyclers)
The IAER has a search engine for recycler companies and locations.

•? NRC (The National Recycling Coalition)
The NRC has an Electronics Recycling Initiative that includes a list of state and local collection programs, as well as a list of some donation sites.

•? NSC (The National Safety Council)
The NSC also has a list of recyclers that is broken down into states.

Thanks for Gateway Computers for the links above.

Dell - How to Recycle
Gateway Computers - In the Enviroment

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