Old PC recycling…not really?

For those of you that might be thinking of turning your PC over to the so-called PC recyclers or think that it’s such a good idea, you might want to check out this National Geographic article on what actually is happening to some of these PC’s and other electronic equipment.

And for an overall picture of what is happening to a lot of our waste products, another National Geographic article from the same issue opens our eyes to what is happening and being done without our (the general public) knowledge. Here’s a quote from the above article but read it yourselves to be sure

Nigeria, for example, has received about 500 containers of electronic equipment within the last two years under the guise of donations.

At least 75 percent of the shipment was unusable and so was hauled to open fields and burned.

Lead used in circuit boards and monitors’ glass tubes goes into the groundwater, and the burning plastics release deadly cancer-causing fumes.

“That is the constant assault that Africa is receiving,” Puckett said. “It’s happening on a daily basis.”

Stemming the tide of such shipments must be done on the export side, especially given that developing countries often don’t have an infrastructure to enforce proper waste management, Puckett adds.

“The U.S. is a glaring renegade country in this issue,” with no controls in place over such exports, he said.

About 80 percent of the electronic material U.S. consumers take to recyclers is going almost immediately offshore to developing countries in Asia or Africa, he says.

“Every country,” he said, “should take responsibility for their waste.”

This isn’t some group of radical environmentalist jumping up and down about toxic waste and nuclear power here, this is good old National Geographic. You know, the magazine that has been bringing us quality material since the late 1800’s?

The whole thing is pretty shocking but not surprising since it (as usual) all boils down to the one thing that ultimately rules above all else…money, coupled with an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude.

What was that old joke about ignorance and apathy?

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