E-WASTE: REUSING TRUMPS RECYCLING
When it comes to computers (as well as TV's and many other appliances) while recycling is always a better option than simply throwing it away, did you know that there is an even more environmentally-friendly way to get rid of that old box of junk? What could possibly be better than recycling, you say? Try REUSING it.
Researchers from the United Nations University in Tokyo have discovered that most of the energy consumption that takes place during the life cycle of a computer occurs during its production, approximately 75 percent. This means that producing new computers, even from recycled materials, uses a lot of energy. A much better option for your old computer would be to donate it to an organization that refurbishes used computers, such as Computer Aid (www.computeraid.org). By donating a computer to be reused, you can help to save energy that would have otherwise gone into producing a completely new one.
It gets better! Many organizations like Computer Aid are non-profits that take the refurbished computers and distribute them to people in the developing world who can't afford the "latest and greatest" technology on the market. According to Computer Aid, "The majority of these have gone to schools and community organizations in sub-Saharan Africa."
So the next time you have an old computer lying around your home or office, please consider donating it. You'll be helping the environment and those less fortunate.
If you've tried and simply cannot find a new home for your old computer, please bring it to the Chatham Transfer Station for recycling. There is a $15 fee for monitors only (due to the cathode ray tube) but no fee for other components, including laptops.
Additional e-waste donating sites:
spot illustration © 2007 by Bob Staake - All Rights Reserved