EZPC Recycle’s Angle:
Hi everyone welcome to the Void of interesting Things! I have been pondering a question all of this past weekend that should be pretty self explanatory (especially for me since I do work at an electronics recycling center) but isn’t. Basically I really wanted to know what makes e-waste such an international threat. obviously it’s a problem in developed countries with a lot of technology and pollution because of all these urban areas we have but why would the e-waste problem be just as bad or worse in countries located in Africa for example, where they have cities that aren’t as big as ours and don’t have most of the technology we do? It would make sense to me that those areas would not be so affected by e-waste but it’s actually the opposite. Click here for more info.
It turns out the first world has been using the third world as its international landfill for quite some time. I’m assuming the idea behind this was to get the trash far enough away from us so that we wouldn’t get hurt by it. Well the problem with this is that many of the materials present in common products that make up the e-waste we have been dumping into third world countries (i.e. cathode ray tubes in monitors, mercury lamps in LCDs) are poisonous to the environment AND basically get dumped back into the ocean by the residents of the countries we use as landfills. The article added above sums this up very clearly.
Essentially this is the problem and I feel it probably won’t stop because it has become a sustainable business that is profitable. The only way to really impede this momentum of ruin that we have propagated might be to spark a trend to increase the lifespan of our technological products. This website called www.ElectronicsTakeBack.com (quickly becoming a fave website of mine!), explains how companies tactically plan out how long they want your cell phone or computer to last see here. The list they have is really insane to see such common occurrences with electronic issues being summed up as a planned deficiency by the hardware manufacturer or cell phone distributor. But it makes a lot of sense. Working in an electronics recycling center I see anywhere from 50 to thousands of dead cell phones come in daily or weekly. That is the same for computer parts that aren’t even necessarily broken just one year, two years old. I think supporting the Electronics Take Back Coalition or at least having the presence of mind to wonder to yourself “I wonder why I have a drawer full of functional cell phones in my house?” will go a long way in moving towards the right step to make this world a better place. Thanks for stopping by my blog to read my rants! Over and out.
Here is more info on e-waste and legislation behind letting it go to Africa: Click here.
–EZPC Recycling, Inc. CEO, Miguel Bautista Mzuniga@EZPCRecycle.com