Friday, January 5, 2007

The Dump

One of my favorite activities is taking a bunch of junk to the local dump and tossing large items into the pit. I am NOT a pack rat and parting with stuff I haven't used in months is easy for me to do. We plan to move sometime in the next year, so I have some exciting trips to the dump planned. The one question I have is what to do with old technology that sits around. I dream of throwing an old monitor into the pit, watching it break and the sound alone is worth the 10 bucks the dump men charge you to empty a car full of junk. I know computers and such should be recycled because the stats are staggering when it comes to how much tech waste we produce! Here are the facts:

More than 315 million computers are expected became obsolete by the year 2004, containing an estimated 1.2 billion pounds of lead, 2 million pounds of cadmium, 400,000 pounds of mercury and 1.2 million pounds of hexavalent chromium. This makes small business computer recycling a paramount necessity.

Household Hazardous Waste, is the EPA's term for that old monitor or computer that you have sitting in your closet or garage.

More than 20 million PCs became obsolete in 1998 -- but just 14% of those were recycled or donated. Through the end of 2002 that number estimate to be over 80 million.

In 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency banned cathode ray tubes from landfills because of their high amounts of lead. An average computer monitor contains about 8 pounds of lead. Lead can also be found on computer circuit boards. The mercury, lithium, and cadmium found in many PC batteries are toxic at high levels. Other toxins, such as PCBs, are used in computer capacitors and are also hazardous.

In just one year, over 112 million pounds of valuable materials were recovered from disposed electronics for recycling and reuse. Materials includes steel, glass, plastic and precious metals

Few corporate executives know that they can be fined or jailed for improper disposal of computers, according to a recent survey by Hewlett-Packard Financial Services. More than 75% of respondents underestimate the cost of computer disposal. More than 65% of executives with purchasing authority are unaware of the fines they can face for ignoring environmental regulations.

Here are a few companies that will deal with your no longer wanted tech items:

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