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Your Computer Needs A Bigger Recycle Bin

Topics: Clean & Green, Technology | Add A CommentBy admin | March 11, 2010

Did you know we discard enough computers to bury Los Angeles EVERY DAY?

How many “dead” personal computers do you have around the house? One or two? I was recently refurbishing a bunch of computers for a client who needed them for POS systems in their retail stores. In the process of working on them, I not only got to re-experience the “joy” of working with Windows 98 (the machines were perfectly viable, and buying XP was more expensive than buying new computers!), I was reminded of what a global tragedy the computer industry creates. Yes, your greed for Gigabytes fuels an industry that helps us as consumers decide to discard over 47 million computers annually. Pause and think about that for a moment. That’s over 130,000 computers per DAY. Doing some rough math, that’s enough to cover about 36 square miles – or most of Los Angeles – in one layer of computers. EVERY DAY. The sad thing is that even if you go to the extra effort of recycling because you don’t want to destory our groundwater with toxic metals, a lot of the components just end making the world toxic somewhere else, often China, India or Africa. So what can you do? Well, consider running XP for a few more years! It kinda works, doesn’t it? Besides, the business model driven by Moore’s law and an unspoken collusion between Microsoft & Intel (Microsoft writes more crappy code that needs more power, Intel comes up with the chip) has run its course; some say Moore’s Law is on its last legs. If you want to recycle though, the EPA has a decent list of resources. And for a quick summary of why my use of the phrase “global tragedy” is not just hyperbole, check out Where Computers Go to Die.

We throw away enough computers EVERY DAY to bury most of Los Angeles:

Mmmmm. Mercury poisoning!