For PCs, Refurbishing is better than Recycling


Edward Burtynsky- China Recycling #12

TreeHuggers know that recycling doesn't cut it any more; that reducing and re-using are far better solutions. With computers it was not always an option; the phrase used to be "Intel giveth and Microsoft taketh away" as we kept upgrading our machines to keep up with operating system and software upgrades. But now the internet rules, not the operating system, and as our survey showed, people are keeping their computers for longer and longer periods than before. Not only that, one can now build a business out of refurbishing old computers rather than recycling them.
Edward Burtynsy- China Recycling #9,

Michael Kanellos of CNET looks at TechTurn, a company in Austin that "says refurbishing offers the most efficient alternative to dealing with the world's growing mound of e-waste. Energy doesn't get wasted pulling old computers apart and melting down components into raw materials. Additionally, energy and natural resources aren't consumed for a new PC because the old one has effectively usurped demand for it.

Approximately 80 percent of the notebooks that come into the company's facility get refurbished and resold. The rest get picked apart and sold by component, or munched and melted.

"We are selling laptops that are 10 to 12 years old," says CEO Jeff Ziegler.

Kanellos notes that recycling consumes 20 times more energy than reuse, and that demand for refurbished gear is increasing, particularly for second machines for kids who aren't yet into serious gaming or hanging out in second life. 'With a second or third PC, customers become more price-sensitive and less focused on performance: it's going to be used to only surf the Web, after all." ::cnet

Tags: Austin | Recycling