Code Green, And Others, Seeking Answers to E-waste
"Code-Green is a Berkeley-based non-profit that is studying the e-Waste problem and working to raise awareness of e-Waste and e-Recycling in the [San Francisco] Bay Area." Last month they released a report on their findings to date. In a study of 100 small-to-midsize businesses they discovered that roughly 30% did not fully engage in e-Recycling.Â One of the reasons deduced was that over 60% of businesses surveyed claimed managing their e-waste "takes more effort than it should".Â Meaning they had to work with more one a variety of different charities and recyclers to get their electronics disposed. With e-waste accounting for up to 5% of the US municipal solid waste stream and over 315 million US computers becoming obsolete in the past 7 years this is a real issue. Especially as those same computers contain 1.2 billion pounds (0.5 billion kg) of lead, just waiting to contaminate waterways. It's a good thing that ... ... the Europeans are cleaning up their own backyard and forcing any imported products to do the same. Read TH Christine's report and see the EU's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment policy.
In Sydney, the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation and the Australian Information Industry Association ran a 5 month trial collecting e-waste. They captured 57,000 kg of the stuff, totalling some 6000 items from 677 brands. Apparently the retailers enlisted to 'take back' the goods said it ' "was not a problem" for them'. Discussions are now underway on the idea of a recycling levy on each new TV or computer to cover the cost of such extender producer responsibliy (EPR) schemes.