Happened across this story on Italy's e-waste dilemma. It suggests that the country has 6.7 million computer users, yet recycles only about 15% of their used and obsolete devices, which totals around 107,000 tons of electric and electronic waste that Italy produces annually. The bulk of which finds it way into landfill or simply gathers dust in an attic or storage. The Ecoqual'It Consortium, involved in the collection and resale of secondhand electronics believe the churn in computers is increasing. "Not so long ago, a personal computer had a useful life of about 10 years, but today, a four-year-old computer is considered obsolete." And they suggest the price of a new machine is so low these days, there is not enough difference compared to that of a pre-loved or refurbished model. (Can relate to this problem - at the reuse centre where I spend the daylight hours, we've had a perfectly good iMac on sale for weeks, at just $80.) Yet against such a backdrop the report notes the country has about 300 firms who recuperate electric and electronic equipment. "A group of young people in the Italian city of Milan created the Riciclaggio Etico (Ethical Recycling) association, which sells used items over the Internet and also in antique markets and street fairs, to raise consumer awareness about the problems related to electronic waste." Then there is Progeo Ambiente, who for a decade have been collecting and recycling computers.
An interesting point is that this year Italy postponed until next June its compliance with EU rules on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), saying it's regional governments and companies could not yet meet the requirements of the EU directive. Via ::Inter Press.
Photo was found amongst a collection of many wonderful images on the commercial site of Lovely Picture. Worth the visit.