Photo via Martin Kingsley
Used PCs are filling up UK dumps, and some startling statistics show the enormity of the problem.
In the last five years alone, 12.5 million computers have been tossed into UK landfills. Over 1 million computers have been tossed into the household trash cans, and about 25% of people take their PCs to the dump rather than a recycling plant.
So what can the UK do to combat the errors in e-waste disposal?The Fujitsu Siemens research on the numbers states that:
"Electrical and electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. Around 1.8 million tonnes are generated every year. The main component of waste electronic equipment is large household appliances known as white goods, which make up 43 per cent of the total. The next largest component is IT equipment, which accounts for 39 per cent."
Those are some pretty scary statistics. Luckily, Computer Aid launched a campaign, asking the UK government to put the Environment Agency on task at enforcing the the 'Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment' (WEEE) directive. The organization works to refurbish used computers and put them to good use, as well as stop the shipping of toxic e-waste to developing countries.
It seems incredible that in this day and age, someone can feel fine just tossing a computer in the trash can. Hopefully, now that numbers are out and organizations are on the ball, consumer education, clean-up, and improved practices are around the corner - as well as, even more importantly, wide-scale re-use of used computers to keep them in the loop longer.