Where To Find Recycling Sites For Used Computers
- 3.2 million
tons of used computers
are now in our landfills.
million PCs were junked in 2003
- Computer monitors can contain 2-9 pounds of lead.
- In 2001, only 11%
of used computers
were sent to computer recycling sites
- Does It Matter ?
used computers and other electronic equipment (cell phones, calculators, scanners,
printers) adds tons of toxic compounds to the nation's landfills, compromising
air and land quality.
to the EPA, ewaste from old computer equi[pment is the fastest growing source
of refuse in the US. They also predicts that more than 250 million used computers
will become obsolete by the year 2005, which would add an estimated 8.5 million
tons of waste to the nation's landfills.
Good used computers and other electronics
are hauled to the dump daily while thousands of people with disabilities, schools
and nonprofit organizations are either struggling along using obsolete equipment
or doing without computers entirely.
It doesn't make sense to waste valuable
resources when so many people and organizations are in need. Recycling used computers
prevents electronics from reaching
landfills, creating less ewaste, providing usable items to organizations that
need them, and recapturing valuable resources.
Makes Used Computers So Hazardous?
computer monitors contain several pounds of lead. Circuit boards contain beryllium,
flame retardants, gold, silver, and platinum in the wiring boards and connectors.
Batteries in laptops contain cadmium and lithium, and the fluorescent lamps contain
traces of mercury.
These elements contaminate the air and water,
and expose people to carcinogens when crushed, shredded, and sent to landfills.
Computer Recycling Sites
or more information, the following sites will enable you to find a recyling center
- The EPA has
a ton of information about programs, recycling sites, and cooperative groups.
ElectronicsRecycling.org has a wealth of information
about recycling programs, locations, organizations, and the impact of used computer
ewaste . www.electronicsrecycling.net/
- Earth911 offers a breadth of information
about recycling used computers and other products. www.earth911.org/master.asp?s=lib&a=electronics/elec_index.asp
- The National Recycling Coalition provides a ton
of information about recycling, and can provide organization names in about ˝
of the US states. www.nrc-recycle.org/
states have laws that prohibit the dumping of items such used computers, monitors,
and printers. If you're in California, try The Computer Recycling Center at www.crc.org/.
- Techsoup provides a wealth of
information and resources for recycling used computers. They also have a list
of organizations that do refurbishing. Refurbishers play an important role by installing
legal copies of software, wiping hard drives, and disposing of non-usable parts.
- The Electronic Industries Alliance offers a consumer
education service that lists dozens of recycling programs in each state. www.eiae.org/
A number of charitable groups provide for
used computer recycling, refurbishing old computer equipment for resale or to
use in special programs.
- Used computers are used by
Goodwill Industries help disabled and disadvantaged people by providing job training,
job placement, and post-employment support. They collect donated household goods
to sell in their 1,900 retail stores, located throughout the United States, Canada
and 23 other countries. www.goodwill.org/
Salvation Army is one of the few organizations that will arrange to pick up your
old computer at no charge. Management consultant Peter Drucker said this of the
Salvation Army: "No one even comes close to it in respect to clarity
of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results, dedication and putting money
to maximum use." (Forbes, August 11, 1997). www.salvationarmyusa.org/
- The National Cristina Foundation (NCF) provides
technology and solutions to people with disabilities, students at risk, and economically
disadvantaged persons. The NCF public message is "Machines
you can write off. People you can't."
- Shared Technology has a huge database that allows
you to search for individuals with disabilities, schools, and non-profit organizations
in every state, Canada, and the UK. sharetechnology.org/
- Computers for Schools is a non-profit
association in 25 states, providing low-cost technology to classroom grades
K-12. Donated used computers are repaired by students in vocational computer repair
classes in correctional facilities, community colleges, vocational centers, and
high schools. www.pcsforschools.org/
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