A study by Softchoice Corporation in the USA suggested that around half of the business computers in North America would not be compatible with the basic version of the new Vista operating system, while 94% could not currently cope with the premium version.
Combine this with new flat-screen technology rendering obsolete millions of lead-loaded CRT monitors and televisions and we have yet another eco-mess in the making. So it comes as good news that as of August 1, 2007 consumers and businesses throughout British Columbia will be able to drop off their end-of-life electronics to designated collection locations province-wide at no charge so they can be recycled responsibly. Introduced by the Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia (ESABC) and managed by Encorp Pacific, the Return-It Electronics Program will “…divert end-of-life electronics from landfills and keep them from being shipped to developing nations where they could be processed unsafely.”
That last point is a critical one, as an estimated 75 to 80 percent of older machines from the United States wind up in Asian countries such as India and China. Most e-waste in India is dumped in landfills or incinerated, releasing toxins into the air and soil that can cause cancer, birth deformities and arrested brain development, health experts say.
From the ‘what happens to recycled products’ link on Encorp’s web site, we are led to the Electronics Product Stewardship Canada web site (http://www.encorp.ca/electronics/) which assures us that “The Electronics Recycling Standard defines the minimum requirements for managing end-of-life electronics. This Standard is intended to assist in determining if these products are managed in an environmentally sound manner that safeguards worker health and safety and the environment from the point of primary processing to final disposition.” Let us hope.
To find out more about recycling your obsolete electronics, visit http://www.encorp.ca/electronics/
« It’s not too late to use our powers of advertising and marketing for the good of our battered Earth
Next: New tree-less paper really rocks.