As long as the dumps don't leach into the water table that's true.
It's a con.
Ppl are in the future going to have to effectively *pay* for them to be
recycled simply because there is nothing much worth recycling !
It's started in Europe already. Expect prices of consumer electronics to
rise ~ 10%.
p.s. nesgroups aren't here for ppl to email you. You're meant to come back
to read the replies and comment otherwise the purpose of them is lost.
I saw some show on TV a bit back where in some poor country they get
mountains of junk electronics appliances (locally or on barges, don't
recall exactly) and poor locals pick through them getting specs of all
kinds of stuff to raise a few bucks.
Wow. I guess it's better than the guano mines, but otoh, they pay a
lot better. Hard to believe it would be worth it to ship stuff from
the US all the way to this place, or anywhere like it.
Definitely they knowingly took tv's and monitors in Baltimore County
until this opened, and probably still do. Just Sunday a friend of
mine told me how he missed the annual neighborhood dumpster and didn't
know what to do with a whole door, but he put it out, and the county
took it. I've seen them take kitchen cabinets too.
But they did cut out once a month bulk collection (big things) and now
one has to phone someone, and agree on a day to put it out. And pay
for it in most cases.
Remove NOPSAM to email me..
that is known as e-waste dumping. Our post -consumer residue ends up
fucking over the envirnoment in the developing world. see these links:
apparently there was a treaty ( Basel Convention) , which the United
States has not ratified (along with almost any other environmental
initiative, Kyoto etc, the US government just does not want to know.
They probably owe so many favours to corporate interests that nothing
ever gets done.
Printed circuit boards have been burnt to recover the metals in EPA
licensed ovens for decades. The metal vapor condenses in the stack,
then the metals are separated chemically. A Japanese company has a
patent for a process that shreds scrap fiberglass PC boards, then
dissolves the metals in acid. The scrap fiberglass is washed, and mixed
with raw fiberglass to make things like sinks and bathtubs.
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I\'ve got my DD214 to
This exists on a much, much larger scale in the industry known as
shipbreaking. When oceangoing vessels are retired, they often get sent
to a third world country, where they are taken onto the beach and
broken down into smaller pieces.
A Canadian photographer named Edward Burtynsky specializes in
photographing shipbreaking. There's a link to shipbreaking at his
Look for his book "Manufactured Landscapes : The Photographs of Edward
I guess there is some money to be made from them. I know of a plant being
built in Florida that will specialize in recycling electronics. Used to be
some gold in the connectors but I think much has been eliminated.
There must be a lot of bulk in that stuff. I'm just thinking of my personal
use over the last 15 - 20 years or so. I'm on my fifth monitor, at least
the fourth computer (some were upgraded in the same case), three printers
moved on, two TVs. Makes for a fair amount of bulk for just one person.
There are two issues there. The first is keeping unneeded things out
of the landfill. The second is recovering some of the material.
The recovery is I gather expensive compared to what they recover, and
the materials needed for the recovery is toxic. So when it's shipped
over to third world countries, the danger comes because they are trying
to make money off it, and take steps that wouldn't be allowed in North
America. The toxic stuff ends up in the water table over there, rather
than in North America, though at least when it's shipped over there, they
are trying to do recovery.
If people simply did some stripping themselves before tossing, a good
portion of the bulk would diminish. If people throwing out computers would
take the electronics out, and then get the metal casing to metal recycling,
that does take care of much of the bulk. Same with printers, get the circuit
boards out of the plastic. Not a perfect solution, but better than
I've never tossed something that is intact. But then I want the parts
myself. So I will strip a bad hard drive down, get the magnets out of it,
and the metal from them goes to metal recycling. This is not even some
great skill, if people can screw together an Ikea table, they can strip
down their computer before tossing.
But then there's an interesting point. If I come across a computer waiting
for the garbage, if it's intact (and of interest), I'd make the effort to
bring it home. But the more that's been stripped, the less likely I
will. I may take parts, if anything interesting remains. A complete
unit might find someone who can fix it or make use of it (a lot of
electronics is tossed for reasons other than it's broken), but a stripped
And as electronic recycling becomes common place, I'm not fully conviced
the right decisions will be made. I'd love to drop off some junk (like
that I've pulled from the garbage in the first place) and be able to claim
something someone else has tossed, that interests me or can finish off
something I have (like claim a hard drive to go in that computer I brought
home that had none). But that can't happen, because any useful items,
at least here, are sold on the used market to help finance the collection.
Yet I imagine there is much that can't find a market, because it's old
or obscure, the sorts of things I'd really like to come across. The rest
is likely stripped, but again, I wonder if they seek the hard to reuse
things like the gold on connectors, rather than the parts themselves.
Alexandria, Virginia, 50 miles to the southwest of the original poster,
prefers that "obsolete" computer equipment be turned in at the toxic
waste dump (as I call it), which is open one day per week. They have a
huge dumpster, open so that you can walk in, that slowly fills with
CPUs, printers, and monitors. In addition, people throw in old stereo
equipment and TV sets. When the coast is clear and no one is looking,
sometimes I help myself to an occasional goody. Usually I can recover a
toner cartridge or a needed cable. If I saw a nice open reel tape deck,
I'd try as hard as I could to grab it and run.
The woman who supervises the dump takes a dim view of this personal
recycling. She yells at me when she sees me in there, so I've had to
stop helping myself to the swag. It's a shame, too, as there is a
mountain of decent stuff that ought to be free for the taking.
I have seen one of those full dumpsters being hauled away. It was an
absolute heap of electronics, all headed off for destruction.
For an excellent resource for connecting people who have usable items
they don't want with people who would like to have them, check out
www.freecycle.org. It's set up as a way to keep things out of
landfills, when possible.
Beloved Leader wrote:
Don't want to rain on your parade, but no, it's not an excellent
resource, at least from my experience. It seems to be full of messages
from nice, well-intentioned middle-class folks who are concerned about
finding a good home for the rest of that package of paper plates, or
whatever. It is available, but be prepared for disappointment. (Plus, I
don't care for the way it's implemented as a whole bunch of Google
groups, but that's a different complaint.)
"In 1964 Barry Goldwater declared: \'Elect me president, and I
will bomb the cities of Vietnam, defoliate the jungles, herd the
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