[GRRN] Environmental group calls for computer recycling

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Wed, 23 Jun 1999 00:21:05 -0400

Environmental group calls for computer recycling
Tuesday, June 22, 1999
By Reuters

A Silicon Valley environmental group called
Monday for mandatory recycling of old computer
equipment to help cope with the escalating
problem of "mountains of obsolete computer junk."

The San Jose-based Campaign for Responsible
Technology is also calling for a phase-out of
several toxic chemicals used in the production of
computers and semiconductors.

Ted Smith, coordinator of the group, said that
while millions of computers have been "junked"
over the past few years, the rate of recycling has
decreased due to a lack of effective systems or

Currently, electronic waste is typically dumped in
landfills, incinerated or shipped to China, where it
is disassembled and then burned. Smith said
these methods all threaten to release a variety of
toxic substances including plastics, lead, mercury
and solvents into the environment.

Smith's group wants to hold U.S. computer
manufacturers responsible for recycling their own
products. A similar initiative is under consideration
in the European Union.

The group says the computer industry's "planned
obsolescence" policy of frequently introducing
upgraded products threatens to make the disposal
problem worse.