UK consumers and business unnecessarily junk 12.5 million computers every year which end up in landfill, or dumped in the countryside.
Recognising increasing public concern with green issues, PC maker Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) recently issued research figures that show the level of pollution caused by businesses and consumers that discard PCs and laptops. The manufacturer called for councils to set up dedicated IT recycling sections that could reclaim and recycle PCs before another wave of redundant computers could be chucked out by owners.
The problem could get worse soon, warned Dave Pritchard, senior technology
strategist at Fujitsu Siemens. “There are six and a half million people with
unwanted PCs in their loft or garden they are bound to chuck out soon. We’re
continually pushing to see what can be done in terms of making its products as
However, one recycling charity hinted we lack the political will to do anything about the situation. Currently one on four people dumps their PCs at the local tip. Only one in ten people give their old PC to a friend or charity.
“This research shows we need concerted action to cut the dumping of PCs,” said Louise Richards, chief executive of Computer Aid. "
The WEEE legislation seems to make no difference, she said. “Producers and local authorities have a responsibility to ensure the safe environmental disposal of unwanted PCs.”
The channel could provide solutions in this area, Richards added. Reconditioning PCs would be an ideal way to learn about computers. One suggestion being considered is that resellers could set themselves up as PC recyclers, and their trainee workforce could be paid out of training budgets earmarked for retraining the unemployed.
Computer Aid recently launched an appeal for 50,000 end-of-life PCs needed for school, college and hospital projects in the developing world. “Just a fraction of the one million dumped in the countryside would allow us to meet our target within weeks,” said Richards.
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