E-Waste Exposed: Why It’s OK to Throw Your Computer Away

by on February 9, 2005

Is there an “e-waste” crisis? WIth tens of millions of PCs becoming obsolete each year, there’s been a lot of hand-wringing about where they (and other obsolete electronics) are going to end up. Under pressure from environmental groups, policymakers from Europe to California have passed (or are considering) laws to solve the supposed problem: ranging from consumer recycling fees, to “green design” mandates, to “extended producer liabiity” laws requiring manufacturers to collect and recycle their used equipment.

The trouble is that, according to a new study just released by CEI, there is no e-waste crisis. Not only do electronics constitute less than 1 percent of solid waste, but there’s no real evidence that PCs or other equipment is particularly harmful once it gets there.

Definitely a worthwhile report. (Oh, and yes, the similarity between the author’s last name and my own is not a coincidence. But rest assured that I show no bias. Whatever I write here, I’m still the one that has to take out the garbage at home.)

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