Tuesday, February 5, 2008

waste disposal


I have been collecting computers for overseas aid projects for a few years now. Most of them, after refurbishment and configuration, went to Zimbabwe and some to an impoverished school in the mountain area of Bangli in Bali.

I have another 13 computers, 10 monitors and 4 printers, but not the wherewithal to get them to either Bali or Zimbabwe. They are still good machines, but nobody here wants a computer that runs at a processor speed lower than 800mhz. Most of the computers I have range between 200-350mhz. So I thought I should send them to a recycling yard. Problem: no one wants CRT monitors because they contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. One yard will take them at a charge of $18 per monitor as they are shipped to Holland for recycling. Other scrap yards will take the CPU and ship them off to China where small villages salvage the solder, copper wire, steel and gold from the contacts on plugs and cables.

So what to do with the monitors?? Landfill is the only answer. As it happens, the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) is the only state/territory with legislation banning dumping of monitors and TVs at tip sites. I hate to do it, but there is no alternative. I will take them to the tip tomorrow.

Recycling is a good news story, but there is a bit of spin involved. Glass/bottles are shipped to South Australia to be recycled. At our local landfill site there are bottle banks, but they are difficult to get to. It is obvious that the Council would rather have you dump bottles in the landfill.

Not much encouragement to recycle.

1 comment:

fremantlebiz said...

Your garage looks tidy even with the junk.