Greener electronics

Written by  //  November 10, 2009  //  Environment & Energy, Science & Technology  //  No comments

The Digital Dump

Digital Dumping and the Global ‘E-Cycling’ Scam
The Basel Action Network (BAN), a group that monitors the movement of electronic waste around the world, gathered hard-drive memory devices from old computers exported to Nigeria and had them analyzed by forensic data recovery experts. What did it find? It found personal e-mail correspondence, country reports, business letters, banking information, databases, personal letters discussing private legal matters, resumés, disciplinary letters and other cans of worms—all from computers that have been discarded by their owners.
BAN attests that “while many people assume that recyclers will clean their hard drives of data before sending them to reuse facilities, many of the hard drives recovered from computers in Lagos contained a great deal of confidential information.”
About 20 million computers are discarded in the United States annually. The federal government alone disposes of 10,000 computers weekly. The advent of flat-screen monitors and digital technology in televisions and advancements in practically every type of consumer electronics device certainly translates into an increase in e-waste generation.
6 March 2008
(Reuters/Planet Ark) HANOVER, Germany – Consumer electronics are becoming greener, but manufacturers still have a long way to go to eliminate hazardous substances from computers and mobile phones and make them more energy efficient, Greenpeace said.
In a survey published at the CeBIT information technology fair in Hanover on Wednesday, Greenpeace praised notebooks and mobile phones from Sony, Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Apple.
“We have already witnessed the arrival of greener products in the market, such as Apple’s new laptop, the MacBook Air, and Nokia’s new phone, the Evolve,” Greenpeace international toxics campaigner Yannick Vicaire said.
Greenpeace tested 37 products that 14 major electronics brands picked out as their greenest and agreed to submit for testing, awarding them points for substitution of toxic substances, energy efficiency and recyclability.
The three top products — the Sony Vaio TZ11 notebook, the Sony Ericsson T650i mobile phone and the Sony Ericsson P1i PDA (personal digital assistant) — each scored just over half the 100 available points.
Greenpeace said its survey, which it began in 2006, was nowhere near comprehensive enough to be used as a green guide for consumers.
Greenpeace toxics campaign leader Zeina Al-Hajj said it was time for the green IT debate, which has been a recurring theme at this year’s CeBIT and other technology fairs, to produce results beyond isolated, showcase products.
“It’s not enough just to offer a green computer for the tree-huggers. Environmentally friendly devices must become a general trend and dominate mass production,” she said.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Will Waterman)
19 December 2006
Nigeria fears e-waste ‘toxic legacy’

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