Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Recycling electronics: (keep it) Out Of Africa.

Folks on Kaua'i will be dropping off their old electronics for recycling during this Friday and Saturday, and the good news is that none of it will end up on some village in Africa.

There is, of course, a vast difference between simply collecting stuff for recycling and actually recycling it.

One of the open secrets about the whole recycling ethic is that large amounts of stuff never is recycled.

Some “recyclables” are simply stockpiled awaiting some deus ex machina miracle to make their recycling possible or profitable.

And large other amounts are simply dumped, often, as with some electronics, in third-world countries that reap the toxic benefits of our feel-good recycling efforts.

See this article on the e-waste trade in Africa. And this.

The African paradigm describes a system in which a little of the material is indeed recycled, but much is left to create toxic dumps.

This has gotten to be such a scandal, that some recyclers use it as a sales tool. They specifically advertise that they don't ship stuff to Africa. Like this.

That said, much of Hawai'i's unwanted electronics does appear to be properly recycled. The next major electronics recycling program in the Islands is at the Vidinha Stadium parking lot on Kauai from 8 to 4 p.m. Friday (Sept. 4, 2009) for business and Saturday (Sept. 5) for residents.

It is being run for the county by Recycle Hawai'i, a Big Island-based non-profit. Recycle Hawai'i, in turn, ships its electronic recyclables to a California firm, E-World Recyclers .

E-World says nothing but compostable material like wood goes into landfills.

Here's the list of stuff the Kauai electronics recyling program will take: Computer towers, tvs, copiers, monitors, hubs, fax machines, combination units, cell phones, keyboards, phones, scanners, CD-ROM drives, laptops, mice, stereo components, DVD drives, printers, backup batteries, plasma screens, typewriters, speakers, VCR players, electronic gaming units, cameras, radios, camcorders.

They don't want packing supplies, toner cartridges or appliances. For more information on the Kauai program call County Recycling Office for further information at 241-4841.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2009

1 comment:

Standard dishwashers said...

Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks