europe's electronics recycling standards

im writing a little article for a local paper that mentions electronics and computer recycling. ive read in the past that many (all?) electronics components like tv's and computers have the end of life recycling cost built into them in europe. can someone give me some more info on this and how it works?
we in the US are paying something like $25 for a single computer to be properly recycled, and that upsets some people not used to the concept. i want to make some comparisons to an established system. any help appreciated, feel free to PM me or reply here if you can shed any light on this for me

thanks!

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,085 admin
    Re: europe's electronics recycling standards

    Matt,

    If you are interested, California is also heading down the electronic recycling law for TV's and Monitors:
    Recycling Fees

    Beginning on January 1, 2005, retailers must collect from the consumer recycling fees established under the Act upon the first sale of a Covered Electronic Device. The fees for each Covered Electronic Device established under the Act are as follows:

    1. Six dollars ($6) for each covered electronic device with a screen size of greater than 4 inches measured diagonally but less than 15 inches measured diagonally.
    2. Eight dollars ($8) for each covered electronic device with a screen size greater than or equal to 15 inches but less than 35 inches measured diagonally.
    3. Ten dollars ($10) for each covered electronic device with a screen size greater than or equal to 35 inches measured diagonally.

    Here is a link to CA's toxics control agency:

    http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/

    Also, you may be interested in looking what happens to recycled electronic waste... Many times (every time?) the waste is sent to a third world country into quite a complex system of distribution/sale... First buyer will go through the waste to sell off the working equipment. Next, they will pull all of the disk drives / storage media to see if there is any personal information that can be "used" for ID theft or other uses. The balanace of the waste is then broken up by people with hammers for the copper and other materials. Whatever is left is dumped in fields/along the side of the road.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/11/AR2005121100664.html

    Here is an international organization trying to control the global trade in waste:

    http://www.ban.org/ (some pictures are available here too--always good for an article)

    I have seen issues around moving vast amounts of donations, recycling, and waste to third world countries... Generally, these programs seriously distort the local market systems... For example, I had a friend that grew up on the West Bank (originally Jordan). They would get donated clothes/cloth from Europe and the US (intended for the poor). The rich would get the rights to receive the shipments and would keep/sell off the good stuff and roll the balance of the shipment down the food chain multiple times.

    In the end, local clothing manufacturing was wiped out because they could not compete with the "free" stuff being donated.

    If you can write about the entire collection to dumping of electronic waste--you might even be able to write a multi-part article (good: collecting fees/e-waste for recycling; bad: what happens next in Africa; hopeful: what BAN and others are doing)...

    I would be interested to find out what you eventually write (post a link?).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: europe's electronics recycling standards

    Yes im very well aware of the dumping stuff you cite. we've discussed that a few times here right? there are few regional orgs promising not to do this that im using. thats not the focus though (its just about how to achieve efficiency in computing, covers alotta the stuff we (I :wink:) talked about here). its got to be short and can only highlight a few things. but since you bring it up i would like to get the lowdown on greendisk. they sound great and have excellent programs but i cant get any info on if they are shipping out of country and dumping, so i dont use them. they DO address the data privacy issue preventing ID theft by guaranteeing erasure. some places i am confident in are cetonline.org (a local org right here in town) and in NH: workwaste.com

    the CA program sounds like what ive heard of europe so would like to hear more on that, i can also mention the CA thing which i didnt know about as my news is limited to yahoo homepage most of the time

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,085 admin
    Re: europe's electronics recycling standards

    Don't really know much more about the CA program other than it changed from collection ~$10 at the garbage dump to collecting ~$10 at the store to manage the waste.... We also have tire waste fees ($1 or so per tire). There is lots online about California's recycling laws that I am sure that you can find for your article.

    At the local garbage collection company's recycling center--you just see lots of containers apparently getting ready to ship back overseas.

    My brother-in-law does import/export with China--and on occasion, he has had an entire shipment of paper/rubber goods completely ruined by fumes apparently left in the containers shipped back from the US to China. The containers are 100% full from China to the US, the containers are mostly empty from the US to China and they are shipping almost anything (like recycles) and even hay--just to get a few bucks on the cost to move the containers back.

    Sounds like you know what you need to write--As you can tell, I have a bug about responsibility and find that many people talk a good game only to hand off the responsibility to others downstream that have zero integrity.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: europe's electronics recycling standards

    latest issue of forbes jumped out at me at the grocery store its about just that. i didnt buy it though
Sign In or Register to comment.