This Christmas, many people (perhaps even you) will open their Christmas present to find a brand-new personal computer. Or...laptop, ipod, flat-screen television, etc. The saying, "Out with the old, in with the new!" will be thought, or maybe even spoken. A trip to the next e-waste recycling center? WAIT, not so fast.
You may be familiar with the phrase, "e-waste crisis". In case you haven't heard about this yet, it's the result of e-waste recycling centers exporting containers upon containers of electronic waste from the United States to countries such as China and Ghana to dispose of it. E-waste, however, contains precious metals which are extracted before the computer monitors, televisions, and laptops are burned...resulting in hazardous toxins escaping into the air. In the process of doing so, the workers, often children, are exposed to toxins that cause grave damage to their physical health and, not to mention, the health of the planet.
So what can you do? Well for one, consider whether you really need that latest gadget or electronic device. If so, find another home for your current piece of equipment. If it's still in working condition, you can consider saving it for a garage sale. (If you live in Brisbane, you can participate in the City-Wide Garage Sale in July)! Because, as they say..."one man's trash is another man's treasure".
But, if you really need to dispose of your older electronics, then bring it to a certified e-Stewards Recycler. The e-Stewards certification program is an initiative of the Basel Action Network (BAN) -- you may have heard about them and their founder, Jim Puckett recently on a "Fresh Air" FM 88.5 broadcast: "After Dump, What Happens to Electronic Waste?" To see where your nearest "e-cycler" is located, then please click here (mouse over the map and zoom in). You'll see the closest one to Brisbane is located in Burlingame, at the GreenCitizen's San Mateo Eco-Center.
To read and see more about the e-waste crisis, e-Stewards has a couple of videos you can stream from this page off their website.
We hope you will stop and think about the ramifications e-waste can have on a community, a country, and the planet. Do your part and make sure your electronic waste is properly disposed of and bring it to an e-Stewards recycler. It's only the environmetally-progressive and responsible thing to do!