Bringing things up to speed is an Israeli company, Snunit Recycling which is poised to make a pretty penny from our electronic waste. And we don’t mind that fact at all.
While computers and electronic devices contain materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium (all very poisonous materials), they also contain good parts too, such as gold, platinum and silver.
Not quite like the Alte Zachen in Tel Aviv that ride around on donkey or horse to fetch your junk, Snunit has begin operating only two collection points so far, INN reports, as well as a mobile collection service across the country, to collect old electronic devices for recycling.E-waste wanted:
- old laptops and computers
- Cell phones
- DVD players
- MP3 players
- palm pilots (remember when they were a thing!)
- electronic toys
- power tools
The devices are disassembled into their different materials, which are then dispatched to different recycling and toxic waste disposal facilities to minimize pollution and save landfill space.
Thanks to a story on Ecogeek (via Greenpeace), we learn that we can all generate less e-waste (about 50%) by using a computer based on Linux rather than windows.
A 2004 UK study found measurable green benefits to running a Linux open source operating system (OS) on computers instead Windows OS, owned by Microsoft.
Windows more e-waste polluting than Linux systems
The major problem with Windows is that users need to replace their computer twice as many times as Linux users, because Windows OS upgrades demand more hard drive space and faster processing speeds.
The study concluded that Windows effectively created twice as much computer-generated e-waste as Linux. The report said: “There are also potential Green Agenda benefits, through reducing the energy and resources consumed in manufacturing replacement equipment, and reducing landfill requirements and costs arising from disposal of redundant equipment.
“Industry observers quote a typical hardware refresh period for Microsoft Windows systems as 3-4 years; a major UK manufacturing organisation quotes its hardware refresh period for Linux systems as 6-8 years.”