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posted by martyb on Thursday September 23 2021, @01:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the e-waste-recycling dept.

You might be sitting on a mountain of e-waste that Dell wants to recycle for you:

If you're anything like me, you struggle to let go of your old electronics. Be that a mobile phone, laptop, or even an old graphics card plagued by electromigration and capable of a frame a minute—there's something about the act of disposing of it that feels inherently wasteful. Yet it's no less wasteful of me to keep my long redundant technology stored in a cardboard box at the back of my closet.

Hence when I spotted a tweet from Dell promising to recycle my old electronics— whether manufactured by Dell or not—it caught my attention. Will the company actually take my old tech from me and do something productive with it?

To gather some more information, I reached out to the company. Because it's one thing to recycle your own product, it's a whole other to deal with somebody else's trash, for lack of a better word.

And as I would find out from Page Motes, Dell's head of sustainability, the company doesn't see it that way.

[...] Dell sees that e-waste instead as an opportunity to create closed-loop supply for certain materials.

Plastics are something the company has been recycling for some time now, using 100 million pounds of the stuff to make new parts for Dell systems, but more recently it's also begun leveraging rare earth magnets from old, disused hard drives alongside manufacturer Seagate.

Furthermore, I'm told Dell is now reusing aluminium from the old drives, and this closed-loop aluminium has since found its way into the Optiplex lineup, a range of commercial PCs that probably aren't all that familiar to PC gamers but relies on recycled materials for a large part of its construction. Something it'd be great to see make its way into more discrete PC gaming components, that's for sure.

Dell is first to admit it benefits from the program, and it also hopes that might tempt other companies to follow in its footsteps. Motes explains that it's well-aware this is not something that can be done alone, and that it'll need wider support for recycling programs to really deal with the e-waste generated every year that is, for the most part, not recycled or reused.


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  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday September 23 2021, @02:11PM (3 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Thursday September 23 2021, @02:11PM (#1180734) Journal

    Case in point: (Plastics were banned first, along with a few other things.)
    China Bans Foreign Waste – But What Will Happen to the World's Recycling? [soylentnews.org]

    Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%27s_waste_import_ban [wikipedia.org]

    Electronic waste transactions began in the eastern coastal areas of China and enabled local farmers to get rich quickly. For example, in Guiyu, Guangdong Province, there are 150,000 people in the town, and 120,000 people are engaged in the e-waste industry. They handle millions of tons of e-waste every year, and the transaction amount is 75 million US dollars. After more than ten years of development of the garbage dismantling industry, Guiyu has already become a wealthy town. However, the wealth of Guiyu has come at the expense of environmental degradation. According to a research report published in 2010, 81.8% of rural children under the age of 6 have lead poisoning, and the source is likely to be lead ash from chip fragmentation or molten lead solder extracted pollution from gold, copper and other precious metals and semi-precious metals. The gold on the circuit board needs to be separated by highly corrosive acids; after the high corrosive acid is used up, it is often poured into rivers and other open waters and further polluted environment, which is a vicious circle for the ecology.[17] The waste ban policy hopefully improves severe circumstances in China and facilitates the healthy development of people and society.

    On 5 December 2020, China indicated it intends to ban all solid waste imports starting on 1 January 2021.[18]

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by krishnoid on Thursday September 23 2021, @09:56PM (2 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday September 23 2021, @09:56PM (#1180889)

    Well, once again Futurama gets it right [youtu.be], sort of [youtu.be].

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by FatPhil on Friday September 24 2021, @08:41AM (1 child)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Friday September 24 2021, @08:41AM (#1181058) Homepage
      I will confess to never having watched an episode of Futurama, but I am familiar with some of the tropes it revolves around. However, those clips were pretty much enough to persuade me that I really ought to watch it all from the beginning!
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by krishnoid on Friday September 24 2021, @10:47PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Friday September 24 2021, @10:47PM (#1181259)

        Definitely. It'll help welcome you to the world of tomorrow [youtu.be].

        "I always say that 'Futurama' is real, and 'The Simpsons' is fiction." -- Matt Groening