The Story of E-Waste: What Happens to Tech Once It's Trash



They have a video on you tube called Chinese pollution busters. Which is the most shocking video you will ever watch. Type in Chinese pollution in google all that garbage piles up right next to water will seep into the enviroment and cause birth defects and all sorts of life damaging problems.



Really makes you think.  Great article.  But it should include some info for us readers to help out.  Like, where can I send my old electronics for recyling?

I know Verizon takes back old phones.  But do they really recyle?

Another thing.  I didn't know about Coltan, but the exact same thing is said about Gold mining in the Congo according to a recent 60 minutes episode.



Good Article



Now that was a well written and informative article. Bravo, Maximum PC.



Heh, exactly what I was going to say. Bravo!



proprietary lock-in and Vendor lock-in need to end, open standards, and Open specifications need to be the rule or die in a pile.



Telus is now running ads saying their customers can change phones whenever they'd like to have the latest and greatest, this absolutely disgusts me and is reason enough for me never to use them.

I'm usually on a two year upgrade cycle, so I give my mom my old pc, and her old pc (which was my old pc two cycles ago) I usually sell on Craigslist, usually it ends up at a low income family, but unfortunately that's about as much control on the reuse and recycling I can control.

Would be interesting to add to the article what MaxPC does with all their junk, I'm sure you guys must go through tons of it, far more than the average American business.



I am thinking that tech is going to end up in the landfill faster than say 10 years ago. Anything below a Core 2/Pentium class and its AMD equiv are basically worthless for mainstream use with Vista/Windows 7 (XP is obsolete). Add the fact that a new mainstream (and even a few premium) PC has crap engineering compared to its 10-15 year old counterpart, emachines with crappy PSUs, Dells with bad caps, you get the idea. Laptops are often unfixable w/o spending $$ if it comes across a problem, I'm sure it's not uncommon for the landfill guys to be running across laptops from last year.

I have a few old computers put away, I'm not doing anything with them ATM except I the old beige Dell Optiplex I use for a file server. It's  built like a tank unlike the new Dells. The other PCs are even older (486 era) but still work. Maybe I'll turn them into a firewall or a folding machine or something, but I won't toss them out. They'll be worth something someday and I want my future kids to compare 1995 with 2025...that will be fun to watch...




um sir Xp is not obsolete i still use it every day and much of the local stores are still using 2000 a few even 98




I am so sick of the Green stuff.... The world isn't over populated, we aren't running out of "stuff", and people generate waist. It happens, your never going to avoid it.

I don't agree with spending tones and ones of money, like all the stupid electric cars, that cost tens of thousands of dollars more than a "normal" gas car. You will *NEVER NEVER NEVER* save money buying an electric car. It's cheaper for me to drive a V12 BMW. :-) (I am not very green)

Instead of the government, MaximumPC, and all the other tree huggers, telling us to spend lots of money on something that has no financial payback, we should instead continue to use what is cost effective, and research the “green” tech until it’s cost effective, *AND ACTUALLY HELPS US AS AN INDIVIDUALS*.

If your rich, and want to drive a Tesla, because it’s cool, goes fast, and is quiet.

Now, before everyone starts flaming me, I’ll say recycling is good, saves money, and allows us to make something from nothing. But buying all this super high tech green crap isn’t doing anyone any good.

Besides, I would rather drive a Hummer (or my V12 BMW) than a stupid Prius, especially when it’s more environmentally friendly to buy and drive a Hummer, than a Prius.

People are so naive they are willing to believe what ever the government tells us is true, and good for you. Nobody bothers to check out the facts, and really look into what the facts are.

I agree with some of what this article said, the recycling, and sort of not engaging in unnecessary waist, but really now, buying all the stupid gay “green” crap, isn’t worth it, it’s not green, it’s not helping anything, and everyone is blindly following along embracing this stupid “green dream”.

So there is my rant, try not to be so naïve, and do what actually helps (recycling, etc) not buying into something that doesn’t help anything.




Every time you open your mouth, I sigh.  It simply reduces the collective intelligence of the world by a few pegs.  Do us all a favor and just STFU, mmmkay?



"I agree with some of what this article said, the recycling, and sort of not engaging in unnecessary waist, but really now, buying all the stupid gay “green” crap, isn’t worth it, it’s not green, it’s not helping anything, and everyone is blindly following along embracing this stupid “green dream”."

Bullshit. You make this statement after saying "so sick of the Green stuff", complaining about "tree huggers", and bragging (twice) about your car. You're either a troll or deeply stupid.

Most of us are smart enough to realize that some companies will claim to be green or doing green things, and it's not true. Because people will lie if they can get away with it. But that has nothing to do with this article (in fact, it talks about this issue) or trying to recycle things. Why bring up all that crap if you actually agree with recycling and "not engaging in unnecessary waist"? That's what the article was about! You're the only one here pushing an agenda.




Wow really. You know there are more the 10 billon people in the whole world right? And there "is" a limit to our natural resources. I know you don't believe that, but it's true. We don't have unlimited oil, tree, water, elements in the periodic chart.  So you get your facts that a hummer is more enviromentally friendly than a prius from a blog.

If your "fact's you were referring to is from this research study: 


Dust to Dust: The Energy Cost of New Vehicles From Concept to Disposal"


It has already been discredited. :

"Hummer versus Prius: 'Dust to Dust' Report Misleads the Media and Public with Bad Science"

And there will be a financial payback. Because if we stop wasting and creating more waste, sooner or later we will have to clean up that mess. And I can guarantee it will be way more exepensive if we keep letting it build up.



"Because if we stop wasting and creating more waste, sooner or later we will have to clean up that mess."

Meant to say:

Because if we stop wasting less it will be easier to fix the problem. But if we keeping creating more waste, sooner of later we wil have to clean up that mess. And I can gurantee it will be way more expensive if we keep building up more waste.



Actually it's closer to 6.77 billion.

I don't disagree with anything else you say, just 10 billion is way off.



Damn was way off. I was calculating how much people there will be when it is the end of the world. :P




No matter how tired you are of this "green stuff", you should pay more attention to it.

The world is changing bro! You don´t have to belive in what others say to you, just look around.

If the whole world had the opportunity to consume as Americans do, we wouldn´t be here typing in our computers, because the energy wouldn´t be enough to all of us ...




Markkus Rovito

Excellent article, Gord!



this reminds me of but its a great article, and helpful to those that don't believe in recycling



My father in law is a gadget junkie like me but has the money to spend.  So to help him out when his laptop stopped working well, I told him to let me pick out his replacement.  First, I chose a midrange laptop with a discrete video card and decent processor for about $600.  Next, I maxed out the laptop's upgrade...essentially installed 8 GB RAM replacing the 4 GB inside and replaced the hard drive with an SSD.  This laptop will now run crazy fast for him and should keep him from purchasing a replacement for at least 5 or more years.  Essentially, the lesson learned is not to buy the cheapest crap out there but buy quality that lasts much longer and does not need to be upgraded so quickly.



This looks like a great article and I'd like to see more along this line at MaximumPC. I will finish reading it later, but, man, this is good stuff!



i think ppl should move on from optical media and into digital download.



This is why I always recycle my electronics.  The only thing I'm really not good about is recyling batteries and optical media.  I have a bunch of batteries in a box but my local Best Buy will only take rechargeable batteries....


Come to think of it, I have an old cellphone, a PCI modem, an old computer and a broken PS1 I should take into Best Buy.

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