Your Hot Hardware Makes Lousy Bonfires

Will someone please explain to me why I have to paw through my trash like a drunken raccoon to sort out recyclables like paper and glass and plastic bottles - stuff that costs more energy and resources to recycle than it's worth, and is essentially chemically inert-- while we just heave tons of little CPU Chernobyls into the landfill? Or worse, send them to Africa where they end up burning them and literally die from the smoke? Look what's in a discarded computer:

1: Lead in cathode ray tube and solder 2: Arsenic in older cathode ray tubes 5: Antimony trioxide as flame retardant 4: Polybrominated flame retardants in plastic casings, cables and circuit boards 3: Selenium in circuit boards as power supply rectifier 6: Cadmium in circuit boards and semiconductors 7: Chromium in steel as corrosion protection 8: Cobalt in steel for structure and magnetivity 9: Mercury in switches and housing The decreasing cost of replacing computers, mobile phones and other electronic gadgets, and the speed with which technology goes out of date, mean there is more and more to be disposed of. Traditionally, much of the waste found its way to Asian countries such as China and India, but tighter regulations means more and more is ending up in Africa.

We send the stuff to Africa with the best of intentions:re-use.  But a 486 with a busted cathode ray tube porthole monitor and a fried motherboard needs to be called what it is-- trash. Someone should open a computer recycling plant in Africa, give all those people a job in it, and pretty soon they'd be buying a Playstation 3 instead of burning Commodore Amigas in a bonfire.

Read the whole thing here.

Tags:  Hardware, Fire, hot, make, AR, K