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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

­K Envisions Zero Waste: What About Computers?

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Credit: Greenpeace

Recycling is part of our daily lives. We do it everyday with plastics, newspapers and other general household things. But computers and batteries face recycling problems. A lot of high tech materials wind up in China and the Far East for disassembly and "recycling" with serious health consequences for the local populations. And then there's the energy required to recycle.

Computers are a nightmare. Yet governments around the world are now passing laws that will require the development of new techniques that are efficient, safe and capable of mass quantity capabilities. And it's not just your household PC anymore that needs unique recycling capabilities. PDAs, smartphones and the wide range of batteries used are areas of concern that require unique technologies. The average cell phone is used for 18 months or less. That creates a huge landfill problem.

From ZDNet
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