Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trash Talk. A Serious Issue.

In the past few years I’ve heard more and more trash talk than ever before – garbage that is. Whether it be e-waste (electronic waste) improperly dismantled in third world countries, giant garbage islands twice the size of Texas or the stench of landfills masked by “deodorant cannons” - there’s no denying there’s a serious problem with waste.

Let’s examine a few trash stories worth familiarizing yourself with.
Gallons of 'Deodorant' – That’s right the Beijing landfills are getting so putrid with odor they are going to begin pumping gallons of ‘deodorant’ into the air due to the complaints of nearby communities. The air freshener 'cannons' can send scents as far out as 164 feet. Chemicals masking chemicals for a temporary solution= wonderful. Check out the full article from popsci.com.

Giant trash island – Somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii there is some serious trash in the ocean – literally. . The enormous heap of trash TWICE the size of Texas is better known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It floats on retaining an estimated 3.5 million tons in its current - most of which is plastic. Watch this video.

E-waste – According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, more than 4.6 million tons of e-waste (electronic waste) are dumped in US landfills EACH YEAR. (The US only has 19 states with regulatory ewaste disposal laws – in essence that’s only 20% of tech trash being disposed properly.) The problem? Technology is full of toxic chemicals that if not properly disposed can be released into the community atmosphere and water over time. Just imagine what a few hundred lazy people not willing to recycle a laptop can do to a community. Talk about karma.
E-waste to third world countries – Talk about dumping your problems on someone else...E-waste is routinely exported by developed countries to developing ones, where laws to protect workers and the environment are inadequate or not enforced. Over time, toxic chemicals from this e-waste can leach into the land or disperse into the atmosphere, impacting the environment. The countries that get the worst of it include India, Africa and China. Only Dell and HP have global corporate policies that state they will not export to developing countries – what will it take for others to step up?

1 comment:

  1. Is this one of the reasons you work with Dell and HP? I think it's so messed up that all this happens. And EVERYONE has to pay for it.



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