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Old Computers Vs. The Environment
United States Posted by timothy on Monday September 18, @02:37AM
from the that's-a-lot-of-lead dept.
VValdo writes: "Salon is running an interesting story about the dangers of throwing old computers into landfills. According to the story, the American Electronics Association is trying to block a European Commission proposal that would make manufacturers responsible for the environmental damage that occurs when lead, mercury, chromium, etc. leaks into 'the life cycle.'" One interesting factoid: "Lead constitutes approximately 25 percent of monitors by weight, and the estimate of 5 to 8 pounds per unit is based on 14- and 15-inch monitors." (Which author Jim Fisher points out is no longer the typical display size for current systems.)

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    it killed the romans (Score:2, Funny)
    by The-Pheon (fake@email) on Monday September 18, @02:40AM EDT (#1)
    (User #65392 Info) http://www.dragonmount.net
    it killed the romans
    "How right I am, How wrong they are" -- Prince Klemens von Metternich. Austrian foreign minister 1773-1859
    Why not retrocomputing? (Score:1)
    by chkdsk74 on Monday September 18, @04:19AM EDT (#64)
    (User #225402 Info)
    I think a partial solution about this problem would be letting people interested in retrocomputing grab everything they want for free. It would mean a lot of PCs not being wasted in our environment. I know it is not THE solution but you would get both more happy people and a better "tech garbage" situation.
    Re:Why not retrocomputing? (Score:1)
    by ^_^x on Monday September 18, @11:50AM EDT (#165)
    (User #178540 Info)
    Basically... why not?
    Personally, at home I have a few 386 boards, and a couple of 486 boards, including some really unusual ones (Ultra ATA or something, never seen it in a desktop. It was from a 486 server.) I also have a stack of hard drives from 300MB to 1GB.

    All of these parts were grabbed from work before they purged the storage room of old PCs. It also doesn't hurt to have some spare power supplies if you're building a sprawling monster-system. (4-8 more hard drives than you should have, extra cooling, etc...)

    On occasion, a friend who's interested in computing will ask for a board, and I'll give it to them, even set up a copy of DOS on it if they want (1 minute install process. Can't get much easier than that!)

    Also, one of the oldest computer stores in town here keeps a box of old motherboards from upgrades (pretty much anything pre-P200,) and if you want one, you can buy it as-is for $5.

    I'd say that this form of recycling works pretty well. While they're not the most useful things, they're definately not leaking materials into the water table, etc...
    Re:Why not retrocomputing? (Score:1)
    by chkdsk74 on Monday September 18, @12:06PM EDT (#167)
    (User #225402 Info)
    That's for sure. Old PCs (and old hardware in general) make a great word processing unit (I have one 386/33 w/Win 3.1 and Word 2), a good Linux network PC and so on. There's still plenty of life in old computers!!
    Re:Why not retrocomputing? (Score:1)
    by chkdsk74 on Monday September 18, @11:09AM EDT (#152)
    (User #225402 Info)
    That is *really* a good idea. Plus, there is a large community of "retrocomputing fans" (not convinced? check the bids for old computer stuff on eBay!)
    Re:Why not retrocomputing? (Score:1)
    by chkdsk74 on Monday September 18, @02:12PM EDT (#183)
    (User #225402 Info)
    Well, it's not true that old PCs drain more power than new ones. Look at their PSUs: it is not so uncommon to see old PCs equipped with 150W PSUs, while new ones need at least a 250W one, while sometimes people get a 300W one!
    Re:it killed the romans (Score:1)
    by fishman2 on Monday September 18, @09:33AM EDT (#118)
    (User #118694 Info)
    Actually, it did not kill the romans...at least not in the sense that you are implying. At Pompeii there is extensive evidence of the lead pipes tah the romans used for the plumbing (specifically as used for transporting drinking water) and testing has shown NO evidence of lead posioning in the people's remains. We are baffled as to the reason why this is the case...but lead did not kill the romans.
    Re:it killed the romans (Score:2)
    by SEWilco on Monday September 18, @09:53AM EDT (#128)
    (User #27983 Info) http://www.wilcoxon.org/~sewilco
    Any plumber can tell you about hard water deposits covering the inside of plumbing. Actually, many large cities used lead in the water supply until a few decades ago, but the old pipes are still in use. You can find assurances that the mineral coating is protecting us...
    Re:it killed the romans (Score:1)
    by Tassach (tassach@DONTSPAMME.excite.com) on Monday September 18, @11:53AM EDT (#166)
    (User #137772 Info)
    Actually the Romans got lead poisoning not from lead pipes but from lead cookware. It was common for the upper classes to have their food cooked in lead pots & pans. IIRC, the lead would react with vinegar used in cooking, producing small quantities of lead acetate -- which (while toxic) adds a sweetish taste to food. There are probably other lead compounds which have interesting flavors as well.

    This phenomenon was pretty well confined to the nobility; the middle and lower classes used tin, copper, and pottery cookware.

    As to the cause of the fall of the (western) Roman empire, it was mostly due to 2 reasons: collapse of the economy, and the Plague. Of course, the eastern Roman empire survived for nearly another 1000 years (as the Byzantine empire), until 1453 when Constantanople fell to the Ottoman Turks.


    "The axiom 'An honest man has nothing to fear from the police'
    is currently under review by the Axiom Review Board" -- Terry Prachett, "Men At Arms"

    Monitors (Score:1)
    by xornor on Monday September 18, @02:41AM EDT (#2)
    (User #165117 Info) http://www.flickswap.com/gene
    Why not recycle?
    Melting parts? (Score:1)
    by nebby (nebby101@notsohotmail.com) on Monday September 18, @02:45AM EDT (#3)
    (User #11637 Info) http://nebby.dhs.org
    Aren't there companies these days that buy computer parts in bulk and separate the precious metals out of the circuitry? I wonder if anyone can come up with a creative use for monitor and other peripheral leftovers..


    Half-Empty: A Global Community of Thoughts, Ideas, and Knowledge.
    Re:Melting parts? (Score:1)
    by King of the World (fake@nospam.org) on Monday September 18, @03:43AM EDT (#41)
    (User #212739 Info)
    They could plant flowers in them. That would be nice. Good for the environment too.

    (my doctor says playing up to amuse myself is an awful habit)

    -- and look at me now, I'm the King of the World!

    Re:Melting parts? (Score:1)
    by King of the World (fake@nospam.org) on Monday September 18, @03:55AM EDT (#50)
    (User #212739 Info)
    Well I do enjoy a good anal rodgering. Point taken.

    -- and look at me now, I'm the King of the World!
    The manufacturer's responsability (Score:4, Informative)
    by Tester on Monday September 18, @02:46AM EDT (#4)
    (User #591 Info)
    This kind of measures may seem bizare to many Americans, but its actually very common in Europe to hold the producers of throwable goods responsible for the recycling. I know that in Germany, at least in some landers (states), the manufacturers are forced to take back their packaging and dispose of it, but they have taxes on private companies using landfills, so they are basicly forced to recycle and reduce it. What really surprised me in this article is that they weren't already responsible. For the monitors, it may favorise their export/resale to poorer countries.... Where they can easily be thrown away, that's one of the known ways to get around the law
    Re:The manufacturer's responsability (Score:3, Informative)
    by Baki (plm@gmx.li) on Monday September 18, @03:12AM EDT (#16)
    (User #72515 Info)
    It is common practice in Holland and Switzerland too. In Holland you pay even some extra (about $25 for a TV or Computer) when you buy it, to pay in advance to the recycling afterwards.

    In Switzerland, they still assume that people are more decent, thus you have to pay afterwards. In Holland they would assume one would dump the old TV's and Computers in a lake etc. to avoid the recycling costs :)

    The producers are responsible, but the consumer has to pay the costs the producer makes for recycling. The producers must do the recycling (i.e. they can't refuse to take used products back) for a set price.

    Re:The manufacturer's responsability (Score:1)
    by J1 on Monday September 18, @04:18AM EDT (#62)
    (User #98359 Info)
    In Switzerland, they still assume that people are more decent, thus you have to pay afterwards. In Holland they would assume one would dump the old TV's and Computers in a lake etc. to avoid the recycling costs

    If you have ever seen the canals in Amsterdam you would know that this is not such a far-fetched assumption :)

    US vs. the world (Score:1, Insightful)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, @10:20AM EDT (#140)
    Actually, it all depends on how you've been indoctrinated. Americans are brought up to respect the free market, so anything that infringes on efficiency is considered bad. European and Asian countries lean towards a more sustainable approach, so citizens of those countries tend to pay more importance to recycling (much like throwing garbage in the street is considered unsustainable even to Americans).

    I've even seen some Americans complain that recycling is BAD, because it's leftist/greenie/socialist.

    There's also another viewpoint - that heavily populated countries are to blame for environmental degradation. The reality is that the US alone causes 25% of the world's pollution. It's a matter of conjecture as to what will happen when China, India, and other countries catch up. It'll be really interesting to see how this gets worked out. There will probably be some kind of ideological compromise on both sides. Everyone wants a better standard of living, but that comes with greater environmental damage.


    Re:The manufacturer's responsability (Score:1)
    by jovlinger (NOjohanCAPS@ccs.neu.edu) on Monday September 18, @11:03AM EDT (#150)
    (User #55075 Info) http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=userinfo&nick=jovlinger
    This has been a bit of a pet peeve with me for some time; I don't see why the government lets companies get away with ignoring external costs to their products.

    As it is, only production costs are taken into acocunt by the market, as the good mr. Smith defined it. It makes perfect sense to let the market also factor in environmental costs; however, the only way the market will do this is by having these costs imposed on the goods that create them.

    Hence, higher gas taxes to reflect greenhouse effects. Monitors would reflect the negative effects of lead, and CFCs would be really expensive. This might seem horrible, (how can I be advocating higher gas prices at a time like this!) but we're all paying these costs anyway; we might as well make it explicit. And the higher prices would incite (is incent a word?) a move to better methods.

    c.f. personal power generation being cleaner per KWh, due to lack of transmission fees. I want to see this reflected in pricing of natural gas and electricity.

    I'd stop coming back if this place wasn't so funny

    Because (Score:1)
    by ArchieBunker (root@[127.0.0.1]) on Monday September 18, @01:00PM EDT (#174)
    (User #132337 Info) http://www.geekswithguns.com/
    After the consumer buys the product the company is no longer the owner and should have not have to worry what someone does after they buy it. Just more government waste that I would have to end up paying.

    You are paying higher gas prices because the arabs got together and jacked up the price. They know the world runs on oil, so people will have to pay. Its simple greed.
    http://www.geekswithguns.com/
    Re:The manufacturer's responsability (Score:1)
    by GigsVT on Monday September 18, @03:09PM EDT (#186)
    (User #208848 Info) http://www.poetrycontestonline.com
    Well, I would agree with the greens, at least with some of the ideas of factoring externalities like the environment into the cost of goods, but there are two major problems, and they aren't going to go away.

    1. Its impossible to put a price on inevitable environmental destruction. i.e: That tree costs $100 if you chop it down on your own land? What about $1000? What? You thought you actually "owned" your own land? Think again. Property rights go out the window.

    2. The sole beneficiary will be the government, by necessity. These environmental costs, for the most part, will be passed on to the consumer, and will end up in the government's hand to spend in their infinite wisdom. (Yeah right).

    Certain programs will work, such as the current "send-back" programs that toner cart manufacturers have, but as far as having the government factor in all environmental costs, it will result in having the same effect as passing extra taxes that the government will go spend on something like the military. (The largest polluter in the US)


    -
    Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear. --- Karl Kraus (1908)
    Re:The manufacturer's responsability (Score:1)
    by jovlinger (NOjohanCAPS@ccs.neu.edu) on Monday September 18, @09:28PM EDT (#199)
    (User #55075 Info) http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=userinfo&nick=jovlinger
    I'll take 'em backwards:

    2)

    The whole argument is called the tragedy of the commons, and is as old as the field itself. The whole point isn't really to give the government money -- the best case would be if the ecotaxes were put in a fund that invested in ecofriendly research, or just sat on the money or something. The point is that you want to hike up the prices of unenvironmental goods so that the consumer can factor that into their utility functions.

    As it is now, the concept of environmental impact is very abstract; many adults can't grasp it. However, if you have the choice between paying $30000 for a gasoline car or $15000 for a hybrid, then it becomes more concrete.

    This applies doubly to coorporations, some of which are legal obliged to take the lowest price availible for a good, regardless of its economic impact. And this gives them incentive to move to cleaner (perhaps even more expensive processes), if the end price is lower.

    The challenge is to set the right taxes for various pollutants. This is of course hard, and the government will get it wrong. But I believe wrong price is better than free.

    1)

    In the extreme case, there would have to be an unincentive to harm your own property, if you owned enough of it to cause macroscopic damage. While few people would argue that a grove or two of trees is anyone's business other than the owner of the land, if you own a sizeable chunk of the natural forest of the country, then it does become a public concern.

    Just throwing out an idea, it might be better to view land ownership (all natural resources perhaps) as a right-to-lease (the property taxes might be seen as the rent). Leased property cannot be unduly damaged (so whilst you could run a forestry business, you couldn't clear cut, which causes erosion). There are probably better ideas. That's the first that sprung to mind.

    I'd stop coming back if this place wasn't so funny

    Re:Ever tried to recycle NiCd batts? No one takes (Score:1)
    by yesnocancel on Monday September 18, @03:11PM EDT (#187)
    (User #232245 Info) http://www.nucleophilia.com/
    Well, in most EU states every public building has a recycle bin for NiCd and other batteries. Of course, this doesn't help you, I guess.

    --
    This signature is funny. Laugh.

    market forces (Score:1)
    by Dr. Awktagon on Monday September 18, @02:47AM EDT (#5)
    (User #233360 Info)

    Aren't there people who take old computers and extract the gold, lead, and other materials and sell the stuff after they've collected several hundred computer's worth? I recall reading that someplace. That would be one way to get rid of old machines.


    Re:market forces (Score:1)
    by Yokaze on Monday September 18, @03:16AM EDT (#21)
    (User #70883 Info)
    But why aren't then the producing companies taking the stuff back and outsourcing the recycling?

    I think producer responsibility is an advantage to the consumer as he pays for the whole product when he's buying it, including the disposal.
    (Which he otherwise had to do afterwards.)

          "Hmm, am I buying this TV for $1000 (recycable)
    or $975 (n.r.) for an equal one?
    I'll go for the cheaper one."

          "Heck, the TV is broken beyond repair."

          "O.K. this is $50 for the disposal. Thank you, Sir."

    Furthermore a producer who is responsible for the disposal of its products is also constructing its products to ease recycling. Which will lower the TCO :).

    Re:market forces (Score:2)
    by SEWilco on Monday September 18, @10:08AM EDT (#138)
    (User #27983 Info) http://www.wilcoxon.org/~sewilco
    There are companies that do such things, but you have to pay them. It's more effort to extract the materials than the materials are worth. Yes, you can see there is gold in your computer but since the 1970s the amount of gold has been miniscule.

    When energy gets cheap enough, you could dump the stuff in an industrial-scale mass spectrometer, and get all the constituent elements dropped into buckets. But we'll need fission or fusion power for that, and there's not enough activity in either field now.

    [A mass spectrometer immolates a material with an electric flame or plasma torch, which tears apart most molecules into simple molecules or atoms. After electrically charging the material, it is thrown past a magnet -- lighter elements are deflected further than heavier ones, thus separating the various types of materials. Imagine dumping a truckload of junk into a rocket exhaust and ending up with a bucket of lead, a bucket of iron, a bucket of carbon, and tanks of hydrogen and oxygen...along with many more buckets of rather pure materials]

    Recycle... (Score:2, Funny)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, @02:49AM EDT (#6)
    Sample Ad: Hackers needed to "hack" apart monitors and remove lead from old monitors to recycle lead parts. No computer experience needed. $6.50/hr starting pay.
    Re:Recycle... (Score:2)
    by Admiral Burrito on Monday September 18, @04:15AM EDT (#60)
    (User #11807 Info)

    Hackers needed to "hack" apart monitors and remove lead from old monitors to recycle lead parts.

    Maybe by filling them with lead? :)


    Apple Computers (Score:3, Informative)
    by Yardley on Monday September 18, @02:53AM EDT (#8)
    (User #135408 Info) http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/09/13/touretzky/index.html
    Apple Macintosh computers are considered the most environmentally friendly machines available. This is not a reason I use one, but it is nice to know. Though I expect Apple CRT monitors are no better than anyone else's, using lead to shield the radiation, I wonder if the new LCD, especially the 22 inch model are environmentally friendly.

    www.apple.com/about/environment

    On another topic, chromium causes cancer yet most vitamin manufactures insist on putting it into their formulas. Why I do not know.

    --
    Why DeCSS is legal (pdf)
    Re:Apple Computers (Score:2, Funny)
    by Kwikymart (root@localhost) on Monday September 18, @03:18AM EDT (#23)
    (User #90332 Info)
    Dont worry, Apple just hides all their deadly chemicals in their new cube

    If you can read this I forgot to add my .sig
    Re:Apple Computers (Score:1)
    by Derwen (don't.send.it-i.won't.re@d.it) on Monday September 18, @06:34AM EDT (#89)
    (User #219179 Info)
    On another topic, chromium causes cancer yet most vitamin manufactures insist on putting it into their formulas. Why I do not know.

    Chromium is essential to your body's management of fat and blood sugar, IIRC, but only needed in doses of 20-40 microgrammes. Almost everything we need is toxic in quantity. Refined sugar is extremely toxic, that is why it is used to preserve food (eg fruit as jam/marmalade/jelly).
    - Derwen


    It may or may not be instant, but it's certainly not tea.

    Refined sugar.. (Score:1)
    by Uberminky (_.. ... .... ._ ._. .__. @softhome.net) on Monday September 18, @09:44AM EDT (#122)
    (User #122220 Info) http://php.indiana.edu/~dgsharp/
    ..is extremely toxic? The stuff I eat by the spoonful?

    . ._ _ .__. ___ ___ ._ _. _.. _. .. .
    The streets shall flow with the blood of the Guberminky.

    pure, white and deadly [and offtopic] (Score:2, Informative)
    by Derwen (don't.send.it-i.won't.re@d.it) on Monday September 18, @11:16AM EDT (#155)
    (User #219179 Info)
    It is well known that the consumption of refined sugar is linked with the development of degenerative illnesses. As long as you're covering your health insurance, eating crap or smoking anything you like is fine by me, but don't doubt the long- (& short)- term effects of the substance.

    Sugar is the end of a complex refining process that takes away every trace of minerals, vitamins and fibre from the beets/cane/other original vegetable, except for the calories. Eating sugar raises the level of your blood fats, putting stress on your pancreas as it tries to maintain blood sugar level. It can also contribute to atherosclerosis.

    Most of us in Europe/ North America/ et al. eat about 2 pounds (~1 kilo) of the stuff each week, providing about 20-25% of our calories. You can find it in almost every packaged food in some form, from baked beans to diet sodas. We have a natural liking for sweet (as well as fatty) foods. This comes from times when food was hunted and gathered, not loaded into a trolley, and we were (still are) hardwired to find substances to help us through lean times. Try switching to products with raw, unrefined sugar. Here the sucrose crystal is surrounded by a thin film of molasses containing 200 odd organic nutrients, many of them involved in breaking down sucrose in the body.
    Unsulphured molasses are very nice by the spoonful =)


    It may or may not be instant, but it's certainly not tea.

    Minor Miss-information (Score:1)
    by Midnight Ryder (midryder@midnightryder.com) on Monday September 18, @07:38AM EDT (#99)
    (User #116189 Info) http://www.midnightryder.com

    Chromium comes in different forms, just like a lot of other stuff. Chromium Picolinate (sp?) is generally safe, even at relatively high concentrations. Hexavalent Chromium, on the other hand, is fairly toxic at low concentrations. For more information on Chromium Picolinate, check some of the online vitamin databases. For info on Hexavalent Chromium, go check out some of the environmental databases.


    Davis

    MidnightRyder.Com

    Boulder Panic! 2 - The Challenge

    Chromium (Score:1)
    by Dun Malg on Monday September 18, @10:01AM EDT (#136)
    (User #230075 Info)
    Chromium can show up in a number of different forms. Elemental chromium is an nutritionally essential mineral. Other forms, such as hexavalent chromium, are carcinogenic.
    Re:Apple Computers (Score:1)
    by MsGeek (bosslady at msgeek dot com) on Monday September 18, @12:18PM EDT (#169)
    (User #162936 Info) http://www.msgeek.com/
    Mod this one DOWN big time.
    --.\\-H--
    ---- Do what thou wilt...not just a good idea, it's the LAW!
    Cost of doing business (Score:1)
    by RonVNX on Monday September 18, @02:54AM EDT (#10)
    (User #55322 Info)
    If this passes, it will become part of the cost of doing business in Europe, which will then become part of the price consumers of electronic goods will have to pay for things.

    In the end, the manufacturers have to pass the cost along. They're not going to absorb it for customers living in the EU.
    Re:Cost of doing business (Score:1)
    by Sal Monella (sal.monella@greenpeace.org/asm) on Monday September 18, @03:34AM EDT (#35)
    (User #224960 Info)
    Where I live (The Netherlands) the government has implemented a kind of Tax on all consumerproducts. This includes TV sets, stereo's, computers, walkman's, the lot. It's called "verwijderingsbijdrage" (removal fee) which you pay whenever you buy consumer electronics. This money is used to recycle the goods once they get obsolete/broken in the next couple of years (or so they say).
    WHATEVERRR!!! DON'T EVEN GO THERE! Talk to the HAND!
    So what? (Score:1)
    by santeri (santeri@vegetarians_do_without_spam.iki.fi) on Monday September 18, @03:53AM EDT (#47)
    (User #91589 Info) http://www.iki.fi/santeri/
    So what? I'm willing to pay more if it makes the manufacturers more responsible. Not necessarily by forcing a payment for dumping things to landfills, but making recycling a temptating option (cost wise).

    ______________
    OTTERS RULE.
    Maybe some manu's should address their governments (Score:2, Insightful)
    by DragonMagic (cbair (at) dragonmagic (dot) net) on Monday September 18, @02:56AM EDT (#11)
    (User #170846 Info) http://www.dragonmagic.net/
    This sounds like a solid reason for manufacturers of components and systems to face their governments with facts about their products. NEC and other manu's should address the lead content in CRT monitors and suggest that the government make this information very public.

    This isn't to scare the public, but let them know the dangers of the contaminations of these products. We do this with batteries, asbestos, and many other toxins, why not with computers?

    Produce a special recycler/incinerator for a definite capita of that nation (like 1 for every 250,000 units/people), which would make regular runs (1st of the month?) in the area to pick up old monitors, batteries, etc., and take them to be disposed of properly.

    Instead of holding the manufacturers hostage to the contaminations, since we don't do this with television manufacturers even after all these years, this just makes the most sense. Or possibly there can be companies setup to do services like these for big businesses, since they probably waste more products per year than the general population (I'm not certain, just guessing).

    Anyone else think this would be a better plan?

    Dragon Magic
    25% off Domestic Anime VHS Everyday.
    Re:Maybe some manu's should address their governme (Score:2, Interesting)
    by Tester on Monday September 18, @03:12AM EDT (#18)
    (User #591 Info)
    <I>Instead of holding the manufacturers hostage to the contaminations, since we don't do this with television manufacturers even after all these years, this just makes the most sense. Or possibly there can be companies setup to do services like these for big businesses, since they probably waste more products per year than the general population (I'm not certain, just guessing). </i>

    Actually the TV companies have been forced to do it for years in Europe.

    I've read quite a few comments saying: "but there are recycling companies". This is true, but recycling of old computer partsd is getting less and less profitable because newer parts use cheapear material... aluminium instead of gold. And use less of it... So basicly they want to force the manu's to subsides recycling, this may again seem bizare to Americans, but its quite common in Europe. I know they at least apply it to cars and food packaging, if not all packaging in some countries...
    Re:Maybe some manu's should address their governme (Score:1, Funny)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, @05:25AM EDT (#76)
    I don't see why Man U. should be responsible. They're only a football team. O.K, they're an annoying football team with no real fans, but they still shouldn't be responsible for used monitors.
    how does it compare to paint? (Score:1)
    by purefizz (nospam.paul(at)playmail.com) on Monday September 18, @02:58AM EDT (#12)
    (User #114470 Info) http://www.playtons.com/
    Uhh... 25% huh, that seems mighty high. Let's see, what could you do with all that lead... make bullets?

    <POLITICIAN_SPEAK>I submit that American Electronics Association is right in trying to stop the production of more ammunition and guns buy the recycling of used monitors. I have a dream, a dream that one day all this violence will be stopped. Let's stop drugs and gang violence, stop the recycling of used monitors!</POLITICIAN_SPEAK>

    ... make love, not lobbyists ...

    kick some CAD
    you forgot our nation's precious children (Score:1)
    by Dr. Awktagon on Monday September 18, @03:37AM EDT (#39)
    (User #233360 Info)
    The true source of the problem is the monitors themselves. On these monitors, filthy pornography and violence, and blasphemy are continuously displayed, 24 hours a day, in libraries and schools around the country. We must put a stop to monitors at any cost!!
    This will increase demand for LCD screens (Score:2, Informative)
    by thogard on Monday September 18, @03:06AM EDT (#14)
    (User #43403 Info) http://web.abnormal.com
    Hopefully corp America will see the light and the demand will force the price of thouse 21" LCDs down to $300 like they should be.

    The lead is for x-ray shielding so you don't get over exposed if the voltage gets a bit too high.
    LCD prices due to low yields, not low demand (Score:1)
    by HDaemon on Monday September 18, @05:43AM EDT (#82)
    (User #147916 Info)
    The current problem keeping LCD prices so high is not so much a lack of demand as it is a lack of an efficient manufacturing process.

    Since LCDs are essentially a large array of pixels, each individual pixel is a potential failing point. If more than a very small number of pixels in a screen fail to operate properly, the entire screen has to be scrapped. On a screen with a resolution of 1024x768, you are talking 786432 pixels. By a very small number we are talking no more than 5-10 (if I remember correctly from when I last talked with someone), which means a failure rate of 0.00063 percent. Manufacturing with such high tolerances is quite difficult (in RAM production, yields in the mid-90 percent range are considered very good).

    So ultimately there are a lot of screens that companies are spending money to produce that do not end up passing final test and need to be scrapped. The cost of all these scrapped screen is thus passed on to the consumer, which means higher prices on those screens that do pass. So what ultimately will need to happen for LCD prices to come down drastically is for the manufacturing to improve to where it is costing the companies very little to produce a working screen. As soon as that happens the prices will drop and they will become much more economically feasible for the average consumer.

    Re:LCD prices due to low yields, not low demand (Score:2)
    by Tassach (tassach@DONTSPAMME.excite.com) on Monday September 18, @11:05AM EDT (#151)
    (User #137772 Info)
    So why scrap them? Sell them off as factory seconds at a deep discount (maybe 5% to 10% of normal). Getting ANY amount of money is better than a 100% loss.

    I'd buy a 17" LCD monitor with 25 or so dead pixels in a heartbeat if I could get it for a reasonable price -- I can think of lots of applications where the advantage of having a flat screen would more than outweigh the aggrivation of having a couple of dead pixels.


    "The axiom 'An honest man has nothing to fear from the police'
    is currently under review by the Axiom Review Board" -- Terry Prachett, "Men At Arms"

    Mother nature doesn't work with 17" yet? (Score:2, Interesting)
    by Pieter-Bas (from_slashdot@monad.freeserve.co.uk) on Monday September 18, @03:11AM EDT (#15)
    (User #63393 Info) http://members.chello.nl/~p.ijdens
    I once read that screens last much longer than computers. Many people tend to buy new systems but keep the old CRT, especially if the old one is 17" or larger. I know many people who do not want more than 17" on their desk because they claim it is less comfortable to work with.

    I wonder if there are some statistics about that. Also it would be nice to see if the same holds for the corporate world, or if the IS departments blindly upgrade screen and system (which I think is happening, and may not be the wisest thing).
    Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

    Re:Mother nature doesn't work with 17" yet? (Score:2)
    by Mark F. Komarinski (markkATcgipcDOTcom) on Monday September 18, @11:40AM EDT (#164)
    (User #97174 Info) http://www.cgipc.com/
    I've had the same monitor and case for about 4 years, while swapping out the motherboard twice, and CPUs at least 3-4 times.
    My previous monitor (15") is about 8 years old, and is sitting on my wife's desk, along with the case from 8 years ago with (of course) new PS, MB, and etc.

    -- Ever notice that fast-burning fuse looks exactly the same as slow-burning fuse? I didn't... (Edgar Montrose)
    Re:Mother nature doesn't work with 17" yet? (Score:1)
    by Poligraf (liedetector@SPAMSUCKS.netscape.net) on Monday September 18, @01:02PM EDT (#175)
    (User #146965 Info)
    My 4.5-year old MAG Innovision 17" monitor serves 3 computers connected through the KVM-switch. The original computer is long gone, but this monitor still satisfies me.
    What about LCD? (Score:1)
    by Pieter-Bas (from_slashdot@monad.freeserve.co.uk) on Monday September 18, @03:12AM EDT (#17)
    (User #63393 Info) http://members.chello.nl/~p.ijdens
    Anyone got any thoughts on LCD with respect to LCD? Are we saving the future world by using LCD screens on our desktop now, or are we making it worse?
    Common sense is not so common - Voltaire
    Re:What about LCD? (Score:1)
    by Ted Smith on Wednesday September 20, @08:34PM EDT (#223)
    (User #234969 Info)
    There is some interesting research going on now at the Univ of Tennessee sponsored by USEPA's Design for the Environment program that is evaluating the comparative life cycle environmental concerns between CRT monitors and flat panels. Lead is clearly the main issue with CRTs, but the flat panels are made from a semiconductor like process that uses many highly toxic chemicals and also uses more energy throughout the life cycle. Final results have not yet been published, but if anyone wants more info, let me know and I'll get it to you. Ted Smith Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition tsmith@svtc.org
    Go EU (Score:1, Insightful)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, @03:13AM EDT (#20)
    It is common practice to hold the manufacturer responsible for taking care of the waste their products leave behind. You will often see how much of a car is recyelable(is that a word?) and carmakers strive to make everything reusable (well at least re-meltable). I don't see why electronics would be any different. The worlds rescources are not endless, just make it possible and worthwhile to extract the metals from the electronics.
    Well, you bought it. (Score:2, Insightful)
    by CynTHESis on Monday September 18, @03:17AM EDT (#22)
    (User #196082 Info) http://www.labnetworks.com
    When you buy something you own all of it, not just select pieces. Since it is yours it is yours to take care of recycling it or whatever you are going to do with it when it no longer functions to meet your desired means. Holding the company who created it responsible really makes no sense since it is no longer their property. I hold this under the same notion as DVD ownership, if you bought it you should be able to make a coaster out of it, nuke it in the microwave, or DeCSS it. BTW: You are also responsible for disposing of the DVD:)
    Re:Well, you bought it. (Score:1)
    by Yokaze on Monday September 18, @03:27AM EDT (#29)
    (User #70883 Info)
    ...or whatever you are going to do with itwhen it no longer functions to meet your desired means

    Sure... something like dumping it in the wilderness, because it's cheaper or easier.

          Holding the company who created it responsible really makes no sense since it is no longer their property.

    So you can't sue them, because you used the microwave to dry your cat?

    Re:Well, you bought it. (Score:1)
    by NelSonic on Monday September 18, @09:50AM EDT (#127)
    (User #218623 Info)
    People don't seem to understand that it ISN'T cheaper to recycle. In fact it sometimes costs twice or more what it does to remove it from the ground or whatever process is used to extract it from it's natural state. For example, hasn't anyone noticed that recycling depots don't pay for scrap anymore? Meanwhile they all seem to be going out of business. The reason for this is there is too much recycling (yes people are being good little socialy responsible recyclers) going on. The recyclers get stuck with tons of neatly separated glass, aluminum, steele, and TONS of newspapers and magazines that no one will buy from them because it just isn't economicaly feasable. Don't you think that if it indeed was more economical to recycle that the companies would be fight over who gets the old junk back? You'd see buy back programs and everything. I've worked for Waste Management for a while and this is the problem they keep facing. They are told to provide recycling service to people so they can feel good about themselves by recycling. All the while they were assured that when the infrastructure was in place that the recycling business would pay off. The began separating trash picked up on big conveyor belts and built special trucks to gather recyclable products for reuse. The infrastructure is now in place and there is a huge mass of neatly separated recyclable stuff just waiting for someone to want it. Tremendous expense has gone into creating this infrastructure and these nicely separated piles of recyclable goods, but the payoff never came. Waste Mangement companies are folding every where because thaey can't do anything with these huge masses of stuff that they can't get rid of. Now that it has been separated, they aren't allowed to just throw it back into the landfills (EPA would be slitting throats over that) and no one will even take it for free. This has caused some companies to file bankruptcy and have the government take their land fills and stuff and buy back thier garbage collecting trucks (not thier recycling trucks) and start all over again. Only this time they don't recycle, they just pick up for land fill. You see, until it actually becomes cheaper to recycle, people won't be able to. When it does get cheaper, you won't need to force people (or companies) to recycle or use recycled materials.
    ...what about the cost of the lead in your water? (Score:1)
    by Carbon14 on Monday September 18, @02:10PM EDT (#182)
    (User #234046 Info)
    Who says that the primary motivation for encouraging recycling should be that it provides a cheaper means of aquiring the raw materials? I agree that there is a recycling surplus, and I also agree that more people would do it (and there'd be more facilities for it) if the short-term economics worked in favor of the recyclers. OTOH, I don't see this as being the reason to do it or not do it. Keeping lead out of the water supplies has the potential to save a lot of people money and pain in the long run.
    "The paperless office is about as likely as the paperless bathroom"
    Re:Well, you bought it. (Score:1)
    by elflord on Monday September 18, @11:16PM EDT (#205)
    (User #9269 Info) http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord
    The advantage of the company disopsing of it is that the user pays for disposal up front. This removes any incentive to illegally dump. It also means that in the case where the hardware is donated / sold, the person at the end of the chain doesn't have to foot the bill for disposal.


    --Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/

    Re:Well, you bought it. (Score:1)
    by NelSonic on Monday September 18, @09:27AM EDT (#116)
    (User #218623 Info)
    Yes, He does understand the social contract. He's just not a communist who wishes to destroy business and force others to be "socialy responsible" at gunpoint like Stalin or Hitler did. This is the end to the means of touchy feely bunny rabbit slogans like "social contract". Also, what about all the companies who went out of business and can't be billed for thier polutin' ways? Do the rest of the companies have to foot that bill too? If you currently own something harmfull to the environment, YOU are responsible for it's safe disposal when you are finnished with it!!!!!
    Re:Well, you bought it. (Score:1)
    by vinay (vja_t@yahoo.com) on Monday September 18, @11:33AM EDT (#161)
    (User #67011 Info)

    I fully agree.

    at the same time, I think that companies should be responsible for alerting us to what's in their products so we are aware that we have to dispose of it properly. We can't be held accountable for not knowing if they don't take steps to make us aware of the dangers.

    -V

    Re:Well, you bought it. (Score:1)
    by elflord on Monday September 18, @11:14PM EDT (#204)
    (User #9269 Info) http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord
    If you currently own something harmfull to the environment, YOU are responsible for it's safe disposal when you are finnished with it!!!!!

    It's a nice theory. The problem with this is that a lot of people will just dump illegally. It's better IMO that the cost of disposal is built into the cost products -- that is, everyone is forced to pay for disposal up front, removing any financial incentive to dump.


    --Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/

    Making MANUFACTURERS responsible? MORONIC! (Score:3, Interesting)
    by Curious__George (curious__george2000@hotmail.com) on Monday September 18, @03:18AM EDT (#24)
    (User #167596 Info)
    It's supposed to be illegal to dispose of the old oil out of your car just anywhere too, but it seems to me that if I got caught dumping it DOWN BY THE RIVER — it wouldn't be the Pennzoil Corporation that would be held responsible!

    It might be a good idea to make it illegal for dumps and landfills to take old computers (which would encourage you take it to the recyclers), but I don't see how the manufacturers should be held responsible for an irresponsible owner's disposal of his machine.

    Making manufacturers responsible would just result in higher consumer prices. (MFG would have to build-in the cost of disposal for trade-ins).

    "Yeah, in my day we used to collect computers from the ditches and take them back to the store for the deposits!"

    Curious George
    ***General Consultant to the Human Race*** My opinions are free. You get what you pay for.

    Re:Making MANUFACTURERS responsible? MORONIC! (Score:2, Insightful)
    by Yokaze on Monday September 18, @04:03AM EDT (#54)
    (User #70883 Info)
    I think your missing some points.
    First, companies still aren't held responsible for "[...]an irresponsible owner's disposal of his machine."

    Their held responsible for the legal disposal of your machine.

          "Making manufacturers responsible would just result in higher consumer prices."

    Which you had to pay otherwise, too. (Legal disposal assumed.)

    But now you can consider the costs of buying and disposal before you bought it. Forcing the companies to reduce the costs of disposal as it becomes the costs you pay.
    Re:Making MANUFACTURERS responsible? MORONIC! (Score:1)
    by hwilker on Monday September 18, @04:38AM EDT (#69)
    (User #225377 Info)

    No, not moronic... (especially not in caps :) This is simply an application of a larger principle supposed to be in force in the EU. Manufacturers must think about how to get rid of their products up front, when they design them. This, the argument goes, will make it easier to recycle what's worth recycling and disposing of what needs disposing. It's been in force now for some time for cars, I think, and most car manufacturers put into their marketing broad hints on how much of the material in their cars is marked for proper recycling. In Germany, the Bundestag is discussing a regulation called "Elektronik-Schrott-Verordnung" (electronic waste regulation, approx.) which doesn't only apply to computer equipment but to all things containing semiconductors, circuit boards and such. This reg is a national application of the EU guideline or principle mentioned above.

    Will this make things cost more? Of course, but this should be viewed like safety regulations for motor vehicles, aircraft, power tools and pretty much everything else. Manufacturers will adapt, and cost to the consumer will even out over the long run: the choice would be between somewhat cheaper equipment and individually expensive disposal, or somewhat more expensive equipment but no worries about disposal.

    And for what happens when corporations get around safety regs, I propose taking a look at sport utility vehicles in the U.S. Classed as "light trucks", which mustn't be too expensive because they could be used by small businesses, they need not keep to the same safety (and emission) standards as passenger cars. And what are SUVs used for? Check any U.S. metropolitan rush hour highway at your leisure...
    -- H. Wilker

    Re:Making MANUFACTURERS responsible? MORONIC! (Score:2, Interesting)
    by Confused (dw235@yahoo.com) on Monday September 18, @05:19AM EDT (#74)
    (User #34234 Info)
    It's supposed to be illegal to dispose of the old oil out of your car just anywhere too, but it seems to me that if I got caught dumping it DOWN BY THE RIVER — it wouldn't be the Pennzoil corporation that would be held responsible!

    Actually, in Austria, for every liter of motor oil you buy, the shop has to take back a liter of old oil. This oil then needs to be disposed of by the shop in a legal fashion. It makes the disposal of the old oil very hassle-free for the customer.

    You see, not everything that seems unusual to your vision of the world is automatically moronic. Just different, sometimes even better. And no, I won't start another thread about the curious perception, that in order to live in peace one needs to arm himself with medium size artillery.

    Cheers,

    johi


    Re:Making MANUFACTURERS responsible? MORONIC! (Score:1)
    by aozilla on Monday September 18, @07:38AM EDT (#101)
    (User #133143 Info)
    This would suck all the car owners with a leaky oil reserve!
    Re:Making MANUFACTURERS responsible? MORONIC! (Score:1)
    by Confused (dw235@yahoo.com) on Tuesday September 19, @03:29AM EDT (#209)
    (User #34234 Info)
    This would suck all the car owners with a leaky oil reserve!

    No, not really. The shop must take back the oil, but the customer is only give an easy option to dispose of it without harming the environment. And it seems that most people are ready to make a little effort to keep their surroundings clean, as long as it isn't too inconvenient.

    The problem with the leaky oil reserved should be handled by the mandatory yearly car inspection. If you want to drive a car, you have to prove every year it's still safe and not polluting too much.

    Servus,

    johi
    Re:Making MANUFACTURERS responsible? MORONIC! (Score:1)
    by SubtleNuance on Monday September 18, @09:36AM EDT (#119)
    (User #184325 Info)
    The idea is to build into the economic formula of business, some factors involving the disposal of products.

    This has one excellent 'side effect'. Once the bonehead corporatists are forced to pay to dispose of something they will have a desire to reduce the impact their product has on the environment at the end of its useful life. All industries should be forced to pay for disposal of their products - weather it be wrappers from bubble gum to cars. There is no debate that a cost does exist, unfortunately it is the environment and citizens at large paying the bill. Those same citizens have no recourse available to them to force change in the rate of product/garbage/recyclables/packaging offered to them in the marketplace. Maybe then I can buy a toothbrush without 1/4 pound of cardboard & plastic. If you can eliminate some of the eye-candy at the local market - maybe then sheeple will start paying attention to what they are buying (the product) vs the glitzy, shinny, lying packages.

    Maybe they will stop exploiting the environment so frivolously simply because they dont pay for the damage they do.

    Vote Nader in November
    You know what? I learned something! (Score:1)
    by Curious__George (curious__george2000@hotmail.com) on Monday September 18, @10:37AM EDT (#143)
    (User #167596 Info)
    I would like to thank all of the responders to my original post. Their well reasoned responses opened my eyes to the fact that there are other possibilities. I hadn't realized that I was being so U.S.-centric. (I hate it when people do that).

    Thanks again to all the well thought-out responses.

    Curious George
    ***General Consultant to the Human Race*** My opinions are free. You get what you pay for.

    Lead in Monitors is *in* the glass. (Score:2, Informative)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, @03:20AM EDT (#25)
    There is a lot of possible pollution in computers.

    However, lead isn't a likely one, it is dissolved in the glass at the time that is blown into the shape of the CRT bottle, and it isn't likely to come out until the glass dissolves.

    Considering that one of the prefered ways controlling the spread of radio active waste is to dissolve it into glass, I think this lead is fairly safe.

    I wish people would worry about real pollution problems, such as the poisons in circuit componets and motherboards, and not about the ones that aren't.
    Re:Lead in Monitors is *in* the glass. (Score:1)
    by Derwen (don't.send.it-i.won't.re@d.it) on Monday September 18, @06:53AM EDT (#92)
    (User #219179 Info)
    ... it isn't likely to come out until the glass dissolves.

    Actually, if you read the Salon article, you will find the following:

    '"The fine particles of glass laced with lead eventually degrade. With rainfall getting into the dump site, the water will become contaminated with lead, and that lead-filled water will leach out of the landfill and into the groundwater." It's a process that may take several decades, but it will happen: It's as ineluctable as the flaking of paint.'

    Radio-active waste is not just dissolved into glass, it is also buried where (in theory) it cannot be leached into the environment.

    I wish people would worry about real pollution problems, such as the poisons in circuit componets and motherboards

    I agree.


    It may or may not be instant, but it's certainly not tea.

    Re:Lead in Monitors is *in* the glass. (Score:1)
    by stinkydog (coughlio@microsoft's free email system) on Monday September 18, @08:36AM EDT (#110)
    (User #191778 Info)
    If this is true (lead is disolved in the glass) why not melt old monitior bottles and use them to encapsulate radioactive waste.

    We have plenty of radioactive waste just sitting around. An if we find a safe place to bury that stuff I suspect leeching will not be a problems for a while.
    -The wing is not on fire
    Philosophical question (Score:3, Redundant)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, @03:22AM EDT (#27)
    So god said:

    • The food that's bad for people shall taste great.
    • The useful chemical elements shall be toxic.
    But why???
    I wonder how heavy a magnet that would take.... (Score:1)
    by Chagrin on Monday September 18, @03:28AM EDT (#30)
    (User #128939 Info)
      The tubes, looking like giant chocolate kisses, are thrown onto a conveyor belt and carried into an environmentally sealed container to be crushed. The lead and glass are then separated with a heavy magnet and discharged for shipment as commodities.

    Must be a pretty big magnet.

    Re:I wonder how heavy a magnet that would take.... (Score:3, Interesting)
    by puppet10 on Monday September 18, @05:07AM EDT (#72)
    (User #84610 Info)
    Actually you can do this and many recycling facilities do to separate metals (including non-ferrous, or generally non-magnetic) from other materials. The way it works is you drop the material in a rapidly oscillating magnetic field which produces a force on any conductive (read metal) material in the waste stream. This force pushes the metal into a separate path from the rest of the material (here's an example of a commercial separator). The only problem I see is that most of the lead is IN the glass (CRT's are good quality moderately leaded ~20% glass) and I don't see the lead in the glass being separated except through melting.
    -------- This space intentionally left blank --------
    Re:I wonder how heavy a magnet that would take.... (Score:1)
    by Chagrin on Monday September 18, @08:58PM EDT (#197)
    (User #128939 Info)
    But lead? Isn't lead a little too non-magnetic for this?
    25% Lead?!? (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, @03:29AM EDT (#31)
    umm, would someone like to tell me where a monitor contains 25% of its weight in lead? ive taken apart several TV's and Monitors and have never seen huge chunks of lead. 90% of the weight of a monitor is the glass of the CRT which can be upto a half inch thick in places. the only places i can possibly see there being lead in a monitor is in the solder, and in the coating inside the CRT which isnt very thick. prob about the same as a coat of spray paint. however that might not even contain lead. might just be a black paint to keep stray light from entering and exiting the CRT. i sure know that thin layer probably wouldnt stop radiation.
    Re:25% Lead?!? (Score:2, Insightful)
    by Technician on Monday September 18, @05:25AM EDT (#77)
    (User #215283 Info)
    The stuff on the glass is the aquadag coating. It is only a carbon based conductive coating. It is on the inside and has the high voltage connected to it. It is also on the outside to make the tube a capacitor to filter the high voltage from the flyback transformer. The glass itself contains lead (especially the front face) to absorb the X-rays created when the electron beam accelerated by the high voltage strikes the target phospher on the faceplate. Monitors have more lead than TV's because they are designed to be viewed at closer distances. The X-rays from a TV exposure is limited because like light, doubling the distance from the source squares the area and therefore reduces the exposure by the square root of the distance viewed.
    The truth shall set you free!
    And the lead leaches out *how*? (Score:3, Informative)
    by Tackhead on Monday September 18, @03:29AM EDT (#32)
    (User #54550 Info)
    Umm, lemme get this straight, there's a whole lotta lead in a typical CRT.

    And this lead leaches out of the glass in the landfill how?

    And while we're at it, the talk of banning lead solder seems also to be a crock - the non-lead alternatives to solder have higher melting points, meaning changes to manufacturing processes for chip and board alike.

    Now, leaving aside the expenses that these changes will add to your gear (because like a good envionmentuhlists, we all believe that any cost is justified "even if it saves one chiiiyuld"), you've solved one problem, but created another one, namely:

  • Crappy solder means higher failure rates, which means even more crap thrown into landfill.
  • This is fine if you're a manufacturer - you get to sell the customer two $59.99 VCRs and a $150 TV every couple of years as the solder joints - already crap in most consumer gear as witnessed by the flood of complaints in sci.electronics.repair - go cold on you and the customer can't be bothered to get it fixed because the cost of "junk it and buy a new one" is less than the cost of "fix it".

    All that's changed in this wacky EU proposal is that the gummint gets to charge the company another ~10-20% as a penalty for making disposable crap - the company then passes the costs on to you. It's no skin off their nose when the consumer would rather have a $150 (or $150+$20 "green" tax buried in the price = $170) piece of crap than a $500 piece of equipment.

    You wanna really help the environment? Screw this "gummint oughta tax manufacturers who make products we don't like" crap. Just do two things:

    • Press manufacturers to build quality into their products the way they used to. Gear made in the mid-80s is still going strong - gear made in the mid-90s is mostly crap. Be willing to pay 15% more for a screen that'll last 5 years longer than its bargain-bin neighbor.
    • Reuse, don't recycle. My current TV is a 27" set that someone left out for garbage. The fault was a $0.25 capacitor that took out a $3.20 amplifier chip. Because the previous owner cut the AC cord on the thing (presumably they didn't want anyone trying to fix it - fsck that!), I spent another $5.00 on a cord from Rat Shack. The goddamn cord was my biggest expense.

    Now, not everyone can (or should!) fix their own gear, especially if it's a TV set. But that fix was trivial, and any repair tech would have recognized the failure instantly (vertical deflection failures are common on this model), and said "$5 for the new parts, $50 for knowing which parts you need".

    Hell, even if you don't want it fixed, consider giving it to a local repair tech. "Hey, if you can fix it, it's yours, find someone who wants it".

    Back to my set - that set was made in 1993, just at the start of the decline in consumer electronics quality. But it's still going strong a couple of years after I picked it up. I fully expect this set to last until HDTV renders it (and all our other sets) obsolete in 6-8 years.

    (And yeah, I'll be stocking up on lead solder, just in case it's banned by the time I need it to fix something!)

    Side note -- the real cause of failure in that set - and many monitors and TVs - was dust buildup. High voltages used in monitors and TVs mean lots of static to attract dust. The dust coats the components, trapping heat. The heat is what killed the capacitor, resulting in the failed amp chip.

    Practical upshot -- if you read a few FAQs (e.g. http://www.repairfaq.org) and learn the basic safety rules for working in a monitor, you can probably save yourself a lot of headaches by just getting in there and cleaning out the dustbunnies every 5 years.

    Less heat. Less stress on parts. Less landfill. Happier planet.

    Or to borrow an old WWII slogan: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

    This ain't new, kids.

    Re:And the lead leaches out *how*? (Score:5, Interesting)
    by Elvis Maximus (slashdot|AT|ryan|HYPHEN|silva|DOT|com) on Monday September 18, @04:15AM EDT (#58)
    (User #193433 Info) http://www.ryan-silva.com/

    I agree with the core idea of your comment, but...

    Now, leaving aside the expenses that these changes will add to your gear (because like a good envionmentuhlists, we all believe that any cost is justified "even if it saves one chiiiyuld")

    ...

    All that's changed in this wacky EU proposal is that the gummint gets to charge the company another ~10-20% as a penalty for making disposable crap - the company then passes the costs on to you.

    Why should you be able to purchase a consumer good and pass off part of the real cost oof that good on those who did not consume the good? There's this self-righteous get-your-hands-off-my-consumer-goods attitude in America that assumes that people have a God-given right to "cheap" fuel and other "cheap" consumables when the real cost of the production, use, and disposal of those goods are not figured into the purchase price.

    When the Dutch Government, as described in another post on this topic, forces manufacturers to add a recycling surcharge onto their goods, it is not as if a completely new cost is being added on to the good. It's a cost that already has to get paid one way or another; it's simply being charged to the actual consumer, rather than passed off on everyone else down the line.

    Inclusive pricing goes a long way toward motivating people to make the rational use and reuse choices you advocate. If I have to pay $75 extra on that TV to cover the hidden costs of the manufacture and disposal of that TV, might I not consider buying a more reliable TV so that I don't have to pay that surcharge again? Might I not repair it rather than replace it? If I have to pay the actual costs of motor vehicle use -- infrastructure, law enforcement, pollution abatement, etc. -- every time I buy a gallon of gas, might I not make a rational choice not to purchase an SUV?

    But instead we are shielded from the actual costs of this stuff, so it makes good market sense for manufacturers to make lousy, difficult-to-repair, disposable products covered in wads of packaging. And when the time comes to clean all this crap up, people whine and say, "you can't take my money! It's my money, not the Gummint's!"

    -
    Give me liberty or give me something of equal or lesser value from your glossy 32-page catalog.

    Compound interest = disposible items (Score:2, Insightful)
    by redelm (redelm@ev1.net) on Monday September 18, @08:31AM EDT (#109)
    (User #54142 Info) http://users.ev1.net/~redelm
    Look, I like high quality items just as much as the next geek. But once you consider the time-value of money (compound interest), excessive quality just isn't economically efficient.

    Consider two items that basically do the same thing. One costs $200, and the other $100 because it's not as durable. Now if that $100 item lasts only a year, while the $200 item lasts forever, then I'm probably better off buying the quality item unless my personal interest rate is 100%pa.
    For some people it is, or they just don't have the extra money.

    Now change the numbers. The $100 item lasts two years, and you'll want to replace them both in 6 years for improved functionality. Now a 27% interest rate is the breakeven.

    For a concrete example, look at houses. European houses are built to last -- tile roofs & floors, thru-brick walls inside & out. But they cost 3-4 times a N.American house which might not last more than 20-60 years (asphalt shingle roof, wood fram construction, siding.) and that with more maintenance. But to payout the higher quality, you have to have an unrealistically low rate of interest (1-2%).

    I'm very depressed about this, but I cannot see any way out. Albert Einstein was right when he described the power of compound interest as miraculous.

    Re:Compound interest = disposible items (Score:1)
    by Matthias Wiesmann on Tuesday September 19, @05:27AM EDT (#211)
    (User #221411 Info) http://lsewww.epfl.ch/wiesmann/

    Gee this is typical of the way of thinking only with part of the numbers (usually the easy ones). The problem in you reasoning is that you leave out all the 'hidden' costs.

    • you assume that the disposing of the cheap things that is broken is free (which is the topic of this post, I think).
    • you completly neglect the changing factor. True, buying a new car every two weeks might make sense in some economical logic, but you'll end up doing a lot of shopping and setting up. Think about computer, how many days do you loose when you have to change your computer and set up a new one.
    • You neglect the safety factor. You assume that the failure of the cheap object will have no consequences. Usually things break down when you need them not to break down.
      True, housing is much more expensive in europe, and even more so in switzerland. On the other hand, the roofs to not cave in or fly away when there is a little to much rain. I don't know the price of not having a roof and having all you things destroyed. Personnaly I would rate this as expensive.

    In general, things that make sense for the economy are not always good for me or even the people in general. I'm sure many wars made sense for the economy... But then again I'm one of those commie europeans... :-)


    Lead 5 to 8 pounds? Must be in the GLASS (Score:2)
    by redelm (redelm@ev1.net) on Monday September 18, @08:08AM EDT (#104)
    (User #54142 Info) http://users.ev1.net/~redelm
    I've taken apart monitors. Sometimes with high velocity lead :) [I live in Texas, where such things are highly approved of] Other than the customary wave soldered PC boards, I can see no metallic lead.

    That cathode-ray tube (CRT) is _very_ heavy, especially the front face. My guess is they've mixed alot of Lead oxide into the glass to reduce radiation emissions from the monitor -- meet the specs. But AFAIK, this Lead oxide is totally immobile and insoluble except in strong mineral acids and alkalis. Shouldn't have any of those in a landfill :)

    Re:And the lead leaches out *how*? (Score:1)
    by red@wetcoast.ca on Monday September 18, @09:54AM EDT (#129)
    (User #58846 Info)

    And this lead leaches out of the glass in the landfill how?

    Very slowly.

    Just because a chemical is said to be 'non-soluble' doesn't mean that it won't dissolve at all - it just means that the concentration of a saturated solution is below an arbitrary value. (1 mol/L, I believe.) So 'insoluble' lead will dissolve - extremely slowly - in water. If the water is moving, the dissolved atoms are carried away, and more can dissolve. This process happens in landfills and mines everywhere.

    According to the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, lead and its various oxides are insoluble in water - but soluble to varying degrees in nitric and sulphuric acid. Acid rain. So the leaded glass gets rained on in a landfill in the vicinity of a city, and over the years some of the lead is freed from the glass and gets into the groundwater. It's a very slow process (and happens to pretty much all of the heavy metals we find useful), which is why there are mines that have been closed and abandoned for years that they're suddenly reopening - for cleanup. Those mines had been silently leaking heavy metals and poisoning the land around them for years, and we're finally starting to learn to what extent they're screwing the local ecosystem up.

    Once the lead is in the groundwater, plants pick it up and concentrate it, animals eat those plants and concentrate it more, and animals and people get lead poisoning.

    Lead and the other heavy metals are freaking dangerous, more so because it's not immediately apparent that you've been poisoned.

    (On a tangent... Ever wonder where 'mad as a hatter' came from? Hatters made hats from felt. The process of making felt involved mercury. One of the symptoms of mercury poisoning was... madness.)

    -r@wc
    "When correctly viewed, everything is lewd
    I could tell you things about Peter Pan
    Or the Wizard of Oz...

    Re:And the lead leaches out *how*? (Score:1)
    by Forgotten on Monday September 18, @10:36PM EDT (#201)
    (User #225254 Info)
    It's not just acid rain - my understanding is that the average pH of a landfill is quite low. The other stuff that's thrown out with the lead (circuit boards et al) probably has a lot to do with this, acidifying the water that naturally flows through so that nasty heavy metals are liberated much more quickly.

    As for mercury, the poor old Mad Hatter got it much worse than you might think - they not only worked with the mercury, but licked the brims of felt hats to stiffen them. Mercury and lead are very rapidly absorbed across a mucous membrane (note to slashdotters - don't masturbate immediately after handling lead solder - or for you libertarians, lead ammo ;).

    Queen Victoria's death is also attributed to the heavy metals (cadmium?) in her Virgin-white makeup.
    Re:And the lead leaches out *how*? (Score:2)
    by Animats (slashdot-replies@animats.com) on Monday September 18, @02:24PM EDT (#184)
    (User #122034 Info) http://www.animats.com
    And this lead leaches out of the glass in the landfill how?

    Good point. Glass is very stable chemically. Glass and pottery are found intact in archeological sites thousands of years old.

    It's all about innovation... (Score:3, Interesting)
    by rsborg (mr_croissant@yahoo.com) on Monday September 18, @03:34AM EDT (#36)
    (User #111459 Info)
    If you check out the About AEA page, you'll be confronted with some scary stuff:

    It's all about innovation. It's all about competition. It's all about productivity, efficiency and success.

    Is it me, or has Microsft permanently tainted the word "innovation"? As another /.er's sig points out, you can tell how desperate they are by how many times they say the word "innovate"...

    You save money and gain clout. Most importantly you have a voice in Washington...

    What do these guys do? They lobby for your needs and wants on the hill (trade association). GREAT!!! How do I sign up?... Us geeks need to get our voice into this channel to the whitehouse!
    Wait, I can't. Because I must be a corporation. So how do we get a voice in this org? Does anyone here know anything more?

    "Never send a human to do a machine's job" - Agent Smith

    Re:It's all about innovation... (Score:1)
    by Alley Viper on Monday September 18, @09:56AM EDT (#130)
    (User #223881 Info)
    Is it me, or has Microsft permanently tainted the word "innovation"? As another /.er's sig points out, you can tell how desperate they are by how many times they say the word "innovate"...

    The definition of innovator from one of my sociology books: "One who achieves legitimate ends (fame, wealth) through illegitimate means." This definition dates back to well before Gates ever dropped out of Harvard.

    So not only has MS not "tainted" the word innovation, it's 100% correct in using it. Just not the way it thinks.

    Scientific American - Old News - Old Mistake (Score:2, Informative)
    by Jack9 (Jack9@teacher.com) on Monday September 18, @03:43AM EDT (#42)
    (User #11421 Info) http://www.jack9.org
    This EXACT claim was made in Scientific American awhile (year?) ago - monitors contain X pounds of lead that can leak into the environment. A few people shot back that this statistic was WAY off mark. The problem is that people are being mislead and not bothering to FUCKING THINK. The article was simply misworded. Actual lead by weight vs material (by weight) that can leak lead over time; 2 separate creatures. The entire piece of monitor glass can be a source of lead leaking into the water table - but that does NOT mean that the amount of lead (by weight) is 25% of the weight of the monitor.

    Often wrong but never in doubt.
    I am Jack9.
    Everyone knows me.
    Very Simple Solution (Score:5, Interesting)
    by CaptainZapp (astamberger.GO.BANG@YER.HEAD.hotmail.com) on Monday September 18, @03:53AM EDT (#48)
    (User #182233 Info)
    In Switzerland you pay a "recycling tax" up front when you buy computer equipment.

    It's fairly low, maybe somewhat in the 5-10$ range for an entire PeeCee.

    You buy the right to dump your equipment at designated areas (set up in every major city) from where it's recycled or disposed off environmentally friendly.

    The same system applies for other items which threaten the environment. I.e. 5-20 cents for a battery, ~40$ for a fridge, 1.20$ for a garbage bag etc...

    Of course I hear the corporate greed freaks and the relentless absolute capitalists yelling about anti competiveness and hurting businesses and people driving to france to get the stuff (which doesn't happen, since the VAT is 3 times as much) and then dump it in the woods.

    The problem with a totally free market however, is that it has a tendency to socialize costs - especially hidden costs like killing off the environment - but to privatize profits.

    In this light I think it's a very fair system where he who dumps pays and there is an incentive to dispose of stuff relatively environmentally friendly.

    Incoming...
    --

    Life is a Cabernet
    Re:Very Simple Solution (Score:2)
    by rongen (scott@prosebush.com) on Monday September 18, @05:58AM EDT (#86)
    (User #103161 Info) http://www.prosebush.com

    I lived in Switzerland for about a year and a half. I found it to be one of the cleanest places I had ever seen, and I was in quite a few small towns and a couple cities...

    Returning to Canada I was shocked at all the litter. I had grown used to people cleaning up after themselves and *gasp* not just throwing thier garbage into the street. Meanwhile I was also amazed at how hard it was to recycle things here. It's much better now where I live (we have "green bins" for garden waste and alternate weeks with garbage pick-up and "green" waste, etc). In Switzerland there were recycling bins EVERYWHERE, and garbage cops went through the trash to figure out if people were playing along with the disposal rules. It made you feel that the government, and people, of Switerland actually meant it when they said "Please recycle".

    --8<--
    read/write: http://www.prosebush.com

    Re:Very Simple Solution (Score:2)
    by Max von H. (themax at hotbot dot com) on Monday September 18, @08:22AM EDT (#106)
    (User #19283 Info)
    I live in Switzerland (in Geneva, to be exact), and after living in a couple of other countries, it's nice to be in a place where people don't just use trashcans because they're told to, but rather because they've taken consciousness of *who* is going to suffer from pollution and ultimately clean the mess (and pay for it): their kids.

    When I was a kid in the 70's and 80's, pollution wasn't an issue. Now you see thousands of ppl suffering from what we littered 20 years ago. HFC gas follows the same pattern (what's eating the ozone layer is what humans rejected about 30 years ago, wait for the big sun-tan).

    I was extremely suprised how new 'leaving a place clean' is to Americans. Some people there really thinkt the planet is a giant disposal bin and don't give a rat's ass as to *who* is going to suffer and clean the mess (your kids, folks).

    Yup, I think Europe is a bit ahead in that matter.

    Btw, we should all think about power consumption with our PCs. Heck, my oc'd PC with its big monitor must suck quite a lot. If only PPC or Transmeta CPUs and LCD panels were the rule, sure we could cancel building another electric plant...

    my 2 cents.

    /max

    Jesus saves. But Satan gets the rebound and scores!
    US, the land of milk and ignorance (Score:1)
    by jherber (shineonucrazydiamond@usa_dot_net) on Monday September 18, @10:51AM EDT (#146)
    (User #179099 Info)
    Yes, I agree that Europe has it correct on this front.

    We have no leadership in this area either, just the tiring, suppressive forces of an inefficient, bloated government that is bullied and manipulated by powerful, efficient, self-serving corporations.

    Our weakened masses are easily herded by the billion dollar marketing/advertising research agencies. Many, it seems, have chosen the unimpeded right to consume as an outlet, and a way to "turn off and tune out", rather than deal with reality.

    The end result is a country that ultimately consumes itself to death, relegating problem solving to the "next" generation.

    This is a bit of a rant, but there is a little truth in all ranting.

    jim

    win·dows n. - A tax for the technically ignorant.
    Re:US, the land of milk and ignorance (Score:1)
    by cda_fox on Monday September 18, @11:38AM EDT (#163)
    (User #230503 Info)
    Here here!

    Perhaps Americans could take a few tips from their neighbours to the north who subscribe more closely to the European model. As a Canadian living in the United States, I am shocked and dismayed by how much waste is accumulated here. For Canucks, it is de rigueur to recycle bottles, cans, aluminum, xmas trees, computers, and paper. (Paper is the biggest waste product and the most cheaply recycled resource). Garbage is an out of sight, out of mind phenomenon here. Computer waste is a toxic problem which must be addressed sooner rather than later - but this it is merely shit icing on a gross and unseemly garbage pile cake. The answer is voting for Green parties, and ousting these environmentally unconscious clowns.

    Yearning for a yankee-doodle-blue-box.

    p.s. we get our deposits back for our beer bottles and cans too!
    Re:Very Simple Solution (Score:1)
    by ripcrd (ripcrd6@nospam.yahoo.com) on Monday September 18, @01:29PM EDT (#180)
    (User #31538 Info)
    What's wrong with paying when you get rid of the device? If I'm the one that throws it in the trash, then I pay the fee. If I take the time to take aluminum cans in for recycling I get paid the going rate for aluminum by the pound (usually enough to fill my gas tank). After it becomes cost effective to recycle old PCs then maybe I get paid by the pound to drop off my PC. Remember there' gold contacts and other metal in there.
    --A mind is a terrible thing.
    Re:Very Simple Solution (Score:1)
    by CaptainZapp (astamberger.GO.BANG@YER.HEAD.hotmail.com) on Tuesday September 19, @04:27AM EDT (#210)
    (User #182233 Info)
    What's wrong with paying when you get rid of the device?

    After it becomes cost effective to recycle old PCs then maybe I get paid by the pound to drop off my PC.

    Your last remark answers your question...
    --

    Life is a Cabernet
    What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:5, Funny)
    by zpengo (jarcher@gmx.net.SPAM) on Monday September 18, @04:15AM EDT (#57)
    (User #99887 Info) http://www.mp3.com/jamesa
    How could anyone possibly throw away a computer? There are innumerable reasons to save computers. Some examples:
    • Donate it to charity.
    • Send it to a third-world nation.
    • Use it to show kids what you grew up with, so that they will really believe that you walked uphill both ways through the snow to school.
    • Start a computer museum.
    • Install Linux on it and use it to (insert anything here)
    • Use it for a doorstop.
    • Use it for a small table.
    • Donate some processor cycles to distributed processes such as SETI@home (go Team Slashdot!)
    • Create an NNTP server to support the slowly fading Usenet.
    • Teach your kids how to be 31337 h4x0rz with it.
    • Install it in your car to play MP3s.
    • GIVE IT TO ME FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
    • etc....


    Mountain Dew and Taco Bell

    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:2, Insightful)
    by psergiu (or.xennoc@ienetrap.uigres) on Monday September 18, @05:33AM EDT (#79)
    (User #67614 Info) http://linuxstart.com/~psergiu
    The problem with old computers is that they USE ELECTRICITY, and lots of. I wanted to grab hold of an old VAX server, but after checking its power consumption levels i deciced that with a year's electricity cost i could buy a significantly faster pentium or k5 which also would make less noise.

      And what to do with old 8/16bit machines which cannot run linux to save their asses ? Play a little with them and you will find them tooo slow for your liking (ever tried to use an 286 after using some almost-gigahertz machine ? the letters appear on the screen with a smaaal delay after you press the keys. When all i had was an 286 - i didn't noticed that, but now i do and after 10 minutes it becomes annoying)

      I am the proud owner of an 1987-or-something hercules monitor and video card, an 1985 vt100 terminal and lots of other old hardware which I use (cases, keyboards, floppy drives, controllers, arcnet network cards ...) and will use until the last miligram of magic smoke in them is out. But i thrown away the Z80, XT and 286 processor based boards as there was nothing i could do with them. (hint: most memory chips (256K*4) on 286 boards fit perfectly on old svga cards)

      Recycle/reuse as much as you can. Upgrade/repair as much as it's possible. Recycle what you can't.

    --
    Win a 66Gb VXA Tape Drive !
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by tzanger (tzanger@spam.blows.mixdown.org) on Monday September 18, @09:37AM EDT (#120)
    (User #1575 Info) http://www.mixdown.org

    (ever tried to use an 286 after using some almost-gigahertz machine ? the letters appear on the screen with a smaaal delay after you press the keys. When all i had was an 286 - i didn't noticed that, but now i do and after 10 minutes it becomes annoying)

    I use an NEC-V20 (19MHz XT) now and again and there is NO noticeable delay between keypress and display. Either you're superhuman or you've got your video card set to about 3 trillion wait states...


    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:2)
    by Ed Avis (epa98@doc.ic.ac.uk) on Tuesday September 19, @05:50AM EDT (#212)
    (User #5917 Info) http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~epa98/
    It isn't always true that old machines burn lots of power, not PCs anyway. 386 and 486 processors run much cooler than the Pentium or its successors, and it looks to me as if other parts like memory also use less power. Old hard disks are much thirstier than their modern equivalents but that doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

    For example, I have a PS/2 Model 55SX which powers 16 megs of RAM (including eight SIMMs on an expansion card), a 1987-model 3c523 Ethernet card, XGA-2 accelerated video and a 120Mbyte ESDI disk all from a 90W power supply. It's because none of these older components need much power - the only heatsink is on the video card.

    -- Ed Avis epa98@doc.ic.ac.uk
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by taniwha on Monday September 18, @05:42AM EDT (#81)
    (User #70410 Info) http://www.taniwha.com/nospam.jpg
    Install Linux on it and use it to (insert anything here) ah ... a physical pr0n server .... well whatever floats your boat ...... make sure you have full medical insurance ......
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by Technician on Monday September 18, @05:44AM EDT (#83)
    (User #215283 Info)
    If you visit the Pacific Northwest sometime, look me up. You can have my IBM PS/2 model 70 free. It's too hard for me to find microchannel cards for it to make it usefull. Non Microsoft operating system included with books. (PC DOS)
    The truth shall set you free!
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by LordNimon on Monday September 18, @09:58AM EDT (#131)
    (User #85072 Info) http://www.warpstock.de
    Try eBay. There are tons of MCA boards for about $5 on there. Heck, I even bought a new motherboard for my 70 for about $60.
    --
    Join other OS/2 users at Warpstock Europe, Karlsruhe, Germany Oct 13-15
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by suss on Monday September 18, @05:51AM EDT (#84)
    (User #158993 Info)
    How could anyone possibly throw away a computer?
    There are innumerable reasons to save computers.
    Some examples:

    Send it to a third-world nation.
    I know several Dutch government departments used to do this, old PC's were shipped off to Africa. Nowadays it's mostly destroyed... what a waste.

    Install Linux on it and use it to (insert anything here)
    I am posting this through an abandoned (left at the trash) compaq prolinea 466 running as a linux router as we speak.

    Use it for a doorstop. - Use it for a small table.
    I am using several empty cases like that.

    And ofcourse, i'm still using old (486/P100) computers, they still run fine as long as you dont run newer games.

    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by jovlinger (NOjohanCAPS@ccs.neu.edu) on Monday September 18, @10:51AM EDT (#145)
    (User #55075 Info) http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=userinfo&nick=jovlinger
    Cost, cost.

    Retrofitting old computers is expensive; the shoeleather cost in making them work is considerable. Given that they are heavy (c.f. lead in monitors) I can well understand how shipping them isn't cost effective.

    Basically, old computers are so cheap and bulky that if you have to "process" (ship, configure, fix) them in any way, they are no longer worth the measly performance they deliver.

    This is why road paving makes sense; it is a uniform (==cheap) process to melt and extract the gold from PCBs, and the resulting slag is at least a bit more compact than before.

    Tho I don't know if I want my road's paved with lead. I perfer good intentions. Where does that road go, again?

    I'd stop coming back if this place wasn't so funny

    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by jovlinger (NOjohanCAPS@ccs.neu.edu) on Monday September 18, @10:55AM EDT (#148)
    (User #55075 Info) http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=userinfo&nick=jovlinger
    grr. grammar (getting alot of this lately)

    s/road's/roads/

    I'd stop coming back if this place wasn't so funny

    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by Mr Windows on Monday September 18, @06:38AM EDT (#91)
    (User #91218 Info) http://www.dur.ac.uk/stephen.rank/
    Suggestions for old hardware:
    • Donate it to charity.
    • Send it to a third-world nation
    The problem with the above is that the people who receive the equipment are, by definition, those who can least afford the expertise, time, and money to keep them going when parts fail (as they do on older machines), especially in the 3rd world, where it's next to impossible to get hold of spare parts. These problems don't, however, apply to the one-year-old machines that get dumped too often.

    Reusing hardware---which is a good thing wherever possible---only postpones the problem; eventually all machines will die. ATM, we seem to pay too little attention to our impact on the environment, in lots of things from our petrol usage, to our PC disposal. Certainly we should do as much as possible to reduce the environmental impact of our old hardware, as far as possible.

    Just my ukp 0.02.

    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by aozilla on Monday September 18, @07:49AM EDT (#102)
    (User #133143 Info)
    hehe, dump it off on a local charity, let them figure out how to recycle it.
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by Kristopher Johnson on Monday September 18, @09:20AM EDT (#115)
    (User #129906 Info)
    I actually did use my old Macintosh SE as a doorstop for a while. But I don't think anyone got the joke.
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:2)
    by Hard_Code on Monday September 18, @09:42AM EDT (#121)
    (User #49548 Info)
    I was just thinking of this! "Throw" computers away? Whah? I'd think it was some wierd Simpsons episode, if, for example, people weren't ACTUALLY using computers to pave roads.

    Big corporations got the hurt on you? Vote Nader
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by JCMay (jcmay@k2services.com) on Monday September 18, @09:59AM EDT (#134)
    (User #158033 Info) http://brevard.net/~jeffmay
    I'd like to comment on zpengo's first bullet point: donating old computers to a charity.

    My wife teaches at a local private school, and I helped get many of the donated computers going.

    I can't tell you how many name-brand computers we threw away due to their proprietery features. With little budget and manpower, they just don't have the ability to support things like:

    • Micro Channel All the IBM PS/2s we got went right in the dumpster.
    • non-standard MB form factors Goodby to Compaq and many other name-brand machines; your custom, non-standard system boards aren't interchangeable.
    • Macintosh A boat load of LC-IIIs, Mac IIs and the like went home with a student who likes Macs; at least he kept them out of the dumpster.
    My point: if you want to keep computer hardware out of the dumpster, a good way to start is by increasing the interoperability between brands. In other words, use commodity items that can be swapped in or out with other people.

    Jeff
    I don't have time to write a .sig :(

    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:2)
    by Mtgman on Monday September 18, @11:37AM EDT (#162)
    (User #195502 Info)
    Donate it to the Stone Soupercomputer project

    http://www.cs.ndsu.nodak.edu/~xpan/beowulf/stoneSoup/beowulf.html

    That's what I intend to do with my PC once it's no longer worth upgrading.

    Steven
    -- I have marked myself unwilling to moderate-- I don't have other accounts to artificially inflate the karma of :p
    Wait 'til I find you bloody sinners! Repent! (Score:1)
    by psicic (psicic.nospam@ireland.nospam.com.nospam) on Monday September 18, @12:28PM EDT (#170)
    (User #171000 Info) http://members.xoom.com/alexbowie8/index.htm
    Oh my God....
    Companies are big bastards (excuse my language, kiddies!). I know some management types who hooked me up with some primo 386 servers their company had decided to throw out - my God, they are great for the old home network. The company was going to dump them, I gave my friend £20 and got them off him. He gained, I gained and the company(which is tiny) didn't lose out!
    Why do companies just dump their equipment? Another friend got a stack of Simms, a handful of processors and three colour laptops with batteries when he had a Summer job with a removal company - IBM moved its Irish offices and had just earmarked thousands of pounds worth of great hardware for dumping!! (He didn't give me any though!)
    I've also found lots of slightly damaged monitors and aging computers at the dump - with problems that are easily fixed...
    If I EVER see someone dumping out a computer, they are going to get an earfull from me - there are plenty of extremely poor people who could use them and plenty of geeks (like me) who just want them...

    I don't, by-in-large, give to charity, but I know one thing, if I ever saw equipment being dumped in a company (or university) that I worked in, I'd have the guts to ask for the stuff (or maybe come back when no one is around and take the stuff) and actually give it to a charity shop or someone who needed or wanted a computer.

    "Concrete analysis of concrete situations..."
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by rhino777 (bombassdiggity@fly.com) on Monday September 18, @05:10PM EDT (#191)
    (User #96243 Info) http://www.the-wall.net
    Or just give it the glock-glock like in Office Space!!

    rhino


    Because it feels like something I've done before, yeah I could fake it but I'd still want more...
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by superlame on Tuesday September 19, @12:49AM EDT (#207)
    (User #48021 Info)
    Well, so far all the charities that I've talked to refuse anything older than a mid-range pentium. However, I keep all pentiums and some of the high-end 486s that come my way, so I only want to dump low-end 486s and older.

    And have you seen shipping to send old machines to third world contries?

    Every computer museam has hundreds of the machines that come my way, and I'm getting rid of old machines because I don't have space for them. Starting my own museaum isn't going to help the space problem.

    Frankly I have enough linux machines. I don't really need to spend the time cramming linux onto a 386 when I could be doing real work instead.

    I have no use for door more door stops. Especially not ones as large as a PC case. Likewise, I have no use for such small tables.

    So, SETI@home runs on old 16bit machines does it? Even so, I'd save money buying a new machine that eats less power and churns through the numbers faster.

    I have more than ample capacity on my 486 gateway to act as an NNTP server (and in fact it does, carying the groups I like). Why do I need to keep older slower machines around to do this?

    I don't have kids. Nor do I have a girl-friend, so kids aren't going to happen anytime soon.

    I'd love to see a car playing MP3s on a 386.

    Now we get to the interesting one. I have a 386 of some sort, and a 486sx, 25 mhz. If you want to drive across the country to pick them up (or pay shipping. These machines are heavy though), you are welcome to them. However, you would be better served to scour the classifieds in you local newspaper.
    -- Superlame http://catpro.dragonfire.net/joshua/
    Re:What??? Blasphemy!!! (Score:1)
    by Fearomone (nSsePptAa2Mm0@cSsaPpm.aAac.uMmk) on Tuesday September 19, @05:31PM EDT (#215)
    (User #157473 Info)
    Use it to watch old demos which either won't work, go insanely fast, or get out of synch on any Pentium or higher?
    Guess I'd better... (Score:2, Funny)
    by garbs (garbutt@mjhfan.com) on Monday September 18, @04:29AM EDT (#67)
    (User #121069 Info) http://www.mjhfan.com/garbutt/
    Guess I'd better hurry up and invent the lead to gold converter then, I'll be rich I tell you, RICH =P

    Time to go back to the insanity ward.


    --
    Gone on a long walk off a short pier, carrying my pet rock.
    Re:Guess I'd better... (Score:1)
    by Alley Viper on Monday September 18, @09:58AM EDT (#132)
    (User #223881 Info)
    I never understood the appeal of alchemy. If people could convert lead into gold, wouldn't the supply of gold skyrocket, thereby negatively impacting the price of gold until it was about as cheap as lead?
    Re:Guess I'd better... (Score:1)
    by virg_mattes on Monday September 18, @01:18PM EDT (#178)
    (User #230616 Info)
    Two things made alchemy viable: 1: Whoever got it to work first would make a killing before the market got flooded with cheap gold. If they were smart enough to convert this newfound wealth into something more durable (like land or gems or such) more the better. 2: Back when alchemy was big, gold was a lot more useful than lead, and also much prettier. So, switching lead into gold (even if gold wasn't worth much more than lead) still had its value. After all, even when lead and bronze were about of the same value not many people wanted to decorate with lead. Virg
    All this argument over LEAD when... (Score:5, Insightful)
    by garagekubrick (domu13@yahoodotcom) on Monday September 18, @04:56AM EDT (#70)
    (User #121058 Info) http://lifs.org.uk
    Anyone who's done a fair amount of dumpster diving knows that people THROW COMPUTER S**T AWAY all the damn time, perfectly good usable equipment. It's incredible. Just a few months ago I scored three 17 inch monitors off the street that were off to the dumps cause an architectural firm moved to flat screens.

    Whether or not the lead leaks the fact is obsolence in this field is FAST and the result is that so much silicon and plastic and so on has got to pile up somewhere. Whether or not there is leakage from contaminants, these extremely non biodegradeable materials will have to take up some space because they get thrown away so often.

    The other thing to think about is that geeks often forget that computation is ubiquitious and therefore everyone has computers and doesn't know what to do with old ones. Most people wouldn't know how to jury rig old systems together with obsolete parts and find a use for them - and those are the majority of computer users today.

    For that matter, the computing industry as a whole is totally screwed by complete lack of ingenuity when it comes to recycling. Just recently I had a leftover case and p350 proc, and all I wanted was a very small, very cheap hard drive, new, to make a machine for my girlfriend. Since I'm in a small town in the US at the moment I can't go to my usual urban haunts with used parts, and my options are to basically buy a new 20 gig drive and that's it.

    And one other thing - laminated chipboard is some of the most durable stuff on earth. It's nearly frigging invincible to the elements. And it's already started to pile up, and boy is it gonna get worse. Whether or not you think computers are safe to dump without contamination to the environment, fact is that the landfill is land that could, say, be a park for kids to play in.

    Just some friendly idealism and simplicity from someone who considers outta sight outta mind to be one of the most dangerous attitudes out there.


    "I am not a gun"

    Re:All this argument over LEAD when... (Score:2)
    by puppet10 on Monday September 18, @05:27AM EDT (#78)
    (User #84610 Info)
    Here's a link for all your old parts needs.

    This is if you don't have an electronic surplus place (a useful resource if you need video cards, full height 5 1/4" 8" Floppy drives etc. for AT/AX or other old machines) in your town/city .
    -------- This space intentionally left blank --------
    Re:All this argument over LEAD when... (Score:1)
    by Hnice (hniceatcrazygrandpadotcom) on Monday September 18, @10:18AM EDT (#139)
    (User #60994 Info)
    Right on!

    This weekend alone, I found 2 40x cd roms, a 15", and a couple of (almost certainly useless) hd's in the trash. the only hardware i buy anymore is stuff that's kind of specialized (ie, it's pretty tought to find non-winmodems in people's trash). i'm just finishing putting together the parts for a pair of M.A.M.E. cocktail tables, and all i've purchased is a nice set of speakers and two k6-2's to replace p166s.

    Point, of course, is that as computers are perceieved (rightly, from a usability standpoint) as being indivisible units, closed and glued shut, by most folks, when they chuck them, they're probably getting rid of tons of stuff that's still perfectly good. They don't know the difference, they don't care to take the trouble to take shit apart and re-use it, and who'd blame them?

    I think that the idea that manufacturers being held responsible for this might be scary, but that it's not too far from the mark -- in fact, these are people who make their $ on the basis of people upgrading. They've got a stake in people's chucking their old hardware, and as such, they have an ethical (if not legal) responsibility here to attempt, in the process of gouging consumers by selling them the next greatest thing, not to produce too much more trash than is necessary.

    we measure success one karma point at a time.

    sit and fester (Score:1)
    by CLorox (clorspam@marblehead.com) on Monday September 18, @05:13AM EDT (#73)
    (User #7 Info) http://wack.net
    Actually this may get really bad before it gets better. I find that most computers are not actually thrown away, but sit in basements closets and attics for long periods of time.

    Many people who purchased $2000 machines a few years ago find it is painful to throw it away with the garbage. I dont really blame them, but I would not find it hard to believe if most of the world's computers were sitting alone in the farthest corners of the average home.

    This will happen eventually in the USA (Score:3, Informative)
    by CoderDevo on Monday September 18, @05:21AM EDT (#75)
    (User #30602 Info)
    Here is a list of current regulations in the USA for the disposal of electronic equipment including CRT's. National Recycling Coalition EPA and the Display Industry State of Massachusetts CRT Recycling Right now, it is the consumer's responsability to dispose of these electronics following national & local regulations. In the future, it will be the electronics manaufacturers' responsability.
    Recycling a Monitor is a Bear (Score:5, Informative)
    by ewhac on Monday September 18, @05:57AM EDT (#85)
    (User #5844 Info) http://www.best.com/~ewhac/

    ...At least in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    We had 19 (count 'em) monitors that were just going to get tossed. Ordinarily we would have roof-disposed them (tossed them off the roof of our four-story building and watch them go *smash*; quite entertaining for a typical male geek), but I had just read how much toxic crud is in these things, and sought to get them recycled.

    It turns out there's only one organization even remotely set up to recycle monitors in the Bay Area (and, if I had my notes in front of me, I'd post their contact info). It took me a day to actually locate this organization, a few more days to actually speak to a live person, and even then I was informed that, unless one of their people just happened to be in the area, on-site pick ups were, as a rule, not something they did (since they didn't charge for the service).

    To make a long story short, they said they'd get back to me. The monitors languished in our hallway for two months, taking up space. They finally disappeared last week, but I have no idea where to. Frankly, I'm afraid to ask.

    So if you want to be environmentally conscious in the Bay Area with more than just soda cans and newspapers, you're going to have to work at it. No one's providing the service.

    Schwab

    Re:Recycling a Monitor is a Bear (Score:1)
    by Paul_Hustava on Monday September 18, @07:38AM EDT (#100)
    (User #74224 Info)
    Same problem here in St. Louis. I had a hard time finding an environmentally aware waste disposal company to get rid of the 24 monitors I had laying around.

    I finally was put in touch with a reseller who gave me $10 each for them. I figured any price beats paying to have them hauled away.

    I wrote the serial numbers down on the bill of sale and had the purchaser sign it just incase they were found on a river bank or something.
    Also known as "ain't gonna happen" in Baltimore. (Score:1)
    by Perianwyr Stormcrow (stormcrow-at-bigfoot-dot-com) on Monday September 18, @11:16AM EDT (#156)
    (User #157913 Info) http://www.lilim.org
    Hoo boy. Here you can't even recycle cans for pickup- fuck if I'll be able to recycle monitors... we have this huge problem in the warehouse where my business is located with spare monitors. Most of them work (which I immediately take to my evil lab and use for evil projects) but what do I do with those that don't? I leave them, because I can't do anything with a 20 inch non working monochrome workstation monitor.

    Recycle it? Ha! Even if I could find a place, I;m sure they'd charge our building more than we could pay to get rid of the damn things.

    The environmental impact of so many discarded computer systems has been a problem that we need to deal with forever... but like all social problems in a nominally capitalist society, we won't deal with it until rich people start dying from it...

    --Perianwyr Stormcrow
    Amor non tenet ordinem.
    Just don't sell there (Score:1)
    by BigTom (tom@novikings.lynch-fm.demon.co.uk) on Monday September 18, @06:17AM EDT (#88)
    (User #38321 Info)
    If the Euros want to cripple themselves with over taxation, fine. Its a trivial market compared to the US anyway. After a few years their technology will have fallen behind the US's as their legislation cripples innovation and their best people go to the US where the real money is.

    Then US companies can set their own terms and sell them whatever they like.
    Re:Just don't sell there (Score:1)
    by Shimbo on Monday September 18, @06:37AM EDT (#90)
    (User #100005 Info)
    If the Euros want to cripple themselves with over taxation, fine. Its a trivial market compared to the US anyway.

    That's trivial in the sense of "bigger" then, is it?

    Re:Just don't sell there (Score:2)
    by ostiguy on Monday September 18, @09:49AM EDT (#125)
    (User #63618 Info)
    No, Europe is a bigger market population wise than the US, but the European Commission= European Union = smaller pop. wise than the US.


    Re:Just don't sell there (Score:1)
    by Yokaze on Monday September 18, @07:10AM EDT (#95)
    (User #70883 Info)
    Following the motto:
    "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."
          Mark Twain

    I'd rather say:
    "If you think education is expensive, Try Ignorance!!!"
          Andy McIntyre

    So go for it.

    "There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action."
          Goethe

    Recycling anything. (Score:1)
    by maligor on Monday September 18, @07:32AM EDT (#97)
    (User #100107 Info)
    Better to make such a law sooner than later, I know many will reject it because it raises the prices. But in the long run it will make the manufacturers (hopefully) make products that are easier to recycle.

    How long can we keep up the living standards if we waste perfectly good material? Asia is growing fast, we'll drown in carbage unless ofcourse NATO decides that it's a good day to send a few nukes to Asia.
    toxic LCDs (Score:1)
    by psergiu (or.xennoc@ienetrap.uigres) on Monday September 18, @07:34AM EDT (#98)
    (User #67614 Info) http://linuxstart.com/~psergiu
    Does anyone knows what toxic stuff might be in the LCD screens ?

    And what are the usual life expectations fon an LCD vs an CRT ?

    --
    Win a 66Gb VXA Tape Drive !
    Re:toxic LCDs (Score:1)
    by mikael_j (mikael.jacobsonMEEPT@MEEPThome.se) on Tuesday September 19, @12:28PM EDT (#213)
    (User #106439 Info) http://nollbudget.copy.orsa.se
    Well, I used to have a 486 laptop that must have been 6-8 years old, and I recently got rid of it because the monitor was getting pretty worn out.
    (Unfortunately, I don't know anything about toxins and such things in LCD monitors, so I can't give you any answers there...)

    Mikael Jacobson
    Why do I always forget what my .sig looks like?
    We need more DIY recycling ala 2600 Australia (Score:2, Interesting)
    by biftek on Monday September 18, @08:23AM EDT (#107)
    (User #145375 Info)
    Down here in Oz, 2600, the "hacker" group has a mailing list for old hardware (see 2600 Australia). Anyone with old hardware is encouraged to post, a reasonable amount of stuff goes through the list. Most is free, some is traded for a few beers etc.

    What I'm wondering is, how can more businesses be encouraged to participate in this kind or recycling. Obviously they have the most disposable hardware, but its often hard to find it. They're probably prefer to give it away than have people take it from their dumpster......

    We already pay these fees for cars.... (Score:2, Interesting)
    by mikeboone on Monday September 18, @08:59AM EDT (#112)
    (User #163222 Info) http://boonedocks.net/mike
    It's just that we pay them at repair time. Any time I have my oil changed, I pay a disposal fee. Same thing goes for tires. As long as this money is actually going to dispose of these things in an enviromentally sound way, I'm happy to pay it. So let me pay to dispose of my PC parts at the time when I'm finished with them, not at the beginning.

    Europeans seem to "get" the clean-earth idea more than we Americans do. Probably because they don't have thousands of acres of desert to dump stuff in. This country needs to make it easy to dispose of things the right way. Until then, PC parts, batteries, paint, etc. will simply go in the trash. :(
    Re:We already pay these fees for cars.... (Score:1)
    by Happy Monkey on Monday September 18, @09:59AM EDT (#133)
    (User #183927 Info)
    Landfills are just delayed recycling. It's the ocean dumping that is truly wasteful - when we need it, it will be very expensive to trawl the ocean. Of course, the toxins are the real worry.
    ___
    Length 17, Width 3
    FYI Burning (Score:2)
    by debrain (bmh(at)canada.com) on Monday September 18, @09:48AM EDT (#124)
    (User #29228 Info)
    Just an addition: Computers cannot be burnt, legally at any rate, since their emmissions have a dangerous amount of mustard gas, which is a highly potent mutagen and "extremely effective" carcinogen (ie. oxidant catalyst, if I remember correctly). Or at least, the 1980 counterparts of modern computers did, which I believe is what the issue here is with.
    Corporate responsibility and computer recycling (Score:1)
    by drin on Monday September 18, @09:49AM EDT (#126)
    (User #83479 Info)
    I used to work for a corporation that had an official policy of not giving old computers to staff or charity. Instead they stored them in a warehouse gathering dust. This was done because of a fear of litigation from the EPA if their machines were ever found in a landfill. They claimed they knew of a corporation that was sued by the EPA after machines they had given to a church were discarded in a landfill. It was really sad to see machines less than six months old sitting on a shelf knowing no-one would ever get any use out of them...


    Sadly, that's probably their wisest option... (Score:1)
    by Perianwyr Stormcrow (stormcrow-at-bigfoot-dot-com) on Monday September 18, @11:23AM EDT (#158)
    (User #157913 Info) http://www.lilim.org
    Since recycling is a negative-sum operation at this point (all involved end up with less than they started with) it's not feasible for the small organizations who take the machines to perform the eventual disposal operation.

    As time goes on, we're building computers out of little more than cheap, toxic crap- what can we do?


    --Perianwyr Stormcrow
    Amor non tenet ordinem.
    Ideas offered and needed (Score:4, Insightful)
    by hey! (mattleo@treehouse.acrcorp.com) on Monday September 18, @10:21AM EDT (#141)
    (User #33014 Info)
    The HP manager they quoted said "The cost of recycling -- because there is a cost, it doesn't happen for free and it doesn't generate positive revenues -- has never been a part of the commercial equation." The problem is that disposal has never been part of the equation either. The standard model is this: pass the cost onto the consumer, who passes the cost onto the municipality, who passes the cost onto future generations. The problem is that this has been going on so long we are the future generation.

    Paul Hawken, the entrepreneur and environmental thinker, suggests that appliances such as computers, TVs, washing machines and the like be leased rather than sold, with the manufacturer. The retailers would become leasing agents. At the end of the lease period the manufacturer would have to take the appliance back. The reason for this is that because the manufacturer has to deal with the waste, it would have incentive to engineer their products to be more recyclable. Even for things like circuit boards which are hard to recycle, the physical concentration would increase the economic viability of investing in the technology to recover the materials.

    If a fraction of the emphasis that is placed on styling and packaging were placed on recycling, much more of the materials, including toxic materials such as lead and cadmium, could be recaptured from the waste stream and turned into products.

    The problem with this scenario is that its hard to change business models; although many businesses currently lease computers, they retain them at the end because after a couple of years a computer is essentially trash. Perhaps the rising disposal fees for computers will incent consumers to prefer a lease and give-it-back program. However I doubt dumping fees will ever truly reflect the true cost, for one thing because they must be small enough to make risking illegal dumping not worthwhile. Perhaps if businesses are hit with a $200 disposal fee for a computer, the lease and give it back option would be more attractive.

    Sustainability is a tautology. Businesses will adopt environmentally sustainable models because not to do so is, well, unsustainable. But this is a lot like saying if there is a fire in your house, eventually it will burn itself out. The question remains is what will our environmental quality of life be? The key is to take steps now when the problem is small enough that liquidating our environmental assets doesn't seem economically rational.

    For more information, I recommend visiting the Natural Step website. The Natural Step is an organization promoting a business friendly environemntal practices based on least common denominator scientific positions.


    ---- Wen Ho Lee has been freed!
    turn old computers into art, or at least let me! (Score:2, Interesting)
    by not_you on Monday September 18, @10:30AM EDT (#142)
    (User #81086 Info)
    my friend and i are in preliminary stages of finding cool ways to turn old computers and their peripherals, including monitors, into artwork...
    anybody have parts for us / urls / ideas? anything would be appreciated, no matter how obsolete... we're not looking at a mass-production kinda thing, but a custom, work-by-work approach...
    seriously, if you have old hardware, please contact me at probably@innocent.com or my coartist:) at therealbean@yahoo.com
    if it's something cool or just a lot of generic stuff, we'd be willing to pick it up or possibly pay shipping, even though we are artists who are pretty near starving:)... thanx in advance
    Old computers into art (Score:1)
    by virg_mattes on Monday September 18, @01:38PM EDT (#181)
    (User #230616 Info)
    I had an idea that I may be able to execute myself, but I'd love to see any (and every)body else try as well. I have a big stack of old 486 parts that our company resigned to the basement. I've rescued them and I'm in the process of building a Beowulf cluster to get some use out of them. However, I don't have any cases for all of these computers, so I came up with a novel idea. I'm going to hang the parts jellyfish-style on the walls nearby, with wires connecting them to power and each other. The blinky-light factor is incredible, it's performance art, and it's a useable supercomputer to boot (pardon the pun)! I don't know if I'm going to be able to pull it off (getting the wall space is actually an issue with 14 computers to hook up) but if I can it'll probably get a writeup in Wired. Or Better Homes and Gardens. Well, okay, maybe Wired. Virg
    Abandoned Computer Effort (Score:1)
    by tarsi210 (tarsi@210binhost.com210) on Monday September 18, @11:12AM EDT (#153)
    (User #70325 Info) http://www.binhost.com/~tarsi
    From the: It's-too-darn-cute-to-throw-away! dept.

    There has been for awhile an effort to create "Computer Shelters", lists of people willing to take in and house computers that were no longer wanted by others. This is still a large effort, and I urge you if you have interest in this to sign up at one, or all of, the shelters available. It doesn't mean that you have to take any computer offered, but it does get your name and contact info out there to people looking to give computers to a better home.

    Some of the shelter members use the computers themselves around the house, others clean them up and repair/upgrade them and then give them to charitable causes, relatives, etc. Apparently on the east and west coast a lot of shelters have given away compact Macs to a lot of kids who think they are the greatest! It's good to think that this older hardware is up to something good.

    Here is the list of available resources that I know of dealing with Abandoned Computer Shelters, etc.:
    Jessicat's JMUG Shelter List, although this is down right now, you can view the cached copy HERE
    Tarsi's Abandoned Computer Shelter List
    California Computer Recycling
    Share the Technology
    No good reason to throw them away when they're wanted! :)

    OrangeCAM!
    Responsibility isn't just on the manufacturers (Score:2)
    by Junks Jerzey on Monday September 18, @11:13AM EDT (#154)
    (User #54586 Info)
    I see lots of comments about recycling and about donating computers to charity. Recyling is good, yes, but a good part of the problem falls on the shoulders of the consumer. How many computers have you bought in the last ten years? How many times have you upgraded your video card? How many times have you bought a larger hard drive?

    Upgrading can be good, but I think we're in a bad cycle of upgrading and not getting solidly tangible results from the upgrade. Okay, a bigger hard drive will let you store more stuff. But at the same time, the average game is taking 500MB to install. A video card may be faster, but are developers really taking good advantage of that card, or is it that developers were only taking 40% advantage of the previous generation, so you upgraded to make up the difference? When you look back at the amazing stuff being done on the five year old PlayStation--which has specs that aren't even up to the Voodoo 1 level--and see games that frequently look like high-end PC games, it makes you wonder.

    About donating to charity: you need to be careful not to use this as a way to justify your consumerism. The Salvation Army and other charities gets heaps of junk dumped on them that they often end up having to pay to get hauled away. Mattresses hard difficult to recycle, so mattress stores often talk about how they'll give your old mattress to charity for you. It's common for charities to not know what to do with thousands of old, stained mattresses, so they just dump them. You can't funnel the castaways of hundreds of millions of people down the much smaller charity pipe.
    Amusingly, I still have all the old stuff... (Score:1)
    by Perianwyr Stormcrow (stormcrow-at-bigfoot-dot-com) on Monday September 18, @11:30AM EDT (#160)
    (User #157913 Info) http://www.lilim.org
    people call me a computer pack rat, and I suppose that's more or less true- I've got piles of old stuff that was state of the art years ago down in my evil lab, and a lot of it (most notably, the monitors!) is still in service.

    I'm afraid of what will happen if my house catches on fire. It will probably kill everyone in a block radius.

    --Perianwyr Stormcrow
    Amor non tenet ordinem.
    There's already legislation out against it. (Score:2, Informative)
    by AFCArchvile on Monday September 18, @11:22AM EDT (#157)
    (User #221494 Info)
    In Massachusetts, it's now illegal to dump a monitor, television, or other cathode-ray tube device without obtaining a permit. Last year, my PC class had to chuck ten ancient monitors; we just made it, because the deadline hadn't hit. However, I wonder how this will affect educational institutions and their tenacity to old hardware.
    Software designers are so infatuated with the fact that they can, that they don't stop to think if they should.
    FBI/CIA/NSA (Score:1)
    by Fervent (fervent@NOSPAM.slc.edu) on Monday September 18, @12:39PM EDT (#172)
    (User #178271 Info)
    Read an interesting article about how the FBI/CIA/NSA used to deal with floppy disks with classified informations. First they burned them. Then they apparently break up and smash them into as many small pieces as possible. Finally, they try to mix them with other broken disks in a private landfill so that noone can piece together the contents.

    No joke.

    Comment about /. (Score:1)
    by mach-5 on Monday September 18, @12:56PM EDT (#173)
    (User #73873 Info)
    This comment isn't about the article per say. Ok, it was a good article, however, why do things like this get posted? I submitted an article about some Windows ME bugs that never made it. I guess that stuff just isn't important. Maybe because its actually useful information that someone might care about.
    Mmmmmm! Donuts! -Homer S.
    Old computer (Score:1)
    by Geccoman on Monday September 18, @01:15PM EDT (#177)
    (User #18319 Info) http://www.mostlygizzards.com
    I'll admit, I don't usually keep anything 386, but I'd love to drive down a road and think "Yep, my computer helped build this road..."


    I don't need a .sig
    Actual recycling data (Score:2)
    by Animats (slashdot-replies@animats.com) on Monday September 18, @02:39PM EDT (#185)
    (User #122034 Info) http://www.animats.com
    DMC Recycling says leaded glass is only 8% of the electronics scrap they process. And that includes the glass; lead is probably around 1-2%.

    There are some mechanized plants for shredding old electronics and separating out ferrous scrap, nonferrous metallic scrap, nonmetallic heavy scrap (chips, ceramics, glass, etc.), and "fluff" (light plastic, insulation, etc.). The metallic scrap can be recycled profitably, but it's hard to find something useful to do with the nonmetallic stuff. DMC Recycling says they can recycle about 97% by weight of what comes in.

    Electronics Recycling in Oregon (Score:1)
    by CapnMatt (mfvwsrm5dry001@sneakemail.com) on Monday September 18, @03:33PM EDT (#188)
    (User #120969 Info)
    Does anyone know of anywhere to recycle electronics in Oregon? I've got an old 20 inch b/w Sun monitor I REALLY want to dump.
    --- Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt
    recycling deposits. (Score:1)
    by lord kiwano on Monday September 18, @03:47PM EDT (#189)
    (User #124877 Info)
    why not just use the pop bottle/can method inflated a few hundredfold? Comanies that sell household electronics and the like are charged a $100 environment tax, of which, say $60 is returned to the customer when the equipment is taken to a recycling depot, and the other $40 used to cover the cost of running said recycling depot? that and you make it mandatory for computer vendors to mention that the end-of-its-life computer is returnable for the depotis on their invoices.
    Old COmputers and the environment (Score:1)
    by DefNrok on Monday September 18, @05:12PM EDT (#192)
    (User #234105 Info)
    where did the lead come from in the first place, silly.......and all of the other components.....if we put it back in the earth, future generations will be able to USE IT AS FUEL or something
    Lick your monitor. Feel any stupider? (Score:1)
    by Zigurd on Monday September 18, @09:25PM EDT (#198)
    (User #3528 Info) http://www.phonezone.com/telirati
    Some 80-90% of a monitor's wieght is in the glass in the front of the CRT. It's lead and thickness that makes the glass so heavy. But to make this out as a threat to the environment is silly. Lick your monitor. Go ahead. Lick it. I mean a really big sloppy lick so that your boss gives you a few days off because he thinks you've cracked. Other than due to the utter foolishness of what you have just done, do you feel any stupider? Of course not. The lead in the monitor is going to stay in the glass of the monitor until way after a meteor blows us all to smithereens.
    Where's the beef... eerr... lead? (Score:1)
    by lanner (jesse_molina@globalcenter.net) on Tuesday September 19, @12:14AM EDT (#206)
    (User #107308 Info) http://globalcenter.net
    Where is the lead? Inside of the tube wall? I think that estimate is way overblown.

    I just took apart an old 17" IBM monitor and threw most of the guts away. I got some damn good aluminum and SOLID copper transistor heat sinks out of there, along with the LEDs, a transformer, big-ass capacitors, a male power recepticle, and some other stuff.

    The PCB, plastic, metal case of aluminum and steel, various components including electrolytic and electrostatic capacitors, resistors, diodes, some transistors, and other things got tossed.

    Why did I toss it? Becuase there is NOWHERE to recyle the crap. Nowhere -- I have looked. I talked to three manufacturing plants in Phoenix, the city of Scottsdale, City of Phoenix, and looked for stuff online and in the yellow pages and there is nothing. I would have to wait until the anual toxic cleanup campaign where you can bring hazardous materials in like batteries and liquds to throw it away -- too long for me. If people want to get serious about the environment, they need to get organized. That goes for me too. Maybe I should have made more of an effort.
    Old Monitors (Score:1)
    by superlame on Tuesday September 19, @12:57AM EDT (#208)
    (User #48021 Info)
    One thing I actually get asked a lot is what the proper way to dispose of old monitors is. Frankly, I've never managed to figure out who to take my old moniters to to have them properly recycled. Heck, I'd even be willing to pay a nominal fee to get rid of them safely.
    -- Superlame http://catpro.dragonfire.net/joshua/
    Shooting my old computers is my choice. (Score:1)
    by PixelSyndicate (NOpixelsyndicateSPAM@hotmail.com) on Tuesday September 19, @01:09PM EDT (#214)
    (User #174744 Info) http://www.geekswithguns.com
    I suppose I had better stop shooting them then :) It seems to be a great draw for my site geekswithguns.com
    I feel that it is my land and my ammo, and my hadware. It isn't like I am licensing the use of the Hardware like I am with my software (I shoot software CD's too though). What are they gonna do? Take my Old Hardware away from me?
    Wil - Head Geek in Charge
    Geeks With Guns
    W i l D o b s o n COO - 800x600 Incorporated wdobson@800x600.com http://www.800x600.com http://
    Re:shoeboy here (Score:1)
    by festers on Monday September 18, @12:33PM EDT (#171)
    (User #106163 Info)
    desperate times, desperate trolls?


    --------
    Awww, $20. I wanted a peanut.
     
     
      What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.
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