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Dead medium: Recycling obsolete computer hardware
Source(s): Nando News,,1643,500279531-500438548-502807703-0,00.html
From: Stefan Jones
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 09:24:04 -0800

Stefan writes: About once a month, I spend a Saturday morning visiting local thrift shops. I go looking for books, hobby items, and housewares, and to remind myself that there are other people in Silicon Valley than option-laden technoyuppies.

Most of the five or so places I frequent don't bother accepting or selling computer equipment. If they took donations, they'd be flooded with stuff that they'd never sell.

The one shop that does take everything is indeed quite overstocked with early-90s computer crap. A whole aisle of pathetic, dusty, undocumented computers, low-res VGA monitors, 14,400 bps modems, Mac external hard drives and other cybah boat anchors.

It's perhaps better that these "antiques" continue to clutter the Cerebral Palsy thrift shop; old motherboards and power supplies and such are an individually minor but major in bulk source of heavy metal contamination.

In an astonishing act of generosity and foresight, IBM has begun a recycling program for old computers and computer parts. See the story below:

IBM offers computer recycling for small businesses, individuals

Envirocycle U.S. Public Interest Group

By DUNSTAN PRIAL, Associated Press

NEW YORK (November 14, 2000 7:22 a.m. EST - A vast glut of obsolete computer equipment was all but inevitable when a common clich is that your new computer is outdated by the time you get it home.

Now IBM Corp., one of the world's biggest computer makers, hopes to provide relief to a problem some environmentalists see as one of the biggest solid waste issues to emerge in decades.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM on Tuesday is kicking off a program aimed specifically at individual consumers and small business owners, two sizable groups of computer users that up to now have struggled to find ways to rid themselves of unwanted computer hardware.

For a fee of $29.99, IBM will accept all manner of PC parts through its IBM PC Recycling Service. The fee includes shipping costs, so consumers need only to box the equipment and send it via United Parcel Service to Envirocycle, a Hallstead, Pa., recycling firm. Consumers can sign up for IBM's program at the time of purchase or by contacting IBM.

-- Stefan E. Jones, Senior Member Technical Staff, nCUBE Foster City, CA 650-508-5486 Personal email to