Total Reclaim

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High-tech Seattle swimming hard against the e-waste stream | 

My computer monitor went kaput recently and so I needed to dispose of it.

Flickr, dosbears

What I learned is that there are tons of disposal options out there — but that those nice green, circular logos out front of some computer recycling businesses (the logos are almost always nice and green and circular) sometimes disguise an ugly, dirty, dark and very un-ecofriendly reality.

The reality — as I noted in an earlier post — is that because Americans like to buy the latest devices we are also are a big (the biggest, actually) contributor to the global problem of electronic waste.

Scientific American recently wrote about this MIT project that tracked devices discarded in Seattle sent around the world. Below is a photo of another place our discarded gizmos show up:

Basel Action Network

Lagos, Nigeria -- young e-waste scavenger

E-waste is piling up all over the world and the financial incentives trading in electronic junk often favor the bad guys. The EPA estimates that less than 20 percent of our electronic devices are recycled here at home and a significant percentage gets shipped overseas, creating mountains of e-dumps around the world. Continue reading