Yup, before the hazards of dumping e-waste in landfills were known, little special treatment was required. Today, we are much more conscious of the environmental issues associated with e-waste disposal, including resource waste, chemical leaching, pollution, etc. As a result, we have many more reuse and refurbishment schemes, manufacture take-back programs, and recycling and material recovering initiatives.
Before the horror stories in China and Ghana of ewaste dumps virtually all collected computer items were shipped whole to these locations. The valuables such as gold in boards, and metals were recovered and sold for profit by others. Today 2011, only about half are still shipped whole to these locations because its illegal. The other half is dismantled in the states and canada. This has eliminated the system going like an un guided missle, but even when we do it here, the actual weight of a collected item that is really recycled – put into a new product is about 20%.
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