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November 27, 2007

e-Waste

The hazardous effects of e-waste are quite disturbing. I had no idea that such toxic materials are routinely sent overseas to the detriment of many Asian countries. After learning of this frightening dilema, I became interested in what we could possibly do to reduce e-waste.

Although using less hazardous materials in the initial creation of electronic devices would be the best solution, it may take time for companies to come up with alternative technologies. So for now, the recycling of electronics rests largely on consumers. Upon conducting some research, I found that there are many options for consumers to recyle e-waste. However, the ease of recycling may depend on where one lives. California appears to be leading the e-waste recyle initiative; companies such as Electronic Recyclers and websites like http://erecycle.org provide Californians with quick and easy e-waste recycling opportunities. In my opinion, the rest of the United States should follow California's lead and begin similiar initiatives.

Another e-waste option is to donate old electronics to those who cannot afford the newest models. The site http://www.usedcomputer.com/nonprof.html lists several organizations willing to take donations.

Finally, e-waste used for art is a creative way to reuse electronics. I find such projects quite interesting because of unique dichotomy they present. On the one hand, we see that improvements in technology have enhanced art. For example, computers allow us to create new graphic art that was unthinkable in the past; we can scan images and digitize them; we can mesh sound and visual elements on a single screen; we can superimpose images like never before. Yet on the other hand, the destruction of electronics can also create art. This is what we see when we use e-waste as art. Thus we come to realize that art arises from both innovation and destruction, both of which are human experiences that artists wish to express.


Posted by leslieph at November 27, 2007 09:53 PM

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