Nearly one out of three respondents have binned their PCs!
Given the inroads that technology has made into our lives, it should come as no surprise that Americans now own approximately 24 electronic devices per household, according to the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association). Of these, the PC is still a staple even though the mobile is fast becoming the new PC. Given the huge number of PCs in use currently, what does America do with them once they lose their utility? This survey seeks to cast light on our disposal habits. Do we recycle, do we donate or do we simply trash the PCs we don’t want?
- 62%respondents changed their PCs in the last three years
- 74%respondents do not want to register with a third party recycler!
- 28%respondents have junked their old PCs in the trash, at least once
- 7%respondents binned PCs despite having recycled before
- 86%respondents know it is harmful to the Earth to bin electronics!
Yet there is Hope!
Despite old habits and many lapses, here’s what our respondents did the last time they replaced their PCs:
41% recycled their PCs of these:
85% used a third party recycler
15% returned to the company
45% donated their PCs of these:
45% to friends and family
21% to charity organizations
BUT IT EQUALS 70% OF OVERALL TOXIC WASTE
‘Green guilt’ is eating up 29% of Americans and with good reason: Up to 80 percent of America’s annual e-waste is not recycled, representing approximately 300 to 400 million electric devices being dumped into landfills. E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. That’s because of the lead, mercury, cadmium content in e-waste. It’s not as yet illegal in all states for homeowners to leave out their PC or electronic items for the trash man but businesses and institutions are bound by law to recycle. However, whether a computer comes from a business or a home, it is never intended to end up in a landfill. At least 25 states have passed e-waste recycling laws. These laws require electronics manufacturers to pay for the costs of collecting and recycling TVs, computers, laptops, and monitors.
PCs are changed often!
Upgrading and replacing are the order of the day. Each time people upgrade to new technologies, new platforms and new operating systems, they find it easier to replace an outdated computer than keep replacing components. Most of our respondents have changed their PCs in the last three years:
- 17% changed them this year
- 14% changed them a year ago
- 18% changed them 2 years ago
- 13% changed them 3 years ago
In fact, after Windows 8 is launched in October 2012, chances are we may see a significant increase in PC replacement as people upgrade to a newer operating system that is likely to need superior computing power. They could switch either to other PCs or laptops or even tablets.
BIN YOUR PC!
28% respondents have junked their old PCs in the trash, at least once
Even though a majority of the respondents are aware of the harmful environmental effects of junking PCs in the trash, one out of three have done so, at least once. In spite of the fact that 53.31% of those who dumped their last PC in the garbage are aware that chucking PCs in the trash is bad practice from an environmental perspective. It seems that a legal deterrent is needed for recycling to become the norm. Currently, 25 American states have passed e waste legislation mandating statewide E-waste recycling. Several other states are working at passing new laws or improving on existing laws. All laws except California and Utah use the Producer Responsibility approach, where the manufacturers must pay for recycling. In short, this means that 65% of the American population is now covered by a state e-waste recycling law. In 17 U.S. states, it’s actually illegal to dump computers, printers, and TVs in the trash. Connecticut, Indiana, New Jersey, New York (for businesses), North Carolina, South Carolina, and Vermont are some states that have banned electronic waste from landfills, requiring it to be recycled so that its toxic materials don’t leach into the groundwater. Seven of these bans took effect in 2011, one in Illinois from January 2012 and one more will take effect soon in Pennsylvania, from January 2013.