e-cycling

E-cycling is the practice of reusing, or distributing for reuse, electronic equipment and components rather than discarding them at the end of their life cycle.

E-cycling is the practice of reusing, or distributing for reuse, electronic equipment and components rather than discarding them at the end of their life cycle. According to Gartner Group research, over four million computers will be replaced, worldwide, between 2004 and 2006.

Discarded electronics and electronic components (e-waste) are creating a serious problem because of toxic elements involved in their manufacture. In the vast majority of cases, discarded computers and other electronic devices, such as cell phones, are functional and could be passed on to another individual or organization. Often, even non-functioning devices can be refurbished and resold or donated. Organizations such as StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology), the National Cristina Foundation, and the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) collect and refurbish donated computer equipment for redistribution to schools and charities around the world.

A number of initiatives, such as eBay's Rethink project, have arisen to promote e-cycling. Dell, IBM, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard are among the members of Rethink.

This was first published in March 2007

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