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UK Environmental Expert: Recycling Is Stupid

Recycling IT equipment is “stupid” and should not be the top concern within a company’s eco-agenda, according to Simon Drury, business partnerships director of the UK government’s Envirowise Project, which hands out free advice to businesses on green issues, BusinessWeek writes.

Instead, companies should purchase equipment that can be reused, with accessible parts that can be replaced easily, rather than recycled. “Recycling is stupid,” Drury said, speaking at a Green Computing in Practice roundtable. “It should be the second to last thing which we do before throwing away something.” Instead, Drury says companies should reuse or donate obsolete IT equipment to developing countries.

“If you have a whole pile of technology which is taking up a great deal of resource and is going to be difficult to service, you are just offsetting your problem to other places in the world,” said Labour MP Alan Whitehead.

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2 thoughts on “UK Environmental Expert: Recycling Is Stupid

  1. Most of the so called electronic recycle material finds its way to recovery junkyards of India and China.The idea of replacing parts with equipment remaining with the user is a very good idea eco friendly as well as economically better

  2. Mr. Drury’s point that reuse is the best first option for surplus or unwanted electronics is valid. However, most businesses do not have the space or resources to manage the process of refurbishing and properly preparing IT equipment for shipping for donations, whether within the country or to developing countries. Proper recycling is not “throwing away something.” Good electronics recyclers reuse whole units and parts when possible, and disassemble obsolete material into its basic components to be made into new products. This preserves the precious metals, plastics, glass, ferrous metals and other materials and saves valuable resources – not to mention keeping them out of landfills and dumping grounds. In this case, his free advice is worth what people are paying for it.

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