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Piles of thrown-out TVs, laptops and phones pose an environmental risk

Piles of thrown-out TVs, laptops and phones pose an environmental risk
Christmas gifts from past years meet a sad end at Absolute Green Electronics Recycling in California. Computers are dismantled. Their parts get sorted into cardboard bins. One bin holds nothing but hard drives. Another holds AC adapters. Bins stretch in rows across a huge warehouse. Stacked-up printers form a miniature mountain. “There are different grades of boards,” said owner and president Victor Kianipay, stepping past dust-covered TVs to poke into apple boxes filled with circuit boards. E-Waste A Global Problem This is electronic waste, or e-waste. Within five years, the annual figure may reach 65 million tons, the group estimates. A lot of companies send electronic waste to developing countries. “You see all these thousands — literally thousands — of women and young kids whose job is to cook circuit boards,” said Jim Puckett. Thirty-five nations have adopted the ideas of the Basel Convention, Puckett said. The U.S. Boosting Recycling In The U.S. The old TVs are particularly bad.

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Brown v. Board of Education "We conclude that the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." —Chief Justice Earl Warren India's Environment Problem: Disposing Electronic Waste The high-pitched, nasal call of the neighborhood scrap collector is a familiar weekend sound in most Indian neighborhoods. In Noida, a quiet satellite city of New Delhi, Ashu Kumar has been collecting old newspapers, phones, computers, digital recorders and refrigerators for the past five years. And for years, at the end of each month, Kumar trekked down a dusty road to the Seelampur scrap market — the largest graveyard of India's ever growing electronic waste — to sell his wares. In India, yesterday's electronics are today's business, and Seelampur, about 9 miles (14.5 km) outside New Delhi, is the biggest scrap market in the country. On a typical day, visitors are greeted by piles of used goods, like the 50-ton mountain of old telephones that Mohammad Arif, a scrap trader, bought for $2,500 at an auction one winter morning. By evening, the mound will be dismantled and the parts sold off.

Alex Lin - Turning E-Waste Into E-Treasure Alex Lin was a boy who was just reading the newspaper one day. He read an article about something called e-waste. He learned that it is the waste generated as people upgrade electronic devices. When people are done with things like computers, phones, mp3 players, etc. and throw them away, that’s e-waste. He also learned that e-waste is dangerous to the environment.

High-Tech Trash June is the wet season in Ghana, but here in Accra, the capital, the morning rain has ceased. As the sun heats the humid air, pillars of black smoke begin to rise above the vast Agbogbloshie Market. I follow one plume toward its source, past lettuce and plantain vendors, past stalls of used tires, and through a clanging scrap market where hunched men bash on old alternators and engine blocks. Soon the muddy track is flanked by piles of old TVs, gutted computer cases, and smashed monitors heaped ten feet (three meters) high. Beyond lies a field of fine ash speckled with glints of amber and green—the sharp broken bits of circuit boards. Radioactive leaks found at 75% of US nuke sites Steam rises from cooling towers at Exelon Corp.'s nuclear plant in Byron, Ill., March 16, 2011. AP Photo BRACEVILLE, Ill. - Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 metres (39–52 ft) and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. An acrobatic animal known for breaching and slapping the water with its tail and pectorals, it is popular with whale watchers off the coasts of Australasia and the Americas. Alex Lin, Teenage Activist He's overseen the recycling of 300,000 pounds of e-waste. He's successfully lobbied the Rhode Island state legislature to ban the dumping of electronics. He's used refurbished computers to create media centers in developing countries like Cameroon and Sri Lanka to foster computer literacy.

Living on Earth: E-waste Youth Activist Air Date: Week of January 4, 2008 stream/download this segment as an MP3 file Alex Lin (Courtesy of Alex Lin) Living on Earth interviews Alex Lin, who won the Brower Youth Award for his pioneering work on electronic waste. Lin recycled and refurbishes computers for kids in the U.S. and around the world. Transcript Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change 3. Is there anything I can do? Fly less, drive less, waste less. You can reduce your own carbon footprint in lots of simple ways, and most of them will save you money. You can plug leaks in your home insulation to save power, install a smart thermostat, switch to more efficient light bulbs, turn off the lights in any room where you are not using them, drive fewer miles by consolidating trips or taking public transit, waste less food, and eat less meat. Perhaps the biggest single thing individuals can do on their own is to take fewer airplane trips; just one or two fewer plane rides per year can save as much in emissions as all the other actions combined.

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