Incredible recycling nets tons

Cape Town - A computer retailer has collected tons of old equipment from customers in an attempt to limit the harm that dumping it would have on the environment.

"Incredible Connection's Trade In promotion in February saw 106 tons of old equipment being collected and over 16 000 discount items sold in return," the company said.

The annual initiative allows customers to use old hardware as a discount on new items from Incredible Connection.

The company believes this raises awareness about the harm that e-waste can cause the environment. In West African countries, there is concern over e-waste from Europe that is dumped.

People scavenge through the garbage to find rare metals in the PCs and laptops to sell.

Toxic materials

"The primary purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness about both the legal and ethical necessity for the correct disposal of e-waste," said CEO Dave Miller.

"Although Incredible Connection is a convenient collection point all year round, our Trade In promotion incentivised customers to make the extra effort to clean up," he added.

There are many potentially toxic materials in PC boards that may not harm the environment, but may be a health hazard to people and animals.

"Informal processing of electronic waste can leach toxic contaminants into the environment and cause health problems for anyone who comes into contact with them, but many people don't know this," said Malcolm Whitehouse of Incredible Connection's recycling partners, Desco Electronic Recyclers.

Equipment that can be refurbished is donated to schools and non-profit organisations.

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Pamela 2011-03-31 09:39:39 AM
What a wonderful initiative!
Kobus 2011-03-31 09:50:32 AM
A few years ago I had to go to great lengths to "do the right thing" and get my e-waste to the proper waste facility. There is only one municipal dumping site that takes e-waste. Most private companies only takes on stuff that is in working order. Given this, I don't blame most people for just dumping it in the bin. As with many things in RSA, we have wonderful legislation but no or limited practical implementation. Surely if there is value in electronic waste (rare metals etc), by now someone in the private sector should have grabbed this business opportunity. I don't have the answer(s), but at least I am aware of the problems.
No.7 2011-03-31 10:20:21 AM
Look up "PC Graveyard" in your area, I recently moved and got rid of a whole load of stuff that no longer worked; DVD players, TVs, UPSs, Digital Cameras, Printers, etc. Dead or alive - doesn't matter They can do private and business collections. Alternatively they have drop-off locations if you so choose I was going to donate the stuff to some local guys in Durban that collect broken stuff, try to fix it and try to sell it again, but they just messed me around. The guys from PC Graveyard were sharp
andrepi 2011-03-31 10:25:24 AM
In most households we sit with old PCs, cellphones, printers, etc. Mostly old and not working. Is it worth something to somebody? Surely, if people know where to dump it, they will do so.
Mark 2011-03-31 10:36:05 AM
And where do they dump it?
ridgeback60 2011-03-31 10:52:11 AM
Australia has got this bit right - not only do they talk 'green', they give pages of methods on how to do it, where to go with the defunct junk, and who to support if the population has 'iffy' items - a possible resurrection or definitely as dead as the dodo. Over here, 'green' is but a concept - there is no infrastructure to support us who try to do the right thing. So either clutterjunk builds up in our personal space, or it pollutes the Sunnyside pavements (beds and mattresses)because we are not supported. A good letter, Kobus. You are having the same experience/s as many of us out here.
Currie_Mafia 2011-03-31 10:59:05 AM
Incredible ! Well done..
CTScientist 2011-03-31 02:32:33 PM
Well done.
Jonas_Barbar 2011-04-01 06:25:09 AM
Well done! Incredible Connection