Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Technology and Recycling

Bill Thompson writes about how the IT industry is becoming more environmentally friendly. Circuit boards now contain less lead and as of August European hardware manufacturers will have to accept used products back to recycle them, an incentive to make them easier to dismantle and more recyclable in the first place.
Historically computers have posed a major environmental problem – they made very ineffecient use of electricity, used lots of harmful chemicals and were often merely dumped on landfill sites when no longer needed. Nowadays, LCD screens and more efficient power supplies and components mean that we suck up less juice, and more thought has been put into the production of materials to reduce their effects on the environment. Furthermore, recycling facilities for electronic waste are now more abundant.
As Bill says, the IT industry is going through the same process as the car industry – unleaded petrol, catalytic converters, low-emission vehicles and so forth have all helped to make cars more environmentally friendly. But like the car industry I think computers have got some way to go yet.


  1. Speaking of recycling, I am currently in the process of doing something useful with an ancient Compaq Concerto laptop. Like turn it into a terminal or a console. Or both.
    I’m a big fan of recycling and it certainly is enjoyable to make old machines useful again. It’s educational too.

  2. ^and it works too…the boy made good on his terminal!