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Garbage in, Garbage out

When your team, department, or company upgrades desktop systems, what happens to the old CPUs and monitors? Do you donate them to local schools and nonprofits? Return them to the manufacturers to be reclaimed? Or do you just dumpster them? My guess is the latter.

Salon this week uncovers the downside of even recycling computers. A good half of computers “recycled” in the US are shipped to developing countries, where they pollute decidedly poor communities.

Luckily, there are ways to recycle your old terminals so you know they won’t go sour. But it takes attention and effort.

Perhaps its time for computer manufacturers to approach their machines like Interface does its carpet. Michael Schrage wrote about provices and serducts in the pages of Fast Company in 1996 — 10 years ago.

Maybe we shouldn’t own hardware, but borrow it.

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