Implementing a computer recycling business within the West can be very profitable, particularly where certain ethics are swept under the carpet. We believe it's important for potential customers to understand that there are recyclers and recycling orientated businesses and to understand the difference.
In the late Nineties, there was a spurt of Media interest in the small shanty industries throughout the African Continent, building bicycles out of recycled parts. Similar industries existed with the sole purpose of providing reconditioned parts for vehicles, white goods, televisions, hifi's and video recorders/ players. Basically any mechanical device could be fixed with what in effect boiled down to recycled components. No-one really asked where those components came from in the first place.
Environmental awareness, brought about by the very same media services has resulted in numerous changes to the industry. Regulations banned the use of CFCs, which were found to be harming the Ozone layer. Fridges can no longer be deposited at local Landfill sites and have to be instead taken to special processing plants. The same happened in 2002, when the BBC, along with a number of other Ethically orientated media services highlighted the plight of numerous inhabitants living in shanty towns throughout China and India. With the west producing a projected 300,000 tonnes of Computer waste per year, much of it was being shipped via container to developing countries for processing.
The result was a mountain of computer waste, literally piled upon the doorstep of these residents, who where then tasked with melting down the waste for component removal. Without the processing plants available within Britain and other western countries, those employed in the industry within these developing countries were left with no option than to process the waste by hand, exposing themselves to PCBs, heavy metals and Arsenic (to name but a few of the toxins).
Highlighting the plight of those involved in this underpaid trade did bring it to the attention of the West, but amazingly, it had been happening on our own doorsteps anyway. With Europe's countries depositing computer waste within Landfill the EU developed and implemented the WEEE directive, with a view to placing the responsibility of recycling firmly upon the shoulders of the manufacturers. This had the desired effect- to a certain extent, but certainly did not ebb the ever increasing flow of IT waste entering India, China and other nations.
Saying all this, there's been a huge change over the past Month alone. Rumours abound within the industry that Pakistan have just imposed a 25% tax levy upon Computer Monitors being imported into the country. The result was felt overnight, with the entire import industry grinding to a halt. Overnight it became completely non-viable for this industry to continue economically.
Unfortunately, it's pretty clear that such practices continue throughout Britain. From small recycling companies to the large not-for profit organisations dealing in container loads at a time, the waste leaves our shores for distant parts of the world, only to be off-loaded, examined and waste disposed of anywhere that doesn't affect the bottom line. Although it's clear that a large percentage of our computer waste can still serve a useful purpose in other parts of the world, but then we have to consider the carbon footprint associated with the materials traveling to distant shores. It's our opinion that weighing up the differences in energy associated with their recycling and that associated with their redistribution is insignificant, but that associated with their re-use as compared with manufacturing of new units
Of course, reselling equipment fit for purpose within Britain does have it's environmental merits in more ways than one. That's why we try to sell our computer monitors direct to the public, particularly when obtained from companies looking to upgrade. It's the best way to ensure a full life for the units. Consider the energy used to produce the unit. In recycling the unit, the same energy would be used, and again in the production of a monitor to replace the one just destroyed. Prolonging the useful life span of a Computer monitor really does have an impact upon environmental energy consumption issues.
Unit 5, Lakeside Business Units