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Posted Mon Aug 17 2009: from GreenerComputing, from Slashdot:
Developing Nations May Reuse More Electronics Than Thought
What the researchers found suggests that, at least in one country, imported electronics are not immediately destined for meltdown or other polluting and poisonous dismantling practices, as has been shown in China and other countries: In Peru, Williams said in an article from ACS, "At least 85 percent of discarded computers imported to Peru are reused, as opposed to going directly to recycling. [... Thus,] the image of the trade in e-waste as mainly being about dumping unusable junk is, at least for Peru, inaccurate."... This informal reuse and recycling sector is valuable for generating employment in the country and in making computing technology more accessible to low-income families and small businesses, the paper contends. While many responsible recycling groups want to put an end to exporting electronic waste, this study finds that there are practical benefits to exporting low-cost (but still functioning or salvageable) electronics to the developing world. One option presented involves requiring that all exported electronics be tested to ensure they work, although Williams says that such a requirement would raise the price of these electronics and could "kill off" most of the reuse industry in a country like Peru.
[Read more stories about: electronic waste, heavy metals]

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