[LINK] throw-away culture

Stewart Fist stewart_fist at optusnet.com.au
Mon Jan 22 14:07:57 AEDT 2007

Howard writes:
> I have commented on this forum before about the lack of electronic waste
> recycling facilities outside of the cap. cities.  I was part of a group
> that was studying the economic viability of providing such a service, to
> be promoted and subsidised by local councils as part of their waste
> management responsibilities because it is not economically viable as a
> private operation, but none were interested.  They all say, "We're
> looking into it", but are doing nothing about it.  Unfortunately one of
> the biggest expenses in putting together such an operation is the labour
> costs and the associated expenses, esp. OH&S.

With the high cost of labor these days, and the low cost of products, I
doubt that it will ever be commercially viable, on the standard economic

A report a few years ago in the USA showed that just the pickup cost of
separated (recycled) garbage cost more than the amount that could be
recovered, from everything but aluminium cans ("solidified electricity").

The recycling option for electronics, I believe, must become part of a much
wider and comprehensive plan which involves the use of the unemployed and
the disabled.  It must be seen as a productive form of welfare assistance,
and judged on these economics, not those of the business community.

Of course, surcharges and high dumping costs would also help, but not really
solve the problem in times of such affluence.   I'm doing my bit by keeping
old iMac's alive, but I'm almost down to my last.

Stewart Fist, writer, journalist, film-maker
70 Middle Harbour Road, LINDFIELD, 2070, NSW, Australia
Ph +61 (2) 9416 7458

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