Friday, May 15, 2009


I am trying to imagine where I would find DOS operating computers other than that big blue box at the Kingston Transfer Station. The ordinance that restricts our street collection of TVs, computers and microwaves seems to have worked for the most part and surprisingly, I havent found that much of an increase of dumping on our remote streets.

I guess the best place to find DOS computers would be the County Office Building. Yes, they still have these antiques in the cubicles of our many county locations. I'm sure you read that our Comptroller, Elliott Auerbach, has cited the need to upgrade to a 21st century system in the press. Of course there's the issues of cost and training that will spark the fiery rhetoric that's sure to follow.

What I would like to remind everyone of is the hazards of Ewaste. What are we to do with all the old computers that no-one seems to want? Recent reports show that in the US alone, we dispose of 2 million tons of computer waste annually. About 20% gets recycled, and the rest is shipped to China and India where it's being torn apart by scavengers.

What is in those older units is toxic. Unsuspecting health hazards plague these countries enough without ink cartrages leaching into foreign waterways.

I'm sure the antiques that Elliott cites as a hamper for county employees to operate, may end up in those same Ewaste dumps in a thrid world country and used as landfill. Can we change that?

There has been a recent push to require computer manufacturers to take back their older models in hopes to force them to reconsider that's in them. If they have to dispose of them personnaly, they will surely change the way they are built.

As for the need to upgrade the County offices, I say bravo Elliott. The dot-matrix paycheck printer in the basement may become the next exhibit at the Johnston Museum down the street.

Where does e-waste end up? | Greenpeace International


Anonymous said...

"dot-matrix paycheck printer in the basement" that's funny.
As for doing a full upgrade, it shoulda been done years ago, but the people at the top had just gotten used to the new '83 model. Why change the way we do business when it's worked fine so far.


Anonymous said...

Where have you been?? Elliot reports, after 3 months as comptroller, that we need new computers?? And then when you read the rest of the story you find out they were already ordered? So whats elliot telling us, what the legislators already know, as they already ordered the replacements.

Anonymous said...

Man, nothing like a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. I sure hope the I/S people have a little better grasp on things.