Feeds

PC builders – or garbage collectors?

Binmen of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your margins

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The European Commission (EC) proposed a Directive yesterday aimed at making PC builders responsible for paying to recycle returned kit.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive could take a year to get through the European Parliament. It may have an uphill struggle as it has already been subjected to fierce lobbying from European retailers and manufacturers. And now the US Trade Representative - acting on behalf of US computer industry trade associations - is joining in.

This body is worried because the Directive, which will for the first time hold manufacturers responsible for recycling obsolete products, will apply to all companies doing business in Europe - including those based in the US.

After getting through the European Parliament, it will then be up to each individual member state to decide how to implement the Directive in their own country. European governments will then have a maximum of 18 months to decide on legislation.

The proposal aims to cut environmental damage caused by dumped electronic and electrical products - and a large chunk of this comes from computers. In the next five years a third of a billion computers will become obsolete - and while 90 per cent of computer contents can be recycled, only about six per cent of obsolete PCs were recycled in 1998.

The only targets set so far regarding recycling computers involve weight. Manufacturers will have to ensure that recycling companies make parts equaling 65 per cent of the weight of each PC re-usable.

How the Directive will affect the UK depends on a business's position in the PC market. For consumer sales, the government is likely to put the onus on the manufacturers themselves like IBM or Compaq, according to Joy Boyce, chairman of advisory body the Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling (ICER).

Retailers or resellers would be responsible for collecting old goods from consumers, but the cost of recycling would fall to the original PC vendor.

However, the situation is likely to be different for system builders. The recycling cost could either fall to them or to the business customer, depending on UK government legislation. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.