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eWaste: Ever wonder what happens to your electronic devices when your done with them?

Ever wonder what happens to your electronic devices when your done with them, and they no longer work, and it costs too much to fix them? Well, I did, and was excited that someone finally did a documentary about it to expose the secret life of dead electronics!

Michael Zhao is a graduate from the Berkley school of journalism, and for his thesis did a documentary about what happens to all our computers, mobile phones, audio visual components, and gadgets,when they either break down, or become obsolete, and we replace them with the latest hottest technology. It’s called ‘eDump’, and it’s pretty shocking. Here is a preview, watch the full 20 min. version from his website.

Here’s an article about it as well:
Time Magazine: Your laptop’s dirty little secret

I love technology and the latest gadgets, because I love the future, and progress, and efficiency, in fact, in my field of audio visual work, ideally computers should be upgraded every two years. But when materialism and excess leads to environmental disaster, and illness and suffering for human beings, something has to change. I always imagined the ton of electronic components we get rid of, and wondered what happened to them, I didn’t realise how neglegent and serious the situation was.

I remember the time I could finally unload my pockets from a phone, a PDA, and a music player by combining them with one Treo Palm phone! Awesome! I got such a mobile phone that was working fine and meeting my needs a couple years ago, I figured I would get another few more years out of it, then upgrade, and I could wait until then for the latest greatest technology. But it started malfunctioning years before it should have, becoming useless last year, and now i have had it in a bag, waiting to somehow recycle it.
After seeing the movie, I looked into it and found that enCorp now recycles a lot more than bottles in Canada and may be able to do something with it. There are also other companies that recycle electronics, fixing them so others worldwide who don’t need the latest technology can use them.

The eDump documentary really illustrated strongly for me how everything we do affects others, and how we should be responsible for our every action and understand the implications and consequences.
I encourage you to make some effort to sell, use, or recycle your electronic components as much as possible because there are literally tons of this stuff out there, and companies keep making more!

the future of eWaste? From the awesome Speilberg/Kubrick movie, ‘A.I.

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2 Responses to “eWaste: Ever wonder what happens to your electronic devices when your done with them?”

  1. Kevin Scow Says:

    Check out some ethical recyclers right here in Vancouver. They are part of the Basel Action Network. They are located at:
    1820 Pandora Street
    Vancouver, BC
    V5L 1M5
    604-879-GEEK (4335)
    Kev

  2. jarome Says:

    Great, thanks Kevin, glad to have you here with your insights!
    Was also told about this organization: http://www.era.ca/donations/recycling/