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Environ. Sci. Technology: E-Waste Reuse May Be More Pervasive Than Previously Thought
August 4, 2009, 8:22 am
Filed under: News

Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP
Publication Date (Web): July 29, 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

The most comprehensive study to date of computer reuse in a developing country, recently published in ES&T (2009, DOI 10.1021/es8035835), suggests that such reuse may be more pervasive than previously believed. Experts on the subject agree that reusing electronics can help reduce their environmental impact, but they remain concerned about how those electronics will be dealt with at the end of their extended lives.The lead author of the new study, Ramzy Kahhat, was a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management when he began collaborating with Eric D. Williams, an assistant professor in ASU’s civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering department. Both men are interested in improving how electronic waste (e-waste) is managed in the U.S. and developing nations. Their work began as an effort to better understand how e-waste travels, or flows, in both the U.S. and developing regions, recalls Kahhat, who is now an assistant research professor at ASU.The resulting new paper is the most extensive and comprehensive investigation into reuse of U.S. computers in developing countries, says Jim Lynch, the computer recycling and reuse director of TechSoup’s GreenTech program. TechSoup is a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting the technology needs of other nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations in the U.S. and abroad via computer reuse and other programs.

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