recycle

ICT e-waste, cyber-waste, reuse & recycling

eWaste in Latin-America: Portuguese-Language Resources

GSMA has published a report and infographics about e-waste in Latin America. The portuguese infographic is displayed in full, below. There has been little Green ICT awareness in the region, so this is a very positive sign.

eWaste in Latin America: Spanish-Language Resources

GSMA has published a Spanish-language report and infographic about e-waste in Latin America. The infographic is displayed in full, below. There has been little Green ICT awareness in the region, so this is a very positive sign.

Sustainable Healthcare

The healthcare, like most industries, has seen seen its electronic technologies become ICT technologies. Medical facilities are ICT facilities and much medical gear is ICT gear. That's consistent with our inclusive definition of Green ICT. Here are some industry initiatives having an impact:

'Internet of Things' Presents Green ICT Challenges

We've counted over 17 billion pieces of e-gear attached to the global ICT infrastructure. The 'Internet of Things' (IoT) will dramatically increase this number by the end of the decade. Can technology keep up with the energy and resource demands?

ecoATM Continues to Increase Device Reuse/Recycling

We wrote in 2012 about the ecoATM, "…an automated self-serve kiosk system that uses patented, advanced machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy-back used electronics directly from consumers for cash or store credit." In 2013, we noted the EcoATM concept had been accused of facilitating the theft of e-devices. Now, we note ecoATM appears to be thriving and has received an international sustainability award.

We Need Gamers to Support Green ICT

We are constantly on the lookout for ICT-intensive communities who appear under-engaged in global Green ICT awareness. More active participation from these communities could do much to advance ICT sustainability. We identified American higher education and global ICT4D advocates as two communities where more effective embrace of Green ICT has significant potential. Console gamers comprise another such community. This is important because research firm IHS has marked game consoles for production growth in 2014.

What Is Attached to Our Global ICT Infrastructure?

How much gear is attached to the edges of our global ICT infrastructure? Our 2015 estimate is over 19 billion items. This up ~1 billion over 2013. The increase is driven by mobile and consumer media devices, but we are constantly adding new categories like wearable devices. We will update this table as new information comes in over the course of the year.

'Second Hand' Tech Controversy a Replay of a 1970s Issue

Is the shipment of used ICT to developing areas an example of environmental and economic sustainability by extending equipment lifecycles and making tech available to those who cannot pay market prices for new gear? Or is it a patronizing position that suggests older tech is 'good enough' for some people and that exacerbates these regions' e-waste problems. This issues has similarities to one from 35 years ago.

Mining E-Waste

Specialty metals recycler Umicore uses grams per tonne of gold to illustrate the potential for urban mining of e-waste.

Ore PC Circuit Boards Cell Phones
~5 g/t Au 200-250 g/t Au 300-350 g/t Au

RoHS and Biomedical Devices

The line between "devices" and "IT" is quickly fading as these two categories merge. Hospitals are a good example. In the late 20th century, many hospitals had two technology departments: "biomed" and "computers". As biomedical devices have becoming increasingly digital and networked, and as IT moves onto mobile devices, many hospitals have consolidated these operations into a single technology organization. A consequence is that Green ICT embraces medical devices and their infrastructures. Our original 2010 post noted that medical equipment sold into the European Union was exempt from the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, but that would be changing. There is now a firm 2014 date.

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