*NEWS*INCENTIVES GROW FOR RECYLCLING CTGS

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*NEWS*INCENTIVES GROW FOR RECYLCLING CTGS

 user 2006-01-12 at 10:50:00 am Views: 72
  • #13369

    Incentives grow for recycling
    Pressure from charities could force IT vendors to pay more attention to green issues this year
     Jan
    2006
    Faced with compelling evidence that leather belts do not, after
    all, shrink with regular usage, I have decided that some dieting is
    probably in order. I suspect the seasonal folly of such New Year
    resolutions is doomed to failure, but perhaps the current interest in
    IT hardware recycling will last longer than my temporary aversion to
    snacks.
    A new year always sees recycling companies trying to get us
    to adopt good habits, presumably while we are in the mood for a new
    start. But 2006 already seems more active than usual in this area, with
    the children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent making a big splash about
    its printer ink cartridge recycling programme, and even London’s mayor,
    Ken Livingstone, promoting a mobile phone “amnesty” in aid of the
    National Missing Person’s Helpline (NMPH).
    There is nothing new
    about companies doling out a few green pennies to charity as part of a
    public relations drive, but Clic Sargent is set to receive £1 per ink
    cartridge, and NMPH will get a fiver per handset.
    These campaigns
    aim to show that the small effort of recycling disposable office
    materials can make a decent financial contribution to charity, as well
    as being good for the environment.
    Prior to initiatives such as
    these, recycling at work has not been much of an effort at all. It
    might give you a warm glow to drop old printouts into the green
    recycling bins in your office, but I have often seen such bins being
    emptied by office cleaners into the same bags as all the other rubbish
    destined for landfill. On many occasions I have tried to offer old PCs
    for recycling, but unless you have dozens to give away at once, no one
    is prepared to collect.
    The recycling concept itself also seems to
    be something of a one-way street, at least in IT manufacturing. I see a
    lot of labels indicating that the materials in various new devices are
    “recyclable” but very few that indicate that they have already been
    “recycled”.
    I brought this up a few years ago when an HP
    representative stated that a laser toner cartridge, when returned empty
    by customers, would be recycled into spectacle frames. When I asked why
    the old toner cartridges were not simply recycled into, well, new toner
    cartridges, I was regarded as some kind of idiot.
    The fact is the IT
    industry only dabbles in recycling if it makes for good PR. But with
    charities now making a big noise about the issue, I would like to think
    that manufacturers will do more to facilitate the identification,
    collection and genuine recycling of old equipment from under our desks,
    if not out of conviction, at least out of the potential embarrassment
    at being left out.