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Solving the problem of tv waste

July 12, 2005

With shortening product lifecycles and rapidly declining prices, we seem to be churning though consumer electronics at an ever-increasing rate. The United States has 450 million units of stockpiled obsolete electronic products. Over 50% of consumer electronics waste is shipped overseas for other countries to deal with. Most of these products get disposed of in ways that are unlikely to be positive for the environment.

One company based in the heart of the Silicon Valley is out to change that. GreenCitizen is a recycling center located in Palo-Alto. Founded by a former hi-tech executive, the company recycles anything electronic from computers to cell-phones.

The company makes money by charging consumers to recycle certain products. For a fee, it also picks products up directly from companies in The Valley. However, the company is also set-up to take advantage of a tax change in California State Law that charges purchasers of new computer and TV screens a $10 recycling charge. This money is then used to subsidize recyclers like Green Citizen and collectors for their efforts.

Non-for-Profit organization, Goodwill is also getting involved with its
Re-Compute program, also in the Bay Area.

Photographer, Chris Jordan captures thought provoking images, that illustrate the shear scale of waste in the system.

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