Friday, November 19, 2010
If you're reading this, you're using a computer or phone right now. What do you do with your old technology when it no longer works or you've upgraded? If you live in the U.S., which isn't a signatory to the international agreement that bans the shipment of toxic waste, your upgrade may lead to someone in a developing country getting exposed to toxins from the discarded computer. Many discarded computers end up in India, China and Africa where there are few regulations to protect people who dismantle them. In 2004, Ranjana Mitra founded Share-IT to keep used computers out of the waste stream by refurbishing and donating them to poor families. The group is based in Canada, and Ranjana has an interesting story about the link between Canada and U.S. in the shipment of this waste.