Ditching your old PC will cost you...


If you live in Europe it is going to become more difficult and more costltly to dispose of your old computer. EU laws have already made it difficult to get rid of your old fridge, now The Times reports that there is a new raft of laws about computers looming - problem is nobody is quite sure who is responsible. And its going to cost some, The Department of Trade and Industry quotes figures of between £217m and £455m a year in its consultation documents. As with most costs these days it appears to be amounting to a "stealth" tax, with businesses passing on the cost eventually to the customer in increased costs.

The obligations are complex and onerous for producers — a generic term that includes retailers, distributors, importers and manufacturers. There are different rules on the collection, disposal and recycling of equipment made before August 2005 and things made after. There are other rules on the handling of household and non-household waste. Labelling and registration add more complexity.
Retailers and distributors have to provide free and convenient ways for consumers to bring back goods for disposal. But rather than set up collection points in each shop, most retailers are expected to join so-called “retail compliance schemes” operated by independent waste-disposal specialists.... The BRC expects to raise £8m from members — money that will go towards upgrading civic-amenity centres that can handle electrical and electronic products separately. Several other schemes are being set up to cater for specific types of equipment.

And don't you just love bureaucracies, this is a particularly piquant example of a bureaucrat in action.

For instance, if a business owner has 10 old computers but wants to buy only five new ones, the rules state that the supplier of the new computers has to take back five of the old computers but it is up to the business owner to recycle the other five.



Don't you just love them. There are quite a few charities that take old computers so providing they are in working order that might be a better way of disposal.

ugly LCD monitors

as much as I like my old-school CRT I have to accept that it is gonna break someday, and that it contains about 8 lbs of LEAD. I dislike LCD panels for their excessive contrast and lack of flexibility in screen resolution.

You have to wonder how they managed to make billions of CRTs if they were so bad for the environment.... back when they cost $400 a pop somebody should have set aside $10 extra for R&D so we had better LCD glass sooner, and a plan to handle the recycling, no?

I don't see this as any

I don't see this as any different than buying tires. You pay a disposal fee for the old ones.

If they wanted to make it easier for the consumer, they should put the recycling fee in with the price of the new computer/ monitor: that way, you just bring it to a recycle place when you are finished with it. It seems they are making this way more complex than it needs to be.

In the US, if you make the

In the US, if you make the price of disposing of stuff too high you will find people dumping it in a ditch along stretches of lonely roads like you see old tires, matresses and washing machines right now.

Granted...which is why

Granted...which is why perhaps it needs to be in the purchase price. As many uses as there for old tires, you'd think companies would pay us to give them our old tires.

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