Electronic Recycling – a good thing.

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I’ve owned countless computers (actually, 13 at last count.)But when they’re past the point of use to anyone – I’ve junked them. They now reside in a landfill just outside of town. Knowing what I know now about what’s in them, I feel a tad dismayed but up until recently it never really entered my consciousness. Today, I read this little item on the CBC website. Essentially, it says that while Ontario is looking at options for a Electronic Waste Recycling program we’re still months if not years away. In my opinion this just isn’t good enough. Charge a levy on all computers now. While I hate spending more money – the government seemed in a damned rush to make us get our wine bottles into the ‘beer store’ for recycling reasons (though I thought most people recycled them anyways.) I’m sure we can get this done quickly, I’m not sure why we’re not setting a faster pace.All of this comes after Mitch Brisboise pointed at the silliness of Greenpeace placing Apple (Computer) at the top (or bottom) of their BAD list. Today, Apple (or maybe yesterday) responded. Pointing out what they’ve already done to minimize their impact and talking about some initiatives that are already in progress… Greenpeace has claimed victory.Sadly by implying they were responsible for the change:

Today we saw something we’ve all been waiting for: the words “A Greener Apple” on the front page of Apple’s site, with a message from Steve Jobs saying “Today we’re changing our policy.”

See that, “Today we’re changing our policy.” makes it sounds like they’re changing their policy on green initiatives because of greenpeace …. thats not exactly the caseread where it comes from:

It is generally not Apple’s policy to trumpet our plans for the future; we tend to talk about the things we have just accomplished. Unfortunately this policy has left our customers, shareholders, employees and the industry in the dark about Apple’s desires and plans to become greener. Our stakeholders deserve and expect more from us, and they’re right to do so. They want us to be a leader in this area, just as we are in the other areas of our business. So today we’re changing our policy.Now I’d like to tell you what we are doing to remove toxic chemicals from our new products, and to more aggressively recycle our old products.

In other words… Apple will now talk about what it is already doing on this front and announced its future plans. In that sense Greenpeace is a winner, but their hacking Steve’s statement to claim a ‘we changed environmental policy at apple’ is a bit much when many of these initiatives predate the BAD list. Maybe they should spend some time pushing the Ontario government… I would appreciate that.

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at www.mattroberts.com.


  1. Mitch Brisebois says

    The business of green is an evolving one one! Jobs’ post sets reasonable expectations – only a few PCs gt recycled. Here in rural Wakefield, I’ve put out many older Dells, HPs, and Apples. They usually get picked up before garbage day.

  2. mattroberts says

    Here in Kanata – the dumpster jumpers are a bit more discerning – even the high schools are turning away computers. There was a program of refurbishment and sending them to the thirdworld but I haven’t heard anything along these lines in ages. I can’t believe that its come to this, me the anti-recycler demanding we start a levy system!

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