Once upon a time each Personal Computer had a price point which was both prohibitively expensive and was also the domain of a relatively small selection of people, who in turn kept their machines for years. These days the time is relatively short from manufacture to scrapping of each individual PC. It’s mind-blowing to contemplate the extent of materials which would need to have been used for each run of a particular model, for it to be only then thrown out within a period of 1 – 3 years by the end consumer.
But what happens when PC’s are obsolete? Well below is a selection of images that illustrate the scale.
This first image is of a photo of three large green electronic waste bins which was snapped by a resident of San Francisco by the name of “Ariel” As you can see; there is both a wide selection and the potential for any model to be in there. I wonder if each individual remembered to securely erase their documents.
This next image is of a wall of old CRT monitors and was taken in 2014, by EnMin Ser who snapped this thought-provoking black-and-white photo while touring a junkyard in Malaysia. The destination of these screens is somewhat unknown considering the structure of recycling in Malaysia.
Now this image is the problem which is all too often the case, a photographer by the name of “Anna Vignet” stumbled across this scene in San Francisco in 2008. These computer towers were dumped behind a local school and were left exposed to the elements. which could have caused all types of chemicals to leak onto the streets. This somewhat annoys me considering the local authority should have put in place protocols to deal with such types of waste.
Where do less reputable companies dump old and broken PC’s? Yep, the third world as this picture illustrates and was taken by a photo product entitled iGarbage by an Italian non Profit organization. This toxic waste is shipped to places for example Ghana where it is sold for residents to harvest the raw materials without any protection; the end outcome is the waste poisons the residents. All in the name of the mighty Pound, Dollar and Euro, etc.
It just goes to show the scale of throwable PC’s in today’s expendable society, if you’re in need of upgrading and decide to throw away your PC. Check with local authorities for possible recycling centres, or indeed pass your unwanted PC to a friend or relative in need of one. Make sure you securely erase your files as you don’t want your aunty to find your selfies in a folder entitled “work”