13 April, 2006

The Effluent of the Affluent

Per OED:

"effluent, n.
a. A stream flowing from a larger stream, lake, or reservoir.
b. The outflow from a sewage tank, or from land after irrigation or earth-filtration of sewage."

Sounds appetizing, right? (My apologies go out to those of you who just finished reading Eve's tasty post on spaghetti.) Well, it's exactly what happens with a large part of what may be half of our national electronic-hardware waste (cell phones, used computers, TVs, etc.). Piqued? Read more at Salon.

Apparently a huge chunk of our hazardous electronic-hardware waste goes abroad to places like China, Nigeria and Laos. Some of the waste these countries receive also comes from places like Europe and Japan. The important difference, however, is that the US has done considerably less to regulate these exports. In fact, while Europe and Japan have national systems for handling e-waste, one of the problems in the US is not only the lack of a concerted effort to handle e-waste but, indeed, the lack of any means to track this waste.

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