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A billion-unit computer recycling challenge

Global – Recycling capacity will need to deal with more than 1 billion discarded computers by the year 2020, according to the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management. The problem of recycling and disposing of desktop and notebook computers will intensify as access to technology increases across developing nations, it is argued.

For India, Neelu Jain of the PEC University of Technology and Pamela Chawla of Surya World are estimating 126 million obsolete desktop computers and 900 million obsolete notebook computers by 2025. They also suggest that it will take 30 years at the current rate of market penetration to reach the landmark of one computer per head of population in India.

Even this conservative rate of growth will mean a significant amount of e-scrap. ‘This analysis does not address distribution of obsolete computers for reuse, recycling and landfill options nor their storage time, which is an important issue to resolve in the future,’ the researchers say.

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