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The Green Life: Go Go Gadget Recycle

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October 08, 2010

Go Go Gadget Recycle

Smart phones.jpg So you got your iPhone 3GS and it's everything you'd hoped for. They managed to creative a device in which your whole life can be organized, from work to play and back agai . . .

Don't get too attached! There's a fresh new edition hitting stores next week, and you can't help but scoop it up after work.

Where does that leave poor iPhone 3GS? Alone on a shelf or a drawer, developing abandonment issues. But you don't care. You've got your iPhone 4, and you couldn't be happier, becau . . .

Uh oh. Here comes the iPhone 5.

This endless cycle has become a staple of American culture, and not just with smartphones. Computers, MP3 players, and video-game consoles all undergo constant updates, but create a new generation of high-tech trash.

An Aug., 2008 report from the Global Accountability Office, called out the EPA for not taking sufficient measures in regulating the disposal of electronic waste. While recycling facilities and dropoffs are available for such items, Retrevo's "Gadget Census" reports that 60% of Americans are just not using them. Why not? Well, it appears to be a combination of ignorance (17%), laziness (26%), and apathy (7%). Though 39% of Americans did recycle their gadgets.

The sheer volume of e-waste is already massive, but within the next few years, it'll hit staggering proportions. The EPA outlined the danger in its own 2008 report, and when you consider that the number of computers sold jumped from less than 10 million in 1992 to 34.2 million in 2007, there's clearly a lot of old machines lying around somewhere.

We hope that with the $1.5 million the EPA just granted to environmental-education efforts, the agency will soon be able explain the necessity of sustainably disposing of our outmoded gizmos. Because it's not hard to guess what the near future holds for gadgetry.

--Justin Klugh

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