E-waste is a huge e-issue. We have a very disposable focused culture, often driven to the newest and best by creative advertising and our desires to enjoy life. When you buy something new, whether it is green tech focused or not, do you give thought to what you do with your discarded items? Do they end up in landfill or stuffed into and forgotten in your attic? Or do they end up going to an organization which responsibly recycles or reuses your old computer?
New survey results out from Pike Research, a clean tech market research firm, suggests consumer awareness of e-waste issues is larger then before. A solid majority – 76 percent – of those surveyed by Pike felt “recycling is the most appropriate way to handle unused, broken, or obsolete electronics equipment at the end of its useful life.” Interestingly, “only 14% felt that the cost of electronics recycling should be borne by consumers at the points of purchase or recycling.” This bears an interesting question: if the majority of consumers want e-waste recycled, but aren’t willing to bear any costs associated with this end-of-life issue, will manufacturers, retailers or municipalities pick it up instead after it leaves the home?
“The consumer is an integral link in the chain for electronics recycling and e-waste management,” said Pike Research managing director Clint Wheelock in a statement. “In order for the industry to achieve its goals, consumer values, attitudes, and behavior will need to support responsible handling of end-of-life electronics equipment. Popular sentiment is also essential to support the political will of governments as they strive to mitigate e-waste issues through legislation and regulation.”