The other day, I finally broke down and decided to replace the old UPS that the server in my office is connected to. I would never have let a client use one this long, so it was time to do as I say. American Power Conversion company (APC) makes the UPS I have so it was off to their web site to see about replacement batteries.
As I entered the model numbers, the web site selector gave me several options, including a trade up program. I had to buy at least as much power as I am trading in, but I got new a UPS AND the company paid to ship the old one back and dispose of it correctly.
I like to see programs that address the environment. In the computer industry, we are polluters too. We need to be careful about our waste, just like any other industry, maybe even more so. According to the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, part of the problem is all the materials we use to make computers.
In general, electronic computer equipment is a complicated assembly of more than 1,000 materials, many of which are highly toxic, such as chlorinated and brominated substances, toxic gases, toxic metals, photo-active and biologically active materials, acids, plastics and plastic additives.
I was pleased to notice that one of the companies that SVTC says is an environmentally conscious recycler is right here in Hudson NY, Advanced Recycling Technologies. A piece on CBS News in December of 2004 has shown that there is work to be done developing the recycling industry, and that not all recycling companies are equally concerned about the problem.