In 2008, 60 Minutes traveled to southern China and promised to show viewers “one of the most toxic places on earth.”
It was a place, said correspondent Scott Pelley “where you can’t breathe the air or drink the water…where the blood of the children is laced with lead.”
How had the town of Guiyu gotten that way? Much of the blame lies with e-waste: old computers, cell phones and other electronic devices thrown away by Americans who thought they were recycling their technological assets.
Instead, these electronics were shipped to China, and then broken down for the valuable metals inside them, leaving toxic materials like mercury and lead behind.
And not much has changed since 2008. A recent report by Reuters found that Guiyu remains one of the largest — if not the largest — e-waste dump in the world.
Stories like this illustrate why it’s best to find an asset recovery solutions company with an environmentally responsible worldview. At CWI, most of the equipment we process can be resold and reused, which is the greenest way to dispose of old devices.
Will we see a day where tablets and smartphones outnumber desktop or laptops at the office?
More than one expert seems to think so.
Last year, the market research firm Gartner said that by 2018, more than half of all users will use a tablet or smartphone for all online activity.
“The use pattern that has emerged for nearly all consumers, based on device accessibility, is the smartphone first as a device that is carried when mobile, followed by the tablet that is used for longer sessions, with the PC increasingly reserved for more-complex tasks,” Gartner research vice president Van Baker said in a statement at the time.
As the technology drops in price and Wi-Fi becomes more prevalent to meet the needs of a BYOD (“bring your own device”) culture, use of tablets and smartphones is expected to become more common.