Finding the information to support my previously mentioned rumor about computer “recycling” in China and the toxic side effects was not all that hard to find.
My point here is to create some or more awareness. There are many sources that point to the great possibility that our recycled nasty bits of electronics do not end up cleanly disposed of. Worse, our thrown away nasty bits of electronics very likely pollute our environment. Much like how we should think about where our food comes from, we should think about where our toxic junk goes. Look up a place like BoxQ, but do your homework on where they send their stuff. Our effort in recycling toxic electronics goes beyond finding a place to do it, and includes understanding the whole process to make sure we aren’t paying to dispose of our items safely only to have them disposed of unsafely. From a consumer model, that’s a rip-off; from a responsibility model, that’s irresponsibility through laziness.
Now I get to put my money where my mouth is and do this research on BoxQ. I will certainly make another entry about those results. They make a lot of claims about responsibility of their disposal methods and not shipping overseas, but there are few actual details around what they mean by that. For example, it is important to determine if they hand over the components to refineries that responsibly handle the process; not doing so would invalidate their intentions.
A friend recently asked me about this, so I think this makes an excellent first nugget on the topic of Green Living & Computers. Another good post should be my definition of that concept, but perhaps actions speak louder than words. To that end…
Many of our electronics contain materials that are very harmful to the environment if we simply dump them in a landfill. Sure, it’s easy to throw out something as mundane as a broken remote control, but even the printed circuit board in that will minutely pollute the water table. In other words, it pollutes the water we drink (and some of us fish or swim in).
Enter recycling places such as BoxQ in Georgetown, MA. The benefit of being responsible ultimately costs us — you have to pay to dispose of your electronics. However for the price of that disposal fee comes a clean conscience in knowing that you have disposed of something toxic responsibly.
Follow-ups I can, or should, make to this post are:
- My thoughts on Green Living & Computers
- Investigate rumors of “recycling” facilities in China (etc.) where they bear the burden of the toxic waste at our expense
I think I am going to get a bit more controversial in 2010 — despite my original intent for this to be a somewhat neutral place.
I have changed my mind because there are things I believe strongly about where technology is concerned, and I feel that sitting by quietly is wrong. Sitting by quietly is the sin of omission; sloth at its finest.
I plan on my posts to cover the following topics:
- My thoughts on FOSS
- Internet Privacy (as in, I believe it should exist, and see little reason why it should not)
- Green Living & Computers
- Computer Ethics
I think there is a good chance these topics will cross a bit. My goal will be to keep them somewhat short, approach them in parts, and hopefully state my thoughts clearly and without deliberate aggression or accusation.
As a favorite comedian of mine says… you gotta have goals.
EDIT: These steps were specifically for 5.3, but I would expect something similar for D6 (and up) since there is still a DFC installer. The primary trick is to get the DFC to work with eclipse.
This is a pretty esoteric post and is largely for my own memory.
1. Add to your .bashrc and .profile:
DOCUMENTUM_SHARED=/ThePathYouWantToUse/Documentum/share; export DOCUMENTUM_SHARED
DOCUMENTUM=/ThePathYouWantToUse/Documentum; export DOCUMENTUM
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/ThePathYouWantToUse /Documentum/share/dfc; export LD_LIBRARY_PATH
2. Then you can install the DFC (only the first two are required by the installer, but you’ll need the 3rd to execute anything)
3. Install the following (fixes an unsatisfied link error in the libdmcl40.so):
sudo apt-get install gcc-3.3-base libstdc++5
4. You might need to fiddle with other things like the CLASSPATH if you want to run anything from the command line. These steps allowed me to get the JUnit tests to execute from Eclipse.
You can use the JARs to write the code, but to actually run anything, you need the native libraries for Linux (the .so files). The installer works fine on Linux, and you can change the setting of DOCUMENTUM_SHARED and DOCUMENTUM in a shell to get different versions installed in different locations.