The Price of Recycling Old Laptops: Toxic Fumes in Thailand’s Lungs

Factoring the cost of e-waste disposal into our electronics would make prices go up, and that’s un-American. The free market will find a solution, though. (Oh, wait, it already has.)

«“Why don’t you in the West recycle your own waste?” said Phayao Jaroonwong, a farmer east of Bangkok, who said her crops had withered after an electronic waste factory moved in next door.

“Thailand can’t take it anymore,” she said. “We shouldn’t be the world’s dumping ground.”»

On a more serious note, though, nobody thinks “complete life cycle” for anything, software or hardware. If you build something with poison in it (lead, mercury, germanium, polychlorinated biphenyl), now you have a piece of poison in your life. Then what?

Also, this isn’t just an American thing. China doesn’t want its laptop prices going up, either. Hurts exports.

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