Newly introduced legislation finally aims to ban the export of old electronics once and for all.
Rather than shipping unloved laptops and TVs to the Third World for a dirty form of salvage, advocates call for keeping e-waste at home for recycling.
As laptops, flat screens and smart phones grow ever more ubiquitous, so does the problematic trash they ultimately become. It’s a quandary for the Information Age that seldom gets the attention of the cool tech tools themselves.
Individual communities in the U.S. have been struggling with how to dispose of electronic waste, who should pay for its recycling and whether companies that manufacture electronics should be responsible for their full life cycle. But much of this e-waste is never disposed of anywhere in the U.S. — whether at local municipal dumps or corporate facilities.
It winds up, of all places, in Africa, or the Philippines, where it’s mined for valuable components as small as copper wiring. And conscientious consumers trying to …