Any guesses on how many personal computers are in use out in this vast world we live in? As of July 2007, it’s estimated that there are about 6.6 billion people in the World. Out of those 6+ billion people, how many of them do you think are using a computer? According to Gartner, a research firm, the number of personal computers in use has passed the 1 billion mark which is pretty big. In other words, about 1/6th of the population has a personal computer.
Of course we know that the number of people who actually own a computer is under the 1 billion mark because of all of the people (you may be one of them) that own multiple computers, but this is still pretty significant. An analyst with Gartner says about 58% of those one billion computers are owned by people in “mature” markets – places like Japan, the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. What’s interesting though is that they’re expecting the next billion computers to come by 2014 and many of those computers will come from emerging markets.
Now that more people are using personal computers, there’s one major problem that has to be addressed: computer recycling. Computers have multiple components that are toxic to the environment. As computers age, people often times decide to just throw them out instead of recycle them when they buy a new one. Each year millions of computers become obsolete and end-up in landfills.
How do you recycle a computer you ask? Most manufacturers these days have a recycling program which makes it easy to do. Take Dell for example. If you go to www.dell.com/recycle, you’ll see options to either donate or recycle your computer. Dell even offers to have it picked up at your home at their expense. All you do is fill out a form and they provide a label for you to print. Nice, huh?HP is another example, and you can find their program at www.hp.com/recycle. Depending on where you live, they also offering recycle services for rechargeable batteries and cell phones along with computer hardware and printer cartridges.
If your computer is aging and you intend to buy a new one, definitely think about your options for your old computer including recycling and/or donating it.