Bring out your dead!

That phrase was heard with great frequency in London during 1665. Carts toured the streets encouraging people to get rid of the bodies of people who had died of the plague. You probably know that. But what has that got to do with a photo of a load of old computers?

Well, we often talk of our computers (phones, tablets – all that) as “dying”. Sometimes we can revive them – and sometimes we decide to replace them, not necessarily even waiting till they are “dead”.

One of the most common things I find in offices and homes is a pile of what is technically known as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). In 2007, the EU Weee directive came into force. I kid you not. Ridiculous acronym or not, it is a serious business. Each year in the UK alone we throw away over 1.2 million tonnes of WEEE. Over 75% of it ends up in landfill eventually leading lead and other toxins into soil and water. So before THAT long some of this may well have worked its way through the system and become your wee. How about that for an unpleasant prospect?!

But please don’t think that I am therefore encouraging you to hang onto your “dead” monitors, towers, old laptops and so forth. No – once they are dead to you get them out of your homes or office! You won’t go back to them. Really. You won’t.

Although there aren’t actually carts that come round our streets to collect them there are many ways to dispose easily and responsibly. There are some good pointers here in this Which? Article; http://www.which.co.uk/technology/computing/guides/how-to-recycle-your-old-computer/ including how to remove data before disposal.

Don’t let old equipment become a plague in your home or office.