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Refurbishing an old approach to PC recycling
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 11:27
By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: January 16, 2008, 4:00 AM PST
C/Net News 

There is an easy, cheap, and environmentally friendly way to recycle PCs, cell phones, and other electronics, according to Jeff Ziegler, CEO of Austin's TechTurn: reuse them. 

The company, one of many that specialize in disposing of old electronics, says refurbishing offers the most efficient alternative to dealing with the world's growing mound of e-waste. Energy doesn't get wasted pulling old computers apart and melting down components into raw materials. Additionally, energy and natural resources aren't consumed for a new PC because the old one has effectively usurped demand for it.

Approximately 80 percent of the notebooks that come into the company's facility get refurbished and resold. The rest get picked apart and sold by component, or munched and melted.

"We are selling laptops that are 10 to 12 years old," he said.

PC refurbishment has been around for years, and it typically has not lived up to its promise. The failure largely can be chalked up to Moore's Law, which describes how computers and other devices get steadily cheaper and better over time. Because of these two factors, resale value drops extremely rapidly. Why buy a used computer if the new one costs about as much?
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