UK companies are wasting millions through the inefficient disposal of their old PCs. The problem has come to light following a study from IDC, carried out in the US. According to the research firm, US corporations will waste $3 billion (#1.8 billion) next year in wasteful junking of machines. IDC estimates that 83% of the 11.1 million machines US companies will discard next year will be donated to charity, taken to landfills or disposed of by other costly means. Only 17% of the machines will go down the more economical route of the second user market. In the UK, not only are companies wasting money by dumping PCs instead of selling them on, but they are ignorant of the dangers of non-environmental disposal methods. There is a lack of interest among users and manufacturers in this issue, according to Joy Boyce, corporate environmental manager at ICL and chair of the Industry Council for Electronic Recycling (ICER). "No one in Europe has really got a handle on what to do about retired PCs," she said. "We basically don't know how many are out there, as many UK companies dispose of their PCs privately and they end up going into a chain of recycling companies, making it extremely hard to find out where they end up. It is a nightmare waiting to happen." Boyce added that, for large manufacturers like ICL, recycling was one option but was "like a set of scales", as environmental impact had to be weighed up against the high costs involved. Suppliers may be forced to take a more active role in disposal, though, if new legislation is passed by the EU. According to James Foulk, an IT analyst at IDC: "At present, it is up to the user to dispose of their retired equipment. However, planned legislation may change all that and bring Europe into line with Japan where manufacturers are liable for the disposal of hardware."
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