The row over dumping of computer material in landfills escalated today after an asset management company hit out at the practice.
On Tuesday, Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that he would raise landfill taxes. But yesterday IBM admitted it had dumped 16,000 monitors rather than spend an additional #2 per unit to recycle them.
Today, Technical Asset Management (TAM) alleged today that "most companies dump" their PCs on landfill sites because recycling is more expensive.
Kevin Riches, managing director at TAM said: "Landfill taxes can never be high enough, given that PCs contain large amounts of noxious materials. The biggest problem is the cadmium in cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
He claimed these items could be disposed of in an environmentally friendly fashion but large computer companies made savings by not recycling them, and added that the UK electronics recycling industry is less than one-sixth the size of its German equivalent, according to figures from researchers Frost & Sullivan.
Another issue raised by the whole affair is why machines are dumped rather than donated to charities or schools.
Meanwhile, environmentalists are questioning not only the effect of heavy metal cadmium in the long term, but whether 16,000 or more monitors might implode in the future, causing dangerous landslips.
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