Daily Archives: 04/17/2006

Earth Week 2006 Kick Off

Guam EPA Earth Week 2006 - Logo from CJ Santiago of GW High School
It’s Earth Week 2006 here on Guam and I thought I would feature an environmental story of local or regional flavor every day this week, leading up to the big Island Pride Festival this coming Saturday at Ypao Beach Park.

First off, a subject that’s been on my mind lately. Believe it or not, I’m something of a geek. And I have a collection of decrepit old computers, printers, monitors and assorted electronics lying around my place. A couple Dells, an Mac LC 575 (complete with System 7.5), my old Quadra 950 (the thing weighs a ton), and an ancient Pentium Pro (running Windows 95). Junk basically, and it needs to go. But where?

Computer recycling is a pressing issue. Those innocuous computers and cell phones are full of some noxious compounds and metals. Salon ran an expose on the shadowy world of electronics recycling last week. In short, most of the old computer and monitors discarded every year wind up in sub Saharan Africa or China, where people strip the machines apart in Dickensian conditions of squalor and poverty. And much of the waste comes from the United States, the only major nation in the developed that has not ratified the Basel Convention, an international attempt to limit the flow of scrap and waste from the developed world upon the poorer nations.

This is not a new problem, but it is growing every year. Steps are being made to reduce the amount of hazardous waste in electronics, but that doesn’t help me with my problem today. Apple offers a take back program for their computers, but the program is not valid for people on Guam. I need somebody on island to take my aging computers and decrepit electronics.

The Guam EPA comes to my rescue. The agency put out a Guam recycling guide with names and phone numbers of local recyclers and what they will accept. Looks like there are two companies on that list who take computers and electronics. It’s too late in the day to call them now, but tomorrow I will check both companies and see what they can do for me.

  • Island Scrap Yard, Barrigada: 637-1687
  • Triple Star Recycling, Harmon: 648-2910/11

What we could really use is another Hasso Guam! campaign by the Guam EPA to collect hazardous wastes.

There’s been talk about developing a recycling program on the island, but so far I haven’t seen any concrete steps taken to address the waste flow problem on island. But that’s a post for later in the week…

UPDATE – APRIL 21

I called both recyclers mentioned on the Guam EPA flyer (which is also prominently displayed in the phone book) and Triple Star Recycling wants nothing to do with computers or electronics. Island Scrap Yard is happy to take computers and monitors, though they charge $1 for monitors.