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The Green Grid Publishes New Data Center Recycling Metric

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the slightly-used-keyboard dept.

Earth 12

Nerval's Lobster writes "The Green Grid, which helped popularize metrics for minimizing wasted electricity in data centers, has developed a new method for cutting down on wasted electronics as old servers and other equipment reach their inevitable retirement. The Electronics Disposal Efficiency metric is designed to help minimize electronic waste, specifically servers and other enterprise hardware. It will take a cue from other organizations, including the Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP) Initiative. The Green Grid is trying to build on established regulations that govern the disposal of consumer electronics such as televisions, including the rules governing Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) within the EU. The metric isn't concerned with whether equipment has been reused or recycled, or where it's broken down into component parts. But Green Grid decided that recyclers need to be ISO 14001 certified, on top of being audited 'to the end of the line'—presumably to ensure that materials were being recycled and not discarded somewhere along the recycling chain."

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12 comments

Opportunities for profit (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | about a year ago | (#43102545)

Isn't there a lot of precious metal in E-waste? AFAIK harvesting that can be quite lucrative as well. It surprises me that one needs initiatives such as this, one would think that the firms would want to recycle electronics anyway...

Re:Opportunities for profit (2)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43102649)

You are right there is money to be made out of E-waste.

We are now two hours after the submission of this article and this seems to be the second comment, in my eyes some indication lots of people just don't care about recycling or the environment.

And Americans are just waking up :)

Re:Opportunities for profit (1)

Nammi-namm (2841499) | about a year ago | (#43102837)

You are right there is money to be made out of E-waste.

We are now two hours after the submission of this article and this seems to be the second comment, in my eyes some indication lots of people just don't care about recycling or the environment.

And Americans are just waking up :)

I am commenting because I care. Everyone should. This really reminds me of the documentary The Lightbulb Conspiracy. You can see it on youtube if you guys are interested, it has this exact subject in it.

Re:Opportunities for profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43103227)

And now that I'm awake I see a disfunctional government owned by energy interests and utterly unresponsive to the electorate.

So much for environmentalism...

who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43107517)

government utterly unresponsive to the electorate?
the electorate, as you can see from the deluge of comments here, doesn't give a flying fuck about recycling of e-waste.
for once, the government is mirroring the sentiment of the electorate perfectly.

Re:Opportunities for profit (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year ago | (#43103315)

Isn't there a lot of precious metal in E-waste?

I've read somewhere it's currently way more expensive to get raw materials from e-waste than to directly mine them from the earth. At some point, when natural mines are all but exhausted, that'll change, but not for now. By then we'll see current waste deposits become the new mines (plus recycling becoming the norm). Then at some point the waste mines themselves will be exhausted and we'll be left with full, continuous, permanent recycling of everything, no more waste deposits at all.

Re:Opportunities for profit (1)

SST-206 (699646) | about a year ago | (#43107819)

At some point, when natural mines are all but exhausted, that'll change, but not for now. By then we'll see current waste deposits become the new mines

Indeed. And in this case, surely it would be a good idea if we started burying E-waste in separate dedicated E-waste dumps instead of in with all the other landfill trash, so we can find it more easily when we need it again.

Re:Opportunities for profit (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43105875)

Isn't there a lot of precious metal in E-waste? AFAIK harvesting that can be quite lucrative as well. It surprises me that one needs initiatives such as this, one would think that the firms would want to recycle electronics anyway...

Tons. So much so many mining companies actually prefer it - it's a LOT easier to mine e-waste for valuables than it is to actually extract them from the ground - the concentration of valuable minerals is so much higher that it's way more profitable. It's why you never really have to "pay" much to recycle electronics (maybe a token recycling fee) - most of the cost of the recycling is paid for by reselling the materials.

The problem has been there usually is no direct way to link the two - miners rarely are present where e-waste is, and for a lot of folks, it's just easier to dump the old PC in the dumpster than take it to a facility (because while the individual quantity of valuable material is small, when aggregated in the quantities miners like, it's much more valuable). When dumping 1000 servers, sure, its easy. When dumping 1, not so much.

key typer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43104101)

I once worked for a state run company that employed mentally challenged people. Some of them worked on taking apart circuit boards for recycling. They didn't get paid much then (90's). I hear that same facility is making twice as much now and most of the people housed there want those recycling jobs b/c they get paid well now. They are planning on expanding (or were before the stupid sequester hit). It was just a matter of time. All of those resources are in high demand now; as stated as the argument to begin that program in the first place.

Be careful disposing of servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43106007)

Servers typically have an IPMI password stored in flash on the motherboard. This gives access to the server's lights-out management capabilities (with which you can do anything, including booting from a remote OS image so you can dump the disks). Many servers in a data centre typically share the same IPMI password. So you ought to be concerned about how you dispose of defunct servers. Details here [fish2.com] .

Recycling certifications (1)

The Green Grid (2859837) | about a year ago | (#43110699)

The Green Grid is very pleased to introduce Electronics Disposal Efficiency, which is the culmination of over a year of activity and engagement. EDE combines the domain expertise of organizations such as StEP (Solving the e-Waste Problem) with The Green Grid's experience in developing and promoting metrics for resource-efficient information technology and data centers. One small clarification specific to recycling certifications is that The Green Grid is not necessarily requiring that recyclers be ISO14001 certified. The EDE white paper provides guidance for those organizations wishing to implement internal initiatives that are the equivalent of certification programs such as R2 or eStewards (http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/certification.htm). ISO14001, if focused specifically on the internal initiative, is one potential means for organizations to provide governance for their programs. We encourage thoughts, comments and reactions on EDE.

Component re-use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43113727)

If the machines are not shredded for example the Chinese will re-use some parts for cheap gadgets. I know they do for smartphone CPUs, but they couls probably also recycle DDR2 chips.

Shredding into a pulp is a waste. But it keeps manufacturers happy - they can overcharge for support on old equipment as no spare parts are on the marker - and that is why they probably support initatives like this.

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