The production of each new computer requires…
- 529 pounds of fossil fuel
- 49 pounds of chemicals
- 1 500 liters of water
LRTS refurbishes 25 000 computers every year!
The equivalent of…
- Saving 21 925 750 liters of oil
- Saving 32 495 700 liters of gas
- Remove 15 250 cars off the road per year
- Reduce CO2 emissions by 76 900 tons
Why refurbish a computer?
Technology is changing rapidly. Today it is estimated that the average life span of a computer is 3 to 5 years. At the end of this period, the computer changes hands. It may go to the dump, be recycled, or in the best case, be refurbished.
If a computer is no longer good enough for the needs of the first user, it can still suffice the needs of someone else. At LRTS, the computer will be cleaned and specifications will be improved to meet program requirements. The vast majority of refurbished computers are then sent to local schools. By doing so, it doubles the computer’s life. This prevents the production of a new computer in addition to offering an economical option for schools and non-profit organizations.
Which elements are present in a computer?
Used in the front panel of CRT displays to protect users from radiation. Short-term exposure to barium can cause brain swelling, muscle weakness, and damage to the heart, liver and spleen. Other side effects include ventricular tachycardia, hypertension and/or hypotension, muscle weakness, and paralysis. Barium is a carcinogenic.
Found on motherboards and connectors and is a human carcinogen. It causes inflammation of the upper and/or lower respiratory tracts, fever (usually low-grade), malaise, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, night sweats and can cause difficulty in breathing and a persistent dry cough.
BFR aka Brominated Flame Retardants are used in plastic casings and released when electronics are dumped or incinerated. BFRs are disrupters to the endocrine system, reduce levels of the hormone thyroxin in exposed animals and can harm developing fetuses in pregnant women.
SMD chip resistors, infrared detectors, semiconductors, older types of cathode ray tubes, and some plastics contain cadmium. It concentrates in the body causing kidney damage and harm to fragile bones. Long term exposure can cause kidney failure and permanent damage to the bone structure. Cadmium is a known cancer causing substance.
Dioxins and Furans
Dioxins and Furans
Dioxins and Furans are used in the plastic casings. This is released when electronics are incinerated at a recycler or thrown in a landfill and exposed to the sun. These cause changes in hormone systems, development of the fetus, decreased ability to reproduce and a suppressed immune system.
Used for corrosion protection of untreated galvanized steel plate hardeners for steel housing. It is a recognized cause of cancer and can cause DNA damage and asthmatic bronchitis.
Many older TV and Computer monitors can contain up to 4-8 lbs of lead. It is also used in the soldering on the circuit boards. Exposure can cause brain damage, nervous damage, blood disorders, kidney damage, and developmental damage to fetus. Children are especially vulnerable. Acute exposure can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma, or death.
Light bulbs in flat panel displays, LCD screens, switches, & printed wiring boards all contain mercury. High levels of exposure contribute to brain & kidney damage, harm the developing fetus & can be passed down through breast milk and fish consumption. Exposure through ingestion or inhalation can cause central nervous system and kidney damage.
PVC aka Plastics & Polyvinyl Chloride. Make up to 14 pounds (about 20%) of an average computer. Dioxin can be formed when PVC is burned. Combinations of plastics which are difficult to separate and recycle are used in printed circuit boards, in components such as connectors, plastic covers & cables.