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The "E-Waste" Crusader

Over at Tech Talk, Science and Technology Correspondent Daniel Sieberg gives his candid closing thoughts on CES — and highlights a growing problem in the tech world: What on earth to do with all those shiny new gadgets once they grow dusty and old. And it's a big issue, considering there is already two million tons of e-waste in the United States. That's a lot of toxic trash.

Here's a taste:

So, as it turns out the Consumer Electronics Show got the best of us, in some ways. The producer on the shoot got a wicked case of the flu, I caught a minor stomach bug going around and basically we hobbled out of Las Vegas with some story ideas for the future. Overall, a decent show this year, but definitely somewhat subdued compared to previous gatherings. Hard to tell if it was a result of being overshadowed by the New Hampshire primary, our collective illnesses, or a cooling in the gadget world. Food for thought. In any case, we move onto tonight's piece on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric that highlights a growing problem in the technology marketplace — what to do with all the (literally) tons of discarded electronics?

James Burgett, a former drug addict and homeless person, is taking the challenge head on. His motto is: obsolescence is just a lack of imagination. Burgett runs a non-profit re-use operation outside San Francisco. While he's in favor of better recycling options for electronics — and feels more companies need to alter harmful manufacturing methods — he is primarily an outspoken proponent of re-use. He and his team, many of who are convicted felons or former drug addicts, take thousands of pounds of computers, fax machines, printers, PDAs, game consoles, etc. every month and re-furbish them before donating them to schools or charities.

You can see Daniel's full story tonight on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Or in the meantime, check out his entire post over at his blog, Tech Talk.
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