Save the Tech, Save the World (by Guest Blogger Andrew Springer)

Read more about the author here. This post is based on the community work and writing that the author has been doing in WR 122 at Portland Community College.  The piece of public writing is loosely based on a research question and research collection the author developed.  The public writing is a chance to use one’s writing to become part of the larger community dialogue about issues in the chosen theme.

The Public Writing: Blogging on Technology

Andrew’s very engaging public blogging on technology can be found here.

The Research Question & Collection

1.        “A cadmium lining: Growing mounds of electronic scrap can mean profits or scandals.” Economist. 26 Jan 2013: n. page. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://www.economist.com/news/international/21570678-growing-mounds-electronic-scrap-can-mean-profits-or-scandals-cadmium-lining>.

This article served as a great resource for information about some of the social impacts that electronic waste can have. It clearly points out some of the corruption regarding the current system of dealing with electronic waste, where electronics are exported to places that have more lenient legislation regarding electronic waste recycling. It also covers how “recycling” services abroad do a poor job of properly recycling and only care about the profit that can be had from dismantling consumer electronics. All of this coming from a reputable source that covers many topics, and has sources to back up any claims made. Altogether, this was the most emotionally appealing resource that I used for my blog and I hope to see more articles out there like this.

2. “Electronic waste recycling on the increase.” United Press International. 05 Mar 2013: n. page. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2013/03/05/Electronic-waste-recycling-on-the-increase/UPI-58581362517909/>

I used this article to help serve as an example of the recent strides that are being made towards improving the electronic waste issue, regardless of how small they may seem. This article explores the events around a Californian recycling firm outsourcing recycling to a recycling center in Chile. This recycling center has Chilean government backing and serves to help improve the local economy while doing so in a healthy and environmentally friendly manner. This website serves as a sort of journalistic conglomerate, that seems to have a history of producing reputable articles. Overall, it helped me understand where current efforts are and what are some potential ways to improve on the situation.

3.  Shelton, Randy, B.S. “E-Waste Recycling .” SNU-Tulsa Research Journal. 3.1 n. page. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://home.snu.edu/dept/tulsa/snuie/SheltonR.pdf>

This academic journal article was one of the most informative and well thought out resources that I came across in my research. It is a complete analysis of the state of the electronic waste issue, and was only published 3 years ago. It serves as a great logical back story to why the electronic waste management system seems to be a bit disheveled. In addition, it does a great job of logically painting a picture for why the electronic waste issue is an issue. The author clearly sites sources, and had this paper published in an academic journal so it seemed to be the most reputable source that I collected. I used it for several facts throughout my blog posts, and will probably keep it around for further reference.

4. Munn, Andrew. “E-Waste Crisis.” Computer Industry Impacts on the Environment and Society. University of Michigan. Web. 13 Mar 2013. <http://sitemaker.umich.edu/section002group3/e-waste>.

This is a website from the University of Michigan that helped me answer the question of why electronic waste is dangerous. It contains some accessible graphs that point out what specific parts of an computer play a role as toxins and environmental hazards. The author cited sources throughout this part of his website. Collectively, the entire website felt very hard hitting but I ended up using only the page specifically on e-waste to support my thoughts in my blog. It helped me answer one of my other potential thematic questions for this project, which was “What components are harmful to the environment, and how can they be prevented from being included in future technology designs?” (I chose to go with a hybrid of this question and another question). The fact that it was from a University that I knew of, and was well cited throughout made this source trust worthy.

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