Just recently, IDC's David Daoud released a report on the staggering weight of PCs and related devices and accessories recycled in the United States in 2010. The total weight amounted to about 8 pounds per capita or a total weight of 2.5 billion pounds in 2010. We're talking about PCs (about 44 percent of the total), PC displays (27 percent), multifunction peripherals (about 15 percent), and the remainder primarily from mobile phone devices, x86 servers, digital cameras, non-enterprise storage, keyboards, mice, and cables.
The electronics recycling industry in the United States is beginning to make progress, but challenges remain. The electronics recycling is highly fragmented and lacks sufficient oversight.
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges centers on the slow rate of change of current recycling practices, though enterprises are definitely improving faster than home consumers and small businesses. With our expectations at IDC that the recycling industry is likely to grow in importance and scope both as an economic activity and as a guarantor of proper environmental stewardship, it's worth thinking about this from a supply chain perspective.
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