Just working my way through an excellent book called Confessions of an Eco Sinner by Fred Pearce. The gist of the book is that rather than just come all preachy about the state of the planet - Pearce actually takes the trouble to find out what is really going on.
The sections on IT and mobile phone recycling and disposal are excellent. Pearce really questions whether regulations such as the WEEE directive are really going to improve the e-waste problem which currently sees Britain producing about a million tonnes of e-waste a year - which equates to the weight of about 2,400 Jumbo Jets.
But rather just rubbing his chin from the safety of his study, Pearce actually goes out to see how much of this waste is transported to developing countries and broken down in dangerous conditions often by children. Delhi and Pakistan are just some of the cities where Pearce finds illegally exported e-waste being dismantle for whatever valuable parts can be scavenged.
As for the much vaunted WEEE directive, contacts that Pearce speaks to in India think that WEEE will lead to more waste exports to that country. There are obviously legitimate recycling facilities in India but also a thriving black market which unless WEEE is properly policed will see a lot of the extra waste which the legislation could generate.
The answer that Pearce finally settles on for how to dispose of his own computer is to donate it to an organisation that re-uses old computers from the UK such as Computers for Schools Kenya based in Nairobi. (which receives PCs from the UK via organisations such as Computer AId which is based in North London)