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Watchdog Group Targets Apple for Creating "iWaste" with iPod

TMO at MWSF - Watchdog Group Targets Apple for Creating "iWaste" with iPod

by , 8:45 AM EST, January 12th, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- A group called the Computer TakeBack Campaign (CTBC) protested outside of Macworld Expo this week in San Francisco. The group's campaign is an attempt to pressure Apple Computer to take back obsolete computer equipment for recycling.

We initially encountered the group outside of Moscone Center, where Macworld is held. Outside, we saw a banner that appeared to be an iPod ad, but once we saw the text, "from iPod to iWaste, toxic trash, in your pocket," we sensed it wasn't an Apple ad.

Upon further inspection, we also saw a bin full of assorted older Macs, and a sign telling us that each of the video terminals in the bin contained from 4 to 8 pounds of lead.

CTBC Outside of Moscone Center
(click for a larger image)

The CTBC is a watchdog group that targets computer makers for creating massive toxic "iWaste" problem. In a press release, Ted Smith of Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition claims "With every hip new iPod comes toxic iWaste, which Apple denies as its problem."

According to the group, Apple takes back obsolete electronics in Japan, Europe, Taiwan and South Korea. CTBC claims his isn't being done because Apple is being a nice company, but rather because some countries have legislation which make companies responsible for the disposal of their products if they contain hazardous materials.

CTBC is campaigning to get Apple to do the same thing in the US.

While most Macworld attendees paid little attention to the protest, the group did have people talking to those on hand for the event.

An Apple spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

More information on the problem, proposed solutions, how to take action, information on applicable legislation and more can be found at the group's Web site.

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