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More Information: Choose a computer maufacturer with a recycling policy

According to a recent study by the National Safety Council's Environmental Health Center, approximately 20.6 million personal computers became obsolete in the U.S. in 1998. Of that number, only 11 percent, or about 2.3 million units, were recycled.

Disposal of old computers could become one of the biggest solid waste issues in the coming years. While the outer case of the computer hard drive and monitor can oftentimes be used again, the inside of the computer, the part that becomes obsolete, contains hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury. The fear is that it will end up in landfills not designed to accept contaminated material.

For a list of manufacturers that offer a recycling program, such as Dell, Gateway and Micron, visit the Ecomall website.

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