A systems approach to the study of environmental waste

Stowell, Frank and Stowell, Alison (2007) A systems approach to the study of environmental waste. Systemist, 29 (2). pp. 199-214. ISSN 0961-8309

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Abstract

Environmental concerns are becoming increasingly high on the agenda of most people. Carbon emissions, depletion of forests, toxic chemicals and pesticides entering the food chain are amongst many of the key worries of most citizens. But there is an increasing awareness of other equally important contributions being made almost unconsciously to the sum total of environmental damage. These relate to technical development and progress in general but to Information Communication Technologies (ICT's) in particular. The cycle times for updating, renewing, installing new generation of ICT's coupled with health and safety regulations means that "old" technology has to be removed and as a consequence, "dumped" somewhere. Early manufactured until recently was made with many materials that without proper care taken in their disposal are harmful. The demand for the latest software and hardware has led to the forecast that 300 million personal computers (PC's) being dumped by the year 2010 (Takatsuki 2006). Land-fill sites in the UK are estimated to be reaching there full capacity (Grossman 2006). This paper recounts a study using systems ideas to research the purchase and disposal of PC's in a large and environmentally responsible enterprise against its environmental policies and the factors that drive demand and the compartmentalised thinking of those who drive the demands.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Systemist
ID Code:
69798
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
27 Jun 2014 11:20
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
11 Oct 2020 23:53