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Css 330 - Critical Thinking and Computer Logic - Pclm

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TEAM PAPER WEEK FOUR

Learning Team: Week Four

Learning Team A

University of Phoenix

CSS/330 Critical Thinking and Computer Logic

Matt Mancani

February 24, 2006

With the PCLM solution came another set of problems, the largest being that of what to do with the existing personal computers. We had just assumed we could dispose of the outdated computers as you would any other item, by placing it in the trash. That turned out to not be the case, we had to obey by local, State, and Federal regulations regarding the proper disposal of personal computers and CRT monitors. The other unforeseen circumstance was compiling with Federal laws associated to properly destroying all sensitive customer information off the PC hard drives. HIPAA physical safeguard contain the following regulation; disposal, implement policies and procedures to address the final disposition of electronic protected health information, and or the hardware or electronic media on which it is stored; media re-use, implement procedures for removal of electronic protected health information from electronic media before the media are made available for re-use; accountability, maintain a record of the movements of hardware and electronic media and any person responsible therefore. (Phoenix Health Systems, 2006)

With regards to disposing or recycling of old computer equipment there are very many key things that need to be considered. What are the fees for disposing or recycling of computer and other electronic equipment? Is disposing of electronic equipment equally as environmentally safe compared to recycling? What are the long-term effects of disposing this kind of materials? Can anyone benefit from the recycling of computers or other electronic devices? These are some of the things that should be considered when deciding to dispose of old or unwanted computer materials. Each company must see which option is best for them and their ideals.

Usually there are nominal fees for companies to pick up and dispose of computers, monitors, and printers, the same can be said for recycling. There are even free options that are sometimes offered by non-profit or government agencies in order to help ease the land filling of this type of materials. Just last year the Michigan Department of Information Technology and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality teamed up with Dell, Inc. to host free computer recycling collections at three locations across Michigan to provide citizens with a better alternative for disposing of their electronic computer equipment (State of Michigan To Hold Computer Recycling Events, http://www.michigan.gov/som/0,1607,7-192--127654--,00.html). Dell helped to do this project to show that no computer should go to waste when there are materials inside that can be recycled and reused.

When it comes to which method is most safe for the environment it all depends on who is doing the recycling or disposing of the materials. Since most people do not know how to properly dispose of computer equipment they usually end up just throwing it in the garbage. A survey of Michigan consumers shows that 49% of people do not know how to dispose of unwanted computers (PR Newswire, A MultiVu Company, (http://www.prnewswire.com/broadcast/22934/consumer.shtml). For this fact alone recycling seems to be the better option. Most old computers that are disposed of in the US are shipped to China, Pakistan, and India (US dumps computer waste on third world, TheInquirer.net, http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=2669). In this article it states "Pollution in the areas has become so devastating that well water is no longer drinkable and water for the entire population has to be trucked in from 30 kilometers away."

The process for breaking down all the materials and metals is known as Demanufacturing. Computers are made with a variety of elements, like plastics, glass, steel, gold, lead, mercury, cadmium and fire retardants that can be recaptured through recycling and used again. If thrown away, these computers can release toxins to the environment, potentially polluting the groundwater we drink and the air that we breathe. Recycling the resources in computers also eliminates the need to obtain these elements from nature, decreasing production impact on the environment. By reclaiming many of the items that make up computers and other electronic equipment will allow us to save on natural resources.

Who can benefit from recycling computers? The answer is simple, everyone in one way or another, whether it is by a better environment or by offering pieces up for resale to customers at a lower rate. When it comes to recycling it can be done two ways, the way that was talked about above or by not breaking the components done but by breaking the computers, monitors, and printers down to components that can be reused by others. A computer could be broken down into many items that could be resold which would help the over filling of land fills and the disposing of in third world nations.

To take advantage of state and federal tax incentives we wanted to peruse the option of donating the computers to local schools and non-profit organization. There are a number of Federally supported charity foundations that will accept even outdated computers in return for tax incentives. Our organization had to choose a donation path and preferably one that could coordinate and document not only the PC donation process but also assure that the electronic data on the donated PC was deleted and destroyed per State and Federal law. The US Environment Protection Agency provides a list of donation options on their website; these include Computers for Kids, CompuMentor, Computers for Schools or CFSA, and many more. (Us Environmental Protection Agency, 2006) We choose the CFSA, because it allowed us to donate computers across the entire United States. The CFSA offers certified refurbished computers to schools and non-profits at about one third the cost of new. Their goal is to provide computers to schools to bridge the economic gap that prohibits access to technology. (Computers For Schools, 2006) We were able to remove the hard drives and destroy per Federal compliance and still donate the computers and receive the tax incentives.

Another method for making sure that the computers are properly taken care of is by purchasing computers from vendors that will recycle them for you, this is also known as the Vendor Buy Back, Vendor Recycling program,

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