With the number of installed PCs worldwide fast approaching 800m, IDC expects the PC recycling market to grow to meet disposal regulations.
The research firm estimates there were 749m installed computers around the world in 2004. With the market showing no signs of slowing, and companies around the world routinely involved in upgrading their systems, IDC expects the PC recycling and refurbishing industry to expand and create a new market.
"Millions of systems will be moving out of homes and offices and will have to be properly disposed," said David Daoud, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker and Personal Computing programs.
"Some will have their life elongated through a data cleansing and refurbishing process, others will be de-manufactured with their various parts reused by other industries, while others will be completely destroyed," Daoud said.
The majority of companies do not yet include asset disposition in their PC ownership cost analysis, according to IDC, which indicated that less than 37 per cent of enterprises of all sizes have a formal PC recycling and end-of-life policy. The need to safely dispose of the millions of PCs and related peripheral devices that reach the end of their working lives every year requires action from lawmakers and governments, IDC said.
A survey commissioned by computer maker Dell in 2004 revealed that two in five Irish businesses throw out old PC equipment. The study also showed that a mere nine percent of Irish consumers planned on recycling their old PCs.
Back in July Ireland became only the second country in the EU - after Greece - to implement the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive. This waste management regulation states that any company manufacturing, importing or selling any kind of electrical or electronic equipment in the Irish market will have to accept old equipment from consumers and help to fund the recycling process of this material.
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