America’s Television Graveyards | You Should Listen To This

April 7th, 2017

Topics: Future of Work Infrastructure Process Management

A new series of blog posts, “You Should Listen to This” picks out some of the best technology podcasts the CDS team has come across.  These highlighted episodes cover a diverse amount of content that is related to our areas of expertise.

The highly though-provoking, entertaining folks at Motherboard (VICE) have recently launched a new podcast, called plusplus podcast. The podcast is “a show about science, tech and the future, told from laboratories, garages and factories across the world. Motherboard embeds with the humans and machines shaping our future behind the scenes.” I highly recommend subscribing to it, with a weekly episode releasing every Tuesday, it’s a nice way to stay in tune with what is really going on in the tech world.

In this episode, plusplus reveals a dark secret (to some) about today’s technology gadgets. What do you do with your old TV or smartphone? Most of us recycle it or trade it back in to the provider to get the newest gadget. Then, what most companies do is pay a company to ‘recycle’ the gadgets if they are past their useful life period. From the outside, this sounds great. But when plusplus digs into this, they find that these gadget ‘recycling’ companies are, in fact, just a gimmick.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has discovered many abandoned warehouses “stacked to the roof” of old televisions, cellphones, and computers… and there is little they can do about it, because the so called ‘recycling’ companies are no longer around. Time and time again, these companies are formed, and they abolish shortly after filling a few warehouses… all to earn big money, without regard to the environment.

As the government tries to tackle this, there are companies that actually properly recycle CRT televisions and old cell phone batteries. The issue is, it’s incredibly costly, difficult, and dangerous to do. As this becomes mainstream news, or the government begins to hold them accountable, technology hardware companies will need to establish a digital strategy on how to create and package products that can be effectively recycled once they have become outdated and surpassed by new technology – which is now quicker than ever. The question is, when (or if) this will ever happen, or will we keep discovering warehouses full of our old CRT televisions and Blackberries?

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“You Should Listen to This” is a synopsis of a tech podcast which highlights a new strategy or insight that correlates with one (or more) of our areas of expertise.  If you have a podcast you recommend, we’d love to hear about it! Send your recommendation to us on Twitter @CenterDigital or shoot us an email.

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