Are we destined to a WALL-E world?
An author over at Singularity Hub has brought up an interesting point: as electronic devices become obsolete faster, we seem to be accumulating electronic junk faster as well. He argues the WALL-E apocalypse is not inevitable though:
Does accelerating tech therefore doom us to flee an eventually uninhabitable WALL-E world? Maybe, but not all old gadgets are destined for the dump.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Not everyone can afford to be a first adopter, but if you are one, you can sell old equipment to re-commerce sites like Gazelle or NextWorth or trade it in for a discount at Apple. In many areas, you’ll find local programs accepting donated machines and distributing them to low income students or other less privileged groups.
If old computers or smartphones aren’t usable anymore, folks still don’t have to throw them out—it’s actually better not to. Electronics contain toxic materials like lead and mercury which can leach into the soil and groundwater at the dump.