Businesses investing in online training and Web 2.0 learning systems are part of a global movement of interactive and collaborative instruction. But companies using such learning systems are also helping contribute to a new system that rejects the destructive cycle of e-waste which has historically dominated the electronics industry.
In 2008 alone, Hong Kong intercepted and returned 41 ship containers to US ports. The ship containers carried tons of illegal electronics waste from the US, according to the Hong Kong Environment Protection Department. By intercepting the ships and sending them back, Hong Kong prevented attempts by US companies to dump 1.4 million pounds of broken TVs or computer monitors overseas and an estimated 82,000 pounds of lead, a known toxin, in the devices.
Although online learning systems and cloud computing may help decrease e-waste, electronics “recyclers” need to be audited by companies seeking to dispose of electronic waste, to make sure e-waste isn’t simply exported to developing countries.