Instrumented EPA Hazardous Material Identification in System SMBIOS Structures
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jan-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
An estimated 20 million PCs became obselete in 1998. Most are in storage. Of the remainder, the bulk were disposed of with probably fewer than 6 percent having been recycled. In 2005, more than 63 million PCs are projected to be retired according to the National Safety Council. These products contain hazardous substances, such as lead, mercury,cadmium, etc. For example, glass screens in CRTs can contain as much as 27% lead. Massachusetts has already banned monitors from landfills and other states are expected to follow them. There are also reusable materials (precious and non-precious metals in circuit boards, engineered plastics, and glass). Additionally, land fills have continuously been used for disposal of entire computers and monitors, rather than recycling. Effectively, because of current governmental processes and procedures, it is currently inefficient and expensive to recycle. One of the key components of the recycling process is the identification of materials with the current process being manual and laborious effectively paper based surveys being the only mechanism. What is needed as an automatic method of storing the EPA related data in the system for later indentification of materials. During manufacturing IBM would load all EPA related data into a "non-volatile area" in the PC itself by extending the system SMBIOS structures to include EPA information. This information would carry all known chemicals or substances that at the time of manufacture of the system was known and would enable the final person or company doing the disposal to access and then accurately know the potential chemicals (and their quantities) the system contains thereby enabling them to then check the latest EPA or country requirements for proper disposal. Monitors can pass this information via the monitor interface pertaining to what it has. This can be stored in the system tables. An agent based management tool can scan the inventory and determine the actions needed. Potentially could be licensed to reclaimation companies and sold as a service to their customers.