A group of Stanford University students, concerned about e-waste, have designed a notebook computer you can disassemble into recyclable parts in just 30 seconds, MIT Technology Review is reporting.

John Pavlus cheekily notes in this week’s MIT TechSpecs that the Bloom notebook is pretty much the opposite of an Apple – something designed in a way that you’ll never have to take them apart.

(Personal aside – I disassembled an old eMac a few years ago so I could remove the hard drive before taking the remaining bits to the local recycling station. It was way tougher than taking the hard drive out of a PC)

“Consumer electronics contain plenty of recyclable materials, but their tightly integrated manufacturing makes the various bits of glass, metal, plastic, and silicon near-impossible to separate by the average consumer,” Pavlus writes.

Taking an intact computer to a recycler just means somebody else has to disassemble it in order to avoid turning it into landfill material.

“They spend 90 per cent of their time prying 250 screws out of every device that comes in through the door – it’s very expensive and time consuming,” Pavlus quotes Bloom co-designer Aaron Engel-Hall as saying.

To take apart a Bloom, you turn two knobs on the plastic case, “and the motherboard (borrowed from a Macbook), battery, and other mixed-material components drop right out.”

There’s even a postage-paid envelope behind the LCD screen where you can ship the inside bits. The plastic exterior shell goes into the recycling bin in your kitchen.

At present, the Bloom is just a prototype.

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