Enraged with technologies such as computers, television and other stuff from US buyers that goes to dump sites in China, Africa and other countries.
Kao started the Green Citizen company that gathers and organizes, discards old automated gadgets in the Bay Area. The company make sure that the devices are either reprocessed into raw materials, repaired, overhauled or resold.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Green Citizen company will get a this holiday season will bring a new batch of electronic surplus to the part of the 2.4 million tons seen each year.
"The holiday period is the biggest buying time for most consumer electronics, and it absolutely results in more e-waste," said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of theElectronics TakeBack Coalition, a recycling advocacy group.
"When it comes to recycling, it's an afterthought," said Kao, 55, who has also founded two software companies. "All the energy is going to how do we get the next revenue from the new best gadget, and there is never a thought to how to get it back."
While Green Citizen is trying to offset gadget waste, Kao said it still isn't a match for a consumer culture that encourages people to seek the latest and greatest technology. About 80 percent of U.S. electronic waste ends up on container ships and then ditched in developing countries, where companies hire workers to extract the core minerals without any environmental or worker-safety oversight, he said.
"It's going to get worse and worse," Kao said. "Initially I tried to fight it, but you can't."