UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

An awful lot of light cruisers dumped into landfills

32 Reg comments Got Tips?

We're obliged to reader Simon Moore for flagging up a heavyweight improbable measurement unit, deployed by the National Physical Laboratory in an attempt to quantify the amount of printed circuit board waste dumped into UK landfills every year in terms of Royal Navy light cruisers.

According to this enlightening report into the ReUSE (Reuseable, Unzippable, Sustainable Electronics) project, 1,000,000 tons of PCB scrap is chucked annually, which is "equivalent to 81 x HMS Belfasts".

Simon suggested: "As this is from the National Physics Laboratory it must be regarded as a new standard, and perhaps could be adopted by The Register's Standards Soviet."

Well, it's a fair point, but a quick bit of research reveals that HMS Belfast tips the scales at 11,500 tons.

Accordingly, it's actually 86.96 HMS Belfasts – give or take the odd six-inch gun turret – which are consigned to Blighty's rubbish tips each year.

We'll leave it to readers to supply the equivalent figures in KiloJubs and giant octopuses. ®


Vulture Central's backroom gremlins thought the NPL's number-crunchers may have used the generic displacement figure (as built) for the Edinburgh sub-class of the Town class light cruiser, of which HMS Belfast is a member. A quick bit of research gives the design displacement under full load of the Edinburgh sub-class as 12,980 long tons, which would mean Blighty's annual wastage amounts to 77 RN light cruisers – clearly not the figure the NPL reached. Even using the sub-class's empty weight of 10,565 long tons, we couldn't make it add up to 81.

Any ideas? Tell us in the comments if you can reverse-engineer the NPL's shonky sums.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020