Placing hard Drive in E-Recycling Container - All Source

05 Oct E-Recycling – Environmental Benefit

In our Shred Everything, Recycle Everything post we discussed the environmental benefits of shredding and recycling paper.  Continuing our examination of environmental stewardship, let’s take a look at the impact of E-Recycling.

Technology changes quickly and becomes obsolete almost as quickly.  Within a few years that state of the art laptop or cell phone you purchased will become an expensive paperweight. So, what happens to the heaps of electronic devices rendered obsolete each year?

Disposal Options

There are not a lot of options for effective disposal of old technology.  The two most common methods of waste disposal are burying or burning. Neither of these options are ideal.  Both result in toxic materials being released into the ground and/or air.  Recycling our used electronics is a way to keep the toxins out of our environment and allow them to be re-used.  E-recycling helps by

  • Reducing pollution
  • Saving natural resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the earth
  • Saving energy

 

Hazardous Chemicals in Electronics

Electronic devices contain a complex mixture of hundreds of different materials.  Lead, mercury, beryllium, and cadmium are among the heavy metals used.  Additionally brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl chloride (a chlorinated plastic) are used in some items.  These chemicals can have a profound impact on our health and environment.  Often these chemicals are toxic at low concentrations.

E-Recycling – what goes in?

The good news is almost all of our electronics can be recycled.  From old computers and monitors to smartphones and televisions – it can all be recycled. Put an e-recycling container in your office to collect electronics to be recycled. Then look for a certified e-recycling facility which will wipe all information from devices.  Certified e-recycling facilities will then deconstruct devices removing toxins so they can be properly handled. This can vary by region so check your municipal website for more details.

Want more information? Check out our blog post on the financial benefits of e-recycling.

Questions?  Give us a call to talk about how to make this work for you!

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