Exporting e-scrap and e-waste overseas carries a lot of negative ethical implications. Businesses that export e-scrap are often making a profit off the way developing countries mishandle toxic and sensitive materials. Workers, many of them children, will often smash open electronics hoping to recover platinum, gold, silver and other precious metals while at the same time being exposed to lead, mercury and other toxins. The materials are then left in landfill-sized piles, leaching these toxic metals into the earth and the water tables. When businesses are discovered to be participating in these practices, often action is taken.
Read more: E-Scrap and Personal Responsibility
One of the fastest growing waste streams in America is e-waste from the hundreds of thousands of tons of electronics we throw out. Because we consume electronics at an alarming rate, communities have been encouraged to recycle e-scrap so as to minimize the damage done to our environment and water tables. Gold, platinum, lead, mercury and other metals are released into the environment when cell phones and televisions end up in landfills. Needless to say, recycling is important. But what happens when recycling causes more damage than it was supposed to solve?
Read more: GPS Tracking Uncovers the Dangers in E-Scrap Recycling
It came as a real blow for many recycling organizations and other waste management companies when the Environmental Protection Agency suffered massive blows to its budget, particularly to its Waste Minimization and Recycling program, set to be cut under the proposed Trump administration budget. Ultimately, the thrust of the changes for the EPA are about putting responsibilities back to the states and local communities while the federal agency is to focus on “core environmental work,” as defined in the official proposal. Now it is up to environmental agencies to lobby Congress to reconsider how the proposed changes will affect the nation.
Read more: Recycling Organizations Head to Congress
Businesses buy billions of dollars of electronics every single year. Unfortunately, upgrading your fleet of laptops or phones only adds to one serious problem the world is working to deal with right now - e-waste. Every new machine means one that is suddenly obsolete, and for most businesses, dealing with used electronics is a massive effort.
Read more: Electronics Recycling for Your Company
Selling old devices is a popular way to make a little money once you have upgraded to something new. You may think that you have reset the computer and cleared all information but according to the NAID (National Association of Information Destruction), about 40% of personal devices still retain personal information even after being wiped. What can this mean for an individual who thinks they are getting rid of a clean hard drive? The potential for someone else to get personal information about you is out there and it pays to be extra cautious when selling or recycling computers and hard drives.
Read more: Is Your Hard Drive or Computer Really Wiped Clean?
Schools and nonprofits are always looking for ways to raise money to better serve their students or cause. It’s a regular practice and a beneficial one to be sure, so if your organization is looking for creative and ways to raise money, an e-recycling event may just be what you have been looking for. Electronic recycling fundraisers have grown in popularity over the last decade and offer a great way to properly dispose of old electronics while raising money for a good cause. It is truly a win-win kind of fundraiser.
Read more: Turn Electronic Recycling into a Fundraiser