It happens to all of us. We get a new coffee maker for Christmas and we have no use for our old one. Or we get the next best technology for work, and we’re left with a functioning but unused personal computer or tablet. Or perhaps we’re due for a cell phone upgrade and there are lots of great reasons to take advantage of an upgrade. We don’t want to hold on to out of date or defective technologies, but what are our real options? It is worth exploring the details.
Why Bother With E-Waste Recycling?
There are lots of great reasons to deal with e-waste. Landfill space is at a premium. What leaches into the water supply and ground is of utmost concern. Then there are health hazards and quality of life to consider.
Electronic Reclycing Fundraisers
Donation is an excellent but underutilized option. Far too many electronics actually go to the landfill while still being fully functioning. Is there a nonprofit or needy family who could benefit from this product? If so, donate – don’t trash.
Recycling, particularly for businesses, is an excellent way to deal with e-waste. It is easy to see how this can happen. A nonprofit, for instance, receiving a grant for new computers has to find something to do with the old computers already sitting on the desks. The real problem is dealing with the security information on many business computers’ hard drives. This is where it pays to work with a reputable recycling company that can ensure the data is stripped, removed from the hard drive and then properly recycled in a way that does not damage the environment or compromise any critical data.
Not dealing with the details has ramifications on an epic scale. For example, a quarter of a billion computers will become obsolete in the next five years (according to the EPA). Everything from household electronics to remote controls and computer monitors contain lead that can leach into the water stream. Federal regulations do not yet capture the nuances or environmental damage done by choosing not to recycle our e-waste. And, as always, developing nations pay the price of housing first world waste. Knowing the options really can be a matter of life or death.