The benefits of e-waste recyclingDate: 10 February, 2015
Proper e-waste management, and the subsequent recycling of electronics, has become more important than ever in recent years. It’s actually hard to imagine how much waste is out there when you include all of the electrical appliances we dump every year, and all of the old computer equipment we just throw away. And when you think about it, it’s just endless: obsolete computers and laptops; used computer monitors; old television sets; and all those electronic components of years gone by.
Hard to believe in 2015, but much of our e-waste is still being improperly disposed. It contributes to premature filling of our landfill sites, but even worse, it sets up the potential for serious contamination of the environment. The companies who do not comply with disposal regulations already face fines and serious cleanup costs - it shows the seriousness of the situation. But there is also good news – the companies who collect e-waste, now re-route waste from landfill, and recycle effectively.
Beyond environmental compliance, there is actually good value in e-waste recycling.
And although the recycling process can be highly technical and automated, it derives worthwhile results. For example, the re-processing and re-manufacture of glass is a successful by-product of waste glass from TV sets and computer monitors. As it is, collectors of e-waste (companies that gather all that waste material) have become the conduit for retailers to channel electronic product returns and product recalls.
Just the fact that toxic and polluting materials are not ending up in landfill sites is a great benefit to industry, the general public, and the environment. E-waste is full of lead, mercury, and various types of plastic - and landfill sites are absolutely not the place for such material. With an average computer containing approximately 10 lbs. of various plastics, it’s absurd to be trashing millions of components, and even more absurd to incinerate them - burning plastic emits toxins that no one wants in the air.
For consumers and companies who are focused on a green approach to electronic waste, it’s very important to find an e-waste handler who is eco-friendly and who can ensure that the waste is being responsibly handled. A reputable e-waste service provider will recycle as much of the waste as possible - and that includes all manner of waste collected, not just the e-waste. And besides providing excellent customer service, the good e-waste contractor will also offer competitive pricing.
Truth is, finding a responsible e-waste contractor is not simple. There’s no shortage of electronic recyclers who promise to do it all, but don’t deliver a thing. They don’t recycle all the waste they collect, and often sell the e-waste to exporters who then send it off to developing nations. It’s therefore quite important to find an e-waste contractor that you can fully trust - in other words, a team who can assure you of responsible e-waste handling, an approach with the most benefits for the long run.
In short, whether it’s a company or an individual, responsible e-waste management is worth seeking and finding. The benefits will always outweigh the downsides.