While most people understand recycling is good for the environment, there are additional benefits. Computer Recycling wants people to know that recycling e-waste is not a new practice, but it is gaining popularity as technology advances.
Top Ten Reasons to Recycle Your Old Computers
Whether you’re new to e-waste recycling or a veteran recycler here are some reasons that Computer Recycling wants you to consider.
1. It saves money
Recycling has traditionally been a way to reduce the cost of waste removal. Trash removal services can have hidden fees attached to them. This can include trash stickers or bin purchases. Furthermore, it is illegal to place electronic waste in the household trash for disposal. By using various methods of recycling, trash can be decreased at a steady rate. Unused electronics often accumulate over time. Even small devices can take up space when additional wires and accessories are considered. Recycling these types of electronics not only declutters the home or office but cuts down on traditional trash costs.
2. It’s easy
Unlike many other forms of waste removal, electronic recycling can be done in a variety of ways. Depending on the individual, any of these services can be chosen to discard unwanted or unused devices. An E-cycler can recycle the materials of a device while destroying possible data. Certain municipalities also accept electronics. Some electronic devices can even be returned to the manufacturer.
3. It’s valuable
Many electronic devices contain precious metals. The Environmental Protection Agency reported that 1 million cell phones contain approximately 75 pounds of gold. Cell phones also contain copper and palladium that can be melted and reused. By recycling these precious metals, they do not go to waste in a landfill where they are of no use to anybody.
4. It helps the community
Computers are an essential technological advancement that much of the global economy depends on. Without the use of new technological devices, communities can fall behind. Recycling electronics can help low-income families as well as schools. Computers that are still able to operate can be refurbished and resold at a lower price to those in need. Computers that do not need to be refurbished can often be donated to charity organizations.
5. It decreases pollution
According to a study by the United Nations, 41 million metric tons of electronic waste was created in 2014. With the increase in electronic advancements, that number is likely higher today. With so much electronic waste, more people recycle to cut back on potentially harmful toxins created by specific metals. By recycling electronic devices, metals can be repurposed for additional use rather than polluting the environment.
6. It can cut energy costs
The majority of a computer can be recycled. It is estimated that only 2% of a computer is non-recyclable. Monitor glass, keyboards, casing, circuit boards, and batteries can be reused through recycling. When less manufacturing is required, energy consumption is reduced. This can create a lower cost while benefiting the environment.
7. It provides data disposal
Throwing away a computer or electronic device in the trash is not a secure way to handle personal data. Even if a computer does not appear to work, discarding electronic devices must be taken seriously from a security standpoint. Data can be completely wiped out by visiting certain IT disposal centers. By completely destroying data, traces of personal information can be removed.
8. It improves health
Recycling old computers and electronic devices can prevent certain chemicals from damaging the environment. Toxins released from heavy metals or manufacturing companies can create serious health issues for both humans and animals. Toxins that come from non-recycled electronics can be found in the water or the air.
9. It helps the economy
Computer recycling may not seem like an economic investment on a global scale, but it can significantly improve job prospects. Industries that develop goods made from recycled electronics can be extremely valuable. Many forms of income can stem from recycling that does not include trading cans for coins. Recycling industries that focus on refurbishing computers is one way to earn a living.
10. It accelerates technological growth
Technology companies are experiencing pressure to “go green.” This means the future of electronics could be increasingly environmentally friendly. With electronics designed to cut down on pollution or unnecessary energy expenditure, this can benefit multiple countries.
The Legality of Electronic Waste
Rules and legislation regarding electronic waste differ depending on the country and state. Federal electronic waste laws in the United States can be confusing for those who do not follow the Environmental Protection Act.
Certain electronic waste like TVs and monitors can be classified as hazardous waste. While there is no current U.S. federal law that requires electronic recycling, certain states like California have issued an explicit fee. Depending on where an individual lives, some states require manufacturers to cover the cost of recycling their own products.
In Colorado, businesses are not allowed to dispose of their electronic devices in certain ways. Using landfills for computers is illegal if the county provides an electronic recycling program. Businesses must recycle if they can.
Most electronic devices use materials that can be considered toxic. One of the most effective ways to understand which metals are used is by breaking the device down in a professional setting. Once an electronic device has been taken apart, a recycling site can assess potential health hazards. The correct setting is key for examining potentially toxic material. Without proper recycling and protective wear, workers or individuals in the community can be exposed to harmful chemicals.
Electronic recycling can help save money, protect the environment, and support the community. Regardless of the reason for recycling your old computers, this process has a rippling effect throughout the globe. When electronics are properly recycled, advancements can be shared throughout the world.