Recycling Technology Devices
With the fast pace of innovation our society is reaping tremendous benefits of modern technology devices. Today it's not uncommon for the average person to have 3 or 4 electronic devices. But what happens when these devices are no longer useful or the owner simply wants the newest model?
These old end-of-life (EOL) devices are causing a growing E-waste problem. According to a January 2019 report from the World Economic Forum, E-waste is now the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, with an estimated waste stream of 48.5 million tons in 2018. Currently there are estimated to be more than 100 million unused devices in households and 80% will not be collected for recycling.
Some facts about E-Waste
- E-Waste contains toxic elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium that are a threat to our health and the environment by impacting the soil and ground water. One computer monitor alone can contain as much as four to eight pounds of lead and other toxic substances.
- Many of the products contain precious metals that cane be recycled and reused. According to the EPA, if we recycled one million cell phones, we can recover over 20,000 pounds of copper, 550 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and 50 pounds of gold.
- In a landfill, E-Waste can take thousands of years to decompose.
- If burned in an incinerator, E-Waste will produce harmful emissions posing a threat to health, greenhouse gases, the ozone, leading to climate change.
What should you do to responsibility recycle your technology devices?
First remember to remove all your programs and data, erasing everything and reset to factory defaults. Most recyclers will take care of this but if you want to be sure do it yourself. If you want to be extra sure remove the hard drive and keep it or drill holes in it, then:
- Sell it or trade it in. One person's trash is another treasure. Sell it on Ebay or trade-in with Apple, Amazon and other retailers.
- Donate your equipment. These are trying times and some are struggling more than others. Many children have had to transition to remote learning and are in need of computers. One local organization, called Computer Smiles, collects donations of gently used computers which they then rebuild and refurbish to give to students, families and senior citizens in need. This is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that was founded three years ago here in South Jersey. Donations can be delivered to locations in Voorhees, Cherry Hill or Willingboro.
- Find a certified e-waste recycler. Most Goodwill locations will accept donated technology devices. Or visit www.Earth911.com to find a recycler near you.
Please do your part by recycling properly. We can all make a difference and preserve this beautiful planet for future generations.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Solutions.