• Norman Stokes

Important Things to Consider About Electronic Recycling

Owing to the diminished lifespan of our electronics and the growing demands of the society for new and improved electronic products, e-waste has become the fastest growing stream of waste. According to an estimate by The Environmental Protection Agency, only fifteen to twenty percent of electronic waste is recycled and the rest ends up in landfills or is illegally exported to developing countries. This is hazardous as a range of electronic components contain toxic substances like mercury, lead, polyvinyl chloride and beryllium. This makes electronic waste recycling important.

Where can you recycle electronics?

In order to get your electronics recycled properly, you need to get in touch with certified electronic recyclers. A lot of electronic recycling centers will also offer you pick-up services. There is a range of methods to assure that your old electronic equipment is handled by a reliable recycler. Consider if your electronics recycler is initially looking to see if the old electronic equipment can be reused before it’s sold for parts. Reuse offers devices an extra few years of usability and is more environmentally sound. In case refurbishment is not a choice, reliable recyclers will make use of high-tech separation and mechanical shredding device to take out the metals that are usable to finally send them to a smelter.

E-stewards and R2 certifications for electronics recycling

In the U.S., there are two standards for recycling electronics. Each standard has its own certification programs that the recycler needs to go through and maintain. One is called the Responsible Recycling (R2) practices and the other is E-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic equipment called E-Stewards. Make sure that your electronic recycler has one of these certifications.

The Pile of Denial

These days, almost every home possesses a pile of unnecessary and old electronic devices. This is known as the ‘pile of denial’ in the world of recycling. The pile begins to grow over a period of time and is hardly gotten rid of. It is important to recycle your electronics the moment you realize that you are done using them. This is due to the fact that electronic depreciation happens at a fast rate and by the time equipment gets to an electronic recycling service, almost whole of the initial value is gone which increases the difficulty in refurnishing the device.

Erase your data

Prior to donating or recycling your old cell phone or computer, make sure to erase your entire data contained in the device. You need to do more than merely deleting files. You are required to wipe the hard drive so that the data cannot be retrieved by anybody else. At times, your recycler will do this for you by charging extra.

Pay for recycling services

Not all electronic devices can be donated or dropped off at an electronic recycling service. Printers, cartridges, CRT TVs and lot of home appliances are dangerous to recycle, so consumers are required to pay a certain amount of fee to recycle them. It is important to pay that fee so that you can save the environment from the harmful consequences.

Do not throw batteries in the garbage

Nickel cadmium batteries are made from poisonous materials and affect the environment negatively. Consider a battery recycling service to dispose of your household batteries or car batteries.

What is done with e-waste?

Electronic devices are made up of important metals silver, gold and copper. When these electronic devices are adequately recycled with the help of certified electronic recyclers, the precious metals contained in them are sold for profit and turned into something totally new. For example, aluminum and zinc from tablets and laptops can be used for making cars, art, jewelry and metal plates.

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