Electronic waste is sometimes also called e-waste, e-scrap, or “end of life” electronics. The last one, ‘end of life’ electronics, is probably the most descriptive because electronic waste covers all kinds of electronics that have reached the end of their “useful” life.
When your electronics – e.g., old computers, cell phones, and laptops – reach the end of their useful life, our crew at Junk King Alameda will be there to help. At Junk King Alameda we take all kinds of electronic waste (e-waste), including:
- -Cell phones
- -Video game consoles
- -DVD players
- -And much more!
Junk King Alameda works with local metal recyclers and e-waste recycling facilities. It is all about keeping more resources in circulation and giving a clean planet to the next generation. Many old electronics can be refurbished, reused, salvaged for parts, recycled, or donated to those in need.
Why is Electronic Waste Recycling Important?
That’s a question that we get quite a lot. The short answer is that electronic waste can contain toxic materials that are best left out of landfills. Cell phones, computers, and televisions can contain many toxic substances and heavy metals, such as:
- -Halogenated polymers
- -Flame retardants
- -Volatile organic compounds
- -Hexavalent chromium
- -Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
- -Beryllium oxide
- -And more
The state of California has passed several laws over the last twenty years to try to keep most of these harmful materials out of California’s landfills. The biggest piece of landmark legislation was probably the Electronic Waste Recycling Act in 2003. The Covered Electronic Waste recycling program kicked into effect two years later in 2005.
Residents throughout Alameda were given more opportunities to recycle their electronics than ever before. Junk King works closely with local recycling facilities to cut down on the number of harmful materials that wind up at landfills and reduce illegal dumping of old electronics throughout the state.
The United State alone actually produces more electronic waste than any other country around the globe. California alone produces a lot of electronic waste. (If California were treated as a country, then the state of California would be the fifth-biggest economy (by GDP) in the world.) Californians are said to produce about 250,000,000 pounds of e-waste every year!
How Does E-waste Recycling Work?
The process of e-waste recycling gets underway when electronics are disassembled and separated. The components of your old electronics get classed together and the materials get cleaned down the line. The interior components from your old electronics get shredded mechanically if the parts are deemed valuable or dangerous to handle.
Big magnets overhead may remove the ferrous metals from many of your old electronics, whereas plastics and glass are removed and classed separately. The plastics recovered from old electronics can, believe it or not, be put into musical instruments or car bumpers among many other things. (Water is used to separate the plastic and glass at the e-waste recycling facility. Only once this process has separated the glass from the plastic can the materials be recycled or resold.)
An overhead magnet will remove the steel and iron from the rest of the e-waste debris below on the conveyor belt at the electronic waste (e-waste) recycling facility. Aluminum, brass, and copper are also separated once various pieces of electronic waste have been disassembled.
The circuit boards in laptops, computers, TVs, and game consoles can be broken down to reveal precious metals inside. Circuit boards are made from gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. The more of these metals that can be recovered, the better. Recovering precious metals means less mining down the road.
E-waste Recycling Prep: Staying Safe with Your Data
Recycling something like your old laptop can save a lot of electricity. Consider that for every one million laptops that are recycled the equivalent of 3,500 homes throughout the United States could be powered for an entire year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
That’s great news, but unfortunately, only about two in five computers that reach the end of their ‘useful life’ are recycled, and the percentage is much lower for old cell phones. Many people throughout Alameda hang on to their old electronics out of fear that their data will be harvested. Privacy and data theft are certainly real dangers, but there are ways to protect the environment and privacy while donating or recycling your old electronics.
The first step to take before wiping any sensitive data from your old computers or cell phones is ensuring that all of your current data is backed up. Flash drives are good if you only have a few GB of data, but you may need an external hard drive if you have years of data saved on your old computer. There are a few online tools that allow you to store data as well.
Once you have saved your data, then consider taking a few steps to clean the hard drive of your device. Going about this step the right way can involve deleting files, encrypting files multiple times so that they will be harder to get back, and overwriting the files. There are a few tools out there like Secure Eraser, BitKiller, WipeFile, and Hard Disk Scrubber to make the process secure.
Ready to Get Started with Junk King Alameda?
If you have old computers, cell phones, televisions, and other kinds of electronic waste then feel free to explore your options with Junk King Alameda. You can schedule an appointment online today or call 1-888-888-5865 (JUNK) to get immediate answers to your questions. Texting a photo to 1-737-888-5865 is also a good way to get an idea of how affordable working with Junk King can be.
Our online pricing estimator is also a great option if you want a realistic estimate of how much removing old electronics from your home or workplace will cost. That said, free on-site estimates are still the ideal way to ensure the lowest price. When removing e-waste with Junk King Alameda!