Electronic waste is short for e-waste, and that’s something that my crew takes from homes and workplaces all the time. Electronics can turn into e-waste when they break or become obsolete over time, thus reaching the end of their ‘useful life’. Fortunately, Junk King Boston will be there to (literally) pick up the pieces with e-waste removal! My crew and I have been handling e-waste removal for years now.
You might be surprised to hear that there are approximately 150 million cell phones thrown away every year in the United States alone. Cell phones are actually a good place to start with e-waste. That’s because cell phones contain a bunch of precious metals like gold and silver as well as toxic heavy metals like mercury and lead – in the circuit board and batteries.
The challenge for us at Junk King Boston has always been keeping as many of these toxins out of landfills as possible. The reason is that these materials can be released into the environment and pollute the local water and air if left in landfills; plus, something like a bulky CRT monitor or television takes up a bunch of space! Aside from taking up space, recycling electronics means less mining for more materials and less waste.
Junk King Boston Leads the Pack with E-waste Recycling
Less waste? Absolutely, and the amount of waste is actually pretty staggering. The value of the raw materials that went into e-waste in 2019 alone was estimated to be worth about $7.5 billion, according to Earth911. Junk King as a whole is North America’s ‘greenest’ junk removal company because of its commitment to e-waste recycling and responsible e-waste removal.
What is E-waste Recycling?
E-waste recycling itself is the process of reprocessing and reusing electronic waste, which keeps toxic and hazardous materials out of local landfills. Electronic waste for homeowners can take many different forms, including the usual suspects like laptops, monitors, and televisions. E-waste may also include batteries, DVD players, and microwaves. Junk King takes a variety of different pieces of electronic waste, including the following:
- -DVD players
- -Video game consoles
- -Other e-waste!
Aside from the precious metals – the ‘good’ metals – and heavy metals – the ‘bad’ metals – involved in eco-friendly e-waste removal, other components in e-waste like plastic and glass can be recycled. The plastics from old appliances can be eventually turned into equipment holders, posts, trays, and other electronics at a future point. Since Junk King also works with metal recyclers, the actual steel and aluminum can be recycled as well.
Stages of E-waste Recycling
The first stage of e-waste recycling – i.e., the process and collecting and transporting the electronic waste – is already handled by me and my crew at Junk King! The ‘big red’ Junk King trucks are now 20% larger, which means that more can be fit inside and savings are passed on to customers. Items are grouped together in the truck so e-waste can be efficiently sorted at the Junk King warehouse before heading to the e-waste recycling plant.
At the e-waste recycling plant itself, your old devices will be broken down further, shredded, and sorted into smaller pieces. The pieces that can be reused are placed into one pile, and pieces that need additional processing may be destined for further processing. Tiny waste particles may be removed before the next stage of e-waste recycling, i.e., magnetic separation. At the recycling plant, a strong magnet hovers overhead to separate metals like steel and iron from other impurities.
A process known as water separation can help to separate plastic from glass in certain electronics as they go down the conveyor belt. The lead used in CRT monitors can be particularly problematic.
The good news is that the four to eight pounds of lead in a CRT monitor can be processed at these recycling plants and turned into other products, e.g., batteries and X-ray equipment used in the medical industry. That’s pretty cool to think that obsolete e-waste can eventually be used to detect medical issues and potentially save lives.
Still, more can definitely be done in terms of responsible e-waste removal. The United Nations said that only about 17 percent of electronic waste was properly recycled in 2019. My crew and I at Junk King are dedicated to bringing that number way up and ensuring that more electronic waste stays out of landfills! In that same year (2019) the World Economic Forum said that e-waste was actually the fastest-growing type of waste in the world.
Are Batteries a Type of E-waste?
There are a few different kinds of batteries that you might have lying around your home or collecting dust in your garage. The lead-acid automobile batteries in your garage can usually be recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Junk King works with auto retailers and service centers, which accept these kinds of lead-acid batteries.
(Some emergency lighting and alarm systems may use lead-based batteries as well; these are also taken by Junk King.)
The batteries that are probably lying around your home right now are likely dry-cell batteries. This type of battery does not contain any liquid. Alkaline or lithium-ion batteries that charge up your phones, kid’s toys, or laptop might well be based on dry-cell technology. Dry-cell batteries cover the gamut: A, C, D, 9-volt, coin batteries (e.g., used in watches), as well as rechargeable batteries currently in vogue.
Although some cities will technically allow alkaline batteries to go in the trash, both alkaline and lithium-ion batteries should be recycled. (Lithium-ion batteries are very tricky to recycle and were, unfortunately, partly responsible for a 93% uptick in recycling facility fires.) Junk King can help with responsible e-waste removal and safely handling lithium-ion batteries.
Junk King is North America’s number-one-rated junk removal service and continues to lead the pack in terms of e-waste removal and e-waste recycling. We can all do our part to ensure that less e-waste winds up polluting landfills and work towards more electronics getting recycled, reused, and repurposed to help the planet. Contact Junk King at 1-888-888-5865 (JUNK), text a photo to 1-737-888-5865, or book online to get started today.