E-waste disposal is becoming more and more important and the environment’ state really is dependent upon how we treat this matter. What do you do with that old computer, monitor, or tablet once that device has reached its expiration date – i.e., when the next iPhone comes out? Well, as we’re all well aware, electronics get updated and upgraded all the time, and sometimes our favorite devices stop working, get viruses or plain get dropped on the ground (it happens).
E-waste and Electronics Recycling
If any of these things occur to your electronics, then they’ve effectively gone from a usable gizmo to electronic waste. Also called e-waste, electronic waste is a catch-all term for all of the electronics devices that get sent to landfills, repurposed, donated or recycled back into circulation each and every year. Whole genres of devices actually get sent out to pasture as new technologies come along – think about PDAs, fax machines, VCRs, and pagers.
It’s important that a greater share of this collective e-waste gets recycled and put back into circulation – in one form or another. Recycling e-waste is actually critical right now for two reasons – the sheer volume of electronic waste that’s out there right now that doesn’t get recycled and, secondly, the fact that electronic waste contains heavy metals that can threaten the water and air that we all enjoy.
- How Much E-waste are We Talking?
Can you guess how much we in the United States collectively generate in terms of e-waste? Hands on buzzers: More than three million tons of e-waste is generated annually and, unfortunately, less than a half-million tons of that e-waste was properly recycled. Nearly two billion dollars is spent by Americans on consumer electronics every year with high tech turnover as the main culprit behind (literally) tons of e-waste.
- Where Recycling Comes In
Because of all these dangers California went ahead and ratified into law the Electronic Waste Recycling Act back in 2003. This law basically disincentivizes the sale of dangerous products like outmoded cathode-ray tube monitors that contain heavy metals. The Electronic Waste Recycling Act also makes it easier for California businesses and homeowners to recycle things like bulky fax machines and obsolete desktop computers and make way for newer, safer technologies.
How to Recycle Your E-waste
Even though the average American household has two dozen electronics gadgets within its four walls, that’s not a reason to despair. If you have an old Smartphone collecting dust, then there’s a good chance you can hook up with your manufacturer’s recycling program to get those parts back in circulation.
The biggest tech giants going in America – folks like Apple, Samsung, LG and Canon – all have their own e-waste recycling programs to ensure that you and the company can live up to the Environmental Protection Agency’s motto of reduce, reuse and recycle.
The cool thing is that it doesn’t cost you anything to do the right thing by the environment and – an added benefit – get those obsolete electronics off of your hands. Most Best Buy stores actually have recycling programs, and their tagline is that they’ll take just about any electronics device irrespective of where you bought the device or how old it happens to be. As the most sprawling e-waste recycling hub in the United States, Best Buy has recycled over one billion pounds of use computers, TVs, Smartphones, cameras, and audio appliances.
Electronics manufacturers have even teamed up with the EPA by heeding the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge to ultimately get more electronics to a certified electronics recycler. The end goal is reaching 100% participation and leaving this world just a little better than we left it. To have your e-waste safely disposed, team up with Junk King.