May 13, 2019
We live in a world where little thought is given to the amount of waste we create. From unwanted clothing to renovations in our homes, and from the amount of paper we print out in offices to the technology we replace every year, we live in a very wasteful world. More and more people are becoming aware of just how much impact everything they throw away has on the environment, including unwanted electronics and technology. This is important because everything we dispose of adds to the landfills in our communities. Proper management of waste electronics should be top of mind for each of us, as well as companies large and small who need to remain up to date on their equipment, but also want to remain socially responsible.
Most people have little knowledge of what their electrical goods contain and why they are harmful to the environment. The main challenge is that most electronics contain levels of lead and other toxins. Considering that over 75% of waste electrical goods end up in landfill sites, this is harmful for the environment because these highly toxic substances leach into the soil and surrounding water. This causes dangerous contamination to the surrounding natural habitat, the wildlife, and the community. This is why it is so important to consider what can happen when electronics are not properly recycled.
Improper management of waste electronics is a common occurrence with companies large and small. In fact, many aren’t even aware that what they are doing can be bad for the environment or even illegal. Improper handling can include:
The good news is that most of the electrical items thrown away can be reused, refurbished, or recycled. By taking the effort to dispose of electronics properly, you can save natural finite resources and reduce the damaging materials added to landfills that can put both wildlife and the community at risk. Finding an electronics recycling program ensures electronics are recycled properly to protect the environment and those who handle items during the recycling process. These programs ensure materials are audited according to the Electronics Recycling Standard (ERS) and associated Recycler Qualification Program. These standards are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure all participants are using best practices to protect the environment and workers in the industry.
The list of recyclable electronics includes:
These programs provide a safe and proper way in which electronics can be recycled. They are a trusted resource that helps identify environmental, health, and safety aspects of electronics disposal to ensure companies conform to the required process. The ERS prohibits the land filling of unwanted electronics, as well as the improper handling and disposal of hazardous materials. They are the watchdogs of electronic waste to avoid dangerous practices such as dumping equipment and parts, both locally and in developing nations.
Electronics can be recycled free of charge when dropped off at your local collection depot. These approved sites undergo rigorous environmental audit and assessment processes to ensure they are compliant to proper end-of-life electronics disposal and recycling methods. So, what exactly happens to your electronics once they are recycled?
In a nutshell, recycling electronics requires the raw materials such as metals, glass, and plastics to be separated to ensure safe and proper disposal. There are three categories of materials which include:
There are two accepted approaches to electronics recycling:
There are many components recovered in the electronics recycling process including:
In the case where wood is found, it is safe to send to the landfill site.
We are a primary vendor providing recycling services under the Return-It Electronics program in British Columbia. We have diverted thousands of tonnes of electronic waste from local landfill sites. Our comprehensive decommissioning and recycling services have been helping guide corporate clients through the electronic recycling process, while also helping consumers avoid adding their electronic waste to local landfills.
If you would like more information on our electronics recycling services, call eCycle Solutions toll free at (888) 945-2611 or contact us here at our website.
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