For consumers and businesses alike, recycling your old and damaged electronics is a responsibility that many fail to meet. The positive impact that recycling electronics has on both the environment and the economy is staggering. It can be the difference between thousands of kilograms of electronic waste ending up in our local landfills or back on the market as useful products. More and more companies are realizing the importance of participation in these recycling efforts, as the long-term benefits significantly outweigh the short-term expenses. Here is a detailed breakdown of some of the benefits of recycling your electronics:
- Recycling prevents trashing toxic material
Many electronics are disposed of in local landfills because they were mixed with garbage and were not properly recycled. Often these devices contain batteries, metals, and other hazardous materials that can pose a significant risk to the health of those who have to handle the materials, as well as to the environment itself. As a consumer, it is your responsibility to make sure batteries and other hazardous materials are recycled properly so they will not pose a health and safety risk to others.
- Minimizes energy usage in production
By recycling your products, useful materials can be harvested and salvaged to use in future electronic devices. The act of recycling significantly reduces the volume of new devices that have to be manufactured, which is much more expensive and time-consuming and less efficient compared to recycling.
- Extract rare and valuable metals
Even if parts cannot be salvaged at the recycling centre to be reused in other devices, the rare and precious metals that are used in the basic construction of the device can be harvested and sent back to raw manufacturers. As these metals must be mined in locations across the world, recycling them reduces the energy that must be used to mine for new metals, which reduces the carbon footprint of yourself and countless industries responsible for mining, manufacturing, and distributing these devices.
- Create jobs at recycling plants
Although recycling reduces the amount of labour used to mine for new metals, recycling plants themselves need skilled labourers and technicians to break down, sort, harvest and salvage any materials that could be used in the future. By creating more recycling plants and employing more skilled labourers, recycling has produced an entire industry determined to protect the environment and create sustainable practices in every industry.
- Reduce the space needed for landfills
Since the electronics boom and the development of personal electronic devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops, the amount of waste we produce has skyrocketed. Countless electronic devices end up in landfills across the country, often containing batteries and other hazardous materials. This has resulted in a desperate search for landfill space. By recycling as much as possible, we are effectively reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, minimizing the space we need to store our trash.
- Guarantee the security of your data
Most people dispose of their phone or laptop when it stops working. Often, the inconvenience of fixing the device — or paying to have it fixed — is more expensive and time-consuming than simply buying a new device. These old devices are disposed-of without any effort to wipe or destroy the data they contain. Unfortunately for some people — and even some businesses — these devices can still contain much of your personal data. This makes these devices very valuable to data-thieves and other cyber-criminals, and they can result in identity theft and fraud. The only way to ensure your broken devices do not have any personal information on them is to have them wiped or destroyed.
How can you recycle your electronics?
Whether you are a large corporation, a small business owner, or an individual consumer with a few personal electronic devices, it is your responsibility to recycle your products and ensure they are handled properly. At eCycle, we offer recycling, data wiping, and data destruction services so you can be confident that your information and data will remain secure and confidential.
So, how can you properly recycle your personal or company electronics? There are several options:
- Visit a recycling centre
For individual consumers, the best way to recycling your electronics is to visit or contact your local recycling centre. Drop-off services are available for most standard electronics, while some hazardous items — such as batteries — must be collected on specific days.
- Return-to-retail drop-off points
Many large vendors and big-box stores offer their own return-to-retail programs that allow individual consumers to return electronics and other hazardous items to their point of purchase for recycling. The stores themselves have relationships with recycling centres, ensuring your old products are properly sorted and sent for recycling.
- Arrange for consistent pick-ups or drop-offs
For businesses and other corporate organizations, you can also arrange regular pick-ups or drop-offs for company electronics that need to be recycled. This can be on an on-call basis — such as when you upgrade your company computers and want to recycle the obsolete models — or it can be on a regular basis, such as once every 6 months for companies with a high turnover of electronic equipment.
- On-site services
You can also recruit an on-site service that includes data back-up, data recovery, and data wiping on company electronics. On-site technicians will ensure that your company information is protected and safe before wiping devices, and then we will guarantee data wiping with a Certificate of Destruction, so you can be confident that your information is secure.
At eCycle, we offer our customers — whether you are a large corporation or an individual consumer — comprehensive recycling services for all of your electronic devices. Our technicians can provide on-site data wiping and data destruction services for added convenience. In this way, we can guarantee that your personal data and confidential information is backed-up, safe, and secure before transporting your devices for recycling or refurbishment.