Electronic devices are essential for individual, household, commercial, and industrial applications. But with technology changing at a brisk pace, many users update their equipment and devices frequently, which means finding ways to properly dispose of those electronics that no longer serve a purpose. Mobile phones, computers, printers, telecommunication equipment, and other electronic devices often contain toxic materials like lead and mercury, as well as valuable amounts of gold, copper, and other materials.
By establishing proper mechanisms for e-waste recycling, households and businesses can actively protect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint in the following three ways.
- Using bins that are configured for e-waste
The type of disposal bins mainly used depends on the kind of waste you’re looking to remove. For instance, batteries are quite heavy, so you need frequent disposal trips to keep the capacity manageable. In this regard, organizations looking to add battery collection in their recycling programs may build custom streams in their existing waste bins for users to specifically dispose of their batteries.
In order to ensure that users don’t dispose of their waste inappropriately, some bins feature restrictive openings that allow only specific types of waste. A good example is the bins found in Facebook offices that feature an opening in the shape of a battery, as well as a smaller and narrow slot where users can dispose of their mobile phones and tablets, rather than using the bigger opening for general e-waste collection.
In cases where you are unable to retrofit the current waste collection bins, you should consider either purchasing new bins with the feature and e-waste signage or requesting updated ones from your waste disposal services provider. Purchasing tailored bins requires a relatively significant initial investment, though it will pay off in the long-term for any organization that is serious about proper waste disposal. Moreover, depending on the amount of e-waste collected, you may be eligible for a financial rebate from the collection company that will help you acquire the recycling equipment and finance your e-waste recycling program. Besides, your waste hauling costs should be reduced following lower tipping fees at landfills.
That said, households and businesses should find it easier to work with waste disposal companies that provide configured bins to accommodate e-waste. These bins typically feature custom e-waste graphics, lockable units, and custom openings to prevent waste contamination or theft of valuable electronic waste. For larger e-waste items, organizations and buildings should designate a central collection point within the premises where users can dispose of items such as old television screens or monitors, and from where they can be collected for recycling.
- Application of the 3Cs for successful e-waste recycling
The three Cs, culture, communication, and collection, are vital to running a successful e-waste recycling program.
Culture – Everyone in the organization must implement the program, which means that it should be enforced by the management using a top-down approach. Management should encourage their employees to bring their electronic waste from their homes to prevent improper disposal through landfills. This may also create an additional revenue stream from e-waste rebates.
Communication – You should make an effort to ensure that all your employees not only know about the program, but also understand how it works, its benefits, and your goals for the program. This means showing them the designated areas for e-waste collection and how to collect specific types of waste using custom bins. The bins should be clearly marked with no conflicting messages with your other recycling programs.
Collection – You need collection bins for your electronic waste that you can obtain by either acquiring new bins that suit the specific type of e-waste you’re targeting or adding an e-waste stream to existing bins. Ideally, you should communicate with your waste disposal company for the option to retrofit to add/remove streams as needed.
- Developing an e-waste recycling policy for your organization
Your electronic waste recycling policy will act as a reference document for the decisions that your organization has made about the requirements for e-waste handling and recycling. As such, it should include your company recycling goals, specific areas of responsibility, and the consequences of violating the policy. It should also indicate the methods by which e-waste will be recycled, as well as measures for safe and secure data erasing from electronic devices that carry personal or sensitive information. The e-waste recycling policy and associated guidelines should be well documented and shared with every department in order to create a united culture.
Finding the Right E-Waste Recycling Partner
Generally, most regions across North America implement unique recycling programs with a diverse range of electronic items that they’re looking to recycle. So you should first find out whether your current waste disposal service provider handles e-waste collection and the implications on your contract if you choose to expand your program. In addition, you can get in touch with nearby e-waste companies that will offer a good rebate for giving your electronic waste.
For more information on disposing and recycling e-waste, contact eCycle Solutions toll free at (888) 945-2611 or contact us here.