Question 1. Why Is It Important To Recycle E-waste?
E-Waste Pollution: Electronic waste containing toxic chemicals and metals such as lead, cadmium mercury, which when disposed in landfills gain entry into surrounding soil, groundwater and ultimately end in us. In addition, improper processing of e-waste that causes toxicity. Informal processing of electronic waste in general poses serious health and pollution problems.
Benefits of Recycling Electronic Waste (Above the ground Mining!): Electrical waste contains hazardous but also valuable and scarce materials. Up to 60 elements can be found in complex electronics. Recycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growing e-waste problem.
The environmental and social benefits of recycling e-waste: Environmental and social benefits of reuse include diminished demand for new products and virgin raw materials (with their own environmental issues); larger quantities of pure water and electricity for associated manufacturing; less packaging per unit; availability of technology to wider swaths of society due to greater affordability of products; and diminished use of landfills.
Prevent e-Waste from going into Landfills: When old electronics are thrown into a landfill, all the energy that directly or indirectly goes into making a product is lost. This means than more energy and water is needed to make new products, emitting more greenhouse gases and using more water. Thus landfilling old electronics also wastes the natural resources used to make a product. Some of the materials used in electronic products are extremely rare and are running out fast.
E-Cycling instead of creating from scratch results in huge energy savings: Creating secondary raw materials, i.e. e-cycling, results in huge energy savings .For instance, recycling steel into secondary raw material uses 74% less energy than the production of the primary product. Recycled Aluminum uses 95% less, Copper 85% less, Lead 65% less and Plastics 80% less – it’s a win, win, win scenario – we protect precious resources, divert usable materials from landfill and conserve energy all at the same time!
Question 2. Do You Really Know Your Electronics Recycler?
It can be difficult knowing the right questions to ask when investigating potential recycling service providers. Even professional environmental auditors often do not have the proper training or experience to properly audit an electronics recycling operation in a way that protects their clients’ from data security and environmental issues. Moreover, making sure recyclers continue to perform as promised is very expensive, with even the most careful due diligence sometimes failing to protect your company. The complexity of effectively screening and hiring electronics recyclers leads many companies to award e-waste contracts to service providers with the lowest cost and, the lowest integrity.
Don’t think it can happen to your company? Here is an example featured in 60 Minutes of a firm pretending to be a responsible recycler but shown to be exporting e-waste to China. Your brand, the security of you data, and your stature as a good corporate citizen are all threatened by recyclers who do not follow clear and transparent standards for handling your old electronics.
Question 3. What Are The Important Points To Remember While Donating Computer Equipment?
If you would rather not dispose of the computer or electronics and want to offer them to people who have a need for the materials, there is the option of donating the equipment to a charity. There are a variety of charities that will take older computer materials and either use it in local facilities or process the items to be shipped overseas for use.
Be aware that many charities may have restrictions on the types of computers and electronics that are donated. Often times there will be a limit on how old the equipment can be as it will be considered antiquated and unsuitable for the charities purposes. While it used to be several years, many now will not take equipment more than a year old. Check with the charity to make sure that your equipment meets their standards. If it does not, then you will need to use a disposal or recycling service mentioned previously.
Question 4. Where Can I Find Drop Off Recycling Centers?
There are a number of drop off locations available to recycling your computers and other IT assets.
Question 5. Where Can You Recycle Tv?
There are a number of drop off locations available to recycling your Televisions. Since many of the old generation TVs consist of CRT glass, it is even more important to recycle these using certified e-waste recyclers.
Question 6. What Is Crt Glass? Why Is Recycling Crt Glass Different From Regular Glass?
CRTs are the video display components of televisions and computer monitors. The glass inn CRTs typically contains enough lead to require managing it as hazardous waste under certain circumstances. Under the previous regulations, businesses and other organizations that recycle or dispose of CRTs were sometimes unclear about the proper way to recycle or dispose of this equipment. That uncertainty sometimes prevented CRTs from being recycled and reused. EPA is changing CRT waste management requirements to promote additional safe recycling and reuse of CRTs. About 57 million computers and televisions are sold in the United States annually.
Question 7. What Are E-waste Laws? Is It Legal To Dump Computers In Trash Or Landfills?
Many states have passed laws that prohibit throwing out electronics into the garbage. In addition to laws in these states, many cities and counties also have laws dictating the methods of electronic and computer disposal. It is important before throwing out any old computer parts or electronics to check with the appropriate government agencies to determine the proper methods.
The easiest method for determining the proper laws governing the region that you live in is to contact your local waste management company and local governments. Often government web sites will list the e-waste disposal rules under the terms “waste management”, “recycling” or “environmental agency”. Programs for disposal may be free or carry fees depending upon the item being turned in for disposal.
Question 8. What Happens To The E-waste If Not Recycled Through Proper Channels?
Unfortunately, an incredibly small percentage of e-waste is recycled. Even when we take it to a recycling center it’s usually not actually recycled – not in the way most of us think of that term. A small percentage of e-waste is estimated to be sent to recyclers. In the U.S., as little as 11%-14%. The remainder is most often dumped or burned – either in formal landfills and incinerators, or informally dumped or burned. These inappropriate disposal methods for electronic waste fail to reclaim valuable materials or manage the toxic materials safely. In effect, our soil, water and air are easily contaminated.
An estimated 70-80% of the e-waste that’s given to recyclers is exported to less developed countries. Once there, primitive technologies such as open air burning and riverside acid baths are used to extract a few materials. The rest of the toxic materials are usually dumped. Unlike other countries in the world, the U.S. sends a significant portion of its hazardous e-waste to U.S. prisons to process in less-regulated environments without the worker protections and rights afforded in the private sector. Moreover, such operations amount to government subsidies, undermining the development of responsible private-sector recycling infra-structure and distorting the economics of recyclin.
Question 9. What Are Electronics Manufacturer Recycling Programs?
Many of the larger computer and electronics companies have begun offering recycling programs. Often these programs will take older computer parts in exchange for credits towards the purchase of new equipment from the manufacturer. Other programs may be a simple pickup and recovery service that they charge a small fee for. Be sure to check all of the details regarding the program with the company before using them. Some of the companies will simply refer the customer to the state disposal due to government regulation.
Here is a list of some of the recycling programs and information from various manufacturers:
- Acer Recycling Program
- Apple Recycling Program
- Dell Recycling
- Fujitsu Recycling of Electronic Waste
- Gateway Trade In or Recycle
- HP Product Return and Recycling
- Lenovo Product Recycling
- Sony Trade-In Recycling Program
Question 10. What Gets Recycled From Scrap Electronics?
If managed correctly, the materials that make up old electronics can be recycled safely and securely and converted into new base commodities that can be put back into productive use in a new device or product. Common materials include base ferrous metals (steel), non ferrous metals such as aluminum, lead and copper, precious metals such as gold, silver and palladium, many families of plastics, glass, and rubber. Hazardous materials can also be safely recovered and recycled including such items as mercury or lead, heavy metals such as lithium and cadmium found in batteries, ink/toner and even ethylene glycol as a coolant.
Question 11. What Is The Environmental Impact If Electronics Are Not Disposed Of Correctly?
E-waste contains valuable non-renewable resources. By reclaiming these materials for reuse, we reduce the environmental impact and energy consumption of mining and processing, and prolong their availability to future generations. What’s more, without best practices in E-waste disposal, highly toxic elements such as mercury, lead, lithium and cadmium find their way into landfills or are shipped to developing countries where they are burned, dumped, or smashed apart by impoverished workers and children without proper protection, causing massive environmental damage and endangering human lives.
Question 12. Why Should E-waste Be Handled Properly? Is It Toxic?
Some of the components of e-waste contain materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), etched chemicals, brominated flame retardants which are hazardous in nature. Therefore e-waste should be handled in an environment-friendly manner to prevent this hazardous material polluting the environment.
E-waste as such is not toxic. However, processing of e-waste to recover valuable materials such as lead, copper and gold is hazardous. Therefore a careful environmentally sound recovery process is required for recycling the e-waste.
Question 13. How To Dispose The E-waste?
E-wastes should not be given to unauthorized vendors / buyers. The respective pollution control boards in different states authorize agencies to collect e-waste from generators. The dealers should have valid consent and authorization. This authorization is given based on the competency of the recycler, infrastructure and other factors as decided by the regulatory authorities.
Question 14. How Can I Ensure That My Company’s Old Electronics Are Disposed Of Securely And Ethically?
Recyclers vary in their practices and you must decide which electronics recyclers can best meet your needs in terms of minimizing your environmental liability and information risk. As a minimum, you should seek out companies that are third-party certified to handle used electronics and that follow rigorous environmental standards.
However, to fully protect against data loss, environmental liability and damage to your corporate reputation, you should only use a recycler who will guarantee in writing the complete destruction of all data-carrying device components and all serial numbers, equipment identifiers and corporate logos, and who adheres to the highest standards of environmental stewardship.
Question 15. Aren’t All E-waste Recyclers More Or Less The Same?
There is certainly overlap in the services offered by many E-waste recycling companies, but there are vast differences in the degree of rigour applied both in the security offered to clients concerned about leakage of confidential data and environmental stewardship.
The building of ARTEX Environmental Corporation represents a significant stride forward in the secure and ethical recycling of electronic waste in North America. In an industry in which data and device security often lacks rigour and the dumping of toxic E-waste in developing countries threatens people, the environment and the reputations of its original owners, ARTEX has established itself as a highly secure, highly ethical E-waste recycler, founded on the principles of complete data and device destruction and zero E-waste to landfill.
Question 16. What Happens To The Hazardous Materials Removed From Electronics During The Recycling Process?
It is well known that old electronics contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury which can cause health issues and environmental damage if not properly recycled or disposed. At ARTEX, the health and safety of our personnel and the environment is a priority and therefore we do not shred hazardous materials. These elements are carefully removed from all devices prior to shredding the remaining device. From this point, ethically recycling all components of old electronics is paramount and therefore we take particular care in determining the right recycling downstream partner for each component we remove from devices. ARTEX has a rigorous auditing system to evaluate all of our downstream partners to ensure their method of operation meets our standards for environmental sustainability.
Once the hazardous element is removed, it is properly stored for preservation as well as protection for our personnel, and then transported to an audited downstream partner. Once the material arrives at our downstream partner’s facility, it will be further broken down in an environmentally sustainable manner. Once broken down into a usable form, the material will be manufactured into new materials. Lead, for example, can be used to create paint for road lines; mercury can be used in the development of new fluorescent lighting.
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