Why Businesses Need to Recycle Old Electronics

Approximately 2 million tons of electronics are thrown in the trash every year, including 128 million cellphones. Such a tragedy that so many expensive resources are contained in these wasted items, many of which will be covered with dirt in a landfill and never see the light of day again.

It’s extremely irresponsible for anyone to not do everything they can to make sure appropriate waste items find their way to recycling centers. For a business, failing to do so makes you a poor corporate partner. It’s a crying shame not to do everything we can to reduce as much waste as we can. Landfills do nothing positive for the environment, including ground water or the air we breathe.

When old electronic items are recycled, they make their way back on the shelf, rather than being an eye sore and a health hazard.

wasted electronics being recycled

Waste not want not…

Once something non organic is taken from the Earth, it won’t simply get reabsorbed into the soil when you toss it into a landfill like an unused piece of fruit or meat will. If it isn’t recycled, that’s it — it’s gone. There are so many useful resources that can be turned back to the global community after you recycle your business’s old electronics. Examples of resources that can be re-purposed from your electronic items include gold, silver, platinum, steel, aluminum, copper, glass and plastics.

A great example is the plastics used in virtually all electronics: Those used plastics are frequently used to make outdoor furniture, irrigation piping,  and toys. Used glass is often used to make screens for new smart devices, computers, and television sets.

Electronic’s recycling helps the impoverished…

Many electronic recycling programs help out the community by sorting through used electronics to find those that still have use left in them. Hard drives and other storage devices containing personal data will never be used.

Instead, everything else including circuit boards, monitors, laptops, phones, and so much more are reconditioned and made available to those less fortunate through charitable organisations in your community. Recipients include schools, church groups, and people on social assistance who can benefit from having modern tech at their fingertips.

Helps create more jobs…

There isn’t some magic machine or group of robots that can sort through all your electronic junk and poof — everything’s brand new again! It takes men and women to dismantle all your old office tech and make it new again. As the movement continues to grow, millions of jobs across the country and overseas will be created.

Here’s the trick though: If you don’t keep dropping off your old electronics to local recycling centers, the perceived demand for more services and manpower to sort and deal with this waste won’t grow, and unemployment rates will remain right where they are. Do you really want that burden on your conscience?

electronics recycling helps
Image Credit: NASA Kennedy/Flickr

Obvious environmental benefits…

I’m not just referring to the size of our landfills when talking about the environment. Nor am I referring to the fact that more metals need to be mined, more petroleum used to make more plastics, etc. Most people with a brain are smart enough to figure such obvious facts out for themselves. What I’m talking about here is the fact that most electronics have harmful substances like lead, cadmium, chromium and (gasp) mercury in them.

The fact is that the electronic’s manufacturing community hasn’t figured out an economically feasible way to get rid of these toxic substances completely from our lives. Throw that stuff in the garbage and there are a couple of problems you’re contributing to: 1) It’s going to leach into the ground, polluting water sources and making the soil unusable., 2) Some poor sap is going to have to mine or manufacture more of it, probably for low pay — and the cycle continues unabated century after century!

It’s up to you. Throw that ejunk into the company truck or van and take it a couple of blocks to your nearest electronics drop off instead of tossing it in the bin or curbside.

If that sounds like too much work…

Main Image Credit: Baselactionnetwork/Flickr