Americans are creating eight times more electronic waste than in 1990, and only one in six of those electronics are getting recycled. What should we do with our old electronics, and why should we recycle them? The first step in recycling old electronics is finding a drop off-site. Many big box electronic stores like Staples and Best Buy will take old electronics. But why can’t we send electronics to the dump?
The EP did a study and found that maybe 1% of everything you see in landfills comes from electronics, but over 70% of the heavy metals come from the same 1%. So, a disproportionate number of toxic materials, like lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and brominated flame retardants, are all found in electronics. They could do severe damage to your body if they were to leak into groundwater. To help prevent this, Avail has a zero-landfill policy as part of our ITAD Electronics Recycling Procedure. We guarantee our client’s disposal needs are managed in an environmentally responsible manner.
What Really Happens to Your Pre-Owned Hardware
Your used and discarded electronics are shipped to one of 250 recycling facilities in the US after they are collected. A recent study by recycling watchdog group Basel Action Network placed GPS trackers on discarded electronics and turned them into recycling sites in the US. They found that 40% of electronics turned into those facilities were exploited overseas instead of safely recycled here. Avail Recovery is committed to protecting the environment. As part of their EHS Policy, we manage used and end-of-life electronic equipment based on reuse, refurbishment, recovery, disposal (RRD) hierarchy, including onsite and downstream materials management throughout the recycling chain.
Being a Responsible Consumer
Consumers now have the power to buy greener electronics. One resource is EPEAT. It’s a program run by the Green Electronics Council that certifies electronics made with less toxic materials. Businesses are also starting to take more responsibility for the products they produce. One example is Apple’s take-back and recycling program of the iPhone. Experts believe we could see this circular model of recycling increasing in the coming years. The key is to design products with recycling and reuse in mind. Before deciding to discard and recycle your electronics, donate.
Working with a Responsible Company
Businesses, as well as consumers, must do their part in protecting the environment. When making decisions on your retired IT assets, Avail Recovery can help. Avail guarantees their clients’ disposal needs are met in a way that is compliant with all state and federal laws. Any assets that cannot be sold are responsibly recycled as waste. Avail has two ISO certifications and complies with R2:2013 downstream due diligence requirements making Avail Recovery the responsible choice for your retired asset disposal needs.