Gradually, the world is becoming more and more enlightened about the importance of e-waste recycling. But, despite this revolutionary growth, many CTOs and IT department heads are still unaware of a lot of facts regarding the issue.
As we learn more about the e-waste issue, our hope is to reverse the trends so industries worldwide can practice more responsible methods of e-waste disposal. And, with the New Year closing in, now is the perfect time to pass along some of the hidden facts about today’s e-waste problems.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling 1 million laptops can save the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,600 U.S. homes over the course of an entire year.
When desktop computers wind up in landfills, they ultimately release greenhouse gasses that can hurt the environment. But, by recycling 1 million desktop computers, the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of 16,000 passenger cars can be prevented.
Believe it or not, 81% of the energy used by a computer over the course of its lifespan is used in the creation of the device, not in the actual usage of it. Simply reusing still-operational computers can help reduce this energy waste.
When computers and other electronic devices enter our landfills, they eventually find their way into industrial incinerators. Unfortunately, when these devices are incinerated, they release highly toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. And, between 80% and 85% of all discarded electronics get incinerated every year.
Even though e-waste accounts for only 2% of the trash in our nation’s landfills, it is responsible for more than 70% of the toxic waste. By recycling these devices responsibly, that toxic waste can be kept out of the landfills and out of the environment.
Today’s smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices have certain components that are made out of gold and/or silver. Every year, more than $60 million in gold and silver finds its way to the landfills just from Americans tossing out their old devices. In fact, simply by recycling 1 million cell phones, 35,274 lbs. of copper, 772 lbs. of silver, 75 lbs. of gold, and 33 lbs. of palladium can be recovered.
Electronics contain high levels of lead. When such equipment is thrown out in the trash, the lead can enter our waterways and should it be consumed, it can cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood, and the kidneys.
According to the EPA, e-waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the United States.
Although computers and laptops are among the most common devices targeted when talking about e-waste problems, the truth is that all electronics pose hazards if they aren’t disposed of properly. This includes televisions, DVD players, portable music players, telephony systems, monitors, and more.
Much of what is thrown out these days isn’t even e-waste at all. Many pieces of technology are still operational and therefore, completely marketable for re-use.
Liquid Technology is a certified e-waste recycler and we can help you resolve your surplus IT concerns. We are an e-Stewards Enterprise and R2-certified, and all of our downstream partners are also e-Stewards-certified. We have the resources and experience necessary to ensure proper handling, de-manufacturing, and recycling of your e-waste.
Or, if you have old equipment that still has residual value, we can help you reclaim a return on your investment. To learn more about the options available to you, just give Liquid Technology a call today at 800-797-5478 and one of our specialists will be more than happy to help you.