Electronic devices have become a crucial part of our daily lives, and the education system is not exempt from this new norm. Today, educators use electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and digital boards to enhance learning materials. Technology has the power to support information retention, improve student collaboration, and prepare students of all ages for a technologically advanced society.
But when these technological devices fall victim to wear and tear or simply become outdated, it’s time for replacements, and educational institutions must decide what to do with their old IT assets. While some devices may be suitable for donation, most of these electronic devices need to be recycled with the assistance of a certified e-waste recycling company.
Wondering why recycling beats out simply disposing of devices in the dumpster? Read on to learn more about the benefits of e-waste recycling and why to include it in your school recycling program.
What Is E-Waste?
Electronic waste, also known as “e-waste,” is a term used for unwanted electronic devices. In the realm of education, e-waste may include computers, tablets, interactive whiteboards, televisions, and more.
It is of the utmost importance that organizations with unwanted electronics dispose of these devices in both ethical and environmentally friendly ways. Not only are there legal ramifications for improper e-waste disposal, but the toxic materials within electronic devices can leak into the environment. These chemicals destroy the surrounding environment and cause various health issues for humans and wildlife.
However, certified e-waste recyclers ensure that your institution’s devices are disposed of properly and eradicate any highly sensitive information stored within the devices.
The Benefits of Including E-Waste in School Recycling Programs
Proper E-Waste Recycling Supports Digital Inclusion
As more students turn to online education, it’s evident that modern institutions must provide access to advanced technology. The education sector has become more tech-inclusive than previous generations ever imagined, and students that lack access to technology may soon be left behind.
However, technology advances quickly, so schools can’t afford to sit on the same devices for a decade or two. Students will need access to new technology regularly.
Educational institutions that incorporate e-waste in their recycling program can more easily transition from outdated to more recent technologies. Furthermore, many e-waste recyclers can help clients sell usable equipment or parts for cash and provide schools with a portion of the profits. Schools can then re-invest this extra income back into their tech budget.
Responsible Recycling Protects and Preserves the Environment
Of course, one of the most important benefits of e-waste recycling is that it reduces the number of trash and toxic chemicals in landfills. Recycling a single computer and CRT monitor saves the energy equivalent of 21 gallons of gas and reduces greenhouse emissions by a whopping 404 pounds. Your organization may have hundreds, if not thousands of computers, so proper e-waste recycling will significantly reduce your carbon footprint. In addition, this will ensure that toxic chemicals stay out of the soil, air, and water.
When creating an electronics recycling program for an educational institution, seek out certified e-waste recyclers that can prove that their practices are safe and environmentally compliant. After all, your school is trying to be a role model for students, and the last thing you need is to be hit with fees or citations for inappropriate waste disposal. And not only is this terrible for the environment and your public reputation, but it also puts your organization at risk of experiencing a data breach.
E-waste Recycling Protects Sensitive Information
Since 2005, American schools have experienced 1,851 data breaches that compromised 28.6 million records. As education becomes increasingly digital, the amount of sensitive data your school stores is also on the rise, making data leaks a significant risk.
Unfortunately, there is always residual data leftover on your electronic devices, even after pressing the “delete button.” Most people are not familiar with the techniques required to fully wipe a hard drive, and when these devices aren’t destroyed properly, hackers may still be able to access vulnerable information about your students and faculty.
As such, it’s crucial that you dispose of old electronics securely. Data protection and e-waste recycling go hand-in-hand, and by partnering with recyclers that provide IT asset disposition services (ITAD), you can benefit from guaranteed data destruction on all your old devices. ITAD providers should also be able to provide documentation, which helps protect your school from liability should a data leak ever occur.
E-Waste Recycling Sets a Good Example for Students
The ultimate responsibility that educators face is teaching students that they have the power to influence society positively. When schools invest in environmentally friendly practices like e-waste recycling, students can see good examples firsthand and learn how to approach these issues in their everyday lives.
An e-waste recycling program demonstrates the importance of protecting the environment for young students. Furthermore, an efficient e-waste recycling program also presents the opportunity to educate students about the diversity of actions we can take to help the earth.
Finally, embracing sustainability practices at your school is a clear way to show that you care about future generations. At an institution that is built on the ideals of education, nurturing, and shaping young minds, displaying these kinds of good ethics should be a priority.
Implement Your School Recycling Program with FAMCe
Recycling your school’s e-waste has benefits that you may not have considered before. When educational institutions include unwanted electronic devices in their school recycling program, it enables them to create a digitally inclusive learning environment that prioritizes cybersecurity and environmental protection.
If you’re ready to take care of e-waste at your institution, First America Metal Corp. (FAMCe) can help. FAMCe has over 30 years of experience assisting organizations with the secure destruction and recycling of their outdated electronics, providing data security solutions for various devices. Our high level of expertise and exceptional customer service have built our reputation as the leading company for your ITAD needs.
Want to recycle your old devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.