When talking about electronics that have reached the end of their useful life, terms like “e-waste,” “electronic waste,” and “e-scrap” are often used interchangeably. But whatever you call these waste devices, there’s a more important question: what should your company do when it’s time to dispose of them? Is electronic recycling really that important?
What you definitely shouldn’t do is consign them to the trash heap. Not only is trashing your electronics a quick way to leave your business open to data breaches and missed resale revenue but discarded e-waste can also have a disastrous impact on the environment.
How E-Waste Harms the Environment (and Your Brand Rep)
Although it may seem temptingly easy to dump your unwanted electronics in the trash, this can pose significant ecological issues. That’s why, in many places, it is outright illegal to throw old electronic equipment in the trash.
Most e-waste isn’t biodegradable. So when electronics are not disposed of properly, they can become toxic, leaching chemicals that pollute the local air, water, and soil. These contaminants can also poison living creatures, including humans who happen to live nearby.
Some companies try handing off their end-of-life electronics to cheap disposal companies. Unfortunately, many of these so-called “e-waste recyclers” aren’t actually doing any recycling. Instead, they cut corners by shipping your outdated equipment abroad to developing nations. Currently, China is the number one destination for e-waste, and 70% of the world’s electronic waste is sent there.
Why is this a bad thing? Because many of these nations lack the infrastructure and oversight to handle your devices safely and ethically. In some places, workers use open-air burning and acid baths to unearth valuable materials from old electronics. However, this process causes toxic materials to seep into the environment and exposes workers to a variety of harmful substances. For example, ongoing exposure to mercury, lead, arsenic, and other toxic materials causes workers to develop cancer and significant neurological damage.
And, of course, workers aren’t the only ones to suffer from this widespread contamination. Animals in the environment surrounding these recycling plants suffer from neurological damage and genetic defects. Furthermore, the soil becomes contaminated with flame retardants and heavy metals, which will be absorbed by any crops planted in the area.
These may seem like distant concerns, but safe and sustainable e-waste recycling is vital to support a positive brand ethos. More than one major company has been lampooned for unethical dumping of their electronics, dealing major damage to their public image, stock value, and consumer trust.
With this kind of potential environmental and business-damaging fallout, it’s not worth saving a few dollars. Stay on the right side of history — and the right side of public opinion — by partnering with an industry-leading recycling service that can promise e-waste disposal that is reliable, secure, and sustainable.
The Environmental Benefits of Proper E-Waste Recycling
When you work with a reputable electronics recycling company, you can rest assured that you’re making the right choice for both the environment and your brand’s green initiatives. If you’re interested in showcasing your commitment to a clean environment, electronic recycling has many positive benefits to share.
- Properly disposed of, you know that your brand’s outdated devices are not contributing to the growing landfill issue or contaminating local ecosystems.
- Recovered materials from your old electronics can be reused in new devices — and when new products are created from recycled materials, it benefits everyone. Recycled goods require a much smaller amount of water to make. The manufacturing process also emits less pollution and uses less energy than creating products from scratch.
Plus, partnering with an experienced ITAD servicer comes with extra benefits for your business. IT asset disposition (ITAD) ensures that your electronics are not only handled sustainably but that they have been verifiably cleared of sensitive information with professional data destruction. This helps protect against potential data breaches and leaks, so you can uphold your company’s reputation while safeguarding your clients and employees.
You can also work with your ITAD service provider to explore refurbishment and resale opportunities that enable your business to earn back money from your discarded electronics.
Which Electronics Can Be Recycled?
If you’re running a business of any size, you’re almost guaranteed to own a suite of electronics suitable for e-recycling. These can include computers, printers, audio and video equipment, televisions, cameras, and more.
There are a small number of electronics that can’t be recycled, but these become rarer with each passing year. For example, electronics that contain lead or mercury require unique disposal methods because they are considered hazardous waste. If your organization has LCD televisions or, somehow, TVs that date back to pre-1991, they may contain mercury.
These exceptions aside, it’s more likely than not that a majority of your end-of-life electronics can be recycled. Simply ask the experts from your recycling partner which items we can handle for you.
How Can My Company Recycle Our Outdated Electronics?
Now for the easy part. If your business or organization needs e-waste recycling support, First America Metal Corp. (FAMCe) can help. With locations across the US, our professionals are ready to accommodate your recycling needs with a commitment to security, convenience, and premium customer service.
FAMCe has over 30 years of experience helping businesses safely and responsibly recycle their outdated devices, even in regulated industries. Our proven expertise has built our reputation as a market leader, but we don’t rest on our laurels — instead, we make it a point to exceed each client’s needs and expectations. So whatever e-waste solutions you require, FAMCe can deliver.
Disposing of your e-waste may seem like an inconvenience, but it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate corporate sustainability and help build a brighter future. So when it’s time to get rid of your old waste electronics, choose a partner you can rely on.
Want to recycle your outdated devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.