Why Has E-Waste Become an Issue in the 21st Century?

Most people today are aware that computers and other electronics require special handling to dispose of or recycle properly. Even so, many of the news stories and marketing campaigns you see leave out any explanation of why e-waste has become an issue, especially in the 21st century. 

But understanding the significance of e-waste is important, particularly when it comes to electronic recycling for American businesses. Even if you make sure to sort your glass, plastic, and metal scrap at home to be properly disposed of, there’s a good chance that your company is throwing out electronics that could or should be recycled. 

Why Does E-Waste Disposal Matter? 

Disposing of electronics has mattered for as long as devices have been in our lives. This includes all sorts of devices, from dishwashers to fax machines to AirPods. Still, managing e-waste is a growing issue In fact, the International Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum estimates that the global population may produce 74 million tons of e-waste annually by 2030. 

This volume of e-waste represents more of a problem than simply adding more junk to our landfills. For one, many electronics contain harmful elements that can leach into the environment and damage ecosystems when disposed of incorrectly. 

Plus, simply throwing out broken or outdated devices is wasting finite resources. Even the most archaic electronic devices are comprised of components or materials that can be recovered to use in new electronics rather than relying on already stretched supply chains by requiring all-new materials. 

Why Has E-Waste Become an Issue in the 21st Century?

Though electronic recycling is not a new phenomenon, both media and regulatory bodies have increasingly turned their focus to how the devices around us are disposed of. There are a number of reasons why e-waste has become an issue, especially in the 21st century. 

Naturally, there is concern about the general increase in the number of devices we interact with. But three of the most prominent issues around device disposal are an increased global focus on sustainability, local differences in need and resource availability, and the ever-growing potential for cybersecurity threats from decommissioned hard drives and other devices.

While daunting, all of these issues can be alleviated or mitigated by working with an expert e-waste disposal partner. Working with a recycling partner with expertise in electronics ensures that all of your unused electronics and IT assets are disposed of in a safe, sustainable, and cost-effective way. 

Get the Most Out of Your E-Waste with First America 

First America is an R2v3-certified leader in nonferrous metal recycling, ITAD, electronic recycling, and data destruction services. We offer a wide range of recycling solutions designed to meet our clients’ unique needs in a safe and eco-friendly manner. 

We specialize in secure, innovative electronics recycling services for businesses that need to safely dispose of electronic scrap, high-temperature alloys, and nonferrous scrap. Our level of expertise, unparalleled customer service, and aggressive pricing make First America the leading option for almost any recycling need. 
Need your metal recycling or want to have your company’s electronics safely and sustainably decommissioned? Learn more and get in touch with us at firstamerica.com.

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