Cell phone and computer recycling are becoming more crucial as technology is changing faster than ever these days. Each product purchased becomes obsolete within months. What is the result? An electronic waste crisis. Millions of mobile phones and used computers are improperly disposed of into landfills. According to EPA estimates, electronic waste (or e-waste) is a huge problem in the United States. It amounts to between 300 and 400 million to 400 million items each year. Only 20% of cell phone and computer recycling are happening. The rest end up in landfills, which is harmful to our environment and our health.
Most materials used in computers and cell phones can be recycled to create new products. This is especially true since most devices are being retired because of psychological, not technical obsolescence.
- Computers: More than 75 percent of Americans own at least one computer. Over 71 million computers and desktops were bought nationwide in 2010. This contributed to huge amounts of electronic waste. Older models were discarded at 423,000 tons. Only 40% of computers that were disposed of were recycled, which is a shocking amount of waste. Monitors and peripheral equipment can also introduce large amounts of contaminants into the environment, as well as waste precious resources. One old, clunky monitor can hold up to 7 pounds worth of lead. How do you mine for gold?
- Mobile phones: Only about 11% of the 789 million mobile devices that are available for recycling are actually being turned in, according to the EPA. 38% of those that were turned in were reused, refurbished, and the rest were recycled for material recovery. Cell phones and other smart devices are a valuable form of electronic waste. They contain a variety of precious metals, including copper, aluminum, and iron as well as gold and palladium. Mobile components, such as batteries, chargers, cables, and headsets can all be recycled at 80 percent. For every million phones that are recycled, there is a chance to recover 35,274 pounds of copper
- Inadequacy: Many people are unaware of the environmental impact of e-waste or that they can still use devices that have been deemed obsolete. To make it easy for poor countries to have cell phones, mobile devices, and computers, as well as domestic charities that can make great use of these devices, you don’t do the environment or anyone else any favors by simply throwing your old phone or computer in the nearest landfill.
- inconvenience in today’s fast-paced world, where convenience is more important than necessity and time is scarce, consumers tend to avoid taking the initiative to identify and implement proper recycling processes.
Recycle smart You should first recycle your old computer or mobile device at Ecycle.
- Be informed. Learn about state recycling laws. There are electronic waste recycling laws in 25 states.
- Delete, then dispose of. Completely delete all personal and data to prevent misuse. For erasing data properly, use manufacturer and online resources. Before recycling, be sure to do a factory reset. If you haven’t already, remove your SIM card and other storage devices. You should also recycle your accessories and batteries.
- Check that they are certified. Ensure that any recycler to which you send a mobile device or computer is certified by EPA and uses separate waste streams. Your e-waste could be improperly disposed of in a landfill, or sent to third world countries without proper recycling. As much as half to 80% of U.S. electronics waste is recycled and shipped out of the country.
- You can count on the source. When you buy a new product, make sure to take advantage of any manufacturer recycling programs like those offered by Sony, Best Buy, and Staples. These programs are usually low-cost or free and meet high standards of brand protection. Are you looking for ways to recycle old stuff that hasn’t been used recently? Many programs will take your castoffs.
- Prevent e-waste woes. For help with the safe recycling of electronic waste, you can rely on Ecycle Florida. Find out more about our solutions to manage e-waste today. There are many 772 pounds of silver, 75 lb of gold, and 33 lb of palladium. Mobile devices may also contain dangerous materials like mercury, lead, or cadmium. Not only is it wasteful but also destructive to dispose of them properly. Contact Ecycle today for more information on cell phone and computer recycling!