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History of The Electronic Waste Recycling Industry

If you’ve ever stopped to think about how much electronic waste you are producing each year, you may be surprised to learn just how much you actually are contributing to electronic waste in landfills. When you consider your contribution against so many others worldwide, you can start to put into perspective the average amount of electronic waste that the world is producing on an annual basis. It’s difficult to dispose of electronic waste because it has a tendency to take extra time to break down. The need to reroute electronic waste into finding new solutions for it can be crucial over time. Here are some of the ways that we have worked to manage electronic waste and the history of electronic waste.

Electronic waste industry has been around for a substantial amount of time and the need to begin disposing of electronic waste first got started in the mid-1970s. After the mid-1970s the United States passed a law that made it illegal to dump electronic waste outside of proper recycling zones. 

Why Electronic Waste Disposal Is So Important

Old electronics like electronic scrap components can be harmful in landfills because as they break down, they can release dangerous elements such as cadmium, beryllium and lead, making their way into the environment. Proper disposal of these items to a recycled e waste program is an easy way to prevent obstruction of the surrounding area and make sure that ecosystems are not permanently damaged as a result of ongoing dumping. 

International Dumping Laws

In 1976, the United States enacted a resource conservation recovery act and several other countries copied the act to limit the amount of e waste in their own landfills. The recovery act was designed to protect the overall health of humanity, to conserve energy and natural resources, to reduce the amount of waste that was being generated, and to ensure that all waste is managed in such a way that the environment can be protected. 

There were also interconnected programs that fell under this initiative including the solid waste program, the hazardous waste program as well as the underground storage tank program. Every one of these programs have their own requirements which are designed to preserve the ecosystem and to deliver the best in waste management for the future of electronics.

After the initiative was passed, there was a series of events that would change international dumping laws. These events first began in 1980 when there was an incident in New Jersey where nearly 14,000 tons of e waste from Philadelphia was refused from the landfill. The ship carrying the e waste dumped their cargo in the middle of the ocean and the e waste ash made its way from the Caribbean all the way to Asia, affecting ecosystems along the way. 

Several other incidents of dumping without consequence lead to a change in legislation that would finally regulate and penalize people that did not dispose of e waste accordingly. 

If you would like to learn more about the history of electronic waste or if you have your own e waste to dispose of, contact us today.