Today, people are buying more and more electronics than in the past. Faster and newer products are being developed and put on the market every day. Naturally, we are constantly upgrading our cell phones, computers, televisions, and household electronics. This means that the now outdated electronics are being discarded every day.
Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term used to describe these now obsolete electronics. These items can also be referred to as universal waste, which contain commonly used chemicals that are considered hazardous but are also highly recyclable. This article will cover why proper e-waste disposal is necessary for your community and the environment.
1. Many Electronic Devices Contain Toxic Chemicals
Electronics often contain harmful substances including mercury, lead, chromium, cadmium, and more. Disposing of e-waste in landfills or dumping sites allows the chemicals to leach into the earth, eventually causing both ground water and air pollution. If you compact or disassemble your e waste yourself, you risk ingesting these chemicals which can potentially cause health effects. This includes kidney damage, lung cancer, brain damage, thyroid problems and birth defects.
2. E-waste Recycling can Help Create New Devices
Your old electronics actually contain useful raw materials. Recycling old electronics means that these materials won’t need to be extracted from nature to develop new devices.
3. Legal Requirements
Due to the hazardous materials in e-waste, you are unable to throw it away in the regular garbage because is illegal. Illegal dumping penalties include significant fines based on the chemicals found in the e-waste. According to California Penal Code 374.3, illegal dumping an infraction that is punishable by a fine ranging from $250 to over $3,000.
4. Recycling Old Devices Helps Support Your Community
Old desktop computers, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc. that are still in good working condition can be refurbished and resold. Refurbished devices can then be utilized by local schools, low-income households, and community organizations that may not have been able to afford a computer otherwise.
5. Save Money
Some electronics manufacturers offer incentives for recycling old electronics where if you turn in your old working device you can either exchange it for a new one for free or at a discount. Universal Waste can be accumulated throughout the year; therefore, you can save money by scheduling yearly pick-ups instead of monthly pick-ups. We recommend developing a program of accumulating materials so that the removal of these electronic devices is quick and simple.
Disassembling and compacting electronic waste can lead to various hazards including risk of injury and exposure to toxic chemicals and dust. It is best to recycle your old devices or seek e-waste disposal services from a hazardous waste management company. Recycling your used electronics will only benefit you, your community, and the environment. Learn more about how we can meet your organization’s electronic waste disposal and recycling needs.