How E-Waste Recycling Works
Technological advances make most electronic equipment obsolete before you arrive home and power it on. With consumers buying up new electronics with every passing birthday, holiday and new release, the importance of proper disposal for outdated equipment can hardly be overstated.
Bring in Your Phones, Computers, TV’s & More
According to a Gallup poll published in Forbes magazine, 51 percent of iPhone users update their device as soon as their provider allows it under contract. This usually occurs every two years and creates a huge surplus of electronic waste. While some consumers trade in old phones for a credit toward a newer model, many don’t, and those devices may end up in landfills, where, in large quantities, they can pose a threat to human health.
Computers, DVD players, portable speakers and more all eventually reach the end of their useful lifetime and are replaced by a newer model or the most recent technology. All these devices are considered electronic waste, or e-waste, and must be carefully disposed of to prevent landfill overload and the release of large amounts of trace chemicals into the soil and water supplies. Estimates suggest that 20 percent or less of computers is recycled, leaving a large potential for improvement.
E-waste recycling is more complex than the processing of plastic, glass or paper products. This is due to the fact that these devices are actually made from a number of materials and often need to be disassembled in order to be properly processed. Once separated into parts, components can be sold on the open market, crushed, ground or otherwise condensed to allow for recycling. Even wood from old television cabinets can be turned into a fuel source during the disassembling process.