Vast quantities of computers, phones, appliances and other electronic waste (e-waste) end up in landfill every day, even though most of it can be recycled.
E-waste can be anything that is no longer needed and plugs into a power point or runs on batteries, including old televisions, refrigerators, lighting and even hearing aids.
America is one of the world’s biggest producers of e-waste, so every effort to recycle electronic waste at home and work helps.
Here are five advantages of recycling e-waste:
1. It protects the environment
Recycling e-waste can keep a range of harmful materials out of the environment.
Lighting, including fluorescent tubes and lamps, contains toxic mercury that can leach into waterways when it is thrown into landfill.
However, when lighting is recycled, the mercury is recovered and safely used again in products like dental amalgam.
The same goes for batteries, which can feature lead, mercury and cadmium.
For example, when a lead-acid battery is recycled, the plastic parts and toxic lead are recycled, while the sulphuric acid is neutralised and then converted into sodium sulphate to make fertiliser and detergent.
2. It reduces business costs
E-waste recycling is not only good for mother nature, it can also be good for a business’ bottom line.
There are also some non-tangible dividends of recycling to consider, such as lowering the future costs of non-renewable materials and boosting staff morale and retention.
3. It supports non-renewable recycling
The growing demand for electronic devices and appliances means a range of metals and other non-renewable resources need to be mined and processed.
However, many of the materials used to make smartphones, appliances and other e-waste can be re-used again.
These resources include steel, aluminium, copper and gold — not to mention large amounts of plastic that can be turned into new products.
Recycling e-waste puts these materials back to work after you’re done with your device, while dumping e-waste in landfill means more resources need to be dug up to make your next laptop or TV.
4. It shows your eco-friendly credentials
Employees increasingly want to work for businesses that do their part for the environment and the community.
Recycling is a simple and tangible way to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to social and environmental values, and reinforces those principles to your employees.
Ecocycle provides recycling certificates that illustrate your achievements, and also outline how your business is performing against your own green goals.
5. It’s super easy to recycle e-waste
Recycling e-waste has never been easier.
There are a range of places and businesses where you can drop off an old, computer, phone, TV or other household appliances.