We have them sitting on shelves in our closets and in our garages. Stuffed in drawers and in boxes under the bed. Old computers, laptops, printers, cell phones, DVD players, TVs… The list of old electronics collecting dust in our homes goes on and on.
Did you know that these old devices can yield potentially useful materials that can help the both environment and our communities?
According to one report, nearly 75 percent of old electronics continue to be stored in households because of the unavailability of convenient recycling options. Many states have passed laws that ban the disposing of e-waste in the garbage. In the United States, 25 states have mandated electronics recycling, covering 65 percent of the U.S. population.
New cheap devices constantly being made widely available has caused an explosive growth in the electronics industry. However, this has also led to a rapidly escalating issue, e-waste disposal.
In the United States alone, the average person replaces their electronic devices every 2 to 4 years. This causes approximately two million tons of used electronics such as televisions and computers to be disposed of annually. Add to that around 128 million mobile phones discarded just as often.
Televisions and computer monitors are potentially hazardous to the environment since they may contain lead and mercury. Circuit boards can contain harmful materials such as cadmium, lead, mercury, and chromium. The batteries in computers and other electronics may also contain hazardous materials such as cadmium, mercury and lead.
Those same old electronic devices may contain a variety of valuable materials. Gold, copper, aluminum and other useful metals can be stripped from old electronics and recycled for use in new commodities and products. The EPA estimates that recycling a million computers will actually prevent the release of the same amount of greenhouse gases as the yearly emissions of more than 17,000 automobiles.
Your old electronics can also be refurbished and reused by community charity organizations. They, and organizations like them, play an important role in the provision of refurbished devices, such as computers and mobile phones, to low-income families, schools, and other not-for-profit organizations. They can help individuals gain access to technology that they could not otherwise afford.
As you can see, a lot of good can come from your old electronics.
If you have old electronic devices lying around and collecting dust, but aren’t quite sure how to properly dispose of them, give Cyber Express a call. We can help you ensure that they are disposed of properly.