Easy Ways to Recycle Your Electronics
Why is it so easy to purchase new computers and phones but so difficult to dispose of them? There are many reasons why disposing of electronic equipment, or e-waste, can be a confusing and time consuming process. Perhaps that is why many people and businesses let their out-of-use electronic equipment sit around in drawers or closets collecting dust for far too long.
Apart from concerns related to the security of the data kept on the equipment, there may be local, state, or federal regulations controlling how it must be disposed. Additionally, certain methods of e-waste disposal can negatively impact the environment. For example, approximately 80% of e-waste ends up in landfills or is exported to developing countries. This is especially worrisome because e-waste can contain toxic materials, such as lead, mercury and cadmium, that can contaminate the soil, air and water. Because the world produces roughly 50 million tons of e-waste every year, an amount that weighs more than all the commercial airliners ever made, the effect of e-waste on the environment should be of paramount concern to us.
Benefits of Recycling
Recycling e-waste is one method of disposal that reduces landfill, gives electronics a second life, or saves energy by recovering precious metals that can be reused by manufacturers. If consumers, businesses, and organizations commit to recycling their e-waste, they can help vastly reduce the amount of e-waste being produced every year and minimize its harmful effects on the environment.
Consumer vs. Business Needs
Consumers and businesses have different needs when it comes to finding an appropriate recycler for their e-waste. Whereas both have interests in ensuring that the e-waste is disposed of in an environmentally-responsible manner, businesses may have additional requirements. For example, businesses often require more stringent data security protocols, oversight of the data sanitization process, and documentation for auditing purposes. Additionally, businesses produce a higher volume of e-waste and may require customized services such as pickup and shipping or on-site data sanitization. Below are some trusted recyclers that can simplify the recycling process for either consumers or businesses.
Recycling Options for Consumers
Best Buy Electronics Recycling
Some big box electronics retailers such as Best Buy have started offering recycling programs that are easily accessible to consumers. Currently, Best Buy accepts all electronics items and appliances into their recycling program. The program is free and consumers may be able to earn trade-in credit if their items have any value. Best Buy allows individuals to recycle up to three items per household per day. Customers must drop off the items at Best Buy, although Best Buy will pick up old TVs and appliances if replacement items are being purchased. Before turning equipment over to be recycled, customers must take measures to protect their data by ensuring that any hard drives are wiped.
Unfortunately, Best Buy does not allow businesses or organizations to participate in its program or accept products from them.
Goodwill Electronics Recycling
Goodwill also offers residential computer recycling services. Goodwill will take any out-of-date computer workstations and electronic devices, such as monitors, printers and hard drives. Donors are required to drop off the equipment at a Goodwill location and remove any personal data from the electronic equipment prior to handing it over. Goodwill then refurbishes and sells the computers in their retail stores, or uses them to offer career counseling services. All donations are tax deductible.
Recycling Options for Businesses and Organizations
Dispoteca's ITAD Program
Companies that specialize in IT Asset Disposition like Dispoteca can securely dispose of electronic equipment and handle all aspects of the disposition process in a transparent, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Dispoteca has a no landfill policy and is deeply committed to methods of disposal that are environmentally-friendly. Dispoteca can ensure disposition projects are performed in compliance with any applicable regulations and provide proper documentation for auditing purposes. Finally, Dispoteca can help businesses and organizations recover more value for their equipment through its intelligent platform that finds the right secondary market for their specific assets.
Recycling e-waste not only benefits the environment but can benefit consumers and businesses by returning value to them either directly or indirectly. If you are a business or organization that has decommissioned or surplus IT equipment, contact Dispoteca to get started on your recycling project today.