When it comes to being environmentally conscious, you probably don’t think all that much about what is done with your old electronics once they’ve reached the end of their life cycle. You throw out an old phone, or you keep an old laptop stashed somewhere in the garage or the attic, and sometimes it will sit there for years, even a decade or two.
But should you consider recycling your old devices in the future? The answer is: Yes! This is because of the incredible environmental benefits of appropriate e-waste recycling, which goes a long way toward protecting the planet. ECER Inc presents 3 reasons why electronics recycling is worth the minimal amount of time & effort.
It reduces the build-up of electronic waste
An astonishing 53.6 million metric tonnes (that’s over 59 million tons) of electronic waste is generated on an annual basis. All countries are contributors, but some countries are worse for it than others. In 2019, the UK was known to be a heavy source of ‘waste electrical and electronic equipment’, with over 23 kg (50.7 lbs.) produced per capita. In 2020, Northern European countries such as Norway produced 26 kg (57.3 lbs.) of e-waste per capita.
Despite many of us putting forth our best effort, only 20% of all e-waste is actually recycled. But the simple act of taking your old electronics to an e-waste recycling facility like the one operated by ECER Inc helps to lower landfill tonnage, bit by bit. Not only that, but this will also help prevent the likelihood of landfill pollution brought about by hazardous materials leaking from misplaced electronic devices.
Electronic Recycling Prevents the Exposure of Dangerous Chemicals
Electronic recycling facilities all require special certifications in order to safely recycle computers & other devices. This is due to the harsh and toxic chemicals that form parts of an electronic device; from the casing a laptop is fitted into, to the mother board and battery pack in your phone, there’s a lot of potential harm in allowing them to waste away in a natural environment.
A wide variety of elements including lead, selenium, mercury, cadmium, zinc, nickel, beryllium, and numerous flame retardant materials can be found in household electronics. These can be poisonous even to the touch, and when left exposed to natural weather conditions, they can make the soil& water streams toxic for humans & wildlife. Proper recycling greatly limits the chance of such threats to public health occurring.
There’s Less of a Need to Mine for Natural Resources
Many electronic devices contain precious materials, and if they are able to be recovered, there is far less of a need to mine for additional resources. This helps to protect deposits across the globe. Here is some information to help put this matter into perspective:
During the process of computer recycling, recovered resources can include gold, silver, platinum, iron, and copper. The combined worth of potentially recovered precious materials is $14 billion (source?), and that number is only rising as newer models are produced more frequently.
When it comes to proper handling of obsolete electronics, it’s important not to contribute to the proliferation of unrecycled e-waste. For reasons mentioned previously and beyond, the best thing for our planet is to properly recycle your computers & other electronics with a reputable firm like ECER Inc.