If you have electronics that you no longer have a use for, you may be wondering what should be done with them. The responsible, eco-conscious action to take is bringing them to a reputable, experienced recycler like R2 Recycling. Here are the 10 things you need to know about electronic waste (e-waste) recycling:
1. E-Waste is the Fastest Growing Waste Stream in the World
E-waste is one of the largest contributors to total waste tonnage around the world — 54 million metric tons (that’s over 59 million tons) in 2019 alone. Seeing as the digital age is in full bloom, more people are quickly upgrading their devices and throwing the old versions out without much thought.
2. There are Some Precious Materials in Your E-Waste
Many e-waste products contain precious metals, such as gold, silver, and platinum. Recycling old electronics helps maintain the Earth’s natural resources, as there is less of a demand to mine for them to manufacture new electronics when they can simply be extracted from obsolete products.
3. You Can’t Just Throw E-Waste in the Trash
Unused electronics cannot be conventionally ‘dumped’ or mixed in with your single stream recycling. For environmental & data security reasons, the preferred approach to electronics & computer recycling is with the expertise of e-waste experts like R2 Recycling.
4. If Not Handled Properly, Electronics Can Be Dangerous
Most e-waste (including phones, batteries & laptops) contains harmful chemicals that can leak into the soil & water streams when they are merely disposed of in landfills & elsewhere. Elements that can be toxic to all forms of life such as lead and mercury are found in high concentration inside these devices.
5. E-Waste is Often Shipped (Illegally) Out Of The Country
Across the globe, e-waste is often improperly exported, with many third world countries taking on tons of old electronics from the USA and the UK annually. Education on the subject of e-waste, along with the presence of recyclers with a broad presence thanks to a nationwide base of partners that follow the R2 standard (such as R2 Recycling), will hopefully help us trend in a better direction on this subject
6. E-Waste Recyclers Need Certification To Lawfully Operate
Any electronics recycling facility needs to be properly certified to process e-waste. R2 Recycling, on its own and through its affiliates, carries all essential certificates to perform recycling of electronic devices across the nation.
7. Each State Has Different Rules for Electronic Recycling
Each state treats the recycling of e-waste differently. In most states, it’s even illegal to throw away unused electronics without recycling them, so make sure that you check your local guidelines before choosing a course of action.
8. There May Be Fees For Recycling Certain Electronics
For some items, the electronic recycling process yields a small fee, because of the specialized nature of handling certain items (for example, the lead present in CRT [cathode ray tube] televisions & monitors). Everything is completely transparent at R2 Recycling, where you can visit their page for an obligation free quote.
9. E-Waste Encompasses A Wide Spectrum Of Devices
Many associate the term e-waste with specific equipment: usually televisions and/or devices related to computing. But in reality, e-waste goes well beyond computer recycling: whether it’s the aforementioned equipment, facsimile machines & electric pencil sharpeners, or vacuum cleaners & hoverboards, it can all be processed at a facility like the one operated by R2 Recycling.
10. Turn To Trusted Professionals For Secure Data Destruction
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong in choosing a recycler with decades of experience that stands behind their work in a multitude of ways. R2 Recycling, for instance, provides Certificates of Destruction for every job that they do that involves destroying data, and they also offer the option of on-site data destruction for any business whose corporate itinerary requires it.