If you’re a regular reader of our blog, then you’re already familiar with e-scrap. Even if you’ve never heard the term before, it’s a concept you’ve certainly encountered. Maybe you had to get rid of an old tablet or phone because you upgraded, or you had to pull a hard drive from a desktop computer that was beyond repair. Like most of us, you’re already experienced with e-scrap.
At the moment, e-scrap is the fastest growing category of waste that’s heading into municipal landfills. It can include phones, laptops, tablets, and any other electronic hardware that’s either obsolete or non-functional.
What’s the benefit of reforming our techno-landfills?
The issue of e-scrap recycling is going to get more press as the amount of waste increases. Dealing with it will conserve resources and provide jobs in the recycling industry, but it will also require a focused and thoughtful approach embraced by everyone who’s touched by the technology industry. Not everyone is aware of the energy used to simply produce most devices. Water, electricity, chemicals, and petroleum products are required in plentiful amounts for each unit. Presently, only 41% of nations even recognize e-scrap as its own category of waste, which is a clear indicator that we’ll need more action in the future to help keep this growing mountain of refuse under control.
One man’s junk …
Recycling is big business when it comes to junked hardware, and as the number of electronic devices continues to grow, there will be a mountain of precious metals to recover. The EPA estimates that if we recycled one million cell phones per year, we’d recover 33 pounds of palladium, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, and over 17 tons of copper. A great deal of recycling is currently being shipped to China, Ghana, Pakistan, and Nigeria, creating a dumping problem in those parts of the world. Domestically tackling this process could help produce jobs while keeping reducing the overall environmental impact of the process.
What can be done?
However you choose to get rid of your old hardware, CDR is ready to help you clear out the old and make way for the new. We offer low-cost options for shredding old hard drives, but our skilled technicians also have the ability to effectively remove all data from devices that may still have some life left in them. When the pieces in question are still useful, we can implement our system designed to help find non-profit recipients for re-purposed hardware. When we pair your equipment with a recipient, the hardware is quarantined upon arrival, then thoroughly cleaned to make sure that your data is removed and that the device is ready for its new role. That’s the kind of win-win situation that we like to see.