Toxic Tech

Electronic retail outlets are everywhere. As popular as online shopping has become, people typically will prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores for their electronics. There are a few reasons for this, ranging from in-store offered discounts, promotions the store may be running to get bundled accessories, or one of the bigger reasons – wanting to physically inspect the item before committing to the purchase as well as getting instant gratification. This is especially true with gadgets such as the newest Cell Phone, Tablet, TV or Appliance. When purchasing a new device, these types of stores will sometimes offer a buy-back or recycling program option for your old tech. These programs ensure that your old electronics are handled and disposed of with environmental responsibility in mind. Many people aren’t aware of these programs and don’t realize the harm that disposing of electronic equipment can bring to the environment nor do they realize that it is illegal to throw these items in the trash.

In the past, the most popular recyclable materials have been papers, plastics and aluminum. Rarely has E-Waste made its way to the top of that discussion. The COVID-19 Pandemic changed a lot of things – including E-Waste. The need for remote work across the globe skyrocketed and forced businesses to adapt and provide a surge of new electronic equipment to their staff. The number of new and reused devices increased and flooded the marketplace. Today, there are more electronics being used daily than ever before. With no clear process for many companies to properly dispose of them once they have reached their end of life, a big challenge has presented itself that requires action.

According to an article written by the EPA, it’s estimated that in 2009 consumers and businesses in the United States disposed of 2.37 million tons of E-Waste alone. Each year an unknown amount of E-Waste is illegally shipped to developing countries where recycling standards may not exist or are not enforced. If E-Waste is not property handled, contaminates can pollute the environment by seeping into the soil where food is grown, or leak into a stream and pollute water supplies. Being exposed to these harmful materials (such as mercury, arsenic, lead or cadmium) can lead to serious health issues, birth defects and may cause detrimental lifelong issues such as cancer or neurological damage.

To ensure the future of our planet for generations to come, we as business owners, consumers and communities must provide action. It is imperative that when disposing of any electronic item that it be done with a certified recycler. A certified recycler will ensure that no e-waste will end up in a landfill and will be able to provide their clients with data destruction and environmental impact reports.

Here are some questions that should be asked when looking for a certified recycler to partner with:

  • How will the recycler make sure that your sensitive data remains secure?
  • What options can they offer you for cleansing or shredding your hard drives?
  • Will they provide a serialized audit of all equipment received for your records?
  • Will the recycler assist with packing and palletizing equipment?
  • Do they accept all electronic equipment? (Many times companies will only take certain models that may be worth value, leaving you with items that may cost your company even more to dispose of)
  • What certifications do they hold to preform this type of work?
  • Are they insured and will the company assume responsibility for the equipment once in their possession?

CDR Global partners with companies, universities, school districts, and organizations throughout the nation to ensure that they are properly disposing of their IT equipment. If you would like further information on this process, please reach out to us.


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