The world continues to consume and replace electronic products at an astonishing rate resulting in a massive amount of e-waste. Recycling electronic components can reduce the carbon footprint of a business and keep thousands of tons of toxic materials out of landfills globally. Leading electronic providers like Intel and Dell Technologies are spearheading innovative programs to address this global problem and provide a shining example of how other organizations can operate. Here we discuss some ideas around electronic recycling that your organization should consider as part of your corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Why is Electronics Recycling Important?
The recycling of electronic components reduces the amount of energy needed to create new electronics, recovers precious valuable resources, and prevents heavy metals and other toxins from contaminating the soil, water, and air. Electronic recycling also ensures that data is properly destroyed, materials are appropriately recovered and reused, and businesses have a paper trail to document the proper disposal of their assets. What it really comes down to is our responsibility to preserve and protect the environment for future generations.
The potential energy savings from electronic recycling is staggering. In 2014 the United States alone generated more than 11.7 million tons of electronic waste in the form of discarded computers, cell phones, laptops, and televisions. Recycling programs were created in the 1990s to deal with this rising waste stream, but not all businesses have seen fit to go the route of electronic recycling. Instead, many discard their used tech components in their solid waste, where it is either incinerated or placed in a landfill. Some of these components get sold on the gray market by scavengers or the businesses themselves to dealers in third-world countries, who then stockpile them until the valuable metals can be recovered under less-than-ideal conditions, exposing workers and the environment to contaminants.
WE WORK FOR YOU
If you would like to speak with someone directly