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how important is e waste recycling

E-Waste Recycling: How Important Is It?

It’s fair to say that we live in a digital world, and no matter what your business is, it’s almost impossible to get by without using digital technology to some degree. However, all that tech poses a problem when it becomes outdated.

Moore’s Law posits that computer processing power doubles every two years or so. Even if that’s an exaggeration, it gives perspective to how quickly tech becomes outdated. And as businesses upgrade to remain competitive, tons of e-waste is produced.

For much of this waste, its final destination is a landfill or an incinerator. But there’s a better way. Here are a few reasons why e-waste recycling is the right choice for both your business and the environment.

It’s Environmentally Conscious

Any waste that is dumped rather than being recycled has a deleterious effect on the environment, but the effects tend to be far more severe for e-waste.

For starters, many devices are loaded with heavy metals and other toxic substances like chromium, cadmium, mercury, and lead. Since many landfills are prone to leaking over time, there is potential for these toxic materials to seep into the groundwater where they are buried. And incinerators will belch them up into the air.

And there is no shortage of e-waste. About 5 million tons are produced each year, with an increase of 4-5% projected annually. That adds up to a lot of toxic materials being improperly disposed of.

But having your e-waste professionally recycled removes these materials from safely, re-using salvageable metals and responsibly disposing of the rest.

Many States Require It

There is currently no federal law preventing e-waste from being dumped into landfills, burned in incinerators, or shipped to dumping grounds abroad. However, a number of states have stepped in with their own sets of regulations regarding how e-waste can and cannot be disposed of.

So how up-to-date are you on your state’s e-waste statutes? If it’s been a while since you’ve checked, it’s better to have your materials properly recycled than risk a penalty being levied against your business.

E-Waste Recycling Is Good a Security Measure

When you simply throw out old electronics, you are creating a huge security vulnerability.

The bulk of e-waste is made up of devices that are functional but outdated. Data thieves can get ahold of these devices and mine them for sensitive information. Even files that have been deleted can sometimes be recovered.

But when you have your e-waste professionally recycled, you can rest assured that any sensitive data will be permanently lost when your old devices are dismantled. Hence why many IT professionals include the services of external recycling and destruction companies as part of their asset disposal protocols.

E-Waste Recycling Is Good for the Planet and for Your Business

We have but one world to share, and the onus is on all of us to do our part to safeguard its health. E-waste recycling is one choice that you can make to help reduce your environmental impact. Beyond being the right thing to do, it just makes good business sense.

For information on how to responsibly dispose of your e-waste, check out the 2020 edition of our Complete Electronics Recycling Guide.

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