Why Recycle Electronics
When electronics are no longer useful, they become e-scrap. E-scrap is a growing concern as consumers continue to seek out the latest and greatest gadget. To reduce the amount of electronics entering the waste systems, follow these general guidelines:
- Reduce e-scrap by making wise purchases. Low cost is not the only consideration if a unit cannot be upgraded or serviced if something goes wrong. Make sure a product will last more than one or two years and look into improving efficiency of existing electronics before pulling the plug.
- Reuse devices by making them useful (adding memory, or using a television for a gaming system, etc). Consider donating electronics to schools, nursing homes or other non-profits. Your donation may be tax deductible. Always call to verify acceptance of items you wish to donate.
- Recycle electronics at the end of their useful life. Here are a few reasons why you should:
1. Electronics contain precious resources that are wasted when buried in a landfill. For example the EPA reports recycling one million cell phones recovers 50 pounds of gold, 550 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium, and 35,000 pounds of copper.
2. Some components of electronics contain toxic and hazardous materials, especially old tube televisions and CRT computer monitors. One CRT can contain 5-8 pounds of lead!
3. Recycling electronics creates local jobs. According to the coalition for American Electronics Recycling, every 172,000 pounds of electronics recycled creates one job directly, indirectly creates two additional jobs.