Electronic Waste

{flickr|100|campaign} Electronic Waste
Here’s a Jeopardy query for you… What weighs two hundred million tons? The answer: the number of electronic waste that goes into our landfills every year. Computers, monitors, cell phones, DVD players, copy machines, TV sets… you get the picture.
Most, if not all of this electronic waste, contains hazardous chemicals like mercury, lead and chromium that end up leaching into our ground water from landfills or being emitted into the air from incinerators causing a GROWING environmental and health crisis. This downside is fueled by the fast paced growth of new technology that renders electronic merchandise obsolete long before their traditional lifecycle ends and the very fact that the majority folks don’t recognize the way to properly dispose of those varieties of products. After all, most do not grasp that these merchandise will be recycled and reused.
But discarded electronics will be properly disposed of or recycled and it’s easier than most people think. Plenty of corporations have programs that permit you to donate usable electronics to churches and colleges, and different firms can recycle usable parts, raw materials and materials like plastics, glass and aluminum. Many cities additionally have e-waste decide up as half of their hazardous waste decide-up programs.
You’ll even use tax breaks after you donate your unwanted electronics. The 21st Century Classrooms Act for Non-public Technology Investment allows large companies to donate used equipment to public and private colleges for tax breaks and donations to nonprofits can be written off. You will want to check with every nonprofit organization regarding its explicit documentation for your tax returns.
The environmental benefit to donating or recycling used electronics goes way beyond simply keeping harmful chemicals out of our landfills; it also helps conserve our precious natural resources. It takes approximately 530 pounds of fossil fuel, fifty pounds of chemicals and 416 gallons of water to produce one desktop computer. Recycling electronic parts can facilitate preserve these resources and can also facilitate use far less energy than the production of recent components. Mining of aluminum, as an example, uses 20 times the quantity of energy it takes to recycle the identical quantity of aluminum from electronic components. Last year alone, electronics recyclers recovered over a hundred million pounds of materials like aluminum, steel, glass and plastic which was reused.
Currently that we tend to know the benefits of e-cycling let’s, work out how to seek out an e-cycler in your area. You can begin with the Electronic Business Alliance . This site has an simple to use map that permits you to go looking for e-cycling by state and offers you several alternative helpful links to guide you through the process. You’ll additionally check with your city government to determine if it offers e-cycling as part of its hazardous waste programs or with Goodwill industries . There are plenty of further organizations you’ll check that provide training programs that teach students and individuals a way to refurbish used electronics that are then donated to native schools:
Students Recycling Used Technology (StRUT)
Learning and Info Networking for Community via Technology (LINCT)
Reuse Development Organization (ReDO)
Even Sam’s Club has an interesting program that runs in cooperation with N.E.W. Client Service Firms, Inc. Members of the organization who need to recycle computers, LCD monitors, printers, camcorders, digital cameras and MP3 players, will log onto the program’s website and print a FREE shipping label to own the product mailed to N.E.W. Those members can receive a Sam’s Gift Card for the price of the donated item. All donated things are either refurbished or disassembled and therefore the elements are used to rebuild electronics or recycled into raw material and reused.
The ultimate pieces to this recycle cycle are personal data security and rethinking your purchasing habits. You need to shield all your personal information contained on laptop exhausting drives and cell phones. Please create sure to remove ALL stored phone numbers and decision logs from your mobile phone and you will even want to remove the SIM card to insure protection. Cleaning up your computer might prove a little a lot of troublesome however is equally important. If you’re unsure of how to try to to this you’ll find FREE hard-drive erasers through your favorite search engine. Type in “free hard-drive eraser cleaners.”
Though there are no laws governing the employment of hazardous materials in electronics equipment you can help to encourage makers to maneuver during a “greener” direction by considering the subsequent when buying your next piece of equipment:
1. Will the manufacturer use recycled materials in their merchandise?
2. Are the product designed for straightforward upgrades and disassembly?
3. Will the manufacturer provide a lease or “take back” program?
4. Does the manufacturer use minimal toxic materials in their equipment?
5. Will the manufacturer use minimal or recyclable packaging?
The age of electronics is upon us and with the constant introduction of latest technology, system upgrades and fancy new gadgets coming at us daily we have a tendency to want to be additional conscious of what we have a tendency to do with our e-waste. Take the time to try to to the right issue, remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and you will be stunned at who would love to own your “old” computer.