The end of the year is coming up soon and it's a good time to start preparing your offices for the New Year. And that often means cleaning out junk, some of which is e-waste.
Because electronic equipment typically improves and is upgraded almost annually, if not sooner, most of us end up replacing our electronics with new models regularly. This is especially true in many businesses and office and the old devices end up unused, often collecting dust in some basement or office.
All of these old devices and electronic equipment is what is referred to as e-waste, or electronic waste, and they requires special consideration when being disposed of.
If you consider your offices right now, how many printers, computer monitors and old CPUs have been out of commission for over a year now? If you counted a few or more, it’s a good time to get rid of those e-waste items. This brings up the question, however, of what do you do with all of it?
The Disposal of E-Waste is not Simple
Unfortunately, for consumers, there are a number of environmental and legal issues with e-waste disposal. There are a number of laws and regulations, especially in states such as California, which mandate that many items such as monitors, TVs, and even cell phones cannot be simply tossed in the trash. Because of the requirements in place for properly disposing of a computer monitor, for example, the process takes time, effort and money.
According to the CalRecycle website, e-waste disposal and recycling is highly recommended:
Unwanted electronic devices should be reused or recycled. Computers, monitors, televisions and other electronic equipment should NOT be disposed of with regular garbage; in fact, this is illegal in California. Functioning electronics can be sold or donated thereby prolonging their useful life. Nonfunctioning electronics that cannot be repaired should be recycled by an organization qualified to do so.
However, there are options and they are expanding every year.
Business E-Waste Disposal and Electronics Recycling
Because of the many regulations restrictions and added fees involved in recycling e-waste, it may seem that simply throw out your old electronics is the wisest business course. Aside from probably being illegal, it also ignores the bigger problem with e- waste, which is that it contains toxic materials that are hazardous both to the environment and to human health.
The following statistics reveal not only the scope of the problem, but the amount of potentially reusable resources that are being left un-recovered each year:
- The United States generated 11.7 million tons of e-waste in 2014. According to EPA, only about 1 million tons of over 3.4 million tons of e-waste generated in the U.S. in 2012 was recycled, resulting in a recycling rate of 29 percent. The e-waste recycling rate in 2011 was 24.9 percent, and 19.6 percent in 2010.
- California alone produced 210,790,222 lbs of e-waste in 2012 - over 5 pounds for every California resident.
- For every one million cell phones that are recycled, the EPA states that 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered. For those not familiar with palladium, palladium is a precious metal using for making electrical contacts, as well as surgical instruments and parts for watches.
- Recycling circuit boards can be more valuable than mining for ore! One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 40-800 times more gold than one metric ton of ore. There is 30-40 times more copper in a ton of circuit boards that can be mined from one metric ton of ore.
- Based on e-waste disposal rates, Americans throw out phones containing over $60 million in gold and/or silver every year.
In addition to the components and rare metals lost each year, there is an environmental impact, as well. For example, it has been estimated that recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year, according to the EPA.
Here is a graphic view of the national electronic waste recycling picture:
Professional E-Waste Removal for Your Business
Once you have made the business decision to properly dispose of all the accumulated electronics, devices and equipment in your offices, what do you do next?
The easy answer is to call a professional business junk hauling firm and Junk King is a great choice for this task.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly e-waste removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of those old items. Not only that, but we make sure that your old electronics end up in the right place: whether it be a charity if the electronics are still functioning, or a recycling facility to ensure your e-waste is disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
We remove almost all types of e-waste, including:
- Copy Machines