At some point we all find ourselves with e-waste, or electronic waste, and we have to get rid of it properly. Doing it the right way is not optional.
Getting rid of e-waste is not only a personal problem, it is a national and even global issue. The stark reality of electronic waste is that the world produces vast amounts of new electronic products continuously and all the old products have to be disposed of eventually.
Proper E-Waste Disposal Is Not a Simple Task
The truth is that in about 25 states in the U.S. right now, it is not illegal to simply toss your electronics in the trash. But the fact is that in the other 25 states and the District of Columbia, it is illegal. And for good reason!
Even something as seemingly harmless as a dead battery is considered "hazardous waste" in many locales. For example, in California, batteries of all types are generally labeled as hazardous waste.
"All batteries are considered hazardous waste in California when they are discarded. This includes all batteries of sizes AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9 Volt, and all other batteries, both rechargeable and single use. All batteries must be recycled, or taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility, a universal waste handler (e.g., storage facility or broker), or an authorized recycling facility."
In addition, the state of California recognizes a specific category of e-waste items as "Universal Waste" wich includes batteries.
"Universal waste comes primarily from consumer products containing mercury, lead, cadmium and other substances that are hazardous to human health and the environment. These items cannot be discarded in household trash nor disposed of in landfills. Examples of universal waste are batteries, fluorescent tubes, and many electronic devices."
And, speaking of California, they have a list of e-waste items that are essentially banned from household and workplace trash, including the following:
- Fluorescent lamps and tubes
- Computer and television monitors
- Electronic devices
- Electrical switches and relays
- Thermostats that contain mercury
- Pilot light sensors
- Mercury gauges
- Mercury-added novelties
The EPA has its own take on this type of waste, as well, but it doesn't include all electronic waste items. According to an entry in Wikipedia:
"Universal waste is a category of waste materials designated as 'hazardous waste', but containing materials that are very common. It is defined in 40 C.F.R. 273.9, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency but states may also have corollary regulations regarding these materials."
Essentially, the EPA only considers batteries as Universal waste, while some states such as California have much broader inclusions. Regardless, in at least half the country it is prohibited to get rid of most any kind of e-waste product into the municipal waste stream.
The bottom line is that it's safe to assume that pretty much any electronic device that needs to be disposed of should be treated as hazardous waste. And, depending on the components, many of these products do contain substances that are toxic.
The list of toxins includes lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), just to name a few. Any of these can be harmful or even lethal to humans and other animals at certain levels. Placing e-waste items with these materials in them in landfills poses a huge risk of groundwater contamination.
How to Get Rid of E-Waste - The Right Way
Now that we've covered the reasons why e-waste needs to be handled properly and what the hazards are with much of our electronic waste products, let's look at proper disposal.
If you want to dispose of your old electronics on your own, you have a number of options open to you depending on where you live. An article at MoneyCrashers.com offers four ways to get rid of your e-waste properly:
1. Use a Certified E-Waste Recycler
2. Check with Local Government and Schools
3. Look into Retail Options Like Best Buy
4. Donate Your Working Electronics
Your municipal waste management provider should be able to provide information regarding any special e-waste pick up days offered by them or the local government agencies. In addition, if you happen to live in California, for example, the state's CalRecycle website provides a directory to find organizations that will take your unwanted electronics.
If, however, you decide that you'd rather hand off this task to a professional company that specializes in e-waste pick up and disposal, consider calling Junk King.
Whether it's small or really large, we can take it away for you. Over the years we've hauled and removed large items from a variety of locations and even hard to reach areas. And this includes large electronics. Our teams of professionals have the know-how and experience to haul large items safely and efficiently.
At Junk King we also make it our mission to ensure that your old electronics and e-waste items end up in the right place. This might be a charity, If possible, providing the electronics are still functioning and usable. Otherwise, we work with local recycling facilities to make sure your E-Waste items are always dismantled, reused, and disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
Expert Junk Removal Service for Your E-Waste
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 will pick up and haul away almost all types of e-waste, including:
- and much more!
Ready to remove those old electronics? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).
Our professional and insured e-waste removal team will show up at your home or office. We call 15 minutes before we arrive on site and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck. You point and we haul those items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.