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Back to The Basics of Electronic Recycling

Emily Boser - Thursday, November 17, 2016

 


 

Sometimes we all could use a refresher, go back to the beginning and understand the fundamentals.

 

When recycling electronics, whether it be computers, phones, printers servers or switches, it’s important to understand the basics.

 

SERI (The housing body for the R2 Standard) has put together some great content that covers 5 great topics…

 

What are used electronics?

Used electronics vary widely in size, shape, weight, age and technological complexity - including everything from last year's high end mobile phone, to a server in a data center. Many of these products can be repaired and reused. All others can be recycled for their scrap materials.

 

A Growing Problem

Approximately 15 pounds of used electronics are generated per capita worldwide - but less than 20% are recycled. The volume of used electronics is expected to increase over 33% by the end of the decade, with much of that growth coming from emerging economies.

 

Environment & Data Risks

Electronics can contain mercury, cadmium, phosphors, lead, and other substances that can contaminate the air, soil, and water if sent to a landfill or are otherwise improperly managed. Increasing numbers of electronic devices also contain sensitive user data, including contact information, credit cards, medical histories, photos, and other information.

 

Repair & Reuse

Reuse is widely recognized as the most environmentally beneficial form of materials management. Repairing and reusing electronics extends the useful life of products and keeps them out of the waste stream. It also recovers more value per unit than any other form of materials management. Not only that, reusing electronics devices reduces the need to manufacture new units, and makes affordable electronics more accessible to a wider range of consumers.

 

Recycling

Recovery of valuable metals and other materials from end-of-life electronics provides a sustainable solution when reuse is no longer feasible. “Urban mining” for rare and precious materials contained in electronic devices stretches our planet’s limited supply of natural resources and requires less energy than the mining of new metals.

 

For more information about the R2 standard click here!

 


 

ER2 is an electronic recycling company located in Phoenix, Arizona and Memphis, Tennessee servicing all of the United States and Canada. Providing services that include: Secure Hard Drive Shredding, Electronic Recycling, Computer Recycling, E-Waste Recycling, IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Solutions and Free Pick-up.


 


E-waste Facts - Did you know?

Emily Boser - Thursday, August 18, 2016

 

 

There seems to be a desensitization to e-waste or the understanding of it’s impact, and that could be because it is such a prevalent topic in this technology age. Just like any hot topic, sometimes it’s sobering to here some of the point blank facts about the subject at hand.

 

Earth 911 put together a great article in February of 2016, that lays out some of those facts. Included below are a few of them that may get you thinking about e-waste and recycling in new ways!

 

  1. 1. The United States produces more e-waste annually than any other country. The amount of electronics that Americans throw away every year? 9.4 million tons.
  2.  
  3. 2. Only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled, according to the EPA.
  4.  
  5. 3. Old television sets as well as CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors contain approximately 4-8 pounds of lead, a neurotoxin. Improper disposal means this toxic substance can leach into the ground.
  6.  
  7. 4. Not all e-waste recyclers are the same. There are safer ways to recycle e-waste, and then there are companies that simply export the waste to developing countries. Rather than monitoring the recycling of the e-waste for health and human safety standards in these developing countries, many businesses simply have residents disassemble waste and use scrap metal, exposing the workers to toxic materials. Look for an e-waste recycling company that has been vetted through e-stewards.org.
  8.  
  9. 5. There are more mobile phones in existence than there are number of people living on Earth.
  10.  
  11. 6. The UN University estimates that global e-waste volumes could increase by as much as 33% between 2013-2017.
  12.  

Click here to read additional e-waste facts from Earth 911...




 

ER2 is an electronic recycling company located in Phoenix, Arizona and Memphis, Tennessee servicing all of the United States and Canada. Providing services that include: Secure Hard Drive Shredding, Electronic Recycling, Computer Recycling, E-Waste Recycling, IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Solutions and Free Pick-up.

 

 


Recycling Batteries - What Really Happens?

Emily Boser - Thursday, August 04, 2016

 


 

Recycling is more relevant than ever. In general we are making better and better decisions as humanity to intentionally recycle what we can. However, it's always interesting to know how things are recycled.

 

In this instance let's look at batteries. What actually happens to them once we've used them up? How are they recycled? Is it different depending on the battery? Let’s take a look at a few different types...

 

Alkaline

Alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V, etc.) are recycled 100%. The recycling process separates them into 3 different products that are reintroduced in to the market place for reuse.

 

Lead Acid

These batteries are broken into plastics, lead and sulfuric acid. The plastics are melted and put through an extruder that produces small plastic pellets for reuse. The lead parts are cleaned and heated inside a smelting furnace where impurities separate and float to the top. What’s left is can be re-melted and reused in new batteries. Sulfuric Acid is neutralized and turned into water which is then treated, cleaned and tested to ensure it meets clean water Standards.

 

Lithium Ion

Commonly known as the batteries you find in a laptop or cellphone, lithium ion batteries are 100% recycled. The plastics and metal components are separated and the metals are then heated in order to segregate the different materials. i.e. nickel, iron, manganese, and chromium)

 

These are just a few of the battery types we come in contact with on a regular basis. Understanding the components and what happens during the recycling process helps us comprehend the impact that we have when we choose to recycle!

 

Source: Battery Solutions


ER2 is an electronic recycling company located in Phoenix, Arizona and Memphis, Tennessee servicing all of the United States and Canada. Providing services that include: Secure Hard Drive Shredding, Electronic Recycling, Computer Recycling, E-Waste Recycling, IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Solutions and Free Pick-up.


 


E-Waste Village in India

Chris Ko - Monday, August 04, 2014

I ran across this article in the BBC: Link to BBC E-Waste Village Slideshow

 

I'm amazed at my limited scope at times. I look at our beautiful, clean, e-waste processing facility and think that this is how it is being done everywhere else.

 

The sad truth of the matter is that we can't stick our heads in the sand and think this is how e-waste is being recycled outside of the US.

 

I hope you view the images and it moves you to promote Responsible Recycling.



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