On Thursday, April 22nd the world celebrates the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day – a holiday dedicated to the education and support of environmental issues and protection. Even though we are still in a global pandemic, we can still celebrate the cause and recognize the importance of environmental conservation. From an IT perspective, electronics have created a growing stream of used devices desperately in need of appropriate management. Fortunately, there are safe and responsible ways to get rid of old, retired electronics, and Earth Day is the perfect time to call attention to them.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, are products like TVs, refrigerators, computers, tablets, and cell phones that are no longer in use, work, are unwanted or have reached their end of life. Since the creation of technological advancements have increasingly accelerated as their lifespans have steadily decreased, outdated and obsolete appliances, devices and portable electronics are ending up in unsafe places at an alarming rate. In fact...
...IT equipment has become the number one source of toxins at area landfills due to the potentially harmful materials and chemicals found in many of these devices.
The truth is, the rapid increase in electronics has created a growing stream of used devices in need of appropriate management.
It is also important to note that the production of new electronic devices require a significant amount of resources to make, with many of the same materials recoverable through recycling. According to the US EPA, only 25% of discarded computers, printers, copiers, and mobile devices are collected and properly recycled – with the rest ending up in landfills and incinerators. Improperly recycled e-waste can put our waterways, soil, and air at risk -- endangering human health and the environment if not handled properly.
The 3R’s (Recycle, Reduce, Reuse)!
What can we do? Start following the 3R's – Recycle, Reduce, Reuse. More than 70% of collected electronics can be reused, repurposing items such as plastics, steel, aluminum, copper, gold, silver, and other precious metals. According to the US EPA, “The recycling rate has increased from less than 10% in 1980 to more than 34.3% in 2013" which is a great start. By recycling, organizations can do their part to preserve the environment for future generations. Here are some more great stats and facts to consider*:
- The energy saved by recycling one plastic bottle can power a computer for 25 minutes.
- The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle will operate a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
- Producing glass from new materials requires 30% more energy than using already-used glass.
- Preventing one ton of paper waste saves between 15 and 17 mature trees.
- By recycling 1 ton of paper, we save enough energy to heat a home for six months.
Let's Get Started...
LANTIUM offers safe and responsible ways to get rid of old, retired electronics and we accept a broad range of items for disposal and recycling. Also, please remember never just toss out old hard drives, erase them, or stockpile them in storage. Physically destroying your hard drives is the only way to ensure information is unrecoverable, safe, and compliant.
Interested in learning more about responsible ways to recycle your organization's e-waste as well as proper data destruction services?
LANTIUM, Greater Philadelphia technology experts serving organizations of all industries, can help you go green from an IT perspective and more. Click below to learn more and schedule a free call with our experienced consultants today!
*SOURCES: Environmental Protection Agency, Associated Press, Clean Air Council, Recycle Across America, World Food Day, The Water Information Program, PLOS, National Geographic, Waterinfo.org