Breaking Down E-Scrap Recycling

Computer parts in recycling binWhen your electronic devices are obsolete or no longer wanted, they become what’s referred to as e-scrap. Many of the items labeled as e-scrap aren’t actually scrap but can be reused or recycled, whether they work or not. While you may regularly recycle common items like plastic, glass, aluminum and various metals, you might not realize the importance of electronics recycling. By recycling cell phones, televisions, computers, stereos, printers, video game consoles and other electronic devices, you’re helping protect the planet.

Why Recycle E-Scrap?

Technology is constantly evolving, with new electronic gadgets being marketed every year. Everyone wants the latest smartphone, tablet or game system, but throwing your outdated or broken electronics into landfills can be detrimental to the planet, not to mention human and animal health. Dumping e-scrap in the garbage is a major cause for concern, because it:

  • Is harmful due to heavy metals and toxic substances that could leach into the soil and groundwater
  • Is banned in some states with hefty fines, especially for businesses
  • Can put your personal information at risk

It’s not always easy or convenient to recycle your old electronics, but you can see it’s important to keep these items out of the scrap stream. Although more companies and individuals are recycling their e-scrap, more electronics still end up in the garbage than what’s being recycled. All types of electronics should be recycled, and nearly all electronics can be recycled at certain recycling centers.

Smart To Recycle Cell Phones

The most popular and recognizable smartphone manufacturers develop and release new models every year, and millions of people line up to get the latest technology. According to the Environmental Protective Agency, for every 1 million recycled cell phones, there are 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium and 35,274 pounds of copper recovered. When Americans toss their old phones, they’re essentially throwing away over $60 million in gold and/or silver every year.

Part With Computers Responsibly

Computers come with many parts, from circuit boards to peripherals like monitors, keyboards, speakers and mice. Companies may also use large computer devices called servers. Hard drives in desktop computers and servers contain personal and/or proprietary data that must be destroyed or wiped before recycling. Some recycling centers can do this for you, but it’s usually best, especially for companies with lots of personal data related to their clientele, to hire a professional to wipe private data from these systems prior to recycling.

Good, Bad And Lucrative Computer Parts

Computer monitors, especially CRT monitors, are considered especially hazardous due to high amounts of lead. However, servers and other computer parts are also considered toxic e-scrap and contain various types of contaminants. Circuit boards are especially rich in ore, with tons of gold and copper just waiting to be recycled. Many parts of your computer contain circuit boards, including printers. Inkjet and laser printers are computer peripherals that often end up in the garbage, because they frequently break down or become obsolete and replacing them is typically less expensive than repairing them. Don’t jam your old printer in the garbage when there are numerous good causes ready to recycle it.

Saving The World One Circuit Board At A Time

At ASM Recycling in Mobile, Alabama, we’re committed to environmental protection and conserving natural resources through our electronics recycling. We accept nearly all forms of electronic scrap and ensure any non-usable e-scrap is disposed of properly and safely. We offer free pickup service to businesses throughout the Mobile metropolitan area, or you can drop off your recyclables at our scrap recycling center at 2751 McKinney Street. Contact us at 251-470-0765 to learn more about the electronics you should recycle today.

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