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Responsible Electronics Recycling Is More Important Than Ever

January 18, 2013

With the holiday season in our rear view, a major concern is what we do with our old gadgets that have been replaced by new ones. These days, the majority of our personal belongings are electronic devices — things like cell phones, tablets, video games, and televisions. Most people know that electronics shouldn’t be tossed in the trash, but do you know why?

There are several reasons, but the primary issues are 1) electronics can leach hazardous contaminants into the environment such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants; and 2) most electronic devices contain valuable resources that can be refined and reused to make new products, such as steel, aluminum, plastics, and various precious metals. The cost of extracting new resources from the earth far outweighs the cost of recovering them from our spent products.

Electronic waste is now one of the fastest-growing waste streams in world, and this is a trend that will only exacerbate as time goes on. So what’s the solution? If we as a culture are going to consume and replace electronics at such an astonishing rate, the least we can do is take measures to ensure that they are being recycled properly to alleviate the toll we’re taking on the environment. Electronics recycling is the most effective way for consumers  to do their part. We can’t necessarily control the progress of the electronics industry but we can take responsibly for our e-waste.

Find an electronics recycler that you can trust that is refining these devices into reusable commodities domestically. Don’t assume that every electronics collector is recycling your devices responsibly. Do your homework and use a certified recycler.

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