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E-cycling For Everyone


For most North Americans, our day-to-day experiences are surrounded (and sometimes guided) by technology. We wake up to an alarm set on our cell phones, we mix a smoothie in our blenders, toss in ear buds and head off to work where we use our laptops, monitors, tablets, and telephones. One could say that electronics have become ingrained into every aspect of the North American lifestyle. With new high tech products hitting the shelves every season, we can all agree that responsible electronics recycling is critical to our mission to keep valuable resources from landfills and from polluting our planet.

So let’s have a look at some facts and figures.

The U.S. EPA reports that in 2009:

  • An estimated 438 million electronic products were sold in the U.S.
  • An estimated 5 million tons of products were in storage.
  • Approximately 2.37 million tons of electronics were ready for end-of-life management.
  • Approximately 141 million mobile devices were ready for end-of-life management
  • CRTs (TVs and monitors) comprise nearly half (47%) of all electronics ready for end-of-life management.
  • Only 25% of electronics were collected for recycling.

Electronics Scrap

So how do we keep electronics out of our landfills?

At our office, we collected all of our broken or unwanted electronics and encouraged the staff to bring in unwanted home electronics. After a few weeks, we weighed the materials using Tracker Light, we searched the EcoPoint directory for a local electronics recycler, then dropped off 105 pounds of electronic waste to Mother Earth Recycling. We chose this recycler because they attempt to reuse or refurbish items before resorting to end-of-life destruction (which is much better than sending these items to the landfill).

Here are a few tips you can use to start recycling electronics in your office:

  • Announce the e-recycling drive to all of your co-workers and get them excited about unloading their unwanted electronics.
    Don’t forget to set a deadline for co-workers to bring in their electronics.
  • Do some research to see if there is a way to donate select electronics to reputable organizations for reuse or refurbishment.
    Find out if any of the electronics’ manufacturers offer a Take-Back program.
  • Search for a responsible recycler.

Start an electronics recycling drive today!