Every business from small to large has greatly benefited from modern advancements in IT and networking equipment. However, the enormous growth of the IT sector has also resulted in a rapidly growing issue of End-of-Life (EOL) Electronics, often known as E-Waste, the word used to characterize obsolete electronic products that could potentially turn into electronic trash. Essentially, you might release toxic elements from outdated IT equipment into the environment in landfills or inadequate recycling activities.
E-waste is on the rise, which necessitates the implementation of effective electronics recycling schemes. According to a World Economic Forum research, E-waste is now the world’s fastest-growing trash stream, with an estimated waste stream of 48.5 million metric tons in 2018. Comparing that to previous trends, it appears that by 2023, there may be an estimated 61 million metric tons generated.
Today, computers, cellphones, and large IT equipment no longer in use are still routinely thrown out and discarded.
Continue reading to learn more about E-Waste disposal and why recycling is such a beneficial alternative for both the people and the environment.
What is E-Waste?
End-Of-Life electronic devices, often known as E-Waste or E-Scrap, include old computers, networking equipment, telecommunications equipment, and other IT equipment. Even though many of these items may be reconditioned or recycled, but a considerable amount still ends up in landfills.
Surprisingly, only 20% of worldwide E-Waste is formally recycled; the other 80% is frequently burnt or disposed of in landfills. Thousands of metric tons also get transported worldwide, where they are dismantled by hand and burned in these landfills by workers. Unfortunately, this primitive kind of urban mining has negative repercussions for people’s health and causes massive, untold pollution. Notably, the recycling rate in the United States is closer to 25%, with much of the E-waste getting exported offshore.
Legislation on E-Waste Recycling
Electronics recycling has become required in 25 states in the United States. The majority of these policies demand that the manufacturer pays for the recycling effort meaning most businesses can ship their old equipment back to the manufacturer to be recycled. On the other hand, businesses in California pay an Advanced Recycling Fee (ARF) to support the recycling of old IT equipment. However, Electronics Recycling does not get governed by any federal legislation.
We all need to do our part to take care of the planet and we urge you to take part in this. Some communities or localities will have regulations prohibiting the disposal of E-Waste. When it comes to unused or decommissioned networking equipment, consulting a reseller, like Dedicated Networks, to evaluate the equipment as it might put money back into your spending budget. If the equipment must be recycled, always hire qualified recyclers by one of the voluntary certification schemes intended to promote responsible recycling, such as R2/RIOS and e-stewards to handle IT equipment recycling.
Thus, search for R2 certification when choosing a recycler. R2 certification, also known as responsible recycling certification, is a company-level certification based on the R2 standard, monitored by the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Moreover, the standard gets described as “Responsible Recycling (“R2″) Practices for Use in Accredited Certification Programs for Electronics Recyclers.”
The Importance of E-Waste Recycling
Many outdated electronics and IT equipment can find hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, polyvinyl chloride, and chromium. These chemicals seep into the soil when e-waste is thrown into landfills, damaging the groundwater and the air.
Many components in electronic equipment work via expensive raw materials. It saves energy to recycle obsolete equipment. It also means that fewer natural resources get used to manufacture new equipment.
Reusing obsolete equipment also helps to reduce e-waste by keeping it out of landfills. It also conserves the resources that people previously utilized to recycle them. Additionally, repurposing equipment benefits others in your community by providing refurbished equipment at a reduced cost or used for parts to fix broken equipment. So, if possible, sell your old equipment so it can be given the opportunity to extend the lifecycle.
In addition, recycling e-waste brings about the following benefits:
- A Substantial Source of Raw Materials: Only 10-15% of the gold in e-waste is effectively retrieved globally, while the remainder is lost. According to the United Nations, electronic waste contains precious metal deposits between 40 and 50 times richer than ores obtained from the earth.
- Preventing the Adverse Effects of Toxic Materials: Because obsolete electrical devices contain harmful compounds including lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium, along with other heavy metals and potentially dangerous chemical flame retardants, adequate processing gets required to prevent these materials from being released into the environment.
- Prevent the International Movement of Hazardous Waste: The unrestricted flow of e-waste to countries where cheap labor and inadequate recycling methods have resulted in health risks for inhabitants exposed to toxic releases is a source of concern. As a consequence, responsible recycling of e-waste aims to prevent this.
Aside from these, Electronics Recycling is also a viable option in alleviating the Electrical component shortage.
According to CEOs of major tech companies like Intel, IBM, Extreme, Cisco, and Juniper, a shortage of various CPUs and other components might affect the availability and price of IT equipment over the next 12 to 18 months.
COVID-19 prompted an increase in the number of people working remotely worldwide, leading to a boom in demand for new technology. However, according to industry officials and analysts, it also triggered the closure of processor plants, and restoring them and reconstructing supply lines to pre-pandemic levels will be a lengthy process.
Furthermore, the chip shortage will drastically disrupt the supply chain, limiting the production of numerous types of electronic equipment. As a result, foundries are increasing wafer pricing, forcing chipmakers to boost device prices.
With E-Waste Recycling initiatives, this problem can get eased until a time comes when the shortage is over.
How Businesses Can Recycle
Depending on where they live, businesses have access to recycling options. Regarding the electronics recycling hierarchy, the ideal choice is to donate IT equipment that can be refurbished or utilized as-is, as long as any company data gets removed from the equipment.
Authorized electronics recycler locations, electronics recycling events, and retailer take-back programs, such as those offered by Staples, Office Depot, or BestBuy, are all options for recycling smaller electronics. Other initiatives for pre-owned networking equipment, such as those provided by Dedicated Networks Inc., are also available to assist customers with extending the lifecycle of the equipment or making sure they are properly disposed of.
Dedicated Networks Inc. is a stocking reseller with a big selection of in-stock and ready-to-ship networking equipment. They carry a huge inventory of current equipment and EOS (End of Sale) / EOL (End of Life) and other difficult-to-find items. Dedicated Networks Inc. places high importance on building relationships with clients, providing them with the best networking hardware for their money, and fulfilling most orders the same day.
Finally, Dedicated Networks Inc. strives to refurbish or resell preowned networking equipment to extend the equipment’s life cycle. When technology becomes obsolete, or equipment becomes broken, Dedicated Networks disposes of it responsibly to an R2 certified recycler. Dedicated Networks Inc. has spent more than 15 years building a company and culture that puts its customers first. For the years to come, trust that Dedicated Networks will continue to put customers first, that is, by taking a stand on responsible e-waste disposal.