We live in a society that craves the latest iPhone or laptop. Not only that, we depend on them. Many of us cannot perform our jobs if we don’t have up-to-date equipment and devices. This leaves us with a staggering conundrum: how are we to be both environmentally conscious and participate in a technology-dependent world?

At this point, short of living alone in the woods and being cut off from civilization, our primary option is to recycle those pricey electronics (e-waste) that so quickly become obsolete. While it’s more cost-effective for the electronic companies to reuse materials, the primary objective for recycling e-waste is that it’s terribly hazardous for the environment.

Would you drink water containing lead and mercury? Obviously not. Computers and other electronics are made of these compounds as well as cadmium, chromium, and chloride—chemicals known to cause cancer, mutations, and brain damage. Therefore, these toxic ingredients do not belong in the landfill or where they can seep into the ground and water supply.

E-waste is the fastest and most dangerous source of municipal waste in the world. While people seem to have gotten the message to recycle boxes and soda cans, the same has not happened for e-waste. Maybe because recycling e-waste is confusing—what can you recycle for free and what has to be paid for? Most cities that offer weekly curbside recycling don’t provide it for e-waste. So the consumer is left to make the choice regarding the broken tablet—make a trip across town or throw it in the kitchen trash?

Then there’s the confusion surrounding the kind of e-waste the item is. But that can be easily cleared up. There are two kinds of electronic devices: electronic (EDs) and covered (CEDs). The EDs can be recycled at most e-waste recycling locations; CEDs might not be accepted at all locations. However, many states are trying to make this process easy so go to your state’s website and find out. Here are the different categories:

Electronic Devices

  • CRT devices including older televisions and computer monitors
  • LCD desktop computer monitors and laptop computers
  • LCD televisions
  • Plasma televisions
  • Portable DVD players with LCD screens
  • Cash registers and oscilloscopes containing CRTs
  • Computers
  • Computer keyboards and other peripherals
  • Telephones, cell phones, and answering machines
  • Stereo equipment, radios, tape and CD players/recorders, phonographs
  • Video cassette recorders and calculators
  • Microwaves

Covered Electronic Devices

  • Cathode ray tube containing devices (CRT devices)
  • Cathode ray tubes (CRTs)
  • Computer monitors containing cathode ray tubes
  • Laptop computers with liquid crystal display (LCD)
  • LCD containing desktop monitors
  • Televisions containing cathode ray tubes
  • Televisions containing liquid crystal display (LCD) screens
  • Plasma televisions
  • Portable DVD players with LCD screens

For a list of businesses that will recycle e-waste, see the EPA’s website:
http://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling

 

This is a list of companies that already trust us with their recycling process.

Join them.