We all know the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. You may be used to recycling your paper and plastic, but what do you do with your phone or computer when it outlives its usefulness? Every computer contains toxic materials such as lead and mercury and precious metals such as gold and silver. The goal of technology recycling is to keep these materials out of the environment and in our new devices. Makes sense, right?
Benefits of Recycling
The continued high demand for a cheaper and faster computer makes the need for recycling more important than ever. Past estimated figures have shown that only 10% of obsolete computers have been properly recycled. The rest have ended in landfills, storage, burned in incinerators, and in third world countries that have no modern means or education to properly handle the material. This material often ends up in untrained hands to be taken apart under hazardous conditions. When you recycle your computers, you are doing your part to help keep our environment clean and people safe.
Recycling Electronics Helps To Save Natural Resources In Natural Areas
Creating products from recycled electronics slows the depletion of non-renewable resources and decreases the need for new drilling and mining operations.
Recycling Saves Energy
It generally takes much less energy to produce electronics using recycled materials rather than virgin materials. Reduced energy consumption leads to reduced production costs, which in turn leads to less expensive electronics. Using recycled materials also lessens dependence on foreign suppliers, cutting costs even further. Making the eco-conscious decision to recycle your electronics also helps to conserve your wallet!
Recycling Reduces Pollution
Fossil fuels are still the leading energy source in the United States, so reduced energy consumption decreases air pollution caused by nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions. Using fewer natural resources also prevents other environmental challenges such as runoff from mining operations and farms, soil erosion, and the toxic chemicals released when raw materials are processed.
Recycling Conserves Landfill Space
Our planet has a limited amount of space for us–and for the waste we produce. When e-waste ends up in a landfill, it stays there and takes up space until it decomposes back into the soil. This process takes approximately 1,700 years. As waste breaks down, it releases greenhouse gases such as methane and emits many toxic pollutants into our water table. Keeping recyclable items out of our landfills keeps air and water cleaner, reduces the need to build new or expanded landfills, and conserves resources by putting existing materials back to good use.
Recycling Creates Jobs
In this economy, we should work toward creating as many jobs as possible. It’s good for the environment and good for business. Over 1,000,000 jobs in the United States are directly dependent on recycling materials. Landfills and incinerators burn up far too many jobs.
Doing Your Part
The question of what to do with your old electronics can be a daunting one. Making the environmentally-responsible choice to recycle can prevent a lot of harm. ITGuys Team wants to make that choice as easy to make as possible. Our re:Start program offers the electronics recycling Boulder and Denver residents need, and we don’t charge a thing. Contact us to schedule your free e-waste pickup today!
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