It is estimated that the US now dumps between 300 million and 400 million electronic items per year, and less than 20% of that e-waste is recycled. Even more concerning is that E-waste represents 2% of America's trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. The extreme amount of lead in electronics if allowed to degrade into the ground or leach into groundwater can cause damage in humans to the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood and the kidneys. But lead can also be extracted from a device and reused. Other commodities that can be extracted from electronic equipment and reused as valuable raw material in the manufacture of new products are steel, aluminum, gold, silver, titanium, copper, nickel, plastic, and glass. It only makes sense to recycle electronics: extract all reusable materials saving money, and making certain that toxins are being properly handled and reused or disposed, saving our planet.
Electronics recyclers provide comprehensive recycling operations. Businesses usually have large amounts of e-waste that may require secure data destruction. There are both for-profit organizations who may pay for them, and non-profits such as ARC Broward, that will provide you with secure hard-drive and data destruction as well as a receipt for a tax deduction.
Individuals can get paid to recycle electronics and keep them out of landfills too. Instead of tossing your gadgets in a landfill when you’re finished with them, get paid to recycle them by using services like getpaid2recycle.com, buymytronics.com, and gazelle.com. E-recyclers will recycle or refurbish your electronics, keeping them out of landfills and paying you cash. Different recyclers take different types of products, so make certain you do your research on-line to see which recycler is willing to give you the best price. And please, whatever you do, make certain your recycling company of choice is certified by R-2, ISO, or another reputable third party verifier, insuring the organization is truly disposing of your e-waste properly.
And there you have it: one simple way you can reduce your clutter and make a few bucks on in the process, almost hassle free!
E-waste is a term describing electronics at the end of their useful life. Electronics encompass anything from cameras to clocks, cell phones to laptops. E-waste is a major concern for multiple reasons, one of the most important being that it’s a relatively new waste stream and has grown in volume exponentially in a very short period of time. Consider this: 15 years ago cellular phones were just becoming mainstream, still in the mass marketing development stage, today about 50 million cell phones are replaced worldwide each month, and only 10% are recycled world-wide.
According to the Natural Environment website, 60 to 100 million barrels of oil are required to manufacture a year's worth of plastic bags worldwide, and it takes approximately 400 years at least for a bag to biodegrade. Unfortunately, plastic is the most a common material choice for packaging and carrying in the current disposable society in which we live. Here's the problem, if it takes over 400 years to biodegrade, technically, it's not disposable at all. In reality, we are NEVER getting rid of it, we're just moving it from point A to point B for it to remain at point B FOREVER, or at least 400 years.The impact of plastic bags on our environment is enormous. . Approximately 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die every year because they either mistake the bags for food or get strangled in them, says Natural Environment. The "plastic soup" patch floating in the Pacific Ocean is twice the size of the continental United States and is roughly 80 percent plastic, according to The Independent, a British newspaper.
Gone are the days when Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives began and ended with the aim of giving back to the community. CSR programs of large companies have now grown to include environmental concerns, largely as a result of growing consumer awareness and to some extent, governmental regulation. Of course, the fact that green CSR initiatives usually save the company a lot of money, while generating immense public goodwill is not overlooked by companies. Consequently, more and more industries are making environmental activism a part of their CSR programs.
Most companies, large or small, choose to focus green initiatives in CSR on four major areas – reviewing environmental impact, reduction of environmental impact, promote energy efficiency and conservation of water. The process invariably starts with an assessment of the environmental impact of the company’s overall operations including raw material sourcing, manufacturing, distribution and administration. Once the impact has been assessed either in terms of carbon footprint or greenhouse gas emissions, the next step is to formulate methods to reduce this by a measurable quantity within a certain period. Promoting energy efficiency has the two-fold advantage of conserving non-renewable sources of energy and cutting operating costs. Many companies undertake retrofitting efforts or installing sources of renewable energy as a part of this conservation effort. Water conservation by promoting efficient use of water and recycling waste in an effort to prevent contamination of groundwater is another major component of green CSR initiatives.
In addition to this, companies may also go in for implementing new environmentally friendly policies on a company-wide basis and this may include all the major factors mentioned in addition to ethical labor policies and environmental disclosure. Companies have embraced green CSR by promoting green restaurants (McDonald’s), hiring executives to formulate green CSR policies (Microsoft) and integration of green CSR into business strategy (IBM). Many businesses now recognize that it is important to get into green CSR at an early stage because in addition to stabilizing the environment, it makes sound business sense. Boeing, for example, was one of the first companies to invest in fuel efficient jet engines at times when oil was cheap, and is now poised to supply fuel-efficient engines to the aeronautical industry.
Insider Green Nov. 2009 (www.insidergreen.com)