The Global Impacts of Improper Electronic Waste Recycling

Getting rid of employees’ old computers isn’t as easy as simply throwing the devices in the trash.

Inoperable and outdated electronics retain value in the form of materials that can be recycled. Recycling computer components reduces the amount of raw materials needed to manufacture new products and helps save valuable resources from ending up in landfills.

Additionally, by recycling computers responsibly, potentially hazardous components found inside many electronics can be safely removed and disposed.

The most important part of a computer to recycle is the central processing unit, or CPU. Inside the CPU are transistors, resistors, and other components that contain valuable reusable materials. 

The cables and power supplies also contain copper, which is an expensive resource when harvested from the earth’s crust. Other components, such as the monitor’s glass and plastic casing, can also be recycled.  

Recycling computer components, or any other kind of electronic waste, can also help your company’s bottom line.

The financial upside

The financial motivator for electronic waste recycling is clear. By recycling old computers, businesses can receive the value from the resources inside and make some money back.

The current global market rates for materials like copper, gold, and polysilicon are all very high. Computers typically contain about one-third of a gram of gold. Additionally, you’ll find copper in your computer wire, ribbon wire, CPU chips, and power supply. Polysilicon, another common material found in computers, is well known for its ability to conduct electricity.

The sale of these recycled materials can provide a financial benefit to your business. This is especially true when considering that alternative options such as dumping the same components in a landfill may incur additional costs. 

The dangers

Some e-waste recycling providers may not hold themselves to the same standard that we do at ViaTeK. The greatest impacts are felt environmentally, such as valuable water sources getting compromised by lazy recycling practices.

Some countries lack regulations for proper e-waste handling, which has led to the rise of an unruly industry driven by extreme poverty. Children as young as 12 have been seen burning copper wires to remove the rubber coating. The dangerous process releases potentially hazardous materials into the environment and imperils the entire community.

The World Health Organization reports that a child who eats an egg from Agbogbloshie, a large waste site in Ghana, will consume more than 200 times the recommended daily intake for chlorinated dioxins. 

Many companies are fooled into believing that they’re disposing of their electronics ethically when, in reality, the recycling company they’re using is shipping their waste abroad to one of these countries with lax or missing regulations. According to the United Nations, the US exports 10 – 40% of its e-waste. 

That’s why it is essential to partner with a certified and responsible recycling provider like ViaTeK Solutions. When we say we don’t add to the global waste loop, this is what we are talking about. We have all of the necessary certifications to ensure that your company’s used IT equipment is recycled in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

What responsible recycling looks like

By working with a provider like ViaTeK, you can rest assured that your company is participating in the global effort to reduce e-waste. Responsible recycling looks like:

• Properly breaking down electronics into their component parts for reuse or recycling

• Removing all potentially hazardous materials from products

• Ensuring that all recycled items do not end up in a foreign landfill

• Offering in-house data destruction services to ensure customer information is 100% destroyed

By recycling electronics, you can keep potentially hazardous materials out of the environment and reclaim valuable resources that would otherwise be wasted. It’s not only a responsible practice but it can be profitable as well.

At ViaTeK, we take pride in our commitment to sustainability, protecting the environment, and helping our customers achieve their environmental goals. We are committed to ethical and compliant recycling of your company’s used IT equipment and any other electronic waste. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business responsibly recycle its e-waste.

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