E-waste accounts for only about 2% of what ends up in America’s landfills. But it equals 70% of the overall toxics in a landfill. In California alone, we produce, on average, 200 million pounds of electronic waste a year, according to CalRecycle. Since 2005, e-waste collection in the Golden State has reached 2 billion pounds, including many cathode ray tubes (CRTs) that no one uses anymore.
Why is this important to know? A large number of what is often labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all. On the contrary, electronic equipment and parts are readily marketable for reuse and can often be given another purpose in the secondary market. By recycling items such as cell phones, TVs and computers, monitors and servers, you are not only protecting our planet and the Bay Area from toxic e-waste. You are setting up your company or organization for an opportunity to recycle electronics for money.
We would likely see a lot more recycling if people knew which used electronic equipment could actually be recycled. Surplus Service, an award-winning e-waste recycling company in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializes in coming up with e-waste solutions—including UpcyclIT® reuse, a greener option than recycling—for all types of surplus gadgets.
Here are a few of the most common types of electronics that can be discarded with zero waste in mind.
1. Computers and Monitors
PC monitors, Laptops, Keyboards, A mouse. Whichever computer part you have, you do not have to worry about how surplus electronic equipment may be disposed of. A recycler will take care of that for you. Computer monitors are considered hazardous to the environment and it’s illegal to dispose of them in the garbage. Instead of ditching them, recycle your computer parts. Also make sure the e-waste recycling company offers data eradication or destruction to completely wipe your entire hard drive, which ensures the privacy of your data.
2. Cell Phones
For phones, make sure the e-waste recycling company that offers a data eradication service can completely wipe your entire phone instead of performing just a factory reset. This ensures that when you recycle your cell phone, your data remains private. And get this: For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
Have you ever had a jammed printer that could not be repaired? Or maybe you have an old printer that you have replaced and is not in use anymore. You know what to do: Recycle that old thing.
Yes, they’re big and, yes, they’re bulky. They’re also hazardous. You may think that a broken, damaged or faulty TV is something to cart off to the junkyard. However, if you recycle your TV, you will not only be helping the environment but also be setting yourself up to earn some extra money.
A server is a “big” computer device that provides functionality for other programs, computers or devices. Servers contain lots of proprietary data that must be professionally destroyed or wiped. Servers are also considered toxic e-waste and can’t be disposed of with the regular trash in the office dumpster. Each server must be properly reused or recycled.