Electronic recycling is increasingly important and yet sometimes hard to do. With the consumer driven economy focusing so much on cheap goods, in the case of electronics, it is often cheaper to replace something than have it fixed or repaired. When you consider how often technology like computers, smartphones, and televisions jump ahead, you can quickly realize just how many pieces of electronics might have turned to trash in your life in the last three years. Is that even counting batteries and bulbs?
Electronics are not something you want to throw in the regular trash. If your local waste goes to a landfill, the mercury and other poisonous chemicals seep down into the ground, eventually either tormenting nearby vegetation and animal life or just winding up in the water supply. Even if it is downstream from your drinking water, it might evaporate as rain water and land on someone somewhere.
Unfortunately, recycling electronics is not easy most places. While a lot of cities might have bins for curbside pickup of plastics, bottles, paper, cans, and cardboard, you can’t leave a laptop out there. Actually, most people are hesitant to leave electronics somewhere to be recycled considering there might be personal information or data still on the device, and most don’t know how to wipe it completely to be sure in the first place.
Most municipalities do have recycling locations for electronics, but consumers or citizens probably have to drive there. The simplest thing to do is have the technically inclined person of the family remove hard drives and other data storage devices, and then someone can drive a trunk load of electronics over there when the closet is full.
Just keep in mind that there is a secondary market for electronics, particularly gaming consoles, tablets, and smartphones.
According to the IDC or International Data Corporation, a survey sponsored by the ISRI or Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and conducted on the industry of electronic recycling shows that the market back in 2010 handled over 3.5 million of electronics with revenues amounting to $4 billion while directly employing 30,000 people. Asset management policies—along with export issues, regulations, legislation, and vintage collections—have a profound impact on the future of Electronics Recycling. In light of how the industry has been growing 20% annually over the past decade or so, scalability and growth must be maintained by seeking greener tech and a more sustainable system of recycling of all those parts so that they don’t end up wasted in landfills and scrapyards. Electronics waste is as problematic as food waste, it would seem. For the best electronic recycling check out www.premiersurplus.com
Electronics Technology Disposal Management101
* Electronics disposal and asset management has been helped by technological advancements in terms of size. Electronics miniaturization back in the late 2000s and early 2010s has led to smaller materials footprint and less total volume by weight because smartphones (up until recently) were all competing to be as small as possible. This ended around the time tablets came around and smartphones started increasing their screen size.
* Regardless, even the largest cellphones take up a lot less space than the PCs of yesteryear (this is especially true of factory mainframes that take up a whole room). The recycling stream is currently dominated by mostly phones and other mobile devices, followed by PC Era monitors and desktops from the 1980s and 1990s that are already on their way out and going the way of the Dodo because they’re not being made anymore. Smartphones are increasing more and more in volume ever since they became much more affordable to buy.
* This is in comparison to even PCs and laptops even though many of them have comparable processing power and apps. Tablets and ultrabooks themselves are replacing laptops not only in the market but also in the junk pile, so future asset management will probably have to deal with bigger quantity and smaller volume electronics using LCD instead of CRT screens. Recycling all these types of electronics ranges from reusing old tech as secondhand antiques or dismantling them to reuse all their base components on newer tech.
In the United States of America, electronics recycling has been growing in prominence ever since computers, monitors, motherboards, keyboards, mice, and modems have been manufactured by the millions because of the personal computing boom of the Eighties and Nineties. It’s an industry that has matured enough to consolidate its market into the new millennium, where forced obsoletion is a daily reality. That’s what Computer Recycling is all about. It recycles old obsolete computer parts for reuse as retro or legacy systems or transformed for utilization in newer cutting-edge technology (since the raw materials of silicon, copper, and plastic are still in use with even newer systems). The future of this industry in the USA will be driven by industry structure, progress, precious metals, and the evolution of electronics technology.
Managing Your Assets Properly
* The assets that require proper recycling, reuse, processing, dismantling, or refurbishing so that the resources used to make them are maximized (the aftermarket industry has grown mostly from reusing parts that have been thrown out and considered obsolete, in fact) don’t only cover computers. In the Post-PC Era, smartphones and tablets have dominated the electronics recycling conversation (although smartphones can be considered miniature computers technically).
* In the PC Era, most waste was from laptops and desktops as well as monitors. Thanks to companies like Nokia, Apple, and Samsung, there has now been a shift in the paradigm, wherein there are now billions of tons more mobile devices that are in need of systemic disposal and recycling because these devices are being pumped out similarly by the billions as well. They join the PC Era monitors, CRT TVs, and other electronics in the dumps that require processing as well.
* By weight, the input volumes of these CRT monitors and televisions contribute up to 75% of the consumer electronics stream although by sheer numbers the dumpsters and landfills of America and beyond are flooded by multiple models of smartphones and cellphones dating from many generations back. Managing these assets will allow companies to tap into resources that could save them a significant amount of money and conserve the “fresh” resources we have. Fixing the waste disposal system of electronics can also further save Americans billions of dollars in electronic waste.