Top 10 E-Waste Recycling Misconceptions

Posted on

Mar 9th, 2023



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The misconceptions around e-waste recycling can be deterring, but they aren’t the reality. If you have questions about IT equipment recycling, please reach out! We’re here to break these common myths about e-waste recycling!

  1. “E-Waste recycling is expensive.” The truth about recycling is that it can be expensive, but sometimes you might even get paid to recycle! If your e-waste is in good condition, still usable, and you do not need to shred your hard drives, the resale value might surprise you. 
  2. “It’s not secure to recycle electronics.” While this could be the case with some recyclers, by choosing a company that also has data destruction services, there is no need to worry about personal data being accessed. Degaussing and shredding hard drives destroys any personal information that recycled devices contain. 
  3. “E-waste companies outsource the materials, and they still end up in landfills.” While this is true for some e-waste recycling companies, if a company is appropriately vetted and has the proper certifications like an R2 certification then this does not apply.
  4. “It could harm compliance agreements with clients.” When choosing an e-waste recycling company, it’s essential to know how they’ll work with you and what exactly you can guarantee your clients. At Securis, we scan every item collected so you can know what happens with those items from start to finish. We also have a chain of custody protocol to make sure we’re following your personal needs. 
  5. “E-waste recycling is the perfect solution.” While we wish it were the perfect solution, unfortunately, it is only one step in “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” The first step is a personal choice for both individuals and corporations. It’s important to reduce how often you replace computers, phones, etc. Just because they are outdated does not mean it’s time to upgrade. If there is nothing wrong with your technology, it’s best to keep using it. The next step is to reuse, so if you can buy something you need secondhand or even re-sell a piece of equipment that you’re upgrading, it can help eliminate unnecessary waste. The last step is to recycle. If it’s broken, it’s time to extract the recyclable materials. Unusable e-waste can be used for the materials that make them up, like copper, gold, and other precious metals. 
  6. “Donating and recycling are the same things.” We’ve been taught that donating helps people in need, and while often that is the case, sometimes the donated items just end up in the trash. If your donated computer works, but it’s from 2004, it may not be purchased. Depending on what organization you donate to, items may only sit on a shelf for a certain amount of time before they’re tossed out to make room for other, newer donations. 
  7. “All e-waste recycling companies are the same.” If a company has branded itself as an electronics recycling company, it’s easy to believe that! However, just because they say that doesn’t mean everything will be recycled. It’s essential to thoroughly vet any recycling company prior to trusting them with your electronic waste. 
  8. “It is easy to recycle e-waste.” It may seem easy to throw a computer in a recycling bin; however, at that point, you might as well put electronics in the trash. The recycling process for electronics starts by completely dismantling the equipment. Recycling facilities have the resources to collect metals, plastics, precious metals, and more from electronic devices to get the most out of the equipment.
  9. “E-waste isn’t a big deal.” Unfortunately, e-waste has become a huge international issue. From cell phones to TVs to computers and everything in between, the more technology we use, the more waste is produced.
  10. “It’s a hassle to get rid of e-waste.” When you find the right recycling company, recycling electronics becomes painless for the consumer. The right company will ensure that any personal data is physically destroyed, excess materials aren’t being shipped overseas, and toxic materials stay out of landfills.

If you have further questions about how to keep your end-of-life technology out of landfills, contact us today!