Why Recycle E-Waste: Don’t Let Your Laptop Poison Your Water
Electronics contain a wide range of dangerous chemicals that can do significant environmental harm when they are tossed on the side of the road or when an e-waste company improperly recycles them.
Some of the worst offenders are laptops and old TVs, which contain a wide range of threats from cadmium, mercury, and beryllium to as much as 6 pounds of lead. These materials are as costly as they are hazardous, so sometimes scavengers will break into them for some components, exposing the rest directly to our water and earth.
Device makers know of the cost and risk, which is demonstrated by the fact that Apple has a robot named Liam designed to safely and quickly dismantle old iPhones.
It’s up to all of us to do our part and properly dispose of these materials so that our water isn’t threatened. We all know that lead can permanently harm and disable people when it is in their drinking water, and, unfortunately, the risk of this may be poised to grow due to e-waste.
Why Are Electronics Being Trashed?
Old equipment is the most at risk for being kicked to the curb or improperly disposed of because it is expensive to adequately process and recycle, while the market has slowly declined in value for what can be recovered from these products.
The old, giant cathode TVs (CRT TVs) were a prominent recycling option in recent years because gold prices were very high and there was enough to recover in CRTs that they could turn a profit. Your local municipality probably accepted TVs at the time for that specific reason.
Unfortunately, the market has turned and many of these TVs no longer generate a profit. That’s bad because these models were designed to last for about 30 years. They’re also very heavy, which makes them expensive to have someone pick them up.
That might be why there are about 5 billion pounds worth of CRT TVs in our homes as of 2015. The weight is also likely why we’re seeing more of these tossed out on the side of the road or dumped into rivers and lakes.
Commodity prices are staying down, so it is less profitable for some to truly recycle and process your equipment. We’ve even seen a higher number of laptops simply being dumped. The chemicals inside of your silicon and other components then leach out into the ground or water during storms.
Why Securis Is Different
If not disposed of properly, toxins from electronic waste can enter the soil and water supplies.
We’ve made a commitment not only to our customers but to our planet, to protect and properly serve. We have a proven process for destroying equipment that does allow us to recoup a limited amount of materials, but that’s not the larger aim.
By focusing on costs and destruction, we’re able to properly recycle e-waste and not be completely dependent on commodity pricing to run our business. That gives us a greater capability to keep mercury, lead, silver, and flame-retardants out of our water.
There’s never any reason to cut corners and poison our world. Securis is taking a stand to prevent that harm and to protect our community, and we’d like you to join us. Learn more about what we do and how we do it, here.