Whatever industry you’re in, it’s likely that simply by operating in the 21st century that your business generates some quantity of e-waste. Taking a variety of forms but broadly defined as any discarded electronic device or electrical component, e-waste is one of the biggest concerns of government bodies and private organisations involved in waste disposal. Having a strong, reliable plan for managing your e-waste output is necessary for any organisation. Read on to find out why.
Safely disposing of dangerous materials
It surprises many people to learn that devices they use every day and carry on their person can be filled with dozens of potentially toxic materials. Any device with a central processing unit (CPU) such as a phone, laptop, tablet, modern television or desktop computer contains everything from lead to cadmium and beryllium, all of which pose a danger once the device has been discarded and these elements are exposed to soil or water. Cathode ray tubes – most often found in old computer monitors and analogue televisions – can also release lead into the air during dismantling, posing a risk to workers.
Choosing a responsible e-waste disposal company means that potentially dangerous materials are sorted out and dealt with in the most responsible way possible, ensuring that your now obsolete phone poses no risk to the environment.
Reclaiming valuable materials
Not only are many materials used in the construction of these products highly dangerous to the environment, many are non-renewable and expensive to mine. A number of materials crucial to the construction of modern electronic devices can be safely and efficiently reclaimed from unwanted products, minimising the cost to the planet and reducing the need for future mining. Everything from glass to gold, copper, silver and certain polymers can be reclaimed, as well as crucial rare earth metals be extracted, recycled and reused.
Rare earth metals are a particular area of concern, as they are essential to the function of a number of technologies including aerospace, nuclear power, lasers, and medical imaging. China mines 95 per cent of the world’s supply of rare earth metals and has recently slowed production, meaning that alternative sources such as recycling have never been more important.
Make the responsible choice in your business. Whether you’re getting rid of fluorescent lights, old computers, hard disk drives or batteries, do the right thing and contact a reliable e-waste disposal company like ToxFree to ensure that your products are disposed of properly.