Have you ever considered what impacts your electronics have on the environment after they stop working or become obsolete? Not many people do, but in short, it’s quite large. In 2010 alone, Americans generated about 384 million units of e-waste such as computers, televisions and cellphones, but only 19% of that was recycled. E-cycling, the reuse and recycling of electronic equipment, conserves natural resources such as copper and gold that require a tremendous amount of energy to mine and process while also keeping toxins such as lead, out of our landfills and groundwater.
Employees at the Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego hosted a successful e-cycle event to rid their junk closets and garages of things like broken laptops, used batteries, burnt out light bulbs, televisions, monitors and other electronics containing heavy metals and caustic materials. They collected and recycled about 365 pounds of e-waste with an additional 35-40 pounds collected at CSE offices in Boston, Oakland and Los Angeles. In all, more than 400 pounds of e-waste was diverted from landfills and taken to a local electronics recycling center.
Inspired? Become an E-Cycler
Some stores will accept small amounts of used electronics such as batteries, lightbulbs and cellphones and may even recycle larger appliances, such as refrigerators and stoves for free (with the purchase and delivery of a new one). Find your nearest e-cycling center, at Earth911.com.
If everyone e-cycled one item per year, we could prevent over 83% of e-waste from ending up in a landfill.