Skip to main content

Recycling vs. Convenience: What Are You Doing With Your E-Waste?

We all have managed to stockpile an old computer or two, maybe a couple of corded phones or even a two hundred pound TV set from 1985 that you simply don’t know what to do with. As your electronic waste, or e-waste accumulates in your garage collecting dust you decide it’s finally time to take action. You can either take everything to your local recycling facility, which is half an hour away and only open for two hours on the first Saturday of the month or you can throw the pieces out with your trash.

You know throwing the e-waste away is not the proper way to dispose of your outdated technology, but the convenient solution would be to cross your fingers and hope the garbage truck takes the pieces one by one.
Even though awareness about electronics recycling and available recycling locations is increasing, according to a study released from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), consumers still say convenience is a determining factor as to whether or not they recycle their electronic waste.

According to the CE Recycling and Reuse 2012 Edition study, six in ten consumer electronic owners removed at least one device from their homes in the last year, with 48% donating the device for reuse and 26% choosing to recycle. The other twelve percent put their electronic devices in the trash citing that it was the most convenient option. Convenience can take into account time, resources, and cost, which plays heavily on how consumers decide to get rid of waste.

While programs at individual companies and retailers are trying to make it easier for consumers to recycle their products, it is still left up to the consumer to make the final decision of how to dispose of their unwanted materials.

The study also revealed that nine in ten consumers believe it's important to recycle their electronic devices and 63% of consumers know where to recycle them. This is very promising as to the future of how we handle our e-waste.

Walter Alcorn, vice president of CEA's environmental affairs and industry sustainability department stated: "The marked increase in consumer awareness of how and where to recycle their electronics illustrates the progress our industry has made on this issue."

While there have been some concerns as to what really happens to e-waste once it is taken to a facility, most of the products can be resold or dismantled for parts. Regardless of what happens next, this option is better than throwing e-waste away with your regular trash where the products have the potential to leach heavy metals into landfills and incinerator ash.

As technology continues to change and we become increasing dependent on our electronic devices, e-waste will only continue to grow. That's why it is important to start making a better effort to get your e-waste to an accredited recycling facility and start recycling now!

Read more at The Green Economy.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bottled Water Carries Hidden Cost to Earth

Good for You, Bad for Mother Earth? | $1.79 might seem like a small price to pay for a bottle of water. But it costs the Earth far more than that.

Compared to a liter of tap water, producing a liter of bottled water requires as much as 2,000 times more energy, according to the first analysis of its kind. The study also found that our nation's bottled water habit sucked up the equivalent of 32 to 54 million barrels of oil last year.

"The bottom line is that we should understand better the implications of our choices," said Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, Calif. "It suggests more ways to reduce energy use than maybe we otherwise think of."

Bottled water is a big business that is rapidly getting bigger. From 1976 to 2007, the average amount of bottled water drunk per person per year in the United States jumped from about 6 liters (1.6 gallons) to 116 liters (30.6 gallons).

In 2007, …


Air pollution can cause serious health problems. Rarely, it can even kill people — and we’re not exaggerating. That’s why we care so much about the laws that protect us from air pollution. Read on to learn more about the specific parts of our bodies that are affected by air pollution. Air pollution can be made of tiny particles or gases, and these get into your body when you breathe. Different types of air pollution do different things inside your body. Air pollution can directly irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, before it even gets into the lungs. It can cause runny nose, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat. LUNGS When you breathe in, air moves through your nose or mouth, down your throat into your trachea, and then into your lungs. Pollution can irritate the airways. When that happens, muscles around the bronchi get tight; the lining of the bronchi swell; and the bronchi produce excess mucous. When the airways are constricted, it b…

Hazardous Waste

A hazardous waste is a waste with a chemical composition or other properties that make it capable of causing illness, death, or some other harm to humans and other life forms when mismanaged or released into the environment. PLEASE NOTE This new page is part of our Hazardous Waste Management Program web page update process and is under construction. The links to the left will take you to the main Hazardous Waste page, as well as the general category pages, and the Related Links are those links related to the content on the page.  longer be available.  DEFINING HAZARDOUS WASTE A waste is a hazardous waste if it is a listed waste, characteristic waste, used oil and mixed wastes. Specific procedures determine how waste is identified, classified, listed, and delisted. TYPES OF HAZARDOUS WASTE Hazardous waste is divided into different types (e.g., universal waste) or categories, including RCRA hazardous waste and non-RCRA hazardous waste. Properly categorizing a hazardous waste is necessary f…