by Alex Francis
If being able to earn some of your money back when you sell old and unwanted electronics to reputable recyclers isn’t enough of an incentive, then perhaps a recent report in The Economist about the damage that the exportation of our e-waste inflicts upon the people of poorer countries will help persuade you to start giving a second thought to how you discard your old electronics.
The Economist reports that the production of e-waste is growing at three times the rate of other kinds of waste and that the current global volume is projected to more than double in the next 15 years.
While recycling unwanted electronics (as opposed to throwing them in the trash) is certainly a step in the right direction toward mitigating this growing problem, what’s more important is where and how the electronic scrap is actually recycled—and all recycling processes are far from created equal.
The Problem with Electronic Waste
The danger that comes with recycling electronic waste stems from the fact that along with precious metals that can be reused (like gold, silver, and palladium), electronic scrap also contains poisonous elements (like cadmium, lead, and mercury). And while cleaner, more high-tech methods of extraction that greatly reduce the risk of exposure to these harmful elements do exist, these methods tend to be more costly.
Unfortunately, increasing amounts of electronic waste are instead ending up in poor, developing parts of countries like China and Nigeria where cruder methods prevail. In southern China’s Guiyu area, it is common to boil circuits on the stove to remove plastics and then leach the metals with acid. This process puts workers at high risk for burns and in close proximity to dangerous fumes from lead and other carcinogens, and a study found that local women face high miscarriage rates.
Recycling practices in places like Guiyu are nowhere near Western health and safety standards and thus should not, for the safety of the local people, be used as destinations for electronic waste. It is important to instead choose responsible recyclers who take care to ensure the safety of its workers.
When you choose to recycle your computers and other unwanted electronics with Cash for Electronic Scrap USA, we will provide you a Certificate of Destruction/Recycling upon request that certifies that the facility used is properly licensed in accordance with applicable federal regulation 40 CFR. In addition, all of our practices comply with the relevant guidelines provided by both the EPA and OSHA. And as a reward for recycling with us, we will mail you a check within 10 business days of the receipt of your electronics. Since we handle such a large volume of electronics, we are able to pay more than other electronic recycling providers. For more information on how to earn some extra cash and recycle responsibly at the same time, visit CashForElectronicScrapUSA.com today.