by Amber Zhai
Since advances in technology are rapidly outpacing recycling, it is crucial that manufacturers of products made with metal consider recyclability during the initial design processes. Two reports by the United Nations’ International Resource Panel urge designers of everything from mobile phones to car batteries to make their products easier to recycle in order to offset soaring demands for metals.
Changes in technology, planned obsolescence, and a growing addiction for throwaway consumer products have led to an increasing surplus of electronic waste across the globe. According to the UN study, the United States ships 80% of its electronic waste to developing countries in Asia and Africa, where they simply don’t have the resources or technologies to handle the management and recycling of so much e-scrap.
Yet, metals are some of the few materials that are inherently recyclable. What makes certain metal products hard to recycle is that some combinations of metals are harder and more uneconomic to separate. For example, trying to separate platinum group metals from steel would be comparable to attempting to remove the milk from your coffee.
A Call for Accountability
Not only do the UN reports implore manufacturers to consider long-term environmental responsibility in their product designs, but they also advise international governments to come to an agreement on the most efficient recycling technologies. Because in addition to reusing resources, the recycling process produces less greenhouse gases than mining for more metal does.
According to another study by the Gaia Foundation, “In failing to create effective recycling systems, we are thus outsourcing our toxic waste and turning parts of the world into digital dumps.”
Recycle your E-Scrap
Don’t be part of the vicious cycle—rather than adding your old cell phones, hard drives, and motherboards to the digital dump, send them to Cash for Electronic Scrap USA. We’ll cover all the costs for you to send us your electronic scrap—just fill out a request form, put your scrap in the mail, and wait for your check. To find out just how easy it is, visit www.CashforElectronicScrapUSA.com today.