How is Electronic Waste Recycled

In today’s world of growing technologies, many companies are now faced with the task of disposing old hard drives and media that is no longer used, known as e-waste. There are different categories of e-waste from household products to items that you would only see at a work office. Office companies with e-waste such as memory sticks, disc drives and hard drives need to determine what to do with this e-waste, especially since sensitive and identifying information has been stored on these devices. Recycling these old products is one of the best ways to get of old data in a secure and environmentally friendly way.

You might be wondering, how is electronic waste recycled? One of the main ways this takes place is through the physical destruction of the devices. The process begins though before that, when a request is made from a company that is wanting to get rid of its e-waste. A third party e-waste recycling company will go directly to the company and pick up the e-waste, storing it in a locked container, before taking it to the destruction facility. Once it arrives at the facility, all the e-waste devices are recorded in an itemized list and scanned once it is ready for shredding. The devices are put in a machine that will physically destroy the e-waste, after that, all recyclable materials are gathered and recycled. A certificate of destruction, along with a detailed destruction log, will be provided back to the company once all items have been destroyed and recycled.

Recent Data on Recycling

When it comes to e-waste, you probably have heard of the dangers and harm of e-waste ending up in landfills. From polluting our natural water reserves and soil to wasting precious resources such as gold and silver, there are plenty of reasons why companies and individuals should recycle. The advantages of e-waste recycling are also numerous as well. Here are some of the most recent data on recycling.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency produced a Materials and Waste Management report of its key facts and figures. The 2014 report is the most recent report of key findings. In 2014, of the 258 million tons of municipal solid waste that was created in the U.S., over 89 million tons were recycled and composted. This equals out to a 34.6% recycling rate in the U.S. Of that percentage, the most recycled items were corrugated boxes, which came out to 89.5%. The next most recycled items at 61% was yard trimmings being composted. Additionally, in 2014, of the 89 million tons of municipal solid waste that was recycled, it created an annual reduction of over 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. This is comparable to getting rid of emissions from over 38 million passenger cars.


There are also other benefits to e-waste recycling. For example, according to the EPA’s Recycling Economic Information Report, they found that recycling and reuse of materials not only creates jobs, but it also generates local and state tax revenues. In 2007 in the US, recycling and reuse activities accounted for 757,000 jobs, $36.6 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax revenues. While e-waste recycling is great for the environment as well as protecting sensitive data found on electronic devices, it is also a great way to create more jobs and boost the economy.


Do you Know the Patron Saint of Electronics?

Did you know that there is a patron saint of electronics? Declared by Pope John Paul II in 1997, Isidore of Seville became the patron saint of the internet and electronics. Isidore became the Bishop of Seville in 600 and during his time, he took it upon himself to record all the information ever known and ended up creating a 20 book encyclopedia entitled Etymologia, meaning, “the study of origins”. His 20 book encyclopedia consisted of knowledge not only about languages, kingdoms, and geography of the world but also of furniture, agriculture and even the different names of women’s outer garments. Just as Isidore of Seville is the patron saint of the internet, today, there also needs to be something watching over the world of electronics. In some ways, r2 rios is exactly that.


R2 specifically refers to the best practices that are used by the electronics industry including best practices for electronic waste. When a company is R2 certified, it means that the business is qualified to be able to properly handle electronic waste in a responsible, safe and ethical manner. RIOS was created in order to offer standards in the recycling industry, including the recycling of electronics. RIOS stands for Recycling Industry Operating Systems and was developed by the International Organization for Standardization. Together, R2 and RIOS provide guidelines and standards for companies to use in order to ensure employee safety, customer data security, environmental ethics, quality performance and more. The combined R2/RIOS certification is provided by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.


The only way a company can get these certifications is if they go through an intense audit to ensure that all business practices are up to the national codes and standards. If you or your company is looking to recycle e-waste, be sure to consider a company that has R2 and/or RIOS certifications.


What Services are Typically Offered by E-Waste Recycling Companies?

When it comes to electronic waste, it’s important that you or your company refrain from simply throwing away the e-waste in the garbage where it will eventually wind up in a landfill. Instead, you’ll want to find a certified e-waste recycling company that can offer a variety of electronics recycling services that may be right for you. If you’ve never worked with an e-waste recycling company before, here are some typical services that you might expect to be offered.


First and foremost, the certified company will be able to offer you recycling services for your electronics. The problem with throwing away electronics is that precious metals such as gold and reusable resources such as plastic are simply being wasted. An e-waste recycling company will be able to separate the waste from the recyclable materials and other materials that can be reused.


E-Waste recycling companies will also likely offer data destruction services. The physical destruction of equipment is the best way to ensure that sensitive and identifying data will not fall into the wrong hands. Even when data is deleted from a computer for example, it can still be found in the hard drive. Therefore, the only way to ensure the data is gone for good is by using a high powered shredder that e-waste companies offer.


Some e-waste companies might also offer resources to make it easier for you or your company to get services. For example, a company might offer a simple drop off location if you have a small amount of devices that need to be recycled. If you have a large amount of e-waste that needs to be recycled, companies will also offer a secure pickup option. This means that the company will drive to your location, pick the equipment for you and securely transport it to their off site location. These are just some of the resources you can expect from an e-waste company.


Things You Should Include in your Data Breach Plan

When it comes to data security, your company should have a data breach plan so that you’ll be prepared for whatever life throws at you. A data breach plan acts as a response guide so those in the company dealing with the situation will know exactly how to respond. Included in your data breach plan should include protective measures such as the physical destruction of data and what hard drive destruction equipment will be needed to make this possible.


Your data breach plan should also be able to answer some of the following questions. For example, what type of personal information is being collected in your company and what categories of individuals are collecting information on. Are they employees, customers, business contacts, volunteers others? Is your organization that must follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, also known as HIPPA? What medium is your company storing personal information? Do you use paper files, desktops or backup tapes? Is your information encrypted? Who has access to this information? These are just some of the questions that your data breach plan should be able to answer.


When it comes to determining how to avoid a data breach in the first place, a company should have a plan for data at all stages. For example, when personal information is first gathered, how is it being stored and saved? When the personal information is no longer needed, what is done with the information? Is it stored, thrown away or does a third party company acquire it? One of the best ways to ensure that all data that has reached the end of it’s life remains secure and does not fall into the wrong hands is through the physical destruction of the hard drive or other memory source. Be sure to use a certified e-waste recycling company for your data destruction needs.


What Can We Do About E-waste

E-waste is a blanket term that is used for all electronic waste. Electronic waste includes all pieces of technology that are no longer being used, even if they still technically work. With the fast pace that technology is changing, it means that pieces of technology are being outdated at a faster rate than ever before. Many of these devices are simply being thrown out where they end up in landfills. In fact, in 2016, almost 45 million tons of e-waste ended up in landfills but luckily, this doesn’t have to be the norm. If you’re wondering, ‘what can we do about e-waste?’, one of the best things you can do is use an e-waste recycling company, for all your old devices.


The first thing you should do is re-evaluate. One of the biggest reasons for the increase in e-waste is that consumers are buying new devices even when their current devices are perfectly functional. Decreasing the amount of new products that you buy will also decrease the rate that e-waste is created. If you have have electronics that are too outdated for your preference but still work, than another option is to simply donate them. There are various charities and nonprofits that accept donated electronics including old computers and printers. If you can’t find an organization to donate your old devices to, than consider donating to Goodwill or The Salvation Army.


Donating might not be an option for everyone however. If your devices are too old and simply do not work anymore, than donation is not an option. If you have old devices that are broken and irreparable, simply throwing away the devices is not the answer. When you throw them away, they end up in landfills or overseas where damage is done to the environment and precious metals such as the gold inside of devices are wasted. Instead of throwing away devices, take your items to an e-waste recycling company. Certified companies will properly and securely recycle your devices. If you have e-waste, be sure to consider recycling as an option.


List of Important Stats Regarding E-waste

Electronic Waste, or E-Waste, is known as any electronic waste that is no longer used or wanted and is now considered obsolete. Regardless of whether or not an electronic device still works, it become e-waste when it is no longer wanted or it becomes out of date. For example, Old VCRs, DVD players, floppy disks and old stereos are all examples of electronic devices that, while they still might work, they have become outdated and are no longer used. As technology continues to grow quickly, the amount of e-waste also increases. One answer to this growing problem are the use of electronic recycling companies that keep e-waste from ending up in landfills. Read on to discover some shocking e-waste statistics.


  1. The United States produces more e-waste every year than any other country. In 2016 the amount of electronics that American threw away every year to a landfill reached 9.4 million tons.
  2. If just one million laptops were recycled, it would save energy equivalent to the amount of electricity that is used by 3,657 U.S.  homes in a year.
  3. When e-waste is not recycled, trace amounts of precious metals end up in landfills. These include gold, copper, silver, palladium and more. In 2016, the potential value of these raw materials that ended up in landfills worldwide was over 60 billion dollars.
  4. For every one million cell phones that are recycled, we could recover 35,274 pounds of copper, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver and 33 pounds of palladium
  5. According to the EPA, only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled


While Electronic Recycling Companies is one of the major ways we can help the environment and our natural resources, not all companies are the same. Some companies are known to simply ship the e-waste to developing countries. In order to ensure a company is reaching the health and human safety standards, be sure to choose a company that has been certified. With a certification, you’ll know your data and the environment are being properly protected.

What Can We Do About E-waste

While the latest piece of technology might be exciting for consumers, it can pose a serious problem to the earth. Thanks to a rapid growth in technology, more and more people are trading in their old devices for something newer and faster. More often than not, this means that the old devices are left behind where they sometimes end up in landfill. These old electronic devices are known as e-waste, and more then ever before, e-waste is posing a serious threat to the environment. According to the EPA, Americans are throwing away two million tons of e-waste every year. So the question becomes, what can we do about e-waste? One popular solution is by using a certified e-waste recycling company.

There are of course various solutions that can take place in order to lower the amounts of e-waste that end up in landfills. For example, instead of simply getting a new gadget everytime the latest model comes out, take a second to re-evaluate and see if you can stay with your current device for a little longer. Another option is to donate the device to social programs such as aftercare programs for children or domestic violence shelters. For large quantities of electronic devices, perhaps using an e-waste recycling company is one of the best options.

There are a number of reasons why companies can benefit from using a recycling company for e-waste. One of these reasons is for data security. Companies often store sensitive, and identifying information. On computers and other electronic devices. When you recycle these devices, hard drive is completely destroyed making it impossible for information to get into the wrong hands. Recycling is also beneficial to the environment as precious metals such as gold and are gathered and can be reused for future electronic devices. Finally, when items are recycled, it means they are kept out of landfills and harmful materials such as mercury do not spill into the land and water.

What Happens to Electronic Waste

So you’ve just got a brand new phone or laptop. It’s an exciting time as you now have some of the best technology right at your fingertips, but what about your old phone or laptop? What happens to your piece of technology that you no longer have any use for. Once you no longer have a need for an electronic device, it becomes known as electronic waste, or e-waste. So now that you have an old phone or device, what happens to electronic waste once you have no more need of it? Instead of having e-waste end up landfills, it’s important to use an e-waste recycling company.


Little by little more and more people are learning about the importance of not sending e-waste into the landfill. This is because when e-waste ends up landfills, trace amount of toxic elements can end up in the soil, water supplies, and even in the air we breath. Additionally, many of the materials that are used to make electronic devices are not biodegradable. As a response to this, it is is starting to become more popular to recycle your e-waste. When you recycle e-waste, precious metals such as gold and silver that are found in electronic devices can be re-used, which lessens the burden on the earth’s natural resources. Additionally, when devices are recycled, all the parts that can be reused are, and no parts of the device end up in landfills.


Not all e-waste recycling companies are the same however. Some companies simply sell the materials of the device abroad. This is because companies can make money from selling the scavenged metals in the devices. These metals are often toxic though, and workers abroad are not properly protected. In order to ensure that your devices are being properly recycled, you’ll want to find a company that is certified. This means the company meets strict standards that ensure environmental responsibility, safe practices, and safe work environments for employees.

How Does Smartphone Recycling Work

Did you know that inside your old phone holds precious metals? More likely than not, you probably have an old drawer that houses old phones from the past that you never got around to recycle. Cell phones, unlike old computers or printers, are easy to store away in a drawer somewhere and forget about. However, when it comes to old phones, smartphone recycling is one of the best things that you can do for the space in your home, and for the environment as well. E-waste recycling solutions not only prevents old, electronic waste from ending up in landfills, it also allows for precious metals to be reused.


It might come as a surprise to you, but your old phone that has been lying around in your home somewhere contains as many as 60 precious elements that can be reused instead of mining for fresh materials. For example, from the lithium in a phone’s batteries to the conductive layer of indium tin that is in the screen of a smartphone, there are plenty of elements to be reused in a phone. In a phone, you’ll also find copper, silver, gold, tantalum and iron-boron magnets that are common found in microphones and speakers are all waiting to be reused.


Aside from the obvious benefit of reusing metals and elements for new electronics, an added benefit is keeping away toxic elements from the general population. While useful metals such as gold can be found in phones, toxic elements such as barium, lead, lithium, mercury, silver, nickel, rhodium and palladium are also found in old pieces of technology. These toxic elements can seep into the ground, get into water supplies, and even in the air. These toxic elements have been known to cause birth defects, heart and liver damage, kidney damage, damage to the nervous system and even brain damage. When you send your old electronics to a certified recycler, not only are you decreasing the need for new elements to be mined, you are also helping to protect the environment and our health.